I wrote this a while back and never did anything with it, so I figured I could share it with you in honor of New York Comic Con happening this week.
Comic book conventions are quite possibly the greatest invention the world has ever known. They’re magical places where one can spend all their money on cool things instead of bills and no one is there to stop you. In fact, they encourage it. My idea of heaven involves walking around a convention for eternity with a credit card that never runs out of money. And my wife dressed up as Slave Leia. And I have a pet tiger. In a Slave Leia costume. I have very specific dreams.
For a toy collector such as myself, the best thing about a convention is that just about every toy company will have something that is only available to people that attend. But in order to score all those valuable pieces of plastic you can’t live without, you’re going to have to be prepared, which is why I created this handy guide to the world of conventions.
1.) Plan ahead: As GI Joe always said “Knowing is half the battle.” They never told us what the other half was, maybe it was “and pet cats all day”. Maybe not, but f you plan on attending a convention it helps to make a list of all the stuff you want. Once you enter these things they can get a bit overwhelming, and it really sucks to remember all the toys you needed on your way home.
2.) Eat Before You Go: Anyone who is a veteran convention goer will tell you, you need all your strength to make it through the day. That and the food they usually serve is only slightly better than what you’d get in prison. Go ahead and risk it if you’re brave, but just remember you have to wait in line EVERYWHERE, including the bathroom.
3.) The Man Purse: This is obviously for the guys out there. I know carrying around a messenger bag is not in most of our daily routines, but you can make an exception for one day. Trust me, it took a lot to get me to carry one the first time because I thought I was too tough for that. But these become invaluable tools to stash all your purchases and the amazing amount of free stuff that people are giving away. Plus, think about all the good karma you’ll earn by carrying your loved one’s stuff around too.
4.) Make Friends In Line: Emergencies may occur that would force you to get out of line. That one girl in the Harley Quinn costume who is destined to be the mother of your children may walk by, or you just may need to pay the price for all of the energy drinks you consumed. That’s why it’s important to make friends with the people you’re standing with. Not only can they hold your place when you can’t hold your pee, but they may turn out to be cool people to be pals with. I mean, you already know they like toys just as much as you do, which is more than most marriages have going for them.
5.) Bring Your Smartphone: You know that gadget that you pay tons of money for every month? Well now it could start paying you back because many toy companies use Twitter, Facebook, and other forms of social media to give away prizes. Free toys? Yeah, count me in.
6.) Dress Up: Ok, so we all may be getting a little old for Halloween, but conventions are an excuse to transform ourselves by wearing costumes. Some of the best times to be had are in watching all the people and the amazing amount of work that went into their costumes. Don’t just be a bystander though, get your creative mind working and make one of your own. Not only is it fun to freak regular folks out on your way to the convention, but you’ll feel like a celebrity as people ask all day to take your picture.
7.) Stay Calm: You will probably get tired of standing around in line. You will probably not be able to get everything on your list. You will probably want to commit crimes out of frustration.
If you follow these tips you’re sure to have a great time. You’re most likely going to be broke, but you’ll definitely enjoy yourself as you reach the poverty level. And just think of all the shiny new toys you’ll have to show for it.