June 18, 2013

How To Train for San Diego Comic-Con

San Diego Comic-Con is exactly one month away. Are you ready for the endurance test? It's the craziest convention I've ever attended, and you have to approach it seriously. You have to prepare to get by on little sleep, small amounts of food, and you have to come prepared to battle crowds. I've written up a helpful guide to assist your preparation:
Click to Enlarge
Even with the accompanying level of insanity that goes with attending or working at Comic-Con, it always ends up being worth it. You can repeat that like a mantra when you start freaking out about not being ready.

In case you'd rather just have the text:

Training for SDCC

Four weeks before
Get your shoulders and back ready.
  • Find the bag you're taking to Comic-Con.
  • Day one: put 1 bottle of water, 1 protein bar, and a magazine the size of the SDCC program in the bag. Walk around with the bag on your shoulder or back all day.
  • Add one book a day for a week, keep the bottled water, put in an iPad, and add more protein bars for the rest of the week.
  • If you're a reporter working the convention, add a laptop, recorder, camera, chargers, and replacement batteries.
  • If you don't have a purple and red bag rash, you're doing it wrong.
Three weeks before
Practice the walk.
  • Have friends set up an obstacle course where they push strollers at your ankles and hit you in the face with giant cosplay wings.
  • Practicing navigating aisles with your shoulder bag, a paper bag twice the width of your body stuffed with boxed exclusives, and an expensive print that the artist won't give you a plastic sleeve or cover for.
  • Get used to avoiding freebies. Mask your face with steely resolve and look forward no matter what kind of postcards or useless posters people shove in your face.* If you want to earn bonus points, go to Las Vegas to practice the technique.
    • *This does not apply if the freebie is a button. You must collect them all.
Two weeks before
  • Hone your standing-in-line skills. Develop coping mechanisms. You might have to talk to strangers. Even if there's not a line at the movie theater or the coffee shop, you must wait. Start the line.
    • You've been meaning to go to the DMV, no better time than just before Comic-Con.
    • Go to the grocery store on a weekend afternoon.
    • Go to a theme park and only go on the most popular rides. Try to wait in line for at least half of the day.
    • Get used to sitting on the floor in the tiniest possible place.
    • While you're at, go ahead an practice sleeping on the ground.
One week before
  • Day one: Cut back to two big meals a day with a snack of either a protein bar or a soft pretzel.
  • In the evenings, have at least two alcoholic beverages before consuming any food.
  • By day four: only eat one meal a day and random snacks you bum from friends and/or strangers. Forget about consuming any food after you start drinking.


  1. "If you don't have a purple and red bag rash you're doing it wrong." Or doing it right. I do a lot of backpacking (camping that involves carrying EVERYTHING with you) and am a huge advocate of getting a proper bag. Make sure to get one that fits right. People at outdoors stores can help. The other benefit is that a hiking type bag is more likely to have enough pockets to keep stuff separated for easy access. Another bonus is ones that you can put a water bladder into and the straw comes around to the strap. That way you have access to your water without having to take the bag off and dig through it in a crowded area. The extra padding also comes in handy when using the pack as a pillow on the floor.

    1. Well, as you can probably tell, much of this post is tongue in cheek. Thanks for the advice though!

  2. At the start you also have to account for the souvenir book. So program guide + souvenir book = just add a phonebook to your trial backpack. And also throw in a stick of deodorant. Dear GOD please throw in a stick of deodorant!

  3. This is Hilarious ... I'm attending for the first time and everyone is so serious with their 'Guides to the Con' ... Thanks for reminding me I'm going there to have fun ... and smell good, I promise to smell good ;)

    1. It's a crazy circus but also a blast. :)

  4. Bwahahaha this is awesome! Having been to SDCC, I've experienced that madness firsthand and can attest to the truth of this plan.

  5. I am getting worried because all of you are young and not near 50 my age, i can make myself small and squeeze thru the tiniest spaces in crowds(Day on the Green' s in Oakland prepared me -yes that was decades ago! No make-a-fun.) and I can sleep in small spaces but I can't tolerate sitting on floor because my lower back is bad-yes! It's because i dont excercise enough, sheesh.) lol. Luv u guys. I was excercising for a few weeks but I have been getting sick alot.


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