It's the biggest weekend in the nerd calendar this weekend: San Diego Comic Con. For many, attending the most famous comic book convention in the world is almost a pilgrimage — but it's notoriously hard to actually do. Getting those sought-after passes, travelling to San Diego, and convincing your boss that yes, you should get the week off work... it's not easy being geeky sometimes.
But if you are stuck watching at home as Comic-Con passes you by this summer, don't fret! We've got all kinds of ideas to get through the weekend without giving in to those feels. Read on for the best ways to combat that terrible July feeling: SDCC FOMO.
Live Nearby? Hit Up Off-Site Events
Getting tickets to Comic-Con is notoriously difficult. Passes sell out within an hour or so of becoming available, and with nerd culture becoming more and more mainstream every year there are more fans fighting over the same number of passes. However, you don't need an official pass to have an incredible time this weekend.
There are tons of off-site events that are connected to SDCC but that do not require a pass to attend. Nerd HQ is a free event that takes place nearby, and even has celebrity guests and events going on, all without an official SDCC pass. Adult Swim has a midway carnival, various TV shows and movies have pop-up events and locations, bars and restaurants put on events and parties, you can check out concerts and mixers, and even just walking around outside feels like a giant street carnival! It's more than possible to have an action-packed, comic-con-related weekend from dawn till dusk without ever setting foot in the actual convention hall. So if you have the chance, head to San Diego and join in the fun for a day, pass-free.
Plan Next Year (So That This Doesn't Happen Again!)
Feeling like you are missing out is no fun - so use this weekend as inspiration to make sure that next year you can be right in the thick of it! There's no way to guarantee that you will get passes, of course, but there are some things you can do to increase your chances. Make sure that you are registered with SDCC, so that when tickets for 2017 go on sale, you can jump right on it without wasting time. If you have friends who are also wishing they were in San Diego this weekend, make a plan to get together and try to buy tickets in groups — an approach that increases your shot at getting in. Finally, if you are a fan journalist or run a blog, look into getting press access for next year (it never hurts to try!).
Of course, you can still plan to go even if you miss out on passes (see above!), so now is a great time to start doing some planning and budgeting. *Groan* I know, it's not the most fun you can have (that would be actually being at Comic-Con!), but if you figure out how much a Comic-Con trip will cost now, you'll have plenty of cash saved in time for next year. Plan big expenses like accommodation (which is often at a premium price for the event) and travel, but don't forget to budget for food, booze (if you are of age), getting around at the event, and of course - shopping! You may also want to set yourself a countdown schedule, checking off things like making sure your passport is in order (if you are coming from outside the US), buying external battery packs and planning cosplays.
Stay Connected (From The Comfort Of Your Couch)
Although SDCC is an incredible experience, it's actually no longer the best way to get the news first. Much like Disneyworld, SDCC has huge lines for every major panel (especially Hall H), and with so much going on it's almost impossible to keep on top of all the breaking news if you are actually attending.
At home, however, it's easy to make sure that you don't miss a thing — thanks to twitter, Instagram, and all the wonders of the Internet. Follow hashtags #SDCC and #SDCC2016 to get news, cosplay photos, celeb sightings and more. Every site that deals with entertainment and comic book news goes into overdrive this weekend, gathering the latest scoops on the ground and serving them up to you almost as soon as something happens. Get the headlines from every major panel without waiting in line for hours (or even days... looking at you, Hall H!), and do it without having to struggle through crowds and wait for the washroom.
No, it's not quite the same experience, but you can make sure that you don't miss out on any important news, new trailers, or incredible cosplays, even if you aren't there in person. Thanks, social media!
Pokémon Go To The Rescue
There's no better time to get involved in the biggest gaming craze of the year. Playing Pokémon Go will get you out of the house — and out of your FOMO-funk. If you haven't already, download the app and start catching those Pokémon! If you are already a player (let's be reasonable here, you probably are), then take this as a great way to level up far beyond your SDCC-going friends.
Of course, if the game just isn't your thing, there are plenty of other ways that you can get out of the house and connect with other local fans. Head to the comic book store — some even host SDCC events this weekend. Search out nerd-night trivia bar quizzes, open-air cinemas replaying classics, symphony performances of movie classics, nerdlesque shows and local game events. You can also look at local conventions — it's unlikely that any will take place the same weekend as SDCC, but you might be surprised to find a comic-con closer to you, and you can always start planning ahead for later this summer. The best part of being at Comic-Con is the connections that you can make, and the incredible energy created by a crowd of cheering geeks — and you might just be able to find that closer to home.
Throw A Pity Party
Of course, you could always just steer into the skid and throw yourself a little pity party. Literally.
Get together a group of friends who are also crying into their pillow over missing out on SDCC, and really revel in it.
Do some binge watching or game playing, stuff yourselves with comfort food, head to the comic book store en masse and spend freely — knowing that it's still cheaper than flying to San Diego. You might even have so much fun just dedicating yourself to nerding out for the weekend that you forget to feel bad about missing out on Comic Con. Maybe.