Now, here's the thing about San Diego Comic-Con: It's not for everybody. With 130,000 odd attendees - alongside tens of thousands of fans who flock to San Diego to soak up the atmosphere outside the convention center - it's a poor place for anyone who struggles with crowds, or has an issue with standing in line. Taking place in July, in San Diego, it's also a tough event for anyone who struggles in the heat - and the inside of the convention center is similarly tough for anyone who hates the heavy use of air conditioning. Heck, even from a geek perspective, it can be a tough week if what you're interested in just so happens to not be a part of the festivities.
With that being said, though, there are also a whole lot of extremely good reasons to attend Comic-Con - and with tickets tending to sell out within minutes, it seemed worth taking a look at:
How To Know Whether Or Not To Get Tickets For San Diego Comic-Con 2017
After all, July 19, 2017 is now less than a year away - and tickets will be on sale sooner than you'd think. Here, then, are seven questions to ask yourself, if you're pondering whether or not to take the plunge next year.
7. Are You Happy To 'Go With The Flow'?
There are a whole lot of great things to see and do at SDCC - whether you want to watch a favorite TV star speak, have a comic-book legend sign something, or even buy an exclusive action figure/trading card/unusually shaped hat.
And you have to line up for all of them.
Barring some of the smaller panels - pro tip: the majority of official comic-book company panels are shockingly quiet, and always entertaining - you're going to spend a large chunk of your 'con lining up to get into panels, waiting to find out whether you won the lottery to buy an exclusive Lego minifigure, and desperately hoping that the twenty-seven folks in front of you in the line for coffee don't order the last muffin. SDCC is a waiting game, and there's only so much you can avoid playing it.
6. Are You Only Going To Spot A-List Celebrities?
If so, then it's worth seriously considering going to LA instead, and taking an open bus tour. There's a chance you'll get to high five your favorite CW star, or befriend Robert Downey Jr. out back of Hall H, but there's also a much, much larger chance that you won't. For the most part, celebrity spotting is limited to distant glimpses of famous folks on stage, 'C-List' signings and the optimistic hope that the guy in the Casper the Friendly Ghost mask who just walked past you is secretly Spider-Man.
Or, y'know, you could be incredibly lucky and find yourself dancing the night away with Joss Whedon, or being offered a ride by a cunningly disguised Vin Diesel... but it's probably best not to count on it.
5. Do You Actually Want To Buy A Bunch Of Stuff?
So, here's the thing about the SDCC convention floor: It's essentially hundreds upon hundreds of small stores. Many of which have slightly marked their prices up (which is actually pretty reasonable, when you think about it, seeing as they've just had to ship everything to California).
If you're not interested in buying a bunch of stuff, then there's a finite amount of use you're going to get from the ever-busy core of the 'con. There's plenty of fun to be had wandering around, marveling at the vast array of geeky goodness on display (and there's certainly plenty of free promotional stuff up for grabs if you're willing to line up), but don't rely on it giving you three days of entertainment if you're not going with an open line of credit.
Even more importantly, though...
4. Do You Like More Than One Area Of 'Geek Culture'?
Now, if you just really love DC Comics, and nothing else, then you're probably safe to dive right in to Comic-Con, trusting that Warner Bros. will have your back and bring the Hall H noise. Similarly, fans of independent comic-books are always well served by the schedule - as is anyone who wants to learn about making it into the industry.
If you're heading to SDCC because of your passionate love of a very specific animated series, though, or because you're hoping to catch an early glimpse of Avengers: Infinity War, then it's worth bearing in mind that there are few guarantees. Marvel Studios most likely won't be attending SDCC in 2017 - the company will showcase its upcoming movies at Disney's D23 event instead - and smaller shows, comic-books and movies rarely confirm their attendance in advance of tickets going on sale.
If you like a wide span of geeky stuff, though? Well, then get ready to be gloriously over-stimulated... and to make some tough choices about which panels to fit into your schedule.
3. Do You Like Junk Food?
Now, there are technically some healthy food options available at SDCC - there are always whispered murmurings of fruit being available somewhere - but for the most part, you're going to find yourself in lines that offer you the choice between pizza, hot dogs and potato chips smothered in nacho cheese and chilli. In other words? If you're happier chowing down on an apple or some granola, bring a bunch with you each morning.
And, even then, prepare yourself for the moment - eight hours into your day in Hall H, say - where the grease is going to get you. It happens to the best of us...
1. Do You Like Comic-Books?
Because, for all that there's been a pleasantly diverse influx of television, book and movie-themed content at SDCC in recent years, the vast majority of the panels, signings, events and stalls are still very much comic-book-centric. So, if you're not really all that interested in comic-books, there's a pretty solid chance that there'll be a more narrowly focused convention coming to an area near you soon - and that it'll be a heck of a lot less busy.
Alternatively, of course, if you do like comic-books, or simply comic-book-related things, then SDCC is essentially an exercise in eight-year-old-self-vindicating sensory overload.
1. Does The Idea Of Sitting In A Conference Room Listening To Nerdy Folk Talk About Nerdy Stuff Appeal To You?
Because if it does, you might want to start getting yourself ready to pick up some tickets now. While much of what you can do at Comic-Con - buying cool stuff, meeting like-minded geeky people, seeing cool things that studios would like you to watch come the Fall - can be replicated at your local comic-book store (or online), SDCC really stands out when it comes to its panels and 'convention-y' events.
Where else could you watch a favorite fantasy novelist read a bedtime story to a crowd of grown adults, listen as an iconic comic-book writer reveals how much they love to mess with fans' minds, and hear the cast of Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. explain why they're hungover (this year it involved churros and a pool), all in one afternoon? If that sort of thing appeals to you, then, then the question of whether or not you should go to SDCC 2017 is probably easily answered in the affirmative. If not, then it might well be worth thinking about a little while longer - and considering some of the questions above.
Or, y'know, just ignore me, and do whatever the hell you think is best. Odds are you know your own mind better than the seven questions above do, anyhow...
What do you reckon, then?