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How to survive Comic Con International in San Diego

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For first-timers and even veteran fans, here are 10 tips to prepare your Comic Con experience in San Diego:

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1. Have a plan before entering the convention center. Select key locations you want to spend time so you don't waste it by wandering aimlessly. Clinics in makeup, cartoon artistry or evaluating a collectible are workshops offered throughout the hectic convention schedule. In addition, panels of popular shows and autograph signings are set up throughout the long weekend.

2. But be flexible. If there is a giveaway, be OK with shifting your schedule. Giveaways could include DVDs showcasing new shows, poster tubes with cartoon logos, posters of upcoming television series or action figures.

3. Staying hydrated is key to healthy living but empty your bladder frequently instead of visiting the facilities last minute. There is a line for everything, including the toilet. Typically, the men's restroom shows no line but at Comic Con the line is about a 30-minute wait.

4. Only buy show specials. Exhibitors and vendors might focus on this annual event, not selling anywhere else so do your research before lining up to buy the sought-after collectibles. If you can get collectibles online, why waste your time in a line to buy at Comic Con. You can spend your time better doing other stuff.

5. Bring a camera. No matter how photo phobic you are, it's still ideal to bring a camera so you can show proof to your friends at home that it does exist no matter how zany. Numerous Hollywood celebrities, producers and cartoonists dress up in their favorite character. For example, Daniel Radcliffe was Spiderman, Maisie Williams was Guy Fawkes and Spiderman, Jack Black wore a Stormtrooper helmet and Peter Jackson was the Evil Jester. Most of them posed with fans and is visible on their Twitter feeds.

6. Prepare for the large crowds. Convention planners estimated more than 125,000 visitors entered the doors of the San Diego Convention Center between July 24 to 27. Pickpocketeers were probably having a field day as crowds of people moved throughout the limited space of the San Diego convention center. Walking the exhibition floor is part of the extreme experience of Comic Con. More than half a million of square footage showcasing the epitome of geekiness.

7. Outside the convention center, a ton of activities, parties and people watching are visible within the three-mile radius of the location, also known as Gaslamp Quarter. This area is filled with all kinds of restaurants, pubs, bars and retail stores. The Hard Rock Hotel marketed a panel appealing to fans of the upcoming premiere of a television series, Ascension, to be aired on the SyFY channel in November.

8. Bring awareness of boundaries. Don't let strangers step on your toes. Maintain eye contact to notify those around you that you are watching them, too. Those diagnosed with claustrophobia will encounter the close spaces walking through the convention area.

9. Carry a sense of humor or you will be angry all the time. Most lines, as said earlier, are long. It's like waiting in line for two hours at an amusement park for a 30-second ride.

10. If international convention don't suit you, take note of the smaller Comic Con throughout the United States like Denver, Salt Lake City, or Peoria.

While Comic Con International ended the last weekend of July, fanatics, geeks and nerds are already buying 2015 tickets. Stay tune for next year by visiting the organization's website at www.comic-con.org, clicking like on Facebook or follow them on Twitter at @Comic-con.

For more information:

Comic Con International

www.comic-con.org

Denver Comic Con

denvercomiccon.com

Salt Lake Comic Con

saltlakecomiccon.com

For other smaller comic conventions, visit www.conventionscene.com for one closest to your city.

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