San Diego Comic Con week is upon us and the anxiety is growing. Perhaps you’re already frantic with how behind you are in panel planning no matter how many times you said last year, “Next year will be different!”. It’s easy to get lost managing panel plans, RSVP party invites, and autograph signings (Sharpie Retractable Pens everyone).
But don’t forget other items that can make your SDCC a smooth and excellent experience. Below are items that have made my past cons great. Thanks to Amazon Prime you can get them shipped just in time, or you can find these items at many of your big box retailers. Feel free to suggest other unexpected necessities you can’t live without at SDCC in the comments.
When the cell phone shows 5% and you can’t find a wall plug to charge up before the next panel because some other plug hunters have long staked their claim is when you are glad you picked up one of these. An external battery can not only keep you on the go, but your friends too if you choose a battery with multiple USB ports. It’s also a great way to make friends with others in line. And often that goodwill can lead to some in-the-know news about which Comic Con experience you have to check out, or maybe even a free pass to that party you thought you would never make.
⁃ Mpow Ultra-Slim 8000mAh Battery Pack
⁃ Introcircuit Power Castle 11200mAh Battery Pack
⁃ RAVPower Deluxe External Battery Pack
Travel Power Strip
What if you forgot to charge your battery and still need that wall outlet? Don’t be a hog and share the plug love with a travel power strip. Continue to make friends while you charge up multiple devices. The Accell power strip offers three additional outlets, two USB ports, and prongs that fold away for easy packing.
⁃ Accell Travel Surge Protector
Photo Lenses (iPhone)
Sometimes the best camera you have is the one that’s always in hand (your phone). Big fan of Olloclip lenses with their real glass optics. The 4-in-1 has a wide angle perfect for group or big scene shots, a fish eye for odd perspectives and architectural shots, and two macro lenses that I’m sure could help you spot that fake 1st edition. The Telephoto let’s you get closer to the action when you’re behind the crowd at booth signings and the polarizing lens is makes those outdoor shots crisp and clear.
⁃ Olloclip 4-in-1 Lens
⁃ Olloclip Telephoto + Circular Polarizer
Sure you have a bag for your gadgets and cables, but it’s a spider’s web and nigh impossible to get anything out of there. Cocoon’s Grid-It Organizers keep everything tidy and always at the ready without having to dig through another bag.
⁃ Grid-It Organizers
Long Charging Cables
Maybe the hotel put all the wall outlets far away from your bed, or that comfy lobby chair is just a little too far away from that floor outlet. Either way you’ll thank yourself later for opting for anyone of these long charging cables for you device.
⁃ Android Long Charging Cables
⁃ Apple Long Charging Cables
Notes and Drafts
You just heard an amazing note of wisdom from your favorite author, a recommendation on the next Eisner award winning comic, an epic idea for your next creative property, or just a funny anecdote. But how to share it? Save that decision for later and just get typing. Start up Drafts and type away. Later after you’ve organized your thoughts and thought how best to share you can select your text and choose your method of output (Twitter, Facebook, E-mail, SMS, Calendar Reminder, Dropbox, Evernote).
⁃ Drafts: http://agiletortoise.com/drafts/
What it lacks in interface design, WhatsApp makes up for in keeping friends connected. Create more groups as you splinter off for different events. Even better unsubscribe from a group once your head is resting soundly on a pillow so you don’t have to hear the buzz of gossip all night long.
⁃ WhatsApp: http://www.whatsapp.com/
Of course you already have your Instagram filters and selfie editors, but don’t forget the comic in Comic Con with Halftone. Make your photos look like vintage comics with titles and word bubbles. Have fun and – Excelsior!
⁃ Halftone: http://www.juicybitssoftware.com/halftone/
Mad Men used to keep a fresh shirt in their office drawer to change into when they needed to freshen up. You’ve been in line all day, stuffy panel rooms for hours, or dashing from venue to venue and that morning shower fresh feeling seems long gone. When you can’t make a pit stop back in your room these will do in a pinch. They’ll not only freshen you up, but you’ll feel refreshed.
⁃ Body Wipes
The San Diego weather is beautiful and perfect, but it will sneak up on you. Save yourself from drying out and make sure to keep some lip balm on hand. This brand is my current favorite for moisture, and easy application
⁃ Eos Lip Balm
You need to hydrate and those little paper cups or a few sips at the water fountain just won’t do. And while any vessel can be refilled with H2O, when it’s empty it just takes up space. The Vapur Water Bottle is killer because when not in use it’s completely flat or can be rolled up. It’s got an easy pour spout, and a locking carabiner so you don’t leave it behind.
⁃ Vapur Eclipse Water Bottle
There’s no pick up Comic Con lacrosse games, but navigating the equivalent of 10 football fields several times over the day is a sport unto itself. In the mornings and evenings take five minutes to roll each of your feet and hips over the lacrosse ball for release and relief and you’ll easily last all week.
⁃ Lacrosse Ball
The Elite Beat Staff is a trained squad of ninja masters.