As comics’ fiscal year ends, and we take a collective week off to recuperate, celebrate, and gossip, it’s time to note two pieces of advice that will make your Comic-Con 2013 much easier.

#1: Start your to do list now.

That’s right. Sign up for Evernote or Wunderlist and start a to do list of all the things your forgot or messed up this year. I did this in 2011 and it did make this one of the better organized shows I’ve done. In Wunderlist you can easily create a new To Do list called (if you can stomach it) “San Diego 2013” and just add to it as you think of it along the way. Trust us, you will really be happy you did this while the pain is fresh.

#2: Never, ever, ever EVER say “I’ll get that done at the show.”

Despite our to dos and pre-show prep, due to the sheer volume of it, there were a few key items that we left to do in San Diego, thinking that we could do that Tuesday night, or Wednesday morning. Of course they were then put off until the middle of the scrum with the result that we missed many things that we otherwise wished we might have done. Which was, frankly, a bummer. But it was our own damned fault.


A few supplemental tips:

• Go to Ralphs as soon as you land! Seriously! The best tip.

• Get a good team! Beat Events editors Jessica Lee was on hand to help with little logistical matters on site and she was an absolute necessity. “Assemble a team” was one of the things on my to do list after 2011, and getting it done helped immeasurably.

That’s it—we still have some panel reports, photos, and the big think piece to go this week but thanks for everything, people. We laughed, we cried, we had Con.


  1. Awesome con this year! I’m sitting by the pool at the bayfront before flying out as I write this.

    Completely agree on using something to record lessons learned and things missed for next year. I felt like this my best con yet, though I’ve only been coming here for four years. I think the learning curve is probably about that.

    Year one: wtf? This is insane and awesome. Meet with friends old and new

    Year two: ok, I can do this. Better coordination and logistics. Discover some new area of con you never knew about. Meet with friends old and new.

    Year three: discover the depth of the con on the creator front. Marvel at mark evanier’s wealth of knowledge and indefatigability. Meet with friends old and new. Traditions established.

    Year four: begin having to turn down some invites, logistics become almost a no brainer except for timing. You know the city well and get caught less in some traps. Your plan of attack is pretty well understood. Discover new con outliers – this year for me was the patio area overlooking the marina outside of the panel rooms. Meet friends old and new. Revel in traditions.

  2. My Tips:

    A given is hitting up the online panel and artist listings two weeks before and cutting down the list to the panels one can realistically do (just immediately cut out those Hall H and Ballroom 20 ones right off) and then place the artist booth numbers in order by location so you aren’t doubling back all the time.

    If staying outside of the downtown area, hit up Von’s early in the morning before the con. They have an ATM, food, and a Starbucks inside. One stop shopping for your pre-con needs.

    If you are parking in the lots by Petco, Imperial on I-5 is your exit. If parking at the garage by the Bayfront Hilton, Caesar Chavez is your exit to get you to Harbor Blvd. north.

    If you are going for bargain motels outside of the shuttle service area and the downtown, anything off of 163 and 805 works and is a quick shot down the highway and a 20 minute drive.

    Meet up with friends at the con for dinner, panels, and shopping. It is a big intimidating overwhelming con but, by finding the smaller con within the larger one by keeping it comics-centric & seeing friends, one really can have a great COMIC Con.