Get into Comic Con

Sarah Valverde, Assistant Editor

If you’re reading this…obviously you didn’t get tickets. Sorry, but you’re not getting in this year. Are you done sucking down chocolate ice cream through tears and listening to the melodious tones of Oprah’s voice? Good. Shape up and start preparing for next year. Seriously, I’m getting you in.

First off, we begin with the why. Why is Comic Con the happiest place on Earth (move over Disneyland, you’ll need to take Walt out of cryogenic slumber to beat the nerd gathering)? Why can’t people get tickets? Why am I writing an article about it and pretending it’s more important than Rebecca Black and Charlie Sheen? (Answer: because it is, duh.)

Comic Con is the place where people go to get sneak peeks into the world of Charlie Sheen and Rebecca Black. You wander the ridiculously huge hall and meet all sorts of interesting people who’ve found success doing things they love—which 99% of the time is confusing the normal public with weird drawings and bad jokes that only make sense if you’ve slaved over Mass Effect for three days straight. Video games are previewed there and you can play them a year before they come out! They have panels where you can see the stars of your favorite shows and tell Bruce Campbell you love him (because you do)! Most importantly, they have free stuff (that’s marginally less cool than the not-free stuff, but still pretty cool)!

Indeed, Comic Con is a haven for anyone who likes getting stuff that they don’t want to pay for. Or paying for stuff you can’t even find online yet.

Now, we obviously need to get to the ‘how’. How do I get into Comic Con, Sarah? How do I buy tickets to every single day (including preview night) when the site practically crashes ten seconds after the ticket sales turn on?

Simple. You don’t.

Did you hear that? That’s the sound of your mind being blown. You don’t pay for tickets if you want to get in.

You volunteer.

If you’re not one who enjoys working for a living…go back to fantasy land. You’re not going to like what I’m about to say.

The only way to get in is to volunteer. Sure, you have to work for three hours doing seemingly useless tasks, be at least sixteen, and make your home page the Comic Con website (found here) for most of 2012…but it’s worth it!

Back to the how. First things first, make the Comic Con website your home page right now. Meaning: open a new tab, click the link, and make it your home page this very second (if you don’t know how, mention that in the comments and I’ll give you step by step instructions). The website right now it’s a bunch of ‘WHOO-HOO! Comic Con (and such)!’

Ignore it. The interesting stuff doesn’t happen until after the con.

When the con finally ends, the page should go back to its ‘thank you for making us successful and come here to sign up for next year’ state. But you don’t need to worry about the actual website until November or so.

That’s when you start keeping an eye on the volunteer sign-ups. Eventually (in like, February) the sign-ups will open. You need to fill in your information, send it in, and cross your fingers. If you’re lucky, they’ll call you back with your first shift.

Be there. I cannot stress how important that is. If you’re not at Comic Con for your assigned shift, you’ve officially gotten yourself blacklisted. You could be in Las Vegas at the time, and they’ll just assume you went to the Con without serving your hours. The next time you try to sign up, they’ll call you out on it and tell you to pay the cost of one day at Comic Con (which can get pretty pricey). So if you’re the kind of person who takes vacations over summer, don’t sign up. Sorry, there is no possible way for you to get out of your first shift.

On the bright side, it’s three hours of repeating one action over and over again, and then you’re free for the rest of the day! Go forth and be free!

Before you do, sign up for another shift. Those shifts go by fast. As a volunteer, you’ll get one free day at Comic Con, so if you want to go for all four days, get a shift on three of the days.

After the con, you’ll get a letter that includes documentation of the community service hours you served. Hear that screaming? You just killed two birds with one stone (you horrible person, I’m sicking PETA on you).

There are a few last minute bits and pieces worth mentioning. For instance, wear a costume (a comfortable one). Come on, it’s so much fun to have people ask for pictures with you because you look like Batman/woman. They even have a few contests. Also, step out of your comfort zone and talk to people. There are all sorts of interesting (and famous) people running amok the convention center. And most importantly, bring money and food. You’re going to be there all day. Be prepared. And have fun! You’re in the only place that can punch Disneyland in the face during the fun contest.