Proper Comic Book Convention Etiquette

Bio: Jay Katz, a comic book collector since 1983 and is the owner/creator of InvestComics LLC since 2005. InvestComics LLC was originally a magazine in 2005 before the website launched in 2005.

Hello everyone and welcome to the very first weekly briefing. I was asked to jump on board with Bags Unlimited to give you guys/gals a perspective of various topics each week. Once I saw it was Bags Unlimited reaching out I didn’t hesitate, these guys/gals not only carry fantastic products, they are good, genuine people.  

This week’s topic: Proper comic book convention etiquette that should be followed at a show. If you are visiting your first show or your 57th show the following tips will help make your experience at the show so much better – and help others have a good experience as well. Here is a compiled list of do’s and don’ts. InvestComics LLC made a YouTube video years ago on our YouTube channel about this topic (right HERE), but here’s the 2017 version in word form.

Go with a positive attitude. If you’re not a fan of large crowds and not being able to walk from place to place in an easy manner, maybe a comic convention isn’t for you. According to the LA Times at least 135,00 people visited the San Diego Comic Con in 2016. New York Comic Con in 2016 exceeded that with 180,000 fans according to Newsarama. That’s a whole lotta people right?! Well, think about trying to get from point A to point B. Your destination may be only be less than 3 minutes away, but when it literally takes you 12 minutes to get there, it becomes exhausting. Be positive about the experience you’re about to endure or it really isn’t for you.

Be prepared with a light backpack full of essentials. Water, snacks, deodorant, extra phone battery, charger, etc. Leave the things you do not really need at the hotel or place you’re crashing at. If you’re crashing at a hotel, friends or family members house, do you really need your car/house keys on you? Bring things you need, be as ‘light’ as possible because those giveaways sure do start adding up.

One key component many do not think of as far as an item to bring to a convention is a multi-plug. Out of the 180,000 visiting New York Comic Con, at least 50% or probably more need to charge their cell phone. Why not MAKE a friend and bring a multi-plug so that when you’re charging on an outlet, a possible NEW friend can sit with you and charge with you. Do not hog up an outlet, it’s selfish and you never know if you’ve missed out on that lifelong friend, a girlfriend, boyfriend, wife or husband. Life is funny that way. Try it, you’ll see. We do want an invite to the wedding though.

There are different types of comic fans. The comic collector and the fanboy run rampant. These two visit the comic convention circuit in search of the illusive autograph or a meeting with their favorite creator. This is an exciting time to actually meet with one of your personal favorites. When there is a huge line for autographs for someone like say…..Scott Synder or Jimmy Palmiotti or Amanda Conner. Let’s just say these names were brought up for the reason of the ‘don’t’ segment here. All three of the creators (of MANY) are extremely humble, courteous and will chit-chat for a long period of time if you engage with them. There is nothing at all wrong with them doing this because they have a level of awesome that far exceeds anything imaginable. The same cannot be said for the fan that approaches them with two agenda’s in mind. One, signing about 100 comics, thus holding up a line of over 250 people. Two, talking to them about when they first discovered their work in elementary school, thus holding up a line of over 250 people. So what you have a small box of comics for the creator that is too nice to say “No, that’s simply too much right now.” You throw 35 comics in front of Adam Hughes, he’ll sign them. It’s called common courtesy toward the fellow comic collector that are waiting in line behind you. The same goes for the conversation you want to carry on about. Look behind you, be courteous. We all love our favorite creators, but think about what you want to say/do when you finally meet them. Don’t drone on and also, don’t bring a hundred comics for them to sign. It’s rude and uncalled for.

We all love the cosplay that floats around at a show. So many good costumes, it’s simply amazing to see how much work goes into them. We love them so much we literally stop them right in the middle of an aisle with 180,000 people around to take a picture. Don’t do that. Ask the cosplayer if they’d mind to jump towards a booth or an empty spot someplace within the aisle and take a picture. Think common sense.

Be Humble, be courteous. Realize that you may literally bump into a creator/movie actor-actress in the bathroom or outside smoking a cigarette or eating a hot dog. Creators and movie actors are just like you and I. They work hard, they pay bills, they too can have a bad day. Do not take it too personal if you run into a guest from the show and they’re not very receptive. They probably have seen hundreds of fans already and just need a break. Respect the talent as though you’d like to be respected if you were busy living your life trying to eat lunch. Common sense.

There are so many things we could go on to cover, but we’ll leave some of the ideas to you guys/gals. What are your thoughts? What can you add to the list of unwritten rules? We’ll see you next week!

Invest Comics LLC is the number one speculative/entertainment comic book source on the internet.

Their moto is: Invest wisely. Read comics.

Jay Katz

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