Unkie Dev's Amazing Stuff: GET MARRIED EDITION!
The only bad part about getting married is going on your honeymoon. Sure you get to drink daiquiris by the pool in the Bahamas, snorkel, and eat conch fritters; but you will not see one comic book the entire time. You may pass an old comic book store on the way back to the airport. It may have a sad, Caribbean sun-faded poster of Wolverine in the window taunting you with past comic book glory. Yeah, you can come back home afterwards and buy your weekly comics at Forbidden Planet... but it just won't be the same, and Marvel Previews will have sold out. *Sigh*
Last week's Weekly Planet announced Wayne Barlowe as Forbidden Planet's special guest at the Big Apple Comic-Con National Show on November 17th. Hooray for America! What follows are a few scant "do's and don'ts" for first time comic convention-going fans:
1: Respect all, ESPECIALLY creators: There is your favorite writer/artist... they're RIGHT THERE in front of you! WOW! Do go say "Hi", do tell them how much you like their work citing specific examples but DO NOT crowd them. Some artists will draw commissioned sketches at cons, some will draw for free. DO NOT assume they will do either. Ask them whether they do con sketches and if so whether they charge or not. I know Sergio Aragones is going to be there... boy I'll never live down asking him to draw me a free pirate sketch.
2: DON'T buy the first thing you see: there are tons of vendors all with different price schemes. If you see that rare comic book you've been looking for forever: Atari Forces #1 for example, DO NOT buy it outright. Note the price and price shop across the con. You'll be thanking yourself/kicking yourself if you find it cheaper later on.
3: DO attend panels: Conventions are a fun bazaar of toys, books and costumed crazies; but the heart of the con is in the panels. Find out what the pros have to say on a variety of topics. Learn about upcoming trends, products and talents.
4: Keep costumes comfy: I've seen some pretty snazzy Transformers costumes at cons but the folks trapped inside cannot move, cannot shop or attend panels. Do not get trapped by your own brilliant costume design. Two of the biggest con hits are a guy that dresses like an Elvis Stormtrooper and an Unemployed Skeletor. I have seen these two gentlemen on numerous occasions and they are always surrounded by well-wishers, adoring fans and, surprisingly, women wanting pictures. HECK YEAH you can take folks pictures, just ask first and remember rule #1.
5: Bring water/patience: Cons can be crowded, hot affairs. Take your time, pace yourself, and don't lose patience with other con-goers. All of us can get a bit jumpy about our favorite hobbies/creators, but judge not lest yea be judged yourself. It's always smart to bring a bottle of water for refreshment.
6: DO NOT say "Candyman" five times into a mirror: If older kids tell you "It's cool" it is NOT. A murderous, hook handed African-American painter from the 1800's will jump out and swarm you with bees. You've been warned.
There. That is every single thing you need to know about comic book conventions. If you follow all the advice in this column carefully, you will be happily married and attending comic book conventions in no time... or at least in November. I didn't really get around to recommending products this week, so might I mention Forbidden Planet DOES offer Gift Certificates? They make great presents for Halloween, or even... oh, say, friendly columnists who just got married?
By Guest Contributor: Unkie Dev