Going to Comic-Con, Advice Sought

San Diego Skyline

Having grown up reading comic books, I’d always wanted to attend the San Diego Comic-Con. During my university years, I gradually moved away from reading mainstream comic books, having gotten fed up with the plots and lack of characters I identified with, as well as the sheer expense and the accumulation of paper that the collecting aspect entailed. I eventually stopped buying single issue comic books altogether. I still read and occasionally buy trade paperbacks, but my days of collecting comic books are over. I still enjoy the medium, however.

Work is sending me to Comic-Con this July, and I’m a bit excited. I’m aware that the convention has changed drastically in the two decades or so since the time I had originally dreamed of going. It’s more of a popular media convention now, than a comic book convention. It should be interesting, and exhausting.

Being a complete newb to Comic-Con, I have only a vague idea of what to expect: long queues, lots of walking/standing, massive crowds, new and unpleasant smells from the unwashed or from those who simply smell bad, and the like. I have already been advised to wear comfortable shoes and try to plan out my schedule before landing in San Diego. Apart from that, is there anything else?

In particular, I am wondering:

  • How is the wifi inside the convention centre? (Is there wifi inside the convention centre?)
  • How about mobile phone reception (particularly for T-Mobile)?
  • Are there many reasonably-priced food options within the vicinity (walking distance) of the convention centre?
  • Are there any popular social gathering places?
  • Do exhibitors at Comic-Con only take cash, or is credit card an option?
  • How punctual are the shuttles to and from the downtown hotels? Should I budget any money for taxi rides during the convention?
  • Are there any cafés in the vicinity from which I can use the wifi, and is the wifi decent?

Has anyone been to Comic-Con, and can you offer any additional advice?