As thousands of superhero fans take to the halls and deck the aisles of Comic-Con 2022, there seems to be one caveat that supersedes all others: wear deodorant!
In fact, pack an extra stick of antiperspirant to reapply while you endure the heat and excuse your way through throngs of zombies, Minions, and characters who look like they’ve just stepped out of the “Star Wars” cantina. No Stinking Jabba the Hutt is welcome here.
Personal hygiene is a recurring core piece of advice from San Diego Comic-Con veterans. To emphasize its importance, when asked for three etiquette tips, one fan repeated, “Deodorant. Deodorant. Deodorant.”
Showering daily is also high on the to-do list.
Long-time attendee Tom Galloway measured the floor of the exhibit hall and found that just walking through the main hall aisles without deviating to the side attractions involved a 3-mile hike. It’s enough to sweat.
Ted Tarris, who has been attending Comic-Con for 30 years, suggests hanging out at the gym weeks in advance. “Walk a lot on the treadmill. But don’t go at full speed. Reduce it to 1.0… Get used to walking very slowly. He calls the move the “Comic-Con shuffle.”
To avoid being harassed while walking to and from the convention center, Janessa Finley suggests, “Wear headphones. You don’t have to listen to anything. “Just wear them.”
Many members of the Comic-Con Facebook group offer tips for getting the most out of the four-day marathon, as well as do’s and don’ts.
Susan Rubin’s top three tips are: “Be friendly. Wash your hands. Don’t block the driveway.
Jesse Ledina warns people carrying collectibles, poster tubes and paraphernalia to be careful when rolling over. “You’re bound to hit someone on the head over and over again,” warns Ledina. “Ask me how I know.”
Take measurements and know the radius of the overloaded backpack you’re carrying, suggests another regular attendee.
Others warn never to back up without checking behind you. Alternatively, as Galloway suggests, say, “Beep, beep, beep, beep,” backing up.
Not smelling is about more than body odor. Noses are on alert in armpit-to-armpit lines and hip-to-hip seats occupied for hours in hallowed Hall H, the huge auditorium where the creme de la creme of Comic-Con panels appear.
This week’s visitors will see actors, directors and producers for such mega-productions as ‘Dungeons & Dragons’, ‘The Walking Dead’, ‘The Sandman’, ‘House of the Dragon’, ‘Lord of the Rings’ franchise ” and more. .
The action is sure to whet his appetite. Even so, don’t bring smelly food to eat while staring at the signs, warns Darcy Fraser. Tuna sandwiches and egg salad sandwiches are prohibited. Anything barbecued is offensive to the olfactory nerves.
There are also ways to wait in lines – a required pastime at Comic-Con. “You stand in line just to stand in line,” says longtime Rancho Bernardo attendee Jason Doering.
He and many veterans recommend skipping the celebrity action at Hall H and watching the replay on YouTube.
But if you want to brave the line, Comic-Con is now giving out wristbands the night before, allowing fans to join the line the next morning.
Some join informal queuing groups in which members are assigned shifts to queue and reserve places for others, freeing them to visit other sites when off duty.
Of course, you have to deal with disgruntled queues that don’t appreciate your partners rushing in at the last minute. Some people resort to paying someone to queue for them.
While it might be worth waiting in line for hours, you might miss a random event on the floor.
About 10 years ago, Tarris was chatting with a friend at a booth when a guy walked by and said, “Carrie Fisher is signing at my booth next door in 15 minutes.” He made it there and was rewarded 15 minutes later with the ‘Star Wars‘ actress’ autograph.
Many celebrities dress up in costume to walk the convention floor. One year, Mark Hamill ventured incognito, dressed as a stormtrooper. In 2013, Hugh Jackman slipped into the crowd as Wolverine. In 2014, Daniel Radcliffe blended into the crowd dressed as Spiderman. Ryan Reynolds ventured out as Darth Vader in 2015.
Doering has been attending Comic-Con since 2005 and estimates he’s met nearly 50 celebrities.
He found Jessica Alba at a booth promoting the 2005 movie “Sin City.” Another year he got to chat with Tom Kenny, the voice of SpongeBob SquarePants. His childhood dream of meeting Hulk Hogan came true, and wrestler “Rowdy” Roddy Piper put him on hold for a photo.
Before Comic-Con in 2005, Doering says he had just broken his leg and a friend pushed him through the crowd in a wheelchair. What had been a painful injury became much less so when he was directed to the front row of numerous panels and led to the front of the line at some autograph sessions.
In fact, the VIP treatment was so good that the following year his friend suggested, “Jason, let me break your other leg.”