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What to Save for Your First Comic Convention

Comic conventions are an annual pilgrimage for many fans of superheroes, games, movies, and more. They’re the launchpad for products, movie trailers, and toys, and are a great opportunity for people to meet their favorite sci-fi author or actor.
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While nerding out with fellow hardcore fans who “get it” can be a blast, you’ll need to set aside some funds for such an event. Here’s what you’ll need to save for your first comic convention.

Badge

If it’s a smaller con or new con, you might not have as much of a problem securing a badge. However, if you’re attending a behemoth one, you’ll want to register for a badge as soon as possible. The cost of the pass for the comic convention can vary, depending on how many days you’ll want to attend. Do you want to attend preview night in addition to the regular days, or just get a day pass? Cons are normally three or four days, not including preview night. If you’re a member of the press or sign up to volunteer, you’ll be eligible to get a badge for free or at a discounted rate.

Multi-day convention badge
$150

Hotel room

If a new comic convention is popping up near you, or you intend on making the trek to one for the first time, one of the important things you’ll need to secure is a hotel room. If you’re going to one of the more popular cons, booking a room near the con can get a little competitive. The rates can get pretty steep, and the rooms get snagged fairly quickly. The closer the hotel is to the con, the more expensive it will be. You’ll want to have a backup plan in case you can’t book a hotel, such as renting out a room near the convention or a vacation rental.

Hotel room
$600

Food and drink

While there are usually sponsored parties, gaming parties, and drink-and-draw gatherings at nearby watering holes during the weekend of the con, you’ll still need to foot your own food and drink bill. As this is essentially a vacation, you probably won’t want to skimp.

If you’re not a fan of the concession-style food that’s offered at the con, you’re usually permitted to bring in your own meals to eat. Cons are usually pretty liberal in their policy of bringing your own food—just check the rules beforehand. Packing food is especially handy if you plan on hanging out at the con for most of the day, or don’t want to lose your spot in line for one of the more popular panels.

Food and drink
$300

Costume

Flex your creative muscles by making your own costume for the masquerade. You can pay homage to your favorite superheroine or anime character by representing them in the flesh. Whether you buy your costume or stitch a masterpiece, you’ll have fun parading on stage and interacting with fellow con attendees in your superbly well-put-together ensemble.

Costume
$100

Poster tubes

If you plan on making purchases at the con, you’ll need some sturdy poster tubes to store your valuables. A sole rubber band to wrap around your collector-edition posters and rare prints won’t offer sufficient protection. You’ll want the cool swag and special items you bought to withstand being lugged around all day. If you can afford the space, bring one tube each day you’re in attendance. Sturdy cardboard tubes with plastic caps should do the trick.

Cardboard poster tubes
$20

Fold-up chair

While this may seem like a strange thing to consider, a fold-up chair will come in handy when you’re waiting in a long line. Because let’s face it: You’ll be standing in line. A lot. Getting a comfy, lightweight fold-up chair or traveler stool that you can take along with you throughout the con will prove to be a most useful accessory.

Fold-up chair
$30

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