Comic Con Survival Guide For People With Anxiety

If you haven’t noticed from this site and my Twitter, I’m heading to both Denver Comic Con and San Diego Comic Con this year. I hit up DCC every year, but this will be my very first time hitting up the craziness that is SDCC.

I’ll be real honest with you guys: I’m super intimidated about attending SDCC. I’ll be attending as press, so I’ll be working (read: running about the con like a crazylady), which will certainly help keep me focused and less overwhelmed. Still, it’s such a GIANT event with TONS of people everywhere. I’ve got anxiety (and I’m also a stone-cold introvert) and conventions can be a lot for me. So here are some survival tips I’ve learned that can hopefully help keep convention season fun for you (and can help make SDCC a bit less intimidating for me).

Take Your Meds

meds

I mean, this one almost goes without saying, but if you’re on meds, be sure you take them. If you’re travelling out of the city or out of state for the convention, be sure you pack them, and be sure you have some sort of an alarm to remind you to take them when you’re supposed to during the convention. Seriously. Time can be hard to keep track of in a convention, so don’t rely on your memory when it comes to your medication. Keep a water bottle with you (for hydration as well–cons are hot and you will get thirsty) so you can take your pill when the time comes, regardless of where you are.

Bring Headphones

titus

It doesn’t matter how big or small the convention you’re attending will be. There will be people milling about everywhere, and feeling like you’re trapped in an endless stream of humans with no power over your own movements can be a lot. While you can’t control the crowds, if you have headphones you can give yourself a mini-break by popping those bad boys in and listening to some music or relaxing sounds while you’re waiting in a line or walking to a panel. While you need to make sure you’re still aware of what’s going on around you (headphones don’t mean you get to stop being spatially aware), they can help keep you calm if the crowds are getting stressful. Having headphones is also good if you need to just take a break from the convention entirely and have a moment to yourself. Which brings me to my next point…

Find Yourself a Safe Spot

Sit-Here-Quietly

You may not ever end up needing it, but try to scope out a place that you can go if you need some space and quiet. Of course be sure that your spot is in line with the convention rules (so don’t pick a “quiet spot” in a restricted area), but it’s nice to know that if you’re feeling particularly spent or anxious that you have a place you can go to calm down a bit. Depending on the size of the convention, a quiet (or less noisy) spot may be hard to find. But don’t be afraid to tell the people you’re with that you just need to take a bit of a break if things get to be too much.

Set Up a Signal With Your Friends..and Don’t Be Afraid to Use It

signal

If you’re going with a group of friends or family, set up a signal that you can use if you either need help (like you’re stuck in a conversation with someone and you need out) or you need a break from everything. Whether its a hand signal you flash across a room or something you send via text, make sure they know that it means either “rescue me” or “I just need a minute”. You won’t always be right next to your group, and trying to let your friends know what’s up without any sort of previously agreed upon signal when there’s a sea of people between you is a PAIN. So create a signal, and don’t be afraid to use it! Conventions are a blast, but if you’re stuck somewhere trying to fight an anxiety attack, you’ll be miserable. So set up something from the start with your group, and take care of yourself if you need it.

Stay Open To New Experiences

adventure

While it’s good to have all of these avenues of self-care in the midst of convention crazy, it’s important to go in with the attitude of having adventures and new experiences. Sure, your comfort zone might be the absolute opposite of the convention scene, but cons are a ton of fun. Expect to push yourself and try some new things, and while you should always feel safe to back away when you need it, be ready to expand your horizons a bit!

Do you have any other tips? Share them in the comments, and be sure to follow me on Twitter and come back here to see my 2017 convention adventures! 

2017 Convention Plans!

ECCC just wrapped up, so I think it’s safe to say we’re officially starting into the spring and summer convention season! Last year I kept my convention plans pretty chill, and I don’t have a zillion cons planned this year either. However, I am hitting up some pretty exciting conventions, and I cannot wait! Here’s where you can catch me this year:

Denver Comic Con, June 30-July 2

DCC_2017.png

I go to this convention every single year, and every single year it’s better than the last! DCC 2016 had several amazing from The Hillywood Show, to Jeffrey Dean Morgan, Alex Kingston and Jenna Coleman, Hayley Atwell, and WAY more. In this year’s convention it looks like the guest list is going to be even more kickass. Right now they’ve got appearances announced from people like Felicia Day, Khary Payton, Weird Al, Finn Jones, Caleb McLaughlin, Billie Piper, and TONS more.

So will I be seeing you there? If you haven’t already bought your tickets, jump on it! The speed passes have sold out already!

San Diego Comic Con, July 20-July 23

comic-con_logo

Guys. This is a big one. For the first time EVER, I’ll be attending San Diego Comic Con. I have wanted to attend this con FOREVER. Usually, I’m chilling at home covering the news breaking from the convention, so I’m so incredibly stoked to finally be able to be in “the room where it happens”.

This is the biggest convention ever, and what makes it even more fun is that there is not only a ton of stuff to do and see within the convention, there are loads of rad things to hit up outside–one being the wonderful Nerd HQ. I cannot WAIT to see what this convention has in store for me. If you want to go, be sure to register for a Comic Con Member ID to be sure you can get a ticket! They go fast!

Will I see you at either of the conventions? Let me know in the comments! I hope to see you there. As always, I’ll be covering the conventions here on my blog and on my Twitter, @Kendall_Ashley

 

5 Fandom Friday: Things I’ve Bought at Cons

5fandomfriday

I’m gonna be real honest with you guys. I don’t buy a ton of stuff at cons. It isn’t because I don’t looooove getting some freshly squeezed, con-exclusive nerd goods, but they are usually so CRAZY expensive and I rarely have the money to get the stuff I really want. Besides, half of the fun for me isn’t getting a lot of stuff–I love the actual experience of a convention more than I love finding cool stuff to buy. So this week’s prompt of things I’ve bought at cons is a bit…sparse, mainly because I don’t have a lot of bought goods to show for my conning. Still, those things I have bought are pretty darn special to me.

Supernatural Stickers–similar (Rocky Mountain Con)

Team Free Will

For the life of me, I cannot remember where I got these stickers. They were all drawn by a local artist, but because I am awful, I can’t recall who drew them. Still, I think they’re adorable, and I stuck them all on my water bottle so they can follow me around everywhere. I mean, I live in Colorado–its high elevation, guys. We need our water bottles with us AT ALL TIMES.

SHIELD Logo Sticker–similar (Denver Comic Con 2015)

SHIELD logo

Same thing here. I can’t recall the shop where I bought this one, but this one wasn’t drawn by a local artist, so I feel a bit better about forgetting where I purchased it. I put this sticker on my car, and I LOVE how it looks. Makes me feel like an official agent of SHIELD.

Imperial Love Hoodie (Denver Comic Con 2015)

Imperial Love

This particular item is from Her Universe, but I bought the hoodie in the Super Hero Stuff booth. These guys are always a HUGE presence on the exhibition floor, and it’s tough to not get sucked in to all the shiny, fandom swag they have on sale. I’d been wanting this hoodie for some time now, so when I saw it on sale at the con, I had to snatch one up for myself. It’s amazing and SO SOFT.

Daenerys Targaryen Pop! Funko Doll (Denver Comic Con 2014)

dany pop

I picked up this doll at a comic book shop’s booth, but you can get your own Dany doll at the Pop! Funko website. This is one of my favorite Pops. I just love the little dragon that is riding on Dany’s arm, and oddly enough, her outfit as she and the rest of the Dothraki are travelling across the Great Grass Sea and through the deserts is one of my favorite Dany outfits. She currently guards my desk at work.

Supernatural Bracelet (SDCC 2015)

SPN bracelet

I know I technically did not attend SDCC this year, but since I purchased this bracelet over SDCC, I’m counting it! I got this charm bracelet from OhDemCrafts on Etsy, and I love it. The bracelet is beautiful, and it even has enough spaces so I can add some more charms if I want to (I have this idea of making a fandom charm bracelet, and this is the perfect place to start). Whether or not I add charms, I’m obsessed with this bracelet. It’s that understated fandom swag that I love, and it’s just a gorgeous charm bracelet.

What are some of your favorite con souvenirs? Let me know in the comments! Be sure to check out my other Fandom 5 posts, and follow the #Fandom5 hashtag to see what everyone else is talking about today!

SDCC News: Hunger Games and Doctor Who

San Deigo Comic Con is in full swing, and with it comes new trailers! As we all figured yesterday, we got a message from Panem’s District 13 in the Hunger Games panel today. Here it is, for your viewing pleasure!

UNITE

I’ll be honest, I was hoping for a bit of movie footage, but OH MY WORD, this is such an awesome clip! Where do I sign up to fight for District 13, because that propo GOT ME PUMPED! Seriously, is it November yet???

Of course, this isn’t just a Hunger Games party. We ALSO were blessed with a trailer for Doctor Who season 9! LOOK!!!

Guys, I don’t know what I’m more excited about, the return of Missy, the Doctor donning shades and playing the guitar, or him shouting, “I’m the Doctor, and I save people.” I don’t think Twelve will ever be as fluffy as Eleven, but I think we’re going to get a kinder Doctor this season, and I”m ready for it.

Also, can we just talk about Maisie Williams bit in the trailer? I thought she would be a random, one-off companion, but it seems like she knows the Doctor. Who is she? Is she a regeneration of River Song? Is she the Doctor’s granddaughter from Classic Who? Is she the Doctor’s daughter? Is she another Time Lord?

Let me know what you think about the trailers and your guesses to who Maisie Williams will be playing. Mockingjay Part II hits theaters on November 2, and Doctor Who returns to the BBC and BBC America on September 9!

Nerdist Presents: The Hive at San Diego Comic Con

I’m not going to San Diego Comic Con this year. While I’m still sad that I don’t get to go AGAIN, there are enough people that I follow who are going (like one of my faves, The Nerdy Girlie), that I can almost feel like I’m there. In the spirit of that, I wanted to let you guys know about an awesome thing you can find at SDCC this year from Team Nerdist. Nerdist Industries (headed up by the lovely Chris Hardwick) is launching an actual film label, and the first movie to be born from that is a horror flick called The Hive.

The Hive

Here’s a bit on The Hive (and an all-caps comment from Hardwick himself):

From the producer of Scream, Nerdist Presents The Hive turns the contagion genre on its proverbial bleeding ear. The cross-genre thriller starring Gabriel Basso (Kings of Summer, Super 8), Kathryn Prescott (MTV’s Finding Carter, Skins), Jacob Zachar (Greek) and Gabrielle Walsh (Vampire Diaries, Paranormal Activity: The Marked Ones) received raves after its debut at Fantastic Fest in Austin and Nerdist Founder and CEO Chris Hardwick said, “THIS MOVIE IS SO MUCH DAMN FUN. The first time I saw it I was blown away by how fresh and inventive the story was, which is no small feat in horror. I knew right away I wanted to help get this movie into the eyes and earholes of horror fans.”

When Camp Yellow Jacket has fallen into chaos, teen counselor Adam wakes up in a boarded up cabin with no memory of who or where he is. His only clue as to what’s happening are the notes he’s scrawled for himself on the walls and the disturbing physical transformation he must overcome. The only memories he has aren’t his own, yet those memories may be the key to Adam’s survival.

In speaking on the release, prolific horror producer Cary Granat, who made the film with producers Ed Jones, Vincent Seiber, and Jared Mass, said, “We are thrilled to have the Nerdist Presents brand on The Hive. The Nerdist team reminds me so much of the early days of Dimension in that they are aggressive, smart, innovative, in touch with their audience, and focused on creating new rules to marketing.”

Coming to theaters and digital movie platforms this fall, Nerdist Presents The Hive is the next generation of horror film from Director Dave Yarovesky with fast paced scares, biting humor and a wicked soundtrack featuring Steve Aoki.

You guys, I cannot WAIT to check this movie out. Do you feel the same? If you are, AND you’re going to SDCC (*mutters a resentful grumble*), have I got some great news for you. Nerdist has some great panels happening at SDCC, in addition to some opportunities at your first look at the film, and panels/Q&A with the cast and crew. Yes, it’s definitely as rad as it sounds. Wanna see the schedule? Well, friends, I’ve got it right here for you:

behold

Friday, July 10th
12:00-12:30pm – The Nerdist Conival at PetCo Park 
A  conversation with director Dave Yarovesky and the cast. More details about the conival will be released soon!

Saturday July 11th
1:00-2:00pm – The Nerdist Panel with Chris Hardwick (Indigo Ballroom)
Director Dave Yarovesky joins Chris and the Nerdist team for their annual panel.

3:30 – 4:30pm – Nerdist Presents The Hive (Horton Grand Theater)
*Heads up, kids, this is a ticketed event*
Director Dave Yarovesky and the cast host an intimate panel where fans can get their first look at the film.

Are you as excited about The Hive as I am? Will you be at San Diego Comic Con this year? Are you planning on attending any Nerdist panels? You’ll all have to tell me about your con plans in the comments, and give me thorough recaps after its over so I can feel like I attended! 

5 Fandom Friday: Cons I Have Attended/Want To Attend

fandom.5.friday

Conventions are completely awesome. It’s a chance to shove a bunch of fanboys and fangirls into the same room, and let everyone loose to geek out about all of their favorite things. I was able to attend a few cons last year, and I had a completely amazing time. In this week’s Fandom 5, I’m talking about the cons I attended in 2014, and the cons I want to attend in 2015.

Cons I attended in 2014: 

Rocky Mountain Con

Rocky-Mountain-Con

Rocky Mountain Con was the last convention I attended for the year, and it was also the smallest. I attended it as a part of the Project-Nerd team, and I was able to be in their podcast, The Nerdcast. Because it was a smaller convention, I was able to spend a lot of time hanging out with the Pro-Nerd team, and I also got the cool opportunity to chat with the various vendors around the exhibit hall.

Sidenote: I was also able to find some guys that have created a graphic novel called 8:15 about a zombie outbreak in Denver, Colorado, which is basically amazing. Stay tuned for more talk about 8:15 and the awesomeness it delivers.

GeekGirlCon 

geekgirlcon

GeekGirlCon is an absolutely amazing convention. The entire con was centered around celebrating various fandoms and geekery, and being a generally awesome, supportive community. Here’s the con’s mission: GeekGirlCon celebrates and honors the legacy of women contributing to science and technology; comics, arts, and literature; and game play and game design by connecting geeky women world-wide and creating community to foster continued growth of women in geek culture through events. The convention absolutely delivered on that promise, offering tons of panels about women shaking up various aspects of geek culture, offering support and advice for geeky career aspirations, and just generally coming together to talk about geekery. Since this was my first con as a member of the press, I talked about this convention quite a bit here on mine blog. I talked about the awesome things the con was offering in 2014, I talked about my con prep, Part I and II of my con wrap-up, and the everyday cosplay outfits I chose for the con. I’m not sure if I’ll be attending in 2015, but I’m hoping to make it up there. This con is so much fun, and you meet so many wonderful people there.

Oh, and hey, GeekGirlCon is 100% based on donations–even the staff is made up 100% of volunteers. So if you want to help this con keep the lights on and stay awesome, maybe consider offering a donation.

Denver Comic Con

denver-comic-con-2014-logo

This was my first con of 2014, and the first con of my entire life. Let me tell you, it was completely amazing. I am absolutely planning on attending Denver Comic Con in 2015–they already have names like Jewel Staite, Cary Elwes, and Scott Wilson on the list of guests for this year.

I’m not sure if I’m going to try to cosplay this year, especially after 2014’s epic failure, but I might at least try everyday cosplay. I seemed to do okay with that for GeekGirlCon. Regardless of how I dress, if last year’s con is any indication, this year’s con is going to be FABULOUS.

I. Cannot. Wait.

This con is also really cool because they do a lot of great charity work for the Denver community. The are a part of an organization called Pop Culture Classroom which uses pop culture to ignite a passion of learning in kids. They also accept donations, if you’re so inclined.

Conventions I want to attend this year:

San Diego Comic Con

San_Diego_Comic_Con_International_Slider

I mean, duh. Who doesn’t want to go to SDCC, amirite? This con is amazing, and it is the biggest in the country. It’s chalk full of stars and just about any brand of geekery you can dream up. However, it’s also hella expensive, on the other side of the country (for me, anyway), and the tickets sell out super fast. So missing out on a chance to go to Comic Con is not an uncommon problem.

sdcc sheldon

I’d love to attend this year, but who knows if it will actually happen. Fingers crossed! If nothing else, lovelies like Megan and the rest of the team at The Nerdy Girlie often have ah-mazing con coverage on their blog.

Supernatural Denver Convention

ChuckSPNCon

Okay, so maybe this isn’t a photo from an actual SPN Con, but still…

I am super stoked about this one. They are actually having a Supernatural convention in Denver this year. YES!

jensen excited

I’m not sure what to expect on ticket prices or the con intself (apart from the fact that Jensen Ackles, Jared Padalecki, Mark Sheppard, and Misha Collins will be there), but I am really, really hoping to attend. From what I see on Tumblr, these cons look like they are an amazing time, and it would be a complete hoot to spend a few days trapped in a hotel with a bunch of other SPN fanatics. So stay tuned, hopefully I’ll have good news on Denver SPN Con in the coming months.

And the one con that I’d love to go to but probably never will….

Gamescom

gamescom

Gamescom is an awesome trade show and convention dedicated to gaming, and it is in Europe–which is why my chances of attending are slim. Still, it’s almost like being there when you can wake up in the wee hours of the morning to watch livestreams of the presentations…I mean, not really, but almost….

What cons have you attended? Which were your favorites? What cons are you hoping to attend this year? Let me know in the comments. Also, be sure to check out my other Fandom 5 posts, and see what everyone else is saying today by following the #Fandom5 hashtag! 

Women in Geek: Megan Gotch

Women in Geek (2)

 

 

I’m a part of a great Google+ group called Female Geek Bloggers, and through that group I was able to meet the amazing Megan Gotch, aka The Nerdy Girlie. Megan’s a great geek blogger, and her top-notch SDCC coverage can almost make it better for those who couldn’t be there…almost.  Check out Megan’s interview, and if you’ve missed my interviews with Sarah Rodriguez, Lindsay Cummings, Christina Janke, and Marissa Reynolds, go here!

megan gotch

 

What do you do in geek culture?

I am a geek girl blogger. In 2012 I created The Nerdy Girlie blog!

Do you have a day job, or does this pay your bills?

I do have a day job. I would love for my blog to pay the bills, as of yet it does not. I guess that could be a good thing, because I do it out of LOVE not necessity!

How did you get started in this?

I began my blog The Nerdy Girlie after my 4th San Diego Comic Con in 2012. I started off as wanting to help fellow con-­goers and now have made some lasting relationships that I am so happy to have.

What got you interested in this field?

I have always loved writing, from an early age. It was SDCC that helped me figure out WHAT I wanted and loved to write about!

Do you have a big goal for The Nerdy Girlie?

I really don’t have any BIG goals for my site, other than to continue to help and bring people together. As long as I am happy doing it, I will keep doing it!

Who are some of your female geek role models, and why?

When I first started my blog some of my influences were Being Geek Chic and Girl Gone Geek. As I began to grow and develop my own site, I began to find MANY awesome geek girls out there and that is why I began the Female Geek Bloggers G+ Community. I wanted to bring all the lovely nerdy sites together in one place where we could grow and learn from each other!

Do you find that your readers are more critical of your opinions because you’re a woman? How do you handle, if you’ve encountered it at all, the negativity against women in geek?

I’ve been super lucky to have only support from the readers of my blog. I love what I’m doing and I am so happy that just one person would want to read it.

What is the best thing about working in your area of geekery?

The best thing of working in the world of geek is the relationships you make with other nerds. This past San Diego Comic Con I spent the majority of my time talking with friends and building our relationships. It is so fun to nerd out with people who understand!

What do you find that is meaningful, special, and/or valuable about what you do?

What I find meaningful about what I do is that people comment on my blog, come up to me at cons and tell me that some thing I wrote helped them. I love what I’m doing and am so happy to be of help to anyone!

There are lots of women out there who want to break into the geek industry, be it comics, gaming, writing, or fashion. What kind of advice do you have for them?

My advice would be just make sure that you love what you do. If you have a passion for it, it won’t feel like a job!

What is the coolest thing you’ve experienced since starting The Nerdy Girlie?

I’ve gotten to do a lot of neat things before and after the blog began. All involve discovering nerds who love the same things that I do. I have made a lot of lasting relationships that mean so much to me.

What do you wish people knew about what you do? Are there common misconceptions about what it means to do what you do?

Blogging is a lot of alone time! So when I go to conventions it is so nice to be able to TALK to people. I love it and if you ever see me at a con I am always happy to talk nerd with anyone!

Be sure to check out The Nerdy Girlie, as well as my other Women in Geek posts–and stay tuned here to see what woman in geek I feature next! 

For Those Of Us Who Aren’t At San Diego Comic Con

Here we are. The sad group that was unable to attend San Diego Comic Con this year. Some of us didn’t have the time off work, some of us didn’t have the money, some of us didn’t get badges in time. Whatever your reason, we’re here. We are the great, unwashed mass fated to miss out on this year’s greatest event in geekery.

So as we move into this weekend, let’s just remember the benefits we get to experience as we hold down the fort here at home.

1. You’ve got some money!

Remember that you didn’t spend money on tickets to fly/gas up your car on the drive to San Diego, get a hotel, get tickets to SDCC, buy expensive convention center food, and blow your life savings on awesome merch. Sure, you’re not rich, but you certainly do have money in your pocket that most certainly wouldn’t be there if you were at Comic Con. Go buy yourself a burrito, baby.

2. Crowds, man.

Google any picture of San Diego Comic Con, and nearly every picture is of a packed convention center or an ungodly long line. I mean, you could be there, right now, in the middle of that giant, teeming mass of excited–and, let’s be honest, occasionally smelly–humanity. Instead you can sit in your house, stretch out those legs, and easily traverse from place to place without feeling like you need to buy the person standing beside you dinner. Who needs that electric, humming energy of excitement only experienced at a Con? You’ve got leg room, buddy. Spread out and enjoy that.

3. Following hashtags is basically like being there.

Of course, there is a hashtag for Comic Con (#SDCC) that you can follow to be kept up-to-date on all the happenings at the Con by your favorite Twitter accounts. Because I mean, ultimately it’s way cooler to see this:

Rather than actually having the opportunity to visit the Geek and Sundry Lounge, right? Right?

Still, we know that we’ll all still be following the SDCC hashtag all weekend, regardless of how much it hurts. 

4. This is your time to catch up on your reading and your shows.

So this isn’t me today, and that’s too bad:

But, I mean, if I’m honest with myself, it’s probably best. I’m way behind on Arrow, so it would have just been so awkward if I happened to see Stephen Amell, right? So this is a weekend where we can do some fandom homework. Catch up on that show you’re behind on. Go to the comic book store and catch up on your reading. You weren’t really prepared for a weekend reveling in your favorite fandoms…

5. Seriously though, here’s some actual consolation for us:

Yeah, it sucks that we can’t be at SDCC this year, whatever our reasons were for being unable to attend. However, there are actually some things that we can do to feel like we’re a part, however small, of the SDCC action.

  • Blogs like The Nerdy Girlie and Nerdophiles will be updating their blogs and their Twitters with SDCC news and happenings. In fact, The Nerdy Girlie has already posted a roundup of Preview Night, bless her.
  • NerdHQ Conversations for a Cause (basically conversations with actors, writers, etc.) will be livestreamed for at-home viewers. If you go to the Nerd Machine’s facebook, you can even submit your questions to be answered during the conversations.
  • There are contests for us! The Nerd Machine’s facebook is holding daily trivia contests for those who have liked the page. Geek and Sundry had a contest to win their exclusive SDCC/Geek and Sundry Loot Crate box (though that one’s over…so…sorry). The Nerdophiles are having a Twitter contest where you can win a Marvel Avengers micromug by tweeting what you’ll be doing this weekend and using the hashtag #NotAtSDCC. Think Geek is also running a cool contest to win some of their SDCC exclusives.
  • There is some off-site fun for those in the San Diego area. Though this doesn’t do those of us who are far away a lot of good, it’s fun for locals! The NerdHQ Conversations for a Cause is an off-site event, so while you don’t need a SDCC badge, you do need tickets, and I’m fairly certain they are fully sold out. However, there will be a Geek and Sundry Lounge, and you don’t need tickets or a SDCC badge to get in. From gaming to a few panels, it sounds like the Lounge will be a lot of fun. They’ll also have over 200 of their exclusive Loot Crates there, so those attending will have several chances to win one of those babies!

So there you have it. Sure, it sucks that we can’t be at Comic Con, but we’ll all be okay. There are some fun ways we can get involved in the con from the comfort of our homes, and if nothing else we can take the money we’re saving this weekend and put it toward our SDCC ’15 tickets, right?