This weekend, the biggest, most star-studded Comic Con to hit the Twin Cities takes over the Minneapolis Convention Center. More than just your standard gathering of dorks and cosplayers, Minneapolis Wizard World Comic Con is a celebration of all things pop culture, including TV, movies, karate, and, of course, comics. Mega-celebs like William Shatner, Matt Smith and Karen Gillan from Dr. Who, and Ralph Macchio are just a few of the famous faces that will be signing autographs and snapping pictures with fans, while the event will also feature panel discussions, costume contests, and even speed dating* (apparently the speed dating event does not include Ralph Macchio, so don't show up trying to date Daniel).
For the seasoned Con-goers, you already know what to expect and how to make the most out of your time. But what about those who have never been to such an event? We're talking about those who wasted their high school years dating and playing sports, and don't know that there is more than one flavor of Mountain Dew. What should they be prepared for before making their first visit into one of the few events where you can wear an adult sized Power Ranger outfit and meet Lou Ferrigno simultaneously? Not to worry; we've got you covered.
For those who are new to the world of comic cons, behold our top three tips for Comic Con n00bs.
1) Think through your photo-op
Every celebrity appearing at this weekend's convention will be offering fans the once in a lifetime chance to awkwardly stand in their presence while some dude snaps their photo. The price for these photo-ops range anywhere from $30 to $100 a pop (price list here), meaning that their time is literally your money. In order to maximize your starfucker dollars, make sure you plan out how you want to pose with your celeb of choice well before you make it to the front of the line.
In some cases, celebrities will be willing to play along, allowing you to put your own creative spin on your brush with fame. Want to arm wrestle Gilbert Godfried? Maybe chest bump Ian Ziering? Or you could open-mouth kiss Nathan Fillion (probably not). The options are endless! Not every celebrity is going to be game for your super-sweet poses, obviously, but you have a lot better chance of making it happen if you prep yourself ahead of time.
2) LADIES COSTUMES ONLY: Beware of "stink shoulder"
For bros, one of the best parts of any Comic Con is being able to wander around and take your picture with super sexy ladies dressed as some of your favorite superheroes. And for you ladies? You get "stink shoulder." This very real, very gross condition is well-known among females in the Comic Con community, caused by smelly dudes running up to them at random and throwing their arm over their unsuspecting shoulders for a stalker-y cell phone selfie. That's why we recommend bringing a healthy amount of shoulder wipes to keep your costume looking fresh for the day. Or, at very least, cover your shoulder in plastic wrap to fend off the unwanted bodily contact that you will inevitably be subjected to.
3) Lower your standards
In a perfect world, your ticket to Wizard World Comic Con would be an unlimited three-day pass to spend every waking moment with your celebrity obsession, asking Sean Astin if you can carry him around on your shoulders, or if Robert Englund can call all of your friends and whisper "Don't fall asleep!" on their voicemails. Unfortunately, the major stars are going to be swamped by fans all weekend, meaning you'll likely only have a few brief moments to try and awkwardly hold your hero's hand. Instead of pouting about your limited time with Dean Cain, try lowering your standards and cruising for more, let's say, "less in demand" celebrities. For example, Jason David Frank probably needs to eat, right? Offer to pick up a $5 foot long for the Green Ranger! Ever heard of "social media phenom" Cameron Dallas? Neither have we, but he might have enough free time on his hands to bang out a quick game of Words with Friends with you. See someone who looks like local celebrity L.A. Nik wandering around? Go give him a high-five, because it probably is L.A. Nik! Bottom line: don't be afraid to aim for the middle.
Grab your inhalers. It's going to be a big weekend.
IF YOU GO:
Minneapolis Wizard World Comic Con
Friday, May 2-4
Minneapolis Convention Center