Your Basic Nerd Guide to the San Diego Comic-Con

Your Basic Nerd Guide to the San Diego Comic-Con

Stand a chance to see your favourite celeb in the flesh with this basic guide to the San Diego Comic-Con!

Calling all nerds and super-fans! Do you want to see the celebrities of your favourite shows in the flesh, find some exclusive merchandise or look for your like-minded brethren? If you do, I’m sure that your hearts are set on the one and only San Diego Comic Con, which is happening RIGHT NOW from 21/7 to 24/7! Don’t worry if you didn’t get to go this year, because lo and behold, I’ve got just the thing for you to use when you do get to go: a basic nerd guide about everything you need to know about the SDCC!

Also read: USA Pacific Coast: Stunning Spots to Make You Literally STOP in Awe

guide san diego comic-conImage credit: Pat Loika

The SDCC is famous in more ways than one – sure, it might be the biggest and most famous comic convention in the USA, but you might have also heard about how crazy hard it is to secure tickets, or their insaaaane queue lines. Sadly, it’s all true *sheds a tear* Well, this guide is split into the two main things you need to know about: tickets and panels, so hopefully you become more familiar with the whole thing. Who knows? Next year you might score a ticket, or be the one to secure that exclusive selfie with Chris Evans!


This is the do-or-die part: plan ahead all you want, but that’s useless if you can’t get the pass! So bear with me as I delve into this all-important topic.

sdcc bannerImage credit: John Pemble

Time to get your lingo right – the thing that will let you in is the badge. To give you an idea what to expect, the 2016 badge looks something like this:

sdcc badgeImage credit: W10002

Tear your eyes away from that amazing The Walking Dead promo and cast your eyes on the little numbers at the side. Those are the days that you’re attending! There’ll be different level of badges, ranging from all 4 days with the preview night, or for each individual night. For instance, the badge for the former will look like this:

sdcc full badgeImage credit: saboteur

If only those full packages actually came with a Kylo Ren figurine! *sighs*

Before you can actually get a ticket, though, you must sign up for a Member ID on the Comic-Con website itself. This is the key to getting you your tickets to SDCC! You’ll receive an email around the purchasing period stating a time, date, and URL for you to log into. You’ll then enter an online waiting room and get a randomised spot in the queue. It should look something like this:

sdcc online roomImage credit: Ian O’Hara

I’m assuming that all you wannabe SDCC-attendees are gunning for your first time there. That’s cool – you and I can eagerly wait for the end of February, when it’s open for newbies to purchase the badges. But watch out! OLD COMIC-CON ATTENDEES GET TO ACCESS A SPECIAL PRE-PURCHASE PERIOD IN FEBRUARY. If this isn’t a sign to be extra kiasu I don’t know what is!

Alright, moving on to the fun stuff!


sdcc supernatural panelImage credit: Gage Skidmore

Probably the one you’re all waiting for, if I’m being honest. You know, when a host and several lucky fans get the opportunity to bombard their fave celebs with questions? Yup, I’m sure we’re aware about the panels being hosted in big rooms with long tables for the celebrities – but just which ones should you keep an eye out for?

Hall H

hall hImage credit: The Conmunity – Pop Culture Geek

This one is the big mama of all convention halls, and you’ll understand why once you’re in it. It seats a whopping 6500 people! Past panels in these hallowed halls include The Hobbit and Marvel Studios about the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Expect panels such as Game of Thrones, The Walking Dead and Doctor Who to be hosted here as well.

sdcc avengers 2 panelImage credit: Gage Skidmore

Don’t start dreaming yet, though, because to get in here, you’ve got to get through the…*dun dun DUUUUUN* THE QUEUE.

outside queueImage credit: William Tung

Think this isn’t too bad? Wait ‘til I tell you that this is just the outside.

inside queueImage credit: William Tung

Horror of horrors! The queue can reach 130,000 people and measure about one-mile long. Yes, one mile. Take it from me guys, if you want a seat in Hall H, start queueing the day before – or heck, maybe even early in the morning, two days before. Don’t doubt me! Do you really want to miss that opportunity to see Kit Harrington or Emilia Clarke’s beautiful faces up close? I don’t think so.

Wristbands will be handed out after some point – they’re meant to tell you your rough place in the line. If you don’t get one – well, just kiss your chance of entering Hall H goodbye.

Ballroom 20

agents of shield panel sdccImage credit: uncle_shoggoth

Yet another one of the iconic rooms used to host panels with the big TV shows – think Arrow, The Flash, Teen Wolf and Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. It’s definitely not as big as Hall H, but one look at the superstar lineup and you’ll want to get your butts in here pronto.

arrow sdcc panelImage credit: Neon Tommy

…hm? Oh sorry, got too caught up staring at Stephen Amell and Colton Haynes. *coughs* Now that you’re up to date about the two big rooms, here are some tips:

  • You’re not forced to clear out after every panel! If you’re willing and able, you’re free to stay as long as you want. Just not overnight.
  • HOWEVER, once you abandon your seat, bid it sayonara. You will watch as your precious seat disappears amidst the swarm of desperate people. Best to prepare and bring along some food that’ll last you the whole day.
  • Bring along a portable charger that’s more powerful than the Flash himself (Don’t argue with me! He’s the most powerful DC hero EVER). With all that queuing, walking, and watching, chances are, you won’t have easy access to a socket. Do you want your phone to run out of juice right when Peter Dinklage is speaking? No? Then bring that portable charger along.

Also read: 40 Coolest Experiences I Had on My North America Adventure

Now that you know all there is to know about SDCC, should I say…see you next year? 😉 Until then, live long and prosper, my friends, and catch you on the flip side!

About Author

Farzana Fattah
Farzana Fattah

Farzana is a student at Singapore Management University who’s currently wondering what on earth she’s doing with her life. When not nerding out over the latest superhero movie or scrolling through memes on Tumblr, she is almost definitely researching random places across the globe and daydreaming about the next holiday destination. She is inspired by the variety of cultures in the world and hopes to travel to at least fifty countries in her lifetime to experience most of them.


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