The Lexington Comic and Toy Convention has astronomically grown since the first time I went in 2016. I’ve been attending Comic Cons on and off since I was a pretty small child, but I had never started annually attending one till I visited Lexington’s (this more than likely being because Lexington is the only one within reasonable driving distance from me). It’s become a pretty beloved past time, so I take a lot of joy in seeing LexCon grow the way it has in the past few years. Every year brings more and more newcomers, and for those of you who may be included in that number, I’ve got a nice heap of unwanted advice.
All Cons Smell Like Ass, Be Ready For That
Thousands of nerds, many in ill-fitting costumes, and all packed into a single hall of a convention center. It’s not a pretty picture, but it’s an accurate one. The scents that are brewed from that unholy concoction of circumstances are truly horrific. Cons are some of the foulest smelling events you can attend. I don’t say that as a knock against the management of the conventions or to the legions of nerds in attendance, it’s just an unavoidable fact about Cons. It’s not unbearable by any means, just don’t go in unprepared.
They Can Get Super Crowded, Especially On Saturday
As stated above, thousands of people will be in attendance. That means there can be a pretty obscene lack of personal space when it comes to maneuvering around once inside the convention. Lots of awkwardly squeezing through crowds and shoulder bumping into people. The line to get in can be just as bad too, with the wait to get in sometimes taking an up to 45 minutes or longer. Your chances of seeing crowds like this skyrocket if you go to the show on Saturday.
Bring a Backpack
It’s so damn easy to sink $100 or more at a Con. Between comics, artwork, t-shirts, those godawful celebrity encounters (more on that in a bit), and other merch, you’re gonna be spending some money. Take it from someone who’s been in this situation before, it’s not fun to carry around the gradually increasing pile of things that you buy while wading through the crowds. You’ll make things a lot easier on yourself if you bring a backpack to carry your haul with you. Nothing too bulky, those drawstring-y knapsack kind of bags work best.
Cosplayers Can be Weird as Hell
I literally got dry humped by a guy in a Deadpool costume once. My cousin and I bumped into a guy cosplaying in a fairly ornate DP jumpsuit. Being as I was 16 and had a mild obsession with the character at the time, my cousin encouraged me to take a picture with him. We went to pose, and the dude throws his leg around me and starts going to town like a repressed Jack Russell Terrier. I hadn’t really noticed what happened till it was all over. Dear cousin was making the Macaulay Kulkin face from Home Alone. As crazy as it may sound, don’t let that put you off from interacting with cosplayers, there’s a very low chance you’ll end up having someone grind on you. Most that I’ve seen can be pretty nice people, a lot even have some pretty rad costumes. Just be leery, every now and then you’ll encounter some lunatics. And a whole lot of shitty Harley Quinn costumes.
Don’t Buy Any Blind Boxes
A common feature of more recent Cons are a seemingly endless amount of booths selling blind boxes. They are the second biggest waste of money you can find at any event. They sell for around $30 and have maybe $7 worth of merchandise on the inside of them. I once saw Noah Day (of Noah Talks Sports fame, for you Hey Kentucky fans) having the pleasure of purchasing a Pokémon themed box a few years back. Needless to say, he was quietly furious the rest of the day after opening it.
Talk to the Creators and Artists
Far and away my favorite part of any Con is getting to meet with Comic Creators. They’re almost always cool as hell. In my experience most of them are more than ready to shoot the breeze and riff around for a bit. Buy one of their books, get a badass commission in with one of the artists, just do something. These guys are the reason Comic Book Conventions are even a thing. You’ll get nicer interactions and cooler stories than you will meeting any of the so called celebrities on the premises. Speaking of that…
For the Love of God, Don’t Waste Your Time Meeting Any Celebrities
Jason Momoa was quite possibly the cheeriest person I’ve ever met. He gave me a bear hug and exclaimed “that’s [email protected]#kin’ adorable” at the sight of my 4 month old cousin in his dragon costume. Momoa took the time to talk with all the guests he met the day I saw him and was absolutely charming the entire time. So by all means, if you get the chance, meet Jason Momoa. However, and I cannot stress this enough, everyone else isn’t Jason Momoa. Don’t waste your hard earned time and money on one of the lame celebrity encounters that seem to be taking over all of these events. You’ll spend $50 or more to wait in line for 2 hours to get a limp handshake and a selfie. Funny thing about celebrities, they’re just people. Being in front of a camera doesn’t make them any more special than the next person. You give them enough money watching their films and television shows, don’t give them any more just for the pleasure of standing next to them for 30 seconds.