Robot 6

The next best thing to being there: The Comics Reporter’s guide to Comic-Con

It’s enormous, it’s equal parts entertaining and overwhelming, and it’s stuffed with references to Ferro Lad, Forbush Man, and Elfen Lied so nerdy that they’re actually inaudible to normal human ears. No, it’s not the San Diego Comic-Con…well, okay, it is the San Diego Comic-Con, but it’s also Tom Spurgeon’s annual guide to the San Diego Comic-Con for his site The Comics Reporter.

This year’s edition features fully 157 tips and tricks of the trade for getting the most out of nerddom’s Big Dance. From basic advice on hotels, transportation, and meals; to hard-earned wisdom on what kind of supplies to bring with you on the con floor and where to seek relief once you’ve used up either those supplies or your own sanity; to idiosyncratic recommendations like saving on vacation money by adding a trip to Vegas on either side of your San Diego stay, or “Tip #121: When In Doubt, Attend A Panel Featuring Sergio Aragones” — it’s a must-read for anyone planning on going to CCI2011. But it’s also a must-read for those of us who aren’t going, but wish they were.

I miss my San Diego years terribly, and Tom’s annual guide conjures up the sights, sounds, sensations, and smells of the show so perfectly in its borderline-insane sprawl and splendor that each time I read it it’s all I can do to stop myself from booking the flight and requesting days off from my day job for next year right then and there.

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