If you identify as Marvel or DC, Star Wars or Star Trek, Lord of the Rings or Harry Potter, Dr. Who or Battlestar Galactica, Anime or Pixar, Disney or Looney Toons, you’ve got a home at ComicCon. These weekend events bring together cosplayers, shoppers, superfans, and anyone who loves science fiction, fantasy, and action genres. And no matter what you’re into, even Warhammer, you can take heart that at ComicCon, you’re not the geekiest person in the (convention) room.
Montreal’s event usually attracts over 60,000 people to its doors. Since the event was postponed due to COVID, there’s sure to be an extra large crowd this year. All that time binge watching Crave TV and playing Assassin’s Creed Odyssey fed into something!
So, for those braving the event for the first time, this is our first survival guide for ComicCon.
Tip 1: For photos with celeb guests from your favourite shows, make sure to book your time in advance. Some of them fill up. And keep in mind, it costs money to take a picture, ranging from $30-150. The schedule is available HERE and subject to cancellations and changes. Up to four people can get in on a picture together. Because of COVID, some celebrities may chose to use a plexiglass barrier. On site, you can verify if plexiglass is being used by your chosen celebrity. If you decide you no longer want to take the picture with the plexiglass, the website for Montreal ComicCon says, “If that doesn’t meet with your preferences, you may request a refund before entering the booth to get your photo taken.” This sounds a little contradictory, as the organizers also say that the last day for refunds has already passed on June 30th. Here’s hoping they ComicCon will honour what it says in regards to the plexiglass barriers. Lastly, keep in mind you still need to buy an entry ticket to ComicCon, even if you’ve already paid the fee for the photograph.
Tip 2: Wear good walking sneakers/shoes Montreal’s ComicCon is in the Palais de Congres convention centre and it’s not a small space. There are multiple floors used with escalators up and down (also elevators for those in need) and stairs if you prefer. As you’ll likely be on your feet in a crowd, opt for footwear you can walk in and move around in. If your less-than-comfortable footwear is part of your costume, bring something you can switch to after walking around for an hour or so. Closed toe shoes beat open toe ones in a crowd always.
Tip 3: Go to the Masquerade either as a participant or as a viewer. This is always a highlight. Don’t let a costume malfunction stop you from checking out the handiwork of your fellow con goers. If you want great pictures of participants, in the garden on the north side of the Palais de Congres close to Chinatown is a great place to shoot pictures. The Masquerade is July 9 at 6:30 p.m. in the main events hall. It often fills up so show up early.
Tip 4: Drink water. Bring a bottle or a hydropack and drink as much as you need. There are water fountains on site to refill bottles.
Tip 5: Chinatown is right outside the door for great eating. Montreal’s Chinatown is kind of a bonus add-on that costs nothing to check out and the food beats what you’ll get inside Palais de Congres. Granted, Tim Hortons coffee and Sushi shop are fine, but really good eating is just outside the convention centre. The Dragon’s Beard Candy on 52B Rue De La Gauchetière O is a must try (6 for $5).
Tip 6. Sunday is bargain day. The best day to buy anything is the last part of the last day when the vendors in the convention will mark down their wares. On the other hand, you will have the least selection and what you want may already be in the hands of someone who didn’t want to wait for a bargain. Some vendors will use Square, but cash is the best way to get a deal.
Tip 7. Book your artists early. If you’re having a custom drawing done, the best artists in the market get booked up very, very quickly.
Tip 8. Carry a sharpie. You may run into someone at the convention whose autograph you want. That handy sharpie will ensure you can get a proper autograph on the object or perhaps body part of choice.
Tip 9. Shower and wear deodorant. We got this tip from several people. This should be obvious, but some people underestimate their own powerful body odours. We know it can get hot in a costume too. But if you can, let people be impressed by your costume and not your smell.
Tip 10. Find your cosplay crowd. If you go in costume, chances are there will be a lot of other people who have costumes from the same universe. One of the highlights is finding fellow fans with whom you can recreate scenes.
Tip 11. Talk to the artists. The artists who come to Comiccon are thrilled to share their passion for their craft and you can learn what makes their products special. This applies whether you’re looking for a high end gaming table or just buying a pack of stickers.
Tip 12. Respect the Cosplayers. Never take a picture without permission of the cosplayer. Chances are they’re very proud of their costume after the hours of work that went into making it and are more than happy to be photographed, but everyone has moments when they’d rather not. Maybe they’re on the phone or just tired and hungry. If someone says no, don’t take it personally. Let it go and find someone else. If you’re looking to photograph the cosplayers, the main hallway by the escalators is the best place to find cosplayers who are happy to pose for photographs.
If you have any other tips to share with others, please let us know in the comments below. have a great ComicCon everyone!
Montreal ComicCon takes place at Palais de Congrès (1001 Pl. Jean-Paul-Riopelle) from July 8-10, 2022. Info about the event and tickets are available HERE.