After spending most of a weekend at a convention, I observed just about everyone there being incredibly kind towards one another. Comic book conventions are wonderful places to meet new friends as well as special guests and industry contacts for those involved in comic book publishing and entertainment.
Ask a friend to act as a handler for you. After all, Loki’s helmet was made for the grand halls of Asgard – not comparatively small Midgardian doorways!
That said, I did notice a bit of unsafe and rude behavior at the convention. Here are some safety and etiquette tips to ensure fun for everyone at a convention.
Kids Like Comics, Too. Kids and young adults are the present and future of the comic book industry, both in terms of talent and consumerism. While not everything at a convention has to be kid-friendly, everyone should keep in mind the fact that kids attend conventions, too – especially when a convention specifically host’s a kids’ day. Kids’ families might not appreciate foul language in panel rooms. That said, parents also need to keep in mind that some vendors do exhibit content geared towards adults, and that comic book conventions are about expression – artistic and otherwise.
Consider Your Cosplay. Cosplay is half the fun of attending a convention, even if you’re not the one dressing up! However, some costume pieces can be annoying or injurious to yourself others. Examples include wire wings at eye level and large, unwieldy costumes. That’s not to say you couldn’t or shouldn’t wear these items – just be considerate when you do.
- Think about wearing big costumes on less crowded convention days (some conventions are always crowded, but small and mid-sized conventions usually tend to be busiest on Saturdays).
- If you want to walk around in a larger-than-life costume or if you’re wearing something that obscures your vision or requires stilts, consider asking a friend to act as a handler for you. A handler is responsible for: guiding you through crowds, assisting you with the costume, and holding your items while you pose for pictures. Being a handler isn’t exactly fun, so you can return the favor by acting as your friend’s handler another time. At the very least, buy your friend lunch!
Consider the Cosplayers. Don’t be rude to cosplayers. It’s pretty simple:
- Always ask a cosplayer before taking a picture. Not only is this polite, it will get you the best picture.
- Never touch without permission. Sure, that Catwoman in a catsuit or musclebound Thor might be hot, but you can’t just walk around grabbing people. It’s rude – plus, that cosplayer could be a minor, which could land you in major legal trouble.
- Some cosplayers prefer to remain in character. It’s not always easy to improvise, so please respect the cosplayer’s efforts and play along.
- Don’t say rude or misleading things. Additionally, don’t be sexist, racist, or homophobic. Yes, there can be a black Superman or a female Deadpool. After all, comic book characters are constantly reinterpreted canonically. (It’s silly enough that studios and actors are criticized for this.)
- Remember that there are people in those costumes. Most cosplayers do this for fun and invest their own time and money into putting together phenomenal costumes.
- If you see someone having trouble with his or her costume, ask if you can help. We all know that capes aren’t the most practical, and Loki’s helmet was made for the grand halls of Asgard – not comparatively small Midgardian doorways!
Additionally, most of these rules apply to talent/celebrities at conventions as well. Remain respectful to keep things fun for everyone!
Parents Should Parent. There’s so many amazing cosplayers, personalities, and merchandise at conventions, it’s hard not to get distracted when you’re on the showroom floor. After all, everyone is pretty much a five year old at Christmas when they first walk in. However, if you’re a parent and your kid is with you, you need to keep track of them. (Most parents are super responsible at conventions, but there are exceptions.) Additionally, bringing a stroller into a busy convention might not be the wisest idea. I get that not everyone is a human stroller (you’re welcome, fellow Chris Hemsworth fans), but I’ve seen kids get injured by parents who aren’t paying attention, pushing them into crazy crowds!
Do you have any additional safety or etiquette tips for convention attendees? Please leave them below!