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Tuesday, Sept. 23, 2014

10 things to know before going to Salt Lake Comic Con

By McKenzie Romero, Deseret News

Published: Thu, Aug. 28 6:20 p.m. MDT

 Michael Simpson attends Comic Con at the Salt Palace in Salt Lake City Thursday, April 17, 2014.

Michael Simpson attends Comic Con at the Salt Palace in Salt Lake City Thursday, April 17, 2014.

(Jeffrey D. Allred, Deseret News)

What do I actually do at Comic Con?

So you've heard about Salt Lake Comic Con , and now you want to check it out for yourself, huh? Great! At Salt Lake Comic Con, you can attend panel discussions with some of your favorite superhero and pop culture celebrities, buy all kinds of nerd-related art and merchandise, meet celebrity guests and get to know plenty of local nerds. Plus, there are more interesting things to see on the convention floor than you can shake a lightsaber at.

Don't skip the bonus round

There are a number of extra events happening at or around Salt Lake Comic Con, ranging from a zombie-themed laser tag game to a film festival. Some events, like the official cosplay contest or a Super Smash Brothers tournament, are free to pass holders. Most, like a round of sci-fi speed dating or Salt Lake Comic Con's red-carpet bash, require an additional ticket. A full schedule and pricing is available on the Salt Lake Comic Con events page.

Prices and preregistration

Ticket prices go up as the convention approaches and can be purchased on the Salt Lake Comic Con website. There are discounts for students, military members, first responders, senior citizens and teachers, and kids under 10 get in free with an adult. Decide whether you need a one-day pass or if you want to attend all three days in order to pick the right ticket. Are you willing to pay extra for a Gold or VIP pass, which will get you shorter lines, early entry, autograph vouchers and some collectible items?

Pro tip: You can save yourself some time by picking up your passes early at one of three preregistration locations starting Monday. Preregistration will be available at Megaplex Theatres at Legacy Crossing in Centerville, Jordan Commons in Sandy and Thanksgiving Point in Lehi.

Trekking to Comic Con

If you're driving to Salt Lake Comic Con, prepare to park in one of the public lots or parking garages near the Salt Palace Convention Center.

TRAX and FrontRunner are great options for getting to Comic Con. You can get off at the Temple Square TRAX station right across the street from the convention center. Use the Utah Transit Authority's online trip planner to look up schedules and find stations.

Gear up

Don't find yourself unarmed at Comic Con. Go prepared with a good attitude, a water bottle and bag to carry your swag. No outside food is permitted, but there is a food court in the convention center and plenty more within walking distance. If you've got little ones, go ahead and bring a stroller to shuttle them around. Download the official Salt Lake Comic Con app on your smartphone to keep track of panel times, event locations and celebrity availability.

Cash vs. card

Cash is king at Salt Lake Comic Con. ATMs are available, and many vendors offer the option of paying with a card, but there are no guarantees.

Cosplay tips and tricks

Prepare to see some really great looks as Comic Con fans join in cosplay, short for "costume play." Fans are reminded that costumes should be family-friendly and sturdy enough to hold up through the day. A cosplay "first aid" area, complete with hot glue guns and sewing necessities, will be available in the east lobby. Cosplay weapons must be inspected and tagged at weapons check and should be made of rubber, plastic, foam or cardboard. A complete list of cosplay rules are available online.

Do I need a costume?

Nope. Your favorite T-shirt will suffice.

'Can I take your picture?'

Get ready to take a lot of pictures. Professional and amateur cosplayers alike will be ready and willing to pose with you. And if you attend in costume, you may get some requests yourself. Want a picture or autograph from your favorite celebrity? No problem. Just check their schedule and be prepared to pay between $40 and $75. (A lot of guests will simply chat with you for free, however.)

Yes, you will wait in line

You're going to wait in line at Comic Con — to get into panels, to meet celebrities, to buy souvenirs. But if you're willing to be patient, wait your turn and make some new friends along the way, you'll have a great time regardless.

Email: mromero@deseretnews.com

Twitter: McKenzieRomero

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1. netsrik
Draper, UT,
Aug. 28, 2014

Wear comfortable shoes!

2. CamHoltoe
Miami, FL,
Sept. 2, 2014

OK.. I know most people here are con newbs.. so I will put forward the 6 2 1 rule.. 6 hours sleep, 2 meals.. and MOST IMPORTANTLY... ONE SHOWER... Axe Body spray does not a shower make.. Do yourself and all your fellow con goers a favor