First Time At The Atlanta Comic Con? What Should You Expect?

Posted on: 9 February 2015

Whether you're a long-time fan finally making your first pilgrimage to the mecca of all things pop culture, or just in it for the fantastic people-watching, you may be wondering what to expect from your first visit to Atlanta's Comic Convention (or "Comic Con"). This annual gathering has morphed from a small group of loyal comic devotees to an enormous gathering of fun-loving men, women, and children from all walks of life. Read on to learn more about this annual convention and some of its special attractions, as well as some other special considerations.

What is the Atlanta Comic Con? 

Beginning in the 1960s, a group of comic book devotees began hosting an annual convention in New York City to discuss and trade comics. This convention was small, and generally intended to raise interest in new comics and graphic novels being released in the upcoming year. Over time, this Comic Con expanded to include films, costume play ("cosplay"), and gaming, and smaller Cons began popping up throughout the country. Today, there are more than a dozen different Comic Cons held across the U.S., including Atlanta's Wizard World Comic Con, hosting hundreds of thousands of enthusiastic conventioners.

The Atlanta Comic Con is one of the more recent additions to the circuit, and boasts a number of special attractions appropriate for everyone from the newbie gamer to the veteran collector, as well as those who simply appreciate an elaborate costume or heated discussion about six-sided dice.

What can you expect to see at the Comic Con?

When you arrive at the convention center, you'll likely be directed to a registration table at the front of the building to get your name tag and welcome packet. This packet will include a map of the convention center that may include specific booths, a schedule of events, and special offers and advertisements to help direct you to areas of interest. You'll notice that many of your fellow conventioners are dressed like characters from anime videos, games, graphic novels, or even legends -- the more over-the-top the outfit, the better!

Along your route around the convention center, you'll notice booths set up for various activities. Most areas will have a theme -- one large room for card games, another room for dice games, a third room for video games. Depending upon your level of admission (standard or VIP) you may have access to exclusive areas of play. There are also dozens of booths offering games, comics, and other items for sale, as well as contests and promotions.

This convention is also host to a number of celebrity appearances -- you should be sure to regularly check the website to see the most up-to-date list and schedule of celebrities. By purchasing a ticket prior to your arrival, you will be able to have your photo taken with a celebrity of your choice. And if you'd rather stay out of the limelight, the celebrity attraction times provide a prime opportunity to investigate some of the most popular booths that are normally quite crowded.

Are there any special considerations you should keep in mind?

If you're handicapped, be sure to let the admissions desk know more information during the registration process so that they can assist and accommodate your needs. You may be given premier entry to lines or access to special transportation or restroom facilities.

Although there will be some fast food available at the convention center, you may want to travel outside for meals and some fresh air. You might also consider staggering your meal times outside the norm so that you can beat the crowds at nearby restaurants.