Nerd prom. Geek Mecca. Oh, yes, it’s Comic Con! And it’s known as a place where the weird people of the world gather to discuss all things comics and superheroes, right? Not entirely. But we do love ourselves a good nerd, that’s for sure. And now that Fan Expo Canada is almost here, hosted in the fair city of Toronto, we are catching you up on all that Comic Con can be—even for women who aren’t comic book nerds.

Recently, I had a blast at San Diego Comic Con, and in case you haven’t yet experienced your first Con, I’m inviting you to start. With an estimated attendance of 130,000 people, San Diego Comic Con is the granddaddy—or mommy, depending on your perspective—of all Comic Cons. And guess what? Almost half of those attending are women.

A little backgSan Diego Comic Conround: San Diego Comic Con, or SDCC as it’s more commonly known, first appeared in the 70s as a place for comic lovers to share their passion. Since then, it has morphed into the premiere showcase for everything pop culture. Soon, Hollywood jumped on that train, sending stars on over to meet fans. Just because you’re above a certain age doesn’t mean you stop loving things you loved as a child. All Cons the world over—Fan Expo Canada, New York Comic Con, SDCC and others—are safe playgrounds where fans embrace and express their passion for favourite movies and TV (and yes, comics).

It’s a place where fangirling, aka nerding out or getting geeky over your favourite obsession, is more than okay. At Comic Con, it’s celebrated. What’s the big draw? The 5 Ps, of course.



Outlander San Diego Comic Con panel 2015

Sam Heughan (Jamie) and Caitriona Balfe (Claire) of Outlander taking fan questions

For those obsessed with their favourite movie or TV show, panels are a great way to get the scoop from those directly involved. Studios roll out the stars and producers to give fans the first glimpse at clips from new projects. Expect the unexpected when the floor is opened up to fan questions. What you didn’t know is that you just may get the chance to get up close and personal with your favourite celebrity, whether that’s the likes of Jamie Lee Curtis, Jennifer Lawrence or Hugh Jackman.

Be sure to have that one question you have been dying to ask for far too long ready! For the smart set among us, there are even panels on science—yay, astronaut Chris Hadfield and NASA. Oh, and get ready to learn a lot about fashion, too, like how to be stylish while representing your fandom.


Public Figures (aka Celebrities)

Stephen Amell and Patricia Nerd HQ San Diego Comic Con 2014

Ya, he’s a muscle-y as you can imagine.

Speaking of celebrities, many of them enjoy fangirling—sometimes described as practically losing our minds when we meet the object of our obsession affection, as much as the rest of us. Stars such as Sigourney Weaver, Daniel Radcliffe, Maisie Williams, Bryan Cranston and Ryan Reynolds have been spotted grinning by sharp-eyed fans walking the floor of the San Diego Convention during SDCC. Oh, and pro tip: If you’re lucky, you may even have your own celebrity encounter outside the convention in the Gaslamp area.

Oh yes, it happens. There we were, hanging out in the lobby of the Omni Hotel and then there was that run-in with KISS band members (Oh my, Gene Simmons is very tall.) And then there was the time Sophie Turner (Sansa Stark of Game of Thrones, in case you’ve been living under a rock) just stepped in to join our group of drunk celebratory women in an elevator. And we can never, ever forget that freakishly amazing moment we locked arms with Stephen Amell for a photograph.






Wired Cafe San Diego Comic Con 2015

The invite only WIred Cafe at the Omni Hotel.

The best part of a Comic Con is this: You can’t go anywhere during SDCC without hearing about or running to or finding yourself in the midst of a party in one form or another. Every restaurant, bar and lounge in the area are all decked out with themed food and drink to mark the occasion.

Where else can you clink glasses over and over and over again? By paying attention to social media and by being in the right place at the right time, you may even score an invite to some of the exclusive by invitation only events that famously offer free food and drinks to guests. And who doesn’t like free? Or food? Or drinks?




Passion and Positivity

Tom Hiddleston Nerdist San Diego Comic Con 2015

We were 16 rows from Tom Hiddleston! Favourite fangirl moment of 2015

Of course, if you have ever been a part of a fandom, you know that it has its ugly side as well. In fact, what should be fun can turn into a war of words in the time it takes to type a 140-character tweet. Thankfully, at SDCC, you won’t see that ugliness anywhere. That’s because everyone who has a ticket is beyond happy to be there.

The enthusiasm of complete strangers about their own fandom, even if you don’t share it, is downright contagious. Pretty soon, you’ll realize that any project that has a passionate following belongs at Comic Con. And you won’t find more passionate than the ones you meet while standing in the many lines at SDCC. So turn and talk to your neighbour.






San Diego Comic Con

Ultimately, what keeps us going to back to Comic Con again and again and again are not the celebs or the parties or the terrific San Diego weather. It’s the people. SDCC volunteers and attendees alike are quick to offer helpful advice to newbies, shout compliments about your nerd style from across the street or hold up a high five when you finally score a hard fought autograph from your favourite erotica author.

Lifelong friends have been made while standing line for the latest Tom Hiddleston movie panel. And we can’t wait to see those people and meet new ones next year. Because at any Comic Con, we’re all in this together.

About the author

Patricia Thomas

Patricia is a proud geek raising two little geeklings along with her geeky husband. You can find her on Twitter fangirling about her latest obsessions. Since she spends 8 months out of the year living in a barren winter waste land, she dreams of living bare foot on a tropical beach someday.

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