San Diego Comic Con: Did Gail Obey Her Own Rules?

So, before I start a day-by-day summation, Gentle Readers, I am sure at least a few of you are out there wondering whether I followed my own rules at the Godzilla of Conventions ~ San Diego Comic Con.

Comic Con

Gail’s Favorite 10 Convention Commandments ~ Did She Follow Them?

1. Thou shalt follow the 6, 2, 1 rule. At least six hours sleep, two full meals (one of them a big breakfast), and one bath.
Yes. I usually try for 8, 3, 2. I ended up around 7, 2, 1.5 I managed a swim, hot tub mini soak, and shower every morning, and soaked my feet every night (saved my bacon that did). I ate a good big breakfast from the hotel (egg white omelet, lots of veg, a decent espresso) and managed some kind of dinner at some point of an evening, mostly delicious. Lunch rather got lost but I had snacks and tea so I made it fine.

Dinner Thursday

2. Thou shalt wear deodorant but not perfume.
Because of the swim I had to slather on coconut skin cream each day followed by sun screen ~ so I did small a bit like food. I remembered my deodorant every day. Although I did panic on Saturday thinking I had forgotten.

3. Thou shalt tip thy maids.

4. Thou shalt wear layers.
Didn’t need them. After the first day out and about, I left my wraps behind during the day, only needing them at night. I found my vintage wear plus nylons was perfect for the inside AC and I was only a tad warm Saturday standing out in the hot sun in a corset. The only time I was cold was at the Eisners.

5. Honor thy moderator.
I hope so. You’d have to ask them.

Gail & Moderator Dina

6. Thou shalt carry badge, ID, business cards, phone, cash, name tent, mints, floss individually wrapped toothpicks, tissues, pain killers & other meds, compact, snacks, and water upon thy person at all times.
Sigh, I did loose my badge on Sunday ~ story to come. I had ID and needed it at the bars in the evening, never really needed business cards, always remembered my phone (which is amazing in an of itself, and I used it!), had cash (but never needed it), used the mints and offered them to others, substituted little individually wrapped tooth picks for floss (so useful, new favorite thing), carried handkerchiefs, had and took pain killers, no room for compact (contemplating investing in a baby-sized one), had and ate snacks (very important), ending up buying water inside the convention center more than anything else. I’m a bit of a snob about tap water, yech. The AB was militant on the matter of my staying hydrated.
Could I just say? ALWAYS take a mint if you are being offered one! Always. Sometimes it is a very delicate hint. Take the hint, protect the innocent.

7. Thou shalt not eat raw onions.
They plopped them in on me at breakfast one morning but I caught it in time. I missed my egg whites with salsa fresca (a favorite start to the day) but it was worth it.

8. Thou shalt follow the protocols of cosplay. (No realistic weapons, no sticky substances AKA the PB & J rule, no view obstructing wings or hats, be aware of your costumed dimensions.)
I had no difficulties personally on this front with others. I accidentally beaned one person with my parasol but both person and parasol emerged unscathed. I apologized profusely. So embarrassing.

Gail & Bruce

9. Thou shalt not put a backpack on a large man. (Nothing worse than being a short female constantly whacked in the face by a backpack-wielding Sasquatch, particularly on planes.)
There were many offenders but I avoided being knocked out myself.

10. Thou shalt shalt not dress like a slob.
I hope I avoided this, you will get to judge for your self over on Retro Rack for the next few weeks.

Gail Sunday San Diego Harbor

Gail’s Favorite 10 Comic Con Commandments ~ Did She Follow Them?

1. Thou shalt apply the buddy system and schedule places and times to meet.
Yes, and I learned you have to be very very precise. The deck outside the mezzanine level is a good spot. And if you are staying at the Hilton Bayfront this is also the very best way to get into and out of the convention period. After getting my badge I never once went in via the front of the convention center. Apart from that, texting seemed to work pretty well for organizing meet-ups, nothing else did.

Teh Steampunk Gathering on Saturday

2. Thou shalt make friends in line and speak loudly when leaving the buddy (to save your space) so those around know you will return. (But do not do so with only 15 minutes left.)
Fortunately for me, I never had to wait in line. I also didn’t really got to any panels, I was awful busy with my own stuff. I must have missed some good things though, the lines were insane.

Hall H Line

3. Thou shalt not walk the entire exhibition hall in one day. (For low it is four miles or more to do all the isles, sayith Tom Galloway.)
I really only went in on Thursday (to say hi to my publisher and sign the swag) and a bit on Sunday. It was too crowded for me the rest of the time and I was mainly unimpressed with the wears. The commercial stuff doesn’t interest me and the artisans were the same as turn up at regular SF/F conventions or steampunk gatherings or faire (better buy then when it’s less crazy). The small press and artist sections were fun but by comparison, not really that big.

Exhibit Hall

4. Remember the bathroom locations, keep them holy.
Absolutely. Again I found he ones on the upper two levels were best, I still stood in line, but never that long.

5. Honor thy fellow author’s survival tips.
I tried very hard. The biggest tip I didn’t blog about was the back Mezzanine entrance (see above). Invaluable.

6. Thou shalt wear sunscreen and comfortable shoes.
Yes! I wore wingtip derby flats the whole time, and thank goodness I did. I would have liked heels for the evening events within the hotel, but I’m glad I wore flats  because even when we took a taxi we often ended up walking the last six blocks back to the hotel. It was faster in the gaslight district.

Note the flats?

7. Thou shalt not commit to cab or pedi-cab without address. (And in the case of a pedi-cab, price up front.)
I should amend this by adding it’s a good idea to follow the cab’s doings on your phone GPS if you have it as well. And correct the driver when he goes astray. With one exception, every taxi I took was utterly inexcusably incompetent. I have had this experience in San Diego before. I should add that in the future, if I go again, I’m scheduling all dinners and other meetings within the vicinity of my hotel. No taxis!

8. Thou shalt leave thirty minutes to an hour to get anywhere.
Once I found the flow and knew where I was going and used the back entrance to the convention, I only needed 15 minutes from my hotel.

9. Thou shalt not ask unto thee inane questions of security guards (stormtroopers are more helpful).
I almost never spotted a storm trooper and the one time I asked a security guard he was very helpful indeed, but then I only wanted to know the nearest exit.

Spotted Storm Trooper!

10. Thou shalt not covet an over-abundance of swag. (Or, thou shalt plan ahead with a prepaid shipping boxes.)
I had a prepaid USPS flat rate box, the concierge promised to ship it to us. We shall see when we get it. The hotel also had UPS so we could have done that on Monday instead. The AB only collected enough swag to fill the one small box, after all it wasn’t really the reason we were there. We probubly could have fit it into our suitcases.


Your Moment of Parasol . . .
Spotted in the wilds of SDCC 2012

Your Infusion of Cute . . .

Dog on a Motorcycle!

Your Tisane of Smart . . .
Kids With Signs

Book News:
Carina Erk
 I shield in the name of fashion. I accessorize for one and for all!
The Parasol Protectorate gets a new member.

Quotes of the Day:
Favorites from the convention:

“Gail, I must say your fans are the best dressed.”

~ Derek the Darling 5AB Room King (all my panels were in 5AB)

“Gail, I must say you have the politest fans.”

~ One of the Mysterious Galaxy Minions (who handled both my signings)

Politest and best dressed? Yes!!!!


Soulless: Parasol Protectorate Book 1

Soulless Free PDF


Alexia Tarabotti is laboring under a great many social tribulations.

  • First, she has no soul.
  • Second, she’s a spinster whose father is both Italian and dead.
  • Third, she is being rudely attacked by a vampire to whom she has not been properly introduced!

Where to go from there?

From bad to worse apparently, for Alexia accidentally kills the vampire, and the appalling Lord Maccon (loud, messy, gorgeous, and werewolf) is sent by Queen Victoria to investigate.

Find my books 

Direct | Amazon | KoboBookshop.org | B&N | Apple | FoylesMcnally Robinson | Angus Robertson

Here’s a printable Downloadable Checklist of ALL my books!

  • Did you miss my latest release? Want more sneak peeks, free goodies, gossip, behind the scenes info? This goes to my Chirrup members, because I love them bestest. Sign up here:
Tags: ,

Posted by Gail Carriger

 Comments are closed


  1. Erin B said:

    Te kids with signs are cute but the only one I can read is "Vote Saxon" Any chance of a link to a bigger version?

  2. lokyrastone said:

    I was just about to tweet you asking how it went, and I found the blog link. It's like you are psychic or something. I loved hearing about it, though I am still slightly morose that I couldn't go.
    Also, looking forward to checking out your sartorial magnificence.

  3. Wren Kelly said:

    It sounds like such fun. Though I wholeheartedly agree with your position on crowds!

    I do not know when next you might find yourself in San Diego, but I would recommend the old St James hotel at the upper end of the Gaslamp District. Aside from affordability and a free shuttle to the convention center, I liked the turn of the century (20th) charm, the 10th floor rooftop patio, and especially the brass elevator. Also, they serve breakfast at the hotel restaurant and I remember egg white omelets being on the menu.

© 2024 Gail Carriger
Site built by Todd Jackson