Comic Con, one of the most anticipated events in the pop-culture, science fiction, and comic industries has events every year. There are currently three separately owned events that people generally refer to as “Comic Con.” The main event, Comic Con International, is what most people speak of when referring to Comic Con. There is also a smaller venue called New York Comic Con. A third Comic Con, now referred to as Big Apple Comic Con (or the Big Apple Convention) also attracts similar fans (there are also other events that may use the name “Comic Con” in their title, but they are not related to these big three). Tickets for all three are in high demand. Here’s how you can get Comic Con tickets and what you’ll pay for each venue.
Comic Con Tickets
Tickets sell out quickly each and every year, so it’s best to mark your calendars well in advance of the sell dates. To find out when and where each event will occur, you can sign up to receive the email updates for each event. What can you expect to spend on Comic Con tickets? The prices are as follows:
Comic Con International also offers a cheaper base pricing on Sunday and Preview nights; tickets are only $40 for those events. The US Military and seniors can get tickets for $20 during these same cheaper times instead of their already-discounted $27 per day price.
In addition to the ticket costs, there are additional expenses that you should factor in when deciding on whether to attend. Here are some of the more common costs:
Taxes and Fees
Ticket or badge costs are for admissions only. Each event usually charges additional fees for their cost to process payments or mail out physical tickets. For each admission you purchase expect an additional $3-10 per ticket for administrative costs.
Replacement Tickets or Badges
Lost your ticket or forget it at home? While most of the tickets are digital these days, for those events that require a physical ticket for admission, you will have to pay for a replacement. Most events charge full price to replace your ticket.
To stand in line and get a photo taken with Matt Smith of Doctor Who fame or even a secondary character from Game of Thrones will cost you a fee (usually $40 – 150 per celebrity.) Selfies from your own camera are not usually allowed. Lines for the photo and autograph sessions can be long, so plan ahead. Dedicated fans can easily spend a good portion of their conference day – and budget — waiting for autographs. Seeing just three of your favorite celebs will easily set you back $150 – $500.
Gifts and Collectibles
One of the best reasons to attend a comic conference is that you’ll get to see all kind of merchandise, fan gear, and collectibles that may not be available to the public yet. From Star Wars to Marvel, there will be an amazing amount of product to look at and discover before anyone else. Many of the dealers make it easy to pay right then and there. While you won’t probably find any great deals, you will have the chance to buy items not readily available in stores, which means that next special-edition or limited-run item is yours to buy at retail, instead of at a marked up price by someone on eBay.
Did you forget that Comic Con came from a love of all things comics? Before millennials were clamoring for photo ops with the cast of Sherlock, they were standing in line to get autographs on their favorite Green Lantern issue or simply hoping to get a sneak peak at the next story development for their most-admired manga series. Yes, you can still buy comics at Comic Con, and many people bring lots of cash or plastic for getting the job done.
Transportation and Lodging
Your purchase of a Comic Con ticket does not include travel, hotel stay, or meals, so be sure you check into this well in advance of the event and secure your reservations early. Some hotels may offer a discount, so check the FAQ page of each event for details. Locations close to comic con usually sell out, so don’t delay in making your arrangements!
Where Can I Buy Comic Con Tickets?
The best place to buy Comic Con tickets is from the official event site. There are no guarantees when buying from anyone other than the official event site, however, so only try this if you find yourself without tickets and are willing to try anything to get in.
Here is additional information for each event:
Comic Con International requires you to register for a membership ID well in advance of any ticket sales, as a membership is required to make a purchase and they will temporarily halt membership registrations during the ticket sales. If you’re planning on going to next year’s event, sign up for your membership now, and you’ll be among the first to learn about event sales. There currently is no way to buy official Comic Con badges outside of this system. Admissions are non-transferable. If you see someone selling Comic Con International admissions, they are likely not valid.
You can purchase New York Comic Con tickets online to be mailed in advance of the show. Tickets are limited to four types per person to keep the chances of reselling to a minimum. It is not advised that you ever purchase Comic Con tickets from a reseller or scalper, as these tickets may not be legitimate.
Big Apple Con tickets cannot be mailed. They should be purchased far enough in advance to guarantee that you have the proper information on your ticket request. If you think they won’t sell out in advance, you can buy comic con Big Apple tickets at the door, but won’t get the discount for ordering online.
Other events that may use the name “Comic Con” in their title, but they are not related to these big three. Be aware that many people also call any comic or fan-fiction conference a “comic con.” Know what you are truly buying by researching the website for the event before buying tickets.