Friday, July 1, 2011

The Eighth Comic-Conmandment: Thou Shalt Consider Others

Comic conventions can be loud, crowded, sometimes frustrating events.  Yet this doesn't absolve us attendees from trying to be on our best behavior.  One easy rule of thumb that will make a comic convention more enjoyable not only for yourself, but for everyone: be considerate of others.  This rule is useful in everyday life, but at comic conventions there are a few ways to apply this rule more specifically.

When interacting with creators, consider their point of view in the exchange.  Are they trying to eat a quick bite of lunch, or use the restroom?  Perhaps then you should give them some space.  Have you been at their table for fifteen minutes, having a friendly chat, but at the same time blocking their products from passersby?  Think about possibly wrapping it up, or even just turning sideways, so that their booth can be seen by potential customers.  Are you about to pitch your story idea to them without them asking you to do so?  STOP.  No good will come of this, I assure you.

Be considerate of your fellow fans, too.  Beyond the cliche advice about bathing, deodorant, and the wonders of simethicone, there a few basic things you can do to keep everyone around you happier.  For example, almost every comic convention attendee carries luggage, whether it be a backpack, messenger bag, or one of those ridiculously large Warner Brothers bags.  Keep in mind that your luggage is a part of you; when you turn, it turns, and potentially becomes a weapon to those around you.  Try to avoid playing out a Three Stooges scene by whacking someone with your bag. 

Also, when you see those longboxes of bounty waiting to be plundered, it can become easy to focus on comics to the exclusion of everything else.  Attempt to keep your head on a bit of a swivel and pay attention to those around you that may want to dig into a box nearby.  Offering a little space or moving your to-buy pile out of someone else's way makes it easier for them to look, and helps the dealer sell more books.  Admittedly, I have difficulty with this myself, as my checklist is in a three-ring binder, and can take up a good piece of real estate. 

Finally, remember that wherever you are in a convention hall, behind you there's likely to be someone else who's trying to get somewhere.  Consider this person when you're stopping to look at a booth or take a photograph.  Step to the side, keep the aisle clear, and allow others to pass.  Easy to do, easy to forget to do.  It happens to the best of us, but a little more diligence will make the day better for all.

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