Comicpalooza has been one of Houston’s biggest events ever since 2008 when it first began. When starting up it was a small event bringing in around 500 people into the lobby of the Alamo Drafthouse in Katy.
From there it became apparent that Houston was ready for a major comic convention.
Growing in size they moved up into a local mall before eventually moving to its current home, the George R Brown Convention Center in order to accommodate the now skyrocketing number of guests.
Today it remains as Texas’ largest comic convention and is also their largest pop culture celebration!
Below you will find everything you need to know about attending the convention from,how to get there, what to bring and even some fun and easy cosplay ideas!
Buying your ticket/badge
In general it is better to buy your ticket or pass online, rather on the day of the convention. This way you can save yourself some money as they are generally more expensive at the door.
Not only that but it makes sure you’re guaranteed a stress free morning.
There are a few types of tickets available but the most common type of ticket is the general admission:
- These tickets allow you to access every part of the public event, including the exhibit hall for shopping, exhibited and most importantly the celebrity photo and autograph opportunities (though separate purchase is necessary for these)
- Attendees will also get access to celebrity panels, gaming, kids’ areas, cosplay contests, table top games, shows and even more! There may be an additional charge for some of the events but this will be clearly marked if it is the case
- Attendees can choose from either a Saturday or Sunday pass however 3 day passes are also available
VIP passes are also available and buyers of these will receive the same basics as the general admission but with a few added extras:
- A swag bag of goodies is included
- Priority VIP check in line to beat those admission queues
Essentially a VIP pass allows you to fit more in in less time however there is only a limited number of VIP passes available so if this sounds like something you want you better keep an eye out for ticket alerts to make sure you don’t miss out!
What to bring to Comicpalooza
- A good backpack – This is probably the most important thing (asides money) that you can take to a comic convention! Because let’s face it, you’re going to be getting a lot of stuff, free stuff, merch you’ve been after and things you never even knew you needed! And a good backpack is a great way to show off your favorite fandoms either through pin badges or the bag design itself!
- Snacks – You won’t believe how much energy you will expend when it comes to comic conventions. But when you consider how much time you will be spending on feet either walking around or waiting in line it will. Therefore it’s a great idea to carry snacks with you in order to keep your energy up. Snacks like granola bars are a small and easy way to top up your energy and won’t cost you the world like a trip to food stalls will!
- Refillable water bottle – It’s also important to stay hydrated. Be kind to the planet as well as your wallet and bring your own reusable water bottle and fill at any water fountains you find in the convention center.
- Portable phone power pack – if there was ever one thing we could be certain about its that at some point during the day your phone will die and it’s no surprise given the number of pictures and videos you’ll be taking! Therefore keeping your phone nice and charged up is very important. This is where a portable phone power pack will be your saviour. No one wants to be hopelessly searching for an outlet in a busy convention so by getting one of these power packs you can ensure your phone will be charged as often as needed.
- An art storage tube – As veteran convention attendees we know that you’re going to end up leaving with a piece of art. And how couldn’t you? With so many amazing artists around and so much merch available, it’s near impossible to leave without getting a little something to remember your trip by. Therefore we recommend getting an art storage tube to keep your newest possession wrinkle and fold free. And want to know the best thing about them? They’re reusable for future conventions!
What to wear to Comicpalooza
Whilst comic conventions are famous for their elaborate cosplays, not everybody who attends wants to dress up and many just wear their everyday clothes which is totally fine!
But what should you wear if you aren’t going to be in costume? Well we recommend:
- Comfortable shoes – The importance of comfortable footwear cannot be stressed enough. When you consider that your day will consist of around 90% walking and standing in lines it becomes easy to see why comfortable footwear is a must. And trust us your feet will thank you for it!
- Hoodie – Air con is a convention center’s best friend. Just think of the amount of people that walk through their doors for every con, with that many people packed into one space it’s no wonder that the air con gets turned up! Therefore a hoodie is always a smart idea, you can put it on when it gets cold and it can also help represent your favorite fandom.
Easy Comicpalooza costume ideas
Maybe it’s your first time dressing up or maybe you’ve left it too late to get a costume together – don’t fear! We have put together a list of easy and cheap costume ideas for even the most novice cosplayers!
And don’t worry if you’re not up to date on all of the hottest shows, games and comics – choosing a throwback cosplay is an easy way to get involved and plenty of attendees will appreciate the nostalgia of iconic characters we all know and love.
So below are some of our favorite easy costume ideas:
- Bob’s Burgers – A great idea for not only one person, but a group of friends, the Bob’s Burgers family makes for a really easy but effective DIY costume.
For Tina all you need is a light blue tee, dark blue skirt, knee high socks with black converse and to accessorize, a pair of glasses and yellow hair clip.
For Gene, a yellow shirt and blue shorts make up his outfit and you can choose to accessorize with a megaphone or burger suit if desired.
And perhaps the easiest is Louise, all you need is a green t-shirt dress and a pair of her signature pink bunny ears!
- Breaking Bad – All you need to perfect your Heisenberg is a yellow rain suit and some safety goggles, both of which you should be able to get easily from Home Depot. Add some blue crystal rock candy and you’re ready to go. Just remember… you are the one who knocks.
- Game of Thrones – IKEA have released instructions on how to turn their fluffy rugs into capes that look like they have walked straight out of Winterfell. A quick online search will bring up the instructions and will give you an easy go-to costume. Throw it together with some toy weapons and you’ll look ready to take on the White Walkers in no time.
- Mario or Luigi – These two iconic brothers have and you may already own many of the different items of clothing that make the costume! Add their signature hat and a (perhaps fake) mustache and it’ll be ready for a Super Mario Party before you know it!
- Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles – Cowabunga! The TMNT gang are sure to be a hit among and even better this outfit can be as simple as wearing a dark green t-shirt with a felt mask. Add some fake weapons and you’ll be the toughest hero in a half shell around.
- Powerpuff Girls – Blossom, commander and the leader, Bubbles, she is the joy and the laughter, Buttercup, she’s the toughest fighter, Powerpuffs save the day! For a powerpuff girls outfit all you need is to wear the signature color of your character and style your hair with either a bow for Blossom, Pigtails for Bubbles or some straight bangs with a split down the middle for Buttercup! Cou
- Clark Kent – Probably the easiest cosplay to put together, all you need is to put a superman t-shirt on under a white dress shirt, pop a couple of buttons open and wear a pair of glasses! Just make sure to watch out for any Kryptonite!
Can you go to Comicpalooza without a costume?
Absolutely! There is no requirement to wear a costume to any comic convention and it certainly won’t stop you from enjoying anyone elses costume either!
If you don’t wear a costume you will not be alone if you don’t as the majority of convention attendees don’t dress up for the occasion.
If this is your first ever time attending a comic convention they may want to opt for comfort over creativity and there’s nothing wrong with that! And if you have a relevant t-shirt then Comipaooza will be a great place to wear it.
What to do when nobody gets your cosplay
It’s every aspiring cosplayers nightmare to dedicate so much time and money into creating the perfect cosplay only to find no one knows who you are. But we say don’t worry about that!
With over 50,000 people in attendance someone is bound to be into the same stuff that you are.
And if it turns out that there really isn’t anyone who recognizes your cosplay, this then becomes a really awesome conversation starter and a chance to make some new friends!
Guide to Comicpalooza lines and crowds
Comicpalooza includes a whole lot of waiting, it’s the nature of the event. But with some good planning on your part, you can end up making the whole process a lot easier.
Plus, with the amount of cosplayers in attendance, people watching is a really fun way to pass the time.
Getting your comics signed
There will be plenty of opportunities to get your comic books signed by all your favorite celebs and artists. Celebrity autographs however are not included in the price of your passes, so this may be an extra cost that you need to consider.
Any costs associated with celebrity autographs will be published on social media closer to the event.
So keep an eye on those feeds to make sure you don’t miss this opportunity to see your favorite celebrity in person, get a photo taken or a collectible signed!
How much money do you need?
Around $200 should be able to see you comfortably through the day, if you don’t go crazy and try to buy everything you see!
If you’re worried about losing it try and bring it on the day that you plan to spend at the vendors and if you find you need a little more cash there will more than likely be ATMs in the area.
Don’t forget to bargain
When it comes to shopping at any comic convention, it’s quite common to haggle with the sellers and a lot of them expect it.
If this sounds like something you’d be wanting to do there are a few things you can do to try and make your experience that little bit easier.
Firstly you should research the cost of what you’re looking to buy, if you don’t know how much comics usually go for you don’t want to insult the seller by making an embarrassingly low offer.
Secondly, be friendly! Sellers are people too and the nicer you act, the more likely they may be to make a deal with you.
But most importantly you need to remember that for many vendors this is a big chance for them to make some income so don’t be too discouraged if the seller isn’t willing to move on price, you will just need to weigh up how badly you want whatever it is their selling.
Other tips for Comicpalooza goers
- If you see a cool cosplayer, ask before touching – Whilst someone cosplays because they enjoy receiving compliments and attention about their outfits and looks, you should always remember to respect personal boundaries. Not only because it’s the right thing to do but lots of cosplayers pour countless hours and dollars into their costumes and it would be pretty if you accidentally damaged it. If you would like to hug someone or touch their homemade costume or weapon then just ask – and if they say no that’s ok too!
- If you can’t live without your morning coffee then make sure to pick it up in the morning before you head to the convention centre – There’s no need to battle the long lines and pay double what you would usually, when you could have already enjoyed it on your way in. Not only this, those long coffee lines will needlessly waste a portion of your busy day!
- Make sure to wear deodorant – In the excitement of preparing for your convention a simple thing like deodorant could be overlooked, but trust us – there is going to come at least one point in your day when you wish the person next to you was wearing some. Be a team player and I’m sure everyone will thank you in the long run.
- Don’t take every freebie you see – Many stalls and vendors offer freebies and with all the excitement it’s easy to get carried away! But just remember if you take every freebie you see you’ll have to carry them around all day and you may not end up with enough room for something you really want!
- Don’t forget to enjoy the city! – If you’re travelling from far to visit Comicpalooza then you should definitely make some time to explore Houston and all the great things it has on offer.
Hilton Americas-Houston – in the heart of downtown and directly connected to the convention center by a skybridge. This hotel offers plenty of dining options, a full service spa and an olympic sized swimming pool!
Hampton Inn Houston Downtown – a short walk from the convention center this hotel gives visitors easy access to entertainment and dining options. Hotel amenities include free breakfast, complimentary wifi and pet friendly rooms!
Car rental nearby
Zipcars are available for rent at multiple locations throughout downtown Houston. Users can sign up for a membership online and then have access to rent a car from any Zipcar lot.
The rental includes gas, a reserved parking spot and up to 180 miles of use per day.
Parking at the event
Don’t let parking stress you out, plan ahead and source the perfect parking space for you and your friends. For walkable access to the hub of all things Comicpalooza, some nearby options include the Avenida North, Avenida South and Avenida Central garages.
Public transport to the event
METRORail is a great way to travel around the city and can take you directly to the convention district where you can easily hop off and travel a short distance to the George R. Brown Convention Center!
Taxis are also available to hire from anywhere around downtown Houston.