Connecticut’s premier comic convention, Terrficon, is back and better than ever.
With a jam-packed lineup of awesome events featuring the creators of your favorite comics, and the stars of some of the best comic-based TV shows and movies around, you’re sure to have a blast.
If you’ve never been to Terrificon before, you’re in for an absolute treat, but in order to maximize your fun, you’ll need to know what to expect and how to prepare for this epic weekend.
Buying Your Ticket/Badge
You’ve got two options when it comes to locking down those Terrificon tickets. The easiest method is to purchase them online.
They’re sold exclusively through Ticketmaster, so don’t worry about shopping around for the best price. Head straight to the Ticketmaster, and pick yours up.
Your other option is to source tickets from a brick-and-mortar comic book store, but you’re limited to Cave Comics, 57 Church Hill Road, Newton, Connecticut; or Aw Yeah Comics, 313 Halstead Ave, Harrison, New York.
Do bear in mind, though, that if you’re heading over to pick up your tickets on a Sunday, Cave Comics closes shop at 5pm, and Aw Yeah Comics shuts at 4pm and 5pm on Saturdays.
Tickets are sold as individual day passes or a full weekend pass. Each day ticket varies in price between $3 and $5, which may or may not affect your decision on which you’d like to attend.
Kids between the ages of 8 and 12 can snatch a half-price ticket, while a maximum of two kids under 7 come free when accompanied by a paying adult.
There are also slightly more expensive early bird tickets on sale that grant entry 30 minutes before everyone else, giving you an opportunity to complete your main comic con missions before the place packs out.
What to Bring to Terrificon
There is normally your typical, sports-style concession stands for picking up a bite, but it’s always a good idea to bring plenty of snacks that you can eat on the go, so you can pack as much action into the day as possible.
As you’re going to be on your feet all day taking in the attractions, I’d also highly recommend bringing plenty of water along too! Make sure you bring a refillable bottle, so you can top it up throughout the trip.
Deodorant is a must because these events can get hella-sweaty, especially if you’re in a particularly heavy costume.
A phone/camera charger is always a wise choice too, as are any extended power battery packs, and if you plan on getting some autographs, feel free to bring along your autograph book, a pen, and any comics you want signed.
If I were you, I’d also bring an art storage tube. Whether it’s a signed poster or an original print from one of your favorite comic artists, you’re bound to pick up one or two bits of paper that you need to keep safe.
Next, make sure you’ve got some safety pins and fabric tape handy in case of a cosplay wardrobe malfunction, and if you’re yet to be fully vaccinated for Covid-19, you will be expected to wear a face mask, so it pays to bring a few of those along with you too.
And finally, you’re going to need a big old backpack to fit all this stuff in with space to spare, the reason being, you get tons of free stuff at Terrificon, and you’re obviously going to buy some stuff too.
What to Wear to Terrificon
Terrificon is an awesome opportunity to bring your creativity to life and engage in some cool cosplay.
It’s the one day of the year in the Connecticut calendar besides Halloween that you get to dress up all crazy and receive praise for it rather than derision, so let your inner weirdo take flight, folks.
A lot of people worry that they have to dress up as a comic book character, but there are really no boundaries.
If you’ve got a favorite video game character or even object, make a costume, it’s all good; people will appreciate your efforts and tastes.
The same goes for film characters, anime characters, real non-fiction people, and even your own wacky creations. As long as you’re not offending anyone, you can dress however you want to at Terrificon.
Getting creative with your dress code is a great way to break down social barriers and meet like-minded people, so go ahead and let your imagination take the lead, but remember, it’s a good idea to work comfortable footwear into your costume, or at the very least, bring some with you to change into.
The only thing to be mindful of when choosing your costume is the space it takes up.
You don’t want to block the flow of your fellow Terrificon-goers, and I’m sure I don’t need to tell you this, but just to cover all bases, no real weapons or ammunition of any kind will be permitted in the arena, not even Nerf darts.
One last thing to note is that you are not permitted to wear any sort of face coverings in the gaming/gambling areas of the Mohegan Sun — that’s both masks and makeup.
So, that means you can’t play poker as the Joker or blackjack as Jack Skellington — a shame, I know.
Easy Terrificon Costume Ideas
If you’re yet to build up your costume creation skills, there’s no need to panic and go full-on norm-core in a t-shirt and shorts. Here are some easy last-minute costume suggestions.
You can buy superhero costumes online or from any number of brick-and-mortar stores across the States. Classics like Batman, Spider-Man, and Superman are incredibly easy to source. One purchase and you’re sorted — no crafting or makeup chops required.
- Characters with Regular Clothes
There are TONS of characters that wear stuff you’ve probably got lying around the house.
For instance, if I look around the room right now, I can see my partner’s orange dress drying on the radiator, my leather jacket on the coat stand, my boots by the door, and I’m already wearing a yellow hat as I write this.
Find me some stripy pantyhose, put my hair in pigtails, and BOOM…I’m Spinelli of Recess fame.
As you can guess, this costume method is particularly great for cartoon characters, but you can normally cobble together some sort of simple gaming costumes too, such as Mario or Luigi.
If you’ve got a vest and some tight blue jeans, find yourself some claws, and you’re Wolverine. Got a red vest, a pink shirt, and knee socks? Well, you’re halfway to Naruto’s Sakura Haruno.
Got a yellow vest and blue denim shorts? You’re a pair of red braces away from becoming the absolute QUEEN of Pokemon, Misty. P.S. If you can source a cuddly Togepi to carry around with you, you’ll blow people’s minds.
- Poorly Crafted Costume
If you don’t have the skills to make a high-fidelity replica costume, why not lean into the crappiness of your craft skills. Create something that’s wonderfully trashy.
Your fellow Terrificon-goers will get just as much of a kick out of that as they will from a painstakingly crafted cosplay masterpiece.
Can You Go to Terrificon Without a Costume?
Dressing up at comic conventions is enshrined as tradition at this point, and it’s a large part of the fun too, but if you’re not comfortable wearing a costume, you don’t have to.
It’s a very nice crowd of friendly people each year, and they’re in no way going to judge you for not wearing a costume, so go ahead, wear whatever helps you feel at ease.
Terrificon is all about creating a fun and safe space for everyone involved, whether they’ve gone full Bowie in Labyrinth or full themselves having a lovely day out.
What to Do When Nobody Gets Your Cosplay?
The projected attendance of Terrificon currently stands at 25,000 people, so the chances that not one person will get your cosplay are insanely low.
Even incredibly obscure costumes will normally be appreciated by the eagle eye of a super fan or two.
Once one person has spotted the subtle genius of your cosplay outfit, word will spread like wildfire throughout the venue as other fans of the niche costume seek you out like Waldo in the crowds.
If you’re only getting a bunch of blank looks from people, that might be your cue to improvise something that makes your cosplay a little more obvious.
Guide to Terrificon Lines and Crowds
As Covid-19 is still a very real threat, you’ll be expected to stay 2 meters apart from other attendees, which means crowds are going to be larger, but far less suffocating.
The 2-meter rule also applies to lines, so although they may appear longer than those at Disneyland, they should go down fairly quickly.
While you will have to battle many a queue during your time at Terrificon, with any luck, they won’t spoil your day all that much. Treat them as a great opportunity to get to know other people with the same interests as you.
As long as you’ve got your backpack full of tasty treats and plenty of water, you’ll survive the lines, but an amazing piece of advice I once received is to not wait until you’re bursting for the toilet to head for the facilities.
The Mohegan Sun arena has a number of toilets, but not enough for 25K people, so the lines to relieve yourself can be deadly.
Getting Your Comics Signed
Getting your comic books signed at any convention isn’t as simple as finding your signee and queuing at their pitch. First, you’ll have to line up to receive a ticket for each person you wish to get something signed by.
The ticket release for different actors and artists may occur at different times of day, so make sure you pick out who you want to sign your stuff beforehand, and do your research to find out where and when you’ll need to line up for a ticket.
These ticket releases often take place early on, before the doors of Terrificon officially open, and they’re fairly limited, so it’s in your best interests to start queuing as early as possible.
Once you’ve scored a ticket, you’re close to glory. Now all you’ve got to do is find the person you want to sign your comics, wait for your opportunity to meet them, and that’s that.
Do bear in mind, though, that tickets will also stipulate a signature limit. For example, one ticket may be worth 5 signatures, and each family or group will only receive one ticket per creator or actor.
If you’re interested in the value the signature will add to your comics, you’ll need to get it “CGC’ed” by an official CGC witness.
To request a witness, you need to stop by their booth, pay a small fee, and they’ll follow you to the signing points.
You’ll need to find the CGC witness before you get your comics signed, as they actually have to see it happen to register it as a legitimate signing.
You may also have to pay an additional fee per signature, depending on the profile of the creator. Stan Lee, for example, is known to charge 50 bucks a pop for his John Hancock.
How Much Money Do You Need?
You can spend as little as $10 or upward of $10,000 in one day at Terrificon; it all comes down to what you want to purchase. Some people only pick up a t-shirt or two and some comics or books, while others buy tons of exclusive artwork and collectibles.
I recommend taking between 200-300 dollars as a minimum if you’re only going for the day, but if you’re going for the whole weekend, I’d throw another couple of hundred dollars into the pot.
Don’t Forget to Bargain
Haggling is a comic convention tradition, and Terrificon is no exception. If you want the best possible deals on comic books and collectibles, you need to bargain with the seller, but don’t overstep.
Always be polite, otherwise, you don’t stand a chance of getting a good price.
Initiate the conversation by making a reasonable offer below what you’d pay at most. For example, if a comic costs $80, and you’d pay $70 for it, start with an offer of $60 and go from there.
Other Tips for Terrificon-Goers
- Always ask permission from cosplayers before touching their costumes or taking any photos or videos of them.
- There are dedicated rest areas threaded throughout the Mohegan Sun, so use them for small breaks once every so often to reduce fatigue throughout the day.
- Careful phrasing can help while haggling. For instance, the classic, “can you meet me halfway”, gives the idea that both parties are gaining from the encounter.
- Don’t pick up every freebie you come across (you’ll be buried within the hour).
- Make time to enjoy other aspects of Connecticut.
- Drink responsibly. By all means, have a couple as a social lubricant, but remember that the lines to the toilets are hellish, and you should be on your best behavior.
Hotels Near By
Terrificon venue, the Mohegan Sun has 1200 guest rooms and suites available on site, but there are over 50 places to stay as little as 20 minutes away, so finding something that suits your budget is a total breeze.
Places like Holiday Inn, Fairfield Inn and Suites, and Hyatt Place are all a stone’s throw from the arena and offer reasonable rates per night.
The Microtel Inn and Suites situated just over a mile away from the Mohegan Sun offers particularly budget-friendly rates for those of you looking to keep the purse strings especially tight.
Car Rental Near By
The Mohegan Sun also runs a car rental service from $22, but for a dedicated service, why not pay the nearby Enterprise Rent-A-Car a visit and see what they have to offer.
Failing that, there are a number of other budget car rental companies within a couple of miles of the Mohegan Sun.
Parking at the Event
Parking is completely free at the Mohegan Sun — hurray! And cosplayers can park with the Sky Valet service or over at the Winter Garage, as these parking zones are the closest to the entrance of the convention center.
There are over 13,000 parking spaces available at the venue, which is fantastic, but with 25,000 guests, it can get a little crowded, so walking in or catching public transport might be your best bet, depending on how late you plan on arriving.
Public Transport to the Event
I’ve good news on the public transport front. As it’s such a popular attraction, most of the hotels dotted around the Mohegan Sun offer a free shuttle service to and from the venue, so getting around is a piece of cake…free cake no less.
There are also 14 bus line runs heading for the Mohegan Sun on a daily basis, ensuring you’ll only have to rely on Uber in emergencies.