Two of our intrepid staff members attended Wizard World Austin Comic-Con last month. Here’s what they learned…

Do order your tickets in advance online.

Besides being $10 cheaper (maybe even more if you can find a discount code), buying your tickets before the day of the event saves you from waiting in line at the entrance. Well, that’s actually a little bit of a lie. You will have to wait in line regardless of what kind of ticket you purchase. It’s all part of the experience though. Seriously, throughout the day, you will probably wonder why it isn’t just called Line Con instead of Comic Con. So I guess the whole “not having to wait in line if you buy your tickets before you get there” part was a load of bs since they group everybody into the same line, but it is still worth doing to save a few bucks.

Do pack a lunch.

Yes, there are areas at Comic Con where you can get food, coffee and the like, but as we have learned by this point, nothing comes quickly at Line Con. The line for food seemed even longer than the ticket line to gain admission. Even after waiting a couple of hours, the line appeared as though it had grown. Besides, most of the food and coffee is sure to be overpriced. Although leaving and walking to find a local eatery in the neighborhood is an option since your wristband grants you admission for the entire day, save yourself the trouble and needless exercise by packing a simple sandwich lunch. Heck, take the opportunity to show off that old tin “Star Wars” or superhero lunch box.

Do wear comfortable shoes.

By the end of the day, you’re going to feel like you’ve just trekked through all four theme parks of Disney World. Since it’s Line Con, there’s going to be tons of standing around. Even if you’re the fittest person you know, you’re almost guaranteed to feel exhausted by the end of the day. Take this into consideration when deciding whether or not to wear a costume. Don’t hesitate to find a nice cozy spot against a wall if you need to recharge for a few minutes.

Do bring money.

Let’s face it. Even if you set a price limit for yourself, you’re going to find yourself spending money like there’s no tomorrow. That’s perfectly acceptable because there’s so much awesome merchandise and artwork. Don’t be that person that didn’t buy a single item at Comic Con. P.S. It’s a great place to take care of birthday or holiday shopping.

Do bring some sort of bag.

You’re not going to want to carry your program and purchases around the entire day. A backpack makes life much easier. Plus, you need to have your hands free in case a photo opp presents itself.

Do have a phone charger handy.

With all of the photos, videos, tweets and status updates you’re going to be posting throughout the day, your phone battery won’t last as long as it usually does, and you’re really going to need your phone when you get separated from your friends (which is absolutely guaranteed to happen at least once).

Don’t feel like you have to wear a costume.

Sure, there are plenty of cosplayers around at Comic Con, as can be expected, but these cosplayers are outnumbered by the number of people in just jeans and a t-shirt. It’s perfectly acceptable to wear a t-shirt from the fandom of your choice. However, if you have the time and money necessary, then by all means feel free to go wild designing a costume to wear for the occasion. Make it as crazy and unique as possible because the people there are in no position to judge you (unless you enter the costume contest, that is).

Don’t forget to support the artists.

With all the celebs and photo ops, it’s easy to forget about the Little Guys–the hardworking artists and craftsmen who make their livelihoods off of what they sell at these conventions. Don’t forget to stop by their booths. What you’ll find will run the gamut from clever (the “Mona Leia”, featuring everyone’s favorite specific princess) to creepy (some eerily explicit vampire erotica), but one thing’s for sure; it won’t be boring.

Don’t hold back during Q&A’s.

Seriously. Most actors at a Con are there because they **enjoy** being there. Don’t just ask the actors what their favorite part of working on a show was. At Q&A’s I arrived at, questions ranged from what the celeb’s favorite kind of dog was to whether or not they had good aim with a gun. All of these sorts of questions were enthusiastically–and often hilariously–answered. That said…

Don’t expect William Shatner to actually answer your question.

By this point, we all know that Shatner, the original Captain Kirk, is actually an alien. But attending a Q&A with him serves as further reinforcement of that fact. No matter what question a fan asked him, Shatner responded with bizzaro-world, stream-of-conscious rants.

Sample exchange:

Q: “You played a womanizer on ‘Star Trek’. Tell us about that experience.”

A: “You…seem to be asking me about a man/woman relationship. Which is sacred and unique. Beyond what has been stated up to this point, no more advice can be given.”