Comic-Con International > SDCC Guests, Autographs, and Off-Site Events

Autograph Tips and Tricks for SDCC

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You are not allowed to view links. Register or Login   Have a question!  So, for the last two years a couple of friends and I have been like in the front of the line to get into the exhibit hall for the Marvel booth, like we were maybe 5th or 6th in line, but every time we try to get there the line is already full.  Could someone perhaps explain how that is happening?  Is it people who already work in the exhibit hall beating us or what?

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Lots of rumors about that.
I personally think it is vendors.

Keep in mind there is more than one entrance to the floor.
Security is not in sync when they start admitting people to the expo floor.
So it is possible another line was let in first.

You are not allowed to view links. Register or LoginLots of rumors about that.
I personally think it is vendors.

Keep in mind there is more than one entrance to the floor.
Security is not in sync when they start admitting people to the expo floor.
So it is possible another line was let in first.

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it's not uncommon for security to let people in to the lobby doors earlyish so tons of people get in before the upstairs alpha line snakes down and into the hall.  Also that line enters at the far end of the exhibit hall, so if security in the lobby lets people in right at 10am those people have a shorter walk going to Marvel booth.  I think security isn't supposed to let people in the lobby right at 10, and are suppose to funnel attendees upstairs right off the bat; but not all do that.

Also, yeah, vendors... :-X

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Here's a nice tip.  Last year some stars at Lionsgate opted to continue signing autographs  after all of the attendee's with wristbands had gone through. Elijah Wood and Natalie Dormer both did this until their allotted signing time had expired.  If you are going to try this - make it for a star that actually matters to you, watch for the true end of the line,  and ask the guard nicely and quietly.

I've mostly done Fox autographs and a few on the exhibit floor.

For Fox:

Get in the everything line as early as you can. My usual time is between 3-4am at the latest. Once they let you into the building you will need to walk fast to get up to the Sails and into the line. There is usually a volunteer with a sign yelling out what door to go through for what line. Go out and get in the correct line. Fox has been on the farther side of the Sails (to the left) the past few years. Once there, you have to wait a few hours until they start drawing. In 2014, you told the person what show you wanted then drew a piece of paper from a box. If you got a winner, you were in. If not, you could draw for another show. (I believe. I've usually gotten a winner on the first try because they have a LOT of winning papers). In 2015, we drew a checker out of a bag. Black was a winner, Red was a loser. I was pretty far up in line so I don't know how well people did.

Exhibit Floor:

First I use twitter to follow people/shows I'm looking to meet/get an autograph from and note if they say anything about a signing. Its easy to forget once you get closer so I always write this stuff down. Or, I make sure to go to said booth first thing on Thursday morning and just ask if there will be signings and how to take part. I did this for Shout Factory and Ash vs Evil dead. Every booth has a different policy and it never hurts to ask. Sometimes you will see autograph signings only posted at booths and not shared on social media.

Nickelodeon & Cartoon Network:
These require getting into the everything line early as well. And realize that once you move into the building (around 6:45ish usually) your place in line will be gone because everyone then has to walk around the entire 2nd floor around to get into a big mob of people and wait to go downstairs once the hall opens. Once you get into the hall, you will need to walk pretty fast to either booth. They give away tickets first come, first served in the morning. Sometimes you get lucky and CN will have tickets to give away later (and by later, I mean 9:30am). Those are usually for the new shows. I got the last We Bare Bears ticket last year just by walking up and asking after I had checked in on some other stuff. I would definitely check out the SDCC guide to see specifics, but this is how it's been done the past 2 years for me.

Here's a tip: CHEAT. It may sound tawdry, but sometimes, you do what you have to do. For most of the autograph ticket pull sessions, they're grab-bag lottery style, so do your diligence before getting to the front of the line; see what ticket you need to win. If the person with the sack is nonchalant about holding the bag, try to peek into it to see where the winning tickets are. If the winning tickets have a different shape or corner, feel around the bag for a couple of seconds until you feel a winning ticket.

I really don't like SDCC's way of obtaining autographs because it's strictly by luck. Instead of waiting in an endless line only to be shut out, I'd rather just pay for it and be done with it, so I can try to enjoy the rest of the show. They do this at Emerald City, all Wizard World events and DragonCon. I got Danielle Panabaker's autograph at ECCC and Teddy Sears at a local toy show, so I just need Grant Valdez and Patton for my Flash 'graphs.

Chances are, if I wait in a long line only to get nothing, I'm going to be upset in addition to having several hours wasted.


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