The San Diego Comic Convention (SDCC) is the premiere convention in the United States.  It has expanded over the course of over twenty five years to encompass not only comics, but of all forms of entertainment.  From television shows to movies and video games, the convention center in downtown San Diego will have it all!  But because of the exponential rise in popularity, getting tickets to "The Con" is near impossible without the proper training.  There are many avenues that someone would be able to get tickets, but few people actually make use of them.

Types of Tickets

Before we get into how to get tickets, we must first think about what type of tickets there are to purchase.  Comic Con runs from July 11 through July 15 of 2012 this coming year.  Tickets are in three forms.  The first being single day tickets.  If you only plan to go for one or two of the days or if you plan to go for Thrusday and a Saturday, single day tickets may be your best bet. They may be the most expensive in terms of per day cost, but they are also the easiest to purchase.

If you plan to go for the whole weekend, the four day passes are the way to go.  The second type of pass is the four day pass without preview night.  Lastly, the best bang for your buck pass is the four day pass with preview night.  This is pretty much the all access, holy grail ticket to Comic Con.  Preview night can only be attended if you buy this pass, and during that night you get to see all of the shops and exclusive items before the majority of the people get a chance.

1) Online purchasing through

If this comic year is the first year that you would be going to Comic Con, the first and foremost way to get tickets would be directly though their website,  Ticket sales are all online.  The bad part about this way of ordering is that the site can get overloaded with traffic and purchasing the tickets can be very difficult.  The best way is to check in at the website a few minutes before the official selling time to see if they opened the ordering site a bit early to test the purchasing.  Last year, tickets were sold out after a few hours the first day that they posted the passes.  Be prepared to spend hours refreshing your webpage to get a chance at one of these tickets.

2) Volunteering

If you are willing to spend three hours of your time volunteering, you can get a day pass for that day that you volunteered for FREE!  The volunteering can range from passing out the free swag to helping out at panels.  You do have to do a lot of work, but since the price of the tickets are rising, it may be worth doing a bit of volunteering.  The volunteer spots do fill up quickly, so be sure to check and fill out the volunteer form as soon as you can.

3) Media Press Passes

If you have been blogging about entertainment, video games, movies, or comics for more than a year, you may be qualified for a press pass.  After you apply, they will check your credentials, and if you qualify, you will get a four day pass WITH preview night!

4) Returns

If you were unable to buy tickets or score tickets via volunteering or press passes, you can wait for some of the tickets that were sold earlier in the year to be returned.  A lot of people buy more passes than they can attend and end up returning them.  June is usually the month when the returned tickets are put back for sale.  This process is just as popular as the first selling of the tickets so be prepared to refresh and refresh for those tickets!

5) Exhibition

Exhibitor passes are only available to those in the industry.  So if you are an artist, inker, or other creative personality, it would be best to get this pass.  The passes are quite expensive, but if you are planning to sell some of your art, this will pay for itself.   There are different exhibition types, from fan tables to artist alleys.  Each will provide you with a pass.  I do not recommend this way unless you are planning to sit at the table most of the time and sell things.

6) Scalpers

As a last resort, buying tickets from scalpers may be the only way left.  I personally do not condone the buying of high priced scalped tickets, but if you want to go to the Con, you have to do what you have to do.  Be wary of scammers though.  The tickets are non-transferrable so don't buy any tickets before the actual event as they will be fake.  You will have to go to the event as that person.  It may be a hassle, but it is definitely doable.  The downsides are that some of the giveaways are based on a badge.  The price of the tickets can also be upwards to a hundred dollars for each individual day.  The upside is that you may find a few Sunday tickets for a lot cheaper through people who bought four day passes but ended up leaving early so they wanted to get a return on their Sunday.

7) Friends

Sometimes through a bit of fate, someone you know may have a few passes available through contacts or business partners. Do not rely on getting a pass through fate, but if you have exhausted every other avenue, looking to see if your friends who have shown interest in going to comic con may be the best way to get tickets.  Most friends would not increase the price of the tickets if they are selling it to friends, and you may even be able to use some of the days that they would not be able to go. 


In conclusion, the San Diego Comic Convention is quite an event to attend and through proper preperation, execution, and a little luck, you too can get tickets to this famed convention!