Let's go over the things I learned at Comic-Con 2011 (my first Comic-Con):
1) Women rely on Comic-Con as an excuse, outside Halloween, to dress down to the bear minimum. There is especially a love of dressing in costumes that are actually offensive to women. Popular example: Slave Leia.
I don't actually understand why this is, I think for some attention from guys is a driving force which really just kind of makes me sad for my fellow females. Seriously? Girl power! Dress for you, not for him.
This is how I imagine a dialogue between two girls preparing for Comic-Con might go:
Comic-girl #1: "Hmmmmm...I wonder what or who we should dress up as for Comic-Con this year."
Comic-girl #2: "I think we should think of a woman who is strong and confident. Someone who promotes girl power, but who still totally gets along with the guys. Also, she has to be totally cool so that guys will want to take pictures with us."
Comic-girl #1: "I know, Princess Leia!"
Comic-girl #2: "Wow, great idea. But what outfit should we wear? I mean, over three movies, what outfit best defines Leia?"
Comic-girl #1: "Duh, her Slave outfit! Those 150 seconds in which Leia is dressed as a slave totally embody everything we love about that character and the epic franchise"
Comic-girl #2: "Gosh, Comic-girl #1, you are so smart! We are totally gonna look so hot, and the guys at Comic-Con are gonna love us."
2) People (myself included) go absolutely crazy for free stuff. I mean, Comic-Con booths are like Mardi Gras floats, people flock to them yelling with arms raised begging for free stuff. It doesn't matter what the free swag is, the fact that it is free makes us crazy.
And now I have a ton of free stuff I don't know what to do with.
3) This is the only place you will see so many celebrities together in one place outside a movie premiere or award show. I mean, I found myself within a few feet of Adam West, Matt Groening, Zachary Levi, and Joss Whedon just on Saturday afternoon in the Exhibit hall. Friday morning and afternoon in Ballroom 20 I saw most of the cast and some of the crew from Torchwood: Miracle Day, The Walking Dead, The Big Bang Theory, and Eureka. It is like celebrity overload.
4) No matter where you find yourself, camped out in a ballroom with friends or fighting through the crowds of the Exhibit hall by yourself, you can have an insanely awesome time.
5) Panels are really fun. I went to more panels that I had no interest in than ones I was actually looking for to attending; yet, I thoroughly enjoyed every panel. The writers, producers, directors, and actors are so fun and they really make you, the fan, feel welcomed and appreciated. They make fun of eachother, they poke fun of silly fan questions, they commend those well thought out and articulate questions form fans that really force them to think, they admire the well assembled costumes, and they state repeatedly how grateful they are for us (the fans) who make their lives possible.