Headed to Comicpalooza for the first time? This is what you need to know, from tickets to transportation

Comicpalooza takes place May 26-28

LeVar Burton, Jeri Ryan, and Brent Spiner talk about 'Star Trek' over the years. (KPRC 2 - Ana Gonzalez)

Fans of superheroes, gaming, and anime join together every year at George R. Brown Convention Center to enjoy Texas’ largest comic book convention right here in H-Town.

Comicpalooza is scheduled to take place Friday, May 26, through Sunday, May 28, and this year’s event is bigger than ever. Locals and visitors outside Houston and Texas look forward to the event year after year.

To recap a little history, Comicpalooza has been one of Houston’s biggest events since 2008, when it was first started up as a smaller event in the lobby of the Alamo Drafthouse in Katy, drawing 500 people without promotion. The event grew from there, to a local mall, to eventually moving to the George R. Brown Convention Center, accommodating the skyrocketing number of attendees.

With so much to do and so many people to meet, it can get overwhelming.

My first one was in 2015, and I volunteered that same year. It was the year Marvel Comics legend Stan Lee came to town and my boyfriend was able to get his Iron Man statue signed.

Luckily, I have compiled an easy guide for first-timers. It’s a lot to cover, but for this post, I’ll cover the basics. The nitty-gritty. The “what you need to know before you go” stuff.

Actor Tom Holland during his panel at Comicpalooza. He became one of the most anticipated celebrity guests in 2018. (KPRC 2 - Ana Gonzalez)

Let’s begin with the biggest topic: TICKETS.

On Comicpalooza’s tickets page, you will find there are a multitude of options.

As of May 8, a standard, three-day pass will cost you $110 when purchased online, fees not included. VIP Passes, which come with a number of perks including priority seating, 30-minute early access to exhibitor halls, and a special swag bag, costs $280 plus fees.

One-day passes for Friday, Saturday and Sunday are also sold online, ranging between $50-$74 this year.

Children’s passes (for ages 6-12) are $6 and must be purchased with an adult ticket.

Event organizers recommend purchasing your tickets online. By experience, ticket prices increase if purchased at the door. To purchase tickets, go here.

There’s super-neat artwork on your visitor badge, based on the type of attendee: three-day pass, children’s, media, guest, etc. The artwork is made by a handful of Comicpalooza artists that usually have a booth in the exhibitor hall. If you find the artist that made your badge, get it signed! They absolutely love that you recognized their art.

Every year, artists submit their works to be featured on Comicpalooza badges. (KPRC 2 - Ana Gonzalez)

The next biggest thing: Hotel accommodations, transportation, and parking

Comicpalooza has partnered with several hotels around Discovery Green to offer discounted rates throughout the weekend.

Those hotels include the Hilton Americas-Houston, the Marriott Marquis, and Hampton Inn. Both the Hilton and the Marriott are connected to the GRB, while Hampton Inn is just a hop, skip, and jump between GRB and Minute Maid Park.

Click here to book a hotel room through Comicpalooza’s special rate.

There are also several surrounding hotels downtown that are either within walking distance or just a MetroRail ride away. This includes the Embassy Suites near Discovery Green, Aloft Hotel on Fannin Street, and the Four Seasons. A map of nearby hotels is below.

If you’re not planning to stay at a hotel, there are a multitude of parking options around Discovery Green and GRB. Expect to pay between $25 and $30 during the weekend. A map of the best parking locations is also shown below.

Finally, don’t forget Metro! The MetroRail has stops in between the GRB, Minute Maid Park, and several restaurants, so it’s a short walk to everything you can think of. Rides are $1.25 one way.

The best part: During the convention!

Now that you got your tickets, and maybe a room in downtown, now the fun part begins: enjoying the con!

Some pointers as you go inside:

  • Comicpalooza has nine tracks based on attendees’ interests: Anime, Gaming, Cosplay, Comics, Kids, Literature and Tabletop Gaming. This is usually color-coded on the app or in the schedule.
  • Autographs and photo-ops are NOT included in your ticket price. This is very important! You can purchase autographs and/or photo-ops online or at the booth inside the event.
  • Avoid the lines -- Buy your badge and pick it up early! Click here to see early badge pick-up locations or visit Will Call during the show.
  • Next year, consider volunteering. You’ll get amazing perks such as hands-on experience running a convention and access to the show.

Helpful links:

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About the Author:

A graduate of the University of Houston-Downtown, Ana moved to H-Town from sunny southern California in 2015. In 2020, she joined the KPRC 2 digital team as an intern. Ana is a self-proclaimed coffee connoisseur, a catmom of 3, and an aquarium enthusiast. In her spare time, she's an avid video gamer and loves to travel.