I got on the U-Bahn dressed in my homemade Moogle from Final Fantasy. I looked around and of course, I was the only person dressed up in costume for Comic-Con in Munich. I was worried I was the only person that would show up at the Zenith Hall in costume. Did Germans – and particularly Bavarians not dress up for Comic-Con events? I started to get nervous that the nerd culture was smaller than I thought in Munich. However, as soon as I got within a few U-bahn stops of the convention center more and more fellow geeks started showing up in costume or wearing nerdy shirts. That is the thing in some German cities, like Munich, it takes a bit of encouragement and digging to find your group of people. If you don’t know where to look then everyone in Munich might appear to be all the same. Thankfully, German Comic-Con exists in three cities, Dortmund, Munich, and Berlin spanning four events to congregate Germany’s geekiest, bring out the most creative cosplay costumes, feature local and international art, and host panels and interviews from your favorite stars.
The German Comic-Con events are spread out enough that if you’re really dedicated you can even hit up all four in one year. If you’re not that committed make sure you make it to one of the events to find your group of people and let loose a little.
Thankfully there are four evenly spaced Comic-Con events throughout Germany. That means that no matter the season there are geektastic opportunities in Germany. The event dates can change from year to year to keep you on your toes.
Dortmund Comic Con
When: April 4-5 2020
Time: Sat: 9 am (early bird) 10 am – 6 pm Sun: 9 am (early bird) 10 am – 5 pm
All four German Comic-Con events are held in large expo halls, meaning there is plenty of room to roam around. The cons are set up with an entrance area where you will be checked for your tickets. Somewhere around here will be an area to get into costume if you need to do so. At the Munich Comic-Con, the hall is split into two areas. One area had room for shopping, including vintage video games, old comics, and geek paraphernalia. There were several alleyways set up for art stalls and comic displays. Bring extra cash if you want to go shopping! There was also an area with computers and video game consoles set up. My friend and I enjoyed marveling at how difficult computer games from the 90s were. Of course, most of the good games were occupied with small children who were not prone to share, but we had some play time on lesser known games.
If you enjoy wandering around there were lots of staged sets where you could have your photo taken. Some of the sets were casual and you could pose with Star Wars characters while a friend takes a photo, where other ones like the Stranger Things set you needed to pay a few Euros for a professional photo to be taken.
The Main stage takes up a large chunk of the hall with plenty of seating and standing room for people to catch their favorite stars on stage.
Do people dress up at German Comic-Con? Yes, they do! To be honest, at the Munich Comic-Con I was hoping to see more lively costumes, but I think Munich is probably the more reserved city with less nerd culture, but I bet Berlin’s would be a lot more festive. At the Munich event, there were some serious Cosplayers entering in the Cosplay contest, and having semi-professional photo shoots outside creating somewhat of a divide between the elite costumes and people like me, but it wasn’t too bad. The rest of the regular crowd wore everything from nerdy T-shirts with leggings, homemade costumes, or store-bought costumes. I dressed up as a Moogle Mail Deliver and I would say I fit right in!
There is a changing room for those that need a space to transform from Clark Kent to Super-Man, just ask at the entrance if you need somewhere to change. I proudly put on my costume at home and wore it all the way to the Munich event. I got lots of stares, but that is half the fun! I feel like Munich needs a little weird from time to time.
If you’re looking for tips on creating a costume I suggest checking at thrift stores. All three cities have a Pick n Weight or Oxfam. You’ll be sure to find something you can upcycle, cut up and make into something spectacular. While I encourage all geeks to be mindful of fast fashion, If you want a more ready-made costume then check the Item Shop in Munich, Super Epic or Big BroBot in Berlin, and Elbenwald in Düsseldorf. Some craft stores in Germany are Idee, Galleria, and Kardstadt.
Ticket & Pricing Information for German Comic-Con
The German Comic-Con ticketing system has several options and tiers, which means there are options for everyone with all sorts of budgets. Honestly, the single day price for German Comic-Con is what I consider a good deal which means you should go to all the cons. However, if one con is only in your future you might consider spending more on the VIP option.
**You should print your tickets as Germans love tickets that are printed and you may have difficulty getting in. You are required to wear your wristband both days if you have a weekend pass. You can not remove it and carry it in – it must be on your wrist. Tickets can be transferred as no name is attached, however, tickets can only be scanned once.
When you click on the “order tickets” or the “tickets kaufen” button on any of the Comic-Con pages a pop up will appear. Werbecode Eingeben: Means if you have a special promo discount code of coupon you can enter it here. Below that there are quite possible 100 or so ticketing options… Yikes, I know.
When you click on the “order tickets” or the “tickets kaufen” button on any of the Comic-Con pages a pop up will appear. Werbecode Eingeben: Means if you have a special promo discount code of coupon you can enter it here.
Day Pass Saturday/ Tagesticket Samstag or Day Pass Sunday/ Tagesticket Sonntag
These passes are single day passes for either Saturday or Sunday. It gets you into the specific Comic-Con on Saturday from 10 am- 6 pm or Sunday from 10 am – 5 pm. This ticket can only be scanned once and then it will no longer work. In order to come in and out will you need a stamp. These tickets cost 25 Euro.
Early Bird Single Day Tickets
Early Bird tickets for a single day on Saturday or Sunday get you in the doors at 9 am and you queue in a separate line. These tickets cost 30 Euro.
Weekend Ticket/ Wochendticket
The weekend ticket is good for both Saturday and Sunday starting at 10 am and going until closing. When you check in on Saturday you must get a wristband that has to be worn then the entire weekend. If you lose or take the wrist band off, you will not be allowed in on Sunday as your ticket can only scan once. If it appears the wristband has been altered or manipulated you will be denied entry. There is no indication of being able to recover a lost wristband. So put it on on Saturday and do not take it off! This ticket costs 45 Euro.
Early Bird Weekend Ticket
This pass allows you early access at 9 am both Saturday and Sunday through a separate line queue. You will need your wrist band for the entire weekend. The early bird weekend ticket is 55 Euro.
Kids Tickets/ Kinder Ticket
These tickets are valid for kids 6-12 years old. You can buy a day ticket for 10 Euro or a weekend pass for 15. There are no early bird options, but the kids may enter through the early bird line at 9 am with their guardian. Kids are not allowed in VIP areas, photoshoots or to receive an autograph unless they have their own tickets for that.
All VIP passes include early bird access for the entire weekend. All goodies, wristbands, and vouchers are to be picked at the entrance. You can use your vouchers on location for a photo shoot or an autograph, however, the set times for the guest stars still apply. Meaning if you want Chuck Norris’s autograph you must show up during his scheduled autograph time.
VIP Silver Pass
The silver pass for German Comic-Con allows you early bird access for both Saturday and Sunday at 9 am with a separate VIP entrance. In addition, you get some swag including 1 German Comic-Con bag, 1 lanyard, 1 autograph voucher for the guest star of your choice (excluding special guests). Your wristband must be worn all weekend. This costs 99 Euro.
VIP Platinum Pass
The platinum pass for German Comic-Con and allows you early bird access to both Saturday and Sunday at 9 am with a separate VIP entrance. In addition, you get 1 German Comic-Con bag, lanyard, 1 autograph voucher for the guest star of your choice (excluding special guests), 1 photoshoot voucher for the guest star of your choice (excluding special guests), separate VIP fast pass lane at photo shoots and autograph tables, reserved seats at the stage for all panel sessions. Your wristband must be worn all weekend. This costs 149 Euro.
VIP All in Pass
This is your all in a pass for the ultimate geeky weekend. This pass allows you early bird access to both Saturday and Sunday at 9 am with a separate VIP entrance. In addition, you get 1 German Comic-Con bag, lanyard, 1 autograph voucher for every attending guest, 1 photoshoot voucher for every attending guest, separate VIP fast pass lane at photo shoots and autograph tables, reserved seats at the stage for all panel sessions. Your wristband must be worn all weekend. This costs 999 Euro.
Photo and Autograph Prices
Unless you have one of the VIP packages that include a photo shoot and autograph options you have to pay extra for either one of these. Prices vary greatly based on the special guest. Prices seem to come in several categories ranging from 96.94 Euro for special guest stars such as Lena Headey (AKA Cersei Lannister) or Ian Somerhalder, dropping down to 25 for some of the D list celebrities. Photoshops and autographs are listed separately, so if you want Lena Headey’s photo and autograph you need to buy a ticket for each. Each price is listed in the ticketing information for each location. These prices do not include entrance to the event, so you would have to purchase an entrance ticket and an autograph option.
Are the VIP & Early Bird Tickets Worth It?
I went to Munich Comic-Con on a regular day pass ticket and I had a great time. I think the Munich event might be one of the smaller and less crowded, so arriving around 10 am gave me plenty of time to explore and catch the panel discussions I wanted to see. So, I don’t see much benefit in arriving an hour early through a VIP line for Munich, but the larger event in Berlin, for example, might warrant the additional price hike to arrive an hour early.
However, the VIP options are definitely worth it if you want a photo and/or autograph from your favorite celebrities. Since you would have to buy an entrance ticket, a photo ticket, and an autograph ticket separately the price could increase rather quickly. If you take a mid-level star charging 50 Euro for a photograph and an autograph and add a single day ticket then you are already up to 125, why not make it 149, get early bird entrance for the whole weekend and get a swag bag?
The best way to see if you are going to get the best value for the tickets is to decide whose photo and autograph you want and calculate your costs in the ticketing section of the German Comic-Con you are attending.
What Day Should I Attend?
Saturday is always the busiest and most happenin’ day. It is usually the day the Cosplay contest happens. Aside from the cosplay content and maybe a few special However, if you prefer a more relaxing day with fewer people attending on a Sunday might be a better option for you. Try and check the schedule to determine the best day for your needs.
German Comic-Con host various panel discussions and Q&As with your favorite stars. Each Comic-Con has its own scheduled that is released just before the event. While most stars are around for discussions both days, if you have anyone you really want to see on a panel or Q& A session, you’ll want to get a weekend pass. Depending on the panel and Q&A the seats can fill up, so arrive early, or get your VIP front row seat.
So who the heck attends German Comic-Con? It’s a good mix, of hard-hitting A-listers and D listers I’ve never heard of but isn’t that the case with most comic cons? In the last few years, we’ve had a lot of stars from Harry Potter, Walking Dead, GoT, Star Trek, Gotham, Arrow, and other TV shows, movies, anime, comics, cosplay, and dubbing. This year at Munich there are 2 Harry Potter stars, Lena Hedly and more! German Comic-Con announces most of the stars well ahead of the event, but they are always announcing additional guest it seems like every day leading up to the event. The guest stars are ranked based on their stardom, with higher tier guests and lower tier. It is a little hard to determine who the special guests are that are excluded in the VIP Silver and Platinum packages, but a good rule of thumb is to follow German Comic-Con on social media to see who they announce as a special guest and look at the pricing for photos and autographs. Chances are the most expensive stars are special guests.
If you want an autograph or a photo with one of your favorite stars, you need to make sure you have tickets for each one – tickets are sold separately.
Autographs: The stars should be at their table signing autographs both days unless other noted. They will not be at their table if they are scheduled for photos or at the main stage. All stars will have photos available to sign, but you are welcome to bring your own personal items from home and they will happily sign those items for you. Bring your ticket or VIP voucher to the table to get your autograph.
Photographs: All stars have designated photoshoot times. All stars should have scheduled time on both Saturday and Sunday unless otherwise noted. You must show up with your ticket your VIP voucher during the scheduled time or you will not get a photo. Photos are printed out on the spot for you to take home. If you want a digital copy you can email firstname.lastname@example.org the code found on the back corner of your image, which event, and the day you attended. Each digital print is 5 Euro. If you choose to take a group photo every member of your party must have their own photo.
Artists & Comics
The artist and comic alley is one of my favorite parts of Comic-Con. You can wander booths watching your favorite artists create right before your very eyes. You have the opportunity to buy art and prints if you want. They are all very approachable and love talking about their art, so feel free to strike up a conversation to learn more about their art.
English or German?
Are most of the events in English or German? You can get by with English at all of the German Comic-Con events. Most of the website translates into English and most of the staff working speak English as well. Since most of the panelists and stars speak fluent English, I found the main stage to be primarily English. So, if you’re reading this blog then you’ll be fine. However, if you only speak German you might actually struggle a bit. There were translators to help with some of the Q&A, so if you speak German and aren’t comfortable asking a ? in English, see if someone is available to help you translate.
Keep an eye out for Bayern’s own beer drinking superhero. He chugs beer to gain his superpower and wears lederhosen. You can find his comics at the German Comic-Con Munich edition or at the Munich Comic Fest. Keep an eye out for this quirky character.