2013 New York Comic Con Survival Guide – Part I
So it’s official… we are in countdown mode for the 2013 New York Comic Con!!! With this amazing event a mere 14 days away we’re bringing back an old article that you can use to survive this spectacular event. There are definitely a few things that you’ll want to do to prepare yourself whether this is your first time, or if you’re a seasoned veteran. Remember, a little planning can make it all good, so says the brotherhood!
Where the Hell am I?
Are you a real New Yorker? Or just someone who goes there every 5 years? Either way, you gotta find the Javitz Center. It is actually quite easy by car but you have to factor in parking to your daily cost to attend. Rules are simple, if you want to park a block or two away you’re gonna have to pony up at least $50 in a garage, but if you park a few block further down the street then you can easily cut that in half. So it’s the old argument to pay more for convenience.
I will say that you will be walking around for the entire day (or days,) so parking close does have its advantages especially if you decide to purchase the life-size Lego model of Han Solo in Carbonite!
OK, car not your style and you choose the bus or train method, that is fine. You either get dropped off on a corner in the city or pop out of a tunnel that the Mole Man was hanging out in to see the light and realize that you have no idea where the hell you are? My first piece of advise is to simply look around, on any day of the con there will literally be thousands of people going to the Javitz, so just smell your own and you’ll be fine. But seriously look for the Cosplayers! One time when I got turned around in the city my buddy started checking directions on his phone but I simply followed The Teen Titans for a few blocks and low behold, the Javitz was in sight. Just look for fellow nerds, especially the ones dressed like heroes, villains, and Hobbits! (Hopefully you don’t see Doctor Who at this point, or you might get sloshed before 10am!)
Between telepathy and the power of “luck” (never bought that btw,) I figured that one of these two could hail a cab, didn’t you?
I’m in, Now What?
OK, so you found your way….good. Now you have to figure out how to navigate the terrain. I have two pieces of advise to share, either download the NY Comic Con app prior to the show or get a show program as fast as you can and sit down and study that thing for a few minutes. You’re gonna want to run right onto the show floor but if you do that you will literally be surrounded by herds of nerds and you won’t get your bearings quickly. So do yourself a favor, take 5 minutes and figure out where the things that you want to see are exactly. I missed out on the 60’s Batmobile and Playmates last year because I didn’t see it on the map and never walked towards that section of the con. Also, the panels that you want to go to start whether you are there or not, so make sure that you know how to get to them before their start time. If you download the app beforehand, then you can get a good sense of where you want to go as soon as you get in, but you’ll still want the real map too! Another thing to point out is that this year the folks who run the con have decided to code each and every badge with RFID (Radio Frequency Identification.) That means that you will have to “TAP” in whenever you enter the building and most importantly “TAP” out when you leave. If you don’t tap out you may run into issues when you want to get back in. This is new this year, so please be patient!
What to Pack?
This is a tough one to be honest. Everyone approaches this differently but keep in mind that you will be here all day so even though you may want some stuff with you, it is not necessary to bring the kitchen sink. I usually take what I need to get through the day and nothing more. Generally speaking I have a backpack/messenger bag with me at all times so I can just dump stuff in it. There is ALOT of swag at Comic Con and you want somewhere to put it. You can get free bags from vendors but after 5 hrs they become a pain in the ass to carry, so let your shoulders and back take the weight and you’ll enjoy the show a lot more. Prior to going, you may realize that your favorite artist/writer will be there signing autographs and you really want your copy of Green Lantern signed by Geoff Johns himself (speaking from real life here.) Anyway, bring the book, Hell bring a few, but don’t bring the entire run! They usually will only sign a limited number of books so unfortunately George Perez won’t sign all 12 issues of Crisis for you, he’ll only sign six ( this is when making a deal with a friend is important, they wait in line with you and get some of your stuff signed too. So you in turn do it for them. Karma works, trust me.) Sidebar…Bring your own sharpies, a black one and a metallic one, because you can actually catch creators directly after panels and they will usually sign a book for you (try to limit it to 1!) This beats waiting in line for over an hour for the signature and missing all the comic con awesomeness. End Sidebar…A small sketch book is also cool to have on you because you might get the chance to get a one of a kind image in Artist Alley. The artists generally charge a few bucks, but hey, they gotta eat too! If you plan to spend some dough on a print then I suggest either bringing a poster tube with you, or picking one up there. I got one last year for about $15. It hurts to shell out dough for this kinda stuff but it can protect your investment of that signed lithograph.
As my evil compatriot has already detailed in an earlier post, it is fucking expensive to eat at Comic Con! You can seriously drop $50 in a day at the Javitz so play it smart. Stop at a bagel place or some such food emporium on the way in and grab something that you can munch on later, spend $4 on a box of granola bars and eat throughout the day, or bring a bottle or two of water with you. This way you can spend your cash on cool stuff and you won’t have to wait in line forever. Hell, survey the area around the Javitz and pop out for lunch at MickeyDees and you’ll probably spend less time and money than if you stayed there. Again, up to you, but this can give you more $$ in your pocket to buy that Sonic Screwdriver that you’ve always needed!
Skipping out on lunch at the Javitz might save you some coin, but you might just miss out on Wonder Woman getting bombed from our drinking game and spilling the beans about Kal’s “Little El!” Guess she shoulda stayed with Steve Trevor after all.
OK kids, that was part one. Hope you learned some stuff. Join us tomorrow for more thrills as we prepare you for the nerdgasm of the year!
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