This month, I had the awesome opportunity to attend New York Comic Con and it was everything I hoped it would be. There were cosplayers. There were fantastic panels showing world premiere footage (such as Disney’s Tomorrowland and Big Hero 6 panels, Netflix’s Daredevil panel, The Americans, etc…). There were surprise celebrity guests (helllllooooo George Clooney). Basically, if you are a fan of comics/movies/TV/gaming/POP CULTURE – and your psyche can handle fighting through hundreds of thousands of people (more than San Diego Comic Con) – this is the event for you.
As my first time at a huge event like this, NYCC 2014 was definitely a learning experience. I know I will be able to cover a lot more ground next year, but in the meantime, below are some of my pictures from the event and some tips for surviving New York Comic Con:
1) Wear comfortable shoes!
This is the most important lesson learned. I cannot stress this enough. Even with sneakers, my feet felt like they were going to fall off every day due to all of the standing in line. Next year, I am going to invest in some inserts or SOMETHING that will make my feet feel better or bring one of those golf chairs. This guy looks to be wearing appropriate footwear:
2) Based on the tens of thousands of people that come to NYCC, resign yourself to the fact you will be waiting in lines FOREVER.
3+ hour lines to get wristbands for panels in the main hall. 30+ min lines for the bathroom (if you are female). 30-40 min lines for food. You thought Disney World was bad? Prepare yourself for NYCC.
3) Leave extra space in your suitcase for all of the swag (free and purchased) you will acquire at NYCC.
Many panels/exhibitors hand out free swag (t-shirts, action figures… you name it). Never one to turn down free stuff, I had a fun (read: horrible) time trying to re-pack my suitcase at the end of the weekend.
4) Bring an external battery for your electronics.
If you’re like me, you will be taking LOTS of pictures and doing LOTS of live-tweeting (check out my loads of panel coverage on my Twitter account). After all, you won’t want to miss taking pictures of someone like this:
5) Pack lunches, if possible.
The food at the Javits Center is INSANELY expensive. For a sandwich, fries and a drink you’re probably looking at $16-$20. Not only that, the lines end up getting ridiculous too. Your best bet is to either get a slice of pizza (around $4 and a short-ish line) or bring your own food.
6) Have cash on-hand.
If you’re like me and never have cash, that needs to change for NYCC. There were many instances where lines were shorter if you paid with cash, food kiosks accepted only cash (which again made lines shorter), or some exhibitors didn’t have credit card machines at all. Make sure you get your cash before getting to the Con, though. Lines at the ATM are long AND there are convenience charges.
7) Get to the Javits Center even BEFORE you are supposed to if you want to attend a popular panel.
I made the mistake of thinking I was getting to the Con early (8:30 AM) to wait in line for The Walking Dead panel. I was wrong and by the time I got into the queue hall, the line was full. NEVER AGAIN! Thankfully, I was able to get a wristband for the Disney panel… and George Clooney.
8) Take advantage of the NYCC app and PLAN AHEAD.
The app helped me make a schedule (and set reminders) so I was never late to an interview or panel. It also allows you to plan out which booths are giving away free swag. NYCC is not the type of event you should wing. It will only create more confusion and wasted time.
Note: These pictures of Michael Shannon (left), Nicholas Hoult (middle), and Jake Paltrow (right) were taken at my interview for their new film THE YOUNG ONES. Michael looks miserable, and he probably was sick of talking to journalists, but he was a super sweet, funny guy (as were Hoult and Paltrow).
9) Don’t panic when you realize you thought you had been to Artist Alley, but you haven’t. In fact, you didn’t even know there was a whole other Costco-sized warehouse of art.
This tip is probably just a reminder for me, but it wasn’t until Saturday that I realized I missed an entire section of the Con. This is also a note that it is pretty much impossible to see every single exhibitor and every single booth at NYCC. It is just too big, there are too many panels to see and too many people to fight through. Accept it.
10) Cheesy, I know, but have fun!
NYCC is the perfect place for entertainment nerds. Attendees are really accepting, excited, and there to have a great time. Although your feet and wallet might be hurting, I dare you to not have fun at the Con. After all, you may get to see one of your favorite artists/writers/actors/filmmakers/etc. in real life! Let your inner fanboy/fangirl run wild during this awesome weekend.
**I know THE AMERICANS is not a Comic Con-esque show, but it is my favorite show on TV so I was super excited to attend the panel. C’mon, look at those COMMIE CON shirts. Adorable.