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9 Things You Need To Know for NY COMIC CON

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New York Comic Con is less than a week away, baby!  As a professional at surviving the incredible alternate universe that is comic con, I will be your guide to make the most of this years’ experience.  I will help you get the cheapest merchandise, the most free goodies and have Galactus-sized fun!

9 Things You Need To Know for NY COMIC CON

Buy Sunday

Dealers will sell their comics and comics merchandise much cheaper on Sunday to get rid of their stock.  When the comic con is winding down, they do not want to carry boxes and boxes of merchandise back home.  They want to make as much money as they can at the last second (much of their merchandise is back stock anyway, especially the graphic novels).  The first few days they charge top dollar, the last day it is “Everything must go!”

Walk around the convention floor during the last hour and you’ll find goods that are 75 to “90% off!”  Only buy your must-have books the first few days, otherwise, wait ‘til Sunday.  I have missed out on books in the past because they sold the days prior, but normally I leave with five hundred dollars’ worth of books for a hundred or less.

Negotiate Prices

The entire convention you can try to haggle prices with the dealers (not the major comic company’s exclusives, just dealers).  Unless you have your eye on key issues, which they probably want to either sell for top dollar or bring home with them, then you can try to get a better price.  I recommend bringing cash because the second dealers see a bunch of 20 dollar bills or higher they are less likely to refuse lower offers.

Make Sure You Meet Stan Lee

Sure, meeting Stan Lee costs a crap load of money (around $100 – $200), but the dude is 90 years old and will not be around forever.  Stan Lee has historically been an insane workaholic who appears at most major cons, but he has been cutting down his convention appearances, lately.  Purchase a photo op with Lee, it is so worth it.  In the minute you are with him, he will say some life changing statement to you that you will remember for the rest of your life.

My awesomely amazing story: Two years ago, Stan Lee asked me how I was doing.  I said wonderful.  He then replied “so you are Mr. Wonderful!”  And Boom!  My entire universe exploded in an inferno of flames.  The phoenix force took over and I was reborn a confident, strong and incredible hero!

He is available for pictures and autographs Saturday and Sunday.

If You See Something, Say Something

RESPECT EACH OTHER!  Cosplay is an artform in which fanboys and fangirls spend their time and money to recreate amazing renditions of their favorite characters.  The disrespect that often occurs towards woman cosplayers is disgusting.  I am talking about the guys who go to shows and decide it is ok to make derogatory comments, take inappropriate candid pictures and touch the coplayers.   Then, if cosplayers get upset, the perps call them sluts and others tell them they should not dress so provocatively.  I am also referring to misogynistic YouTube reporters and other “news” sites that use sexist, degrading methods in order to increase hits.  Woman cosplayer’s emotions are also negated when they are told they are not real nerds anyway.

Screw that.  The nerd and geek culture is much more diverse than some individuals make it out to be.   (40% of fans who attended San Diego Comic Con 2012 were women!) Conventions are where the geek community is supposed to celebrate our culture and feel safe- not get abused.  When I first started collecting comics as a young lad, I connected to comic characters like the X-Men because I was a minority that was picked on and abused by my peers.  It sickens me to see my fellow fanboys using the same discriminatory and bullying tactics.

If you see something, say something!  We all need to stand together on this.  Report harassers to the convention staff members.  Call them out- tell the slimeballs it is NOT OK.   If you do nothing, you are part of the problem.   Sexism and misogyny are major illnesses at cons- the remedy is YOU speaking up!

Do Not Depend On Your Cell Phone on Saturday

Last year, there was hardly any reception in the Javits Center because so many fanboys and fangirls were hoggin’ up the bandwidth.  It totally sucked.  It was difficult to find the people you came with even if they were four feet away.  Press was also screwed because they couldn’t post their news. If you come with a group of geeks, have a meetup plan and stick to it. I expect there to be better reception this year, but do not count on it.  The other days are much better simply because there are less people.  Saturday is an absolute warzone.

Drink Plenty of Soda

Many advice columns will tell you to drink plenty of water due to all the walking and crap… but, screw it, I like soda.  So drink lotsa soda, baby!

Eat Outside at Vendors

Do not eat in the Javits center.  It is expensive and you will wait in line for half the day.  Simply exit the arena and go grab some street meat from the vendors outside.   I always bring snacks from home also. You could bring a lunch from home, but I am too lazy and street meat is cheap.  Mmmmmmmm, I love street meat.

Go to Small Panels- Not Marvel or DC

You will wait in line for hours to get into many of the mainstream panels (if you get in at all).  The big panels will be recapped on every major website anyway, so skip them and read what happened later.  Go to the smaller panels, instead.  There are exciting panels about “minorities in fandom”, small press books, women in comics,  hip hop and comics, and LGBTQ character representations in comics.  Also, the smaller panels are more likely to have promo giveaways and other freebies.  It is worth hitting up a mainstream panel if you are a mega fan of some creator that you need to say you were in the same room as … if not, save your time and hit up some great smaller panels.

Hit Up the Archie Panels but Do Not Steal My Spot!

Each year Archie comics gives the panel audience incredible goodie bags.  This year, “ARCHIE ACTION HOUR: SONIC THE HEDGEHOG, MEGA MAN AND RED CIRCLE COMICS” (Thursday from 7:30- 8:30 pm in room 1A01) is promising some sweet goodie bags. “Archie Comics: Zombies, Heroes, Cartoons, Movies and more!” (Saturday from 3:00 to 4:00 in room 1A15) will include goodie bags that are worth over $100 for everyone in attendance!  Go a little early to ensure a spot.  It is awesome!

If you fanboys and fangirls have advice to share please leave it in comment section below.  Hope everyone has a blast at NY Comic Con!

Cosplay Picture Credit: CONsent


Jay Deitcher, LMSW(@mrdeitcher) is an educator on comic history and runs successful Free Comic Book Day events yearly.  You can see a listing of his incredible articles at

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