New York Comic Con is about to pop off this Thursday, baby! It takes great skill to maneuver a con as big as NYCC. My first few years, I definitely made some mistakes and missed out on many deals, exclusives, panels and opportunities. But after attending more cons than I can remember, I consider myself a pro. I am a Sith lord of comic cons, and lucky for you, I am here to teach you my dark ways.
How to Have the Best New York Comic Con Ever!
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 hundreds of dollars’ worth of books and goodies for less than a hundred bucks.
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 dealers 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 handful of dough they are less likely to refuse your low offers.
Make Sure You See Brian Michael Bendis
Seriously, Bendis never appears at cons, never ever. He is the last person on my list of creators I need to meet, and this is the year I will accomplish it. He has been on “convention retirement” for years. This may be your only opportunity to meet the dude for a while. He will only be there on Saturday. He is appearing at the MARVEL: Death of Wolverine – The Logan Legacy (11:15 AM – 12:00 PM), MARVEL Cup O’ Joe (12:45 – 1:45 PM), and POWERS: Bringing the Graphic Novels to Life Exclusively on PlayStation (3:15 – 4:15 PM) panels and the POWERS Cast Autographing (1:15 – 2:15 PM). (He is somewhat double booked for the signing and the Cup O’ Joe panel. I recommend hitting up the Wolvie or Powers panels as they will be less packed.)
Don’t Be a Sick Scumbag or Standby While Others Are Being Harassed
There is nothing funny about harassment, bullying or sexual abuse. If you see something, say something. If you do nothing, you are part of the problem. NYCC has a Zero Tolerance policy for harassment of any kind, which you can read here. Sexism and misogyny are major illnesses at cons- the remedy is YOU speaking up!
Bring a Portable Cell Phone Charger
Your cell phone will die. It will die quick. Its battery will drain within the first two hours because it will be searching for service the entire time. In the entire Javits Center, there is only about 10 outlets (K, I exaggerated, there is 11). The area around the outlets become a geek warzone as fanboys and fangirls battle to plug in. Bring a portable charger so you don’t have to go through the drama of trying to charge your phone.
Do Not Depend On Your Cell Phone on Saturday
Every year it gets worse, last year there was hardly any reception in the Javits Center on Saturday 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. The other days are much better simply because there are less people. Saturday is an absolute warzone.
Eat At Outside Venders
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.
Buy The Exclusives First Thing
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.
Get to Panels Early
For the big panels, like the Walking Dead or some of the big two’s panels, be sure to get there hella early or you won’t get a seat. I’m talking an hour or more early. For the smaller panels, you don’t have to come as early, but come a few minutes early or you may not get in. Also, if they are handing out free stuff they may run out (I have missed out on some awesome free stuff, dangit).