Survival Guide to New York Comic Con

For those not in the know, the New York Comic Con is the largest annual East Coast pop culture convention (second largest in America), run by ReedPOP and annually hosted in New York’s Jacob K. Javits Convention Center.

Although it is called “Comic Con”, it is much, much more than that now. The NYCC hosts the latest and greatest in comics, graphic novels, anime, manga, toys, cosplay, television, movies, and video games. There are special panels, photo-op, autograph sessions giving fans unique opportunities to see and meet their favorite artists, celebrities and creators. Screening rooms featuring sneak peeks at films, movies, and television shows sometimes months before they are released. Behind the scenes, NYCC is also a marketplace, permitting major players in the entertainment industry to meet and create new opportunities.

While the majority of the events are at Javitz, there are loads of other off-site events at Hammerstein Ballroom, Madison Square Garden and a few other locations (NYCC Badge required for entry). This year ReedPOP has announced a partnership with Anime Expo for a show called Anime Fest @ NYCC X Anime Expo (separate badge purchase is required for entry). The four-day event would be held at Pier 94 running concurrently with the NYCC.

Assuming you’ve already obtained your pass, the guide is waiting for you. Those without a pass obtaining one will be difficult at this stage. With New York Comic-Con kicking off its four-day event starting today, I wanted to write a brief and straight-to-the-point survival guide.

The Checklist:

Activate your badge.
Activating your badge is required prior, not doing so will slow down your entry into the Con. If you haven’t done so as yet, visit the link below.
http://www.newyorkcomiccon.com/Attend/Badges/Badge-Activation/

Activate Badge [ ]

The official New York Comic Con mobile app.
After a few years, the app has finally hit its ‘useful’ stride. With it, you have the ability to check off all the things, events, you’re interested in. Focus on the events you’re determined to attend. The app also includes a complete map of the Javitz Center displaying where all the show floors, panels, and Artist Alley are located. The day goes by extremely fast and you’ll want to make the best use of your time.

If you’re an avid social media user, make sure to follow the show’s official Twitter handle, @NY_Comic_Con and @NYCCLines for those important updates.

SYFY WIRE is the official live streaming partner for New York Comic Con, so if you’re not going a particular day, you won’t feel completely left out.
https://www.syfy.com/syfywire/nycc/live-stage-and-panel-schedule

Download New York Comic Con App [ ]

Walking, Water and Snacks.
If this is your first NYCC, expect to walk a whole lot. Please make sure to wear comfortable walking shoes. There is an overload of visual stimuli that it will take hours to get from one end to the other, I’m not exaggerating. Food is allowed inside the NYCC, but if you plan on staying a while, say for a panel or event, you may not want to carry a lot with you. There are loads of places inside the Con that serve food but expect to pay a little premium for the convenience. Outside the Con, vendors are everywhere and of course, many restaurants are around just a long walk away. Events at Hammerstein Ballroom and Madison Square Garden may have alternative requirements about allowing food into the venue. For me, the balance is a light refillable water bottle and portable snacks.

Refillable water bottle [ ]
Portable Snacks [ ]

Hygiene.
The average attendee is at the event an average of 5 hours per day. Between the crowds, cosplayers, the lineups, hours of walking around, it doesn’t hurt to be prepared with a few things and be courteous to others. My personal list includes hand sanitizer, deodorant, a small packet of baby wipes, a small packet of Clorox wipes.

Hand Sanitizer [ ]
Deodorant [ ]
A small packet of baby wipes [ ]
A small packet of Clorox wipes [ ]

Miscellaneous: The Charge, The Cash, and The Bands.
In previous years mobile and WiFi service inside the con can be a bit tricky, never assume it’ll be perfect. That being said, between taking loads of pictures and trying to get service, expect your mobile battery to drain faster than you expect. While there are outlets and charging stations around NYCC, you’ll certainly be fortunate to find an available one. I’ve learned to have a portable mobile charger (not to be confused with the power plug) for your phone, is a great way to keep moving without having to be tethered anywhere waiting for a charge up. If you plan on buying comics or valuables, bring in an appropriately sized bag. I know it should be a given but, Cash is king. There are ATMs located all over the floor, but not always easily accessible when you need them. If I’m right about the mobile service, expect delays when purchasing from certain vendors, unless they only take cash. They are loads of vendors selling affordable poster tubes with shoulder straps, great for carrying signed art and of course posters, while keeping you hands-free. Finally, this may seem silly at first, trust me, you’ll thank me. Bring a small bag of rubber bands.

Portable mobile charger [ ]
Bag to hold items, purchases [ ]
Cash [ ]
Rubber Bands [ ]

Cosplay.
I am a huge fan of cosplayers. Comic-Con is a great way for people to display their true fandom, dressing as their favorite heroes, villains, anime characters, etc. I have seen detailed work that rivals what one sees on-screen and off the pages. Here is a special heads up for you. NYCC will be implementing a weapons and bag check on all attendees, tagging prop weapons with a different color band every show day. If by any means they believe your prop may affect public safety, they may tag it and leave it to be picked up on your exit.
This takes place at the entrance tent on the Inner Roadway as well as the Crystal Palace.

For those who wish to take pictures of or with people in Cosplay, just ask politely. They’ve put work into it and I’m certain they’ll want to share the memory with you. Although I shouldn’t have to mention it, please refrain from inappropriate touching.

Getting there.
Getting to NYCC, in theory, should be easy, as a New Yorker that’s not always the case. For those taking the Subway during the weekend.
If you’re taking the Subway, check out mta.info
Other helpful sites and apps include, citymapper and of course Google Maps.
For those coming from Queens, New York a heads up. Gothamist reported, “Starting at 12:15 a.m. on Saturday, until 4:30 a.m. on Monday, service on the 7 line will be suspended between Queensboro Plaza and 34 St-Hudson Yards, i.e., between Queens and the hulking Manhattan conference complex where Comic Con takes place. E, N, R, W, and S trains will step in to take its place, along with free shuttle buses.
Bottom line, get to 34 street and take a nice walk.

Plan Navigation [ ]

Getting in.
Unless you plan on getting there the very second they open for a panel, or a lineup for a special reason at all and you’re not a Pro, Press, Industry, or Crew badge holder (they have a faster entry). The sweet spot for going in is 11:00 am, instead of 10:00 am. There are people lining up to get in as we speak, and as it gets closer to 10 am, that line will be insane. By the time the majority of the people at the back of that line get in, it’s almost 11 am.

Panels, Special Events, and lineups.
Seasoned NYCC vets, know the deal. If there is a special panel and event expect a lineup possibly an hour plus before entry. If you pre-purchased a photo-op, you’ll want to be there at least 15 minutes before your scheduled appointment, without an appointment, have cash ready.

Going with a group?
Once in, expect everyone may want to split up into different directions. Never assume wherever you go, great mobile reception will follow. If you plan on separating, or in case you do, it’ll be smart to agree to a specific location to meet at a later time.

Meet up location [ ]

Okay, that’s a wrap of my survival guide. Did I miss anything? If you have any other questions about NYCC, check out the official NYCC Website at
http://www.newyorkcomiccon.com their Frequently Asked Questions Page below.
http://www.newyorkcomiccon.com/Attend/NYCC-Fan-FAQs/

Sources: newyorkcomiccon.com, gothamist