It’s that time of the year again!
New York Comic-Con 2019 kicks off its four-day event starting today, I wanted to continue my annual brief and straight-to-the-point survival guide including all the changes and updates.
NYCC 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, located between 34th and 38th streets at 429 11th Ave.
The Main Floor:
Thursday October 3rd, 10 am. to 7 pm.
Friday October 4th, 10 am. to 7 pm.
Saturday October 5th, 10 am. to 7 pm.
Sunday October 6th, 10 am. to 5 pm.
Panels and Screenings start from:
Thursday October 3rd, 10 am. to 10 pm.
Friday October 4th, 10 am. to 10 pm.
Saturday October 5th, 10 am. to 10 pm.
Sunday October 6th, 10:30 am. to 5 pm.
The NYCC also 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.
This year ReedPOP has continued their partnership with Anime Expo for Anime Fest @ NYCC X Anime Expo. This year, there is a venue change. Anime Fest has moved from the Pier to the Hudson Mercantile, just a block away from the Javitz putting #AFNYCC back into the middle of the action.
Anime Fest will have intimate and exclusive panels and signings, tickets sold separately.
If you haven’t obtained a pass for Comic-Con, normally you would be out of luck. This time around NYCC has partnered up with Lyte Badge Exchange. The service was designed to be a safe, legitimate badge exchange. So for those who purchased a pass but can no longer attend, you can now return your sold-out badge types to Lyte. If a badge you want is already sold out, make a reservation through Lyte.
Lyte Badge Exchange
Get a Pass @ Lyte Badge Exchange[ ]
A very important note, in order to activate your badge you must “Fan Verify” prior. With a Fan Verified account, you’ll have access to next year’s presale for NYCC 2020 as well as pre-show lotteries for exhibitor exclusives, private autographing signings with celebrities, reserved seating in some of our biggest panels and much more.
NYCC 2019 Fan Verification
Fan Verify [ ]
Picking up your badge at the event Activate your badge.
Activate your badge.
Activating your badge is required prior to attending, not doing so will slow down your entry into the Con. One of the advantages to activating is the ability for scan your badge to enter contents, competitions and lotteries. If you haven’t done so as yet, visit the link below.
NYCC Badge Activation
Activate Badge [ ]
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.
SYFY @ NYCC Livestream
While the majority of the events are at Javitz Center Main Stage, there are loads of other off-site events at Hulu Theater at Madison Square Garden, The Hammerstein Ballroom at the Manhattan Center and a few other locations.
The Official New York Comic Con mobile app.
This is probably the best version of the New York Comic Con app yet. With the app, 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 the location of all the show floors, panels, and Artist Alley. As the day goes by extremely fast and you’ll want to make the best use of your time.
This year there is one major change, most of the panel events have a special pre-show lottery allocating 50% the seats for priority seating. If this is the first time you’re reading about this, fear not. If you’re interested in attending an event at Javitz main stage, please review the Main Stage Clearing and Badge Tapping page for more information on how to reserve a seat.
For seating at Hulu Theater at Madison Square Garden and the Hammerstein Ballroom at the Manhattan Center general admission seating is first-come, first-serve.
Also follow @NYCCLines on Twitter and opt into NYCC push notifications to assist in forecasting your seating odds.
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 [ ]
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 [ ] Ca$h [ ] Rubber Bands [ ]
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. Please refrain from inappropriate touching.
As I mentioned above the Jacob K. Javits Convention Center is located between 34th and 38th streets at 429 11th Ave.
The following train stops at 34th Street/Hudson Yards:
Via 11th Avenue: 7 Train
The following trains stop at 34th Street/Penn Station:
The Long Island Railrod, Amtrak, New Jersey Transit,
PATH (33rd Street and 6th Avenue) and the following subway lines:
Via 8th Avenue: A, C, E Trains
Via 7th Avenue: 1, 2, 3 Trains
Via 6th/7th Avenue: B, D, F, N, Q, R Trains
From the North (Westchester, Connecticut, Massachusetts)
95 South (via the Cross-Bronx Expressway) to the George Washington Bridge. At approach to bridge, bear right to lower level. Exit at the last exit in New York–Parkway South–9A. Follow Parkway South (Henry Hudson Parkway/West Side Highway) to 42nd Street. Turn left. Go one block to 11th Avenue and turn right.
Saw Mill River Parkway/Henry Hudson Parkway/Route 9A: Follow 9A South to 42nd Street. Turn Left. Go one block to 11th Avenue and turn right.
New York State Thruway/Major Deegan Expressway/Route 87: Major Deegan Expressway to George Washington Bridge exit. Stay in right lane towards lower level. Exit at the last exit in New York–Parkway South–9A. Follow Parkway South (Henry Hudson Parkway/West Side Highway) to 42nd Street. Turn left. Go one block to 11th Avenue and turn right.
From the South (New Jersey, Delaware, Pennsylvania, etc.)
95 North to the New Jersey Turnpike. Exit at the Lincoln Tunnel. When exiting the tunnel, bear left. Follow signs for uptown or northbound to 42nd Street. Turn left onto 42nd Street until you reach 11th Avenue and turn left.
George Washington Bridge to Parkway South– 9A. At 42nd Street, turn left. Go one block to 11th Avenue and turn right.
From Queens and Long Island
Queens-Midtown Tunnel: Take Southbound or Downtown exit to 34th Street and turn right. Go west and turn right on 11th Avenue.
Queensboro/59th Street Bridge: Take 60/61st Street Exit. Go to 5th Avenue alongside Central Park to 59th Street. Turn right onto 59th Street to 7th Avenue and turn left. Go two blocks to 57th Street and turn right. Follow 57th Street to 11th Avenue and turn left. The Center is between 34th and 38th streets.
From Staten Island
Verrazano-Narrows Bridge eastbound to the Gowanus Expressway, to the Brooklyn Battery Tunnel. Exit westbound to the West Side Highway/12th Avenue. At 34th Street, turn right. Go one block to 11th Avenue and take a left.
*Please see link for offsite parking options around the Javits Center*
Additional parking lots not mentioned on the above link.
550 West 25th Street- GGMC Parking
363 West 30th Street-Icon Parking
404 West 37th Street
305 West 33rd Street-Quik Park Truffles LLC
310 West 39th Street-39th and Eighth Parking LLC
510 West 41st Street-JDS Parking LLC
350 West 42nd Street-Icon Parking
253 West 29th Street-Garden Garage LLC
475 West 41st Street-MPG Parking
641 West 41st Street
Plan Navigation [ ]
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, but with this year’s seating lottery things will be even tighter. If there is a special panel or 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 this year’s survival guide. Did I miss anything? If you have any other questions? Check out the official NYCC Website or their Frequently Asked Questions page NYCC FAQS.