The Comic Con Checklist

New York Comic Con

New York Comic Con

New York Comic Con is almost here (2 days to go!), and this year I’m making an effort to be as prepared as possible.  I thought I might share my list of things to have and do, that way you can learn from my past mistakes (and suggest something I might have missed!)

Let’s begin!

1. PERSONAL HYGIENE

It’s sad that this has to be listed at all, but comics fans have a reputation for not being the most appearance-conscious folks out there.  Be sure to shower either the night before or the morning of the convention, to brush your teeth before you go, and to wear freshly-washed clothes.  Creators would really prefer it if they couldn’t smell you coming from down the aisle.

2. ID AND TICKET-RELATED MATERIALS

If you can’t prove that you’re who you say you are, they won’t give you your ticket.  Be sure to bring any ticket confirmation e-mails (and the credit card you used to pay for them) and have them ready when you go to claim your badge.  If you have your ticket already, be sure to bring it!

3. APPAREL

There are two distinctly different paths when it comes to convention apparel, but since I have no real cosplay experience I’ll only cover what non-costumed people wear.  I suggest comfortable, yet moderately tasteful clothes (T-shirts should probably be a maximum of 8 years old) and the most comfortable pair of shoes you own, preferably with cushioned in-soles.  NYCC in particular has no seating areas other than panels and part of the concession area, so you’ll be standing or walking almost the entire time.  Bring a warm, heavy coat (it’s February, after all!) that you can leave at coat-check.  The temperature inside the convention itself is usually well-managed, so anything with long sleeves should be enough.  Also, be sure to bring a timepiece of some sort (be it watch or cell phone) because NYCC has a busy schedule, and clocks are few and far between.

4. BACKPACK

There’s no reason why your storage method of choice has to be a backpack, but I recommend it over a shoulder bag or messenger bag because the weight is more evenly distributed throughout your body.  If I thought I could get away with it, I’d seriously consider bringing my camping backpack with the external frame and the hip-straps that distribute the weight between upper and lower halves.  Suffice it to say that there’s a good chance your bag will be substantially heavier when you leave than when you enter, so you’d better make sure you can carry it comfortably at its full capacity.

5. FOOD

I don’t remember what the rules are on bringing food into NYCC, but it’s worth at least attempting to sneak some stuff in.  What little food is available is frightfully expensive and often a lovely combination of bad food badly prepared.  There are no places to eat within comfortable walking distance (especially in February) either, so be prepared to pony up for a cab or settle for McDonald’s if you wish to venture out.  I plan to bring a few high-calorie energy bars and a bottle of water, though I’m thinking of bringing my hydration pack (the kind that’s a big bag of water inside a backpack, with a tube that reaches around to your mouth as a straw.)  Basically, NYCC is like going for a ten-mile hike in a movie theater.

6. CREATOR-RELATED STUFF

Last year my mission was to get autographs, which required me to bring everything I wanted signed in my backpack.  I had a list of about 15 potential creators whose autograph I wanted, and I wanted more than one for some of them.  This added up to a lot of space in my pack, and a lot of weight carried around all day.  If you’re going to do this at all, I don’t recommend doing it all in one day.  If you are going for autographs, don’t forget your sharpies!  You never know when your favorite creator’s one will run out of ink, or if it won’t write properly on the material or something.  I recommend two sharpies, one black and one silver.

This year I’m going sketch-hunting, so I’ll be bringing a sketchpad.  I’m not sure what the protocol is on this, though, as I’ve never done it before.  My guess is that some artists will be happy to draw on the sketchpad, while others will prefer to use their own materials.  I want to be ready in either case, though.

If you plan on going to certain panels or signings, be sure to print out a copy of the itinerary and keep it with you.  Check it often, and keep your ears open.  Schedules often change, and you don’t want to miss that premiere screening of Dollhouse!

If you’re going to try for pictures with your favorite creator/star, be sure to put fresh batteries in your camera (or plug it in to charge it) and clear your memory card of any extraneous or incriminating pictures.

If you plan on being bold enough to ask questions during the Q&A section of a panel, be sure to think them up and write them down in advance.  There’s less chance of succombing to crippling stage fright that way.

7. MONEY

Last, but certainly not least, we come to the big $.  Conventions are expensive, and you’ll likely end up spending a lot more than you planned to.  While more booths take credit cards than ever before (including Jetpack Press, according to Scott Wegener) you don’t want to have to rely on your plastic to get you through the day.  There’s an ATM booth prominently located near the main entrance this year (at least I think that’s what it is), but it’s better to take the money out of your bank in advance so you don’t have to pay exorbidant surcharges.

Okay, that’s everything I can think of.  Did I miss something terribly important?  Was something way off the mark?  Your insight is always welcome, loyal readers.  See you at the Con!

EDIT: P.S., does anybody have any recommendations regarding back issue sellers? My wish list looks like this:

Damage Control (anything but the WWH trade, which I already have)

Zenith (Can you even get this series in the USA?)

Two-Step

Steven Grant’s Mortal Souls (I’ll try to pick up the collection at the Avatar booth)

The Foot Soldiers Vol. 1 (I already have the single issues, but I’d like it collected as well)

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2 Responses

  1. great post i hope i can get to next years..

    newman

  2. Nice!! Those tips will help me the next year!!

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