photos: Vintage Frenchie from NYCCs past
*deep inhale* Ahhhhh, yes, the sweet scent of geekdom in the air! New York Comic Con aka “Geek Prom” at the illustrious Jacob Javits Center is upon us, where comic/sci-fi/anime/gaming/etc. fandoms the world over will converge to form something of a black hole. Of awesome. How best to describe the experience? Well, to some, the idea is this:
And, while that is a lot of what goes on, it can sort of feel…hmm. Let me see. Okay! Remember that opening scene from the movie ‘Blade’? The whole “Bloodbath” thing? Here’s a refresher:
THAT’S what it’s like. Every sense is on high alert and your mind is trying to absorb everything at once but it JUST.CAN’T. So here’s my little list of things I deem most important in the quest to enjoy NYCC without feeling too overwhelmed.
1) Pack small, protein-based snacks to keep you going. Not only is con food expensive but having to completely stop your show floor trolling/skip panels because you feel faint is a total buzzkill. My favorites are beef/turkey jerky, M&M Peanuts, trail mix, and granola bars.
2) Grab a significant amount of cash from the ATM before you enter the convention center! Again, you want to cut expense and your time waiting on the endless lines to get more money. For large purchases, 99.99% of booths will accept credit/debit cards, so the cash is mainly for knick-knacks and any con food you do end up buying.
3) Speaking of which, it’s best to resign yourself to the fact that you WILL be spending more money than you’d like. Minimize what you can and just accept it when you end up splurging on things here and there; there are so many geek related items that are easier to acquire at Comic Con than anywhere else. *ONE YEAR, I SCORED THE SOUNDTRACKS TO BOTH ‘LEGEND’ AND THE ORIGINAL ‘FRIGHT NIGHT’. I HADN’T LIVED UNTIL THEN.* Working with a budget helps. So does reminding yourself that this is only once a year.
4) HAVE AN ATTACK PLAN. Listen, I cannot stress this enough. It is stressful as fuck but trust me when I say that having a plan is key to a great con experience. It can be as flexible or concrete as you want but have something to guide you as there is way too much going on in the Jacob Javits Center to go in blind, only to later discover you missed something awesome simply because you didn’t “study” beforehand. Go to the site, check out “My Show Planner”, and get the low-down on any guests/panels/booths you want to hit. You can keep it digital but I, personally, am more tactile i.e. I print my schedule and break out the highlighter. You’re going to save so much angst in the long run.
5) Bring a water bottle and hydrate accordingly. It’s incredibly easy to dehydrate when you’re walking MILES and talking about shared passions at the same time. Also, all that body heat means you start to feel like a roasted chicken.
6) Pack light in GENERAL. Back to minimizing, take the least you can or the smallest versions of your “must haves”. You can coat/bag check the majority of your things but you still don’t want to be stuck dragging around nonsense items from home when there is serious swag in your future.
7) Stay fresh in every way possible, people. I’m talking Purell, wipes, deodorant, gum/mints, getting rest, taking vitamins, etc. Think of it as prep for a marathon because that’s essentially what it is. And it’s a marathon filled, to the brim, with a large number of humans in a central location. That means GERMS. Do you want to get lurgy? Didn’t think so.
8) Yo. Do not forget any batteries or chargers you may need. DO NOT. You will only end up having a Darth Vader moment that you’ll be kicking yourself over later. Unless you’re actually dressed as Vader and then, I don’t know, chalk it up to realism? Certainly, some kind and nerdy soul will help if they can, but everyone will be needing to charge their own electronics as well.
That’s about it, guys! Get dressed up, go in, have fun, rinse, and repeat! I’ll catch ya on the flipside!
P.S. If you have business cards, bring them. Comic Con is a hotbed for networking and you never know who you’ll meet!