It’s that time of year again! We’re just days away from the New York Comic Con! The convention is descending on the city of New York and the excitement is starting to set in for all of us attending. I’ve been attending this convention since its inception and as a native New Yorker I’ve noticed dozens of people struggle to navigate their way around the city and convention to find decent places to both eat and more importantly use the bathroom. Seriously, navigating your way around is critical when you’re walking around in storm trooper armor and this year it will be even more important as the show perpetually grows in size and scale year in and year out but not the lavatories. Seriously, too many people think just going to the nearest McDonald’s is an option but I assure you it’s mobbed day in and day out.
USE THE NEW YORK COMIC CON APP!!!
This tool is amazingly awesome and extremely helpful for making sure you don’t miss you’re desired panel. It’s incredibly easy to lose track of time at the show while waiting in lines. Lines will easily eat hours of your day and this helpful app will provide you not only with reminders but oh so needed directions. Not only do you need to know when to be there, but you also need to know how to get there as navigating the Javits center is a herculean task in itself especially in such a large crowd. Thankfully the folks at the convention provide this helpful floor plan to help get you started in planning your attack.
This is mission critical. IF you want to attend your desired panel, booth or signing you need to arrive extremely early in order to get in line. If you get there by 8:30 A.M. then you’re already too late! Most panel lines are full before the convention even starts and that’s due to the thousands of people who attend the show and camp out the night before. Don’t doubt how hardcore these fans truly are.
Wear Comfortable Shoes
There’s a lot of walking involved at the show and while you abuse your feet for hours on end the least you can do is try your best to wear comfortable shoes! The Javits has a strict policy on not allowing you to go barefoot so try your best to find your most comfortable pair and WEAR EM!
Some of the lines for food are longer than the lines in the actual show. Not only this, but they’re incredibly expensive! A sandwich, fries, and soft drink will easily cost you $20 or more while attending the show. There are some places outside the show that will offer some munchies like the $4 hot dog vendors that stalk you as you wait to enter but if possible BRING FOOD! BRING WATER! You likely want to use all of your hard earned dollars in the actual show that also cost you a lot of hard earned dollars to attend.
Find Artist Alley
The show has expanded in recent years to include a warehouse size addition to the convention center and houses the actual artist alley of the show! It’s true, the alley is gigantic and is not at all on the main show floor although you will see some of your artists walking back and forth from their artist alley booth to their scheduled Marvel booth signing. Make sure you find this awesome area to talk to your favorite artists, get some signatures, and original art!
Learn the schedule
A not-so-new thing with comic book artists is the idea of charging for their signature. Sure, they don’t take into consideration your airfare, ticket, and costume price yet they will stick to their guns and charge anywhere between $5 -$50 for signatures. The good thing is if your favorite artist is scheduled to appear at the Marvel/Image/DC comics official booth signings they will likely forego their charging during their time in these areas so it’s important to know where and when your artist/writer will be in these areas and plan accordingly.
Learn the Surrounding Area
Local restaurants are weary to let people use their bathrooms unless your a paying customer and with that in mind Reed Pop and Four Square have put together this infographic map to help you find convention friendly establishments for any of you visiting the show.
· Action Burger Tip: “Free video games while you wait… Open late.” – Carey
Tip: “25 craft beers on tap and 80s style arcade games, what’s not to love?! Also- Happy hour runs 2-8PM Saturdays and Sundays.” – Stevie
Tip: “Very good beers, nice authentic atmosphere. All you need to meet some friends and have a chat!” – Maxine
Tip: “Superhero store that poses as a front for a non-profit supporting kids creativity?! This place is just the best. Restock on capes, buy cans of gravity, or follow the trap door to volunteer with kids.” – Andrea
Tip: “Courtyard by Marriott shares this space with Residence and is the official hotel of New York Comic Con. The Bistro will be serving NYCC themed cocktails.” – Foursquare
Tip: “If you are a Hunger Games fan, the exhibit at DTS is a must.” – Kayleigh
Tip: “A bar dedicated to superheroes and $3 PBR & whiskey specials.” – Spike
Tip: “Lots of different event/conventions on. Make sure to bring comfy shoes, this place is huge!” – Chloe
Tip: “The Marvel Super heroes 4D show was amazing. In addition to the show you also get to see all the Marvel Avengers wax figures-Hulk was the best.” – Sandra
Tip: “Get upstairs to look at the motherload of toys and statues” – Michael
Tip: “The twin peaks themed bathroom by itself is worth the trip” – John
Tip: “An ever rotating exhibit of amazing pieces of comic book history. A must visit for any comics fans!” – Dora
Tip: “NYC’s only SciFi bookshop!” – Ash
Tip: “Great place to enjoy a drink with fellow nerds. The TARDIS bathroom is a sight to see but the friendly bartenders are also just as amazing. They have a drink & draw the 2nd Saturday of every month.” – Will
Tip: “Great selection of Japanese/Anime figures/collectables.” – Matt
Tip: “Beers and video games. Two of the 5 food groups!” – Tracey
Tip: “Great theater! Check out a weekend matinee for $8.50 and be sure to head around the corner afterwards to see the awesome superhero mural on the side of the building!” – Nikki
Tip: “Not only is there a coin-op SF2 Champion Edition machine in the front, but I wandered in late one night and there were 15 dudes sitting around playing SF4 on Xbox in the back. This place is legit.” – Den
This is crucial for tourists who need to know where to go and while hopefully stifle those of you who use our city’s curbs as your public restroom. Not cool dudes, not cool.
See you at the show!