10 Commandments of NYCC 2014


Every year, I like to write up a list of 10 Commandments of NYCC. This is a list of tips to ensure that you (and those around you) have a great time at NYCC.  Consider this your Lifehack: NYCC Pretty much all of these tips fall under the overarching tip of “Be cool.”

1. Bathe. Yeah, yeah, it’s a stereotype that con-goers smell. But I am going to put this at the top of 10 Commandments every year until people stop smelling like garbage bins at NYCC. Bathe. Every day. With soap! And don’t forget the deodorant afterwards. Also, showering in cologne is not the same as showering with soap and water. While you’re at it, maybe give your favorite Batman t-shirt a laundering too. The cute fanboy or fangirl next to you will thank you.

2. Wear comfortable shoes. NYCC is four days long. You’re going to spend a lot of that time waiting in line, with a heavy bag strapped to your back. Sure, Chucks look nice, but they offer no support. You’re better off wearing a pair of running sneakers or if you want to look fancy, Cole Haan Nike Air Lunargrands.

3. Be mindful of your backpacks. I used to tell people “No backpacks!” but I’ve revised that over recent years. A backpack with well padded straps is so much nicer to your back and shoulders. But you need to be mindful of it, especially if you stuff that thing more than someone about to scale the Himalayas. When you turn right, that backpack whacks the person to your left. Look around you before turning. That backpack is like a giant dinosaur tail. Keep your backpack to yourself.

4. Get sketches. One of my favorite things about New York Comic Con is getting sketches from artists in Artist Alley. But I can get why some people would be daunted asking their favorite artist for a sketch. Here’s some handy tips regarding sketches: If there’s a line at the artist’s table, ask the people in line if the artist is sketching and how much it costs. If there is no line, approach the artist directly. Often, they’ll have their sketch rates posted on a sign. But if not, say hello, espouse your love for the artist’s art, and ask if the artist is doing sketches. If the answer is yes, ask how much, and if there is room on their list. Don’t balk at prices. These artists are paying a good deal of money to have a table in Artist’s Alley, and many have flights and hotel costs to cover as well.  If it’s out of your price range, thank them for their time and move on. Hint: If you’d like to get a sketch for a bargain, Franco sketches for only one dollar!


4a. Get sketches (for FREE!!!). Don’t have the money to pay for a sketch? No problem. DC, Marvel and other publishers host signings at their booths throughout NYCC. Often, the artists at these booths will do a quick head sketch for free. All you have to do is ask. Usually, a staff person managing the line will let you know if someone is sketching. Yanick Paquette did gorgeous watercolors at DC’s signing area for free last year. You won’t find a better bargain at NYCC.

5. Be nice to cosplayers. Ask to take their picture. They put a lot of time into their costumes. Let them get in the best pose before you snap away. DON’T be that creepy dude who goes around snapping photos of female cosplayers butts. Don’t leer. Don’t harass. Don’t touch. Be cool.

6. Plan ahead. Every year, New York Comic Con grows bigger and bigger. There are many awesome panels, screenings, signings and photo ops that unfortunately will undoubtably conflict with one another. Plan ahead. Map out your schedule using the NYCC app and website, and check out our Thursday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday Panel Guides.

7. Go early. If the doors open at 10 AM, I recommend being on that line at 8:30 AM at the latest. You don’t need to be the first person through the door, but for some things, you defintely need to be near the front. Tickets for signing sessions with the hottest names in comics like Robert Kirkman, Scott Snyder and Jim Lee are given out on a first come, first serve basis. This is also true for some of the show exclusives. Go early to make sure you don’t miss out.

8.  Make time to eat. Yes, you want to maximize every minute of NYCC. But you can’t do that if you start LBSing. The Javits Center used to be a food wasteland. There was hardly anything inside and the only options outside were blocks away (unless you count the dirty water dog carts. I don’t). That’s changed over the past two years. There’s a lot of food options available on site. Pack some slow-burn snacks too, like granola bars and beef jerky. They’ll keep you feeling full, without the spike and crash of high sugar snacks.

9. Avoid the nerd flu!  There’s nothing worse than waking up on Monday morning with an achy back, knees and shoulders…and a nasty cough. Nerd flu is real. Avoid it by packing a travel size hand sanitizer and washing your hands often. Remember, only you can prevent nerd flu.


10. Keep an eye on your possessions. Unfortunately, NYCC attracts its fair share of villains. I know fans who have put their sketchbook down for a minute to say hi to someone and then turned around to find it missing. Comics pros are targets of thieves as well. Keep your wallet and phone in your front pocket. Make sure all of your bag’s zippers are closed. If you need to put your bag down, keep it in sight at all times.

Bonus tip: Beware The Block. Seriously, that place just freaks me out.

the block