The 10 Commandments of NYCC! Oct13

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The 10 Commandments of NYCC!

Whether the 2011 New York Comic Con is your 1st con or your 50th, follow the 10 Commandments of NYCC to ensure you (and the people around you) have the most enjoyable time possible!

1. SOAP!

This one is so important I put it in all caps. I know, I know, the smelly comic nerd is a stereotype, but I have been to enough comic book conventions to know that it is a stereotype based in fact! I know that everyone wants to get there early to be the first ones through the doors, but showering with soap on con day is ESSENTIAL.

2. There Are Lines for Everything. Wear Comfortable Shoes.

If you are at NYCC, then hopefully you have a high tolerance for waiting on lines. It would be even better if you enjoyed waiting on lines. There are lines for everything: picking up your ticket, getting into the show, waiting to meet your favorite artist, getting into that choice panel. Many of these lines will be long. So wear comfortable shoes.

3. The Rule of Three

If you’re getting some books signed and there’s a line behind you, limit yourself to getting three things signed. Don’t be the guy who pulls out 50 issues of Amazing Spider-Man for John Romita to sign. No one like that guy. Three books are easy deal with pre- and post-signing. Embrace the rule of three.

4. Is That a Girl?

I don’t when it happened, but it’s happened: girls now make up a sizable percentage of attendees at comic book conventions. You’ll probably be standing next one as you wait on line for Matt Fraction’s autograph. Strike up a conversation. You know you already share a few interests in common: comics, multi-part crossovers, a love for long lines. Aren’t you glad you used soap, now?

5. Pack Light

There are a lot of creators at New York Comic Con. You want signatures. Unlike comic book conventions in other cities, you can’t just run out to your car to put books down. What a lot of people do is pack a backpack so full that you end up looking like King Koopa. Don’t be the giant backpack guy. No one likes being hit in the face by his giant backpack when he swings around to watch Brian Michael Bendis walk to the meatball sub stand. Instead, use a trick I started doing a couple of years ago: buy all the comics you want to get signed once you’re at NYCC. The dealers at NYCC know which creators are going to be there and stock their booths accordingly. A lot times these books can be had for a good bargain too! Save your back!

6. What to Pack

I prefer messenger bags to backpacks. It’s much easier to get things in and out of a messenger bag, plus they look cooler. I pack very light. In my bag is a sketchbook, because I like to get sketches of my favorite characters from the artists in Artist’s Alley, a bottle of water, a couple of granola bars, my NYCC pass, maybe one comic if it’s a very expensive or hard to find one that I really want to get signed and THAT’S IT. Remember, the emptier your bag is when you walk in, the more it will be able to hold on your way out!

7. Be Prepared to Pay for Sketches

Some artists are more than happy to give a quick, free head sketch to a fan. Don’t expect that though. If you want a sketch from an artist, ask if he doing sketches and ask how much he charges. Expect to pay anywhere between $20-$300 for a sketch. If the artist quotes a price that is out of your budget, politely decline. These guys are just like the rest of us. They have rent to pay, kids to feed, new iPhones to buy. Convention sketches are an income stream for them.

8. Bring Enough Cash

A lot of dealers accept credit cards. But if you want to haggle, cash is king. And if you’re paying an artist for a sketch or some original art, chances are she doesn’t have a credit card reader at her booth. There is an ATM in the Javitz Center. From what I remember, it charges a high fee. Hit your bank’s ATM on your way to NYCC.

9. What to Eat

There is NOTHING around the Javitz Convention Center in terms of food. There is a Starbucks stand inside, which always has a long line and always sells out of snacks quickly. Bring some easy to carry snacks with you. Some granola bars, a bag of jelly beans, Combos, whatever you like. Just no chocolate. It melts, and if the wrapper breaks, it will ruin all your comics. Personally, I am a fan of the meatball sub they sell in the convention. It’s a little pricey, but it’s probably the same price you’d pay if you walked to the closest deli for one. And the closest deli is not close.

10. Stay Cool

This is second most important tip after soap, which is why I saved it for the end. NYCC is going to be very crowded. If this year is anything like last year, it will be hard to move around on Saturday and Sunday. Don’t push! Don’t freak out at the person next you! Stay cool. We’re all in this together.

If you follow these 10 Commandments of NYCC, I have no doubt that you will have a great time! This is going to be an awesome four days! Enjoy them!

Written by Billy Henehan and David Henehan