NYCC 2013

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Survival Guide Edition

10th - 13th October 2013 | Written by Maxxum

Last year's New York Comic Con was my first, and it was the most challenging convention I've experienced to date. NYCC combines many forms of geekery, and trying to see every panel you want, photograph every costume you like, and in my case, documenting as much of the con as possible proved a daunting albeit rewarding task. After day one it becomes easier to accept that there will be too many things you will want to see happening simultaneously at different areas of the convention.

However, at the time I steadfastly refused to accept that I couldn't see everything and caused myself unnecessary problems with the lack of sleep, and over-use of energy stimulants. The level of fatigue I'd been experiencing was made clear when someone I knew asked me why I hadn't noticed her friend's breasts. (Catwoman on the left)

This year with a clear mind and a hard rule of leaving the city no later than 10pm, I was able to enjoy more of the things that I did see and can impart what helps to create a memorable and more satisfying NYCC visit.

Basic Supplies

The convention occurs inside the Jacob K. Javits Convention Center, a building totaling 675,000sqft of space, separated into seven distinct building components; the "Crystal Palace" being the most striking section.

Crystal Palace (structure)

Given how large the complex is, one would expect that food and water would be easily available, and though they are to be found at all places inside the building, wait times can be upwards of 45 minutes to an hour anywhere other than one of the small kiosks - so it's advisable for non-cosplayers to carry food for a group. I make the distinction since if you're dressed in costume, you likely won't have anything to hold your food, because wearing something other than what your character would own goes against the Cosplay Code.

People unfamiliar with cosplay will think I'm kidding, but regular con attendees know if you wear a book-bag with your cosplay you will be ex-communicated. When people spend hundreds, if not thousands of dollars on their costume, the last thing they want to do is break character with a book-bag/purse. And, they also don't want to linger around people who make them look bad through association.

Speaking of costumes... if you're in one when it comes time to relieve yourself, you may find it difficult if your costume is too complex to remove without help. This isn't a problem for men as much as it is women. Lines for the women's bathroom are long, so long that eventually some give up and use the men's bathroom instead.

As I'm not a cosplayer, I had no costume concerns, however walking into a men's bathroom as a girl in green paint and cat ears stares at you upon entering can be somewhat alarming when you 1.) wonder if you're in the right bathroom, and 2.) wonder if the women will watch you at the urinal.

My biggest problem last year was that I hadn't brought any food, so after leaving two 1hr long panels in row, I had to wait even more time to eat. With energy bars already at hand, I ate on my feet almost each day, and at the end relaxed at a Chinese store/restaurant on 41st.

Weeping Angel

We know why she weeps


At a con as large as NYCC, there will be little room to walk and you will constantly bump into people. People tend to use the most obvious walking paths, such as the hallways on the same level as the exhibit or panel they want to see. Whenever possible, use the walkways one or more levels below your destination point. For example, if I were trying to reach Exhibit Hall 3E (Level 3), I would use the walkway on Level 1, then take the stairs at the end to Level 2, then Level 3. If instead you walked straight through the Level 3, it would mean going through the crowds that are either leaving/entering Javits Center, or that are entering/leaving any of the other Exhibit Halls (3A through 3D). Floor Map

Crystal Palace (Level 2)


There's nothing clever that I need to put here... the con opens at 10am, and closes at 9pm; going to bed at a reasonable hour shouldn't be difficult if you're local to the event. Late nights are typical at cons, and a city like New York has a lot to offer at any hour, but in my experience fatigue can lead to mistakes that eventually snowball. I commonly see people drop articles of clothing, cash, memorabilia that was improperly stowed... keep your wits and think twice about energy drinks. When I told my doctor how many aids I'd been consuming to stay awake at cons, he ordered me off caffeine.


A special note on taxis... some of them can be unscrupulous. For people who have hotels on the Jersey side of the Lincoln Tunnel, be prepared to say "no" when a driver asks you for toll fare. There is no toll to leave New York through Lincoln, the toll is only to go through the tunnel when entering the city.

Say no to sneaky taxi drivers.


There are more photos included in the articles top left, and I'll be posting them to our Facebook page. If I spoke to you and posted your photo, I invite you to tag yourself.

End of line.

Photos by Maxxum