This is it. You have three days left to live before the asteroid hits, and you’ve decided that rather than spending time with loved ones, you’re going to hit up New York Comic-Con, and hang out with 100,000 of your fellow geeks. Good choice! So if we may, here’s a Bucket List of the ten things you have to do before you die… At New York Comic-Con:
1. Hit Up Artist Alley
I mean, duh right? Except last year, Artist Alley was alarmingly sparsely populated with guests, at least as opposed to the rest of the over-packed Con floor. That may have something to do with it being separated by a passageway from the main floor, but this year, you can also check out the Small Press section in the same area. Particularly when you get fed up with waiting three days to play Arkham City, Artist Alley is a great place to actually buy stuff, chat with artists and writers, and you know, experience what a Comic Con is all about. Also, if you want a sketch, be sure to hit the more popular artists up early, their schedules off fill up even before the Con.
Seriously. The sport of Wizards may not involve flying around on broomsticks in the real world, but the International Quidditch Association is counting down to their fifth annual World Cup (which maybe your faithful writer will be an announcer at, so look for more news there maybe soon?), and will be prepping with an exhibition match at the Con. If magical sports aren’t your style, there’s always Wand battle demonstrations, light saber fights, and even a real life version of the Running Man! Not really, but I will be hunting people for sport, so there is that.
3. Snag An Exclusive
You can get trades and figures almost anywhere (well, if you live in New York City, literally anywhere), but every Con has its own exclusive figures, variants, and debuts. And yes, there’s the action figures that will put you on line all day, and the books that are “exclusive!” until Wednesday… But our favorites are always the quirky Con stuff you can’t get anywhere else, like Katie Cook’s adorable cute piggy variant for Image’s PIGS #1.
4. Submit Your Portfolio
Your best in to the comic book industry is always going to be, “publish your own comic,” and hey, luckily at a Con there’s plenty of opportunities to schmooze with artists or writers – go back to Tip #1. But particularly if you’re an artist, this is your chance to get a portfolio review by one or more of the big publishers. Will it pan out to anything? Probably not. Will you even get a chance, considering the reviews fill up super early? Again, maybe not. But check with the publishers early about their rules, submit your best, most current work, and more than anything: listen to their advice. Be humble and helpful, because a good attitude goes a long way.
Okay, forget about your own dreams, and embrace someone else’s. Jay and Silent Bob – aka, Jason Mewes and Kevin Smith hit the IGN theater for a live recording of their podcast. It’ll be filthy, it’ll be profane, and it’ll be the sort of thing you’ll never, ever tell your kids about. But we bet it’ll be fun, too.
6. Catch a Screening
At San Diego, one of my favorite experiences was accidentally ending up in a screening I had no idea about while I waited to see the Locke & Key pilot (which, by the way, is screening at NYCC and is not to be missed). There’s a number of strange things with weird titles here at New York, so do yourself a favor and check at something you know nothing about, that you may never get to see again. Also, did I mention don’t miss Locke & Key? Yeah, don’t.
There is seriously a Maid Café at New York Comic-Con. I don’t know how to feel about this. For those of you who don’t know, this Japanese phenomenon is exactly what it sounds like, dressing women in maid costumes straight out of anime, and having them serve you coffee. The Apple Kissa Maid Café is setting up right in the middle of NYCC, and will provide a unique place to get caffeinated AND feel uncomfortable. Also, they have a list of 10 rules, which include, “Restrict your language and actions to PG-13,” which I guess means they should be okay with some nudity, as long as its in a blockbuster movie or non-sexual in nature? I’m gonna bring my copy of Titanic in case there’s a problem.
8. Go On a Date
We’re continuing to head down a weird, uncomfortable rabbit hole here, but if you happen to be headed to the Con sans significant others, why not go on a date? You’ve got a few options, including geek friendly speed dating all day on Saturday, and one session on Sunday. Or you could go for an intimate, romantic dinner with Marvel Comics’ C.B. Cebulski, Axel Alonso, and Joe Quesada, hosted by awesome New York chef Wylie Dufresne. All of these sessions have sold out, but we say that love (and eBay) will always find a way.
Don’t sit around anxiously waiting for that exclusive party invite, when there’s plenty of after-hours activity that’s fun and free, from a TheOneRing.net Party that, we assume, will be serving Second Breakfast, to a Panda Cosplay Party, which sounds like we’re getting dangerously close to DragonCon territory. There’s also, oh, I don’t know, the entire island of Manhattan if you’re looking to do something fun once the Con closes.
…Your Lego figures that you buy at New York Comic Con! That’s definitely what I’m referring to, and not the madness that will engulf the Marvel booth, and the IGN Theater on Saturday. Nope, not at all. Just Legos. Love those things.