Thursday, October 11, 2012

The First Timer's Comic Con Survival Kit

Everything you need to last three days at New York's fabulous labyrinthine Javit's Center!

1. Water. At least two 12oz bottles daily. A Vitamin Water is a suggested substitute as it replenishes electrolytes but has less sugar in most cases than Gatorade, so no crash. Energy shots are acceptable, half in the morning, half in the afternoon.

2. Camera. Or something with a camera. You will see some things. Oh man, will you see some things! Anything you can fire off a quick snap is best. If you're a smartphone user, look into that swipe-from-lock-screen kind of stuff beforehand.

3. Phone charger. You will not find three-prong outlets anywhere EXCEPT: power strips at info desks and on the uppermost anime floor. (The former are manned until the wee hours of the evening, the latter you merely have to assault a JSDF foxgirl cafe maid to get to.)

4. A backpack. Aside from holding all this stuff, it will—hands free!— hold all the stuff you're going to buy. Speaking of…

5. Like twice the money you thought you would need. Listen, you're going to be buying a lot of swag. Stuff you didn't even think you'd need. And there will be free stuff. You'll probably buy a thing that comes with a giant bag. These bags are awful. Put that inside a smaller, better bag. As for money, take 1/3 with you the first day, 1/2 the second day, and if you're there the rest on Day Three. With this plan you may only need to break out the debit card at after parties and for a train ticket home.

6. A book if you plan to stand in line for anything.

Additionally, Never bring the following items:

A. A coat. I know it's cold out. It's New York in October. However the temperature inside will quickly climb past "balls hot" with a stench to match after the first day.

B. Anything heavy. Remember that backpack? Still gonna get too heavy too quickly. The goal for most of your time is going to be "pack light." If it looks like you can save your buying until the end of the day, do it. Many vendors will gladly hold your 30lb, $400 Green Lantern statue for you at their booth, since you just gave them $400.

C. Your house keys. Unless you live in NYC and are heading home every night, leaving your keys and any non-essentials/valuables wherever you're crashing. You don't need them, you don't want to lose them, and, yes, it's possible even Iron Man can be mugged in New York. I think that's happened at least once in the comics.

D. Your computer. Seriously, don't be that guy. Unless you're already being paid to be there for a specific panel, you're not a reliable news source and you don't need to be leaching the cell networks trying to tether your Pad, Pad, Book, and MiFi through your phone's carrier signal because you're too cheap to shill out the $11 a day for Javits Center WiFi. Get your blogger apps ready early, prep posts, and bulk-update over meals and after you get out like the rest of us "blue collar bloggers." (I just heard that on The Daily Show. Neat.)

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