Thursday, September 12, 2013

Comic Con Tips and Tricks

It’s that time of year again. The annual new York Comic-Con is just around the corner! Last year the con was attended by 105,000 fans over a four day period. This makes NYCC the second largest comic book and pop-culture gathering in the country. Second only to the San Diego con!

We WILL catch them sooner than later, just watch!

In fact , according to our friends ar NYCC, the con is the second largest annual event of ANY kind in all of New York. Impressive.
This year the con will take place from October 10th through the 13th at the Javits Center. If you don’t already have tickets you may just be shut out. As of this writing (September 10th) the ComicCon site has tickets for THURSDAY only. However, local comic shops may still have tickets. Be sure to check with CBJ on this as soon as possible if you are going to attend.
This year , as every year there will be a ton of guests including William Shatner, Stan The Man Lee, and even


Yes Rocky is going to be at the con! Are we looking at Expendables 3? Or are we looking at a Thunderlips rematch???
YES, the legendary HULK HOGAN is also going to be on hand for the festivities.

Of course there will be literally hundreds of comic book creators on hand. Artist’s Alley is always a highlight of the con.
Getting back to TICKETS. This year they are RFID, which means they have to be activated. You will be tapping sensors to gain entry. If you pick up your tickets onsite they will be active. If you have them mailed to your home you can activate them online. RFID should make enterint the event a much smoother experience for all.

Check out the NYCC website ( for this year’s mobile app. It is a great way to get up to the minute info. Last year there were a lot of announcements that hit the app over the four days. It’s free, making it a no-brainer.
There IS a coat check but it gets VERY crowded. Also you would NOT want to check any valuables, just jackets and coats.
ComicCon show hours are : Thursday 3:00PM to 9:00 PM, Friday and Saturday 10:00AM – 7:00 PM and Sunday 10:00AM – 5:00 PM. Artist Alley and screenings run well after ths show floor closes. Check out the con program or your mobile app for exact times on that.
A couple of tips:

1) BRING YOUR OWN FOOD or EAT OFF SITE. Food at the Javits Center is very expensive and will seriously cut into your comic buying goodness. There are a lot of more moderately priced choices in the area. Personally I bring a few sandwiches!
2) I recommend bringing a back pack or any bag that can be CLOSED to hold your purchases. While theft is pretty rare at ComicCon, the floor is SO crowded that keeping your belongings out in the open is not a good idea. Also watch your cash! Purses, in particular are not the place for cash. Keep it in your pockets. When you buy something take a few extra seconds to count out the money and count back the change.
3) When you are making a purchase from the comic vendors, always ask for their BEST price or make a reasonable offer. Only NOOBS pay full price! Seriously, bartering is all part of the game and your BEST deals will come on Sunday afternoon. Vendors hate hauling all that stuff back and will often give you a sweetheart deal!
4) Many of the screenings are going to be tough to get into. NYCC does NOT empty the theater after each event. If you want to attend that “can’t miss” panel or screening make sure to line up EARLY. Same thing with the panel rooms. There is limited space, so make sure to leave yourself a lot of time.
5) You won’t be able to see everything. That’s just the way it is. There are hundreds of events going on at the very same time. Make sure to hit the website, review the program, and check your app. You will need to make a plan in order to get to all the events that you don’t want to miss.
6) Take breaks. Especially on Saturday, when the floor is most crowded. You will be glad you did. Navigating through the huge crowds make this a physically challenging weekend. It’s easy to get hot, tired and…cranky. A few 20-30 minute breaks away from the crowds can make your entire day better.
7) The Javits Center is convenient to all forms of public transportation. Use it. Parking around the center is both difficult and expensive.
8) And finally…..HAVE FUN! It’s a great time!

OH and this JUST in! The world's yummiest FBI agent will be signing at ComicCon! Gillian Anderson is making her NYCC debut. She will be signing Friday, Saturday and Sunday and apearing in a panel as well! Could we be looking at some new X-Files news??!!

That’s 30!


Remembering 9/11

I wrote this twelve years ago a few days after 9/11. It showed up in some of the local papers. I thought I’d share it with you all. A lot has happened in the years since. Stay safe.

I took the Staten Island Ferry to NY this morning, as I have countless days from the time I was in high school, through my days at Hunter College, and for the past two decades working in the "city that never sleeps." In all respects, the trip was exactly the same as it has been every one of those thousands of days... except it wasn't.

As I came through the turnstiles on the Staten Island side, I found myself looking for faces. The familiar faces that we ignore everyday, but are so
much part of the background of our lives. I didn't see many. Perhaps I will see more tomorrow.

I stopped for my morning coffee at the Dunkin Doughnuts stand. The same Middle Eastern man who always serves my coffee with a smile and a good morning. Except he didn't smile today. He looked hurt. Maybe he'll smile tomorrow. I hope so.

I took the very same seat on the boat as I always do. Usually I open my coffee and bury my face in a book or read the sports pages. Today I didn't.

Today I took a minute to really taste my coffee. Funny... most days it has no taste at all. This morning it was the best cup I ever had. I hope it tastes
this good tomorrow.

I continued to look for familiar faces. People who also take the same seats every day. I did see one young lady that I "know." She usually travels with her friend. She wasn't there today. Maybe tomorrow. I hope so.

I stood out on the foredeck as we passed the Statue of Liberty. Funny how I never really noticed just how beautiful the old lady really is. Was she
standing just a bit straighter today? It must be my imagination... at least I think so.

The cloud reaches out over the water this morning and I could smell it while we were still five minutes from the dock. Everyone was looking at the naked skyline, now barren of its grandest symbol. The eyes of my fellow passengers became very hard. Not anger...not fear...something else. Something that told me that I wouldn't want to get into a fight with us. As for me, I glanced over to the Empire State Building. She dominates the skyline once more. How lonely she looks.

Walking up past Battery Park to Bowling Green Station, I saw every eye was turned up Lower Broadway. The Towers and the shade she cast downtown now gone. The acrid smoke brought coughs from many people. We wore the coughs somewhat proudly, I think. It was sort of like doing pennance. Perhaps the air will clear tomorrow.

On the train a pretty girl smiled and said “good morning” to me. Normally suspicion or shyness would have prevented that. Will she smile tomorrow? I hope so.

My shoes still have the dust that collected on them last Tuesday when I walked along South Street to the ferry. I noticed the shoeshine stand in Grand Central was back to normal. Several men were having their shoes shined. I'm not quite ready to part with my dust just yet.

Maybe tomorrow.