A Comic Con Virgin At NYCC 2016 – What I Experienced, What I Learned

img_4792Danielle Mick writes for Bleeding Cool,

New York Comic Con 2016 was my first time ever going to any kind of “geek” event. (Unless you count all the midnight releases I attended for the Harry Potter books and movies.) I’m very happy that I had the opportunity to spend time with my friend Amanda, interview people that amaze me, and sit at panels for subjects and shows that I’m passionate about. If you’re thinking about attending a con, but don’t know if it’ll be worth it, I say do it. This has been one of the best experiences of my entire life.

Now let’s get into some details, shall we?

1. Nothing brings people together like a good fandom. I can’t tell you how many conversations I had and friends I made due to someone’s cosplay or panel choice. On Thursday I ended up spending hours with a group of girls who I sat next to during the Carmilla panel. On Friday I spent at least three hours with my “comic con mom and dad” and a new set of siblings surrounding the Mr. Robot panel.

2. Cosplay is super hard and super impressive. I decided not to full on cosplay any of my favorite characters this time around because I wanted to focus on writing all of these articles, but I did do minimalist things. On Friday I was a Ravenclaw student. On Saturday I was a Heather. I took so many pictures of and with people because I was just in awe in their designability and skill. I have no idea how these people did what they did and I’m honestly amazed.

3. Bring your own food. I made the mistake of not packing any snacks. This ended up hurting my wallet and my level of happiness. The food at cons are pretty overpriced and not very good. (Go venders, though! They probably made hella cash this weekend!)

4. I had one of the most amazing experiences of my life after a panel on Saturday night. I was able to talk to Amy Heckerling and Martha Coolige for about half an hour. Their movies had a big impact on my life because I watched them with my mother during our multiple-year-long “Eighties Movie Extravaganza!” As I mentioned previously, I was dressed up (minimally) as Heather Duke (she’s the green one) on Saturday, complete with a red scrunchie. This was something that Amy picked up on. We talked about our opinions on the musical that was made based on the movie and I was excited to find out that we shared similar thoughts. Martha and I talked about the lack of females behind the camera in the film industry. I was able to get pictures with both of these women that had such an impact on my childhood and it was honestly surreal. I actually called my mom and fangirled (I totally cried) with her after it happened.

5. Get to panels early! These lines are ridiculous and they fill up fast. I always arrived about 30-45 minutes early to the smaller rooms. I arrived an hour or two earlier to panels that I figured would gather more attention (Mr. Robot, Stranger Things).

6. The crowds are difficult. I have an issue with anxiety. I get really stressed out about time and location and what have you. (Pretty much everything actually, but that’s irrelevant.) You need to make sure you take that in consideration when you’re planning out what you want to do. It takes time to travel to different rooms areas because of the sheer number of attendees that are all squeezed into halls.

7. Things will sell out on the floor. If you want something exclusive, make sure you get it on the first day. If you think you can wait it out, I heavily recommend it. These things go on a really nice sale on Sunday. There are BOGO books and half-off toys.

8. I was lucky enough to be press for this con, so I had the opportunity to interview people, which was extremely weird and I had repress all of my fangirl feelings. If you have the chance to go to roundtables or press sessions, you should do it, but come prepared. Do your research and have questions written out already. You have a very limited amount of time and things go by fast. Remember to breathe. They’re humans. They’re down to Earth. (One of them liked my phone case and took a selfie with me and it was super cool!!)

9. You need to take moments to recharge. These cons are exhausting. Sure, you’re not doing that much activity in the grand scheme of things, but everything is really cool and really amazing and you’re just full of this bubbly energy. You need to make sure you stay hydrated! You don’t want to feel sick and have to leave early.

10. Remember to have fun. This isn’t a competition. You don’t have to compare yourself, your cosplay, or whatever to anyone else’s. Everyone worked hard on what they’re showcasing. Be nice to each other and appreciate each other. Be nice to the staff, the venders, the crew. Everybody is trying to make sure you have a positive and safe experience. Bottom line: don’t be that asshole.
Thank you to everyone that has been apart of this experience. It was really incredible and I can’t wait to do it again next year!

About Rich Johnston

Chief writer and founder of Bleeding Cool. Father of two. Comic book clairvoyant. Political cartoonist.

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