A First Timer’s Guide to New York Comic Con


From Oct. 9-12, one of the East Coast’s biggest pop cultural conventions, New York Comic Con, will be taking over the Jacob K. Javits Convention Center. Signings, panels and booths cover everything, from comics, graphic novels, anime, manga and video games, to toys, movies and television.

Does this sound overwhelming to you? President of the Graphic Novel Society and Freelance Writer at ComicBlitz LLC, Elizabeth Heyman, Fordham College at Lincoln Center (FCLC) `16, provides an inside scoop on how a first timer should navigate this massive event.

The Observer: First of all, what is the main focus of this year’s New York Comic Con, and what are we generally expected to see?

HEYMAN: New York Comic Con, which happens a couple of months [after] San Diego Comic Con, occurs at the end of the comic book season. Writers and artists explain exactly what we should be looking forward to and what projects they are working on.

The Observer: Especially with a huge event like Comic Con, how do you suggest a first timer prepare for it?

HEYMAN: The best way to approach is doing your research beforehand and looking up things that you specifically are looking forward to. Making the most of the experience is all about knowing what you want to see and seeking it out. There is also a lot to see, so I would recommend spacing your time between panels and signings, as well as making time to wandering around, because you need a lot of time for that.

The Observer: You said that there will be panels; what do the speakers usually cover?

HEYMAN: The artists and writers at the panels are usually in the middle of working on a new comic book series; so panels are meant for building anticipation for whats to come in their comic book series. People should be prepared to ask their favorite writers questions; this is a good time to talk about the work itself and what’s to come.
The Observer:In regards to signings, who can we expect to see?

HEYMAN: There are always signings happening, not with just writers and artists, but also personalities. If you are willing to stand in line for hours and hours, you can probably get some actor signings. Some big names include writers like Brian Michael Bendis, Gail Simone and Scott Snyder. Popular actors at these signings also include Jonny Lee Miller, Lucy Liu and Mike Tyson. Lots of people, lots of fun.

The Observer: It seems like everyone flocks to the booths at Comic Con. What’s so special about them?

HEYMAN: Booths, like that of Image Comics, Marvel and DC, will always be handing fans free merchandise. They have everything, from lanyards, posters, t-shirts, mugs, etc. So first timers should get as much merch as they can!

The Observer: What happens if we don’t have a ticket to Comic Con, yet would still like to participate in the event. Are there any alternatives?

HEYMAN: There are a lot of events outside of Comic Con that are related. I know in the past, they have had The Walking Dead Zombie Walk, as well as different kinds of city events outside of the expo itself that relate to the shows and comics itself.

The Observer: What is your favorite part about Comic Con?

HEYMAN: My favorite part about Comic Con is interacting on a personal level with my heroes and talking about comics. I like being able to talk about comics the way I don’t usually do and getting different perspectives on comics. I also like getting to meet people who are involved in the industry.

The Observer: Are there any new, up-and-coming comics that we should be aware of before going to Comic Con?

HEYMAN: Marvel is coming out with a lot of new comics; this past week, they came out with a new story, with a female protagonist. Also in Marvel, Captain America is now going to be played by the former Falcon, who is a black male. In Image Comics, there are going to be changes happening in Batman, so people should keep a lookout for that.

The Observer: Would you suggest coming to Comic Con in a costume?

HEYMAN: I think if you want to dress up in a costume, this is the time to do it. At Comic Con, it is really anything goes. This is where everyone gets to be their own superhero. But if you don’t feel comfortable wearing a cosplay costume, there are also plenty of people who dress in regular clothing.