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Take it from someone who’s been to the past seven New York Comic Cons. When you’re hyped up to attend one of the biggest pop culture events on the east coast, it pays to be prepared.
Whether you’re navigating all of the booths on the show floor or just trying to make it to your next meal, here’s a comprehensive list of all the essentials necessary for a weekend of geeking out.
Any good convention requires some decent portable storage, and traversing the network of fandom caves at NYCC is no different. Backpacks are perfect for holding all of your essentials going onto the show floor and can help you hold some of the swag you pick up in case your booth-exclusive bag gets filled up.
You can pick up some bags to let your geek flag fly like this Spider-Gwen bag, one for Bob’s Burgers, and a Captain America bag. If you’re cosplaying, you might want to consider incorporating this Breath of the Wild shield bag or a Rocket Raccoon bag for a little touch of practical authenticity.
Staying hydrated is crucial when you spend three to four days on your feet. When you get thirsty, you’ll appreciate having your own bottle to refill at the water fountains. You can pick up a Star Wars bottle or this handy hose-like bottle that’s ideal for sharing with your fellow con-goers. Or you can go non-geeky and pick up something basic for your needs. It sure beats the hell out of spending a fortune on drinks.
Speaking of saving money on nourishments, here’s another tip: have your own snacks ready. The lines at the Javits Center food court are typically long, and it takes up time that you could use to get to your next panel. The food itself is pretty expensive, and that’s money that you could be spending on some epic con merch. Be smart by stocking up on some granola bars, chips, trail mix, or any snacks you need for your weekend.
Whether you got your hands on an exclusive poster from a panel or you’ve picked up some sweet prints at Artist Alley, a poster tube is an absolute necessity. Avoid the hassle of having to delicately carry art around or sticking it in your bag and hoping it doesn’t get crushed. Keep your art safe until you can safely unroll them at home.
It’s every cosplayer’s worst nightmare—aside from getting a cosplay together in the first place. You’re on the show floor, strutting your stuff as your favorite character and a misplaced stitch causes your outfit to fall apart. Keep some fabric tape or safety pins on standby for a quick fix to hold your costume together and get on with your impromptu photo ops.
After a full day of taking pictures and recording panels, you’ll need to charge your phone. The accessible outlets in the Javits Center are few and far between, and the ones that you do find are probably already being used. Step your game up with your own geeky power bank so you can bypass the outlet and charge at your leisure. You can grab one in the style of a Pokéball or one shaped like a Warcraft Doomhammer.
Any seasoned attendee knows to be wary of the dreaded con-flu. With all these nerds bumping shoulders in one place, you’re almost bound to catch something from someone. Have some cold medicine on standby so when the symptoms kick in you’ll be ready.
Hoodies and sweatpants
Let’s face it. No matter how cool your full-suit Voltron costume is, you’re not gonna wear it on the subway back home. The same goes for any cosplay with big armor pieces and props. When the conference lets out and you have to return to the real world, have a comfortable change of clothes ready to slip into.
You can still show off your nerdy colors though: check out this Steven Universe hoodie this Wonder Woman sweater, or this Mega Man hoodie with a blue bomber hood. For pants, slip into these Doctor Who inspired sweatpants, Pikachu pants, or these SNES controller pants.
Keep these Comic Con materials in mind to lessen some of the stress and keep yourself focused on enjoying a weekend at the Javits Center.
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