The Queer Comic Fan’s Official Guide To Navigating New York Comic Con

Find out why you need to bring an emergency sewing kit, babe!


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October is finally here, which means that New York Comic Con is right around the corner. The biggest comics convention on the East Coast means that there’s going to be plenty of opportunities to check out cosplay, see amazing panels, or just explore with other comics fans.

But whether it’s your first time at a comics convention or you’re a seasoned regular, the most important thing to get ready for a comics convention is having a plan. Here’s what you should have packed in your comics convention survival kit:

1. A Sturdy Backpack

Comics conventions mean that there’s going to be plenty of opportunities to get your favorite comics signed, buy new merch, and collect things along the way. And it goes without saying that you’re going to need a bag that can hold it all. Choosing a sturdy, roomy backpack (perhaps even one with different compartments) will allow you to be able to bring your valuables while leaving room for any other goodies you may pick up along the way.

2. An Empty Water Bottle

Comics conventions are notorious for the lines—whether it’s for food, panels, or just getting from Point A to Point B, there’s a lot of standing and moving around. Staying hydrated is absolutely essential. Keeping an empty water bottle on hand lets you refill for free, throughout the day, and keep that water intake high.

3. Snacks

Comic conventions are usually held in hotels or convention centers, where food is usually sourced out to different companies. And that’s cool but it usually means that food gets insanely expensive. Having snacks on hand helps to prevent hanger (hunger plus anger) but it also helps to keep the cost of food down, even a bit. This is especially important if you have dietary restrictions and may not always be able to find a variety of food that you can eat.

4. Cash

This may be a no-brainer, but having cash on hand can help at comics conventions. Even though more and more vendors are accepting cards through square readers, having cash can have its perks: on the last day of the convention, most vendors are trying to get rid of their stock—especially if they’re coming from out of town. Having cash can help you if you’re into haggling, but this also helps keep you on track with how much you’re spending so you can stay on budget.

5. A Sharpie

Having a Sharpie on hand is essential at conventions—if you spot a celebrity or comics personality on the floor, you may be able to get a signing on the cuff. Having a sharpie on hand helps you stay prepared and you’ll always have the best writing tool for the perfect signature.

6. Travel Chargers And Wall Chargers

Spending all day out and about can drain your phone faster than you think. Having a (fully-charged) travel charger or two will come in handy if you run out of power. If you can swing it in your bag, you might also want to consider a power chord to charge multiple items at once. If you’re lucky enough to find a wall outlet, it’s better to have multiple options than fighting for the one open spot.

7. Pass And Lanyard

This goes without saying, but you don’t want to forget this. And, upgrade from the standard freebie lanyard that everyone gets at the beginning of the convention and instead, opt for one that shows off your favorite fandom.

8. Emergency Sewing Kit

If you’re a cosplayer or going with friends who are cosplaying, having a travel sewing kit is going to be a lifesaver at the convention. Things happen, and whether it’s a tear, a run, or just any kind of con accidents, having a travel sewing kit can keep small mishaps from turning into a con catastrophes.

What else is part of your con survival kit?

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