This morning I got to the floor about an hour after it opened. I had a couple hours before the first panel I wanted to see, and I figured I would get a glimpse at what I’d missed by leaving early yesterday (NYCC Protip #1: if you are going to NYCC all four days, just concentrate on that. Don’t try to squeeze in other life events like a concert, or you’ll find yourself crashing before the headliner gets on stage).
The floor of NYCC is an insane mix of toys and collectibles, clothing, vintage comics, major labels, and artists, with the occasional perfumery mixed in (I’m looking at you, Black Phoenix Alchemy Lab). It is crowded with tens of thousands of people (not an exaggeration), and they are all trying to get places too. I am short, and at one point I felt like a pinball getting battered around as I tried to go down an aisle. (NYCC Protip #2: say “excuse me” in your best NYC mass transit voice—you know the one I’m talking about—while squeezing past people to diffuse tensions).
After about an hour of being jostled around, I gave up and went downstairs to queue up for my first panel of the day, “Women of Color in Comics,” and it was a good thing I did. At forty-five minutes before panel, people were lining up. (Which brings me to NYCC Protip #3: Queue up early, especially for a popular panel or one with celebrities. And yes, any panel talking about women or diversity is popular.) The panels in the smaller rooms get capped after a certain amount of people, something I did not know, and it’s important to get there early if you even hope to attend.
For some reason, the panels about women were all stacked together today, with a new one beginning each hour. To ensure that we would get into the next one on our schedule, Frenchie (Friend and Contributing Editor over at Dipped in Cream) and I had to leave the preceding one early, generally right as the Q&A was starting, to queue for the next. (NYCC Protip #4: Have a panel buddy who will hold your place in line and/or hold you a seat so you can take bathroom breaks. Essential.) This was annoying, since often good discussions break out as a result of a questions at the end. We made it to the “Women in Queer Comics” panel by leaving the “Women of Color” panel early, but our luck ran out and we were capped out of “Damsels in Distress Need Not Apply.” Next year, I would love it if these events were held in bigger rooms as there is quite a demand for them, and if they were spaced out to give attendees a chance to get to all of them.
I ended up seeing two more panels (“Kickstarter Office Hours” and “Doctor Who; Ten Years of New Who,”) but was capped out of the Agents of SHIELD event. Frenchie and I broke for dinner in the food court, since I had been in the building seven hours by that point and had only eaten a Kind bar, some nuts, and a fruit strip during the day. (NYCC Protip #5: the food court is expensive and so are the food trucks. Bring snacks to conserve cash.) And then we headed to Artists’ Alley.
Artists’ Alley turned out to be a lovely way to end the day. It was less crowded than the main floor, so we weren’t getting jostled around, and it was open an extra hour after the floor closed. We got to chat with several artists including Vera Greentea (author of Nenetl of the Forgotten Spirits), Alice Zhang (who does fantastic Doctor Who artwork, including the cover art for Titan’s Doctor Who comics), and Derlaine (author of Loki: A Scrapbook and Loki portraitist extraordinaire). I came to really appreciate Artists’ Alley at Special Edition: NYC, and it was even better at NYCC—a chance to connect with artists What’cha Reading has reviewed and find some great new work at the same time. And get everything autographed in the process. Artists’ Alley really reflects a sense of community, and I love it.
What I learned on Day Two of NYCC was pacing. I was able to put in a long day today because I didn’t do any one thing for very long, and I got a great sense of the entire convention through this approach. If you’re there for all four days, I think pacing is the key. Of course I’m still exhausted, so tomorrow’s going to be a challenge. Time for bed.