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Monday, October 14, 2013

NY Comic Con 2013!

Long story short, Vicki is here to visit for the week, and as it turns out, the week she planned to visit me also happened to be when Comic Con was going on. So... why not go to Comic Con together? So we did, for Friday, since Saturday and Sunday were all sold out when I looked.

I have to say, I've been to the Jacob K. Javits Center before for the Anime Festival NY, but... geeze, Comic Con is pretty damned big. Big in the fact that there are so many more people there than all the other conventions I've been to. Which was great for how quickly I got Street Passes there, but for all other purposes, you could say that Comic Con was too big. ... That's what she said.

First thing's first. I don't know what's up with the place, but Jacob K. Javits Center has some terrible phone reception. Both 4G and 3G signals are practically dead while inside the building, as if they're using a signal jammer to render phones useless. Meanwhile, I've also heard that they also have Wi-Fi available for those who pay for it, so maybe it's the convention center trying to make a quick buck off of people there, but that's just my theory. Either way, it sucks because if you lose someone from your group, it's hard to meet back up with them since you can't just call them. What else can you do in a sea of people, unless you've got some super flashy, hard-to-miss cosplay going on?

Second, the panels are a time sink. Now, I'm not saying that they're not worth going to. I'm sure they are, especially if it's something you're interested in. Except I can't tell you for sure since I wasn't able to get into any of them. Why? Because every panel has a line being formed before it opens, and more often than not, the lines get too long for what the panel rooms can fit. Unfortunately, you can't even judge nor count how many people are in the line, since people in the room already from the previous panel can choose to stay in there for the next one, taking up more seats for the panel you're waiting in line for. If you really want to get into a panel, I would suggest waiting at least an hour ahead of time. Consider yourself lucky if that gets you into the panel before the panel you're interested in, allowing you to secure your seat for the next one.

Third, why the hell did the bus taking you to and from the NY Penn Station and the convention center suddenly stop running at 8:30 PM? There was no mention of this anywhere until that time, and it was only notified in the NYCC App on smartphones. Unfortunately, my phone's batteries had died from the phone trying hard to find some signal it could use while I was in the building (not even because I was taking pictures, because I barely did.), so I couldn't check the app! I missed my train home because of it, and I felt like I had lost a huge amount of time that I had spent today. Heck, I'm glad I was there and got to do some shopping, but considering I wasn't able to get into any panels I wanted, but still wait a long time for them, and end up waiting for the ride home that wasn't coming either was just... not how I had expected for the day to go.

Fourth, I was kinda disappointed that this convention didn't have many freebies. I don't expect to get lots of neat stuff, but previous conventions I've been to have had a bag with some catalogs and papers at the entrance, with many people standing around their booths, handing out more freebies as well. Not at Comic Con, it seems; at least, from where I've been looking. The only freebies I got were a paper fan advertising Naruto Shippuden Ultimate Ninja Storm 3 "Coming Spring 2013" when it's October already, and a Power Rangers trading card. Maybe I could have gotten some more if I had gotten into some of the panels, but... yeah.

Finally, I also learned that wall scrolls are highly customizable, allowing anyone to pretty much submit any picture to be printed as one in places. With that in mind, if you see a wall scroll that you like, you should most likely buy it. Finding the exact same one, unless it's a very common image, can be difficult as I have learned with some League of Legends wall scrolls. There doesn't seem to be a good way to search for wall scrolls either on most web sites I have seen, and the selections feel rather lacking. These conventions tend to be the best place to find high quality, uncommon wall scrolls in my opinion, unless you're willing to spend a lot more money for making your own, customized wall scrolls for yourself.

Of course, knowing what you should and shouldn't buy at a convention is also important, especially for you frugal types. I also wanted a Rammus Hat which goes for about $10 to $15 on Amazon, but the cheapest I could find in the show floor was $20, with most places being $25. Of course, the Rammus Hat in question is fairly common, so if you intend on shopping at a convention, know your goods. Look for the uncommon items, and forgo the common items for purchasing online. Heck, with SwagBucks, you can get $5 gift codes (multiples can stack) from Hand-made goods like artworks and accessories often have limited supplies and prices tend to be the same, if not cheaper especially if you are buying at the last day of the convention. Not to mention being able to bypass the shipping costs if you were to buy it at the convention instead of from their online store if they have any.

Well, it was a good experience overall. I wish I could have gotten in the panels though. Ended up standing and walking the whole time there, since we barely got to sit down at a panel... My legs are killing me.

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