5 Lessons Learned by a ComiCon Rookie

I Love ComiCon

Sticker from DK Publishing


Two weeks ago, fanboys and fangirls flocked to Manhattan’s Javits Center for the city’s biggest pop culture gathering of the year: The 2014 New York Comic Convention (or ComiCon for short). Since 2006, ReedPop has been producing and managing this much-anticipated annual event. It was my first time to attend this year and it was quite an experience. While I was awed by mostly everything and everyone I encountered, there were five important lessons I took away.

5. ComiCon Is Not Just For Comic Book Lovers

If you’re not particularly fond of comic books, graphic novels or superheroes, you can still enjoy ComiCon. As long as you love books, movies, TV, video games, anime and anything fantasy or sci-fi, you’ll be excited too. I fall into the latter category and the sections I personally went crazy  for were Harry Potter, Lord of the Rings/The Hobbit, Streetfighter, Supermario Brothers and the whole medieval area (which included dragons and wizards). Add  the anime area to the mix, and I’m in pop culture heaven, especially after I saw the complete DVD box set of my most favorite shojo of all: Fushigi Yuugi.

From the Harry Potter Exhibition Booth

From the Harry Potter Exhibition Booth


Other interesting things to see are video games, themed board games, 3D printing, face painting. Toys and electronics, such as SMS Audio’s Star Wars Headphones that produced sound so clearly.

4. Plan Ahead

Had I known that I would be yearning to buy things at the ComiCon, I would’ve been more financially prepared. I thought I would be fine just looking at displays, but vendors actually had a lot of cool stuff. While most items at the convention were at a discounted rate, I still needed a whole lot of dough to purchase everything I wanted. From The Princess Bride playing cards to The Lord of the Rings jewelry, I was going insane not being able to afford them all. So, be sure to save up during the year so you can buy whatever your heart desires.

Cards by Albino Dragon

Cards by Albino Dragon


But, even if you don’t get to buy anything, you won’t go home empty-handed. There were freebies being handed out, like comics, books, posters, stickers, pins and more. Which brings me to my next point: when going to ComiCon, bring a bag bigger than a purse. It was a hassle to carry items around, especially if I wanted them to remain in mint condition.

However, more important than bringing lots of money and having a big bag is knowing the schedule. I thought that once at the convention, I can just go to any panel discussion that I want. I mean, yes, I can, but there is a long line, which means a long wait. It might even be the only thing that I get to do all day. Luckily, I’m not a fan of Walking Dead, so I didn’t throw a fit when I missed the 3pm panel with the whole cast. But I’m sure the fans had a great time and the wait was worth it! So, when going to ComiCon, make sure you know what special events are being held, what time and in which room.

 The Badge

The Badge


3. There Are A Lot of Other Talented Artists Aside from the Marvel and DC Geniuses

For the longest time, Marvel and DC were the only superhero comic books I recognized. But I met other artists and storytellers who were just as talented and creative as the people at Marvel and DC. Most artists were stationed at the Artist Alley section of the convention, where they displayed their art works, some of which are drawings and painting of popular characters created by other established artists.

JellyBot by Selena Briggs (R) Falling by Karen Hallion

JellyBot by Selina Briggs (L) Falling by Karen Hallion (R)


I also forget that not all comics are about superheroes and some of the non-superhero comics I saw were entertaining.

Pages from a freebie comic book.  (My apologies to the artist/s & creator/s for not including your name/s, as I lost the page where they are mentioned.)

Pages from a freebie comic book.
(My apologies to the artist/s & creator/s for not including your name/s, as I lost the page where they are mentioned.)


I hope that the artists at ComiCon will inspire and encourage other creative individuals to pursue their artistic endeavors.

2. Don’t Be Afraid to Dress Up

Going all out with your costumes is the norm at the Comic Convention. The only people who look out of place are those who are not dressed up. I saw some really awesome (as well as barely there) costumes rocked by the ComiCon attendees. I admire these Cosplayers for taking the time to elaborately dress up in their preferred character of the day. They even stay in character when posing for photos. At ComiCon, nobody puts on a costume half-heartedly.

Clockwise from top left: Cowboy Bebop's Faye Valentine; Star Wars' Han and Chewy with SuperMario Bros.' Mario and another cosplayer; Streetfighter's Vega; Star Wars' the Mandalorian

Cosplayers clockwise from top left: Cowboy Bebop’s Faye Valentine; Star Wars‘ Han & Chewy with SuperMario Bros.‘ Mario and another cosplayer; Streetfighter’s Vega; Star Wars’ Mandalorian


1. The Tetris Theme Music Has the Best Dance Choreography Ever

Of course, there are contests at ComiCon, one of them being the Nintendo Wii JustDance contest. At first I thought those who danced to Pharell’s Happy were really good (because, let’s face it, the Ain’t No Mountain High Enough dance routine is boring). Then, one group danced to the Tetris theme music and it was amazing. At first I found it was weird that Tetris has a dance number, but the routine was hilarious and fun, not to mention difficult. The choreography demands the players to move like the bricks in the game and the beat, as well as the dance steps, becomes faster as the music progresses. What made it more entertaining was the contestants’ precise movements accompanied by their poker faces. I bet they practised for that moment! So,when watching a ComiCon contest, don’t  judge a dance number by its song. Sit and watch and you might just be surprised.

Photo Courtesy of WiiUandMii.com

Photo Courtesy of WiiUandMii.com


I hope that the lessons I learned will help future ComiCon first-timers. But, even though the New York ComiCon only happens once a year, I believe that people should channel their inner geek, any time, any day.

Get Your Geek On 2

Pin from DK Publishing

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