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I went to New York Comic Con all four days this year. Originally, I bought the 3-day pass from the NYCC site because I figured I was only going to be able to go on the weekend. With my current schedule, I was able to make it to all days so I bought a Thursday badge at Midtown Comics. This almost felt like I was making up for all the years I missed when I was living in Japan.

Thursday 12pm-7pm

The first thing I did everyday was go to the Queue Hall to get my wristbands for the day. I got wristbands for Walt Disney’s Panel and immediately lined up to get into the Main Hall because it was already past 12:30 when I got through. That was a great first panel because I was not expecting most of the cast members to show up (specifics for most of these panels went unannounced online and in the guidebook). Chris Hardwick of Nerdist and Talking Dead fame hosted both halves of the Disney panel. First up was Big Hero 6 which featured the directors and main cast sharing new clips. Afterwards, the creators and cast of Tomorrowland took to the stage. I had no idea Hugh Laurie was in that movie (I knew nothing about the film) and was personally excited for that. He’s just a hilarious, adorable Englishman. What the audience didn’t expect was that George Clooney belatedly took to the stage when Laurie was making fun of him. The crowd went nuts, the women & gays froze for a moment, and all bets were off for the no camera/no video rule because we were all on our feet at that moment. It was amazing, Laurie and Clooney were amazing, and I was so happy I didn’t skip the panel. All attendees also received a special print poster of BH6 and a Tomorrowland pin and book sample. As a Disney Pin Collector, I was really excited to get this pin. Great start to my NYCC 2014!

After that panel, I went back into the Queue Hall to try to get a Bob’s Burgers wristbands but the line was just mayhem. Instead, I collected the Adam West and WB Preview Night wristbands. I ended up skipping both those panels because there was just so much to do!

A lot of little freebies were available on the event floor. A bunch of the book publishers had free tote bags and galleys to take in exchange for scanning your badge. Immediately after visiting these booths, my shoulder regretted it with the weight of the books. 😄 If at the right place at the right time, you could also get free books from certain author signings. Little pin badges and temporary tattoos were also abundant. I grabbed a stress ghost from Ghostery in passing. I decided I wanted to try for Toy Tokyo‘s Funko Pop Exclusives and stood in the totally unmoving line for an hour before a good samaritan came by and told us that exclusives were in fact sold out from the first hour of the doors opening and that the queue was for people with purchase tickets. Oh, then nevermind. I got out of line and went to the general Pops section of the booth and asked if I could buy the regular Monkey King pops. “Go right in,” said the employee there. Easy peasy! I know I missed out on a ton of freebies because a lot of things get taken within the first few hours of the day.

Party Tip: Some booths put out freebies (some different) intermittently through the day.

I passed by LootCrate‘s booth and picked up an Oz Pop but missed out on the NYCC exclusive Crate (again, sold out rather immediately). Dark Horse was a booth I visited frequently through the convention because they had artists signings for free. DH is my second favorite comic book publisher (first is DC) so this was a great opportunity for me. I moseyed over to Hallmark because I really wanted the pair of con exclusive Star Wars Itty Bittys ($20). Yay, I got them! I thought they’d be more popular since they sold out at SDCC. And the designer was going to be there to sign so I put that in my schedule as well. Around 4pm I decided to head over to Kevin Conroy‘s signing as my last stop of the day. On the way, I ran into the USPS booth selling the new Batman 75th Anniversary stamps. I was not passing up on those, so I bought a set, grabbed a free poster, and admired the Batman-inspired mailbox. You will not see that mailbox on any corner because the ears are a “safety hazard.” Afterwards, it took me about 2 hours to get Conroy’s autograph (on a Batman TAS print) and photo ($40). I blinked in the photo so I Photoshopped it later, hahahaha.

Friday 10am-7pm

I got sick after yesterday. 😦 I blame the out-of-state germs. In the morning, I grabbed wristbands for the Elementary and Adult Swim panels and immediately went back to the event floor for more freebies! It was another big book day for me but I missed getting free tickets for both Amber Benson’s and Robert Kirkman’s signings. *sigh* This is what I get for valuing the panels more. However, Penguin told me Amber was having a separate signing after her panel, so I penciled that in for later. Bagel in hand, I headed to TNT’s The Librarians panel because I love me some Christian Kane. I was seated in the perfect spot to see him from the audience. Sadly, I had to leave the panel a bit early to get into the Elementary one. At Elementary‘s panel, we were shown the season premiere and then Lucy Liu, Jonny Lee Miller, Ophelia Lovibond and John Polson took to the stage for Q&A.

There happened to be a free signing with the cast of The Librarians in the signing area, so I went over to queue early. It’s a good thing that I did because they capped the free signings at 150 people. I was one of the last 5 to get into the line. The cast ended up being over half an hour late to the signing but I was happy to have 3 other fun ladies to chat with at the end of this line. It was a great signing and Christian and John Kim were so friendly. 🙂

Immediately afterwards, I went to the Penguin booth in the signing area to buy Gillian Anderson‘s new novel and queue for her signing. As an X-Phile, I was incredibly excited. It is of note that NYCC reinvigorated my book buying. I haven’t bought (or received for free) this many books since college. I ended up giving my father half my books (even the personalized ones) since he’s more of a reader than me these days.

After that, I went with my friend and old co-worker Yun to Artists Alley. Though I don’t typically care to purchase prints, I did want to meet Alice X. Zhang and buy some of her art (she only sold postcards). It was worth the wait and she signed a couple of her beautiful pieces and took a photo with me. She’s the only one I visited in AA and I’ll do it again next year if she comes!

My last stop was Amber Benson‘s post-panel signing. I went back to Penguin and bought a book. It’s a good thing I did because Amber ran out of free galleys to sign. She was so sweet and also took photos.

I really wanted to catch the Chris Hardwick-hosted Birdman panel but I had to go to Times Square to grab a quick dinner and go to Nick & Knight‘s concert at Best Buy Theater. Dude, I cannot plan non-NYCC things during the convention because I was not in it to win it. I left the concert early because I was so tired and I knew I’d have to wake up earlier the next day to attempt getting into The Walking Dead panel.

Saturday 10am-7pm

Even though I got to the convention center at 9:30 and got put into holding, I couldn’t get a wristband for TWD. Sadness! A rumor was floated that the line was full by 9:15. Ok, I will remember this for next year but I doubt I’ll go so early because the cast shows up (separately) at a lot of other cons and I’ve already taken a fantastic photo with Norman Reedus at WW Philly early this year. So, I got into the LEGO Batman 3 line and got that wristband because I knew Kevin Smith (Jersey strong!) and Stephen Amell would be part of it. At that panel, we received a free poster and t-shirt! 🙂 It was such a funny panel and I really want the game! Conan O’Brien is a LEGO character now, too!

All the while, I was trying to reach my friends but the connection in Javits was just so on and off that day. We finally found each other 2 hours later, after I had traversed the long bathroom line and gotten a Resident Evil poster signed at Capcom. By the way, it was Star Wars Reads Day and one of the publishers was giving away a Star Wars book each hour of the con. I had already gotten one (they came with a cute tote bag) and it is actually one per person per day. SO, when I met up with Jubee, I made her get another one for me. 😄 Both books and one tote bag went to my dad since he’s the big SW fan in my family. I kept the other tote because it is just so cute with little reading Yoda. The girls and I walked around a bit, picked up some freebies, and then lost Peggy. WHERE DID SHE GO? I had lamented to Jubee that I couldn’t get a ticket to Jim Lee‘s signing which is SUPER SAD because he is my favorite comic artist and I didn’t even get to see him at all b/c of everything happening at NYCC. But then, we realized we were standing near J. Scott Campbell‘s booth; he is my second favorite comic artist. And he was signing! So we went over and bought a couple prints and got them signed. Mine was a Spider-man and Mary Jane one. Happy for the little things. I think I’m going to buy JSC’s sketchbooks online later.

So, we connected with Peggy again but I had a schedule, so I cut out and made a quick stop at Hallmark because apparently they had been giving out Star Wars pins Thursday-Saturday (two a day). I only got the two on Saturday and am sad I wasn’t organized enough to know this information! By chance, I met the designer of the Itty Bittys and told him I left mine at home. 😦 He told me he’d sign them if I brought them tomorrow.

My last stop of the day was the Stephen Amell/Arrow panel in the Empire Stage.

So the reason I had to leave early that day was because my other friend and I got tickets for PaleyFest’s Walking Dead panel. I power walked uptown and we grabbed a slice of pizza and went to Paley. There was a small crowd gathered outside and I was like, “What are you guys waiting for?” The lady I asked apparently had no idea and I was like, “Fuck this, we have tickets at will call” and went inside. Well, the cast of TWD happened to be doing their press line when we were there, which was a nice little bonus. We got horrible photos. The panel was funny and Norman was adorbs. I think it’s online so fans, please check it out.

Sunday 10am-5pm

NYCC was great this year and Sunday was especially exciting because Jubee and I took two friends who had never experienced a comic con today. We first went to get our wristbands for Gotham. Then, we had to split up gang, because my first stop of the day was for Cary Elwes‘ book signing in the autograph area. A nice woman held my place in line while I went to purchase the book. He personalized them with an “As you wish” and it was worth it! I told him I also loved him in Psych as Despereax and he told me I was sweet, lol. I’m sad I missed The Following‘s panel, though, since Kevin Bacon was there! BACON!

By the time I was out of the signing line, I just told the others I’d meet them at the Queue Hall to enter Gotham‘s panel together. The balcony area was open, so we sat up there because there wasn’t much of a crowd yet. It was a fun panel and while we got wristbands for Sleepy Hollow as well, we ended up skipping that for other things. I made it to Dark Horse to get my Buffy comic signed by one of the artists and I also got a Plant vs Zombies autograph. DH btw, had some pretty good freebies like lanyards, pins, and a comic. My last really important thing was the Stephen Amell photo op that I pre-paid for. He’s not as hands-on as some people but his line started early and moved fast! That was really great! Plus, the photos literally came out within minutes. I’ll definitely consider photo ops at NYCC again if it’s always so efficient (signings took hours out of my con time).

The only regret I have is having problems finding the DC booth (which was in an open area in the concourse). While I probably wouldn’t have taken a lot of photos, I would’ve liked to see what stuff they had for purchase. Oh well, next time!

At this point, I know I forgot to mention some things especially since I was sick well through the convention. My friends discovered my sixth sense for giveaways and freebies. It is like a competition, people, get the most stuff. We actually closed out Sunday and left as the convention floor started getting themselves packed up. The lights even started dimming! LOL. Well, we were all understandably tired and made one last stop at Broadway Bites before heading home.

I’ll be back next year! And hopefully, all the more organized with my planning. 😉

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