New York Comic Con: What to see, where to eat, cosplay rules and more

Going to Con without the basic facts would be like Thor sans hammer. It just makes no sense.

For cosplayers and comic connoisseurs, the whole year has been leading up to this weekend. 

New York Comic Con hits the Javits Center on Oct. 3 with numerous panels and meet-and-greets with names like Tom Hiddleston, Seth Green and Sean Astin; premieres for shows including "Snowpiercer," "Castle Rock" and "Resident Alien World"; and of course, the chance to meet the writers and artists behind your favorite comics.

Four days of a convention can be overwhelming, so here are the basics every Con-goer should know. 

Where is Comic Con?
The Javits Center, which is between 34th and 38th streets at 429 11th Ave.

What are the hours?

  • The show floor is open 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Oct. 3 to 5 and 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Oct. 6.
  • Panels and screenings are 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. Oct. 3 to 5 and 10:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. Oct. 6.

How do I buy a badge?
Unfortunately, badges for every day except Oct. 3 are sold out. Badges for the opening day can be bought at showclix.com for $55.

I have a badge, but where do I pick it up?
You can pick your badge all week at will call in the "Crystal Palace," the entrance at 429 11th Ave., but don’t wait until Oct. 3 because there will surely be a long line.

Pickup times are:

  • Oct. 1, 5 to 8 p.m.
  • Oct. 2, 8 a.m. to 7 p.m.
  • Oct. 3, 7 a.m. to 9 p.m.
  • Oct. 4, 7 a.m. to 8 p.m.
  • Oct. 5, 7 a.m. to 8 p.m.
  • Oct 6, 7 a.m. to 5 p.m.

What can’t I take inside Javits?
Hate symbols; messy liquids; smoke or fire effects; costumes wider than 4 feet, longer than 6 feet or taller than 8 feet; costumes that cause obstructed vision; weapons with blades, metal, wood, fiberglass, PVC, glass or firearms like air guns or cap guns; selfie sticks; pets who are not service animals; and drones.

What’s OK to take inside?
Prop weapons and firearms made of foam or cardboard and with the barrel of all prop firearms covered with brightly colored caps; bow-type weapons must be unstrung or have low-tensile thread and arrows must have soft, non-metal, blunted tips made of foam or cardboard. 

Tips:

  • Want the down-low? Download the New York Comic Con app at oneevent-oneapp.com, where you can access maps, the exhibitor list, guest announcements, news and social streams, and more.
  • Missed a panel? If you miss a panel because it’s packed, hop on syfy.com to watch a livestream of select events.
  • Need a break? If you’re done with the hubbub, there is a quiet room, which will be announced closer to the show.
  • Don’t want to get sick? Think about it — there are a lot of germs with thousands of people milling about. Make sure to wash and sanitize your hands often.

What are some of the best guests and panels?

  • Guests:
    • The autographs/photo area: Christopher Eccleston, Tom Hiddleston and Paul Rudd (Oct. 3 and 4); Billy Dee Williams, Benedict Wong and Billy Boyd (Oct. 3 to 5); Sean Astin (Oct. 4, 5); James Marsters, Nichelle Nichols, Jodi Benson, Jennifer Hale and Paul Reubens (Oct. 3 to 6)
    • Panels: Rebecca Sugar (Oct. 3, 4) Breckin Meyer, Jameela Jamil, Jeremy Irons, Seth Green (Oct. 4); Adam Savage, Daveed Diggs, Jonathan Coulton, Diana Gabaldon, Jennifer Connelly (Oct. 5); Molly Ringwald, Amor Towle, Frank Miller (Oct. 6)
  • Panels:
    • Oct. 4: "Tales from the Road to Mordor: A Hobbits Reunion Panel" (11 a.m. at Hulu Theater at MSG); SYFY’s "Resident Alien World" premiere and panel (12:30 p.m. in Hammerstein Ballroom); "You Will Be Found: Broadway’s ‘Dear Evan Hansen’ (12:30 p.m. in Room 1A10); "Beyond Final Fantasy: Live painting and discussion with Yoshitaka Amano" (12:30 p.m. at Hudson Mercantile); "Robot Chicken" (2:30 p.m. in Hammerstein Ballroom); Felicia Day discusses how to unleash your creativity (3 p.m. in room 1A10); "My Neighbor, Adam Savage: An Evening with the Maker and Miyazaki Enthusiast" (4:30 p.m. at Hudson Mercantile)
    • Oct. 5: "The Walking Dead" universe (10:30 a.m. at Hulu Theater at MSG); "Angel" the 20th Anniversary panel (10:30 a.m. in Hammerstein Ballroom); "Snowpiercer" panel and sneak peek (noon in Hammerstein Ballroom); "Star Trek" universe (1 p.m. at Hulu Theater at MSG); "Journey to ‘Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker’" (1:30 p.m. in Room 1A10); J.J. Abrams & Stephen King’s "Castle Rock" world premiere screening and panel (3:30 p.m. at Hulu Theater at MSG); "Outlander" (5:30 p.m. at Hulu Theater at MSG); "Castlevania" (6:30 p.m. at Main Stage 1D)
    • Oct. 6: Warner Bros. Television block with "Riverdale," "Manifest," "Roswell," "Harley Quinn" and "Batwoman" (10:30 a.m. at Hulu Theater at MSG); "Part of Their World: A Conversation with the Disney Princesses" (10:45 a.m. at Main Stage 1D)

Are there affordable places to eat near Javits?

Javits has two food courts on the first and third levels, a Starbucks and a Hudson and Taste NY. But sometimes you need a break from Con-food and/or a place to go after the floor closes. Here’s where you can find that without breaking the bank:

  • Between the Bread (609 W. 27th St.) — Cafeteria-style eatery with a seasonal menu of veggies, fruits and healthy proteins.
  • Five Guys (316 W. 34th St.) — Burgers and fries.
  • Hellcat Annie’s Tap Room (637 10th Ave.) — Burgers and sandwiches with 22 beers on tap.
  • Mercado Little Spain (10 Hudson Yards) — Food market with specialties from Spain like paella, patatas bravas, empanadas and wine.
  • Ovest Pizzoteca (513 W. 27th St.) — Neapolitan pizza, pasta, panini and wine.
  • Rocky’s Pizza Bar & Restaurant (460 W. 34th St.) — Counter-service pizzeria by the slice and whole pies as well as Italian dishes and sandwiches.
  • Shake Shack (20 Hudson Yards) — Burgers, chicken sandwiches, fries
  • Whitman’s Hudson Yards (33110th Ave.) — Cheese-stuffed hamburgers.

What events are there outside of Comic Con proper?

Relive "Yu-Gi-Oh!" moments at this tribute art show: Konami Cross Media NY and Gallery 1988 are showcasing artwork inspired by the card game and TV show "Yu-Gi-Oh!’ starting Oct. 3, with voice actor signings, exclusive merchandise and giveaways. (Free; 4 to 9 p.m. Oct. 3 and 4 and 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Oct. 5 and 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Oct. 6; White Space Chelsea, 555 W. 25th St.; facebook.com)

Free comic giveaways and special guests at Caveat: Comedians Pete LePage, Justin Tyler and Alex Zalben are doing a deep dive into the world of geekdom with a writer from "Absolute Carnage," "Guardians of the Galaxy" and "Silver Surfer: Black" and one surprise guest. There will also be free comic giveaways. ($12; Oct. 3 from 9 to 10:40 p.m.; 21A Clinton St., Manhattan; eventbrite.com)

"Star Wars" Triple Force Friday: The Disney Store in Times Square (1540 Broadway) is rolling out products inspired by “Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker," "The Mandalorian" and "Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order" starting at midnight Oct. 4. There will also be Stormtroopers in attendance for photo opportunities and those who make a $20 "Star Wars" purchase will get a free lithograph set representing the three upcoming releases.

Rave of Thrones — Hodor DJs at Schmanski: Kristian Nairn is back at Schimanski to DJ with Sam Allan and Garden State. ($20-$30; Oct. 4 starting at 9 p.m.; 54 N. 11th St., Brooklyn; eventbrite.com)

Arcadia Fest: Spend your night playing Playstation 4 and Nintendo Switch games, Uno, Jenga and more at Brother Jimmy’s. There will be giveaways and raffles too. (Free; Oct. 4 starting at 5 p.m.; 181 Lexington Ave., Manhattan; eventbrite.com)

"Secrets of Stuntwomen": Meet and hear from stuntwomen who have worked in movies like "Pirates of the Caribbean," "Kill Bill," "Skyfall," "Fast and the Furious," "The Hateful Eight," "Suicide Squad," "Captain America" and more. (Free but RSVP to rsvp@moxytimessquare.com; 5:30 to 9 p.m.; Elephant Room at Magic Hour, 485 Seventh Ave., Manhattan; moxy-hotels.marriott.com)

"Fantastic Beasts"-themed after-party: Dance the night away in your cosplay at the Tailor Public House, where you and hundreds of your Comic Con friends will explore three levels of "Hogwarts" set to EDM. ($15-$19.99; Oct. 5  from 8:30 p.m. to 4 a.m.; 505 Eighth Ave., Manhattan; eventbrite.com)

Cosplay-a-Gogo party: Promising "cosplay dance hysteria," the Cutting Room is hosting a party where everyone dances in their costumes. ($15-$25; Oct. 5 starting at 9:30 p.m.; 44 E. 32nd St., Manhattan; thecuttingroomnyc.com)

Geek Girls Brunch Night Out: Geek Girls are taking over the entire lower level of Houndstooth Pub after Comic Con on Saturday (men are welcome). A DJ will spin tunes and guests will get gift bags if they’re early, two free raffle tickets, tasty treats and a custom cocktail. ($10; 6 p.m. to midnight; 528 Eighth Ave., Manhattan; ggb-nyc.ticketleap.com)

How do I get to Comic Con?

Javits is between 34th and 38th streets at 429 11th Ave.

By subway, take the 7 train to 34th Street/Hudson Yards; the A/C/E, 1/2/3, B/D/F/ or N/Q/R trains to 34th Street Penn Station; or walk from Grand Central Station/42nd Street via the Metro North Railroad.

By car, from the north: take I-95 South to George Washington Bridge, take exit 9A to 42nd Street. Turn left and go one block to 11th Avenue and turn right.

From the south: I-95 North to the New Jersey Turnpike and exit at the Lincoln Tunnel on the left. Go uptown to 42nd Street and turn left until you reach 11th Avenue. Turn left.

From Long Island: Take the Queens-Midtown Tunnel to 34th Street and turn right. Go west and turn right on 11th Avenue, or take the Queensboro/59th Street Bridge to the 60/61st Street exit and drive alongside Central Park to 59th Street. Hang a right onto 59th Street and turn left on Seventh Avenue. Follow 57th Street to 11th Avenue and turn left.

From Staten Island — Take the Verrazzano-Narrows Bridge east to the Gowanus Expressway and continue on to the Brooklyn Battery Tunnel. Exit onto the West Side Highway/12th Avenue and turn right at 34th Street. Go one block to 11th Avenue and take a left.

Paid parking can be found on 11th Avenue, down 36th, 38th and 41st streets. Here’s a map.

Shaye Weaver