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For some people, October means sweater weather, crunchy leaves, and Pumpkin Spice Lattes. For us here at Geek Prime, it means comic books, cosplay, and a very special convention – that’s right: its New York Comic Con time. While people all over the country plan ahead for that other con, nothing beats the unique energy that can only come from the original Gotham City.

But before you pull on your masks and embark on this adventure, you’ll need to stock your utility belt. Here’s your insiders guide to everything you need to manage the chaos that is the Jacob Javits Center, coming straight from a native New Yorker.

CASH

Want that kickass print from Artist Alley? Want an autographed photo of Ralph Macchio? Don’t assume that everyone has Square.

PORTABLE CHARGER

Go from panel to party without missing a beat.

WI-FI HOTSPOT

Yes, there will be wi-fi. Yes, the wi-fi will suck.

CANVAS BAG

The last thing you want is to try and tote around armfuls of swag, only to send your Dr. Manhattan bust tumbling to its doom.

CARDBOARD TUBE

Robert Kirkman took the time to sign your Walking Dead poster; show it some respect.

MARKER

Good luck trying to convince your friends that’s LeVar Burton’s thumbprint.

COLLECTIBLES

Let’s face it: you’re running out of wall space. Plus, how rad would it be to have Jason David Frank autograph your Green Ranger action figure?!

SNEAKERS

Because teetering from lounge to lounge is not cute, no matter how great your costume looks.

SNACKS

The food court prices are not worth it. You’ve got better things to spend your cash on (to my earlier point).

Now that you’re armed and ready to go, here are some tips to help you level up:

1. Jacob Javits Center is nowhere near public transportation. So leave early, or call Uber.

2. It’s going to be a little chilly this weekend. You’ve been warned.

3. Buy stuff on Sunday. No one wants to haul 50 boxes of vintage comic books back home. They’ll practically pay you to take them away.

4. There’s a coffee shop on the way. Starbucks? Seriously? Have you seen the line?

5. Use the Show Planner on the NYCC website. Don’t ask questions. Just do it.

6. Double-book. The harsh reality is, you’re probably not going to get into that high-profile panel unless you’ve been standing on line for at least an hour.

7. Ask someone if you want to take their picture. And they say New Yorkers are rude. Pfft.

8. The official hashtag is #NYCC. So tweet with us, won’t you?

Got it? Great. See you there!

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The Ultimate New York Comic Con Survival Kit