New York Comic Con 2013 is set for this weekend, from Oct. 11 to Oct. 13, and part of the larger cultural experience is the consumer experience. Many fans will end up buying a lot of things, but there could be a point where they feel like it is too much for so little.
At NYCC '13 some big stars will be in attendance, including, to name just a few, Sylvester Stallone, Chloe Moretz, William Shatner, Hulk Hogan, David Duchovny, Gillian Anderson, Stan Lee, Patrick Stewart, Felicia Day, John Barrowman, Kristin Bauer and Jason David Frank, but face time with them will cost you time and money. Duchovny and Anderson are offering a joint photo session, a dream for the many fans of "The X-Files," but that will cost $220. Solo, Anderson's photo op costs $70 while Duchnovy's is $95. You can probably photoshop the two photos to form your own Mulder and Scully photo op and save $55.
An autograph from Stewart or Shatner costs $75, while a photo op with the two "Star Trek" captains will set you back $220. Hogan's autograph costs $60 while Frank, best known as Tommy from the "Power Rangers," is practically a bargain at $20, although a photo op with Frank as the White Ranger will cost you $50. An autograph from Barrowman, of "Doctor Who" and "Torchwood" fame, costs $40.
Getting an autograph from Cookie Monster, or David Rudman, the man behind the monster, on the other hand, is free.
A cottage industry has been built up around geek culture, and while the price of autographs may be too high, it is an optional endeavor. There are also exhibitors selling everything from comics to posters to apparel to memorabilia and there will be plenty of NYCC '13 exclusives available for purchase. That's after factoring in the cost of a ticket for NYC '13: Single- day tickets were between $30 and $50 while a three-day pass cost $65 and a four-day pass cost $85.
Despite that, fans can't help but join in the NYCC '13 fun and splurge on autographs and photos. It's not about the money that will, inevitably, be spent (food and drink were not even mentioned), it's about the experience. Artist Alley is a great way to see work by some incredibly talented, and unknown, artists. Spending time and seeing some new work will be a highlight of Comic Con. There are also plenty of panels and screenings that are free and will give fans a look at their favorite shows. Another aspect to look forward to with any convention will be the elaborate costumes that will be on display.
The sense of community is worth the price of admission and, ultimately, it's about making NYCC '13 the best possible experience for yourself. Make sure you check out the daily schedule, see what panels, or autograph/photo op sessions appeal to you, and plan ahead. Don't try to do everything, as there will be lines, and know why you have been waiting all year for NYCC '13 and have fun. For more helpful info, check out our survival guide.
Charles Poladian joined IBTimes in October 2012 and, when not reporting on all things topical, can be found reading or photographing concerts.