A Potterhead’s guide to NYCC 2014

New York Comic Con is just around the corner, and if you haven’t started planning your schedule yet – and trust me, you’ll need to! – MuggleNet is here to help you out!

If you’ve been before, you know that NYCC is a crazy but amazing time. The convention has grown considerably since it was first held in 2006, eventually reaching over 130,000 attendees in 2013 – roughly the same attendance of San Diego Comic Con! With numbers like that, it’s essential that you know what panels and vendors you’re going ahead of time. Moving throughout the Javits Center crowds can slow down even a seasoned NYCC attendee, let alone a first time visitor. With that in mind, we’ve poured over the this year’s schedules and pulled out a few highlights we think you won’t want to miss.

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Harry Potter Events

Originally, Natalia Tena was slated to attend NYCC and speak about her current role on Game of Thrones, but it was announced just this week that she will be unable to attend.

Although this is a big disappointment, you can still get your Potter on at NYCC! As they have in years past, Harry Potter NYC will be leading wand dueling demonstrations at 1:45-2:45 on Friday, Saturday from 12:15-1:00 and 3:30-4.15, and Sunday from 11:00-12:00. If you’ve never attended one of these demonstrations before, they’re a lot of fun, and a great way to meet other fans.

At the Nerd Music Panel you’ll get to hear from none other than Harry and the Potters, who are also performing at Rock Comic Con on Thursday, October 9. You do need a separate ticket to this event, but it’s sure to enhance your NYCC experience!

Other panels with possible Potter tie-ins involve a feature on The Hillywood Show, which has featured a number of Harry Potter parodies in the past, and a Fantasy Food panel, where you just might learn a new recipe for Butterbeer!

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Doctor Who Events

There’s a lot of crossover between the Potter and Doctor Who fanbases, so we wanted to make sure you knew about all the best Who events going down at NYCC!

The big news is that Arthur Darvill, who played Rory, will be at the Javits this year! He’s got a spotlight panel, as well as several instances of autographing.

Also exciting is the Doctor Who Comics panel with the writers and creators of the new Titan Comics 10th, 11th, and 12th Doctor series. (You can read some of our reviews of these awesome new comics here and here.) Additionally, Titan Comics will also be offering NYCC exclusive variant covers of their Doctor Who comics, available at their booth, during the convention.

You can round out your Who experience with a Doctor Who Trivia challenge and a screening of “Mummy on the Orient Express” – ahead of its premiere on BBC America!

Oh, and don’t forget to pick up your Doctor Who Christmas ornaments from Newbury Comics!

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Fantasy Author Events

If you’ve got a bit of Hermione in you, you may be interested in these fantastic authors lined up to visit NYCC this year!

R.L.Stine, creator of Goosebumps will be signing for FREE on Thursday from 5:00-7:00.

Bryan Lee O’Malley, creator of Scott Pilgrim vs. The World will be signing on Friday from 4:15-6:15.

The one and only Brandon Sanderson, along with many other authors, will speak at the “Villains: The Good, The Bad, and the Ugly” on Saturday from 4:00-4:45. The accompanying autographing session for the authors will be from 5:15-6:15.

Peter S. Beagle, the incomparable author of The Last Unicorn, will speak speak in a panel about his most popular work on Saturday from 6:00-6:45. Last year he also has a table in Artist Alley, so it’s worth taking a look for him there if you are a big fan!

In perhaps the most star-studded author panel of all, on Sunday from 1:15-2:00, Robin Hobb, Garth Nix, Patrick Rothfuss, and others will speak in “How Games of Thrones Changed Fantasy…or Did It?”. The signing for this event will be from 2:15-3:00 on Sunday.

And though these panels are sure to be amazing, don’t forget to simply spend some time browsing the publisher aisles on the show floor. There will be countless giveaways, in-booth signings, and special opportunities for book-lovers throughout the weekend – don’t miss out!

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Stuff You Just Can’t Miss

As we’ve already demonstrated, there’s a lot of stuff happening at NYCC this year. Here are a few awesome panels you shouldn’t let get lost in the crowd!

“The Music of Middle Earth” panel. Um. Howard Shore. I’ll be the one hyperventilating in the back.

The original voice of Ash Ketchum in the American Pokémon dubs, Veronica Taylor, will be autographing on Thursday and Sunday. Don’t pretend like you didn’t love the show/cards/video games. I can see into your heart.

BILL NYE is going to be there. BILL NYE. What would you even know about science without him??

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Ok, ok. I’m going to stop now. These are just a few of many awesome opportunities for attendees at this year’s NYCC. If you haven’t yet started planning, be sure and visit the official site for a full listing of panels, events, and autographing. We’ll see you there!