The not-so-long con: my day at New York Comic Con

I only got to go to New York Comic Con on Friday this year, but considering I didn't get to go at all last year, and that my library cred got me in for free on Friday, I really can't complain. Besides, I'm not much of a panel-goer, anyway, so maybe I miss out on some of the after-hours stuff and have horrible shoulder, back, and leg pain because I have to do all my comics shopping in one day and therefore have to carry All That Stuff around the whole time, but I'm generally satisfied with the one-day experience at any con I attend (I mean, jeez, I did Wizard World Chicago that time in just 3 hours and saw everything I wanted to see... a whole day at NYCC was great!). Anyway, let's be lazy and bullet-point the highs and lows, shall we?

  • Thanks to some particularly well-timed train and cab-grabbing, landed at the Javits Center right around 10, and promptly waited in line for the next 30-40 minutes, which seemed odd for Professional hours. But again, won't complain because of the free. I will complain about the group of librarians in front of me, though, who kept making the Same Joke Over And Over ("If knowledge were wealth, we librarians would be the richest people alive!") and kept letting their friends cut in line, which makes me wonder how they could get an MLIS when they so clearly failed Second Grade. You give library-folk AND comic fans a bad name, people in front of me!

  • One other complaint, actually... very few of the people working the con, volunteers or paid employees, seemed to know where anything was. I missed the Comic Book Club panel, the only panel I planned on attending, because four different people told me four different locations for the place it was supposed to be held (the "Variant Stage"). When I finally found someone official-looking (i.e., had a head-set and a clipboard), his directions led me basically past where I started, so I just gave up. It would've been nice if more people had some idea where they were and what they were doing.

  • Mattel's line-up for the Batman: The Brave and the Bold toyline doesn't include a Wildcat for the foreseeable future, so I found someone working the booth who looked vaguely important that adding one down the line would make both my son and at least one blogger very happy.

  • Resisted the urge to buy Scott Pilgrim Vs. The Universe since I have it coming in my DCBS box at the end of the month. Maybe if the version on sale had something more special than a pink slip of paper with some "new art" banded around it, maybe, or if I had stumbled across a signing. But I did get the SP Full Colour Odds and Ends special, though, even though that was just a case of me rebuying material I had already gotten for free in the past, so I'm still a bit of a sucker there. But, colour. That's like color, but even fancier.

  • Met up with my buddy Dan in front of the Archie Comics booth, which we noticed was positioned across from a pin-up art booth. We decided someone had to have done that on purpose.

  • Mid-aisle a bit later, Dan is behind me and starts yelling out "Hey, Scott!" As I turn around, he's saying "I just wanted to say thanks for all the music..." and then I see That Beard. It was Scott Ian from Anthrax, just wandering the show floor. He was very cool, shook our hands and said thanks for listening, and we let him go on his way. Very awesome, random moment there.

  • Cool creator conversations: Talked with Alex Robinson about Wizard World Boston as he signed Too Cool To Be Forgotten, and he joked, "Oh, so you were that one guy who went to Wizard Boston!"; shook Joe Staton's hand, and he thanked me for the kind write-up of the last E-Man book; had a nice long conversation with Girls With Slingshots creator Danielle Corsetto about Maine, since her mom grew up in Mechanic Falls; minicomic writer/artist Michelle Fariss spoke with us for a while and did a great critique on some of the artwork Dan brought from his students; talked Legion with people like Art Balthazar & Franco and Dan Parent; basically fell all over myself praising Cliff Chiang; Dan had a cool minute with Brian Bendis... I could go on. Already have from the looks of it.

  • Got to meet Colin Baker, who was incredibly warm and friendly, and even though I wasn't paying to get anything signed, still shook my hand, thanked me for the kind words I bestowed upon him, and posed for a picture...

    Yeah, it was a true Nerd Glee moment for me. You don't get to meet many of your childhood icons, and when and if you do, they usually don't end up being red letter occasions, but it was all just as cool as I had hoped it'd be. Honestly, the entire day was worth it just for this.

  • Not a lot of memorable costumes on Friday. A couple of Cobra Commanders, one of which was quite good, a decent Darwyn Cooke Catwoman, and the usual assortment of Phoenixes, Ghostbusters, Star Wars characters (I should have gotten video of the Noo Yawker-sounding stormtrooper hitting on Catwoman... "dese ahn't de droids youse lookin' faw"), girls in corsets, and the like. The worst was a guy with an Optimus Prime helmet, a towel tied around his neck, and a boombox playing the Power Rangers song. Dan wondered if the guy had any intention of ever talking to a girl, much less kissing one, but I sort of applauded the way he was so clearly removing himself from the gene pool like that.

  • As for the haul, let's see... a Doctor 13 print from Cliff Chiang, a bunch of great sketches that'll be future Pretty Sketchy material, Too Cool to Be Forgotten, Girls With Slingshots Vol. 1, that color Scott Pilgrim book, Content #2 by G.B. Tran, the Indie Spinner Rack's Awesome Anthology, Action Philosophers Vol. 3, Jim Mahfood's Carl the Cat That Makes Peanut Butter Sandwiches, Gus & His Gang, The Amazing Remarkable Monsieur Leotard, Kaput & Zoskey, Michelle Fariss' minicomic Half A Chicken and... oh, there was a bunch of other stuff, promo things and the like, that I can't remember now.

  • But still no Legion button at the DC booth. One of these years, please, DC?
So sure, there was stuff I missed... I had hoped to finally meet Boston's favorite drunken comics blogger at the BOOM! Studios booth or maybe even New York's favorite little stuffed bull, but those didn't happen unfortunately, never stumbled into a Jeff Parker, Paul Cornell, or Paul Tobin & Colleen Coover signing, and if Darwyn Cooke really was there, I never saw any indication, but on the whole, it was a good day. And I also learned that if you barely eat all day, a McDonald's Quarter Pounder with Cheese quickly consumed while driving on I-95 in Connecticut at about 9 p.m. becomes the most delicious thing ever for that one moment. So there's that.


  1. I'd be happy if I could find a Blue Beetle toy that didn't include a "submarine" accessory jacking up the price by $20, but no, all I see in stores are peg after peg filled with Black Mantas and Kanjar Ros.

    And the DC Universe line is doing TWO Wildcat figures, so that should tide me over.

  2. Yeah, how about that Colin Baker? Over the years, I've met a few famous actors and singers and celebrities and I've experienced the dazzling charm that many of them can bring to bear -- and I've also known a few who didn't bother, but instead made it clear they begrudgingly condescended to give you a moment of their precious attention -- but Colin Baker is just sheer relaxed easygoing charisma, genuinely pleased to meet fans and speak with them. He said he was having a good time at NYCC and he seemed totally sincere. And it's not just a case of clinging to past glories: I'd seen him at a previous convention many years ago -- when he was the current Doctor, in fact -- and everyone who met him then came away with the same impression. A totally classy guy.