What I Knew and What I Learned at NYCC

Fans of a sports team may travel thousands of miles in a 1982 Ford Econoline Conversion Van fully adorned with their team’s colors just to be able to watch them […]

Fans of a sports team may travel thousands of miles in a 1982 Ford Econoline Conversion Van fully adorned with their team’s colors just to be able to watch them in the playoffs.  Mormons go on missions.  Dave Matthews puts on concerts that have the same people in attendance since the Ants Marching album.  As fans or followers, there are no miles we won’t travel, no amount of money we won’t spend, and no wavering in our beliefs that will keep us away from whatever it is we have decided to place our passion.

Case in point, Comic Con.

This past weekend I had the opportunity to make my geek pilgrimage to New York City to attend the New York Comic Con (NYCC) with my fellow Fanboy Factor contributor, all around good guy, and my buddy, Jesse.  Just like the shirtless guy with all the back hair and the painted face who is 6 beers in before the 2nd inning and screaming at anyone opposing “his” team, so too does my passion for the comic universe burn (just with less back hair and the high blood alcohol limit).

The NYCC, for East Coasters unable to get to the San Diego show (read: my wife won’t let me tap in to the kids’ college fund for it), NYCC is as big as it gets.  The Javits Center is packed tighter than the Beast in Jubilee’s shoes with aisles and aisles of comics, toys, novelty tees, creators selling autographs and fielding awkward exchanges with gushing middle aged men, and strange Japanese stuffed animals.

Much of it was familiar much of it was different.  Here are some of the things I knew and some of the things I learned at NYCC.

  1.  I know I don’t dress up…but I take tons of pictures of people who do.  I am envious of anyone who has the Hulk sized stones to dress up as Doctor Doom with a tie and walk through midtown Manhattan to get to the show.
    I am well-dressed DOOM!

    I am well-dressed DOOM!

    Lord knows I don’t (I’ll stick to my novelty tee and backpack thank you).  I have a huge amount of respect for anyone who is dressed in a full unitard, homemade Iron Man armor made from corrugated cardboard, or spent more than 15 minutes on the costume they are wearing.  So much so, I am willing to staunch the flow of fans meandering through the aisles just so the guy in the Gambit get up will pose for a picture.

  2. Speaking of taking pictures, I also know I do not use a “hover hand”.  My good buddy yfnjman abides by the unwritten comic con rule of “hover hand”.  Which means when you put your arm around the guy who is in full Wonder Woman regalia, you keep your arm and hand no further than 3 inches away but no closer than ½” away from touching them.  Not me.  I get right in there and wrap them up like Mr. Fantastic giving Sue a bear hug…especially if you happened to be dressed in a Black Widow outfit.
  3. I learned NYCC is a one stop shop.  Whether you are looking for that all too rare back issue, pining after an original Skeletor action figure, or you need car insurance, Comic Con is for you.  Down one aisle you can get yourself a genuine leather bustier and the next you could be 15 minutes away from saving 15% or more for car insurance at the Geico stand.  I am not sure where getting affordable comprehensive and collision deductibles ranks with picking up a Yoda backpack?  Samurai swords, chiropractic devices, a Corvette, more back issues than you could shake a Universal Weapon at…Comic Con had you covered.
  4. I knew if you had to eat, do it outside.  Walking the Jacob Javits Center as much as you will at the Comic Con might just be equivalent to hiking from New York to Albany…Wyoming.  You are going to need to replenish your energy.  Do yourself a favor and your wallet a favor and go not eat within the walls of the Javits Center.  There are plenty of vendors outside more than willing to take your money, just less of it.  For $9, I got myself 2 hot dogs and a bottle of water.  Inside, $9 might have been able to get me a pack of M&M’s.

    Follow me to the sauerkraut!

    Follow me to the sauerkraut!

  5. I learned former wrestlers love Comic Con.  I had a conversation with Hacksaw Jim Duggan.  I snuck a picture of Sgt Slaughter, and said ‘hi’ to Jerry Lawler.  I guess it should come as no surprise athletes who made their names and arthritic knees to pretend fighting would love being at a place where pretending is the name of the game.  A few years ago, I saw the Honkey Tonk man at NYCC but I figured he was just working security.  This year, NYCC was only a few former wrestlers short of being able to have an Old Timers Royal Rumble.
  6. I learned DC Comics was a little bit of a no show.  In years past, DC has taken up huge chunks of Javits Center real estate with their stand.  This year?  Nothing.  Sure they had a presence at the show but the Forgotten One had a presence in the Avengers but who remembers him (besides me)?  For such a huge show, I found it odd one of the Big 2 worked on the periphery and in the end was a bit of a no show (yes I know DC had panels all weekend but I was expecting much more from them besides a First Look at Justice League War).
  7. I learned Marvel may not care about Thor. The sequel to Thor will be out in November.  Marvel’s answer to making sure we knew it, a Jumbo-tron mounted in the ceiling running a trailer for the movie in a loop.  For a company who, it could be argued, is becoming the “earth shattering one time only special edition must see only here limited quantity for a short time while supplies last you don’t want to miss this so give us all of your money” company, I would have thought Marvel would put more in to giving fans something to buy…I mean, promoting Thor.
  8. I learned Artist Alley needs a superlative attached to it.  Frank Cho, Chris Claremont, John Romita Jr and Sr, Tony Daniels, Alex Maalev, David Finch, Bob Layton, the list goes on and on of creators sitting for hours sketching and chatting away in Artist Alley.  That area is not only well worth spending time in but needs a Stan Lee alliterative description.
  9. I knew the more it changes the more it stays the same.  Vendors, the next big movie, television show, cartoon, or toy line all change from year to year at Comic Con.  But no matter how different the show may look from the outside, on the inside, it is the same.  It is fans (some dressed more elaborately than others), it is creators, and it is all the things we love about pop culture under one roof.  The sights, sounds, and smells of Comic Con remained the same.  While this might lead you to believe I harbor apathy towards the show that could not be further from the truth.  The night before I could barely sleep because of my excitement.  At the show I am wandering around, staring, gazing, gawking, trying to find a Black Widow to take a picture with, and soaking up the energy being put out from everyone in attendance. Yes things changed at the show, yes there were some things I was scratching my head at (like the guy who dressed up like Slash from Guns and Roses) but everything I love about the Comic Con was there and I knew, that is why I went.

 

I promise to unfreeze you from the Carbonite next year.

Seriously, I promise to unfreeze you from the Carbonite for next year’s show.

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