How I Lost My Virginity at New York Comic Con 2012
Normally, when an individual is about to lose their virginity they request that their partner in the act be gentle. Not me. I wanted New York City Comic Con 2012 to violate me to the point of a numbed pain. It’s not like I’m some sort of deviant. Well … never mind, you all know my email address. Wink! Moving on … NYCC was to be my first full-fledged Con since joining up with Talking Comics now over one year ago. Sure, I’d had the opportunity to attend our very own Long Island I-Con earlier in the year. Though in the case of dominance over one another, NYCC would be wearing the cracked, studded leather dominatrix outfit, while I-Con and it’s local Sci-Fi convention backbone would be bent over a rack and about to receive a fair amount of “ribbed for her pleasure.”
I wanted to walk into NYCC and say “I want you to hit me as hard as you can.” And hit me it did.
By just being myself – a representative of the Press but still 100% fan – I was afforded the opportunity to meet and enjoy the company of some of my most treasured heroes of artistry. All weekend long it was as if I were asked to navigate a social gauntlet, set within an ocean made up of my own peer group. In my own personal experience, everyone who attended the Con – from the exotic to the unhygienic – were nothing short of friendly and welcoming. This was paramount to my enjoyment of the weekend as in whether you’re aware of it or not, I myself have quite the number of social phobias to overcome. The idea of being surrounded by over 150,000 sneezing, coughing, sniffing, handshaking Con goers was less than stellar to me. But Con Cooties be damned! It’s part of the territory. You either embrace it and do your best to stay healthy or you’ve already pooped on your own party. And besides. Everyone was so damn accommodating and eager, that all of my fears melted away for a total of four days, and I will remain ever thankful to each and every last germ factory that contributed to the experience.
I’m not going to bring you through my each and every day at the Con because even I wouldn’t want to read something structured like that. What I will do is tell you about some of the highlights of my weekend in no particular order. Because really, what you must understand about NYCC is that it’s a complete clusterf*ck. Yeah yeah, I know that San Diego Comic Con is much worse, but you must remember that this was my first Con, and as far as I’m concerned, I was most certainly forced to deep throat this event.
On Thursday the Air Was Fresh and Breathable
Having the Show Room floor and Artist Alley virtually all to yourself on Thursday was incredible. It’s really the way to go if you want to get the vast majority of your shopping done in one go. The limited crowd capacity really affords you the time to engage in some one on one discussions with every guest of the Con. It’s also the perfect time to request any commissioned artwork you’d like done by your favorite artists before 1,000’s of other Con attendees have the chance to sink their fangs in. This is also the day to learn the lay of the land and make any last minute changes to your schedule. After seeing just how far you’ll have to walk between the different sections of the Javits, you’ll be happy to have the extra day to get organized and make a reformed battle plan. Also, if you’re fortunate enough, this day will also allow you to meet Dan Slott! Yes! Achievement unlocked!
Oh yeah, and maybe experience a little something called the Iron Man 3 trailer! Yeah, that’s right. During the Retailers Appreciation Breakfast (of which I was invited as a guest), as I ate overly salty breakfast goods, we were all the first to view an exclusive clip from the film, as well as the first official trailer! You’ll be happy to know that Iron Man 3 looks to be pretty freakin sweet. Even though there appears to be a slightly darker tone to the film, Iron Man 3 looks to be focusing its efforts on huge action sequences and deeper character development. This has me excited as the Marvel films over the past few years or so have only increased in quality and I have no doubt that Iron Man 3 will raise the bar once more.
On Friday the Air Began to Curdle
If the air inside the Javits was clear on Thursday it was most certainly begining to funkify as early as Friday afternoon. Suddenly, I was able to taste the oxygen circulating throughout the building. The atmosphere had become slightly damp and pungent, almost sour. Somewhere deep within my being, I knew that I would wind up getting sick by the end of the weekend. There was no amount of hand sanitizer or washing that would save me. All of the vitamins I’d packed myself with at the start of each day would be put to work only to steadily lose the uphill battle waged on disease and discomfort. But this was Comic Con! Who cares? Bring on the plague if you must! I’m ready for anything!
The Vertigo panel was pretty cool. No major surprises really perhaps with the exception of the announcement of a new Jeff Lemire project entitled Trillium. The series is set in two separate time periods, one will be 1,784 years in the future and the other 92 years in the past. The story will tell the tale of Nika, a botanist in 3797 who somehow falls in love with William, a war scarred explorer in 1921. This millennia spanning romance brings about the end of the universe. It was also very cool to learn that there is an event happening between the comics of Fables and The Unwritten. Details about this were scarce but we were told that the “not a crossover” would last several issues and would be something that fans of either series are definitely going to want to check out. Scott Snyder announced, much to the dismay of the entire room, that his original series American Vampire would be going on hiatus in order to free up Snyder for other planned projects. * cough Superman cough * Um, YAY much?
While we’re on the subject of panels, I want to be sure to tell you about the only other panel that I was able to attend during this maddening weekend. That, of course, because I wouldn’t have missed it for anything, was the Women of Womanthology panel. If you haven’t listened to this panel in its entirety I suggest that you click here to do just that. What a wonderful gathering this was. Featuring select women from the Womanthology collective including: Anya Martin , Ashley Lentini , Bonnie Burton, Ceili Conway , Jill Pantozzi , Ma’at Crook , Rachel Pandich , and Tanja Wooten, this panel was intelligent, insightful, powerful, and honest. No punches were pulled as each of the ladies gave their opinions on the subject of women in comics and where they stand, both on the page and within the industry itself. You want to know how to write solid female characters? Do you want to know where you should start and what books you should read if you’re looking to break into the industry? Do you want to know what some of the top ladies in comics thought of the failed Wonder Woman pilot? It was all there in that panel and so much more. Being in the audience of this panel it felt like I was a part of something important, not only to the industry but as a male living in a time where female creators are on the rise. So cheers to all of the women of Womanthology! You most certainly have my respect and support.
Saturday the Air Had Become Its Own Entity
If the oxygen inside of the Javits by Saturday morning could be seen as a color it would have most certainly been of a yellow-gray nature. The Javits was easily at capacity on this day and those who had braved the Thursday and Friday shenanigans were already beginning to feel the burn. However, for yours truly, my weekend was nothing short of a blitzkrieg of meetings, rescheduling, and surprises. At this stage of the Con I had already met so many wonderful people including: Camilla d’ Errico, Agnes Garbowska, Fiona Staples, Walt Simonson, George Perez, Ben Templesmith, Menton 3, Kasra Ghanbari, Amanda Connor, Bill Willingham, Scott Snyder, Jim McCann, Matthew Petz, Joe Kelly, David Marquez, Thomas Zahler, Shelley Osowiecki, and Katie Osowiecki-Zolnik, just to name a few! Each and every one of these artists, writers, and creators exhibited their own brand of enthusiasm for the Con and generously took the time out to chat with me during the weekends events. It was an honor and a privilege to spend time with each of them and I look forward to seeing them again at future events.
So, normally this would be the point in the article where I would tell you all about the magnificent Cosplay that I’d been fortunate enough to photograph over the weekend. But if you’re curious about all of those shenanigans you can find that sort of thing in the following links:
By Sunday Air Was But Only A Memory
Some MAJOR shouts outs real quick:
Thank you to the Geek Girls Network for hosting a great after party bash at the Stitch Bar and Lounge. I got to meet some incredibly cool people including many online friends for the first time ever. I even got smooched! Twice!
Alan “Sizzler” Kistler for being a straight up pimp
A big thank you is in order for our Talking Comics fan and friend, SuperBadLarry, who was my bouncer and guide throughout the Con. This guy is brimming with knowledge about the comic world and his firecracker personality make for a great Con companion. I’d chill with him any day of the week. Thanks for all of your help and guidance, man.
Much love to Logan, Harry, Britney, Lindsay, sorry if I mispelled your names ladies, and Matt for the good vibes and memories.
To my extended MFC family. It was short but sweet. You’re all beautiful.
To all of the wonderful people who allowed me to interview them either on the busy show floor or the chaos of Artist Alley, you know who you are. You’re the best.
And perhaps the biggest thanks goes out to members of 44Flood (Kasra Ghanbari, Menton 3, Ben Templesmith, and their lovely booth lady whose name currently escapes me) who took me in as one of their own and were my due North for the weekend. Whenever I needed a break from the madness and just wanted some stimulating conversation and company these men and woman were there. It was such an honor to meet you all and I can’t wait to talk toward the end of the month for a podcast Halloween Special.
I’m sure that there’s more, but for that I would highly recommend listening to the various podcasts that were posted during the event. Not to mention that the next official Talking Comics podcast will most definitely consist of an outpouring of information and thoughts about the Con. I hope that if you went to the Con that it was a positive and exciting time for you. I know that I seriously had the best time. I know that given the chance I would do it all again in a heartbeat. And I have it on good authority that we’ll be back next year. Only maybe next time I’ll Cosplay in a HAZMAT suit. Bah-dum-tish!