I kind of want to reserve judgment on a couple of things so that it doesn’t seem like the show was a waste of time. I was asked to be there as a guest of the show and I’m happy to do that as often as I can especially when the venues are within driving distance. I do know that none of the vendors and artists were happy and most didn’t make a single sale.
Right off the bat, I was confused when I found the armory because there were signs all along the grassy medians that for St. Something or other international festival and by the parking lot was a large sandwich board sign, “ENTER –>” I thought I was in the wrong place or had the dates wrong. No, it really was the comic show but there was no sign anywhere that indicated that. The international festival was something down in the center of town. It was just confusing. Bottom line.
The chance to see so many Batman vehicles drew in the DC cosplay fans. There was also the Scooby Doo Mystery Machine and a replica of the Back to the Future Delorean. The big excitement was the arrival and landing of the Batcopter! The Batcopter is owned and piloted by Gene from Sussex, NJ. Personally, I think everyone’s costumes were fantastic – except for one guy. See that guy to the right of Gene the Pilot in the group shot, the guy wearing a tee shirt and the cape and cowl? THAT guy was a douche. He criticized every costume and he was wearing a tee shirt and cape. Really, asshat? REALLY? He picked on everything from Namor having too many feathers on his winged feet to calling the Dark Knight Batman not the “real” Batman. I didn’t know this jerkwad had been part of the group shots. I would have asked for him to removed from my personal picture because to me, he wasn’t in costume.
As the show died down, I noticed that several of the ladies who were costumed guests had already changed into street clothes. I was jealous. I was trying to stick it out in the high heels as long as possible even though I’m still sick and was longing to be in bed with a hot tea. A couple of them were inexperienced and never been to a comic show before. I don’t think they’d even seen a comic before. They were apparently quite uncomfortable with some of the behavior of the male fans and costumers. I’m sorry to say that you can’t be hot, wearing spandex or a miniskirt with a belly shirt and NOT expect to have creepy comments. People will think they are joking with you. They have no social skills and don’t realize their gestures, photo angles or pose requests are going to make you uncomfortable unless you speak up and tell them so! Since it was the girls’ first con, I guess they weren’t aware that they have the right to set their boundaries and request that people act professional. One such perv apparently had a press badge. Ladies and Gents, if you don’t want people taking certain photos or touching you during a posed photo, you have to say so. Me? I think it’s all part of a comic con. There’s a line between people being idiots and actual unwanted groping and from what I was told, I think this was mild social ineptitude not criminal activity. The girls should have reported the incidents to our handler. They did go and change and went off duty which is a suitable option. If you don’t want to be photographed in a skimpy outfit, don’t wear the outfit. Consider your shift over and everyone will understand. Honestly, we will. The point of being in a costume is to be photographed with fans who appreciate the character. If you’re uncomfortable, you shouldn’t wear something.
Perhaps my experience was better than others’ because I knew half the vendors and artists. That’s always a comforting feeling. I love that I walked into a new show and saw the familiar faces of Chris Wertz from the Great Allentown Comic Con, Mark McKenna, Oliver from The Encounter in Allentown, Brian Buniak from the Kubert School, Don Smith, and Chris Notarile from Blinky Productions.
This was the first time the NJ COMIC EXPO was held at the Teaneck Armory. I was told there were a lot of behind the scenes problems. The only one I was privy to was the Batcopter Incident. The officials were well aware that the helicopter would need a place to land; perhaps this is why the government grounds of the Armory were chosen. We were instructed to have all the costumers pose in front of the Batcopter for anyone wanting to taking pictures. Then we were asked to leave because “too many civilians were near the Hummers.” Hmm… did they leave the keys in them or something because I can’t see what could have happened in the back lot which was secured by gates? At least we had already had enough time for the photos before that happened.
I should have taken the time to introduce myself to Lee Meriweather (BATMAN) and Terry Moore (MIGHTY JOE YOUNG) but honestly, I didn’t want to come across like a dopey fan. I’m usually able to calm down and “be cool” when it comes to celebrities but there are those that are legends. It’s like when I sit down when Joe Sinnott or Walt Simonson – my inner voice yells at me to be quiet and just listen to them which I hope works.
So chances are if there’s another NJ COMIC EXPO it will be moved yet again. It’s going to be very difficult for these organizers to find a solid fanbase if they can’t find a permanent or semi-permanent location. Meanwhile, look for me and my friends next Saturday, November 19th at the GREAT ALLENTOWN COMIC CON’S MEGA SHOW featuring the Rebel Legion, the 501st, and actors from STAR WARS! I think we’ve decided on a Women of DC theme for my crew.
More photos from today on Facebook.