19-OCT-2011 Let me preface my recap of NYCC 2011 by explaining that I attended the show all four days, stayed over in the city, and was in pain almost the whole time. I injured my back fighting off a pack of magical wolves and had to borrow a friend’s cane to hobble around the con floor. I was fine for short distances, going up and down a few aisles at a time but after an hour, I couldn’t take it anymore. My saviors and heroes of the show were Ashley (took care of me), Jill Pantozzi (for inviting me along), Stormwatch Comics (for sponsoring my meals), Ken Haeser (let me use his booth), Thom Zahler (best hugs ever) and Stacy Korn (who did all the legwork for the auction).Adding Thursday, or rather HALF of Thursday, to the con schedule was pretty much fruitless. I had a “Professional 4-Day” badge which still meant I had to wait until 4 pm to get into the show. I attended a panel on graphic novels in libraries (*report) while waiting and spent the rest of the time with other folks from NJ comics retail shops.Getting in the doors was the best it’s ever been at this show. Navigating, still a problem. I don’t think jamming up the pedestrian traffic immediately inside the showroom entrance makes any sense. Move those giant video game things to the back!
Inside the con, the highlight was seeing the 215ink booth. I love their books and think they do a great job at the cons connecting with fans. Tell them what you kind of books you like and they’ll tell you which of their titles you should pick up. I’ve been really digging VIC BOONE and FOOTPRINTS so I got a couple new things to check out.
But I could have seen them Sunday. This Thursday addition was a waste.
Friday was supposed to be my second “pro” day but was really just panel day for me. I hadn’t been to panels in years. I was particularly annoyed that the descriptions didn’t include names for later reference or when the panels didn’t discuss what the description said. I went to see one featuring Robert Kirkman because it was billed as Kirkman (actually “Kurtzman” in the program) talking about creator-owned comics. What it really was, was just an Image panel where a full slate of creators announced all their upcoming new books. I can admit that FATALE looks amazing but what I wanted to hear Kirkman talking about doing independent comics.
I also attended a panel about getting funding for comics through Kickstarter (*report). I enjoyed the panel and took a lot of notes to report back to my workshop peers. The problem is that the panelists were comprised of people with successful Kickstarter projects but those were people that already had established reputations and fanbases. Sure, like everyone else, I praise WOMANTHOLOGY creators for all their surprising success but let’s be real – they had people like Gail Simone tweeting about them and contributing to their project. This is an anomaly. I can go to the Comics category of Kickstarter and see projects struggling to hit their first thousand dollars. I’m sure Jimmy Palmiotti who spoke about QUEEN CRAB, can get that from just one of his backers/friends. Palmiotti was definitely the highlight of the whole panel. I love hearing him speak anytime anywhere.
Lastly I attended what was billed as the Felicia Day Spotlight but included her co-star Sandeep Parikh and “moderated” by Chris “the nerdist” Hardwick though there wasn’t much moderating going on. Felicia is the embodiment of indie success story. She started out in a small recurring role on BUFFY while acting in commercials and doing single appearances on shows like HOUSE. She started her own show online which is in its fifth season, THE GUILD, originally when Hollywood was on strike (around the same time as DOCTOR HORRIBLE). She’s created an empire from THE GUILD which is a brand name seen on t-shirts through JINX, music videos, comics through Dark Horse and the brand new costume line of the guidies’ in-game personae. Her latest endeavors involve being the star of DRAGON AGE, another online project with gaming ties.
What ruined the panel for me was the audience. Rude people that hog up seats with their bags. The con staff allowed people in to stand along the walls and watch. Did I mention how much pain I was in and that I was using a cane? If you looked around enough you could spot these douchebags easily by noticing that suddenly a human head was missing from the filled row. Two such dicks were within poking distance of me. Luckily my dear friend Rob spotted a seat unoccupied by human or loot and offered it up to me.
To make matters worse, the panel rooms were too far for someone not able to walk those kinds of distances. Some of the rooms were really difficult to even find.
The best part at the con on Day 2 was actually Rob Liefeld. Never thought I’d say that. Liefeld was hilarious at the panel. Guzzling energy shots after no sleep for 36 hours and sticking it to an asshole in the audience. Rob made my day. The one time I didn’t care for him much was Sunday when I went to tell him that I enjoyed his humor; he was sketching and never bothered to even glance up to see who was talking. I’ve been around artists for years now and even when they’re working, they know the importance of engaging a fan. You fucking look up!
Day 2 would have gotten 1 star had it not been for the post con activity, Rock Comic Con 2 starring Kirby Krackle, Paul & Storm, and H2Awesome. I can’t say enough great things about the bands. They are entertaining, fun and energetic. Everyone should lose their voices to “Great Lakes Avengers” and “Ring Capacity.” Everyone should be floored by the banter of the guys and laugh with joy at Charlito’s many costume changes. Nerd rock is love, my friends. The show also featured an easel where people could sketch and the art was later auctioned. There was a fantastic zombie bellydancer who could put the “Thriller” dancers to shame; and finally a burlesque striptease by a woman in a Robin costume.
Day 2: 3 stars
Saturday was my only real costuming day. I wore my Modesty Blaise outfit to fulfill my honorary title as a Legette super spy at the Curls Studio booth. Carolyn and Joe make fun comics, great art which they put on bookmarks, magnets, pins and prints. Plus they podcast which has been known to have tangents about wrestling. They have a great booth and they’re friendly people. My picture with them has several comments by folks who couldn’t attend expressing how much they love to see Carolyn & Joe.
After my time with Curls Studio, I did an interview with a blogger then a photoshoot with Tyrus Flynn all of which was filmed by the Parthenon Entertainment crew to use in the comic fan documentary I’m featured in.
Many thanks to Newsarama hosts Alex, Pete and Justin and their producers for letting me recharge my phone in their sweet box office digs.
Saturday night required a little hopping around since I wanted to go to the indie comics party at Blaggard’s Pub and the Geek Girls Network party at Stitch. I was having a really great time at the indie party where I introduced Ashley and Diana to Dave Ryan from WAR OF THE INDEPENDENTS and Rich and Jamie from THE SENTINELS. I love seeing those guys and wanted to stay but the masses from out of town were at the GGN party. Stitch was so loud you couldn’t have a decent conversation with the friends you only see once a year so it was kind of disappointing in that regard. I also thought it would be extra special if they had turned off the football and put on something geeky like a SPIDER-MAN movie or something. Plenty of people were having an amazing time dancing and putting faces to the twitter names. The GGN does a great job organizing such a huge party; they bring a ton of prizes and everyone seems to have good time. I had my butt parked on a chair and didn’t mingle at all.
Day 3: 2 stars
The last day I was determined to get some level of new networking done. There were people I’ve known online for years and had to meet them. I was feeling worse by the minute. I was part of a group ladies that dressed up as elegant versions of the various Lanterns Corps aptly called “The Classy Lanterns.” I was Rage/Red, a color I chose months ago and had no idea how prophetic that was. I was miserable pretty much the entire weekend, hadn’t gotten much sleep and just wanted to be home so Rage fit rather well. I had asked my mother to knit me a scarf that looked like a skinned cat in blue and black stripes. I added eyes and a Red Lantern ring to the “tail” and created a skinned Dex-Starr accessory. I found jeweled blood droplets at Party City that looked more elegant than fake blood syrup.
After our group commitment I finally met those key people: DJ Spider (my mentor in costuming), Joe the Peacock (hilarious modern philosopher), the Cosplay Deviants girls that I managed to miss at every show, Stewart McKenny from Australia, and James Kuhoric (VP of Avatar Comics).
Charged the $170 for four days of parking and raced home to a cat that didn’t give one shit that I was back.
Day 4: 1 star
Seeing all the new NYCC photo galleries on facebook has proven that very few pictures are taken anywhere besides the one main room which tells me that I’m not delusional that most people don’t even bother with Artists Alley. This is discouraging.
Fans that only care about video games & celebrity level comic signings can’t seem to explore what else is out there.