White Queen sketch by Shawn Harbin

Recapping the fifth New York Comic Con: Reed Exhibitions managed to make some glaring mistakes that really brought the show down from the caliber it should be. Volunteers that are clueless; the repetitive long lines; poor layout where gaming/dancing/etc. is done in the walking aisles; and things as simple as not laying out the alphabetical rows of Artists’ Alley um… alphabetically. Really!

None of that stopped me from having a GREAT time at the show and even better time at the after hours events! I had great companions making it a killer weekend.

DAY 1…FRIDAY OCT 8, 2010


I managed to forget some things at home, had to run halfway back through Jersey and only managed to be 20 minutes behind schedule with Nerdy Bird Jill Pantozzi. Traffic over the river sucked. Out of breath from trying to get through my press clearance (hence my jab at the volunteers & the lines since I was sent through the wrong line) and up to the main floor for an interview with Newsarama, I was sweaty and nervous talking with Pete LePage about our 2010 New Jersey Wonder Woman Day.


I caught the screening of the STREET ANGEL short film which was a project by filmmaker Lucas Testro starring Aussie actress Kate Bell. I was quite surprised that the film was Australian. Just how did they manage to get their hands on Jim Rugg’s and Brian Maruca’s tale about a homeless bad ass ninja-killing girl considering the comic is so niche in the indie scene? I first came across STREET ANGEL when I was at the launch party of the creators’ AFRODISIAC which is a spin-off of STREET ANGEL. You can check out my interview with Jim Rugg. Jim wasn’t in attendance for NYCC but I’m hoping to catch up with him again in December at a Brooklyn indie expo.  The screening was hosted by the Chicago based 11 o’clock Comics podcaster Chris Neseman. This film was made years before SCOTT PILGRIM VS. THE WORLD but it’s being described as having the same tone and energy. Since it was a short, it encompassed the first chapter in the life of Jesse when the local authorities take a break from trying to arrest her by asking for her help against the maniacal Dr. Pangea. The acting could have been better but the editing and soundtrack were great. To me, it felt like it was a film project with a substantial budget rather than an moviehouse art film based on a great indie comic. Jason Stewart as Mayor Watson seemed to carry the scenes but you have to enjoy ninja action so fast that you can’t even see the heads being sliced off.


Ready to tie up Comic News Insider's Jimmy Aquino

I had a little bit of time working in my first outfit (Wonder Woman variation) at Thom Zahler’s booth before debuting Amazonia from LOVE AND CAPES. I was so lucky that the podcast alley was right at the end of Aisle 500 so that I could keep popping over at Comic Geek Speak. While I actually didn’t manage to get any of my own interviews, I arranged for Thom to be interviewed by CGS’ Adam Murdough.

Comic Geek Speak interviews Thom Zahler

A lot of people seem surprised that I’m actually a fan of the booths where I work. I don’t get that. I wouldn’t want to work there if I didn’t love the product. I worked for Dave Wachter and Joe Sinnott earlier in 2010 because I believe their art is exceptional. Dave’s Guns of Shadow Valley is online, free and has been Eisner nominated. Joe is a Marvel legend. There’s nothing I can say that hasn’t been said a million times. So when I met Thom Zahler in Baltimore this year, why on earth wouldn’t I try to get a gig considering how often I recommend LOVE AND CAPES? Seems logical to me but maybe I’m half-Vulcan or something. That certainly would explain some things. I also wouldn’t bother if I thought the creator was unpleasant. I care about how they treat people, especially the fans that keep them in business. Each one of these guys takes as much time as possible to chat it up with folks, work on commissions and do it all smiling no matter how exhausted they are.

Amazonia and Thom

It was time to jump into action as Amazonia. I’m always scared about a costume’s debut. Will the fans recognize it? How will the creators like it? How many wardrobe malfunctions can there possibly be? And how bad is the line in the ladies’ room? It was the first time I was wearing the shoes too and somehow I got through the weekend in stilettos but the pain hit pretty well by Monday morning. Doesn’t matter as long as the costume looks good, right? I did manage to forget where I packed my safety pins so any bending and twisting at all gave people a little show but I think it’s the sort of thing Amazonia would pretend wouldn’t bother her. So there I was, channeling the energies of this strong-willed space princess who kicks butt. I could totally get into that!


The night was specially reserved for the Geek Girls’ Network party at Stitch where Kirby Krackle and Adam WarRock entertained the crowd of excited creators and fans. Thanks so very much to the hard working Queen Geek, Kristen! As if Kirby Krackle couldn’t possibly get any cooler, they went ahead and designed a zombified twitter Fail Whale for t-shirts. I <3 them ever so much! And the kicker was that I got to see them Saturday night at the Rock Con and then hang with them at their booth on Sunday.

At some point, Jill and I found our way to a different bar and neither of us seem to recall which one, only that we landed with my boys from Dynamite Entertainment. Got to continue getting my drink on with Joe Rybandt, Garth Ennis and Steve Ellis because my life is that awesome at times! Being the gentleman he is, VP Joe got my drunk butt back to my hotel and dumped me off safe and sound. Chivalry lives.


Women of Marvel


This was reserved for my Marvel and DC love but I never actually made it to the DC booth nor their panel for the DCU Online Game. I have not seen Executive VP Bob Wayne in years and I miss that big lug!

The incredibly beautiful ladies of the SCF met up at the Marvel booth around 1:00 to give the crowd some eye candy. Besides Marvel’s official flickr feed, the best gallery I found was my facebook friend John Smith’s collection. He not only dressed up as Rick Jones with power bands but he shot a considerable amount of pics of our Women of Marvel where I appeared as Firestar with Ms. Lion.

X-Men's Pixie

I’m not saying this just because it was her birthday, but I think of one of the show stoppers was Alexandra’s Pixie! She was just about the cutest darn thing you ever could see at a comic con. Other breath taking suits that I finally got to see in person were Ridde’s Loki and Pisnuto’s Lady Sif; both were suits I have considered in the past and after seeing how they pulled them together, I think I’ll stick with my simple spandex super suits. Big thanks to Kim Santiago who truly played Typhoid Mary by parting the claustrophobic crowd to lead me back to the Small Press room. I don’t think I would have made it without her.

DC Super Villains

Then it was DC time and I changed into Ace. I think only three people got it without me telling them it was someone from the Royal Flush Gang. Best part was one of the three was a little kid about 6 or 7 years old. A lot of people guessed “10” rather than Ace but that’s understandable. This version of Ace is pretty obscure from a Justice League episode. I was so happy to catch up with a large group of DC Super Villains wandering past the CGS booth but my pic is rather blurry.

Dr. Jones, Sr.

I think my favorite non-spandex costume was Jason Antonelli’s Dr. Jones, Sr. from INDIANA JONES. He was part of a large group which included Indy and Marion (spot-on perfect from the first movie). I just thought Jason was hot as hell. There were tons of gaming costumes that weren’t spandex either but despite their epic latex creations, I just have a soft spot for handsome well groomed gentlemen. Maybe it’s all the tweed.


Both Firestar and Ace had some time at the LOVE AND CAPES booth too but I couldn’t wait to get into something more comfortable. I had a wonderful dinner with Thom and his friends at Mars 2112, a bizarre science fiction themed restaurant which actually had a great veggie burger. The night then went to more time with Kirby Krackle at Sullivan Hall. It was an early night for Jill and me, turning in by 2:30 am. Hey, that’s about 2 hours earlier than the first night!

DAY 3…SUNDAY OCT 10, 2010

My Fallen Angel sketch by J.K. Woodward

I kept it simple on Sunday and only wore Amazonia for the entire day. The problem was that even though I was ready an hour ahead of schedule, we tried to get a cab and couldn’t. I even walked a block up to Times Square where it was busier and still failed. It was a much quieter day overall. I attempted to find friends in Artists’ Alley but as I opened with, the rows were labeled with letters but not actually in alphabetical order! It was terrible. I did run into J.K. Woodward, Julian Lytle, Alex Saviuk, Mark McKenna, Katie Cook, Mike Norton and Jamal Igle either at their tables or just by chance in the aisles.

So there we were, exhausted from the chaos but I just didn’t seem to want to leave. A few of us made our way to the New Yorker for dinner. I was finally in jeans for the first time all weekend and wished we could have afforded another night since we had Monday off. I reluctantly said goodbye and trekked back across the Garden State. There really won’t be another comic con until spring but I’m hoping to check out the Brooklyn Comics & Graphics Festival December 4, 2010.

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