New York Comic-Con is always the highlight of my autumn. It is one of the biggest conventions for all things geeky on the East Coast and, unlike San Diego Comic-Con, you actually get to go inside instead of standing in a line wishing you were inside.
NYCC is a four-day event held every October at the Jacob Javits Center in Manhattan. It is a confluence of the best of everything a nerd would love: anime, technology, movies, television, video games, and (of course) comic books. Tickets usually go very quickly. I was only able to get tickets for Thursday. That was not a problem for me; I don’t know how people can sustain themselves over the course of four days doing this anyway. There is so much to do and see at Comic-Con, to the point that exhaustion is very truly a possibility. As a rule for any convention, it is always imperative to shower at least once per day, hydrate often, eat real meals regularly (snacking on Pocky all day doesn’t count), and wash your hands routinely. Now, having given you that obligatory PSA, let’s talk about the fun stuff!
I went up to New York City on the train, seeing cosplayers sitting quite comfortably amongst “normal” people who were staring aghast at all of the Harley Quinns and Doctor Whos. When I got there and met with my companion, a college friend with whom I’ve been going to Comic-Con for several years, we walked to the Javits Center…and then around the Javits Center to reach the back of the line. Fortunately, it took fewer than thirty minutes to get inside, but this was still the longest line I’ve been in to get inside the Javits Center. Once inside, though, it was like the best of Halloween and Christmas rolled into one. There was a six-foot tall Godzilla stomping around clumsily as soon as I got inside. Nice welcome! We went downstairs to the autograph area so my friend could get autographs from George Newbern, Susan Eisenberg, and Carl Lumbly (Superman, Wonder Woman, and Martian Manhunter from Justice League, respectively). While we were there, we saw long lines for Phil LaMarr and Kevin Conroy (Green Lantern and Batman). Luckily for him, he already had their autographs, or else we would have been standing in line forever. We also saw lines for Christopher Sabat and Sean Schemmel from Dragon Ball Z and for Finn Jones and Natalie Dormer (Loras and Margaery Tyrell from Game of Thrones). Natalie Dormer’s line, I’m pretty sure, crossed the Earth several times over.
Speaking of lines for Game of Thrones, my friend and I had contemplated going to a panel for the television show, but the line went on for so long that we quickly gave up on that idea and decided to spend our day in the dealer’s hall. Luckily, we managed to capture a shot of C-3PO and R2-D2 strolling by as we left the line.
The dealer’s hall is huge, by the way. Over a football field’s length by my estimation, it is the center of commercial geekiness. Everything you could possibly want was available for sale, and I do mean everything. Why, I managed to score the full Rurouni Kenshin DVD box set, even though it has been out of print for years. I also landed the DVD box sets of seasons 3 and 4 of The Legend of Korra, even though I was not specifically looking for it. My friend bought the entire Rurouni Kenshin live-action film trilogy on Blu-Ray. We saw all kinds of stuff to buy: video games, board games, action figures, models, movies, handcrafted knickknacks, clothing (I was tempted to buy a Doctor Who necktie and wear it to court), books, plushies, cars (seriously), and so many comic books. There were comic books as far as the eye could see from every era and age. Personally, I’m not much of a comic book collector but I did buy a Star Wars necklace for Insomnia Princess, as well as a little llama plushie that I affectionately dubbed Como. I have seen these llama plushies at conventions for years and they have steadily worn down my resolve with their irresistible cuteness. Oh, and while we were strolling around, visiting vendors and purveyors, we were nearly knocked over by a nine-foot-tall Iron Man in the Hulkbuster. If you have seen it trending on Facebook, you know which one I mean.
After passing a giant Balloonicorn from Team Fortress 2, we had lunch in the incredibly-crowded cafeteria. On our way back to the dealer’s hall, we saw a glass display featuring the costumes from the upcoming Batman vs. Superman movie, including Batman’s powered suit to help him fight Superman. I am still leery about the idea of how good this movie is going to be, but perhaps the filmmakers will make a believer out of me yet. Anything is possible. I know a lot of people are already down on Ben Affleck, but I still think the premise is shakiest. Unless Bruce Wayne has invested heavily in kryptonite, this doesn’t sound like a fair fight by any stretch of the imagination.
Did I mention the cosplayers? There were fantastic cosplayers all over the convention. Here you can see Sailor Moon cosplayers at their own booth. There were also video game booths with lots of cosplayers. Perhaps the most fascinating thing was a person peddling his own webcomic series about how the law applies to you, the average citizen. He had a creatively-drawn flowchart tracing how the Fourth Amendment’s rule against unreasonable searches and seizures works. Lawyers make for the coolest nerds, just saying.
We quickly hit up the artist’s alley before bidding farewell to Comic-Con that evening. We would later meet Insomnia Princess across town for a Star Wars cantina that she can tell you all about because all I cared about by that point was free food. Comic-Con is always a wonderful experience. There are such friendly people and you will always find someone into the same obscure niche as you. If you ever have the chance to go, I strongly encourage you to go. By the time you leave, the Manhattan skyline makes for a breathtaking photo opportunity. Come in the morning, geek out all day, and leave by twilight. That is how we do at Reset After Dark.