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The New York Comic-Con 2012

Let the madness begin!

This was only the seventh year of NYCC and while there is definitely still room for improvement (additional charging stations and floor lanes were two which we came up with right off the bat – no pun intended…maybe,) the show took great pains to shore up some of the bigger issues of the past. Volunteers knew where things were now, the food selection had improved and entrance lines much more organized. The show’s goal this year was to include as many fans as possible in the four-day extravaganza, so press and pro tickets were limited, but it paid off: the show sold completely out before all of the guests were even announced.

Thursday is always the day to explore the floor and capitalize on cosplay photo ops. It’s less crowded because it’s not the weekend yet and only four-day passholders are allowed entry on opening day. It’s also the day when most of said group blows a huge chunk of their budget on impulse buys like epic tee shirts which come with free mugs (hey, it’s a Star Wars coffee warmer, okay?) talking feather puppets, fridge magnets and buttons.
Dance like no one is watching... in front of thousands of people.

I always mean to catch a panel or two the first day, but it never happens. You spend most of the day convening with your friends and running about excitedly. It’s not the best day for Artist Alley, as it’s a bit too soon, but it’s the perfect time to get the jump on the new video games coming out before the thundering hordes clog up all of the booths. They were of course showcasing the new Wii, out next month, Just Dance 4 had its own stage setup, as all of its predecessors have had, Killzone HD had a huge display as did Lego: Lord of the Rings and, of course, the showcase of the Con, The Walking Dead: Episode 4.

There was also a rad interactive walk-through for the new Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles movie and a Batmobile to be photographed with. We didn’t get far, as I was walking about with what had to be at least among the top three Harley Quinns at Con, my friend Becky. Her sister Hannah and she had made their first trip abroad from the UK and they were predictably wide-eyed at the sheer magnitude of the place.

Friday was when things began to get ugly. Popular panels and signings will never not be a headache at Con; you know you’re going to have to arrive everyplace early and wait around on line for hours, possibly missing out on some other stuff you would like to have done with your day, but when the exhibitors are also given the incorrect information about floor times for the public and ticket distribution hours, that nagging thud becomes a full-blown migraine.
A panel with panels!

My friend, Ludovica and I, had, we thought, planned out our morning wisely as we headed out of our warm beds at the crack of dawn to start booth-hopping at eight to snap up all of the tickets that we wanted, but as that turned into an exercise in futility and she had to run off to class and all of my companions ditched, I found my mood turning foul.

Luckily, there were panels to skulk off to, so I headed off to giant meeting room 1E13 to catch being featured in DCE: From Concept to Page featuring Brian Azzarello, Chris Conroy, Cliff Chiang, Jared Fletcher, John Cunningham, Matt Idelson and Tony Akins waxing poetic about my beloved Wonder Woman, followed by a Spotlight on Grant Morrison. Morrison, fresh off his very own Con, explored the topics of summoning through magic and musical collaboration amongst discussions about Supergods & Dinosaurs vs. Aliens, The Final Crisis and Batman. 

I was almost human again by the end of it, so I decided not to push my luck and called it a day, especially as Ludo and I had heard from security that those who wanted signing tickets had begun lining up in the middle of the night.

Operating on negative sleep, Ludo and I and our friends Leah, Greg and Yéyé (fresh off a plane from Miami,) set up camp with some very eager, but organized, Walking Dead fans (no hope at all of scoring those tickets; the fans had a numbering system in place and all fifty available slots were gone by midnight.)
Day 3 of a Con will do that to ya...

Of course, it was freakishly cold out that night – no amount of hot coffee would remedy that, but the fans were in good cheer and we made it fun. Security did a great job of honoring everyone’s order and the campers received all of their tickets in a timely and organized manner.

Ludo and I sort of crashed out by the charging station until our first signing. Grant Morrison is not only brilliant, but an absolute sweetheart. After making a pass through The Walking Dead exhibit outside the venue (excellent; live zombies chased Congoers around in front of the actual set van,) it was time for The Writers Room panel with Brian K. Vaughan, Grant Morrison and Jonathan Hickman, then we made our way to the True Lives of the Fabulous Killjoys signing with Shaun Simon, Becky Cloonan and Gerard Way. The comic is due out in June and has undergone a concept change since Way incorporated the premise into two of his band’s videos, but what could there be not to like about an apocalyptic, Big Brotheresque miniseries?

Sunday is Kids’ Day every year at Con, and it’s usually a great time to shop as the floor begins to empty out earlier and vendors are all but desperate to pawn off their wares, so we agreed to meet when the show floor opened and accompany Yéyé, Leah and Shannon to their Morrison signing before hitting up a few more panels.

It’s always frustrating choosing which panels you are realistically going to be able to get to and which ones you are going to have to miss due to overcrowding (I’m especially crushed about having missed out on every Adam West, Burt Ward and Stan Lee activity this year,) but Ludo and I opted for The Women of Marvel panel with Janet K. Lee, Jeanine Schaefer, Jordie Bellaire, Lauren Sankovitch, Marjorie Liu and Sana Amanat, where the women discussed breaking the glass ceiling and owning your local comic book store (Ludo and I just glanced at each other and shrugged – I don’t know about any of the ladies reading this piece, but my girls have never felt anyplace but at home in any of our local stores.)

Our final run-through (literally, the carpet was being rolled out from under us as we traveled,) scored me a Felix the Cat mug of which I am quite proud and tons of discounted trade paperbacks (I snagged a Punisher, a Hellboy, a Cap vs. Iron Man and a Transformers for my Monster.) It also featured a tiny Bumblebee who transformed for us and an even tinier cap handing out glossy fliers for some event the following week (who knows, who cares, Tiny Cap!)

We grabbed some sushi before exchanging photos and parting ways. As always, I slept for two days’ straight before even attempting to write this review. If it’s sloppy, blame the zombies.

Deborah J. Draisin


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