New York Comic Con: A Ganache On The Street Report
New York Comic Con. Thursday, October the 5th, 2017. With Sir Jon’s burning hatred of NYCC at white hot peaks of intensity, it was up to me to go for my eigth year in a row, and report back to you, loyal reader. No press passes applied for nor received, this day was meant as a purely fun trip, no interviews to wrangle or pictures to take for The Pint.
The morning started with Lou, writer for the site and guest host on the show stopping at my house. We picked up Tony, who if you recall my previous Street Report is mostly known for being quiet. We then headed to Union Station in New Haven to meet up with The Manster, our buddy and frequent podcast guest Lloyd. We hopped on a train shortly after 7 A.M. and headed into Grand Central Station. On the ride we discussed Lloyd’s overly heavy bag (an over loaded bag is now known as over lloyding), and Lou and I battled over his blind and irrational apologetic love for all things Star Wars as he said two things that left me unable not to argue. First that last year’s Rogue One was as good as The Empire Strikes Back. This was tough to hear, but I had heard him say it before, so I was able to absorb that blow. Then when he began to tout Star Wars as the better overall franchise than Star Trek I had to look around to see if I could start swinging. A lady commuter actually got up and moved because she probably didn’t want to hear two nerds geekily argue over how lame Kylo Ren is as a character (very, by the way). During this Tony mostly remained quiet. As Lou reeled in defeat as I empirically proved that Star Trek is overall a better franchise based on the original series alone, we continued our journey into the city.
After a lemon bar at Magnolia Bakery (bomb-assed frosting, yes a Lazy Sunday reference in 2017) in the bowels of Grand Central, we took two separate cabs to the Javits Center, where the show is held yearly. In a surprise our entry through the gates and into the building was quite fluid and without any wait. After realizing that artist alley was moved from the wing it has occupied for the last several years, we found it’s new home and headed there first. Lloyd had about 247 books to have signed so we wanted to start early. Lou got in a long line for artist Skottie Young, as our missing compadre Kingpin had sent me with books to be signed, and Lou bless his Star Wars loving soul has more patience. Tony and I continued to browse. For the first year ever, I brought no books to be signed, so my focus was just on taking in the sights and looking for cool merchandise. I picked up a trade from artist/writer Tim Seeley and a few others along the way. Lloyd looked like an adult kid in a candy store as he hopped from creator to creator. After regrouping we decided to head up to the main show floor for a bit and see what was going on there.
Millions of people, that’s what was going on there! OK, not millions, but you get my drift. Thursday has become a busy day in it’s own right and the crowd was dense. We walked up and down most of the aisles on our first sweep, stopping to chat with the guys from ComixTribe for a bit. They have a bona fide hit on their hands with Sink, a dirty little crime book based in Scotland from Scottish writer John Lees. After discussing the most depressing episode of Futurama with John, we moved along, taking in the 2000 A.D. booth and watched the great artist Jock as he sketched for con goers. I didn’t dare buy anything from them because every year I do and can never remember what I do and do not have. I need to get better with lists. Golden Bell Studios, the company that distributes The Pint’s favorite party game Movie Buff was there, but no Justin Purvis, creator of Buff this year. Despite not getting to chat with Justin it was great to see his fantastic game out on display and ready to sell. Tony and I made our pilgrimage to the Eaglemoss tables, a fine company that specializes in all kinds of great pop culture collectibles. The prior two years I have purchased one of their Star Trek series of starship models. These are small but incredibly detailed, well made pieces. Tony has also picked these up, so we now have a tradition of going through the vessels and deciding what is coming home. In 2015 I really wanted an Enterprise from the original series, but they were out, so I grabbed the refit version from the first film. Last year they had the series version so I jumped on that. As Tony silently decided on a Klingon Bird of Prey, I chose the Reliant, the little Miranda class ship that kicked the Enterprise’s ass all over the Mutara Nebula. Lloyd was getting hangry, so we hunted down an incredibly overpriced food stand in the back of the show floor ($4.65 for a 20oz bottle of soda) and scarfed down the most expensive grilled cheese ($8.00) I’ll likely ever eat. In a moment of small victory, the server gave me a grilled cheese with ham ($12.00) by mistake. I did what I normally do and ate the evidence before they realized their error. Eating got Lloyd back to level, and we continued our adventures on the floor.
The rest of the day consisted of us just having fun, looking at toys, comics and the like and enjoying time off of work. We went back to artist alley to get the last 104 of Lloyd’s books signed and peruse prints and other art. After getting separated from everyone and waiting by the front of the room to regroup, I ran into Jim Lee, someone I had never seen at a con prior. Damn, he is tiny. I said out loud “Jim Lee’ like a psychopath as he passed me and he said” hi” back and waved. Once we all were together again, we knew it was about time to head back to the train station, but Lloyd had a few things left to get on the main floor. Tony and Lou waited for us as we checked off the last few things on Manster’s list. On our way back down, we saw The Alex Ross Art Exhibit and knew we had to take it in. My word. My biggest regret is that we somehow missed it earlier and that Lou and Tony could not check it out. The pieces were all phenomenal, and phenomenally priced, as in expensive as hell! We took as many pics as we could and then got back to our waiting pals, patient as ever. We couldn’t get a cab so we walked back to Grand Central (which despite me getting winded in the last leg of the 1.8 miles was quite cool) and got on the train, ready to discuss our day’s adventures. Except we sat in one of the few empty cars, which also happened to be a “Quiet Car”. Despite the sign urging sudued conversation, the overly sensitive conductor, who’s name I could only imagine was Charlie, but pronounced Cholly, told us we could not talk. That actually worked to, as we got to sit back and relax for the first time in quite a few hours. I agree that there are much better comic cons out there. Hell, Terrificon held in Connecticut every summer is a better pure comic con. New York is more of a pop culture circus, and all the elephants have just shit toys and video games and T shirts right in your lap. Speaking of shirts, I wore a recently purchased Pickle Rick shirt from the great cartoon Rick And Morty to the show. I must have had “Pickle Rick!!!” screamed at me 350 times. NYCC is really more of a media extravaganza, Christmas for nerds type of situation. I don’t expect the intimacy (not the creepy kind) that I feel with creators or ability to dive into long boxes like I get at shows like Terrificon, and I am OK with that, because every October, like clockwork I will end up on my yearly trek to bond with friends and spend my money on fun stuff. That’s what New York Comic Con is to me.