This past weekend I was one of the lucky few (thousands) to attend New York Comic Con—not as epic as its San Diego counterpart, but still enough for those on the East Coast to get their geek on. What followed was a weekend full of mayhem and magic (and cosplay)! You didn’t get to go (should have made friends with ’10 alums living in the city), but luckily for you, I’m here to tell you just enough about it to make you insanely jealous.
After making an executive decision to take off from work several hours early, I arrived at the Javitt Center in New York City at around 3 p.m. on Friday, and, thanks to my incredible foresight (I bought my pass in April), was able to stroll straight onto the show floor. If you imagine every socially awkward person you have ever known, every franchise they were obsessed with, and all the awesome technology said awkward people invented instead of getting laid, then added a dose of semi-celebrity along with a good measure of people very invested in Halloween costumes and multiplied it all by AWESOME then you would begin to get an idea of what the show floor was like.
Having attended some small time cons before (what up, Adventure Con of Knoxville, TN), I thought I knew what to expect—delightfully obsessed fans and the finest selection of T-shirts with geeky puns on them available anywhere in the Northeast. I was not prepared for the amount of free stuff that was being given away. Free pins. Free books. Free posters. Free comics. Free bags. Free hugs. I am a whore for free things, and though at one point I found myself wondering if I really needed that new Halo novelization that I was elbowing other people out of the way for (I concluded that yes, yes I did), I spent a good portion of the weekend casually walking past the same booths over and over trying to accumulate as much swag as possible. One of my friends even got a Twilight lanyard (jealous!). In fact, the only purchase I made on Friday was nerdy shot glasses (Star Wars, Star Trek, and Firefly).
After roaming the floor for a few hours, it was finally time to go to a panel! The “Robot Chicken” panel to be exact. I was a little over-eager, and actually arrived at the IGN Cinema while the previous panel, “Upcoming DC Universe Animated Original Films & Shorts” (very informative) was still going on, which allowed me and my fellow con-goer Matt Adelman ’10 to snag prime seats (perfect for gazing into Seth Green’s eyes). We were delightfully surprised when it was announced that not only would “Robot Chicken” creators Matt Senreich ’96 and Seth Green be on the panel, but also Macaulay Culkin, a season five collaborator. You may want to know that season five of the show will feature “Robot Chicken Star Wars III,” but personally I was more interested in Seth Green’s adamant defense of Culkin’s credibility and career. When one curious attendee queried, “Where have you been since ‘Saved?’” Green responded for him: “Mal could retire right now and still be more relevant than anyone else in this room” (except in a far more charming and adorable and defensive manner than I could ever hope to convey in a mere newspaper article).
After “Robot Chicken” ended, we rushed down the hall to another section of the building in order to meet up with Cardner Clark ’13 and get in line for the James Marsters Spotlight (aka Spike from “Buffy!”). On the way, we just happened to pass Stan Lee in the hall. Just, you know, walking. Like one of the most influential men in comics does sometimes. Near me. Anyway. As good as getting to see Seth Green in person was, getting to see James Marsters was a million times better, mostly because of what an epic person he is. During the course of the panel, he took us on an emotional journey, beginning by telling us that “conventions are beautiful” and ending by serenading us with a song he wrote himself. In between, we were treated to stories about what it’s like to make out with John Barrowman (from “Torchwood”) and have Joss Whedon be jealous of your cheekbones. As if the night couldn’t get any better, when we left the Javitt Center later that night, we actually rode the same escalator as Marsters. Magical.
Woe to me for thinking the Con was crowded on Friday, because on Saturday the place was an absolute zoo. My companions and I began the day by fighting our way through the mass of people dressed as Pokémon outside the center, only to get inside and be barred from taking any escalator up to the floor before going to the basement and running through a rat race of partitions that eventually led up the stairs and back to the elevator we had been trying to go up before. As far as I can tell, the point of this was to give us a bag filled with Magic cards and Power Rangers Demo games. My first objective of the day was to get to the Kirby Krackle show on the Variant Stage. For those of you who don’t know, Kirby Krackle is a nerd rock band that writes songs exclusively about comics, video games, and various other forms of geekery. My personal favorite was Naked Wii.
Afterwards I headed up to the floor to take a look around. At this point I feel I should mention that I chose to wear my Starfleet shirt on Saturday, and that outfit got me hit on more than any other I have donned in my entire life. Let’s just say that one guy asked me to ‘join his Starfleet Command’ and now I have the number ‘Ozzy Starfleet’ in my phone (nevereverever deleting it). The best part is that he probably actually wanted me to join his Starfleet Command, and wasn’t just using it as a euphemism for sex.
The next several hours I spent roaming around, in awe at all of the fantastically dressed people (and accumulating more free things…it made riding the train great). Wandering around aimlessly actually proved very rewarding. Not only did I see a guy doing a GIANT chalk art of Yu-Gi-Oh (is that still relevant?), but I also met the guy who plays Big Bird on “Sesame Street.” For some reason he was giving out rainbow “Mr. Roger’s Neighborhood” pencils (awesome). I didn’t attend another panel until the evening when I went to a “Tron: Legacy” one, which turned out to be a joke (one of the slides was merely entitled ‘Colors’ and had bars of colors on it). It’s my understanding that the facilitators of the panel had been told at the last moment by Disney that they weren’t allowed to talk about anything they had planned for (that’s Disney for ya). After ducking out of that letdown early, I ended my day by liberating a pillow from the Cartoon Network lounge. Don’t judge me (it had a robot on it and happens to fit in great with the décor of my room).
Sure, I could have spent the weekend at Wes getting crunk with my friends, but instead I went to Comic Con, where I got hit on by a middle aged man with a glorious moustache for wearing a Star Trek shirt. I think I made the right choice.