So it's Monday night, I'm trying to catch up on Luke Cage on Netflix and I spent Saturday at New York Comic Con.
This is I think my 8th year going and every year it gets crazier. As the con has grown, so have the complaints. Well I've been there when you could walk up to the door and get tickets and I've been there when you couldn't even get a ticket when they were released 5 months before the show.
So let me tell you how MY experience went...
So I used to get to the show around 7am. Now, that would be a nightmare. I left my house around 4:50am, I park at the Port Authority bus terminal and then just walk down to the Javits Center. I was on line at around 6:10am. The line was bent around the corner and half way down 40th street. People were lined up single file and spread out pretty thin so actually it wasn't as bad as I had expected.
They let us inside at around 7:45am which is early. Usually it's around 8. A good thing now is the way they split up the lines when you walk in the door. You go left if you want to go to a panel or you go right if you just want to go right to the show floor.
So this is where I was. The picture makes it look a lot worse than it was. One change I'm not a fan of, but I guess is necessary, is how there are no breaks between the chutes. So you have each row lined up right next to each other with no gap so if you have to step out of line, you're a pain in the ass for the 45 people you have to walk through to get back to the middle aisle.
I had to do it to meet my friend outside and give him his badge, it was a pain in the ass but I'll tell you what, everyone was great. Some people were dicks and didn't want to move, others were helping climb under the bars, making sure they didn't fall, laughing with me. Comic con is awesome.
So my usual routine for the past few years is to race to the Hallmark booth and grab my exclusive keepsakes. Usually, they start selling around 10:30 or so. This year however, Stan Lee was autographing at 12pm at Table 1 and I had a great chance to get right over there.
I made the judgement call to meet the man. Stan made it known that this is his last year of doing cons and that has driven everyone into a frenzy to make sure they get his autograph. THE autograph of all autographs. So at 9:45 they let us start moving, which again is a little earlier than usual. I went right over to Autograph Table 1 for the Stan Lee signing. The line capped at around 10:50am and the signing was at 12pm.
I was probably half way down the first aisle. They wasted no time moving down the line collecting money and passing out little cards for whatever you wanted. $100 per autograph. After a while, we noticed another line forming with a bunch of people with large flat cardboard boxes with them, with books inside. These are the VIPs. Word had it that they spent $250 on the book, an autograph and a selfie with Stan.
At around 12:30, they started moving the VIPs who were getting selfies behind the curtain to meet Stan. Then probably around 12:45, Stan came out, looking full of energy, waving to everyone, being Stan "The Man."
After the VIPs moved through the line, THEN the disabled folks were able to go through. Apparently $250 makes you more important than a guy who was legit blind, cane and all. Eventually, I lost track of time at this point, I moved up. The line moved extremely fast.
So for those of you who don't know how it works with Stan now or are interested, here is the layout.
You walk up to the table and hand the guy your ticket, he takes your item, slides it to the next guy. Then that guy, slides it to Stan. Stan signs it, barely lifting his head up, usually not acknowledging folks, then passes it to another guy. Then that guy passes it back to you.
So after at least 7 hours of waiting in line, I finally go this signed...
My Stan Lee Comikaze exclusive Peter Parker Funko Pop Vinyl. I love this toy anyway, my wife surprised me by getting me one. Now it's signed by Stan. I'm not gonna lie, the experience didn't take my breath away like I expected it to but it did settle in that I have such an awesome collectible.
Now, I do want to say that nothing that was taken away from the experience was Stan's fault. What is he, 93? I absolutely understand his system and how absolutely tired he must be. This was day three already. I actually felt bad that I was someone contributing to putting him through this but I mean he's still doing it. Stan would sometimes lift his head up and smile to people that said thank you. I made sure I said "Thank you, sir" very nice and loud. He looked up and smiled and said "alright." My friend noticed too that I got a word out of him and no one else seemed to so I have that memory I can take with me. The experience was not what I expected but I don't blame Stan at all, in fact I still commend him for bringing his ass to these conventions and putting himself through this madness. At 11am he had photo ops and then right at 12pm he had to walk over to do these autographs. I definitely thought an autograph was the way to go because every picture I've seen with him and fans this past year hasn't shown Stan at his best.
Went to Midtown Comics looking for a hard plastic case for my Pop, they recommended the Funko booth the was the only spot that had them. Went to the Funko booth and they let me know that Fugitive Toys was the only place that had them. Went to Fugitive Toys and finally got one for $9.
When we finally started to explore the floor, I turned the corner and bumped into Real Life Peter Griffin, Robert Franzese. My Dad's birthday was on Friday and I started telling him about this guy. I told him that if I ran into him, I'd try to get a picture with him.
So that was cool. Real nice guy. He looked like people were already working him bad but he was still kind enough to take one more pic.
These were a very popular talk of the town this year, the WWE versions of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. Sting actually showed up at the TMNT panel on Friday and walked the floor interviewing people which was pretty cool.
From there, we walked right over to Omac from Legends of the Hidden Temple. They had a challenge going where 2 people faced off trying to put together the Shrine of the Silver Monkey. It had closed for the day just as we had gotten there. This was at like 2:30pm, why the hell did it close already?
So instead we were waiting in line to do trivia with Omac. It was 90s Nicktoons trivia. The answer to our question was "Log" from Ren and Stimpy. These guys were great. I saw people walking away with Shrine of the Silver Monkey lapel pins. I really wanted one of these and even asked one guy directly what do I have to do to get one. He went around to the other side of the booth to do what looked like try to get one for me but came back and didn't acknowledge me. After we answer the question, the MC pulled one out and handed me one which was awesome of these guys, even though it was the prize you win anyway, they still made sure I got one. Stuff like that goes a long way at Comic Con. I once saw a guy at the Skybound booth give out an extra ticket for a Kirkman signing for a guy who's son forgot to get one when they were in line. Cool little gesture.
These were a few statues at the Kotobukiya booth. The Animated Series Batman is pretty awesome. It even comes with "sad eyes" head which is awesome. The Spider-man statues are awesome too. It would be awesome to see these released in the same fashion as the Black & White Batman statue series.
I'm pretty sure with the resurgence of Voltron from the new series on Netflix and the popularity of the Power Rangers movie coming out that giant fighting robots are going to really make a come back. Pacific Rim 2 is on the horizon too.
These little Power Ranger things are awesome. The animated series TMNT figures are killer too. Shredder looks awesome. These were from the Tamashii Nations booth of Blue Fin I believe.
These were cool too. Austin with the beer cans. Looks like the most posable WWE figures to date with great detail.
These scene obviously got a ton of attention.
I just thought these were cool.
Had to get a pic of these too.
I still was able to swing past the Hallmark booth. They still had a few Boba Fett exclusives, which is kind of a bummer. I expected them to be gone but apparently they aren't that popular. Should still score a little bit of profit. These are awesome though. Finally a Venom ornament. Very cool.
Had to get a random scenery shot. This Sideshow banner was awesome.
Another random scenery shot.
This is one of the most awesome Sideshow statues I've ever seen.
The girl at the Sideshow booth had a couple of cool pins on her lanyard. Since I'm a huge collector of awesome pins, I asked where I can get one. She let me know they were part of a scavenger hunt that was going on, on Friday and earlier in the day. Soooo, again, something that is only available very early on in the day and if you missed it, you're SOL.
More awesomeness from Sideshow. Killer Venom and Carnage statues with insane detail.
Now I don't take a lot of cosplay pictures, only the ones that stand out the most to me. Usually the women put a lot of detail in their costumes but I'm sure my wife wouldn't be a big fan of me having a lot of pictures of these female cosplayers. The "Darth Vader" cosplay was a cool idea and this guys Lex Power Suit was pretty killer. Not gonna lie though, when he turned around and I saw he wasn't bald, I kind of didn't want his picture anymore. He looks like a mix between Buffalo Bill and Lex Luthor. Nice guy though, killer costume.
This was the fun game they were doing at the Audible booth. Last year, they had the Locke & Key VR experience working which was great. Then they gave you gift cards for 2 free downloads. This year, they gave a T-shirt to the winner of the game, then you got what looked like drink coasters. I think they have downloads on them but for specific books. Also, if you hash tagged out something for them, they gave you a little speaker egg that you slide your phone into to kick up the volume.
We then took a walk over to Artist Alley. My main goal was to talk to Matt Hawkins from TopCow. He's always cool. He's a very interesting dude to follow on Facebook too. He's very willing to talk about things and his books are definitely worth checking out. I picked up the 1st volume of Symmetry. I should have picked up Postal too, which is going to be a TV show soon.
And here are a few crappy shots of the awesome South Park setup that was outside.
Unfortunately I didn't see much. Being online for Stan took up a ton of time and I left early because I had to.
One thing that continuously drove me nuts was how much stuff you miss because it's just no longer happening. Like the big Resident Evil cabin inside. Apparently, the first 160 people to come to the cabin go in. That is insane to me. So the cabin is open for people to go into for probably the first hour of the show and then it just sits there all day? I don't understand the marketing behind that. Things should be doing on all day long. It really added to the feeling that I missed so much by waiting in line for Stan so long.
Video games have a huge presence which is cool, however there is no way you're getting near them at all. I remember when you used to be able to play a bunch but now you'd be lucky to even see that the games are there let alone play them.
There is tons of waiting in line, which is expected, but unfortunately that is all you're doing. It's like going to an amusement park. You sit in line all day to get on a ride. More time spent waiting in line that doing anything. That is why I never go to panels. There is so much stuff on the floor, I can't waste my time waiting for them. When you do get to do whatever it is you're in line for though, it is worth it. Anything that is interactive makes the day fun because you can't do that kind of stuff all the time.
I've seen a lot of people say this is their last NYCC. I'm sure it won't be for them but I also don't think that kind of reaction is necessary. Sure it sucks for us long time con-goers that it's become so popular we can't enjoy as much as we used to but it does add to it as well. Tons more people and costumes. A lot more exposure which means more fun stuff and celebrities come to the show. I still had a great time like always. I can't wait for next year.
Also, be sure to use my Amazon links. Couldn't hurt.
I have a copy of The Walking Dead #100 Comixology Variant for sale. It's graded 9.8 from CBCS with verified signatures from Ryan Ottley, Charlie Adlard, and Robert Kirkman. Let me know if you're interested.
Ok I'm out. Let me know if you enjoyed this update and take your con exclusives all the way to the bank, brother.