Okay… I’m slowly getting back to “normal”. I still have a huge backlog of posts to work on, here’s my con diary, mostly in picture form.
Photos were taken with my Samsung Galaxy S Epic 4G Touch 5MP camera, at high resolution. Which means you see the crapiness in HD!
Yes, I started my “super week” on Tuesday, at Columbia University. You can read and see what I did here.
After the library, many of us ventured across the street to Ollies. Normally, I avoid any eatery with a B grade (21 points! Temperature control, food contamination!), but ate here in the spirit of camaraderie. (Misery loves company!) The food was tasty, and the conversation lively.
I slept well, then headed to Javits. The ICV2 conference was that afternoon, and I had to type up the Columbia report, as well as take pictures of setup. I tried posting them via the WordPress app on my phone, but was stymied.
A common site to New Yorkers. If you see these, you’ll probably want to avoid the area for the next few ideas.
Later, this will be the exit. You’ll see Starfire in the background.
Have you bought your Batman Forever stamps? (No… not THAT “Batman Forever“!)“In my day, we called it “Nickelodeon”. And when they signed off at 8 PM, we switched over and watched the scrambled Playboy Channel feed.”
The line for the Empire Stage forms early…
The view from the second floor, which is one level below Eleventh Avenue.
The big picture. Note the smaller number of panel rooms in 1A.
God… I wonder if they got tired of people singing in the Bacon Pancake song? The final parking place. There were more food trucks outside, but I was never that hungry, or that rich.
I guess they needed space for banners.
Not a good omen for the convention… If the Javits’ own TV monitors can’t find WiFi…
Autographing in Hall 1B.
What I call the “Stockyards”. This is the queue hall for events and the show floor every morning.
The afternoon was spent at the ICV2 conference. But, at around 4PM, my stomach became unsettled, due to the bad Chinese I ate the night before. I hoped to clear my stomach, but something had taken root. I limped to the Abrams Comics Art reception, but had to give my regrets leaving early.
Finally, I awoke at 3 AM, and soon everything was okay.
I got up early… Disney was opening the show with the first panel on the Main Stage (Hall 1-D), featuring “Big Hero Six” and “Tomorrowland”.
The lines opened at 10:30 AM (not too late), and it was easy to navigate downstairs to the queue hall. There we all waited in line for panels, and the room was packed by Noon, easily. (My view was a bit blocked, standing a few yards from the head of the line.)
At 12:30, staff began handing out the wristbands, and were adamant about people wearing them. (I was trying to walk and band myself, and the staff made me stop and wristband.) Then we congregated at the big side door leading directly into 1-D. There was a small hiccup between letting the VIPs in before the hoi polloi, but it was all orderly. No running, but I hustled, and got a good seat right next to the microphone.
The crowd. There was an empty seat between me and a reporter from the Wall Street Journal. (We split the unclaimed swag. He took the print, I took the bag with the promo and button.)
I made sure to sit right. next. to. the microphone. I wanted to ask Brad Bird (director of Tomorrowland) what advice Edna Mode had for cosplayers. Sadly (although it actually made for a better panel), there were no questions.
But right across the aisle… was the VIP section. I was forward enough that most of those seated were Disney execs. Guess who was sitting DIRECTLY across from me? Nobody very important… just Marvel’s Chief Creative Officer. “I don’t want to blow your cover,” I said, “but here’s my card.”
Once the festivities began, he was spotlighted along with one of the creators of Big Hero Six. Disney showed a lot of clips, including an amazing chase scene! They said Scott Adsit (Baymax) has made comics? (He is an agent of SHIELD in Marvel Comics.)
(And yes, even the Disney execs are subject to the “no cell phone” policy. One of the security agents was engaged in multiple conversations with one female exec. It seemed to have been politely settled.)
Then they brought out the Tomorrowland cast. Not much shown, as the aura of mystery was maintained.
The highlight, of course, was when George Clooney appeared. This was his first ever Comic Con event, joking that he was blacklisted for his version of Batman. He is EXTREMELY charming! He even talked his bosses into screening a clip from the movie, where Casey Newton meets Frank Walker, and everything goes helter-skelter.
Leave it to Disney to feature pin trading in the new movie! (It is the inciting incident.)
Go see both. Big Hero Six is great animation, and Tomorrowland will feature big scenes and big ideas.
What’s this? Well, I wandered the middle of the show floor (“Times Squre”) where the huge booths were located, hoping to avoid them the rest of the show. This is a scale model of a Marvel’s new 4D virtual event which will travel across the country. More information here. By sheer coincidence, Mr. Quesada was just finishing up a presentation at the Marvel booth as I was taking this photo.
Remember that back-breaking DC book from a few years ago? This is the Marvel version, penned by Roy Thomas!
I try to get at least one sketch comic per show. Unlike most, I collect self-portraits of the cartoonists! I love this series, and it’s always a pleasure meeting Louise Simonson! Derek Charm then did the sketch, and Weezie immediately took a pic to spread far and wide!
My co-worker is a hardcover Peanuts collector, and loves the holidays. I had promised her I would stop by the Hallmark booth to see if there were any reveals of new Peanuts ornaments, but everything was already revealed. While there, I got to chatting with one of Hallmark’s designers, Aden Chung, who was waiting for his event. He created the itty bittys plushies for Hallmark, which are quite adorable! His background was in animation, but worked previously on the greeting cards.
Yes, kids, you can be Batman! Just be sure to schedule a family night in the bad part of town! Too much trouble? There’s a Batgirl version as well. That one only requires your parents to get divorced. (I kid. I’ll be getting one for my niece.)
Over at Image, Kyle Higgins was signing the Con exclusive hardcover, so I bought a copy. I also bought the GSKFBS treasury, but didn’t realize that Eric Larsen was in artists alley, and I wasn’t going to lug it back the next day…
Rebellion/2000 AD is always a pleasure to talk with, and they had this little-known hardcover on sale. The U.S. edition will pub soon.
Random House hosted numerous signings during the weekend, and I did not have too long to wait. He wasn’t sketching, but did doodle a mushroom inside.
An actual print comic from Madefire. They were quite hospitable, inviting me to sit down and sample the reading app, which is quite robust! They also gave me a bottle of water, which was much appreciated!
Not an actual comic book, but quite clever! I wonder if there’s a page that you can only access by cheating?
And the scene outside as the show floor closed, and I began shambling home.
Got there bright and early, to cover the Marvel retailer panel.
After that, Abrams hosted a panel of their upcoming titles. The panelists:
They brought up each creator one-by-one to talk about their books. All are amazing in different ways! (Finnish heavy metal band with a bear on drums. Simon and Kirby original art. El Deafo. The Kennedy Assassination. Squirrel Scout cookies.)
The final teaser:
Yeah… they’re evil.
I then spent the rest of the day in Artist Alley, and got all but one aisle done!
A nice discovery, from Archaia.
Clever cosplay! Jay P. Fosgitt signed and sketched himself, while Bodie Troll and Cholly keep himcompany.
Ah… the Fillbach Brothers were there! Part of the ex-pat cornhusker comics confederation, they showed me a few sneak peaks of new stuff from First Comics! It’s modern western, with crazy stuff happening every other page! (See that cute little guy on the cover? You won’t believe his origin!) They’re loads of fun!
By sheer zen coincidence, I ran into them again on the way out, and after buying some medicine to combat con crud the next day, we went over to Beer Authority, where the staff were cosplaying in conjunction with Comic Con. I had two glasses before making my escape. If you enjoy beer, I recommend it; approximately twenty beers on tap. That Brooklyn Defender burger sounds pretty interesting…
The plan: surf the outside aisles of the show floor, checking out the retailers and smaller vendors.
For example, the National Cartoonist Society, which was offering a cool t-shirt featuring caricatures of Batman done by various cartoonists!
The Concourse, at approximately 2 PM. Yes, it was crowded, but I easily navigated this mass of humanity on the way to Artists Alley. Same on the show floor… a few pauses, but not too difficult to move around.
Bought some cool stuff, including original art. Made a few notes for my lottery list.
Nothing on the schedule, except some autographs, and trying to see anything I didn’t see the other three days!
Interesting flavored cookies, with a comic book inside!
The view from the fourth floor cafe. The view from the Galleria. The VIP staff were gracious in allowing me to photograph from the suite. They even asked me if I wanted in on the order of Chinese food they were organizing. I demured. Exiting the Galleria, I liked how the entrance framed the naked torso of American Dad! A Marx keychain from Fred Van Lente! This was brilliant… Neal Adams bought four booths, and built a table fort! There was a small foyer right in front of him for people to line up, otherwise, everything else was on display!
Picked up stuff in artists alley (including two “Big Book” pieces from Gary Fields), then witnessed the Q&A panel. I filed it from the FedEx Office shop, and by the time I left, Javits was as empty as it was on Wednesday. I wasn’t able to get any good photos of the teardown, but came across this on the way to the subway:
In a bit of synchronicity, just a block away:
It was an enjoyable show. Not much stress (after the food poisoning), met lots of interesting people, and never felt wiped out at the end of the day. (I even WALKED back to the subway each night!) Next year: the TENTH show!
New York Comic Con is evolving nicely. I’m still hoping for this…
I’ve been writing for The Beat since July of 2010.
I’ve been reading comics since 1974, collecting since 1984, and spreading the graphic novel gospel since 1994.
I’m a bookseller, a librarian, an amateur scholar, a cool uncle, and a comics evangelist.
Ask me anything!