New York Comic Con 2014
Here is what I learned from New York Comic Con 2014:
I’ve been home for eleven days and I’m still tired.
I need more than four hours of sleep if I want to be able to function.
I DON’T LIKE CROWDS.
Nerds are fun. (Wait, I knew that already.)
Okay, but seriously, I am still tired. I’ve never been to a big con like this before, so this was definitely an eye-opening experience for me. The dream has always been to one day get to SDCC, but in all honesty, given my (amazing!) experience at NYCC, I just don’t see that happening. I’ve been to Central Canadian Comic Con and will be going to that again in a week, but I’m going to go out on a limb here and say that C4 has nowhere near 151,000 people going through the Winnipeg Convention Centre over the course of their three day run, which is the number of people who bought passes to NYCC.
One hundred and fifty-one thousand people.
This trip was a whim. A whim planned out months ago, but a whim all the same. Erika and some of my other spectacular friends brought it up and for some reason, rather than letting myself worry about finances or how my sickly body will function, which is what I normally do, I just said I’d go. And I’m so glad I did. I got to spend more time with Erika, which is always a bonus, I got to meet Angel of Girls Read Comics Too (http://girlsreadcomics.com/) and whom I’ve known online for probably close to a decade at this point and another online friend who has moved in the same circles as I have for eight years. It was an incredible trip, one I won’t forget and one I don’t regret in the slightest.
But my god, was it a learning experience.
I was super nervous about the travel part of the trip, which actually turned out to be pretty easy in the end. I don’t love having to rush for connecting flights, but everything went off fairly smoothly and I met up with Erika in Newark on Wednesday afternoon. The trek from Newark to Manhattan, too, was a lot easier than I remembered it being, which was a relief given that I was the one navigating for the first time and Erika was relying on me to not get us lost. But we made it to the hotel where we joined Angel and Amanda and I’d call our first day a relative success.
Except for the fact that we got lost going to dinner, which kind of proved to be a theme of the week. Get lost, but usually only when going to dinner. Everything else was fine. Convention Centre? No problem. Pier 81? Easy. Any restaurant where we wanted to get dinner? IMPOSSIBLE. Just one more thing NYCC taught me. I can navigate the subway with ease, but I have no sense of direction once we’re above ground.
Thursday was the first full day of the convention and the organizers hadn’t quite planned for the line, so we spent a good hour or so walking around the building in a line just to get to the line get inside at which point we had to get in line to get wristbands so we could line up later for Constantine.
(This isn’t even the biggest crowd. I’m pretty sure this is the least crowded day.)
It’s only been eleven days and I already don’t remember a lot of what happened or which days they happened on. Thursday was the Constantine screening, though, and I remember Angel and Amanda making friends with an dude named… Mike? (Erika and I had been calling him Mark until that point, so we were close. Hi, Mike/Mark, if you’re reading this~) It was cool, how excited for things people were. I’m used to being pretty much on my own with stuff like that in my day to day life. My husband and our good friends like media and devour it as quickly as I do, but I wouldn’t call them fans in the same way I am. Being around other people like me for four days was surprising, but it was also nice to see a particularly cool cosplay and have someone beside me be JUST AS EXCITED as I was.
In the Constantine screening we were also treated to the second episode of the Flash and while I hadn’t actually watched the first episode yet, it was seriously delightful. It was a surprise screening for us, so it we weren’t expecting it and I just wanted to keep watching. Why wasn’t there more for me? Especially given that the next thing we had to watch was the season two premiere of the 100? Which maybe didn’t interest me at all because I haven’t seen season one, but it really didn’t. I think it’s lucky we didn’t seem to be sitting next to any real fans of the show because I’m pretty sure we spent most of the episode laughing at it. (Space babies, though. Camp Jahahahahaha.)
Of course Constantine was shown last, probably because at least half the crowd had the same idea we did. If Constantine was first, we could just leave! Who needs to watch this 100 show? NOT US. Except we did. Because we had to wait for Constantine.
So I’ll preface this by saying I haven’t read a lot of Hellblazer. Enough that I was initially excited by the prospect of the horribly disappointing Keanu Reeves movie. And enough to be excited by the idea of the show maybe succeeding where that terrible movie so completely failed. I know fans of the comic were upset by the fact that John Constantine doesn’t smoke in the TV series and I understand why, but since I’m not such a huge fan of the comics, I was able to overlook that and I really enjoyed the first episode. It was enough to hook me, enough to make me want to watch it when it airs. (When does it air? I really need to pay attention to this. Friday, apparently, I’m terribly behind on everything.) I don’t want to get into anything spoilery, but as someone who loves horror, I’m super into this trend of horror TV that seems to be happening. I know Constantine is more comic book than horror, but whatever. Give me demons and angels and hot British dudes in trench coats with SERIOUS ISSUES banishing them and apparently I’m there.
Was Thursday the day we stayed up way too late eating pizza so that I only got four hours of sleep? I CAN’T EVEN REMEMBER ANYMORE. Yes, I think so. So I only got four hours of sleep and lesson learned. I can’t do that.
I felt so terrible the next day that it’s honestly mostly a blur and that makes me super sad, because it was the day Erika and I took a picture with Brent Spiner. I look super awkward in the picture because I was so dizzy and also in a lot of pain at that point, so it’s pretty obvious in the picture that I’m not well. THANKS, BODY, THANKS FOR FAILING ME WHEN FACED WITH DATA.
That was also the day of the Birdman panel, which I didn’t realize I was so excited about until it was actually happening. The clips looked so cool and I was in a room with Michael Keaton and Edward Norton and they were talking about making movies and acting and ugh, this was like my dream. And I was too sick to fully appreciate it.
That said, what I was coherent enough for looked so cool. People need to see this movie, it looks incredible and I’m so excited for it.
Saturday was supposed to be The Walking Dead panel day. IT WAS NOT.
Apparently people were lining up outside the Javits Centre at 4:30 in the morning, which I’ll never do. Lesson number whatever: I’m not so dedicated a con-goer that I’ll line up overnight or early in the morning for anything, no matter how much I love it. I am very dedicated to sleeping, however.
Saturday was, however, Manu Bennett photo op day and since I felt much better than Friday, I was pretty excited. I don’t watch Arrow, but I love Spartacus and Crixus is easily my favourite character of the entire series. I’ve heard such great stories of people getting to meet Manu and I definitely wasn’t disappointed. There was a big miscommunication with his photo op and it took us a few days to get it straightened out, so Friday when we saw him, he apologized to us about having to take a break while we stood in the (wrong) line for him.
When we came back Saturday, he was actually a little late, but it meant we got to watch Lucy Lawless do her photo ops and I’m pretty sure I’ve never been that close to someone that beautiful in my entire life.
Meeting Manu was just… it was a lot of fun. I couldn’t really speak, so Erika asked him to hug us for the photo op and he squeezed me so tightly that my head is pretty much buried in his neck in the picture and I wouldn’t have it any other way. He was seriously sweet and it was a great experience and I JUST LOVE CRIXUS A LOT. I HAVE A LOT OF FEELINGS.
(Look at my goddamn face, I look like I’m going to explode with happiness.)
But it was at this point that I just about ran out of steam. Not all steam, but con-related steam. I was just gone. I was tired and the crowd was too big and people were stepping on me and yeah, that cosplay was cool, but it was hot in the Javits Centre and I was hungry.
That night, however, we went on a boat party sponsored by Adult Swim that was incredible. We had to find our way to Pier 81 (which was a bit of a walk, but as I said, pretty easy) and then we had to wait for ages outside in the cold, but it was worth it in the end. It was a free party (let’s not talk about drink prices) and it was a three hour boat ride around Manhattan at night. Whatever else happened, it was absolutely gorgeous.
And the lighting in their photo booth made us all look spectacular.
(Ignore that we’re off-centre. I blame the placement of the bench.)
I don’t remember much of Sunday. I bought some cool fandomy necklaces. I was going to get Manu to sign the photo op, but he was already gone by the time we got there, which was really my own fault. I didn’t plan for it, but it was sad all the same. I think my feet hurt so bad at this point that I wasn’t aware of anything but the pain.
Pain and that one awful day I felt like I was going to die aside, I had an incredible time. I will never, ever do a four day con like that again, but it was so much fun. I got to spend time with people who liked the same things I like, I got to do things I’ll never be able to do here and it was absolutely so much fun in so many ways.
But in the immortal words of Roger Murtaugh, I’m too old for this shit.
Stay tuned for Erika’s much more coherent recap of the con. 😀