New York Comic Con 2012: Big Fun In The Big Apple

photo 2

So let’s talk about the New York Comic Con! It was last week and was there on Friday and Saturday. With not having any major interest in the Wizard World Philadelphia show and having prior commitments for the Baltimore Comic Con, this would be my big comics event for the year.

Friday was a beautiful, if not slightly chilly day in Manhattan. The Javits Center was packed with all kinds of geeky goodness. This is the third NYCC I’ve attended and I think this might have been the biggest yet. There weren’t as many of the huge displays (Hasbro wasn’t there), but there was a seemingly larger, unending number of publisher booths.

When it came to the larger publishers, it was pretty hard to navigate their sections as every comic book fan in the northeast was there. The whole weekend, the DC area was completely packed. They could have been giving away bars of gold for all I know.

The Marvel booths were similarly busy, but it was a bit easier to talk to some of the creators. Especially if they were signing at the same time as someone super popular. So to this, I can really thank Dan Slott. With the majority of the line waiting to speak to him, I was able to sneak around the crowd to speak to some of the other creators.

I really didn’t buy too much stuff at the show, mostly some of the New 52 issues that I hadn’t picked up initially or stuff that was recommended. And some 1980s X-Men stuff. The artist’s alley was huge and that’s where I spent most of my time, chatting it up with artists that I knew and discovered.

Dolph Ziggler

Saturday was ridiculously crowded, almost to the point of a stand still. It was packed; it felt like leaving Madison Square Garden after an event. I think every single inch of space of the Javits was filled. The picture above is of WWE superstar Dolph Ziggler, who was doing a signing at the Mattel booth. It reminded me of a zombie horror movie, as he was backed into a corner with people EVERYWHERE. I spent maybe five hours at the show on Saturday, only to leave with the new Sorceress from Masters of the Universe figure, signed up for Marvel’s DCU Online service (something I was meaning to do since my birthday and was worth it to not only get an exclusive Doctor Doom figure as well as a heft discount), some fine pens for drawing and some more comics.

I had a lot of fun, as always. Sometimes I would have liked to have gotten into some of the panels, but I had more fun wandering around looking at comics and toys. I give it a thumbs up; if you live in the greater NYC area, you should definitely check it out.

photo 3
But what’s the best part of New York Comic Con and any trip to New York City? Dollar pizza. And in particular, 2 Bros Pizza. For about four bucks each day I gorged myself on their slices and loved life. I think this just might be my favorite pizza place in the city.

Check back later; I have some pics of the toys I picked up and the sketches I got.

New York Comic Con 2011: The Last Report

Avengers SetSo New York Comic Con 2011 has come and gone. Let’s talk about all the fun I had in the Javits Center. But first lets talk about this picture of the Marvel section. Yes, that’s an actual set piece from the upcoming Avengers. They used it as a backdrop for their section on the convention floor.

Anyway, the convention itself was fine. I went on the Friday and Saturday. Friday was awesome; Saturday not so much, mostly due to it being over crowded. Let me get some gripes out of the way:

Captain America costume

Captain America's costume/armor was pretty cool to look at.

  1. Non-comic book related stuff tends to do nothing for me. That said, some of the crowds and lines waiting to play whatever new XBox or PS3 games looked horrifically long. This seemed to cause some problems for other exhibitors, as the gamer lines were extending into their space.
  2. Yet again, I didn’t go to any panels. I’m sure there were probably some that I would have enjoyed, but many of them had lines forming hours before. We all like being the first people to find out about something, but in this digital age I am not sure if that’s the best use of your time. I mean, it’s going to be up on the internet seconds after its debuted. Just look at all those movie trailers they have at San Diego. You literally waste a whole day to see three minutes of footage that everyone else will see.
  3. No good swag. I know that promotional budgets are tight across the board but I felt that the con was lacking in that department. Oh well.
  4. Anime/Cosplay seem to be in the middle of everything. Please don’t think I’m knocking them; it’s just not my thing. But at times you felt really bad for the ones wearing elaborate/oversized costumes that made it difficult to navigate the Javits Center in.

The exclusive Metron from Mattel looks wicked. Love the Moebius chair!

But I did have a whole lot of fun at this show. The artist’s alley section was huge and it was great getting to look at so much awesome comics art, whether it be original pages or just interesting sketches and prints.

Night Own and the Baby from the Hangover

Legendary had an interesting assortment of props, including Night Owl's antarctic helmet and the baby from the Hangover.

Artist’s alley is such a weird and awkward social construct. All you see are comics creators of all levels waiting for someone to talk to them, with sad puppy dog eyes.  The worst is that you feel obligated to purchase something. As soon as you make eye contact, you wind up having an awkward conversation about whatever their project is and they try to hard sell it to you. So not fun.

The other weird thing is the arbitrary pricing you see from table to table. At one table, you had Sara Pichelli of the new Ultimate Spider-Man charging a decent amount for a sketch of someone of her stature in the industry. And then, across the way you would find another artist, who’s never had anything not self published CHARGING THE SAME. Head meet desk. It’s just that certain people have a name value that they can use to justify charging more for than others. Just because Adam Hughes’ sketches and convention work starts at $400 means that you can charge that much.

She-Ra riding Swiftwind

She-Ra? A new Swiftwind? Sign me up!

I did have a lot of fun in the artist alley’s section, getting a bunch of really cool sketches and signatures. I’ll be sharing them later this week. Any who, it’s always nice talking to Walt Simonson about comics. NYCC also had ROB LIEFELD~! as a guest, so I was really happy to chit-chat with him. And for all the internet outrage he generates, he always has a decent line and is super nice to his fans.

Voltron Toys

The new Mattel Voltron series does look really cool. Maybe one of you could get your favorite blogger some for Christmas?

As for the goodies I picked up, there weren’t too many purchases that I made. I kept it relatively small, as taking the train in and out of New York makes it more difficult to buy, say a longbox full of post Crisis DC stuff. But I did get some stuff that I’m happy about.

So yes, I had an awesome time and glad that I had a chance to go. How were your NYCC experiences?

Wonder Woman: The Odyssey, Volume 1

I want to talk about Wonder Woman today. I usually don’t spend too much time with this character, but I just finished reading Wonder Woman: The Odyssey Volume 1. And you know what? I enjoyed it.

The Odyssey is a story by mega writer J. Michael Straczynski and Phil Hester (who I pretty much link to his awesome time as penciller on Green Arrow) and deals with Wonder Woman realizing that everything is wrong with her life. Know, she didn’t have a bad date with Steve Trevor. But everything is different.

Her history has changed drastically and its up to Wonder Woman to find out how to fix it. Things are a lot more different than she is used to. The Amazons are hiding out in the slummier parts of New York City, as their home of Paradise Island has been destroyed and their queen Hippolyta is dead. To make things worse, the Morrigan–the war-goddess responsible for this–will not rest till every last Amazon is dead! You can see how this is a problem for Wonder Woman.

This was the first half of the story, and it was compelling enough for me to want to track down the second half. I can’t be the only one to like this. The New York Times had this ranked as the number one bestselling hardcover fiction book back on June 26. Good job, JMS and Hester!

What’s noticeable about this comic is the new costume designed by Jim Lee. It’s a lot more functional than her traditional gear, and the idea of Wonder Woman wearing long pants and a bomber jacket seemed to be too much for many fans. At first I wasn’t necessarily sold on the look, but Don Kramer made it work in this book. I like the new look, although her gauntlets look a little awkward due to her rolled up sleeves. Anyway, this was a fun read.

So what did you think?