NY Comic Con
February 8th, 2009
The agony in my back is only minorly relieved knowing I spent my last night on a New York City apartment floor. I could not thank Jeff enough though. He let three guys crash in his place(that consequently wasn’t big enough for 2 let alone 4).
I’m getting ready. I check on my cell phone which was plugged in over night and find out the battery is completely dead. The charger I brought seems to have taken a disliking to the phone apparently. So now I am in the biggest city in the world sans cell phone. Great.
Adam, Scott, and I jump into my car and head down to the show. I’m driving because after the show I’m headed home. Our route takes us directly through Times Square and Broadway. The street is almost completely devoid of cars. I expected more incessant honking. More Evel Knevil stunt driving to get ahead of the car in front of you. Instead we took a leisurely spin down Broadway. I got caught gawking and almost rear end a taxi sight seeing as I’m driving. After my heart returns to it’s normal rate from my emergency brake/ABS test on my Jetta, we circumnavigate our way to a parking lot that will only charge me $30 for the day. Jackpot(the guy at the booth even speaks English. My lucky day.)
This morning, on our way to the show, we decided an Egg McMuffin and a greasy hash brown would taste especially good. For some reason we were unable to locate a McDonald’s. I saw a Turkish, Italian, and Asian restaurant. I saw banks, loan offices, bail bondsmen, laundromats, but no McDonald’s. We bag the McDonald’s idea(my arteries breath a sigh of relief). Instead we make our four block jaunt to the Javits Center. We opt for a Starbucks breakfast and damn the expense. Nine dollars later I’m three sips into my coffee and balancing my cinnamon muffin up the escalator.
The lines are just as long as yesterday but today the audience has a different look to it(besides the normal parade of costume do-gooders and villains). It reminds me more of a Halloween party than a Comic Convention because sprinkled throughout the adults dressed as Blade, Batman, and Green Lantern are dozens of kids dressed the same way(minus the pumpkin buckets). It’s Family Day and the families are ready. Wolverines for as far as the eye could see litter the lobby of the Javits Center. The tandem of Dazzler, Iron Fist, and old school Wolverine gets my mental award for family bonding moment of the year. As I sidestep the wardrobed masses I catch a glimpse of the Winter Soldier chatting with another Iron Fist. It seems as though Danny Rand’s alter ego is a hit today? To the detriment of ‘that would be really cool if…’, no 1970’s Power Man is present(I had pinned hopes on the Black Lightning/Green Lantern/Cyclops from Friday and Saturday. He brought back Jon Stewart Lantern. A shame, that would have been really cool if he had been Power Man).
The booth is readied and before the last day begins I set out to do a little shopping. My inner geek is giddy with anticipation. I have 3 nephews who each would have sold each other on the Black Market for an opportunity to join me this weekend. I also am the father of 2 daughters who I have brainwashed into believing Star Wars is cool(even for girls). Time to drop some cash.
I make a right turn out of our booth. Call it creative curiosity but I’m wondering what Jasmine Mai has concocted for an outfit today? Considering her ensemble got increasingly skimpier each day, today she’ll liable to be in a bikini. A halter top and jeans? She was supposed to be losing clothing not gaining? Does she have any idea the amount of fathers sure to be walking around this place today? The number one import on the east coast disappoints. I click a digital picture anyway.
I head toward the Star Wars booth selling directly imported Japanese merchandise. I drop $60 for two C-3PO head pillows and a plush Chewbacca and R2-D2. I have to resist the inner geek’s insistence on buying a Darth Vader head. I do not ignore my urge to side step over to the next booth and buy myself five volumes of Marvel Essentials however. The inner geek is happy. Now for the boys.
I finally make a stop at the booth filled with posters I have been trying to ignore all weekend long. I pick up some sweet posters of Marvel covers for the boys. Hulk #1, Marvel Double Feature #1, and Tales of Suspense #39(I also found an extra $8 to buy myself a cover to Detective Comics #27, imagine that?) Next stop is to the two for a dollar comic bins filled with an assortment of comics. Forty books later and the boys are finished. The inner geek is content and I spend the next twenty minutes perusing the show for freebies to line my backpack with. I get back to our booth with about 3 minutes to spare and a treasure trove of goodies. It was as if I had plundered the comic book equivalent of King Tut’s tomb minus the mummy’s curse.
I spend the rest of the day in and out of our booth giving my best sales pitches to the hordes of fans making their way down the aisle. By the end of the day I have seen the entire bridge of the USS Enterprise complete with phasers and communicators, more Jokers than I would have cared to, unknown Anime and Manga characters everywhere(The highlight being one I did know. A Mega Man complete with the right hand blaster. Classic.), and hundreds who made their way to Pendragon for corsets, pirate shirts, and leather trench coats. The day is a success as my cousin notches his first sales at the end of the day. The excitement over it numbs the pain in our feet, legs, and backs. Employee’s of the Javits Center signal the beginning of the end to the Comic Con. They all form one long line at the end of our aisles and begin walking toward the front of the building like cattle herders. Barking to the remaining remnants still rifling through leather vests, Daredevil statuettes, and the Graphic Novels, “Show’s over! Please leave.” A mass exodus, the likes of which remind me of the Brooklyn Bridge scene in Cloverfield, ensues.
The comic fix of thousands of addicted fans is hopefully satiated(at least until their next opportunity to don their capes and cowls at another show). My brain is reeling from all I have seen and heard this weekend. I still find it to be surreal that during the course of the weekend I rubbed shoulders with Snake Plissken, chatted with Chewbacca, gave my coolest head nod to Lou Ferrigno, and was apart of something this grand all in the name of comic books. I would love for it to go on longer but now, I must bid my final adieu to the Jacob M Javits Center and the 2009 NY Comic Con(and of course Jasmine). I’m looking forward to next year.