*Disclaimer again, please let me know if you want to share any of the photos in these posts – I will gladly let you have full sized versions all I ask for is credit.
Okay so here we are ready to jump into what was the most amazing, most terrifying, most awe-inspiring event I have ever been to. New York Comic Con (NYCC16). This might go long so I may split it up into 2 posts, I mean I don’t want to bore you, right?
As I’ve said before I am a huge nerd, geek and all around sci-fi nut and I have been going to cons for YEARS, but none of them could have prepared me for NYCC16 – Comic Cons are the biggest cons around. San Diego is probably the most well known and the largest of them all, but New York’s is nothing to turn your nose up at, it was bigger than anything I’ve ever been to.
I’ve been trying to get to NYCC for years, but for one reason or another I could never get up there. Then last year I juuuuuust managed to get a one day ticket (do not get me started on the ticketing process for this, it is ridonkulous), but bad juju and a busted air conditioner pretty much put the kabosh on me actually being able to go (cue depressing music).
This year, however, I was on a mission. I was determined to go and the con gods looked down at me and said “Meh, okay you can go for two days”. Hey, it’s better than the one day I had last year, and if this trend continues maybe I will FINALLY get my 3 day pass.
So a little backstory if you’ve never heard of Comic Con … but really, who hasn’t at least heard mention of it? Well here’s a primer. Comic Con is one of the largest gatherings of all things comic, sci-fi, horror, anime and fantasy. And it takes all of those genres and represents them in all its forms – so there are comic book companies, anime companies, television shows, movies and publishers (be still my little author heart – books!). To say it is overwhelming is an understatement.
Okay ready to jump in? Let’s go!
Navigating Comic Con is daunting – there is SO much to see and do that you really need a battle plan – we learned this the hard way.
Next year we will be much better prepared. Going in there were specific things I know we wanted. First was to make sure we either got a picture with or an autograph of the man, the myth, the legend – Stan Lee. We’d heard this would be his last NYCC and after December he would be retiring from the circuit, and who can blame him, the man is over 90 years old. Next on my list was to meet Tom Mison (Ichabod, Sleepy Hollow) because he inspired a character I wrote. Also on the list was meeting Carrie Fisher (Leia!!), Alex Kingston (River Song, Doctor Who) and Graham McTavish (Outlander, The Hobbit Trilogy). At least that was our plan.
A few weeks before the Con, Carrie Fisher had a conflict that would only allow her to be there one day, Sunday – a day I was not going LOL – so I was a bit defeated. Not taking a chance with bad luck, I told Charina (Bestie) that I would pay for the Photo Op with Stan Lee before the con so as to not run the risk of it selling out and us not getting anything – my experience with getting autographs has taught me not to assume anything – (There may or may not have been an incident at another con where I got into bitch mode for an autograph – and it may or may not have worked – it totally did). So that was done, we had one concrete thing to look forward to – a photo op on Saturday (more on that in the next post). I also decided that I would do a photo with Tom Mison on Saturday (he wasn’t there Friday) rather than an autograph. So that left Alex Kingston and Graham McTavish for Friday. Another setback happened when our other bestie, Sheila, could not attend at the last minute. Sheila is the CEO of Circle of Seven Productions, the originator of the Book Trailer© phenomenon. Sheila was going to cover Comic Con for Reader’s Entertainment, another of her great companies. We of course volunteered to be her eyes and ears and take lots of pictures and notes – thus this very long post LOL.
We left Brooklyn at about 9:30 for the city (that’s Manhattan for those of you who don’t live in NY). We arrived about 45 minutes later and hit the line for the Javits (where the event is held) about 12 blocks from the actual building. Did I mention this event is HUGE? Anywho, the line snaked around for a few blocks then they moved us down the street and to … wait, another line that was 6 blocks away? Umm, no, thank you. We sort of blended into the line going back towards the Javits – we’d already spent about 30 minutes queuing up. Finally we get inside and it is a sensory overload. From the Cartoon Network South Park event that was happening outside to the huge experiences set up when you walked in, Starz had a Black Sails experience, Paramount had a Star Trek Beyond experience, Chevrolet was promoting some awesome cars and had a Disney Springs DJ rocking out. Nickelodeon had a Rugrats area as well – there was literally something for everyone represented.
Attendees sometimes get a lot of flack for going to these things, and those who dress up are even more scrutinized. However, this is a place where literally everyone is welcome and the cosplayers are diverse. There are store brought costumes of course, but there are some outfits that are incredibly detailed and must take MONTHS to put together. This year we knew we’d probably see a lot of ladies as Harley Quinn and even more guys as Deadpool and we did – but there were the variations of characters
that were hilarious as well. We had Deadpool for President & Winnie the Deadpool, there was a Hydra version of Captain America that was so good and a female version of Thor and Loki.
But I am getting ahead of myself. When we arrived, we headed straight for the exhibition floor, which was on the second level, the entire second level. This is where Artist Alley was located (I still can’t tell you where that was I NEVER saw it), and this was where all the vendors and companies were. I wandered around a bit then met up with Charina who met us there. Once we were together we decided that we would go find where the autographs were – it was time to begin our mission.
Autographs, photo ops, and panels were all held on the lower level of the Javits. We headed down intent to meet Graham McTavish. He is a great actor that has been in a bunch of movies. He is probably best known right now for playing Dougal MacKenzie on Outlander, or The Cowboy on Preacher, but I know him from The Hobbit movies where he played Dwalin, right hand to Thorin (who was played by Richard Armitage – oh Richard who knew you’d feature in ALL my NY blogs).
We checked the board, found his alley and lo and behold it was empty. The woman at the entryway did tell us we were just in time as he was getting ready to go on break, so we quickly walked the long aisle right up to his table. Remember how I said in the last post how when you meet people you admire from film and television that you hope they are nice in person? Well Graham McTavish is that and more. What a sweet man – we talked for about ten minutes and we of course name dropped Richard Armitage and how we’d seen him the night before and how Graham should definitely check out the play LOL – what can I say we REALLY liked the play. We also spoke about Outlander and his roles in Creed and The Finest Hours (where his character breaks his arm and has to climb down a rope ladder LOL) he was charming and fun and is even more handsome and dare I say sexy in person than he is on screen. We were so taken by him that we decided to do a photo op the next day (more on that in the next post).
After getting my autograph and texting our bestie Wendy, who also loves Outlander, we wandered around a bit waiting for the Doctor Who people to come back from wherever they went LOL I think they were doing photos, but they could have been on break – one thing I will give tons of credit to Reed Pop who put together this con is that they are great with scheduling autographs and giving the talent time to just step away while managing to give fans a set time for obtaining an autograph and cutting it off so people don’t jump on line and wait for nothing.
We waited until about 10 minutes prior to the Doctor Who people to come back before we jumped on line for Alex Kingston. Alex plays River Song on Doctor Who, a show I love. I want to take a moment to give thanks to Charina and her daughter Stefi who despite not watching the show hanged out so I could get my autograph. Here is my story with Alex, I intended to meet her about 2 years ago at Orlando’s MegaCon. I stood on her line for about 45 minutes before she had to stop to do her photo ops. I was left about 6 people back from the front of the line. The volunteers said we could wait, but she would probably be away about an hour. I had other things I wanted to see and do so I opted to step off the line, thus not getting my autograph. Don’t feel bad for me, I instead went over to meet Michael Rooker who plays Yondu on Gardians of the Galaxy & Merle on The Walking Dead. He was AMAZING as well. Anywho, I digress. We made a friend on the line too, she was awesome I should have gotten her name LOL, but that’s the great thing about these cons, you meet people bond over fandoms and actors and then you probably will never see them again but for a little while it was great! As we waited our turn, Charina snuck a picture of Doctor, Matt Smith – taking pics is a big no no, but she was stealthy.
We finally get up to Alex and we chit chatted while she signed my picture – of course I had her write Hello Sweetie on it – it’s her catch phrase after all. Then we were done! Not with the day, just with the stuff I scheduled to do. I had met another Dwarf of Erebor (Graham) and the Doctor’s Wife. I was on cloud 9. As we headed out we remembered that Carrie Fisher had been added back to Saturday, so we went to see if we could do a photo op – the board said sold out, but Charina wanted to check anyway, what could it hurt right? I decided to sign up for my Tom Mison photo op at the same time and the lovely young lady informed us that yes Ms Fisher was going to do photo ops and yes there was still time to purchase one, so we did knowing that her son was about to freak out LOL.
We then headed upstairs to wander around the exhibition floor. It was fantastic. Lots of big companies intermingled with smaller companies and everything imaginable was represented. Video games, movies, tv shows, and anime all had a place there. The booths were stocked with teeshirts, collectibles, artwork – oh my gosh the artwork is amazing – dvds, and even weaponry. As we walked around we even found one area where men could have their beards trimmed like Marvel bearded superheros. You could get the Odin, the Doctor Strange, the Tony Stark, etc. It was great! They were also doing free photos with the bearded heroes, so of course we took advantage.
We found our way to the Marvel section where they were getting ready to introduce the cast of Agents of Shield. We waited a bit, but it got to be too long and by this time we were exhausted. So we went to get something to eat. After that the day was starting to wind down, so we tried to get into a panel. We decided Black Sails, because … Pirates. We queued up and waited and waited and waited. Once they began letting people in it moved quickly …. until it stopped. The panel was full :(. This is my one beef with the panel system. They don’t clear the room, so if the panel you want to see is at 4PM, you can basically get a seat at a panel at 9AM and sit in a room all day until your panel comes in. You’re taking a seat from someone who may want to see a panel and won’t get the chance. It’s the one downside to it all. After that disappointment we decided we were pooped and we should relax and get a coffee. So up to Starbucks we went. This is where you need to park it if you want to see all the cosplayers or just people watch. We found a table and took loads of pictures.
Then it was time to head out. They had an exhibit with the costumes from the new Wonder Woman out, so we walked over to see them. They are beautiful, they even had Lynda Carter’s original costume on display as well.
Then we headed home, tired, achy but excited for the next day! Hope you enjoyed my recap.
Until Next Time,