April 2008

One thing I totally forgot to mention last time was how I totally missed out on The Kids In The Hall last weekend, since it conflicted with the New York Comic Con. Truth be told, I didn’t even hear about their latest live show till the very last minute, and by then it was too late, with plans were already made, and even regardless, it just would not have worked out. I’ve at least seen them live the first two times they came to the city, and while I enjoyed both times immensely, and it would have been just swell to see them live a third time, I’m afraid to see the Kids even older and fatter. Gotta say, as amazing as it was to see Mr. Show live, seeing Bob Odenkirk reprise classic sketches, but with noticeably less hair, was pretty depressing.

So same problem this past weekend: too much going on. Which is, of course, both the best yet also sometimes really annoying part about living in the Big Apple. Anyhow, both the Bent Festival and the Found Footage Festival just went down, the former of which I’ve been trying to go to for the past three or so years, but to no avail, and latter was something that both Katie and I absolutely had to check out, since we’re both big connoisseurs of wacky, random entertainment, preferably exhumed from the 80s, or snatched from the airwaves of cable access from Nowhere, America, and especially both.

The plan was to check out Found Footage on Friday (which meant passing up on the one lone Japanese act, and if there’s one thing that the Japanese know how to do well (at least one of many), it’s make mix technology and noise) and doing Bent on Saturday. Though the instant I realized that Found Footage was playing at the Anthology Film Archives, I knew there would be trouble…

… And there was. I believe its been stated before, but I’ll say it again: I fucking hate that place. They always play such cool things, lots of foreign and underground stuff, which you can’t find anywhere else, most certainly not on DVD, yet dealing with the Anthology is always such a hassle. First off, they don’t sell tickets beforehand online, and anyone who lives in New York City can attest to how much of a fucking hassle it is to see any movie in the city, with everyone wanting to see everything, so getting your shit in advance is absolutely essential. Not helping is how everyone is a fucking prick who works there; not sure if I ever passed along the time I tried to catch the shot for shot, remake of Temple of Doom created by 8 year olds last year, and how even though myself and company got there three hours in advance, there was a line 300 long, and after waiting for almost an hour, I went to the front to find out that it had sold out, but no at the theater gave two shits enough to actually tell everyone what the deal was so they could go on with other business. The funny thing is, no matter how early you get there, and how there’s absolutely no pre-selling of tickets, somehow, fifty seats are already gone even if you’re first in line to anything. Though being in first means having to really fight for that slot because, another annoying thing about that place, is how, whether it be some dip-shit hipster or some eccentric old fuck, everyone loves to just cut in front of everyone. Also, the theater itself is a piece of shit; it?s a large screen in a brick room with horrible acoustics, and the seats are all uncomfortable as hell.

But anyway, Katie and I got there at a reasonable enough time to get seats for the 9 showing (both evenings, Friday and Saturday, had two showings, one at 7, the other at 9), and of course, they were sold out. But this time I found out that there were tickets available online… via the Found Footage Festival’s website. Just great. Though its just as well since Joe Salina who was supposed to join us couldn’t, nor could Mooney, though Katie’s friend Lauren did manage to make it, so the three of us went to St. Marks for, what else, Japanese food. And because Kenka had about 30 people waiting for seats ahead of us, and no Mooney to sweet talk our ways in, we all went to another joint down the street, which which had some decent food, plus French Fries that were actually superior to Kenka’s (yet their kimchee cannot be topped). We also enjoyed watching this pervy white dude with the worst receding hairline imaginable hit on two really young, and fresh off the boat Asian girls, plus trying to get them drunk as fast as possible too.

So plans had to be changed; as much as I really wanted to check out Bent, I absolutely needed to check out this Found Footage, and even though I seriously did not want to go anywhere near the Anthology, let alone give them any of my business (another fun fact: I used to go there all the time for the Asian Film Festival, till they bailed out due to, surprise, them acting like total fucking dicks to the Subway Cinema gang, or so I heard through the grapevine), I reserved seats for the very next night (after Katie and I got home, as well as after we decided to get drunk and watch a backyard wrestling tape that I acquired from K Thor a while back, plus hentai). And after much anticipation and build-up, plus needless bullshit, myself, along with Katie, Lauren, and Joe, were there for the final showing on Saturday night…

It was a total mixed bag. The random, wacky footage itself, which included instructional employee videos from assorted fast food and super market chains, vintage wrestling promos from Florida, cats, penis pumps, self defense techniques that all involved punches to the nuts, crazy ass ass-jiggling, and REALLY shitty CGI was all pretty good, even if there wasn’t all that much of it. The main problem was how it was all presented; the entire fest is the creation of two dudes, Joe Pickett and Nick Prueher, who not only hosted the affair and presented each segment (all the videos were grouped into categories), but also made “funny” comments all throughout. And I swear to God that you will not find two unfunnier douchebags anywhere, and all of us were floored by how fucking retarded their shtick was. I mean, hey, it’s totally awesome that you two have managed to find and compile all this bat-shit insane footage for the rest of us, but isn’t it enough that we’ve all paid $10 a pop to check it all out, do you guys really have to pat yourselves on the back any further? Every joke and witticism was so fucking obvious and LAME, with such trite clich?s like “this’ll be in your nightmares!” Hoo, hoo, hoo! Give me a fucking break. Worst fucking attempt to act all MST3K and Dennis Miller ever.

Both myself and Joe were getting pissed at certain points of all the yaking and jerk-off (there was maybe, I dunno, forty minutes of footage, all padded by and hour and a half of utter nonsense), especially when they brought out a guy from the Onion to share a story that went on for seriously fifteen minutes and absolutely nowhere. If anything, it simply reaffirmed all that I’ve heard about the people who work there, that being they’re all fucking egotistical blowhards that like to smell their own farts. Sorry, I the Onion is funny and all… their headlines are genuinely funny… but the people involved, from what I’ve seen and even heard, apparently all take themselves too fucking seriously. And another sad fact of life: people who can write funny things often are not funny, or at the very least, have no clue about delivery. In this case, the anecdote revolved around how this dude had to take a job at some grocery store after college, which eventually led to him stealing their employee training tape, but we also had to hear how it wasn’t so much a shitty gig, but how it was so beneath him. Cuz, you know, its always great to hear some Willamsburg fuckface talk about how he had to rub shoulders with the pleebs at one point. Even David Cross, who made a surprise and very brief appearance in the end, couldn’t save things (I was seriously tempted to yell “SHUT THE FUCK UP AND PLAY SOMETHING, JESUS CHRIST.” Thinking back, I really don’t know why I just didn’t go ahead and do so. BTW, I believe it needs to be pointed out how we were not in the minority; you got the sense that everyone was pretty bored and annoyed by the hosts’ antics. At times there was some pity laughs, but for the most part, I think everyone wanted less talk, more footage of wacky shit (which again was kinda paltry, to the point that it felt like stuff was edited to mostly set-up and support their dumbass jokes, or at least appeared to be the case).

Oh, and before the screening, they had DVDs for sale, featuring content from the previous festivals. At $10 a pop, they seemed like a good deal, since most bizarro visual mixtapes often cost at least $20 (which I’ve never been totally happy with; when you get down to it, you’re just giving money to a someone that simply found stuff which they didn’t create themselves, though the act of editing does have some merit and is worth $$$ I guess), but earlier today, Katie and I were horrified to discover that its mostly footage with the two aforementioned asshats once again sucking up the spotlight and spouting corny as fuck one-liners. I might try to get my money back.

Another highlight from the fest? A girl that I once went out with was also at the show. Which proved once again that no matter what they say about there being eight million people in NYC, you will most certainly run into the same people over and over again. The girl in question this particular evening was a very brief thing, from my days of finding romance online, from Friendster to be precise. And since she was with some dude that she was obviously seeing (as evidenced by their very public signs of affection, which was pretty annoying to say the least), I didn’t say anything, lest I embarrass her by bringing up the past in front of her new man, since we all known what a negative connotation dating someone from the internet still holds. Anyhow, our “thing” was pretty fleeting; she was this hot redhead that I manage to score a few dates with, but there was not too much in the ways of chemistry.

Speaking of chemistry, she was a very nice girl, but somewhat flighty due to drugs, which was a regular topic of conversation; she often spoke about ecstasy, and I recall the following conversation as if it happened yesterday…

“So what’s so great about it?

“Oh, it?s soooo nice. It just makes you feel all tingly and good. Every little touch is just so mind-blowing…”

“So I guess it makes sex that much better, right?”

“What do you mean?”

“Well… if its a drug that makes every little touch euphoric, I would have to imagine that you’ve used it during sex.”

“Actually, no. Never even thought of that actually.”

“What? Come on, you have to be kidding.”

“What I like to do is called “rolling.” That’s when you take a hit with someone and you both touch each other… touch their skin, play with their face, stroke their hair…”

“And you’re telling me that it doesn’t automatically transition itself towards sex?”

“No…”

Another thing she would go on and on about was Julia Styles. The girl in question often ran into her (both went to Columbia… I don’t think I’m revealing too much here) at the gym, and constantly talked about how hot she was (I guess she’s kinda cute), to the point that I had to flat out ask if she was sexually attracted to her. And I never got a straight answer. Anyhow, she called it off, and immediately started dating her best friend… a girl. Which totally made me feel like George Costanza. But I guess she’s back with dudes.

As for today, Katie and I spent the entire day recovering from all being so social all Friday and last night. Though I did so some grocery shopping and play some Persona 3: FES. Speaking off… so the deal is, I got a copy of that game many weeks ago from the kind folks at Atlus, whom I’m pretty certain have been visiting this site for the past couple of weeks, and wondering where the hell my review that I promised is. Well, the embarrassing thing is, I somehow misplaced the disc shortly after my party two weeks ago, and have been looking for it all over the place ever since. Only yesterday did I finally stumble across it, and honestly didn’t get to play it a whole lot before losing the game. So sorry! But I do intend on filing a review, hopefully later this week. Thankfully my schedule is relatively clear the next few days…

But there’s always something going on. Why, this week alone finally see the release of what is sure to be my movie of the year, IRON MAN! God I cannot wait, and I normally don’t give two shits about what the reviewers have to say, but everything I’ve heard is that its pretty awesome, and as expected, Robert Downey Jr does an amazing job. Can’t wait! And speaking of movies, the people at Subway Cinema finally updated their website sometime last week! So finally we have some info regarding the 2008 New York Asian Film Festival. I can tell you right now that the one to catch is most definitely Dai Nippon Jin, or Big Man Japan, which everyone can learn more about here. Though that new Johnny To flick with Lau-Chig-wan (YES!!!) sound pretty fucking hawt as well.

Oh, and more immediately, myself and possibly Katie will be appearing on cable access very soon. Like next Thursday. Long story short: we both stumbled across a live call-in chess program last Thursday called Chess Now! hosted by one of the Checkerboard Kids, and I decided to call in and ask a bunch of chess related questions. I think I was on for like twenty minutes, and I guess Checkerboard Phil liked me so much that he invited me to stop on by the studio next week to teach me a few things (I’m trying to get into it actually). Should be fun!

Hey, a quick fort90forum mention: anyone who is familiar with my little internet playground and also happened to catch Mortal Kombat vs DC.

- And to me, the verdict is still out on Street Fighter 2 Turbo HD Remix, and to be honest, it doesn’t really look all that hot to me.

- Call me crazy, but I honestly think a movie based on Tetris could be really something.

- Via the game videos thread comes even further evidence that Uwe Boll is just not funny and I need to go back to Japan, if only to play this.

- Meanwhile, I’ve already mentioned how there’s a cell phone thread, where I once again talked about how awesome my little Samsung handset from Hong Kong that’s “even more Apple than the iPhone” is…

…. Well, and I guess it might be worth bringing up now, for future reference, that I just got this….

… It’s the Nokia N81, and I’ll be using it to keep abreast of their mobile gaming efforts. Yes, even though I’m no longer blogging about cell phones… why? cuz they actually have some potentially neat things up their sleeves. I guess check it out for my initial impressions, and in the future, as well as here for stuff as they develop (I’m mostly aching to get my hands on their Virtua Fighter clone).

- Somewhat related: I haven’t done so already, and was going to do it here, but since I’m kinda wrapping things up just check back here later for yet another reason why I fucking can’t stand Apple sometimes, especially here in NYC.

- The countdown to The Fast And The Furious 4 has officially begun!

- I hate it when people look too deeply into the internet.

- I need to visit the UK in the very worst way.

- I have seen the future of clothing, and it will make you want to punch a hipster in the groin too.

- Via you know what…

- Meanwhile, over at the random videos thread, unfortunately, the one featuring the little black kid talking about how the President should be killed was immediately yanked from the powers that be at YouTube, not surprisingly. But at least there’s still some amazing old-school break-dancing, yet another reason why I love Cave and DoDonPahchi, as well as art + tacos .

Plus, some might remember me going on and on about Huoratron at the Blip Festival late last year. Well Dave (Mauro) managed to unearth a music video by the man, and all I can is, it’s fucking beautiful

- As for NYC chatter, we have among a few other topics, every New Yorkers’ worst nightmare and the obligatory Sean Bell topic. Also, I might be checking out Boris this coming July!

- And finally, in the Secret Chamber we have the obligatory Jesus Christ topic and one concerning that stupid art school chick that claimed to have given herself 30 abortions, all for the sake of art, but then took it back, or something, again for the sake of art. Who btw reminds me of half the girls I went to school with.

- Actually, one last thing, which I posed in the Secret Chamber, but which should be openly shared with the rest of the world, especially since its devoid of naked girls covered in slime and isn’t an animated gif of a cat being tortured. Please enjoy Fruit Mystery!

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For those who missed part one, here you go, and for those that missed part two, you’re welcome. And for the rest of us… here we are, the home stretch!

NYCC 2008 Day Two (continued)

Since the very last pic posted was within the realm of animu, I may as well pass these…

Gotta admit, I REALLY want this statue…

And I wouldn’t mind having Samus without the armor either…

Plus, I do like the return to basics Sonic…

So you also had plenty of basic, cutsey Japanese crap as well. Guess Relax Bear is still going strong…

I ended up getting Katie the bag with the bears sipping soda…

… Plus, not pictured, a stuff slice of cake with a cat’s head sticking out at one end. Say it with me: OH JAPAN!

Back to wacky folks in costumes: I saw the guy in the banana suit last year, and this time it was Iron Man themed. Which was pretty sweet, of course…

… The next day, he was at the show dressed as banana as Indiana Jones. lulz

These two were total hits of the entire floor, without a doubt, especially Hellboy…

Oh, so the wackiest dedicated comic booth (okay, there was ONE I took pictures of) had to be for White Shaka Boy…

… That dancer guy decided to do a wacky (alright, “traditional”) dance for me, to take picture of Problem is, if you move around, you end up blurry on the other side of the lense! Maybe he knew that and was looking for some blur effects, or something.

Some MF Doom wannabes spinning records, and mixing them with Mega Man 2 beats…

This is definitely one of those things in which I’m shocked no one has thought of it before…

At 4:00 that afternoon was the Venture Brothers panel, and being I’m such a big fan of the show, as well as enjoying myself so much at last year’s panel, I decided to head on over a bit early to secure and seat. Even though I knew it was going to be a hot ticket, I figured getting there thirty minutes in advance was more than enough time to guarantee a spot. And here’s what I encountered…

… That’s a shot of the entire programming area, and more or less, every single person in that shot is waiting for the Venture Bros. There’s a few that’s waiting for some zombie survival talk, but otherwise, everyone was waiting for Team Venture.

Needless to say, it was total chaos. Yet it could have been MUCH worse. The staff did what they could to control the crowd, but it wasn’t enough. The decision was made to move the panel to a bigger room that originally scheduled… one that could accommodate 100 people instead of the original’s 60. Great. I guess no one could have foreseen such a massive crowd, but they could have also told everyone that not everyone would get in, sadly, instead of having everyone stand around clueless, and clog traffic, which led to a major fire hazard. In no time, the fire marshall was brought it, and then came fears that the show might be shut down, similar to what almost happened two years ago.

The Venture Brothers panel ended up getting delayed about half an hour, which had a domino effect; the Kevin Smith panel I was supposed to cover for CBR the hours afterwards was held up by forty minutes because it has the same moderator as the Venture Brothers one, which led to a very antsy and annoyed crowd. I would also find out that the Venture Brothers panel was a bit of a bust; everyone was drunk and no one had any good info. I’m guessing it would have been fun to see Doc Hammer and com Jackson Publick acting all goofy, yet at the same time, I can see why the people telling me such info were so annoyed. Anyhow, to appease the crowd, the folks behind the panel I was at decided to give out a ton of free shit, mostly DVDs, yet I managed to snag an Iron Man action figure. So everything worked out in the end!

Afterwards I ran into Farel and Zack once again. Unfortunately the con had run out of beer by this point…

… At least I got the chance to check out pages from Farel’s latest project, which may or may not be called Popgun War 2…

This was at the First Second booth, which was being manned by Colleen. Here she is pissed at Katie for not being at the show…

That was more or less it for day two. I had heard bits and pieces about stuff going on that night… a party over here, a show over there, but I was so exhausted from all the day’s activities, as well the day previous, and especially the night before, that all I wanted to do was go home. Though on my way out, I snapped this pic of the girl from the Fifth Element, standing in line, to buy a hot dog…

Meanwhile, June was not as impressed…

I guess I should maybe mention another out of towner that also made an appearance at the show: indie game designer and hit sensation Phil Fish, who came down from Montroal, along with a few other Canadian and Australian friends. After spending their first day in America at a comic book show, I led them to the train station they needed to get to, and passed along suggestions of stuff to check out, as I often do with out of towners. And while I would have loved the chance to hang out with a bunch of Australian girls at Katz’s Deli, all I wanted to do was dive into bed. Katie and I ended up going to bed at like 10:30 or something. Yes, on a Saturday night. Once again, getting old!

NYCC 2008 Day Three

Day three was, as expected, a bit more low key. Yet it was still pretty packed, surprisingly. Which was a very good thing, and a clear form of validation as well; now more than ever its clear that New York needs something like the San Diego Comic Con. The interest is most certainly there. Though the New York Comic Con is not quite the perfect solution, with many rough edges around every corner, and after three years, you’d think some lesson would have been learned. I could bitch about how they dropped the ball when it came to handling the press, but that’s nothing in comparison to how poorly they handled the small press people, but that’s something perhaps best in the hands of those more qualified to touch upon the specifics.

… Though I know everyone says this, year after year, including myself, but it has to be said: the location flat out sucks. Not only is the Jacob Javitz hard to get to, but there’s nothing to eat all around it. Considering that every convention center in every major city does not have this problem, and its New York we’re talking about…

Another very curious thing was the complete lack of video game programming, at least up until the last day. So with nothing really on my plate, the plan was to check out how they went, to figure out how to offer my services for next year. Since once again, I’m looking to expand my horizon, and ICON is no longer cutting it.

Anyway, here we have the women of the Comics Bakery, Raina and Supergirl, I mean Marion…

And here’s a totally rockin’ Mantis get-up…

… Note Aguaman’s belt on his trident!

Since it was the last day of the show, a lot of folks were running on fumes, as were various aspects of the show. Yet some fresh attendees were there, eager for entertainment. I guess that’s why so many say and watched the ridiculously shitty improvised (or at least its improvised… because if not… holy shit) Jedi action theater. It was just random folks with light sabers, one after another, getting on-stage to duel with shitty techno music as accompaniment…

… Both Joe and I lamented the absence of the bat eating Batman, that’s for sure.

Something that I had completely missed the two days prior, but which finally caught my eye, was the Drawn By Pain booth, Basically, its a web film that’s more or less Cool World mixed with animu…

… Eh, its cute at the very least. Anyhow, those interested can check everything out online here.

OH SHI-! Seeing someone dressed as Spider-Man at a comic convention is pretty dime a dozen. But not one dressed as the Ben Reilley Spidey. Man, that whole Spider Clone saga sure sucked the big one, but I totally LOVED the redesigned costume. Its a shame that it never stuck (but at least Spider Girl still uses it)…

Back to the main reason why I was there: there was a panel on video game journalism at three, and I figured it might be best to check it out how they operate, so I know what they might want and have had before formally dropping them a line as a potential speaker next year. The room was actually pretty packed, as it was for the how to get into video games panel earlier in the day, which only helped to reinforce the strong level of interest among attendees. As were the questions for the previous panel; everything was extremely basic, just folks eager to know what first step they needed to take to get their foot in the door of the industry.

Though it was funny hearing from a student from the New York Film Academy ask how one can be the creative head of a game company, since it really reinforced the current problem with game education today; many schools offering video game degrees are not offering a true, accurate portrayal of how the industry works. Aside from the fact that just because you get a degree from a video game school doesn’t really guarantee anything… same thing with any art school degree really (unlike some lawyer or doctor degree, I’m certain)… a lot of places, let’s take the New York Film Academy for example, paint the picture that the video game work operates like the film world. Obviously there are exceptions to the rule, including myself, but the bottom-line is that to get involved in video games, one needs to know how to program. Sucks but true. But I could go on and on about this, and since this report is already pretty late, and supposedly to be mostly on the Comic Con…

Another thing that was kinda annoying about the show was how when it came to the game programming, none of the speakers were listed. So I had no idea who would be talking about game journalism. Though that also helped to pique my curiosity. Truth be told, I figured it would be just Steve Totilo and N’Gai Croal talking about God of War 2 or Resident Evil 5. When I walked into the room, I was certainly shocked to see Quinn Wageman of the PR firm Triple Point standing at the podium, as it was for him to see me; from on-stage he said hello, then immediately came down and asked me if I could go up on stage and participate in the panel. Which I was more than happy to do!

So I talked about game journalism for the following hour, alongside Andrew Yoon from Joystiq, Julianne Greer from The Escapist, and Hal Halpin from the ECA. Again, it was all pretty basic: what we all do, how we got involved, some of the plusses and minuses about the job, as well as how to get involved. And the crowd response was pretty awesome! I got a chance to talk with and answer questions from lots of cool folks both during and after the talk. Even got a certain degree of press for talking about the press, like this, which by far features the worst picture of me, ever (hopefully the ones taken by the MTV Mutliplayer crew are a bit more flattering, or at least has more of my good side). And afterwards, I spoke with a few other New York writers and we all realized that we should all get together to hang and get drunk and stuff like that.

And… that was the show I guess! It was a pretty good one, especially at the end, at least for me! Saw lots of cool stuff, hung with a few buds, and met some awesome new folks. And I even got some cool stuff (once again, IRON MAN). Can’t wait for next year… hopefully I’ll be speaking at it!

As for after the show, I went downtown and met Katie in the West Village, then we went to Brooklyn for dinner at our fave fish and chips joint, Chipshop in Park Slope. Then Joe Salina swung on by (who was sorta in town at Dave Mauro’s to play Brawl) and took us to his new pad, which I finally got the check out. Drank some beer, played some Virtua Fighter 5, as well as check out Joe’s customized Eileen (the cute Chinese girl… who looks kinda Japanese… who does the monkey kung fu) as a Williamsburg hipster, glasses and all, plus the first few minutes of Lost Odyessy.

So Two Game Designers Walk Into The Woods With A Bunch Of Drugs, And…

Then on Monday, I finally got a chance to hang with Phil Fish. He swung on by my place, where I showed him a bit of my somewhat impressive game collection. Mostly, I had him play some of vast collection of wacky import titles, including LSD for the PSone, Cool Cool Toon for the Dreamcast (would have also shown him Lack of Love, but I believe Dave Mauro still has my copy), and a bunch of PS2 softs, like Super Galdelic Girls, TVDJ, wordimagesoundplay (btw, I forgot to mention that I finally got the chance to meet Brandon Boyer at the con, whom I’ve been corresponding with on and off for years now, and who was also the driving force behind me acquiring wordimagesoundplay… once again, thanks!), Vib Ripple (yes, that shitty Vib Ribbon “sequel”), Dream TV (yes, that horrible Smash Bros clone featuring Simon Belmont and Optimus Prime), and a few others.

But the real shocker, for not just Phil but for myself, was the discovery that Phil… who is about as big a Rez fan as I am… had no idea about the Trance Mission mode. Which I guess is somewhat excusable since he apparently never saves his game, since its more about the experience than ranking up and saving high scores. But still! Man, talk about indie cred all of a sudden plummeting way down (I kid, I kid!). But yeah, for Phil it was “Man, this is like Rez 2!” On a related note, aside from being a Tetsuya Mizuguchi devotee, Phil is also a major Kenji Eno fan like myself (Enemy Zero fo life, yo), and was told of some wacky story about the time the two game designers had a “Fear and Loathing weekend” in which both went to some isolated cabin in the woods somewhere in Japan with a shitload of drugs. But then all of a sudden, a massive storm hit the region and they had to get a helicopter (as in pay for it themselves) to bail their asses out, all while having a really bad trip.

Anyway, because Phil was hungry, and hadn’t had a chance to check out the real cool parts of the city, I took him down to Chinatown and had him eat at my fave local eatery, the Coluck. It is kinda funny that at a hardcore Chinese restaurant of all places is where Phil got to experience curly fries for the first time since he was five or something. And they make them good too! Then we went to the various import game shops and the underground mall. Next was a stop at the famous Chinatown arcade… which had a FOR RENT sign?! Not sure what the story is, but its something I’m definitely gonna investigate. Oh, and it was in Chinatown where we came across this…

Gotta say, have the fun was asking Phil a bunch of questions about Canada, and fielding a bunch of questions about America. When asked about Ground Zero and what was going on there, I explained that they’re in the process of building the Freedom Tower, to which Phil responded with, “So, they’re really calling it that?” Yes. Yes they are.

Then we went up to St. Marks to show him Toy Tokyo primarily, since the dude is into designer toys, and they apparently have none of that in Montreal. I myself picked up a little bear that’s supposed to be Japanese wrestling superstar Keiji Mutoh. After a quick stop at both Giant Robot stores, we headed back to my place and spent the rest of his first time in New York City on my rooftop to drink beers and shoot the shit…

… Though I guess I should mention that Phil almost feel off my roof, which at the time was scary as shit, and I almost had a heart attack, but looking back, it was kinda funny.

Alright, it’s already Wednesday. Back to the look for work grindstone, do some laundry, plus I gotta get my new cell phone fixed. Later!

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Man, I’m still not even done with day one pics! And for those who might have possibly missed them

NYCC 2008 Day One (continued)

Those unfamiliar with the world of modern comic book collecting might not be aware of how serious collectors will send their most precious books to be appraised by some firm, which then seals them in plastic, and gives them a grade to let the whole world know of its true value. Well the same idea is coming to video games. Is it a good one? That’s not up to me to say…

Okay, I’ll admit it: this shirt made me LOL…

Other than checking out strange things and people, the true appeal of comic shows for me is the chance to hang with friends. Specifically comickers that I rarely get to see outside of shows, from way across the way, like good ol’ Todd Webb!

Though its also a chance to hang with more familiar faces, like Hilary…

Alright, back to pics of freaks and geeks; near the end of day one, I spotted some dude with a large Burger King king mask, and a Storm Trooper uniform, which I swear I’ve seen before, run around with a camera crew to capture him surprising girls and then thrusting his hips at them…

… Its not as amusing as you’d think.

Meanwhile, on the totally opposite end of the spectrum of coolness comes this dude dressed as Wreckgar. This dude (or at least his outfit) was simply awesome

Nothing Says 31 Than Screaming Mr. Crowley

So I guess that’s it for day one… what about afterwards? Well, aside it being the first day of the NYCC, it was also my birthday officially. I had no real plans to celebrate since I knew lots of folks would be busy that evening, due to the show, hence the decision to party the week prior. Though Katie had something else is mind… Hence why she surprised me with plans for karaoke!

The place was a maid cafe-themed karaoke joint in the Upper East Side called Hiyoko. Katie and I both knew about the place from a postcard, and I honestly can’t remember where and how it was acquired. While on our way there, we went past various noisy and annoying clubs, all packed to the gill with yuppies and guidos that they spilled out onto the street, to the point that I honestly began to fear for the worst. Yet our destination ended up being the total opposite; quite nice and small, almost quiet, as well as very Japanese.

It was a small crew, but the perfect one of the occasion, which included Katie, naturally, as well as Hilary, Mooney, and Dave Mauro. We all got our singing and drink on way into the night; Katie and I got there at 9, and I originally wanted to do only two hours, three at most, since I had to get up early the next morning for the show, on the behalf of CBR, but instead, most of us were there till past two. Which is hardly a surprise; not only was the place totally awesome, with even the paint-job on the walls feeling quite Japanese, as was the beer, the music selection was crazy varied (yet missing some various obvious standards… oh well)…

I must have had at least eight pints of beer, for a lightweight as myself, was pretty crazy. I’m still shocked that I didn’t pass out, plus I had barely anything to eat that entire day. At one point, management asked us to move to a smaller group so they could accommodate a large gathering that just showed up, and for happily obliging, we were treated to a free round, hence the change in color to the walls…

By the end, the tab was nice and big, though considering five people singing for about five hours, and all the beer we drank, the bill was relatively insanely cheep. I believe we have a new place, and they have new favorite customers!

NYCC 2008 Day Two

Surprisingly, I was able to get up the next morning with total ease. Guess it was the energy of the show! And it was in full force the morning of day two…

Here’s some kid I ran into the bathroom putting on his Nightwing costume that I figured might make for a decent pic, which is why I throw caution to the wind and risked looked like some perv, wanting to take a picture of a boy in a public bathroom…

It’s always nice to run into some Watchmen…

As its always awesome to run into anyone dressed as anything related to Venture Brothers, especially when its a cute chick…

When I asked Pit to pose for a pic, and I called him by his character’s name, his friend, dressed as Yuna from Final Fantasy X found it to be “cute”…

Inside, the place was packed, with all sorts of action going down. Here we have a game of D&D going on, with the latest rules in play, which I hear has been a source of controversy. That might explain why everyone looked so friggin tense…

The day prior I had hung out with Joe Simko quite a bit, and on Saturday Joe was joined by June and Joe’s buddy from back home, John. And while walking the floor, Joe spotted a bunch of kids going through the trash, which Joe felt was a bit “early” for that kind of thing. Well here’s a pic of June looking and pointed at them, though the moment had passed…

… Yet, the idea behind the pose is to use it for other pics. You’ll see.

Hey speaking of buds, another out of towner I ran into was Zack Giallongo at the Comics Bakery table. Here he is with Dave Roman, the other half of the Life Meter duo…

And speaking of duos, here we have Farel and Zack Baldus, another founding member of Meathaus and old college bud…

Meathaus #9 (called S.O.S.) made its debut at the show, and is being published by Nerdcore, which also produces a series of calendars featuring “nerdy” naked girls. Well, more like girls who happen to do “nerdy” stuff. Whether that makes them nerds or not is totally open to debate…

Here’s an example from last year’s edition, which was gamer-centric…

… Anyhow, one of the girls from the latest calendar, which is comic book-centric was on-hand to sign autographs, and while I was at the table to talk with Farel and Zack B, she stood super close behind me for some on camera interview. And which I didn’t notice, btw, so when I stepped back to move on, I ended up slightly bumping into her, which got her all fucking pissed off for no good reason. Fucking cunt.

But anyway, what else was the show chock full of that I totally go ga-ga for? Shirts of course…

… I really regret not taking better notes of who sold what (I was SO not organized for the show). Though I do know the dude behind Mr. Toast is behind these…

A rather nice print, also spotted in the artists alley…

… Okay, the final round of pics coming up next!

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