11/11/2011

“The Joys Of Hygiene”: New York Comic 2011 Part 1

by Matthew Hawkins

All right, time to finally talk about? the 2011 New York Comic Con! Super sorry for the delay, but as noted like a billion times already, I’ve got a fu*ckton on my plate as of late.

But the one person I owe an apologize to the most is Emi Spicer, who was gracious enough to lend me her phenomenal photographic abilities; she busted her ass to get me her pics in a timely fashion, and here they are, almost one month later. Sorry Emi.

Not only was I allowed to enjoy the proceedings, without having to worry about taking pictures (which brings with it much agida about my crap camera, plus the fact that I’m getting way too old to take pics of girls of certain ages), but much fun was simply had from explaining to her what that guy in costume was about, or what game that girl in skimpy attire is supposed to be from!

A far lighter NYCC schedule than usual also helped, due to aforementioned lack of speaking commitments. I assure you, any sour grapes was quickly washed away when it became clear that my hectic schedule these days, i.e. writing for three different outlets full-time (well at the time, now it’s down to two), would give me little to no time to prep, let alone having to cover the show on their behalf as well, plus this blog of course.

Though how was the programming otherwise? Well, not to sound like spurned lover, but I honestly didn’t bother. It was heavy on panels driven by big names, which is great and all, but that pretty much meant that you had to stake your claim in line many hours in advance. The stuff I generally gravitate towards, which are run by fans and the like, was nowhere to be found (hence why I wasn’t included in the first place).

It’s kinda nuts that there wasn’t enough room in the schedule for both, especially since the show was now four days long, but that’s just how it goes. The organizers tried their best to pack in as many marquee attractions every step of the way, and it definitely worked. Speaking of, as cliched as it sounds, I honestly have never seen it as packed, perhaps even more so than the first year, in which guest Kevin Smith was denied entrance due to overcrowding.

I ended up skipping out on day one entirely, due to my aforementioned commitments, which also contributed to my late arrival on day two. At least I got there in time to catch the topless chick who was standing up front, with a crudely drawn mustache on her face, and whom everyone was flat out ignoring. Anyhow, while waiting for Emi, took a few random pics with my regular, POS camera, which was brought along as back up, but I’ll save those for later; lets kick things off proper with a very cute, black Chun Li!

Not gonna lie: my energy level going in was fairly low. Because I had no panels to organize, there wasn’t much of a need to really prepare beforehand. The already noted schedule was also a distraction, plus knowing that the one pal with whom I enjoy such functions with the most would not be on-hand led to a significant decrease in interest beforehand.

But all it takes is being on that show floor and seeing folks adorn themselves as your favorite costumed personality to get one’s juices flowing! Or, to see the latest wave of products that are designed to win over the hearts and mind (and wallets) or nerds. Personally, I like it best when something is actually useful, like these Star Trek bathrobes?

Then you have stuff that’s not at all useful and downright creepy. Like I Am A Stuff Animal‘s services?

? Simply give them a picture of someone and their staff of artists will create a miniature, stuff version of that person for a rather reasonable price! I believe they’re also local, which gives them additional bonus points. And to be honest, their artist do quite the amazing job of capturing the subject’s likeness! Hence the extra creep factor. Hey, at least Seth Green liked his?

One of the hottest “things” at the show was, without question, Minecraft. Not only were plenty of folks dressed up as their blocky avatars, or as familiar faces in a similar manner, but you also had numerous Minecraft related goods?

Yeah, Nyan cat was also pretty popular in various regards?

It was interesting seeing what Emi gravitated towards, like the big wall of shirts that literally made her gasp. But to any con vet, it’s like the Empire State Building to New Yorkers. You basically stop noticing it after a while. Same with the booth that sells steam punk threads, yet I still really dig this picture?

Sorry, but I actually dug Captain America in the theaters, so help me God (wasn’t as nearly as good as the Rocketeer, from the same director, nor anywhere near the caliber of Iron Man, but it was an enjoyable summer, popcorn movie nonetheless?

The best part of this Momohime cosplayer is the spirit of Jinkuro, just dangling there, going “sup”?

Sorry, anyone doing Jack Nicholson Joker > anyone doing Heath Ledger Joker. Bonus points for just being a cute couple!

Though speaking of couples, Heath Ledger Joker and Voltron is not the worst of combinations?

Perhaps the biggest benefit of having Emi by my side is not feeling like a total creep to ask little kids, especially little girls, to post for a picture, like Lil’ Ranka Lee and Lil’ Vocaloid Rin?

Video game-wise, I’ve already written about everything I played for my day jobs. Truth be told, there wasn’t a whole lot that I hadn’t seen already at PAX Prime and other press events, hence why I didn’t bother with most?

The fact that everything had an hour wait was also a huge deal killer. Though one game that I seriously wanted to play the most, but which its seriously long ass line prevented, was Skullgirls. But hey, nice to know demand was quite heavy!

Ubisoft naturally had their huge and annoying Let’s Dance set-up. Too bad it wasn’t nearly as interesting as last year’s with one of the Frag Dolls berating some poor dude dressed up as Gumby who just wanted to get off the stage ASAP?

Moving onto toys, it’s kinda sad how Transformers has never been bigger, yet I’ve cared less about it, even though the old stuff is being celebrated alongside the Michael Bay b.s.?

Though I was impressed by this wall of Optimus, done entire in Legos?

Nearby, since it’s also by Hasbro, was a modest set-up for Jem?

Nice to see that they’re still making plenty of Iron Man toys!

Kotobukiya didn’t have a whole lot that’s new, at least anything that caught my fancy. Though I am looking forward to their upcoming line of Tekken statues?

Also, nice to see that Star Wars: Teh Animu edition is coming along splendidly?

While the idea of Han Solo in carbonite makes far more sense for a novelty ice cube tray, I will always been a R2-D2 guy?

Hey, remember that totally awesome zine that I got at the show? Well here it is again, my first encounter with such genius?

? Which not surprisingly, was where all the other designer/low brow stuff could be found?

It was also where ran into an old travel buddy of mine; Keith with whom I shared many adventures in Japan! He was on-hand, pimping his company, MakerBot, showing of a pair of Mario Kart blue shells that were created via the MakerBot Thing-O-Matic?

How goes it work btw, well, this handy vid should answer all your questions?

I also ran into Matt Manning who was showing off hist latest project, The Batman Files. It answers the question: if the caped crusader had a scrapbook, what would it look like?

Well, a handsomely leather-bound volume that weighs in at over 300 pages and is filled with tons of news paper clippings, sketches, and assorted notes, all straight from the mind of Bruce Wayne, and edited by a cartoonist, apparently. It simply need to be seen (and held) in person to be believed?

Regarding apparel, not much really caught my eye, though this Defender/Stargate shirt was quite classy?

Moving onto the unofficial anime portion of the show floor, which is the last vestiges of the “Anime Fest” that is sadly nonexistent at this point, was this gigantic Gundam Unicorn?

Nice to see Heroman have a presence at the show, albeit in a very tiny form?

As well as other classics?

Even if Capcom could give a rat’s ass about Mega Man these days, at least not enough to put him in their games anymore, they’re still more than happy to keep putting out toys of the blue bomber?

A wall of Gundams?

And a wall of Gunpla fans?

Some final day pics, of body pillow furnishings…

? By this point, it was time to grab dinner and some drinks. Myself, Emi, and her pal Nichole went to Chipotle, to provide to my photographer her much deserved burrito per diem. It was also another opportunity to expound upon the virtues of their margaritas, which I discovered first hand at the NYCC a few years back with Hilary.

Which meant I was nice and toasty by the time we went to so bar in the village, where other folks would be at. It’s that place, I forget the name, in which its run by monks, so you have to keep the noise level on the low side. When it gets too loud, the bartender will shush everyone? somewhat obnoxious. Would help if it was a dude actually dressed like a monk, though it’s also nice to be at a bar in which there’s no loud music to scream over.

Anyhow, passed on some party at Bushwick, despite the fact that those often end up being quite fun (or at least I’ve had a pretty good track record in those parts). Instead, I simply went home, to get ready for day two (well, day three of the show). And my pics from the remainder of the show (well, Emi’s) are up next!

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