“Smells Like Ham In Here”: New York Comic 2010 Part 0 (aka Babycastles Manhattan Opening Night)

by Matthew Edward Hawkins

Some folks have been wondering what the heck has been going on and where the hell I’ve been. Primarily this past weekend, in which I had a number of social engagements lined up, and all of which I ended up no-showing. Well, with the exception of a Friday night filled with booze, burritos, and EVA 2.22 with Hilary, I’ve been pretty much holed up in my very own fortress of solitude. With Katie out of town, in Pittsburg for a comic show, I decided to revert back to single male mode, to an almost exaggerated degree: playing video games and watching movies till 7 AM, sleeping in till four the following the afternoon, not bothering to take a shower for multiple days in a row, and surviving entirely on a diet consisting of take out (with the deliverymen being my one form of human contact the entire time).

The reason? The past couple of weeks have been rather trying, with the grand culmination taking place the weekend prior. And one significant portion of it, at the New York Comic Con to be exact, did not go nearly as planned (perhaps some of you already know the details). Which meant some time to lick one’s wounds was well in order, but I immediately had to jump headfirst back into the thick of things the following Monday, which made my brain melt even more so. Hence the need, somewhat, to cut myself from the rest of the world, at least a little bit.

Now, I’ve always prided myself in being able to wear multiple hats, but everyone has their limits. And as the saying goes, it’s either feast or famine; the greater part of this year had been an endless struggle to find paid writing gigs. It’s no big secret that the job market in general rather abysmal, and times that by fifty if you’re a video game journalist. Yet next thing you know, in just a few short couple of weeks, I had work come at me at every conceivable angle! Which would have been awesome if not for the fact that I had suddenly gotten a new fulltime gig during that same timeframe, plus am now heavily involved in about twenty different endeavors, including Babycastles, Attract Mode, among others. Though not wanting to pass up a chance to pad out the bank account, I pretty much said yes to every offer that came my way. Which proved to be a HUGE mistake.

Long story short, it wasn’t long before I became completely burnt out. And for the first time ever, I’ve actually turned down good playing freelance gigs due to the recent epiphany that I’m officially way in over my head. Which culminated on Friday, when I had to face facts and send an embarrassing email to a client that had been waiting forever for me to deliver on something that was simply never going to come. BTW, I?m fully aware of how self-indulgent (and vaguely emo-ish) this post has been thus far. And I haven’t even gotten to the real good stuff! Sorry, but sorta need to get it out of my system.

Anyway, after laying dormant and recharging my batteries, and figuring out a new plan of attack of sorts, I’m actually ready to face the next couple of weeks. Which I had lost much enthusiasm for as silly as it sounds now, but thankfully I have some fine friends to help remind me of all the awesomeness that lies ahead! The number one thing on my agenda is getting ready for the latest show I’ll be curating. All I can say is, if you thought FORT90 X BABYCASTLES was epic, then get ready for (tentatively titled) ATTRACT MODE X BABYCASTLES!!! Save the date everyone: it opens Thursday evening, November 4th.

Though I’m also trying my best to play catch-up, and be mindful once more of the things that have unfortunately fallen by the way side. Like this blog for example, which doesn’t get nearly as much love these days. Speaking of, guess my NYCC report is overdue, yet I’m still waiting for one of my correspondents to file her diary comic, so how about highlights from the Babycastles Manhattan opening night shindig, which also went down that same weekend?

What you said before you is the very first exhibition, appropriated entitled WELCOME TO BABYCASTLES, which dips into the already rich history of past shows, for a taste of things to come for unsuspecting Manhattan-ites. Unfortunately, I was there for a grand total of five minutes; has been at the day one of the NYCC immediately beforehand, and had to make my way to Brooklyn for a Swans show later that night. But I was told that everyone had an amazing time, and the pictures certainly prove this. Most of the following (except for two from myself) are by Earl Z Madness (naturally)…

…. I won’t bore everyone with the details, other than to say that it’s still up this very second; most shows are only scheduled to be up for ten days, but this one is going a hair bit longer. Though the next event is this Friday, so I urge everyone to stop on by if they can! Though the next one will be just as amazing. For more information, be sure to hit the Babycastles website. And be sure to come back tomorrow (EDIT: actually, the day after; just realized that Babycastles pre-planning is gonna take up much of my free-time, sorry!) for the first bit of my New York Comic Con report.

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