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October 22, 2013

New York Comic Con 2013: A Recap

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Upon my arrival at New York Comic Con, I was struck with a sense of awe. It was clear to me that the world of my youth was no more. I had no plans, no supplies nothing but… my trusty red gel pen and a fresh Dark Knight notebook. For the first time, my life had meaning. I would bear witness to this strange new world.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A warm welcome to the Con

The most interesting thing at NYCC is the crowd. It’s like every geek culture in the world collided at high speed and the inevitable implosion gave birth to an amalgam of good things. Once you accept this reality, the event takes on a new sort of beauty. To many visitors, Comic-Con is not just four days of fun; it is four days of discovering a home that doesn’t exist anywhere else.

 

New and Emerging Life

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I am a sucker for couples costumes

Some of my fellow con-goers were not immediately recognizable as human. While many took on the garb of famous masked avengers, some had clearly become something more than human. Of particular note were a pair of space troopers (Shepard and Fem-Shep from Mass Effect), a foreign warrior riding a highly evolved chicken (a Chocobo rider from Final Fantasy), a ginormous Lego Iron-Man, an alien sorceress (an Asari from Mass Effect) and a beauteous, bloodthirsty bartender (Moxxi from Borderlands). The greatest horror was that some of the few humans who remained were voluntarily being transformed into flesh hungry ghouls!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The virus spreads...

I attended a wide range of panels (from graphic novels as educational tools to how to survive in the emerging apocalyptic environment), and a few were of particular note. Renowned time traveler and manliest-of-manly-men John Barrowman (best known as Captain Jack Harkness of Doctor Who and Torchwood) held an over-packed Q&A that had to turn away fans who arrived even an hour early. Along with tales of space battles and Thai food, the actor shared his thoughts on the growing acceptance of traditionally underrepresented characters in speculative fiction. Captain Jack ‘s omnisexual nature led to him being the first male to kiss the series’ eponymous Doctor and later to the development of a same-sex relationship in Torchwood. Barrowman himself is gay and has lived on both sides of the Pond, an experience that allowed him to bring elements of his own life into his own acting. Earlier that day I came upon a panel hosted by the website The Mary Sue, a group of female bloggers who began by tackling the limited role of woman in graphic novels. While this topic was their primary focus, they also discussed the lack of racial and gender minorities as well physically or mentally impaired characters in comics. As the graphic novel fan base grows, the medium is beginning to incorporate “nontraditional” characters.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I owned these...hope they aren't worth billions now

 

Loot

There were toys, excuse me, “collectibles” of all sorts to be had. Comics costing less than $1,000 could frequently be found stuffed into unmarked boxes. However these were clearly the scraps left for the plebes as the true treasures were tightly sealed beneath glass counters. The most expensive comic I saw (at least that had a price sticker on it, my Bat-senses tell me that a few unmarked copies may have far surpassed this petty sum) was a copy of X-Men #1, which could have been mine for a measly $250,000. While I admired this work of art a gentleman stepped beside me and purchased  a copy of Amazing Fantasy #15 (featuring the first appearance of your friendly neighborhood Spider-Man) for $55,000. In comparison to other copies of the issue I saw, this was the deal of the millennium.

 

I received a sketch of Every Hammond, the true hero of V for Vendetta, from artist David Lloyd. I also found gifts for my friends: For one, a weighted Companion Cube (thankfully burn free) of Portal fame. For my Whovian sister I found an autographed portrait of Arthur Darvill aka Rory Pond aka “Mr. Perfect.”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Farewell, Comic-Con. We shall meet again!

As the last hours of NYCC came to a close I found myself dreading the inevitable return to the vanilla world. In the Javitts Center I had found madness and wonder in all forms, while outside order and reason awaited me. As I left to return to the “real” world, I was comforted by a sight that assured me that, at least in NYC, I never had to worry about anything being normal for too long.