g33king out for: New York Comic Con 2014
Since its 2006 debut, the now four-day New York Comic Con (still held at Manhattan’s Jacob K. Javits Convention Center) has been growing in popularity each year, attracting more and more fans of all sorts of geeky stuff including (but not limited to) movies, television, anime, video games, toys, and of course comics. I’ve been attending every year since 2009, so with 2014 being my sixth visit I got to again experience first-hand just how big NYCC has gotten. This year attracted a record-breaking 151,000 attendees: over four-and-a-half times as many that attended the original NYCC in 2006. This year, I managed to attend on Friday and Saturday.
I arrived a little before noon on Friday. After passing through the security check and having a look at the enormous inflatable Teen Titans in the outdoor area, I waited in line to get lunch from a food truck that I visited last year: the Mac Truck. They’re not cheap, but since I loved their original-style macaroni and cheese last year, I decided to try the buffalo chicken variety: it was delicious as well. After that, I entered the Javits Center and immediately proceeded to the autograph area. I had two actors in mind that I wanted to meet for the first time, and I thankfully had success with both pretty quickly. The first was John de Lancie: best known for his role as Q in several Star Trek series, he caught my attention for playing Donald Margolis in Breaking Bad and voicing Discord in My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic. His booth didn’t have a line at the moment, so I quickly walked up to meet him and talk about his role in the documentary Bronies: The Extremely Unexpected Adult Fans of My Little Pony. I got him to sign a Discord poster from an MLP trading card box I’d bought recently, and we also did a bro-hoof.
After that, I walked over to a considerably long line to meet another Breaking Bad actor: Giancarlo Esposito, who played meth distributor / fried chicken restaurant proprietor Gustavo “Gus” Fring. Some of the fellow fans in line wore accessories such as aprons for Los Pollos Hermanos (Gus’s restaurant chain in the show) and yellow hazmat suits, and the most unique person I saw had a haircut and business-style look that made him look identical to the character. In addition to the typical assortment of glossy photos, Esposito also offered autographed box cutters in reference to one of his most memorable scenes (I don’t think they were real, though – the security staff probably wouldn’t approve.) When I met him, I got both a signed glossy photo and a picture taken with him: it was easily my favorite moment this year.
Once that was finished, I went to attend a panel called “Archie Forever: Life, Afterlife and Beyond.” It featured Archie Comics’ publisher/co-CEO Jon Goldwater, president Mike Pellerito and several writers and artists talking about the future of various series such as the zombie-themed Afterlife With Archie and the new Sabrina series. We also heard about a most unexpected upcoming crossover: Archie Meets Predator (seriously.) All who attended received tickets to pick up bags stuffed with tons of Archie books, and reading them helped me feel like I was returning to a more relaxed time period. The rest of my NYCC experience mostly consisted of walking around and exploring the various sights and sounds, from checking out the artist area to browsing through comics (I bought a few Sonic the Hedgehog ones) and other collectables. On Saturday I attempted to attend both the panel and autograph session for Bill Nye the Science Guy, but unfortunately both got filled up hours in advance. I still had a good time overall, being a part of the ever-growing action and energy that makes up New York Comic Con.
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