Sunday, October 12, 2014

Adventures @ NYCC 2014: Day Four

I had a good day bookended by bad experiences. This morning, I drove to the bus stop, reached into my pocket, and realized I left my Metrocard at home. So I decided to go to the local rail . . . but then I bought a new Metrocard for $20, so I walked back to the bus stop.

After about three hours, I decided to go home. Along with my badge, I had also received a New York Super Card. This is a card that entitles one to a number of discounts, along with other amenities. I decide to walk a long way to a theme restaurant because I thought I'd get a discount.

They didn't have a discount.

Okay, so I know of a place that does accept the Super Card. Problem is, I don't know where it is. I call information, walk, then call 411 again because I forget things. I wind up walk nine blocks and change, but I finally found it.

The place is empty. There's, like, two people there, and neither one notices me.

Shit. So I wind up going to a restaurant where I pay over $20 for a small burger and sweet potato fries. With no discount. And I didn't need the damn fries. But at least I was able to get home.

Parade on Fifth Avenue.

Damn. I ended up walking nine blocks to the bus stop. All in all, it was an exhausting day. I logged in 18,560 steps, tops for the weekend. But you know what? I'm okay. There was little ennui to be had. I managed to have a fun weekend. Sure, I didn't get to do everything I wanted, but I met some familiar faces, got twelve sketches, and I had fun doing it. I'm going to need a few days to decompress, but I don't have to deal with many regrets. All in all, it was a fun four days.

Saturday, October 11, 2014

Adventures @ NYCC 2014: Day Three

I had a good day. Logged in 14,860 steps, but I wasn't in much pain. Once again, I had to bail out early to get home at a decent hour. That meant missing another Adult Swim panel block, with Black Dynamite (a favorite cartoon of mine), The Heart She Holler, and Mike Tyson Mysteries (no, for real). I wanted to see it, but it took place at a time where it would let out around 7:30. No dice on that.

I wound up getting three new sketches, making in ten in three days. I spent $40 on an Abin Sur sketch from Dean Kotz, who drew a miniseries I read avidly, Krampus. I've been good about not going overboard with money . . . a little better than Fan Expo in Toronto. I'm going to fall short of my four-day record -- twenty in Comic-Con International 2009 -- but I don't care. One day, I'll have disposable income to spend on the bigger names, but I'm happy with what I get now.

The highlight for me today? Well, first I went to a panel on Disney's Infinity game. When the panel asked for questions, damn near everybody stormed to the back to grab collectable figures that you can play in the game. It was unbelievable to see a horde swarm for the swag. Yes, I was in there, and I got a Rocket Raccoon, but I wasn't hellbent on it.

Then came a panel for DC Comics' "Champions Of Justice." One thing about DC panels is that they give out swag for good questions. And I wanted to get something. Last year, I got a lenticular-covered copy of Forever Evil #1 for wondering how the Court of Owls could breathe in their mouthless masks. It took me a while to formulate something. I managed to get into one of the lines to speak. I saw others walk off with neat stuff. My question: What books would you like to see in a "rub and sniff" format? My question was the last one of the panel. What did I get?

A cape.

Yes . . . a cape. To commemorate Batman's 75th anniversary. I would've wanted another limited release issue or something flashy. But a cape? Oh, well. It was free, and I might wear it on Halloween while greeting trick-or-treaters. It depends on how I feel.

I have one more day. Happily, the ennui that hammered me in Toronto isn't affecting me as bad. I hope that I can last through Sunday without suffering from boredom.

Friday, October 10, 2014

Adventures @ NYCC 2014: Day Two

Well, I had less fun today. A lot of it was timing . . . I gave my sketchbook to an artist, and he didn't come to Artist Alley until 1 p.m. For me, that meant a lot of wandering, killing time until he returned. I picked up a few odds and ends, but I kept looking at my phone, waiting for a call. Not a lot of fun, to be honest.

Also, there was the issue of timing. I had to bail out early because I wanted to get back home by 8, which I did. Problem was, I had to ignore the big-ticket panels, including Agents Of SHIELD and Archer, the latter panel I managed to get to last year. I think it would let out around 8:30, and it would take me forever to get back home. And it turned out that they handed out wristbands far ahead of time, so I would've been shut out anyway.

I did get to spend a few hours basking in Adult Swim goodness . . . they showcased Rick & Morty, Robot Chicken, and a show featuring Jack McBrayer and Triumph the Insult Comedy Dog. I am dead serious. It turns out that Jack and Robert Smiegel (Triumph's creator) have good chemistry together. Look at this clip from Conan which was screened at the panel:

Nice, right? Anyway, the plot has the pair being ex-stars from a Lassie-type show, reunited in California (even though the show is filmed in New York City). To add to the surreal atmosphere, the panel was moderated by Alan Colmes, best know as Sean Hannity's former punching bag.

The other panels (or is it the rest of the uber-panel?) was interesting. Rick and Morty is gearing up for its second season as caustically funny as the first. And I got to see the brains behind Robot Chicken for at least the third year in a row. It was pretty fun with the silly hats and occasional clips. Turns out they'll be doing another Christmas special, titled The Robot Chicken Lots Of Holidays But Don't Worry Christmas Is Still There Too So Pull The Stick Out Of Your Ass Fox News. For real. They were giving away trips to a nearby boat for the best questions. I got to the line too late . .  . I have no sense for those shorts of moments. I was going to ask what the darkest sketch in the history of the show was. The premise comes from this bit from the opening season:

Dark, right? I have a few ideas of what could supplant that, but I didn't get to the microphone in time. Oh, well . . . there's always e-mail.

Aside from the waiting and the panel, I didn't do much. I wound up going to a panel for Vertigo Comics, where I found that Gail Simone was going to be writing a book -- Clean Room -- where she shows off her dark side. Well . . . her darker side. And I got to thank Kurt Busiek for a great story in his creator-owned Vertigo book, Astro City.

Getting home was a hassle. First, I boarded a shuttle bus that was slowed by New York traffic. I took it to Penn Station, where I boarded an express train. I was going to switch to the local to get to the ferry station, but I didn't see any other trains running. At this point, I just wanted to get home, so I wound up taking an express bus to Staten Island, where I walked out of my way to get to my car. My pedometer reached 17,974. Judging from the blisters on my toes, I can believe it.

I have two more days. I'm sure I can make the best of them to have a good weekend.

Thursday, October 09, 2014

Adventures @ NYCC 2014: Day One

After feeling not my very best in Toronto, I'm trying to rebound by having a good time at New York Comic Con. This is my ninth time going to NYCC, which is based on the west side of Manhattan. To me, it's too close to home to consider not going. And like Comic-Con International in San Diego, the convention has gotten bigger over time. The organizers wound up throwing a smaller con at the Javits Center -- Special Edition NYC -- several months ago. I wound up spending my first hour there waiting on line to getting my NYCC admission. Not the sign of a sane person, but here I am.

So far, I've been having fun. I wound up taking 14,565 steps, a lot of that was from walking from Sixth Avenue all the way to the Javits Center. I could have taken a shuttle, but I wanted to get off to a healthy start. The convention isn't as spread out as Fan Expo Canada . . . there are three levels of action to be had. The main floor is located upstairs, the ground floor features Artist Alley, and the lower level hosts panels. Once you get the hang of the basics, you're home free. You just have to give yourself enough time for the panels.

THE GOOD: I wound up hitting one panel, on Doctor Who in comic books. It was pretty good. I indulged my Titan blind box habit, winding up with a 1-in-40 figure of Peter Capaldi as the Twelfth Doctor. I also got five sketches, which might be a first-day record for me. This time, I'm trying to save my money, so I'm hitting the DC Comics area at Artist Alley for freebies. I also got to meet Gail Simone for the first time since Special Edition. I wound up getting my copy of Batgirl: Future's End autographed . . .

THE BAD: . . . which I ended up losing, because I was using the issue as a reference for a sketch. I think it fell out of my sketchbook. I'll have to check Lost & Found tomorrow, but I'm resigned to getting another copy. Also, I didn't get a freebie sketch from a famed artist. No big deal . . . I wasted a little time, but I knew the odds of me getting something from him were pretty slim.

Things should pick up tomorrow. I won't stay out too long . . . The Amazing Race will be on at 8 p.m., and I want to catch it "live," even thought I'll be DVRing it.