February 8th, 2009


NY Comic Con 2009

Nerd Prom did not disappoint. The first thing I saw when I got the Jacob Javits Center to pick up my tickets was a couple of Imperial Stormtroopers standing by the line and having their pictures taken with other attendees, all in the shadow of a giant He-Man statue. Nerd Prom, baby. It is on!

The first thing I did was hook up with jewellwelles and her gentleman friend to see Star Trekkin', an improv comedy group starring dontbethebunny that does original series skits based around ideas given to them by the audience members. It was very cute, but needed more swearing. And Abraham Lincoln. It's not the original Star Trek without Abraham Lincoln. While they were on stage pretending to beam down to a planet, a high-school-aged girl sat down in front of me wearing fishnets, cat ears and a tail. Shortly after, on my way to the men's room, I passed a guy dressed in the forest Stormtrooper uniform from Return of the Jedi banging out a steady four-four beat on a drum set, then stood in line for the restroom with a guy dressed in a skintight Snake Eyes costume from G.I. Joe. I began to think maybe Nerd Prom wasn't so much a funny nickname as a disturbingly accurate one.

I'm not used to conventions where people wear costumes, but at Comic Con you get used to it fast. You don't have a choice, they're everywhere. I saw two Tiggers, a host of anime characters I didn't recognize, at least one Rorschach, easily a dozen Jokers (mostly of the Heath Ledger variety, though I did spot one old school Cesar Romero Joker) and Harley Quinns, one rather obese Wolverine, a plethora of Jedi, and someone in what appeared to be a homemade Hulk costume. At least, I think that's what it was. It was the weirdest Hulk I've ever seen, with green-painted cardboard box muscles and glowing purple eyes. I suspect whatever it was supposed to be, it probably started off as a Hulk costume but eventually took on a life of its own.

After buying a hot dog and a bottle of water at the convention center for $8.25, I headed over to the Fears Magazine table to hang out with Joe Mauceri and the gang. There I met up with morbidmusings and shocklines, saw laurie_daniels very briefly, and tried to sell copies of General Slocum's Gold. The crowd seemed far more interested in the free swag at the table, like the Watchmen posters and Friday the 13th hockey mask keychains (one of which I nabbed for myself because they're awesome) than a book without pictures by someone they've never heard of, so I only sold one copy -- to justinhowe when he and glvalentine came by the table to say hello.

I packed up after about an hour or so and hung out with morbidmusings some more, where together we witnessed two guys fighting with lightsabers and giggling. Right in public. Without shame. And not even in Jedi costumes! It was then I realized I'd forgotten to bring my camera. I always forget to bring my camera to these things, and I always regret it.

As she, I and shocklines took one last lap around the convention a few minutes before closing, who should I run into but Colin Baker -- the sixth actor to play the Doctor on Doctor Who! His tenure back in the mid-1980s was hardly the show's heyday, but I was absolutely starstruck seeing him in person. I shook his hand and told him what a fan I am of the show, and have been ever since I was nine years old, and he was very kind and polite. I wish I could have spent more time with him, but we were heading out.

After saying goodbye, I met up with glvalentine, justinhowe, ktempest, nojojojo, Delia Sherman, Ellen Kushner, and a host of others for a delicious Thai dinner, and coffee and cake afterward. Amazingly, I think I managed to see everyone who told me they'd be at Comic Con, even if just briefly -- with the exception of lupa, who had already told me she'd be in panels all day, but whom I picture stalking the cast of Torchwood instead.

The New York Comic Con was an absolute blast. I can't believe I've never been before. It'll be back in town in the fall of 2010, and I'm definitely going to go again. But like this time, just for one day only. It's way too overwhelming for a whole weekend's worth.

Until next time, Nerd Prom, I spit my last breath at thee!

Secret code: OMGWTFBBQ.

THE STATE OF THE GENRE: The Grinning Skull