On the floor at the New York Comic Con
October 13 through 16 was an exciting weekend for me. It was the weekend that the New York Comic Con invaded the Jacob Javits Center in Manhattan. This was the first time that I was going to attend the Comic Con. It’s been something that I’ve wanted to do for a while. The New York version of the comic is much newer than it’s San Diego counterpart. The West Coast version of the show has been going on since 1970, while the one in the Big Apple has only been around since 2006. Because of this, San Diego is able to book the bigger movies and guests. This is not to say that the NYCC doesn’t get it’s fair share of the goodies. It’s a fun experience with some cool guests and exciting screenings and panels.
Besides being my first time to visit the convention, they added something new to their weekend, an extra day. Normally the convention runs from Friday through Sunday, but this year, the powers that be decided to start it on Thursday. The extra day was not for everyone, however. It was for people who bought the VIP passes, a special 4-Day pass, professionals or members of the press. Since I had a press pass, I was able to get in for this day. This extra day was almost like a preview day for those of us that went. From noon to 4pm they had special panels for Pros and Press.
At 4pm, the fun started, though. They opened the main floor up which consisted of the vendors. These vendors were from all around the world of entertainment. There were video games that were being debuted there, Nintendo had the new Zelda game. There was the debut of the Tin Tin game to go along with the release of the movie. New video games for games based on James Bond, Grand Theft Auto and many more. There were production companies there to push their movies. Magnet Releasing, who has gotten many of the best genre movies around was there. Troma Studios was there along with founder Lloyd Kaufman and Toxie.
(left to right: Toxie, Me, Lloyd Kaufman)
Another part that was opened up for us was Artist Alley. This is where all the comic book artist were, and they were available for autographs starting Thursday. I’m not a reader of comics, except one (which I’ll talk about in a bit), so this was used just as a place to walk around.
Friday started the real activities. This day started early, as they let people in at 10am. This day not only had the floor open, but the panels started. One of the major problems that I found with the panels was that there were many that looked interesting, but they were at the same time. They only ran once, so if there were 2 or more panels at the same time that you wanted to see, you were out of luck. This happened a few times to me.
My first panel was a fun and interesting one. It was a literature panel about zombie, vampires and other undead creatures in writing. The panel had 6 speakers, each of which had books coming out that had a main character that was of the supernatural kind. This was an interesting panel. The speakers all had love for the genre, and you can see that the stuff they are doing means something to them. There have been people in the past that don’t know anything about the genre, but want to cash in on the popularity of these types of characters.
(Zombie, Vampires and Other Supernaturals in Literature Panel)
Next on the agenda for me was my first screening. Over at the San Diego Comic Con Fox brought a pilot for their show LOCKE & KEY. The attendees at the New York version were able to get a peek as well. LOCKE & KEY is based on a comic book written by Joe Hill, who happens to be the son of Stephen King. the episode was was interesting, and I’d like to see where it goes. There was a pretty big crowd for the airing and everyone seemed very enthusiastic about it. There was a good buzz after the screening. From what I can gather, Fox dropped the show before airing the pilot, which is a shame. Seems like they would have had another hit on their hands.
Next, I attended a panel hosted by Aaron Sagers. The name might not be familiar to everyone, but he runs a website called Paranormal Pop Culture. His talk, which was too short, was about celebrities who believe in ghosts. This was a very fun panel as we saw, and read interviews and first hand reports from celebrities who believe they have been visited in one way or anther by spirits (and not the usual alcoholic kind). If Aaron is ever in your area giving a talk, I suggest checking him out. He’s a lot of fun and very charismatic.
The rest of Friday was spent just walking around the convention and checking out the swag. I also checked out some more of the celebrities that were there. I went to the area where all the celebrities were signing autographs, and I found that most of them charged. Now, that’s not a bad thing for them, but for someone that didn’t bring a lot of money with them, it wasn’t great. I had to make a choice on who to get, and there was one person that I was most looking forward to meeting there. For me, being a big Kevin Smith fan, I had always wanted to meet Brian O’Halloran. I know, that’s a strange choice, but I’m a big fan of his work in Smith’s films. Lucky for me, I had enough money to get an autographed picture (that I gave to my wife). Now, when I meet a celebrity, I don’t like to talk to them like others. With certain stars, I’ll bring up more obscure films they’ve been in (it kind of proves you’re a real fan), but with O’Halloran, I know he’s a big fan of the New York Rangers, so instead of talking films, we spoke about our favorite hockey team. He was a great guy, and one of the nicer people I’ve met.
(left to right: Me, Brian O’Halloran)
Walking back to the main floor, I came across a section where you could take you picture with 3 of the most iconic cars in movie history, the Batmobile from 1966 film, the Batmobile from the 1989 film and the Delorian from BACK TO THE FUTURE. I just had to get my picture taken with each one!
After that, I finally made it back to the main floor. I walked around a little while longer, met up with a couple of friends and then went home for the day. It was a long, but very fun day.
Saturday started early, once again. I got there and walked around the main floor for a bit picking up some more free swag. I had made it my business to meet a couple of celebrities that were going to be there. As I was at the booth for Magnet Releasing, which has hooked Killer Film up with some great screenings, I was informed that the director of HOUSE OF THE DEVIL, Ti West, was going to be there. This was one meeting I couldn’t pass up. He was a great guy, and very enthusiastic. He’s the type of guy that once you meet, you root for.
(left to right: Ti West, Me)
Also that day I was set to meet someone I had wanted to meet for a long time. Earlier I had mentioned I’m not a comic book guy, but there is one exception to the rule, THE CROW. It is one of my favorite movies, and it’s one of the only comics I’ve read, and it’s one that I continue to read over and over to this day. I had learned that James O’Barr, the creator of THE CROW comic was going to be there. I needed to meet him, and meet him I did. He was great. Very personable. If you get a chance to meet him, do it!
(left to right: Me, James O’Barr)
One other thing I was excited to do that day was go to a screening for a movie I’ve heard some good buzz about, BOY WONDER, which I reviewed (here). I didn’t know a lot about the movie, but I had a friend that was pimping it hard and had read that there was buzz around the movie. I was lucky to get in to the screening, as the room was small. After the movie I was also lucky enough to interview the director, Mike Morrissey (here). That was a total joy for me. He was truly a great person and was excited about his movie, as was the audience that was there.
(left to right: Mike Morrissey, Me)
Sunday was the last day of the convention, and had a couple of surprises. There wasn’t a lot for me to do that I hadn’t already done. I was there mainly to go to a screening for another movie that I had read a bit about. Before that movie, though, since I was early enough, I hit up another screening that I didn’t know anything about. It was for a movie called TELL YOUR FRIEND! THE CONCERT FILM! It was only part of the movie, only a teaser, that lasted about an hour. It was a documentary of some comedians from New York. I highly enjoyed this and found it to be very funny. This was the positive surprise of the day. I’m glad I caught it. Next up was the reason I went that day. I attended a screening for a new horror movie called GRAVE ENCOUNTERS. I read a bit about it and was interested in this one. This was the negative surprise, though, as I didn’t really like the movie, which I reviewed (here).
Even though my day had ended on a bit of a down note, it was still a great experience, and I hope to get it again next year! My only problem with the experience was that I didn’t know who many of the people were dressed up as. Not being a comic book or anime fan will keep me out of the loop. I will say that there were some really good costumes that I did know. I’d now like to give a rundown of my top 5 favorite costumes.
5. I pity the fool who can’t figure out who this one is. I loved it!
4. A memory from my childhood! This was a great one. Very original.
3. Probably the most original costume of the weekend. It’s a contestant from LEGENDS OF THE HIDDEN TEMPLE. How awesome is that?
2. Another original costume. I happen to be friends with this person, so I didn’t want to give him #1 having people think I did it because I know him. It’s a great one, and Seth Green flipped out when seeing my buddy. You don’t get much cooler than that!
1. This costume was totally awesome. It was the first one I saw on Thursday that was original, and it was a hoot to talk to the guy. He had the character down perfectly.
Honorable mention goes to the dude dressed as Quail Man that I never got a chance to take a picture of!