Wrath of Comic Con

March 1st, 2007 by | Tags: , , , ,

New York Comic Con has come and gone. Fuuuuun shit.

First, let me just go over last year’s show. I only showed up for Saturday. It was the first year of NYCC in the Jacob Javits Center, so they had no idea what they were doing. Me and my friend got there at about noon and already the place was pretty packed. You could barely move through the aisles and if you could, you couldn’t stop. We were packed like sardines.

Eventually, the fire marshal made a stink about the maximum occupancy on the floor. He was threatening to close the place down. Instead, they made a line into the convention floor that wouldn’t allow anyone – not even those with tickets – onto the convention floor unless someone in there exited first. For a few hours, this made things unbearable. Towards the latter hours, many of the people on line just plain left and things were a bit better.

The people behind the Comic Con insisted that they would fix the whole overpopulation problem. For one, they would limit the tickets. For two, they’d allow more room. Since I had a good time last year, I decided to go all three days. This time, I brought hermanos and Riskbreaker with me.

This is our story.

Day 0

I bussed my way into New York City and hooked up with hermanos. I owed him $200 for the hotel room, which reminded me an awful lot of another hideous genius that owed a black dude that much money. To my triumph, I succeeded in getting hermanos to say, “Where’s my money, honey?”

Wanderer showed up in the middle of the night to share our tiny, tiny hotel room. I swear, this place was so small, it was a miracle the toilet and the bed weren’t directly next to each other. Wanderer took a break from pretending he writes for this site to explain that he and hermanos have been granted press passes because they work for Hardcore Gamer Magazine. With a little luck, he may be able to con me my own press pass.

Day 1

On Friday, the convention opened to the public at around 4pm. It didn’t matter for me because, sweet Christmas, I’m armed with my very own press pass! For several hours I got to wander around the floor without having to worry about bumping into people. hermanos and I at some point got to see some preview footage of the game adaptations for Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer.

The Wii version of the game looks to be like Ultimate Alliance, only they’ve traded the quantity for quality. Meaning, you only get to play as the Fantastic Four, but the characters can do far more stuff. The Xbox 360 version is very different and tries to push the problem solving idea more than anything else. If you want to hit a high button, you have to use Reed. If you want to sneak past Skrulls, you have to use Sue. If you want to fly across a river of lava, you have to be Johnny. Plus it has some pretty sweet team-up moves.

I made a crack about Thing’s stupid mask being an extra costume and one of the developers admitted they might just do that. That’s all well and good, but I still can’t comprehend how they’d be able to make extra costumes for Human Torch. There aren’t so many variations of “man on fire”.

I played around with some demos of the Darkness game for Xbox 360 (neat), the Marvel Trading Card Game (sweet) and the new Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles game (freaking awesome) before joining my cohorts at the blogosphere panel. An hour later, somebody noticed the “4th Letter” on my press pass and started up a conversation. It turned out to be Geoff Klock, who recognized the site, which in turn, gave me a little ego boost. He, hermanos and I talked for a while about Grant Morrison, Frank Miller and how “Doctor Klock” is a seriously great villain name. We continued talking until finding ourselves in the World War Hulk panel.

World War Hulk looks like it could be nice, but the panel was pretty boring. There are only five issues of the main series and a handful of side-stories. There isn’t nearly enough stuff to talk about for a full hour. The most amusing part of this panel was when they were announcing the various series to spin out of World War Hulk. One of which is World War Hulk: Frontline, by Paul Jenkins. There was one huge collective groan from the audience at that one.

Sadly, it looks like even with a series called World War Hulk: X-Men, Juggernaut will still be sitting this event out. I don’t care if Juggernaut would lose that fight; those two need another good brawl.

hermanos left before the Initiative panel could begin. This one had a little more life in it, as there really was more to talk about. New series were announced, such as Thor, and we got to see some images of Mighty Avengers. For some reason, Flex Mentallo is beating up Iron Men.

Or is that just Ares? Either way, he’s my favorite team member by a mile.

During the Q&A portion, I felt the need to get on line and ask Quesada a little something.

“The 50 State Initiative is going to introduce hundreds of new superheroes and bring back a lot of obscure heroes from the old days. So… which state is unfortunate enough to get assigned NFL Superpro?”

Quesada was amused, but admitted that they can’t use Superpro anymore. Yeah, not with that attitude, Joey.

I walked around the floor for a little while, bought some swag and returned to the hotel.

Day 2

This was the busy day. The day so bad, they had to stop selling tickets a week or so before the event. The place was indeed full, but it still wasn’t nearly as bad as last year. And hey, I didn’t have to wait on any dumb line. Press pass, bitch.

Early on, I met a guy dressed as Blue Beetle (Ted Kord). Turned out he was Chris R. Notarile, the same guy from the amazing Blue Beetle and Booster Gold anti-smoking PSA. I jokingly exclaimed, “Hey, Spider-Man!” to which he laughed back, “Shut up!” Told him how much I enjoyed his little movie and he told me that they’re working on another Beetle/Booster project.

Cool guy. Check out his site, Blinky Productions.

I went to the DC Universe panel. They had a lot more ground to cover than Marvel, even though Didio sure loved being an ass to people who asked stupid questions. The highlight here was when somebody asked about whether Flash and Red Robin from the infamous Countdown promo image were Barry Allen and Tim Drake.

In Didio’s mind, there’s a pile of information labeled “stuff you already said” and a pile labeled “stuff you aren’t supposed to say”. He got them mixed up.

His response? “I already told you, yes they are. Wait. I mean… Oh, damn it.”

The place went nuts and Greg Rucka was certainly not pleased. It was a pretty funny way to end the panel.

I spent some time at Artists Alley, where I got autographs from Kevin Maguire and Jim Shooter. I looked through some back issues at a Midtown Comics area and found the first appearance of Cable for 75 cents. To my left was Rob Liefeld at a table. I easily could have bought it and had him sign it, but I just couldn’t bring myself to do it. I just know I would have hated myself later.

My friend Sean popped in for a couple hours. He doesn’t actually care about comics, but comes to the convention because he likes to occasionally surround himself with people he feels he can look down on. He ruined his own argument when he bought Gary Coleman’s autograph for $25.

While on line to get Steve McNiven to sign one of my stupid ruined moments, I got a shock when I looked to my left and saw one Chris Claremont standing there with his hands on his hips. I’m sure he had a perfectly good reason to be doing that, but his stealthy randomness took me by surprise. The guy behind me reacted by shaking his hand. I just spoke my mind.

“You just snuck up on us like you were Batman!”

He blankly stared at me and suddenly got tense. “Wrong company.”

After a brief pause, “You just snuck up on us like you were Moon Knight!”

He continued his unnerving stare. “Wrong comic.”

With an even longer pause, “You just snuck up on us like you were Psylocke!”

Still, he stared daggers into me. All of the sudden, he smirked, patted me on the shoulder and said, “Ah, I’m just messing with you.”

I shook his hand and exhaled a sigh of relief. The idea of getting stabbed to death by Chris Claremont rather frightens me. Being stabbed is bad enough, but you don’t want the guy talking your ear off with overly-detailed descriptions while he’s doing it.

For the second year in a row, I got to meet Keith Giffen. That guy is a total class act. I mentioned how I kind of know fellow Blue Beetle writer John Rogers via online and he lit up.

“John is the man.”

I nodded. “He’s a really cool guy.”

“You know what he really likes? When you tell him Catwoman is your favorite movie.”

“And there’s the Core.”

“I forgot about that one. That was a winner.”

Hit the Cup O’ Joe panel, which had Joe Quesada announcing a bunch of Marvel projects and then answering questions for two hours. There was definitely more for he and the other Marvel guys to talk about than just one event and its tie-ins. One fan asked a question about whether Quesada would draw Speedball smoking a cigar, post-coitus with Squirrel Girl if the fan gave $50 to charity. It might have been somewhat funny if it wasn’t for the fact that Quesada had told a heart-wrenching story about his father dying of lung cancer minutes earlier. Way to show tact.

After the con ended that night, me and the rest of the 4L crew were invited to party with the folks at Pop Culture Shock. We were pretty damn tired from trekking the con all day, so that only lasted about an hour and a half.

Fun fact about 4th Letter: we are possibly the three worst pool players on the planet.

Day 3

Met a Shaun of the Dead cosplayer.

If I had more stubble and my hair was more messed up, I could have made a decent enough Ed.

After the Saturday indoor traffic, Sunday was a breeze. With hermanos and Wanderer going in different directions, I took a trip to the Marvel: Prize or No Prize trivia panel. Hosted by Tom Brevoort, the panel had two parts. The first part had the audience make two lines. Brevoort would ask whoever’s next to name a character whose name starts with a specific letter. If you got one right, you’d go to the back of your line. If you got it wrong, you were eliminated. This went on for quite a while to the point that Brevoort decided to just keep going with characters starting with S. There are an awful, awful lot of those.

Somehow, I made it to the end and got a copy of Civil War #4 signed by McNiven. Nice start.

The second part of the panel was pure quiz show. Someone would win the right to be on stage. From there, they were given a prize. If they wanted, they could take the prize and quit or they could gamble it for another question and even more prizes. There were several topics to choose from and one of them was called “Sing Along with Marvel”. The idea was that they’d play a Marvel-related theme song and cut it off in the middle. The contestant would have to finish off the line.

The first guy to try it got the classic Spider-Man theme. He got it easy. He tried again and was given the 90’s Fantastic Four theme. He didn’t know it and sadly, the panel didn’t choose me to answer next. Someone else got it and continued with the same topic. The new contestant was at a lost, as he got the 60’s Hulk theme.

Since I make it my business to know cheesy superhero crap like this, I was able to successfully get the question right by standing up and – with gusto – announce, “Ain’t he UNGLAMORAYS!”

By this time, the accumulated prizes were a lot. Still, I couldn’t give up. I wanted to keep going. I chose the topic “Baby’s First Words”, where Brevoort would quote a Marvel character’s line from their first appearance. I feel pumped, since this is where I’m a Viking!

The quote: “Bah! Everywhere it is the same! I live in a world too small for me!”

I didn’t recognize the line, but I could tell it’s really old school. Plus he’s saying “Bah!” Only one man is qualified to say “Bah!” and that man is Victor Von Doom!

It wasn’t Dr. Doom. Crap.

Others had trouble guessing it right. Some suggested Hulk, Silver Surfer and Magneto. Finally, a girl correctly identified it as being Thing.

Beaten at my own game. The shame. To make matters worse, she chose to quit and take all those prizes off the bat. I felt down for the rest of the event. That signed Civil War #4 just wasn’t enough. I needed redemption. I needed to make amends. But how? I already had my chance at victory and even if I did know the answers to questions others missed, the panel would ignore my raised hand and move onto somebody who hadn’t made it to the stage.

Later on, with ten minutes left, Brevoort announced that they would have one more person on stage before moving to the lightning round. The guy who came on stage answered a lot of questions right and decided to just keep going. He piled up a hefty amount of prizes. Again, this didn’t help my spirits.

That is, until the contestant went for another round of “Sing Along with Marvel”. The music played and my ears immediately perked up.

“Magneto’s hordes are on their way
To pillage, burn and plunder!
But there’s one team that will not yield

The contestant’s reaction: “What the HELL is that?!”

Someone on the panel saw my reaction to the song and could tell I knew. I’d even say that there were probably only three people in the whole crowd that could name that tune. But I was chosen and I got to finish the song.

Then my mind jumbled a bit. I had to ask them to repeat the audio clip. The audience did not like having to listen to that again. I can’t blame them.

Yet, hearing it one more time jogged my memory. “A team that strikes like thunder!”

For the rest of the day, that stupid goddamn theme was stuck in my head.

I got it right and immediately made it apparent that I’m not making the same mistake again. I quit and took my prizes to my seat.

My swag:

A Wolverine sketch done by David Finch
A Captain America sketch done by Mark Morales
A print of the cover for Mythos: Hulk, signed by artist Paolo Rivera
– Universe X (which meant I had to buy Earth X, but I’ve been meaning to read that anyway)
– A Marvel Legends Taskmaster figure
– Poster of Wolverine #50, signed by Simone Bianchi
– This big-ass poster of Avengers v.3 #1

Brevoort was nice enough to sign it. Had to stop by Fed Ex/Kinkos ASAP because no way was I lugging that thing around.

I briefly joined with the other guys at the Brian K. Vaughan panel in order to brag. From there, I just spent the rest of the day on the floor until a little before closing. I bought a handful of Marvel Legends figures (you really can’t just get Iron Fist without buying Luke Cage too) and spent a bundle on trades and back issues.

The old comics I bought included Death’s Head #1, a Heroes for Hire/Deadpool crossover, a Venom team-up arc in Silver Sable, Mullet Superman appearing in Batman Adventures and some other comics that caught my eye.

I had this strange feeling like there was something out there specifically whispering for me. A comic that I was meant to find. Towards the end of the day, it jumped out at me. I had to have these comics and I must review them, for the good of the land.

Marvel’s World Championship Wrestling comic series! Hokey smokes!

These three issues are comedy, but I’m hoping I can get my hands on the entire 12-issue run.

And that’s pretty much it. We spent the rest of Sunday at the hotel, relaxing and reading the comics that led us here in the first place. I had an absolute blast and hope to be back next year.

Hopefully, for hermanos and Wanderer’s sakes, I’ll have done something about my rampant snoring problem by then. Heh.

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10 comments to “Wrath of Comic Con”

  1. Man, I’d forgotten that cartoon. Also that it had the only non-lame looking version of Dazzler…

  2. Being stabbed is bad enough, but you don’t want the guy talking your ear off with overly-detailed descriptions while he’s doing it.

    That made me laugh out loud! And I’m jealous about the Marvel swag. Nice job cleaning up there.

    Sorry I missed meeting you guys, but I’m glad y’all made it to the party. Maybe next year.

  3. Was Sunday busier or is that just me?

  4. I was at that panel too. I’m the guy who won the Thor poster. I am still in awe of the fact that you knew those lyrics.

  5. Nice write-up. You almost make it sound like it’s WORTH braving those arctic temperatures.

    re: “There aren’t so many variations of “man on fire”.”

    Well, don’t forget that the Torch has been rendered somewhat differently over the years:

    * At one point, he looked like walking flame, vaguely in the shape of a man.
    * At another point, he looked like a junkless, bald, red guy with vertical black lines everywhere… who was on fire.
    * Some pyrokines are shown looking like themselves (or red-tinted versions of themselves), except with fire on the edges of the image.
    * And finally, there’s the way he’s rendered, now… which I’m having a hard time describing.

    Anyway, there are options.

    Btw, I’ve started posting about my MegaCON experience. I doubt it’ll be as entertaining as your write-up, but it’s there for the viewing.


  6. Now I’m even more disappointed I missed hooking up with you guys. And the Doctor Doom/Luke Cage reference made me LOL.

  7. Were you serious about the audible groan from the audience over Paul Jenkins’ frontline announcement? That is HARSH! Seriously, 2006 was a total @$$kicking for Jenkins between Frontline and CW:the Return. It seems that he has gone from being parade master to being the guy who shovels the horse turds at the end.

  8. Damn you, Gavok! I’ve been wanting to read those WCW comics since they were featured on WrestleCrap!


  10. […] I Bought It: I won this back in February by tearing ass at the Comic Con Marvel trivia contest. Hell […]