Another year and another trip to the Jacob Javits Center for New York Comic Con. My fifth NYCC. And now you have to hear about it. Unless you came here by accident or you’re one of the 90% who only come here to read the David Brothers posts. If so, I apologize and understand.
I mean, for one, you won’t see this kind of crap in a Brothers post.
Maybe in an Esther post. Probably maybe.
DAY ONE: THURSDAY
This is the first year of NYCC where they had Thursday open, as far as I know. The place was only open for three hours, so it was mainly about getting the lay of the land and enjoy being able to breathe on the show floor. Shortly into my trek, I met up with my B&N coworker Jody. He was nice enough to hold the camera as I made this terrible, overplayed visual joke.
I spent a couple minutes at the Capcom area of the floor, where I briefly got to try out Ultimate Marvel vs. Capcom 3 and Street Fighter X Tekken. Then they had a weird little spot where they promoted the upcoming game Asura’s Rage by sticking people in a glass booth and having them scream as loudly and angrily as possible to see where they rate on the rage meter. When it was my turn and the host asked why I’m so angry, I told him I had been fighting with my eating disorder, which he didn’t know how to react to. I ended up with a 95%, which is just fine. I also got a strained throat, a promotional wig and a poster that I left in the hotel. I didn’t even see what the game looks like.
I found a booth selling comics in batches based on runs. I tend to like those better because a lot of the time, the weird shit I’m on the look for isn’t available in trade form. I bought a handful of stuff, including both runs of Seaguy and the original run of Rocket Raccoon, but one thing I had to get based on the cover was Superman vs. Terminator from 1999-2000.
Can Superman stand up to the Skynet Masterlock Challenge?! Really, though, I was too enthralled by the concept. I don’t care how many Terminators you have. It’s a bunch of faceless villains vs. a guy who will casually eat a robot if someone dares him.
I did end up reading the miniseries a couple days ago. First off, the comic has probably the most dude-ass of any Superman comic in existence. Second, when sucked into the future, Superman pretty much ends the war in like five minutes as expected. Third, the comic features all the super-types from Reign of Supermen except for Eradicator, the guy who was based on Terminator! I mean, his civilian name was David Connor, for Christ’s sake. His wife’s name was Sara and his son was John!
With the briefness of Thursday’s show over, I went to the hotel with my hotel roommate David Uzumeri. It was an agreement that helped both our causes. I’d hang out with Uzumeri to make David Brothers jealous and he’d hang out with me to make Chris Sims jealous. Skip Comic Con on us, will they?!
Our hotel was completely rad. The place is called Yotel. It’s a new place with a futuristic design. And by “futuristic design” I mean “what the future looked like in the 60′s.” It’s very 2001: A Space Odyssey. It goes balls-out on the concept and needs to be seen to be believed. I noticed that the Jetsons theme was playing in the elevator, which I guess made sense because, well, future. Then later I heard the themes to Price is Right and Hong Kong Phooey, so who knows what the hell is up with that.
The place also has a giant robot arm in the lobby, but I’ll get to that later.
I’m a straight edge type of guy and I was pretty tired, so I declined in joining David and Chris Eckert as they went out drinking. I instead sat back and watched Phineas and Ferb, Regular Show and Problem Solvers. Point: Gavin.
DAY TWO: FRIDAY
Didn’t get as much sleep as I wanted and I went to the show a few hours later than I intended. I wandered the floor while it was still less than full and scoured Artist Alley for the first of many times. When it came time for the Batman panel, I used it as an excuse to rest up for a bit. Easily the least interesting panel I went to as nothing worth noting was said or shown. Well, other than Tony Daniel casually spoiling the follow-up to his latest Detective Comics cliffhanger.
I also checked out the panel for Street Fighter X Tekken, which mainly focused on the game’s new gem system. The thing that annoyed me about the panel is that they made an official announcement that Rufus would be in the game. Um… yeah. We already knew that, guys. You know how we knew that? Because he stars in a freaking cinematic trailer!
They also showed a handful of those annoying teaser clips where they show extreme close-ups of characters clothes to hint at who’s in the game. Mokujin’s in there, so that’s good.
Speaking of fighting games, I finally got to play a couple rounds of Skullgirls, a new 2D fighter that’s been getting lots of great word of mouth. All these accolades are definitely deserved from the little I played.
While hanging around Artist Alley, I ran into masked indy wrestler Jigsaw. Really cool guy to shoot the breeze with. We reminisced about the time at a CHIKARA Fan Conclave where we dominated the competition in team Guess Who. Steve “The Turtle” Weiner and that other fan didn’t know what hit ‘em!
As time became short, I discovered a booth with $2 trades. Naturally, a lot of it was DC Elseworlds stories that I picked up because what the hell. A story about Superman in the days of King Arthur? I’m sure I can get $2 worth of fun out of that. The thing is, every trip to NYCC is a quest for me to find that one obscure and absurd comic that makes me lift an eyebrow and question reality. Thankfully, I didn’t have to wait long this year. Friday delivered. Check it.
NOT THE GOOD COMIC!
After the show, I again had to split from David because my best friend Sean and his fiancé Katie, who live in the city, invited me to dinner at some pizza place. They had just gotten engaged and wanted to tell me my role in the wedding in person. Even though he’s my childhood friend and we’ve been close forever, he’s decided that the best man position will be decided at the wedding via best man speeches and a judge’s panel, like some kind of American Idol thing. Not sure whether that’s brilliant or worth punching him over.
DAY THREE: SATURDAY
Saturday, I got up early enough to get there for the panel for Green Lantern: The Animated Series. The hype on the show has been pretty dire, mainly due to the teaser released a couple months ago that makes it look like a cutscene in Superman 64. Still, what did I have to lose?
I’m shocked to say that it’s actually great! I got to see the hour-long season premiere and Bruce Timm knocks it out of the park. It’s action-packed, characters actually get killed off, Hal Jordan is a total meathead and the Red Lanterns actually vomit acid blood! I mean, it comes off looking like spitting fire, but it still counts. It’s also incredibly funny. One of the bigger laughs came from Kilowog making fun of Hal Jordan for wearing a domino mask in space, like he’s afraid someone will sneak up on him, remove it and exclaim that the Green Lantern of Earth is actually Hal Jordan, ace test pilot!
Since there are two movies to Hal’s name in the past couple years, they skip the origin story. Hal is several years into his position as the Red Lantern situation begins to arise. Luckily, they’re going to have the show spend most of its time in space to the effect that he stays in space at the end of the story and Timm claims Hal won’t return to Earth until late into the season. He also said that Kyle Rayner won’t be showing up and Hal/Parallax is out of the question too. Timm doesn’t want to recreate old stories, but live up to the spirit of the characters.
Speaking of characters, I expect Red Lantern recruit Razor to appear in the comics sooner than later. Forget spitting blood. The dude does red energy Cross Cutters!
That’s right. I just referenced Heidern in 2011.
The cartoon is definitely worth looking at when it comes out.
Saturday was mostly a disaster for the con due to how full it was and how nobody could get cell phone reception. Because of this, my cell died about halfway into the day. I was planning on checking out more than two panels, but considering how it takes like 20 minutes to get from point A to point B, I decided to cut my losses by that point.
Back at Artist Alley, I crossed paths with this guy.
He told me that my mustache was crooked and I told him that his beard was a little sideways, so it’s good to see that he did his homework on Savage quotes. Shortly after, a huge 70′s Luke Cage cosplayer walked by and I tried to Don King a fight between the two. Savage vs. Cage. Man, what a battle that would have been. Sadly, the most we got was Savage mockingly telling him, “Nice tiara!” At least I can pretend that the crowded pathway was just people trying to separate the two so they couldn’t duke it out until the PPV.
I hit the Marvel TV panel, hosted by archenemy Jeph Loeb. He briefly discussed the live action shows in development for ABC and ABC Family, based on Jessica Jones, Hulk, Cloak & Dagger and Mockingbird. Plus there’s going to be a team cartoon of Hulk, Red Hulk, She-Hulk, A-Bomb and Skaar taking on cosmic threats like Ego the Living Planet. A handful of clips were shown of Ultimate Spider-Man again and again. Both because of audio problems and because they only had less than a minute of finished footage and kept reusing it over and over again. Different aspects of the show have won me over.
- The animation style is reminiscent of Teen Titans and how the imagery would get wacky and sometimes fourth-wall breaking out of nowhere. The kind of thing where Nick Fury would use the term “Ultimate Spider-Man” and the title would appear around Spider-Man himself, who would look around to acknowledge this animation tic.
- A brief fight scene showed Spider-Man teaming up with Iron Fist, the female White Tiger and Power Man. And I don’t mean Luke Cage. I mean Victor Alvarez, the new guy. Goddamn. Luke Cage hasn’t even made his debut in the animated world and yet both his successor and one of his obscure villains (Chemistro on the Avengers cartoon) have.
- JK Simmons is reprising the role of J. Jonah Jameson.
- Since Nick Fury is looking over Spider-Man and is mentoring him so he can be the best he can be (hence the title “Ultimate Spider-Man”), he’s put an agent close to Peter to keep an eye on him. Not only is Peter’s principal Agent Coulson from the movies, but Clark Gregg is doing the voice. At this announcement, Gregg appeared on stage and did a little impromptu Q&A. It’s got to be awesome when your own performance leads to your bit character being expanded into something more across different points of media. In a series of movies about people getting to play comic characters, now Gregg is going to have a comic character playing him.
Saving the best for last, Loeb showed us the season 2 premiere of Avengers: Earth’s Mightiest Heroes. It was completely awesome and does some great work at showing how interesting this season is set to be. Spoiler alert: Dr. Doom is a complete badass and nobody is safe from his style.
Nothing much else happened on Saturday. I was going to try for that speed dating thing, but I entered online too late and decided not to go on the reserve list. Guy I know was pretty bitter about the experience, citing it as overly staged and at parts demeaning, but whatever. Maybe I’ll give it another try next year.
I did meet internet famous guy Brentalfloss randomly. He’s the dude who sings lyrics over NES songs. Really nice guy.
After the show, I joined my buddy Sean again for dinner. This time at TGIFriday’s. David questioned why I would go to someplace like Friday’s when visiting New York City when I had so many local restaurants to choose from. Yes, I have a Friday’s at home. Hell, I have one 30 seconds away from where I work. So what’s the big deal? The big deal is that for some reason, all the Friday’s restaurants around me are missing the best of all desserts from their menu. I don’t know why they would be so cruel, but it seems I have to visit New York City just to enjoy the Oreo Madness.
I love you, Oreo Madness.
That night, I watched Saturday Night Live and some more cartoons while David Uzumeri’s misadventures in after-show partying got progressively worse. He came back to the hotel to find me watching Spider-Man Unlimited for the first time ever, where I had to point out the terrible animated designs for High Evolutionary and Machine Man.
DAY FOUR: SUNDAY
Since David was sleeping off the previous night’s journey, I abruptly split the scene and didn’t see him for the rest of the trip. I checked out of the hotel, but didn’t want to lug my luggage around the show floor. That’s when I realized that the giant Yotel robot arm thing wasn’t just for show.
That sumbitch is for putting away your luggage! The future is awesome!
I spent a little time back in Artist Alley in order to get some last minute sketches done for the Juggernaut Plus Prop Challenge. I realized that the most annoying aspect of such a big show was that you’d completely lose your place. You’d give you sketchbook to an artist, pay them a couple bucks and then wander off to do whatever, only to be completely unable to find them ever again. The same thing happened when I saw a friend’s comic and decided I’d buy it later… only I couldn’t find the booth again! It’s like some kind of Brigadoon effect.
My final panel of the show was to see the 3D CGI animated movie Tekken: Blood Vengeance. The idea of seeing a movie of Tekken cutscenes appeals to me, especially because I sort of enjoy the story of the games. It’s three generations (sometimes four) of the world’s most dysfunctional family of martial artist corporate crime lords fighting it out both with their fists and with their armies. Two of them want power while the other simply wants to end the Mishima bloodline at any cost.
Surely, this should make for an awesome movie. Unfortunately, the main story of the games is background as we’re forced to watch super boring schoolgirl Lin Xiaoyu and pretty annoying robot girl Alisa Bosconovitch take the protagonist roles. There are well over fifty characters in the Tekken series and somehow they went with the most uninteresting character to star in the movie. Okay, maybe not as uninteresting as Baek, but Xiaoyu’s close.
The movie is a mixed bag. A lot of the plot is pretty bad, including a scene of Xiaoyu’s detective skills that’s downright headshaking. Alisa at least has her moments, including how a really cheesy scene about 2/3 through later leads to a completely sweet climactic action moment reminiscent of Iron Giant‘s, “Superman!” The action is really good and while Xiaoyu’s worth isn’t much outside of her detective skills and her inspiration to others, it’s all forgiven for the last half hour.
We get three crazy amazing fight scenes in a row and they get more and more outlandish as they go on. The first of which probably has the most replay value, though the final one is the most visually impressive. While the movie is completely uneven, this whole segment makes it worth checking out. Another thing that helps the movie is comic relief from Lee Chaolin, who doesn’t take part in a single fight, but rather plays a gloriously doofy and incredibly rich teacher at Xiaoyu and Alisa’s school. He occasionally pops in for the sake of giving the thumbs up to random events.
Now, the absolute best part? Before the movie started, the panelists warned that due to the English translation, some lines came off a little homoerotic. At first I thought I heard him wrong. Then we got to the dialogue in the scene where Jin and Kazuya cross paths and see original character Shin. Lots and lots of tough guy dialogue comes off with double meaning. It wouldn’t mean much if it was just one or two lines, but we get like six or seven of these inadvertent entendres in a row. The theater was absolutely howling with laughter. I fully expect this sequence to be on YouTube the day the movie is released.
Yes, Kazuya. You will be the one to finish him off.
With the movie done, things were winding down. I did get to see a couple more cosplayers on the way out. Such as post-Flashpoint Superman.
Yeah… of course the guy who does the blue jeans Superman would put forth that much effort in his running pose.
I also met a kickass Scorpion. Then I found a penny.
My wallet hates me, but I had a complete blast at New York Comic Con. I’m definitely penciling myself in for another go around in 2012. I’ll be doing my own panel by the dumpster outside. Be sure to check it out.
I swear, though. If Brothers skips out on me another year, I’m totally making one of those angry Hitler videos on YouTube. I’ll fucking do it.
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