The first thing to know about New York Comic Con is that it’s crowded. The second is that it’s crowded, as are things three through eight. Thing nine is that it’s also disorganized, noisy, and occasionally smelly. Thing 10 is that if you can get past things one to nine, it’s amazingly fun.
I mean, where else can you take a picture with a woman dressed as She-Ra and a real-life British knight in one afternoon? I didn’t catch She-Ra’s real name, but the knight was author Sir Terry Pratchett, OBE, who noted of his status, “You can’t go much higher than that without having to kiss the queen!” Pratchett did a Q&A with business partner Rob Wilkins Friday morning, then posed for photos that afternoon.
Sir Terry’s panel was a chat with Rob featuring questions audience members had written down and submitted shortly before the panel began. They talked about his new book, Dodger, and their new production company, Narrativia, which is developing a television series based on Pratchett’s City Watch characters. But much of the discussion focused on the author’s most famous creation, the Discworld series. When Rob pointed out an audience member with a large “Occupy Ankh-Morpork” sign, Sir Terry immediately quipped, “I can’t imagine why anyone would want to!”
I can’t give a great overview of the exhibitor floor, because it was so packed Friday afternoon and Saturday morning that I could barely move through it. I liked that among the comic and T-shirt vendors, there were smaller geek-friendly businesses like Black Phoenix Alchemy Lab and I Heart Guts, but getting to them was akin to running with the bulls, where “the bulls” are dudes in Loki costumes.
There were a lot of Lokis and Lady Lokis (including one who had a floor-length fur cape that I had to restrain myself from stealing), 11th Doctors, and Game of Thrones and Adventure Time characters and surprisingly few Star Trek and Star Wars cosplayers. Steampunk continues to be inexplicably popular. And after getting an eyeful from a pirate in a miniskirt, my friend Melissa would like to remind everyone that proper underwear is truly the key to any successful cosplay.
Saturday I parked myself in the largest ballroom for the movie panels. The Conjuring looked well-made and full of jump-scares galore. The Bay’s preview was not nearly as scary as I’d hoped for a movie about parasites eating people from the inside out.
Beautiful Creatures looks like a weak Twilight knockoff, but god bless Emmy Rossum, who was not only the sole big-name actor on the panel, but also the only one who didn’t look terrified onstage and actually tried to sell the movie. And she did all that with a total dickbag screaming his “love” for her throughout. May that guy get a chronic itch he can’t quite reach.
And may the same curse befall the creeps who used their time at the microphone to hit on 15-year-old Chloë Grace Moretz during the Carrie panel. Ew. Carrie and the Evil Dead remake were presented back-to-back, and try as they might (and lord did Bruce Campbell try, bless his hammy heart) I couldn’t work up any enthusiasm for either remake.
Then came the most raucous panel of the day: The Walking Dead. Until NYCC, I had no idea how devoted the show’s fans were. Some of them slept outside overnight (In New York! In October!) for tickets to an autograph signing, and the cheering as the panel was introduced was deafening.
Last up was the Firefly reunion special panel, with Jewel Staite and Sean Maher there in person and Nathan Fillion “on the phone.” Everyone in the auditorium guessed Fillion was actually there, but apparently no one had told Jewel, because she promptly jumped into his arms when he came out onstage. Not to be outdone, so did Maher. Then they talked about a show that ran for 13 episodes a decade ago and we all cried a little.
My biggest takeaway from the weekend is just how massive geekdom truly is. You can love one little corner of it or try to master as many fandoms as possible, but you’ll never get to everything. For every costume I recognized, there was one that completely baffled me. Terry Pratchett’s meet & greet line had hundreds of people in it, but the two who asked me who I was waiting for had never heard of him. And my friend, upon seeing a guy dressed as Deadpool, calmly opined, “Man, that is one bad Spider-Man costume.”