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NYCC2009: One Note Samba – Thoughts on This Year’s Con


New York Comic Con #4 is done now. Random thoughts while I can still remember them.

– Don’t think this is the big wrap-up. There’s still more NYCC stuff coming. I have roundtable interviews about Wonder Woman with Bruce Timm, Lauren Montgomery, and Michael Jelenic coming up.

– I should point out that I took a bunch of really rotten photos of Lauren Montgomery and I feel kind of bad about that. But she wasn’t alone — I took a whole lot of really crappy photos all weekend long.

– Hey, everyone, please stop asking Bruce Timm to do Marvel cartoons or the Pixar guys to do hand-drawn animation or the anime companies to make new Gundam cartoons. The fantasy of New York Comic Con works a lot better if you accept just a little bit of reality.

– One bit of Actual News that doesn’t fit anywhere else: I did talk with Lance Fensterman about the fate of the New York Anime Festival now that NYCC is moving to October, and he told me that they’re still trying to figure that one out. He did say that if it gets re-combined back into New York Comic Con in 2010, it will have a special space and branding of its own to maintain its identity distinct from New York Comic Con.

– I still don’t know how I feel about that. Despite what the extremist partisans say, it’s really not that hard to find good stuff and things you like in both, but I also think that just lumping it all together loses something valuable, too.

– On the one hand, it felt easier to cover the con this year. Except for the whole “writing the panel reports” and “transcribing the interviews” thing.

– On the other hand, that might have just been an illusion caused by the dominance of Wonder Woman and Up-related stuff on my schedule, combined with the lack of sleep I always get on con weekends.

– The fact that the Marvel Animation, Bill Plympton, and Robot Chicken panels were all at the same time, with an overlap before with the Star Wars panel and an overlap after with the Disney/Pixar panel kind of made me feel like the planners of the con were trying to drive me crazy on purpose. On the other hand, that was the only real major scheduling conflict for us that was built into the con schedule, so I can live with that in the end.

Up looks amazingly cool. I know I’ve said that twice now, but it’s worth saying again.

– Batgirl and the Black Manta over there to the right? Not only is that probably my favorite photo of the weekend that I took, but it also turns out that I’ve taken this duo’s photos in 2006 and 2008.

– I am far more amused than I should be by the fact that I’ve taken that guy’s photo three times now, and I still have absolutely no idea what he looks like. Or at least I didn’t until I found his website.

– I think Asian Superman may be my second-favorite photo of the weekend. I think I just figured out that it’s because he looks a little like Dean Cain and I enjoyed Lois & Clark. But he sure looked awesome in the costume.

– If you’ve come here looking for your photo and can’t find it, I have to apologize. I seemed to have really crummy photo karma this year, with a whole mess of them coming out too horribly over-exposed, under-exposed, or out of focus, or where the person was blinking or looking goofy or whatever. There are more photos in this year’s Flickr album, but there were also tons and tons of really really crappy ones.

– I mean, I ran into Blair Butler, all made-up and camera-ready, and took the most hideous damn photo of her ever. That takes suckitude so severe that it becomes an actual skill. She really is super nice, by the way.

– Everybody else has pointed out that the energy that seemed to defy the crummy economy. So I won’t other than to say that I mostly felt it too.

– …Dang.

– I still don’t know why I call these things the One Note Samba. I think it might have been a brain fart from the death of the One Minute Interview.

– The crowds on Sunday afternoon were the real surprise. I was expecting insanity on Saturday, but the crowds felt just as large on the con floor on Sunday. I don’t remember that happening in previous years.

– Last year’s surprise popular cosplay choice was Lois Lane. This year, it was Black Canary. I saw at least half-dozen of them over the weekend. It’s also a remarkably unforgiving cosplay, and I’m sad to say that most of the people doing it couldn’t really pull it off.

– The two people I photographed as Black Canary? Totally pulled it off.

– The Silk Spectre from Watchmen is another brutally unforgiving cosplay. Thankfully, I didn’t see anybody attempting an accurate Dr. Manhattan.

– 3 years and I think I spotted one Rorschach. Then a movie comes out and suddenly everybody wants to be Rorschach or the Comedian.

– I seemed to get a lot of repeats this year. There were a bunch of recurring Avatar cosplayers and She-Ra turned out to be someone I photographed in 2006 (and thought she was in costume when she wasn’t).

– Stormtroopers and Naruto cosplay are now completely passé. You all kind of blend in with the crowd now.

– I am sad that I missed the Venture Bros. panel this year. So did anything funny happen?

– I am also sad that there was no Black Panel this year. Getting Michael Davis to “moderate” the panel was always something I could look forward to.

– Looking back on it, the fact that I have extremely little to say about the con in general is either a sign that the con is maturing or a sign that it wasn’t quite as exciting as past years.

– Sleep will be a very nice thing once I can do it again.

Toon Zone site owner and administrator Harley also pitched in to cover the stuff I wasn’t able to get to and had thoughts of her own:

– The last time I went to this con was the first year. So, I’d have to say not having it shut down by a fire marshal was a marked improvement. Year one totally burned Brian and I out on cons until I went to SDCC last year.

– I don’t know how much more they can do on crowd control, unless they have one way aisles. I dislike crowds of people to begin with and I become irritable when things stop moving entirely. =x

– I briefly saw the Honky Tonk Man and was pissed at myself later when I didn’t ask him for a picture.

– I didn’t get a picture of it, but Deadpool snuck up on Black Manta and tapped him on his helmet.

– I am both in awe of and frightened by Michele Ivey because I could never care that much about anything.

– I had joined a fellow Toon Zoner in his quest to finally meet up with his friend who was dressed as Space Ghost. While we were standing by the autograph area, some of his other friends showed up. We wondered how it could possibly be that difficult to find a dude dressed as Space Ghost, when it occurred to me that he might’ve gone into inviso mode.

– Also, while we were waiting there a pigeon wandered near us. This TZer’s other friend began complimenting it directly on its awesome cosplay outfit. He asked if we could take a picture with it. When it wouldn’t give him the time of day, he called it a…well, it wasn’t nice.

Me again. Just wanted to say see you at New York Anime Festival in September, and then at next year’s con in October!

Return to Toon Zone News’ New York Comic Con 2009 Coverage Round-up

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Last pup of a dying planet, a young German Shepherd is rocketed to Earth, where he is bombarded by cosmic gamma rays emitted by a radioactive spider. Crash-landing in the forgotten land of Hubba Hubba, he is discovered by the Who-You-Callin'-Ancient One and his lovely wife Pookie. Instilled with their traditional American values, he spends his young adulthood roaming the globe, learning all the secrets of Comic-Fu. Donning battle armor fashioned from spilled chemicals splashed by lightning, he becomes the Sensational Shield of Sequential Art ACE THE BATHOUND! Look, it sounds a lot better than the truth. Born in Brooklyn, moved to Queens at 3 and then New Jersey at 10. Throughout high school, college, grad school, and gainful employment, two things have remained constant: 1) I am a colossal nerd, and 2) I have spent far too much time reading comics, and then reading and writing about them. Currently working as a financial programmer in New York City, while continuing to discover all the wonderful little surprises (and expenses) of owning your a home in the suburbs. Shares the above with a beautiful, wonderful, and incredibly understanding wife named Frances (who, thankfully, participates in most of my silly hobbies) and a large furry dog named Brownie (who, sadly, does not). Comics, toys, Apple Macintosh computers, video games, and eBay