Wednesday Comments – NYCC: The Aftermath

So, in case you haven’t heard, the New York Comic-Con (NYCC) was this weekend. Something else of note; there were no murders committed in NYC this weekend. Coincidence?

Anyway, I attended several panels (all of which I covered here, here, here, here, here, here and here.) It was my first NYCC so I was slightly overwhelmed. Being that I’d only been to smaller and strictly comic book conventions, I had no idea what I was getting into.

I was super excited on Thursday. It was the first day of the con and it was going to be my first time. I showed up right at 3pm and walked past the “green entrance” where attendees where allowed in. The lines were insanely long. It looked like a sporting event.

The “blue” press entrance was much more manageable. Apparently this year was the first year that the con trotted out high tech passes that required “tapping” in and out at exits. For me they worked really smoothly, but again, I didn’t know any different.

The Javitz center is huge so getting a lay of the land took some time. Trying to figure out what was on each level was tricky and really tapped into my old school video game memory skills. There were times when I felt like I was in a Zelda dungeon.

The actual convention floor was pretty cool. First off was the red carpet, which seemed like such a cool thing to say. But it was also incredibly comfortable, and believe me after spending hours walking and standing, that was a huge plus. It was also vibrant, which made it appealing visually.

The booth set up was immense. NYCC is easily twice as large as the Baltimore Comic Con. And there are booths for virtually every corner of geekdom. If you’re into video games, you’ll be satisfied. If you’re into sci-fi, you’ll be pleased. If you dig hard to find soundtracks and shows, you’re golden. You looking for anime and manga, you’re covered. Apparel, jewelry, weaponry; it’s all there.

Thursday’s crowd was manageable, but foolishly I didn’t want to wait in any lines. From there things just got more crowded each day. Friday was busier and Saturday was packed. Sunday felt like “family day” as there seemed to be a ton of parents with children. I’m not complaining, because it was great to see so many people who were enjoying themselves.

My only gripe with the con was the dreadful Arizona “Big Cans” video that ran way too many times on Friday. Basically, it showed before every other panel on the Empire Stage 1-E. It tried to be like the unfunny Axe “Clean Your Balls” ad from a few years back, only it was even less entertaining. Basically it was espousing the virtues of “big cans” in very unsubtle ways.

Because I was in that room for four panels I had to suffer through it twice. The first time I honestly couldn’t even bring myself to watch it and the second time I tried to give a heads up to the two people sitting on either side of me of how awful it was.

I found it offensive on two levels. First off, the notion of attempting to derive entertainment from the objectification of women repulsed me. It was especially poorly thought out because of the cosplay community and how much they deal with uncomfortable situations because of idiots.

But it was also offensive to me because I’m a comic book fan and the Arizona Beverage Company thought that the ad would appeal to me. They were trying to cater to my demographic and they thought that ad would work. It was disgusting.

And lastly, as someone who’s actually from Arizona, I took offense Arizona might not have honored MLK and they might feel like they can ask for the ID of any brown person, but they’ve got a pretty clean track record when it comes to women.

Heidi MacDonald wrote an excellent piece on harassment at NYCC that included her thoughts on the Big Cans campaign.

But all in all the NYCC was pretty awesome. I got to meet and hang out with a lot of the people from Marvel who were covering the con and we had a blast. I can’t wait for next year.

Oh and a special thanks to Babos and Grey for helping me post my NYCC dispatches. They helped me out a ton!

In the meantime, it’s Wednesday; go out and get some fresh new comics.

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