Every New York Comic Con we have attended in the past few years have always been a grand adventure that gets us sneak peeks at upcoming TV shows and movies, comic arcs, lets us meet creators and cosplayers and attend some kick ass after parties that leaves the Everything Action crew amazed and exhausted. With over 180,000 attendees, 3 separate buildings and half of the Lower East Side of New York dedicated to all things NYCC, we knew this year was going to be a challenge to take on.
Super Pimp – Super Sox Shop and Digital Pimp
For this year of NYCC, I managed to convince my friends at Super Sox Shop and Digital Pimp Online to let me help around their booths and experience some of NYCC as an Exhibitor (AKA: An unpaid Intern). I have worked booths at past conventions, but this was my first time being at a place that occasionally breaks attendance records. For the challenge, I have titled myself a “Super Pimp“.
Being a Jr. Pimp – Digital Pimp Online
Hanging out with Phil, Irv and Joe, (whose powers combine to form Digital Pimp Online), I was selling books, pint glasses, stickers, magnets and t-shirts. One of top sellers being the NYCC exclusive tee, The “L’Eggo My Eggo“, inspired by the hit Netflix show Stranger Things and the catchy tag line for Eggo Waffles.
The shirt was a huge hit at the convention with people constantly stopping by the booth to take pictures and buy a few for themselves and others. When I wore my own shirt, people stopped to ask me about the shirt and where they could get it. I also gained a new experience as I was basically a living display model and pointing to my chest at every Stranger Things cosplayer and saying “IT’S ALL ABOUT THE EGGOS”.
Another fun experience was meeting other fans of the Digital Pimps that come by and chat about random movie trivia and talk about the latest art that Joe posted online. Also, the occasional question if I was Phil. (To some, yes and I shaved the goatee!)
Being a Shopkeeper – Super Sox Shop
Surrounded by socks, pillows, a mountain of cotton and felt, Gina D’Angelo’s booth features an array of handcrafted accessories and decorations that is accented with a cozy handmade fireplace. A unique booth wherever she travels, I have stopped by the Super Sox Shop countless times over the years, but this was my first time trying to be a sales rep there. Before I could get to selling, I had to learn what the items Gina had designed, the type of fabrics, and a few textiles arts could potential kill me if I wasn’t paying attention
Super Sox Shop tends to attract families and children, so rapidly firing off nerd trivia to a freshly indoctrinated Comic-con child isn’t going to earn me sales numbers, or nerd raging at unaware parents that want to buy a Legend of Zelda Master Sword with a Captain America Shield. (GET A MATCHING SET, YOU MONSTERS!) Meeting fans of Gina’s work was very cool as they would tell me the last convention they visited the booth, how their purchases was the ideal gift for someone and new commission work they want Gina to create. I made sure to take no credit on Gina’s work cause you don’t mess with someone that carries sewing needles like gum. (Also see image above again).
Super Sox Shop had a limited NYCC exclusive item also, the Waffle Bag. Another combo of Strange Things and breakfast food inspired creation, and a popular item for fans of both.
The Waffle Bag is roughly the size of a regular toaster breakfest item, but is created to hold money, dice, or an actual waffle to save for later. People purchased this item to be used as wallet and for some people it was a functional cosplay prop instead of the tired box of frozen eggo waffles. Since the Waffle Bag pretty much sales itself, convincing people to hold the bag and deciding if this was the bag for them was an interesting sales pitch. I had to watch small children to make sure they didn’t instinctively try to take a bite of the bag or had some clever theft Indian Jones replace the display bag with a real waffle.
The Comics of Comic Con
I got the opportunity to interview a few comic creators at NYCC; this was an exciting chance to chat with creative minds about their latest projects, past experiences and their own time at the convention.
Definitely a nerd accomplishment was meeting Frank Miller, and just chatting about what he does best. Miller was at NYCC to promote the curator’s collection of Sin City The Hard Goodbye, and I was lucky to get a Dark Horse wristband to attend Frank Miller’s event. Waiting a short period to say a few kind words and give a gentleman’s nod to Miller would be enough for this trip, but my experience was doubled by a personalized autograph on a Sin City poster.
Miller has help shaped multiple superheroes and influenced countless artist and writers throughout his career. With over 30 years of comic experience, holding back the questions I had for Frank Miller wasn’t easy. I expressed my love of his run on the Wolverine series and his latest work on the Dark Knight III: The Master Race.
Halo: Tales of Slipspace – Tyler Jeffers and Jonathan Goff
I met with Tyler Jeffers and Jonathan Goff, two writers part of a collaborative team behind Halo: Tales of Slipspace, a upcoming graphic novel anthology series that takes places in various settings and time periods within the Halo Universe. Tyler Jeffers is a producer from 343 Industries, and is involved in many Halo products. He wrote the story Bishop Takes Knight, which tells the story of a spartan from Gammy Company on a mission to assassinate Avu Med ‘Telcam, a leader from the Servants of the Abiding Truth. His story focuses heavily on the destructive power a single class Spartan-III can be in a dangerous mission. Jonathan Geoff has been a writer for such comic series as Spawn, Blindside, The Damned and a previous graphic novelization of the first Halo game. He wrote The Hunting Party, a story about a Sangheili Elite hunting party that tracks the the leader of the Banished Atriox, a mercenary organization and splinter faction of the Covenant. I got an early access to the collection and the stories add more detail backgrounds to each of the previous Halo games, and the upcoming Halo Wars 2.
Alena – Kim W. Andersson
I met with Kim W. Andersson to discuss Alena, a story about a young school girl that struggles with her boarding school, bullies, romance and inner demons. She confides to her best friend Josephine, but only Alena can see her. Kim W. Andersson is a huge horror nerd, and his previous work Love Hurts celebrated his passion for twisted romance and dark comedy; Alena was his mature take on the horror and romance genre. Andersson was influenced by watching many horror films in his youth and took inspirations from icons such as John Ajvide Lindqvist and Dario Argento that are reflected in his works. Alena was a widely popular in his homeland of Scandinavia in 2012, it received an American re-release in 2015, and a new edition in 2016. Alena has also been made into a movie that Andersson had an involvement in producing iin 2015. I chatted with Andersson about our favorite horror franchises, the latest trends in the horror genre, and which movies truly get suspenseful for the viewer.
Hench Girl – Kristen Gudsnuk
I met with Kristen Gudsnuk creator of Hench Girl, a series about the villainous life of Mary Posa, a hired hench girl for super villain Monsieur Butterfly. Mary’s secret life as a henchgirl conflicts with her conscience as her parents are famous superheroes, her friends have no knowledge of her double identity and Mary’s struggle for freedom to be her own boss. Gudsnuk originally create Hench Girl as a webcomic that she developed during her free time that grew to be her way to express her own journey in life. Before working on Hench Girl, she took a long hiatus in creating, be later returned to start the webcomic and releasing it to an independent publisher, and is now collected into a trade paperback by Dark Horse. Gudsnuk has gone from simple high school doodling and a short web series to building her own community and is welcomed addition in the comic industry.
Fight Club 2 – David Mack and Cameron Stewart
Fight Club was a commentary on society’s tasteless cultures and lack of thrills that life has become for modern man. Mixed in with some underground fighting, cult engineering and a twisted femme fatale, Fight Club was a chaotic tale of violence, mental issues and romance. It’s sequel picks up ten years later after the events of the first novel, and deals with the Narrator’s growing responsibilities caring for his wife Marla, and their child, and the return of Tyler Durden. I sat with David Mack and Cameron Stewart, two artists that have been fans of the novel and movie, and were on-board with the idea since Chuck Palahniuk presented it. David Mack is most famous known for his own series Kabuki, and is the co-creator of Marvel hero Echo. Mack created all the cover art of Fight Club 2, and had to condense whole chapters into a clever cover page for each issue. This is a tough challenge since Chuck Palahniuk’s writing drowns the reader in detail, so picking the right elements to express the story was no easy task. Cameron Stewart has worked on numerous comic series, and has won a Eisner Award for his own webcomic series Sin Titulo. Stewart was responsible for all the major art in Fight Club 2, working closely with Chuck Palahniuk to convey the right actions and scenery, and sometimes with just minimalist effects. I spoke to the artists about their experience working with the crazy story line, the return of certain characters and the very meta appearance of Chuck Palahniuk himself in the story.
Comare & Ashes: A Firefighter’s tale – Mario Candelaria
I met Mario Candelaria while working Super Sox Shop and chatted about cool stuff we’ve seen on the showfloor and the crazy lines for the bathoom. Candelaria is a comic writer and standup comedian that has worked with multiple artists and independent publishers to bring fresh stories to comics. Candelaria and I traded business cards, and got some of his work to check out.
Comare is a romantic drama that set at the end of the Korean War, the story is about Amelia and her efforts to end an affair with a married man Francis, when her presumed dead military lover returns home. Fearing of the truth of her decisions, Amelia is forced into a complicated web of secrets and lies that doom her chances at love. Comare was a self published title that was successfully backed on Kickstarter and contain the artwork of by Ashley St. Lawrence , Lesley Atlansky, Zakk Saam, and Jim Towe.
Ashes: A Firefighter’s tale explores the struggles and challenges that every day heroes such as firefighters face for their duties. Ashes tells the story of Matt, an everyday person that grew to become a firefighter like his friends and family. After a crippling injury results in the lost of his leg, Matt is burden by his handicap and struggles to build his new identity as a person. Ashes was another successful Kickstarter project and features artwork by Karl Slominski
NYCC After Parties
After the long hours of selling and interviews, I got to unwind at a couple of parties that celebrate the grown up aspects of being a geek at NYCC. Friday and Saturday I attended Sonic Boom Box‘s NYCC after parties where geeky celebs, cosplayers and fans got to hang out.
Friday night I was at Bowlmor, a huge bowling alley that housed tons of people jamming out to music, getting a photo shoot and bowled into the late night.
Saturday night was a bit of a recovery night, cause drunkenly rocketing bowling balls is surprising exhausting. It was a packed house at the American Beauty, with 3 floors filled with music and cosplayers, there was something fun to see and do for everyone.
The late Sunday afternoon of New York Comic is always an exhausting final push to get the last moments out of the adventure. Like every Sunday attendee, a thousand questions are shooting off in my head to complicate the last trip around the place. “Did I say good bye to all my friend that are still here?” “What items would make perfect holiday gifts?” “Where the hell is my phone charger?” “Who has business cards like this?” “Is that Stan Lee?”. My time working the exhibitor floor was a fun experience to meet interesting people and take in the massive collection of attendees and the bustling life of being a NYCC vendor. I met icons and raising stars in the comic industry, with minimal nerd rambles on my part, and had a fun time interviewing them. NYCC is a huge hub of geeky events that brings people together and creates lasting impressions that makes one exhilarating journey that I look forward to every NYCC to network, party and share amazing tales about.
Pics from the NYCC