Yesterday morning my friend and I got up super early, hopped on a train bound for the city, and soon thereafter found ourselves immersed into the crazy awesome world that is New York Comic Con.
Prior to Saturday I’d only ever attended one day of the Supernova Pop Culture Expo and done a lot of reading about San Diego Comic Con, so I knew generally what to expect but not on what scale. I’d heard about the lines and general chaos that comes with thousands of fans being jammed into one place, but I was determined to make the best of the day.*
Inspired by Todd VanDerWerff’s San Diego Comic Con recaps for The AV Club, I decided to check out panels and other activities that are unique to the comic con experience, rather than spend all day in line for that one big thing.
Of course that meant sacrificing the opportunity to attend the Firefly 10th Anniversary Special Event, in which Jewel Staite, Sean Maher, and Captain Tightpants himself Nathan Fillion dropped in for. Their appearances were kept a secret, which is realistically the only reason I stayed true to my strategy.
However, I did get into my other choice panel – Once More with Feeling: 15 Years of Buffy the Vampire Slayer. Jane Espenson, Nicholas Brendan, and several other people involved with the Buffyverse comics were present to discuss all things related to Buffy. So yeah, that was an awesome hour!
Plus, since there were two panels dedicated to the works of Joss Whedon it also meant that many other Buffy, Firefly, Angel, Dollhouse, Dr. Horrible, Cabin In The Woods, and Avengers fans were out there to talk to while waiting in the various lines. It was so incredibly fun to spend almost all of the day talking about some of my favorite TV shows with people who share the same level of passion and knowledge.
But my entire day wasn’t just about Buffy – another panel I attended was called “Post-Apocalypse Now”. From the schedule blurb I thought it was going to be a general discussion of the representation of the end-of-the-world in books, TV, and movies, instead it was part musical and part game show. It was very weird but in a fun way. The panel also seemed like a vehicle for co-moderator Emmy Laybourne to promote her new YA-Novel MONUMENT 14, which is about fourteen kids stuck in a superstore during the Apocalypse – might be an interesting read.
I also caught part of a panel that featured writer, director, and producer Chris Columbus. He’s been involved in everything from Harry Potter to Goonies and Home Alone to the theatrical version of Rent. So while his films don’t exactly represent the pinnacle of cinematic excellence, it was still interesting to be in the same room as him and to hear what he had to say about choosing projects and the process of making movies.
The Showroom floor was another fun yet super crowded place to wander – it was like sensory overload with the hundreds of rows of vendors and hoards of costumed con-goers. (Spiderman, Doctor Who, Pokemon, Zombies, and Loki were among the most popular characters I saw wandering about.) I’m sure for some people the showroom floor is like hitting the jackpot but for me, I’m just thankful that my love for TV and movies doesn’t expand beyond the DVDs themselves. I manged to walk out of there with just one really awesome Twitter poster by an artist named Aaron Wood.
Just for kicks, my friend and I also did a session of Sci-Fi Speed Dating. All-in-all it wasn’t nearly as awkward as you’d expect. Basically, it was just another chance to talk to a bunch more people about the comic con experience and the nerdier things we love.
So that was my Saturday. A part of me still wishes I could have been in the IGN theater for the Firefly event, but I’m also happy with all I got to see and do with a one-day pass. And my big takeaway from the day – I need to be watching Doctor Who.
*I also read a lot of New York Comic Con survival guides after buying my tickets. Fun fact: You can bring food into the Javits Center, backpacks are encouraged, and having a schedule of the things you want to see and do is a must.