Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Baby's First Comic Con

I've always wanted to go to Comic Con. Well, not necessarily always — but the idea of hanging out with a bunch of like-minded, fellow geeks while indulging in pop culture has had long-standing appeal for me. The first time I even realized such gatherings existed was back when I was about 12 or 13 years old, finally making my official entry into the geek world by becoming an X-Phile. As I discovered the wonders of the online fan community, I learned about how my fellow fans celebrated our fandom in real life, by attending events like X-Files conventions. Better yet, I discovered that there were conventions for numerous other TV shows, comics, and more.

I never had a chance to go to anything like the X-Files conventions back then. But I never forgot about the concept either. And as I grew older, and less dependent on my parents, I vowed that I would attend a similar event when I got older.

So I finally fulfilled my own promise by attending the fourth annual New York Comic Con this past weekend. While I'm not necessarily a hardcore comic geek, I'm no stranger to the comic world. For one thing, I'm a Batman fan, and while my love for the Caped Crusader really began with Batman: The Animated Series, I have been acquiring more and more graphic novels over the years — and I've even borrowed a few from friends. And I used to follow Spider-man comics when I was much younger. Throw in my love for science fiction TV shows, and voila — you've got my reasons for attending something like Comic Con. It may be huge and chaotic, but it's the perfect place for a person like me to indulge in assorted geeky interests.

I only wound up going for one day — Saturday, also the most crowded day — but I had an amazing time. Despite the fact that I really only had time to attend one panel, there was so much to do and see! I was able to line up early on to get an autographed poster promoting the new Wonder Woman movie — and the reason why this really excited me was because I was able to get former Batman: The Animated Series producer Bruce Timm's autograph. I discovered the joy of wandering through the artists' alley, and got into a really fun conversation about Batman and the animated series' creative team with a guy working at a table while my friend was getting a sketch commissioned by a neighboring artist. I indulged in my recently-developed Doctor Who obsession by spotting a few people dressed like the fourth and tenth doctors in the crowd, and buying a t-shirt. (I could have had something signed by the sixth doctor, Colin Baker, but I'll confess that I'm really only familiar with the new Doctor Who series). And while I bought numerous graphic novels and comic books, I was also able to grab fun free swag like pins with the Batman and Flash symbols on them.

The atmosphere was just fantastic. Everyone there seemed to be having a great time, I discovered that it was easy to get into friendly conversations with the majority of people there, and it was also tons of fun running around and taking pictures of or with people in costume.

So like I previously said, I only had time for one panel that day, and I wound up attending the Top Cow panel for Beserker, featuring Milo Ventimiglia (of Heroes fame). Ventimiglia is officially "presenting" the upcoming comic, so he was on hand to discuss the subject matter along with the writers and artists involved in the product's creation. It was an interesting panel, and while the concept is definitely on the gory side, it's pretty cool. More information about it can be found in this October Q & A.

Those of us attending the panel were fortunate enough to attend a signing just for us once it was over, and we were able to get our copies of Beserker Issue #0 signed by those at the panel, including Milo himself. Needless to say, this wound up being a major highlight for me. I'm a longtime Milo fan (dating back to his time on Gilmore Girls). While I have a love-hate relationship with Heroes right now, I brought my copy of Heroes Season 1 along just in case. Milo ended up being incredibly gracious, making eye contact and shaking my hand while introducing himself as soon as I got to him. And he actually seemed pleased when I told him I'd been following his work since Gilmore Girls — because let's face it, that means I've been a fan for a good eight years now. I wound up leaving with a signed comic book, signed DVD set, and this picture (as seen on the left) that Milo took himself. Utterly fantastic.

All in all, it was very worth it. The only real drawback was the lack of crowd control — things could have been more organized with the autograph area, and certain alleys could have had more space to accommodate the huge crowds. But despite that, I can certainly see myself going back for more Comic Cons in the future.

(Photo Credits: The Storm Troopers were taken by my friend Gina, the picture with Milo Ventimiglia was taken by the man himself with my camera, the rest are by me)


Anonymous said...

Ja !

Shubha said...

I love the Storm Troopers' poses. It's so "How you doin'?" ;-)