Want a “Real” Star Trek Communicator? You Got It.

communicator-5-595x640

That’s right, you heard correctly. You will soon be able to flip open a communicator and call Scottie. If you have his number. The Wand Company, makers of the Harry Potter Wand Universal Remote and the Sonic Screwdriver Universal Remote, have announced that they’ll be unveiling a Star Trek Communicator that connects to your phone as a bluetooth speaker at Comic-con this year. The device answers calls by flipping open, and works as both a speaker and a microphone, so that you can communicate just as if you were Kirk stranded on an alien planet. It was made with something called “structured light 3D scanning,” which the makes boast makes it as accurate a replica of the original prop as is humanly possible. I’ll leave it to all my Trekkie friends to let me know if that’s true. Hit the jump for a full gallery of pictures of this stunningly beautiful piece, and let us know if you’re picking one up in the comments! Preorders were available right here for a bit, but it looks like they’re sold out right now. Hopefully more stock is made soon! Continue reading

The Wicked + The Divine Optioned by Universal Television

thewickedthedivine_1_B

 

Deadline reported Friday that comic book series The Wicked + The Divine has been optioned for television by Universal. The Wicked + The Divine is the breakout comic series by Image about a pantheon of gods that come to Earth and live the life of rock stars. The series explores fame, fandom, and our culture’s obsession with the concept of celebrity. It’s a breakout series that has exponentially and ironically grown into a cult hit over the past year. It’s second story arc wraps next issue, so now is the perfect time to jump on board by grabbing some trades.

This follows Sex Criminals as edgier comic book fare that are being adapted to the small screen, most likely as Netflix shows or some other type of premium cable. With everything comics incredibly in vogue right now, it’s not that surprising, but it’s great to see that people are willing to take chances on the riskier, fringe stuff in addition to the four color superheroes.

It’s Free Comic Book Day – So Go Spend Money!

It’s our favorite holiday of the year – Free Comic Book Day. The day that comic book giants and independents decide that the best way to get new readers and promote their upcoming titles is to just give their comic books away. It’s free! Just run to your local comic book shop, grab as many free comics as you can, and run for the hills, right?

No, not right. Because, you see, the comic book stores – the people that dispense your twenty two pages of illustrated crack for you every month – they actually have to PAY money to get these books. Not their usual prices, but they still have to ship them to their stores, and that’s not free. Not to mention however much they spend on the food, entertainment, or extra staff that they provide to make your Free Comic Book Day experience awesome.

At the top of this image is my haul for FCBD this year. The bottom three comics are the “free” ones I grabbed. Everything else I paid for – it was like $100 worth of comics and trades. And while you don’t have to break your wallet like I did, if you’re heading to an LCS for the day, you should really buy something. A t-shirt, the newest issue of X-men, a plastic green lantern ring – just something to show your appreciation for how awesome the store is for putting on an amazing event for you, year after year.

WONDER WOMAN ’77: All the World’s Been Waiting for You!

Wonder Woman ’77 illustration by Nicola Scott

Reading Wonder Woman ’77 has brought me, along with many other self appointed geeks, back to a very fun era. In my particular instance, when I was a child, I had an incredibly elaborate process for watching Lynda Carter’s Wonder Woman television show (yup…I just aged myself!). This involved becoming the character Diana, with whom I clearly identified and idolized. This transformative process was an obvious foreshadowing for my interest in an acting career. There were days of prep time involved that included: researching the character, finding & creating costumes, and processing or practicing the character’s essence. By the time Wonder Woman would air each week, you could find an ecstatic child (me) who would mimic every single action she did. To give you an idea of the thought I had put into this and just how much I was dressed to the “T” in my character’s garb, here’s what I had utilized to make the entire uniform:

  • My mother’s red boots, 
  • Blue underwear and a red t-shirt from my Underoos at the time. 
  • A golden belt made of yellow construction paper (or some other actual gold material), and yes, I had cut it into the shape of whatever belt style was appropriate for the season (NOTE: Season 1 belt was different than seasons 2 & 3). 
  • Rope which I had colored yellow and latched onto my belt (The rope style/draping also changed between seasons 1 and 2/3), 
  • A tiara made out of yellow construction paper with a red star drawn on it, 
  • A t-shirt on my head so that I had long hair like Wonder Woman, and…
  • Toilet paper rolls that I had cut, colored, and upon which I had drawn stars (the bracelet shape also changed between seasons).  Continue reading

SDCC’s Hotelpocalypse Now – How to Book A Room

To those who beat the odds and purchased a badge, I salute you. You made it soldier, but now unless you plan on sleeping in line for Hall H each night, you need a hotel room. Comic-con’s official hotel sale is this Tuesday, March 24th at 9 am.

In 2013 all hotels were gone in 3 min.
Last year all downtown hotels were gone in 90 seconds.

Comic-Con International has said it for years, the demand simply outweighs the supply of available hotel rooms. So how do you stand a chance against the hordes vying for a room? You plan like your life depends on it.

Step 1: Have a backup (if you can)

Unless you’ve found Doc Brown’s Delorian, you can’t go back in time to reserve cheap back up accommodations downtown. That being said there are still rooms out there but they’ll cost you. Some folks split with friends or folks they meet on reddit to negate the high cost, more on that later on. Check out vacation rental sites such as Airbnb and VRBO. Many locals leave town for Comic-con week and may list their place to negate the costs of their own vacations. There are several hostels in the downtown area, but do your research ahead of time. Some offer discounts for multiple people and others have private rooms, though these are usually booked months in advance.

Step 2: Practice

Yes, practice. I know it sounds crazy, but when the difference between no hotel and a dream hotel is seconds, every hesitation you can avoid counts. Memorize the order of the form and practice typing it all out on a word file. If something continually trips you up, like your phone number, have it copied and ready to paste in the moment. If you have multiple people in your party, have their info on a document to copy and paste into the form. Below is a shot of what the form has looked like in past years.

2013 Hotel Form
There is a complete and working practice form available through the Friends of CCI forums after registering as a user. Link Here.

Step 3: Know your Hotels

Information is power. This year there are over 50 hotels participating in what many like to call “Hotelpocalypse”. There are an unprecedented number of hotel rooms available this year and many more have opted to differentiate between rooms with fireplaces, rooms with views, suites and by bed type. It should be noted that these distinctions will count as separate hotel selections. Submissions must have exactly 6 hotel selections. But how do you choose? In large this depends on personal preference and the importance of price, location, room size and hotel quality. I recommend looking at TripAdvisor or Expedia for each hotel that fits your location and price guidelines. Check how much a room is when the convention is not in town, guest reviews, amenities and the number of total rooms. 
 Some hotels, like the Bristol (102 rooms) book out the entire hotel. However, as the Bristol is fairly close to the convention center (7 blocks) and reasonably priced ($188/night) you might have better luck with a larger, slightly more expensive hotel. Keep in mind that many of the large hotels may only have a percentage of rooms available through Travel Planners. Still, you may have better luck competing for a hotel like the Omni (511 rooms) or the Marriott Marquis (1,305 rooms) provided you are willing to pay a little extra or find others to share the room.

Step 4: Share for Success

If you have friends, family or co-workers you know are attending, try to make an alliance. Yes, an alliance like Survivor, because together you double, triple or quadruple your chances of getting a room. Just remember to write down their first & last names for a quick and easy cut & paste job when filling out the form. Note there is no guarantee of getting two beds and you may need to bring an air mattress to the hotel. The advantage to everyone trying for a hotel is not only do you have a better chance to get the hotel you really want, you may even get to choose between several you want. Check in with your group and strategize you lists for the best results. 
Don’t have a group? You can try to find one on Friends of CCI or reddit.com/r/comiccon . Please remember the standard rules of the internet apply… be safe & know who you’re talking to.

Step 5: Read up!

If you’re new to Comic-con or just the hotel sale the best advice I can give you is to read as much as you can. Below is a list of the pages I’ve found helpful.
General info & the all important official hotel list.
An indispensable guide. Map of all participating downtown hotels & detailed walk-through of the hotel form. Access to a practice hotel form with forum registration. According to the site a “Hotel Exchange” is coming soon. If you still have questions after all of that, check out the FAQ.

Overview of the general process.
A great quick guide. Although this was for last year, the system is reported by travel planners to be virtually unchanged.
A reminder of all the little things you might have overlooked in choosing the right hotel.
Comic-Con Google Map of convention adjacent and nearby hotels, parking, restaurants, grocery stores, bars, trolly & bus stations.
Best of luck and remember you can still opt out of all this madness if you prefer. CCI’s Hotel Pre-Sale will remain live until March 24th when hotel reservations open up. 
Rose Marie Fox will be entering Hotelpocalypse for the 5th time this year. Comic-Con is her favorite holiday.

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Is Marvel skipping SDCC?

For the past two or three years, the absolute highlight of the madness known as San Diego Comic Con’s Hall H has been whatever surprises Marvel has cooked up for the fans. From Tom Hiddleston showing up in full costume and character as Loki, to seeing the entire Avengers cast together on stage for the first time, they’ve always brought something to stop the show.

Which makes it interesting to think that this year, they may not be there at all.

In answering a fan Q&A session on his personal Facebook, James Gunn dropped this particular bomb:

Cue the fan freak out. In response to whether he might be playing with his fans or trying to trick us, Gunn said the following:


@starglooms: @JamesGunn @DrunkenShots guys, he could be lying” I have never lied about anything to the fans, ever.
— James Gunn (@JamesGunn) March 7, 2015


So what does this mean? With Avengers: Age of Ultron dropping a few months before SDCC, Marvel may feel like they don’t need to be there, although they could still show to promote Ant-Man. If they don’t show at all, the lines for Hall H could be significantly shorter this year.

Or longer, as people assume Marvel will show up to surprise them, and then riot when they don’t.

I Really Wanted To Like Kingsmen…

I truly wanted to like Kingsmen. Adapted from a comic by writer Mark Millar (Kickass, Civil War) and directed by Matthew Vaughn (Kickass, X-Men: First Class) it looked like the comic book action flick I’ve been dying for this winter. True, the movie had gadgets, eccentric villains, an unlikely hero and a secret society… but when it all came together not only did it fall flat, it made me feel gross for watching it.

Why do all the “best” assassins have a thigh gap these days…

In its best moments, Kingsmen reminds you what it means to be a real gentleman, shows class injustice through a series of worst case scenarios and then serves to prove secret agents are the good guys because they care about the little people. Despite this, I just cannot shake what I found problematic and sickening about the film, because at its worst the movie lacks restraint, relishes in violent ignorance, promotes sexism and has a convoluted plot.

Several of my favorite movies ever made are absurdly violent. Kill Bill, Battle Royale, Clockwork Orange, Fight Club, 300. But humor in the midst of such violence is an art, and not one Kingsmen does well. There are movies that have achieved this, think Bad Boys, Hot Fuzz, Big Trouble in Little China. However in the case of Kingsmen, the overt and constant level of blood and gore mixed with colored smoke and sparklers leaves me hollow. By all rights, Eggsy is a solid main character. He’s a diamond in the rough, plucked out of obscurity by a gentleman patron who fought with his father. These are solid action movie beginnings, but I never got excited by Eggsy’s performance in the spy program. The filmmakers failed to make me feel for him… and this gave way to disillusionment with the Kingsmen agency as a whole – and how they operate.

There is a plot by a wealthy and eccentric meglomaniac to activate an electronic signal that will switch off every human’s ability to inhibit violent thought thus turning them into pseudo rage-zombies. Through several failures and oversights on the part of the Kingsmen this plot proceeds leading to several minutes of extreme violence. Seconds before the doomsday device is set off the camera focuses on Eggsey’s best friends, and his mother and little sister – reminding us they will all die if the villian played  by Samuel L. Jackson presses the doomsday button. We care for them, and then we are forced to watch as these characters plus nameless millions attempt to tear each other limb from limb with whatever they can find. Overhead shot after overhead shot shows the hordes of angry men, women and children attack and claw and kill from afar. It was unnecessary and did nothing to endeer me to the Kingsmen agency, who at this moment in the movie are joking and attempting a comedic take at James Bond antics.

“meh”

The difference between James Bond and the Kingsmen is in a James Bond movie, you never see blood and the villains never win. Bond movies can be slow and tedious and I appreciate Kingsmen’s attempt at creating an explosion filled romp through the genre. However, the violent and horrific deaths in addition to the large body count due to both good guy and bad guy actions, made me feel sick and hate the Kingsmen. I won’t root for a “good guy” who just wasted time talking to a pretty girl when he should be saving the world. I won’t cheer for the team that just exploded a bunch of world leaders’ heads… even if they were the bad guys. Am I supposed to cheer while Obama’s head explodes into fireworks? Watch the violent murder of enough people get glorified and you start to wonder… why did they do that?

Splode.

Maybe the filmmakers are geniuses and wanted audiences to feel the Kingsmen organization was to be questioned.  Perhaps the point was for viewers to leave feeling the way I did – uneasy at the celebration a clear abuse of power. Perhaps the film’s purpose was to remind us that if we let people have too much money, too many gadgets, give away too much of our freedom bad things happen.  Or maybe the film was a poor adaptation of yet another Mark Millar comic. I enjoy a dumb action movie as much as anyone, but I don’t know what type of story they wanted to tell with Kingsmen. If it was a Spy thriller, it was too violent. If it was a hero’s journey I didn’t care about the hero. If it was a dumb action movie, it was half-assed. The resulting film is a crass mix of exploding heads, gadgets, booze and civilian deaths.

“Oh, Hey baby wanna ruin a movie in a single scene?”

Feminist Bonus:

There is one final enraging detail of Kingsman. Towards the second act there is a Nordic princess who is imprisoned by the villain for not going along with his evil plan. He says she is too useful to kill… forgets about her for the remainder of the film. This woman sits alone, yelling in a cell beside a dozen other debutantes and diplomats for weeks. And then one day our shining hero, Eggsy comes mid battle and hears her cries. Opening the viewing door to her cell he is taken by her beauty and asks for a kiss if he can free her. She gamely promises to give him more than a kiss if he gets her out. Eggsy has to go stop the villain, so she promises him “sex in the asshole” to do his job and save the world.

This woman is imprisoned in a jail cell, likely malnourished and dehydrated (not to mention shower-less). This non-character is abused just to make sure Eggsy gets some ass-action at the end of the film. I got the distinct impression we were supposed to cheer for him getting to stick it in there. Now that’s just gross. There is nothing wrong with butt sex, the part I’m against is where a character only serves to give it to a questionable hero she doesn’t even know. Yeah, I’m judging this script. I could be reading too much into it, but I got a little sick to my stomach seeing that level of sexual entitlement pushed as an ending on screen. I’m not a fan of this kind of “dude, bro” cinema. It is unnecessary, and should stop. Now if you’ll excuse me, I’m going to go write an action script where the girl saves the guy and the final scene is her sticking a dildo up his arse… come on, Hollywood you’re down, right?

Rose Marie Fox lives with her pet rabbit monster in sunny Los Angeles. She enjoys improv comedy, making things, cosplay and talking peoples’ ears off. Don’t feed her after midnight.

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How to Prep for Comic Con

Official logo courtesy of Comic Con International – trademark & copyright of CCI

Today is a very special day for self-appointed geeks and dorks (like myself) all around the world. You know what I’m talking about. That first day where we are each given the opportunity to vie for access to that magical item which grants us each safe passage between worlds. Not just ANY magical item. It’s that Golden Ticket for which we will be permitted to access the chocolate factory of which every geek dreams. Yes, my friends, today is the very first day of Comic Con Registration. The online open registration went up today at 8:00am PST, and as usual sold out immediately – in fact, faster than ever before. Those fleeting comic con tickets bring to my attention the fact that not every geek has been fortunate enough to have completed this Odyssey. There is an entire generation of geeks and dorks everywhere who must be indoctrinated into the ways of Con. Like Athena appearing to Odysseus guiding him through his journey, that is where I appear to help introduce you to and prepare you for the comic con experience. Here are some tips and tricks I hope that newcomers (and oldcomers alike) will find helpful.

Photo Courtesy of Honolulu Pulse (Associated Press 2012)
WHAT YOU’LL SEE:
If you’ve never been to con, then you’ve probably only seen it on television or the interweb. AceOfGeeks is probably one of the coolest ways to find out what you’ll experience. Here’s a shameless plug…er, I mean a cool video of my coverage of some of last year’s ComicCon experience for AceOfGeeks – CLICK HERE.

HOTELS: 
Two words for you: BOOK AHEAD! Use GroupOn, use points, use friends and family discounts, use anything you can! Because the price for rooms during SDCC are often double the normal rate, or more, my personal recommendation (and favorite) is to stay with a local friend! I have a comic con buddy that I have been attending the con with for about 10 years. We always stay with his cousin and take public transportation over to the con. It saves us HUNDREDS and hundreds of dollars every year. So, trust me on this one and find a friend or family member to stay with, even if you don’t like them. It will cut your costs down more than you can imagine, and besides, you won’t see them much anyway.
SCHEDULE: 
The schedule for Comic Con is beyond massive, and there is no way that you’ll be able to see or do everything. I realize that most people are not as anal and weirdly methodical as i am. My scheduling process is usually pretty lengthy, and consists of multiple steps (which I will not bore you with). However, I highly recommend that you take some time and review the schedule at least a week in advance. This will give you the ability to properly plan so that you can see all the important things you desire. Just keep in mind a few things:
  1. There are always lines for panels, and depending on the size of the panel, you could be in line for hours. (Or, in the case of Hall H, a full day.)
  2. If your panels or events are far apart, there is a commute time to take into consideration.
  3. There will be a TON of things to do outside the con. You won’t believe it. Just plan at least one day outside the con…you’ll see!
  4. There are highlight events at con which are: The Eisner Awards, The Masquerade Ball, World Premiere screenings, Artist Talkbacks, and signings. You should keep an eye out for those.
  5. Plan on attending parties. There will be tons now that Hollywood, whose population generally has absolutely no idea of anything about comic books, has come and ruined comic con…ooops, did I say that out loud?
  6. The convention floor is massive and during busy days (like Friday and especially Saturday) can take 30 minutes just to get across. You will NEVER be able to do everything on the convention floor. So plan on spreading it out over a few days.
  7. You need to rest and eat at some point.
Last year’s Warner Bros panel revealed the new Wonder Woman costume 
and her appearance in the Superman/Batman film. Photo courtesy of WN.com.
PACKING: 
“Leave room” should be your mantra. You are going to come home with a lot more than you left. You may not think you will, but trust me you will! Leave yourself tons of room and only take the essentials. When it comes to products, just remember that shampoo, conditioner, lotion, soap, etc. will all be provided by your hotel or be at your friend’s house. It just takes up space and you don’t need anything more than your toothbrush, deodorant, and full line of facial products (WHAT?!? I thought everyone used a full line of facial products?).
FOOD: 
There is a Ralph’s grocery store in the gaslamp district. Since eating out can be incredibly costly and the food inside the convention center is beyond costly, hit Ralph’s and stock up your hotel fridge or the fridge of your friend with whom you’re staying, and pack your meals each day. You’ll eat healthier and cheaper.
Captain America eating on floor at NY Comic Con. Photo courtesy of Vice.com
COSTUMES: 
“Less is more” is the name of the game here. If I do a costume, I always do one that has a simple black base with add-ons or decals to go over. This way it doesn’t take up much room in my suitcase and is easily interchangeable. Example: I can go from Nightwing to WonderMan to Batman Beyond and it will be like packing three costumes, but only taking up a small amount of space. In addition, I wear clothes that are often considered or double as cosplay. This is also a great way to pack costumes efficiently.
Comic Con costume photos courtesy of The Advocate Magazine – 2014
Daniel Radcliff made a shocking appearance in by attending the con in costume in 2014.  
Photo courtesy of Twitter user @alongcameHolly5
CLOTHING: 
Again, you don’t need a lot here. Most people are just wearing jeans and T-Shirts. Matter of fact, that’s pretty much the comic con uniform. There are a couple of things you need to take into consideration: 1) you’re probably going to get free Tees and clothing when you get there, and 2) If you’re like me, you’re probably going to purchase t-shirts while you’re there. Therefore, my recommendation is always to pack a few pair of socks, underwear, but only one pair of jeans, one pair of shorts, and the most comfortable pair of shoes you have (Because you’ll be doing a ton of walking), a dress shirt for events. All of the free clothes you get and tees you buy will make up the rest of your trip. Oh, and this is also another reason to pack light. 😉
Robert Downey Jr. dresses to impress in this photo courtesy of JustJared.com (2012)
TRANSPORTATION: 
Getting to San Diego can be easy if you’re creative. Since I know that everyone and their grandmother is traveling at certain times, I either go at off times, or use creative/non-traditional modes of transport. For instance, my path is usually that I fly down to LA the day before preview day (on a ticket that I’ve purchased WAY in advance). This way I can spend time with friends and really ease into the idea of the con. Then I drive down early on preview day. Usually prior to the time that everyone has even begun thinking about arriving (early am is great). This gives me time to watch everything get set up and get acclimated/plan my weekend out. When moving around in San Diego during the con, I usually take the free shuttles provided in the Gaslamp district, or else I take public transportation. The public transportation system often gets me where I need to go faster than Lyft or Uber. Since the train is on it’s own tracks/system, it can be especially helpful if you take the train during rush hour traffic jams.
Photo of the Ecto-1 courtesy of ScreenCave & Sasha Perl-Raver (2010)
There you have it everyone. A few of my personal tips and tricks to making your comic con experience the best and most affordable it can be. Just to give you an idea of how affordable your comic con experience can be, one year I pulled out all the stops and:
  • used points for my flight,
  • stayed with a friend,
  • got a comped badge through a company for which I had worked,
  • bought food at Ralph’s grocery store/packed my lunches,
  • and used almost every free handout for stuff at the con.
Even with the few things that I bought on the convention floor, I’ll never forget that not only did my con buddy and I get to see each and every thing that we wanted to see, but I made it out of the con only spending $200 for the entire trip. It was a miracle, and I don’t ever expect to get out of there spending that little money ever again. But it was proof that with a little planning and forethought, you really can have a fun and affordable comic con experience. I hope that this helps you all out even if in the smallest way. We geeks have to stick together. And if you can’t make it to comic con, be sure to stay tuned to all the excitement here at AceOfGeeks!

Brian J. Patterson is a writer and actor splitting his time between San Francisco and Los Angeles. His house is a shrine to Wonder Woman.

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New York Comic Con Report!

New York Comic Con, held every year at The Jacob Javits Center and ran by ReedPop,  is runwith a skeleton crew of 40 blue shirt volunteers (sounds like a joke from Star Trek) risking life and limb to give us the best four days of comics, movies, tv shows and geek entertainment possible. With crowds of 150,000 on Thursday and reaching upwards of record breaking 250,000 (beating numbers at San Diego Comic Con!) on the highlight day, Saturday, this year’s show was the best yet in relation to organization, guests, panels and quality. However, it had a rocky start, with unprecedented ticket sales that were sold out in under 30 minutes online and at retailers. People were calling in every favor possible to score their passes.

The very first thing I noticed entering this years NYCC, was being able to enter a few hours early with my coveted exhibiters pass, but unlike last year, I couldn’t bring my four day pass BFF with me. The staff was stricter, and insisted she wait in the line 4 blocks back on Thursday. Yes you read right…since when has a Thursday ever had a line outside, let alone 4 blocks long?! Realization hit me then. Gone are the days of low key Thursdays at NYCC. Despite this, the line moved quick and 30 minutes later, she was inside and with me, and we were off, exploring the wonders that awaited us. Home, at last! Despite the increase in ticket holders, the space didn’t feel nearly as claustrophobic as the previous year. Last year I recall feeling trapped and unable to breathe, but somehow even on the busiest day (and I know you all know what I’m talking about-Saturday-you loathsome day! And yet, you are the day when all the best panels are held, and all the best celebrity sightings occur…alas! I loathe and cannot quit you!) I still felt able to move, and the longest lines I witnessed were for panels like The Walking Dead, (The zombie fans arrived at 5am for a 3pm panel! That’s true dedication!), which for the first time required wrist bands for entrance, making sure no overcrowding occurred (it still did, but somehow, it was more organized than before, and if you were turned away, wel,l it was your own fault for not getting a wristband. D’oh!) I did stand in an excessively long line for an autograph on Friday, only to find that on Sunday that same guest had no line, but live and learn! (Stephen Amell, You were so worth the 2 hour wait to talk about traffic patterns in LA vs. New York! And I still disagree, LA is worse) In general, the guests this year seemed to really take their time speaking with each person in line to meet them, and I personally never felt rushed out of any line by anyone, though I heard ranging stories about the security staff from peers of mine. There were some who felt they were strict and unfriendly, but that was just not my experience.

This years staff, the same who run my favorite convention, C2E2, in Chicago, were relatively on point, with only 40 in blue shirts, (those who volunteered their time) a few in grey (managers who are on staff) and a few yellow and black security provided by Javits security team. I rarely felt any staff were nasty or rude to me, and when they were, I felt able to kindly correct them, and was quickly apologized to. It was always a misunderstanding, and I was able to show them my pass and explain to them why I wasn’t moving from where I was, and again, I was allowed access, or passage, or whatever dumb (#awesome) thing I was trying to do. The most “rudeness” I experienced was from those running the Bandai booth, setting up a free signing for Street Fighter: Assassin’s Fist, and this was being run by their own team, not by anyone on staff by NYCC. For some reason, line management wasn’t something this particular booth could handle, or even wanted to, and with limited NYCC staff on the show floor, there wasn’t anyone around to help. Honestly, if that’s the worst that happened? I’ll survive. I’m not trying to sound like a damn girl scout, and believe me, I’m a bi***. But, I don’t let small issues like grouchy individuals ruin my convention experience. It’s that simple, and face it, by Saturday, we’re all exhausted, waking up at 5 or 6 to put on cosplays, make up, set up booths, drive if you have to from places as far as Jersey (and I heard some people took the train from Pennsylvania). Conventions are exhausting, so I refuse to let someone who didn’t have enough coffee or sleep to ruin my four days. And again, it happened so rarely this weekend, I barely noticed. I even commended the staff on a job well done and was given a button to say thank u for being a good attendee (an amazing steampunk ferret button!), which only made me feel more welcome by this new staff. I hope ReedPop keeps this new crew on, because I have had two great experiences with them.

Somehow, this year seemed less rushed; panels were spread out, with not every big event happening at the same time. And although I’m not a huge panel attendee, if I wanted to go to Walking Dead (aside potentially having to spend all day in lines waiting for wristbands and then again to get the perfect seat in the main stage) I wouldn’t necessarily miss another “big” show stopper panel in the main stage. Of course, this also depends on what you classify as “big.” I personally felt they miscategorized a few items, (*ahem* Karate Kid*) which should have been in a bigger event space. Also new this year was main stage clearing. No more worrying if you would get a seat for the next big event, because those before you couldn’t just hang out all day in the main hall. However, the smaller event rooms weren’t cleared, and so that remained an ongoing issue still.

…I may have been slightly biased for the Karate Kid.

Best events? George Clooney surprising everyone with Hugh Laurie at the Tomorrowland panel! Star Trek panels and the ability to take a cast photo with 9 TNG members or meet and greet with them individually! For anime fans, three Sailor Moon panels and Dragon Ball Z! One thing I noticed this year was that were more screenings. There was a screening by BBC America of Dr. Who, a new Kill La Kill episode and a preview for The Walking Dead. Also the 20 year Crow panel that has been making the rounds at all the cons always screens some of the movie if not all of it. Walking into the show floor and being greeted by a giant head of Smaug, with mechanical eyes? I swooned. Now…if we could get it to speak….that would have been a thing!  There was an entire room dedicated to The Mary Sue, fangirls and anti-bullying. In a wonderful move this year, Anti-harassment/CINC signs were posted frequently and I was only made aware of a few small incidents. They were handled by staff swiftly and appropriately, including kicking out individuals who were inappropriate. And although they didn’t involve me, I was made aware of them, and still felt safe. There are lots of forms of bullying, and it definitely occurs at these events, but I think they did a fair job of handling the major incidents I was aware of.

Now let’s talk Cosplay! Which let’s face it, as a cosplayer, it’s a big reason I go to events. I was surprised by the amount of cosplay on Thursday, but given the things I’ve already mentioned, like ticket sale increase, it makes sense. Everyone is making the most of the tickets they have. There were some really amazing cosplays! And I got to meet some cosplay heroes of mine, including Jessica Nigri, Batbunny Cosplay and Starbit Cosplay, who all brought their A game to the con. While I missed out on meeting a ton of other masterful cosplayers, too many to list, check out Flickr and Facebook, and you won’t be disappointed. There was the usual overabundance of Deadpools and Harley’s, but to be honest that has never bothered me, because they all looked amazing. Kudos to them for not giving a hoot was anyone says, and for cosplaying a character they love. The best costume I saw was an amazing Groot and Rocket that lit up and stopped traffic on the main floor.  This year was the year of Street Fighter, there were tons of Ryu’s and Kens fighting all over the con (I myself was a female Ryu) As expected a dozen Elsa’s all done beautifully….surprisingly very few Master Chief’s (is his time up?). I felt the level of cosplay was really high this year, with families bringing their children all four days in full family cosplays like baby Starlords with mama Rockets and daddy Groots, and baby Iron Mans, baby Spidey’s and yes, a family of mini Cobra Kai’s vs. Daniel’s (the highlight of that panel for me! this is parenting done so epic!) What I experienced was support for everyone, no matter what the level of cosplay was. That is 100% what cosplay is and what I LOVE to see at NYCC.

This year, for me, was not spent waiting around or pushing through angry mob crowds. (Although there were some – Was anyone there for the Daredevil panel bracelet line that initially was cancelled due to excessive aggression?!) I spent it truly enjoying the crowds, the smaller panels, the show room full of happy vendors. (some of my faves: The Colorful Geek, Jordandene, and TC Toys.) They genuinely seemed pleasant and not overwhelmed by crowds who could barely move let alone shop (I heard some vendors say they made their target sales goal on Thursday!!) and meeting the few celebs I set aside the cash for.  I did hear a few complaints that security was strict and uncool (one complaint was that they were pushy about line management and fire codes regarding how many bodies could be in a room)  I heard some ridiculous ones about being in a crowd of people and no one stopping to say excuse me, well, with 250,000 people in a venue, that shit happens, move on. You can’t let small things like that color the whole weekend’s experience. Overall, this show was a huge success and is only getting better.

So what does it need for next year? More staff for better control of lines on the show floor. Bigger rooms for panels and longer show floor hours. With the con growing and more people coming, it needs to expand.

And of course, last but not least, are the NYCC parties. If you’re not invited to at least one, you might’ve been hiding under a rock. You don’t have to go to a NYCC sponsored event to have a great time, you can make the party! Whether you attended the costume event at Bowlmore Lanes, or the Game of Thrones event at Twins Pub, or a Vampire Freaks rave, you’re bound to find the perfect after-party event. With the newly minted Super Week, a week full of NYCC sponsored events, including concerts, sneak peeks and panels hosted by William Shatner, NYCC will never be the same. We will never be the San Diego, a city that shuts down and becomes a convention. But we are New York, and we’re damn proud of it.

Kit Cosplay is a proud cosplayer since early childhood. She’s a full time art therapist, full time cosplayer, an artist, designer, fangirl, geek and different from all the other pretty pennies out there.

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