This year was my second comic-con and it could not have been more different than 2011. For one thing, it was even more crowded- I blame them once again for over-selling tickets- so not much time was spent on the show floor. Next year if I want to actually look at things to buy from vendors, I’ll go on Preview Night. Whereas last year I spent ALL my time upstairs, this year a great deal of time was spent in panels considering I actually read the schedule all the way through. Despite my Nicholas Brendon related anger. Due to this, many literary panels were discovered and chaos was mostly avoided. I say mostly because my fellow Bibliomantics and I spent a lot of time enjoying the semi-crowded Artist Alley (read about our Artist Alley Spotlight here).
Within this recap, you will find excitement over getting to merely see Terry Pratchett (who may or may not have been cosplaying the 9th Doctor), the joy of winning and receiving ARCs, the fear of getting the full wrath of Maureen Johnson’s stare, Chuck Palahniuk throwing severed body parts at fans, and plenty of “Supernatural” related shenanigans. Not to mention some awesome cosplay, my favorites included Baby Green Phoenix, Anya from the “Buffy” episode Once More With Feeling and a newly regenerated Doctor Whooves (see our full Cosplay Gallery here).
Due to the fact that this is a literary blog first and foremost, all book panels and other such nonsense will be highlighted in bold. Non-literary shenanigans will be in regular text. Feel free to read everything if you’re so inclined, or tell me to sod off if you’re only here for bookish things.
After some train related difficulties, Cassie-wa, Stephanie and I (dressed as Princess Bubblegum, Pinkie Pie and Castiel respectively) made it to the Javits Center for the first official day at NYCC! Depending on who you asked I could have also been dressed as the random woman at the train station, a poorly put-together 10th Doctor or a 10th Doctor who is color-blind. I said it in our cosplay post but I will say it again, NOT EVERYONE IN A TRENCH COAT IS THE 10TH DOCTOR!
Once we figured out how the silly basement of the Javits work- Mr. Con really should have organized it a tad better- we headed off to our first and probably once in a lifetime panel: Sir Terry Pratchett Introduces… Dodger. Terry. Fucking. Pratchett. I’m sorry, Sir Terry Fucking Pratchett. Sadly, the sound crew could not get his microphone working and the room was not conducive to soft spoken older British gentleman, but it was worth it just to see him. An excerpt was read from Dodger and there was the typical Q&A session. Terry informed the audience that Discworld will be getting a CSI-type show on British television and that he plans to write for as long as feasibly possible. Even if he retires. Cutest man ever.
Next up, Penguin Books held an event called Geek Geek Revolution. Led by Colleen Lindsay and featuring authors/panelists Amber Benson, Maureen Johnson, Morgan Rhodes, and Rachel Caine, the contestants were asked a series of nerd related questions including write-ins from the audience. If you stump the authors you won a tote of Penguin books! Think this in a carney voice: STUMP THE AUTHORS, WIN A PRIZE! Amber Benson spent the majority of the panel being ridiculous and a sickly Maureen Johnson was in deep concentration but still ended up getting kicked out of LeakyCon for mis-naming the Weasley children. There is no James Weasley. Poor, poor Charlie.
The evening started with the comedic stylings of our friends +2 Comedy, a three-man comedy troupe made up of Noah, Will and TJ who make jokes about all things nerdy. If I could classify it, I would call it nerd comedy, which I’m assuming has to be a thing. The best part, jokes aside, was the sassy interpreter who signed the entire show. Of course she was teased mercilessly and forced to repeatedly say “poopy” but it was a hell of an experience to watch her sign geeky words.
Closing out our first day was the Costume Contest, hosted by a guy who really knew how to use his sonic screwdriver. Literally. He fixed a broken microphone with it. As expected, the costumes were great, particularly the “Futurama” family with their baby Nibbler. Unexpectedly, the River Song who took the stage was crazy Bellatrix from LeakyCon! Whaaaat!?! She made an equally sassy River.
The night ended as it began, scaring the locals, but at the worst customer service diner as opposed to at a train station.
Our first event of the day involved lining up and waiting to get our hands/wands/paws/wings on Maureen Johnson’s The Madness Underneath ARC- snagging up some Karou palm tattoos and book sneak peeks in the process. We were comfortably enjoying LineCon before inevitably losing our favorite game: Not MJ while Maureen signed paperback copies of the Madness ARC and The Name of the Star (we love the new cover design)! In addition to receiving stare tattoos (I sadly lost mine) we received an IRL stare when we knocked over MJ’s sign. It was amazing and horrifying all at the same time. I peed myself just thinking about it.
Back where we saw Sir Terry, Chuck Palahniuk had a panel called From FIGHT CLUB To HELL and BACK to celebrate his first ever NYCC. In addition to free copies of Damned, which some poor assistant gave out, Chuck and his crew threw out signed severed body parts to the crowd. AMAZING! Rather than his typical reading of “Guts”, he read a new gross-out story titled “Boogeyman”. The Q&A was very informative and Chuck showed just how intelligent he is, stopping and thinking about each question before answering. Each query was equally important to him, and we loved that he came dressed up as Clark Kent to put himself in the comic-con spirit. Pure awesome!
Outside, an RV was set up to promote “The Walking Dead” which aired that Sunday. It was definitely worth facing food poisoning and eating out of a hot dog cart to get to see a zombie stay in character and moan at photos of food to place his order. We also got to witness a zombie scare the pants off a little girl when he snuck up on her. The funniest part of all this? Her father was dressed like the scariest Dracula ever, and he was forced to protect her. I smell a cross-over!
The night’s scheduled events ended with yet another Costume Contest, although this one included Walt and Jesse handing out blue meth, a “Captain Planet” sing-along, some cross-dressing from Captain America Lolita and Wonder Wo-Bear, and an LMFAO dance off. Only at comic-con.
However, the night’s shenanigans did not end there as two Castiels (or business people depending on who you ask) headed off to have dinner with Thor, a wizard, an Avatar, a Borderland’s character and two of Aang’s animal friends. Although occasionally they were three Castiels if the universe so deemed it. As expected, Castiels do not understand table manners or what the true purpose of condiments are. Why does Chef Sauce not taste like chef? There were many shenanigans and the waitstaff sold us a made-up beer by pretending it was a 12 cask limited NYCC brew. I have still yet to find its existence on the internet. Supposedly it was called the Bluepoint Defender. Whatever that means.
The final day of NYCC was all about “Supernatural” related shenanigans (I know, so many shenanigans) as all four of us were gender swapped characters from the show. Sisters Stephanie and Cassie were Sam/Samantha and Dean/Deanna, Kelly was Bobby/Bobbie, and I finished up my third day as Castiel/Cass. Being an angel with no social skills was so much fun! On the way to the convention center, we created a salt circle for demon purposes and sauntered up to the building while playing Kansas’ “Carry On My Wayward Son”. AKA the only acceptable reason to have a Kansas song on your phone.
The first event of the day was Geek Geek Revolution: The Sequel, once again hosted by the hysterical Colleen Lindsay but this time with completely different contestants- specifically authors Andrea Cremer, Anton Strout, Beth Revis, and Myke Cole. They were not as good as Friday’s contestants and thus the panel was renamed Geek Geek: Dead Silence. We did however learn that Pink Floyd personally funded Monty Python and the Holy Grail. AND… Stephanie and I stumped the authors (she with a Harry Potter question- Who gave Harry the gillyweed? and I with an “Invader Zim” question- What was the name of his home planet?) and we were handed a tote full of books. Most of them paranormal or sci-fi and one which was about werewolf incest. Yup.
Then it was onto the Kids/YA Publisher Spotlight for a chance to win more books via raffle and hear all about upcoming book releases. If only they hadn’t kept comparing books to other things! It’s The Hunger Games meets “Fear Factor”. Underwater. In space. The most exciting announcements in terms of releases we learned about through the panel included John Barrowan’s Scottish HP story Hollow Earth, the alien apocalypse novel The 5th Wave by Rick Yancey, the dystopic The Archived by Victoria Schwab where the dead are archived in the Library, and Elsie Chapman’s Dualed in which children are forced to kill their Alt, a different version of themselves. For a full list of the books in the panel, and all the upcoming books we learned about at comic-con, please see the Upcoming Book Release post here.
We ended the weekend as we began it, visiting Artist Alley and checking out the cosplay. We had a “Supernatural” photo-shoot in which Castiel didn’t understand photography, a few times, multiple times even, Sam and Dean looked to Bobby for protection, mourned over his body, (SPOILERS), and then cried. The best parts are when they cry. Strangely enough, we ran into another Castiel and another Dean (neither of whom knew each other) when we were preparing to leave and a blurry impromptu CW11 promo shoot ensued. Also some Deanstiel. Dean always hugs up!