Over two weeks have passed since the end of New York Comic-Con 2014 and I am still trying to adjust to my mundane life. The first few days after, my legs hurt, I was exhausted (I didn’t have the following Monday off–or the next two weeks for that matter), and I want more free stuff. I basically treated it like an amusement park: bring snacks, wear comfy shoes, lots of walking, lots of waiting in line for one attraction, severe exhaustion, and some fan moments can give you the same adrenaline as a rollercoaster. For my first con ever, I think it was super successful: I got to go to all the major panels I wanted, I hung out with both established and new blerd friends, Stephen Amell gave me a hug, I got some free books and t-shirts, I bought my first graphic novel series (Legend of the Mantamaji), and… did I mention Stephen Amell gave me a hug (there’s that rollercoaster adrenaline I was talking about before)? More on that later, but he wears soft sweaters. I’m going to do a separate post on some of the panels I went to, and another post on some of the artists I met, but here’s how my con went in general.
I trekked crosstown from 7th Ave and 42nd St to the Javits Center. The Javits is huge! I think it’s about four blocks long and has three floors: there was the show floor, the sort of main floor where they had a Batman exhibit with the different Batsuits and where you could go to Artist Alley, then the lower level where they had photo ops and autograph booths, as well as the panel rooms. Thursday was crowded, but I’d learn that it would only get worse as the weekend progressed.
Here’s some of the Batman 75 stuff:
I spent time on the show floor, checking out different booths–I immediately bought the limited edition Sailor Moon t-shirt and was given a free tote bag, which was useful all weekend to hold my swag (con people still say swag right? I’m not sure it’s my favorite word for free stuff). I walked Artist Alley a bit and spoke to a couple of black artists (separate post on that). And I took a few pictures of people in cosplay. Later in the evening, I hung out with Ashley and Erika of GeeksandCleats.com, went to the #WeNeedDiverse(Comic)Books panel and the Geeks of Color Go Pro panel (more on those later too).
I came straight for the Women of Color in Comics panel. This one was in a pretty big room and had a lot of great speakers and quotable moments. I hung out with Kia Barbee of Elmhurst Entertainment and met black superheroine Helvetika Bold.
She held court before and after the panel, handing out her comic and discussing our super powers as social justice warriors. I hung around and took some pictures after the panel, then went back and explored the floor some more. I met up with the GeeksandCleats.com crew again and we went to a Marvel Animation panel, where we saw some clips from Spiderman Web Warriors, Marvel’s Agents of SMASH, and a short clip of the new Guardians of the Galaxy animated series coming to Disney XD.
I met up with some other friends and we walked the show floor a little more and I got a photo with my buddy R2D2! I was exhausted from all the walking, so I headed home, vowing to pack lighter the next day.
This little boy had me beat though.
I had one main goal: get into the Stephen Amell Spotlight. The Arrow star was sure to be a popular draw and he was in the second biggest panel room. I met up with new #blerdherd friend Alexandra and we got in line immediately, getting into the Powers panel right before it. The Powers panel was cool–I’ve never read the series, but the idea of a police procedural investigating superhero deaths is really awesome. Too bad you need a Playstation to watch it. I think the first episode will be available other places, but then you’ll need a system to watch the series. The cast was there and there was banter for an hour, but I think half the room was waiting for Stephen. Alexandra got us in the third row (after a tense moment where I questioned our burgeoning friendship). Stephen came out and the moderator asked only a few questions before turning it over to the audience. You can watch the panel online.
Stephen has proven again and again that he’s great at knowing even the smallest details of his show and character as well as teasing bits ahead without giving too much away. When Colin Donnell (Tommy Merlyn) came out, the entire audience shrieked for about a minute. You might want to turn your volume down towards the middle of the panel video. It was a great panel and later, Alexandra and I went over his Stephen’s photo signing table to thank him for answering Alexandra’s question. He remembered her and, since we were last, came around to give her a hug. I asked for one too and we went on our merry way, shaking in disbelief that this was our lives. If comic-con had ended then, it would have been a raging success. But for me, it wasn’t over yet!
Just before the hug! I might look at him like that too if I got to assist him all day.
I chose to sleep in a little, because after three days, I was exhausted. I arrived around 1:30 and went straight for the Sleepy Hollow line. I got a wristband (required for panels in the Main Stage auditorium) and got food before meeting up with some friends on line. The panel was awesome. Producers Len Wiseman and Mark Goffman sat with actors Sakina Jaffrey, Lyndie Greenwood, and Orlando Jones. They answered a few questions from the moderator, then showed us half of the upcoming episode. It was so much fun watching it with an audience.
When Orlando Jones came on screen during the episode, we all cheered. Then they opened the audience up to questions. It was a great panel and of course Trollando was hilarious. By the time that was over, there wasn’t much time to circle the floor one last time before it closed at 5pm. I did some rounds looking for free things and a Wonder Woman tiara, but I only snagged a book on Ichabod Crane.
As I was leaving the Javits Center, I saw what was probably the quintessential NYCC moment: two guys hauling their fully built TARDIS from the Javits to 42nd Street.
I had so much fun. I did nearly everything I wanted and a few more, got a lot of cool things and got to hang out with some great people (comic-con is a great bonding experience). I uploaded more pictures to my Flickr account so this post wouldn’t be 20 pages long! Check them out here: New York Comic-Con Photos for Black Girl Nerds.
I am so thankful and satisfied with my first con. I want to thank Jamie for allowing me to represent the Black Girl Nerds Community at NYCC. I’m still working on the being an extrovert part, but I was comforted by the number of black girl nerds I saw at the con and it felt easy to approach those I did to ask them for a picture. As was said by Alitha Martinez at the Women of Color in Comics panel, “[We]’re here, [we]’ve been here, and [we]’ll be here.” I want to thank Ashley, Erika, Kia, Moneke, Fae, Sulagna, and Alexandra for hanging out with me so I didn’t walk around like a loner the whole time. I also want to thank everyone for the advice they sent: I brought sandwiches and water on Thursday and Friday, I wore comfy shoes, I brought cash, and I learned not to pack such a big bookbag by Sunday.
I made some new friends and got to be around people who didn’t let adulthood take away their childlike joy and enthusiasm. I’ve never really read comics before (though I watch comic characters in visual media: tv/movies), but I bought my first graphic novel and I learned a lot about comic history and might try to find somewhere to start with many characters–have I mentioned Wonder Woman yet?
Keep an eye out for #BGNNYCC posts on the diversity panels I attended and the black artists I met. And check the #BGNnycc hashtag on twitter for some of my tweets during the con. I really hope to be able to attend next year and one day the Con to Rule Them All: Sandiego Comic-Con.
::Still looking for lost sleep and a nice Wonder Woman tiara. If either are found, please send to me @ConStar24 on Twitter::