New York Comic Con 2009
By Justin Simonich
It was my first time going to a Comic Con and I didn’t quite know what to expect. In order to prepare for my first time I went to their website to try and see just what it was I was getting into. To my horror one of the first things I saw was their weapons policy. THEY HAVE A WEAPONS POLICY !!! I had no idea that comic book aficionados were so dangerous. Here is their actual policy listed below.
The following items are forbidden at New York Comic Con:
- Functional firearms (including air soft guns, BB guns, cap guns, paintball guns, and pellet guns)
- Functional projectile weapons (including blow guns, crossbows, long bows, silly string, slingshots, water balloons, and water guns)
- Metal-bladed weapons (including axes, daggers, hatchets, knives, kunai, shuriken, swords, sword canes, and switch blades)
- Explosives (including firecrackers and fireworks)
- Chemical weapons (including mace and pepper spray)
- Blunt weapons (including brass knuckles, clubs, and nunchaku)
- Hard prop weapons (including props made of metal, fiberglass, and glass)
I decided to push through the fear and attend the convention despite the obvious danger I was placing myself in. After waiting in what can only be described as an underground holding cell for nearly an hour, I made my way onto the convention floor. I was greeted by the largest collection of geeks in one place I have ever seen. The Javits Center was packed shoulder to shoulder with them. But not only Geeks, there were Nerds, Dweebs, Dorks, Goobers, Goofballs, Techies and Trekkies. What’s the difference you might ask? Well, here is how I see it. A Geek is an intelligent person with an obsessive interest; in this case with comic books. A Nerd is the same, but lacks social graces, and a Dweeb is simply a mega nerd.
Star Wars seemed to be very popular with the Geeks. Storm Troopers and Jedi Knights and were all over the place swinging their light sabers and shooting off their blasters. Apparently ones fascination with Star Wars can be passed on generation to generation. There were seminars led by actual NY Jedi instructors on Light Saber practice for kids- 12 and under. I started to understand the weapons policy at this point.
The Nerds leaned towards the gaming side of things. I think this could be attributed to all the time they spend in their parent’s basements alone in the dark playing whatever the latest shoot ’em-up game is. I have to confess I am not very ‘Up’ on the video game world and didn’t know who they were supposed to be.
The Dweebs seem to be very unaware of their body types. Just because you wish you were Poison Ivy or Harley Quinn from Batman doesn’t mean you should dress like her. Comic book characters have an impossible body type which less that 1% of the population can achieve, and the ones I saw weren’t in that 1%. Until this weekend I also never realized Superman’s package was so large. I can’t count the number of times I turned around to see just a little more than I was comfortable with. There is a reason that spandex leotards never caught on as daywear for men.
There were actors from every decade there as well. From the late 70s there was Lou Ferrigno of The Incredible Hulk fame and Anthony Forrest from Star Wars. He was the Storm Trooper who stops Luke’s Landspeeder to check on the droids and said the line “These aren’t the droids you’re looking for”. Melody Anderson from the 80s movie Flash Gordon was there as well as Marina Sirtis, better known as Counselor Deana Troi from Star Trek: The Next Generation from the 90s.
A handful of NYC animators/artists were on the scene as well. Jared Deal and Danny Kimsnyen (kaNO), had a booth together selling their vinyl and resin toys. Rick Lacy and Philip Gelatt were at the Oni Press booth promoting their comic Labor Days. Bill Plimpton had a booth of his own which every time I walked by was swamped with admiring fans lining up to get a free drawing from him. He premiered his latest Dog film, Horn Dog, as well as a number of other new shorts, all of which I believe he intends to enter in the upcoming ASIFA East film festival. The Venture Brothers’ Jackson Public and Doc Hammer were there to talk about their upcoming season four. The creators and executive producers of Superjail, Christy Karacas and Stephen Warbrick were there to promote their show on Adult Swim. The last of the New Yorkers I ran into was Dan Meth at the Nerdcore booth.
After an exhausting day of looking at comics, watching short films, movie trailers and scantily clad pale people I was glad to head home and look forward to doing it all over again, a year from now. After all, where else can you walk around as a 7ft tall Chewbacca, or drive your life size R2D2 remote control robot around.