NY Comic Con 2011 Review
So over the weekend, this happened:
Where could I have possibly gone to see Mr. T, the Queen of Hearts, and Link hanging out as a group? New York Comic Con!
This year NY Comic Con was held on Thursday the 13th thru Friday the 16th. I was going to go all four days, however my feet decided they only wanted to go for three. But I’m getting ahead of myself. Let’s start at the beginning.
Thursday was press/VIP night. It was a short day with no panels and the place was full, but not packed. There were still lines, but they only took a few minutes to get through and you could walk through the aisles without bumping into people. I would suggest if you’re going to go for at least two days next year to get the four day pass so you can go Thursday. It’s so much easier to see things with less people about. We got there at 4:00pm and I helped my brother do some filming at the Nintendo booth for his video game blog Third Rate Minion.
Then I headed over to the Random House booth and met up with fellow Fantasy-Factioner Mike Shackle. It was nice to meet another fantasy geek in person. At 5:00pm, I got a chance to meet author Peter Brett, who introduced me to another author Myke Cole!
I even got Peter to sign my copy of The Warded Man and I got a signed copy of his new comic Red Sonia Blue. I was in fantasy geek heaven! 😀
After walking the floor for a bit, we left for the day, knowing we were going to be back first thing the next morning. By the way, a tip for future con attendees: Wear comfy shoes. I wore dress shoes the first night, and by the end of the evening, I was dying. Sneakers might not look very professional, but believe me, you will thank me later if you wear them instead of fancier footwear.
You can see some more pics of Day 1 here.
We caught the train Friday morning and headed into the city. NYCC was my first geek con. So Thursday I thought the place was packed. I had no idea what packed looked like. If you wanted to see anything popular there was at least a 40 minute wait. There were people everywhere! And unlike the night before, there were tons of cosplayers.
These guys were marching around and patrolling the area by the Star Wars booths.
I thought this puppet was too cute!
Umm…where was I? Might I say, that for someone with ADD, this con was a bit overwhelming at times.
Anyway, around 1:00pm I headed down to my first panel. My cousin Amber went with me. We got to the room and there was no line, so we went in and grabbed seats near the front.
The Del Rey/Spectra panel showcased all its up and coming new releases and books that had recently become available. The authors present were: C.E. Murphy, Naomi Novik, Lia Habel, Scott Westerfield, and Peter Brett. Each author told us the basic plot of their books, when they were coming out, or if they were out already. The editors on the panel also let us know about the other Del Rey/Spectra books that were in the works for the authors that weren’t there that day. I didn’t know a lot of the authors present, so it was interesting to hear about their books from them, rather than reading about them online or hearing about them from someone else.
Peter Brett was the last author to talk about his work. For those of you who don’t know, Mr. Brett is the author of the Demon Cycleseries which includes The Warded Man (or The Painted Man in the UK) and The Desert Spear. The third book in the series Daylight War is still in the works, but we got a sneak peek of it at the panel. Mr. Brett decided on the way to the con, that it might be fun to read an excerpt from the still unfinished novel.
It was a great reading. And for those of you who missed it, I have good news. I got the whole thing on tape! Actually, I have my cousin Amber to thank for that, as it was her video camera I dove for when I heard Mr. Brett was going to do a reading. I think she thought I’d lost my mind at the time.
The excerpt was a short fight scene. The main character Arlen and his childhood friend Renna discover a town that has been wiped out by demons and vow to take their revenge. They start the evening by getting drunk and then trying to one-up each other as they viciously attack the demons that rise in the night.
After the amazing reading the panel was over and my cousin decided she wanted to get a copy of The Warded Man so she could read it herself. We went back upstairs and got a copy for her at Mr. Brett’s book signing.
We ate lunch, and then wandered around until our feet started to object. It turned out we left the con at just the right moment. It had been raining heavily until about 5 minutes before we walked out the door.
We caught the train and headed home. The whole time it looked like it was going to pour again, until this happened.
It’s hard to tell, because by the time I got my camera out it was behind us, but this rainbow was huge! I wish I’d been sitting by the window; I could have gotten a better shot.
You can see more pics of the Del Rey panel and the rest of Day 2 here.
Saturday I was tired. I thought about going in early and wandering around some before the afternoon panels, but I just couldn’t get up the energy to do it. Instead I planned to arrive an hour before the Military Sci-fi panel at 4:00pm. I figured that way I could spend some time taking pictures and then go stand in line at the panel closer to 3:30pm.
I got to the con and the first thing I saw was this:
Boba Fett playing Legend of Zelda on an accordion. Have I mentioned I love Comic Con?
I also noticed that there were at least double the amount of people there that day as there were the day before, which I didn’t actually think was possible. For a brief moment I considered going through with my plan of walking the floor for a half hour before heading to the panel, but since it was at the other end of the center, I decided to walk down and see if there was a line first.
I got there at 3:15pm and there were already 15-20 people queued up. Rather than chance missing the panel, I decided to stay put and just snap pics of any interesting characters that wandered by. It was a good choice, because by the time they let us in, there was standing room only and they were turning people away at the door.
I have to say, I was not sure what to expect with this panel. I had only decided to go to it after meeting Mr. Cole Thursday night. Generally speaking, I’m more of a fantasy girl, though I’ve had a lot of exposure to sci-fi as it’s my father’s favorite genre. I’m so glad I went. I think it was my favorite panel out of the three I went to.
The Military Sci-fi panel consisted of three authors: Myke Cole, Jack Campbell (John G. Hemry), and Taylor Anderson and their moderator, Editor Ginjer Buchanan. Since the panel was so small, each author was able to talk in depth about their story and themselves. It was fascinating to see how their backgrounds in the military enhanced their books and added a level of believability to stories. They were also very funny guys.
After the panel, all three authors had a signing back upstairs at the Penguin booth. And, I’m happy to say, I got a signed copy of each of their books.
While waiting in line at the Military Sci-fi panel I had met my new friend Mike Shackle again and after we got our books signed, we headed back downstairs in hopes of getting into the Epic Fantasy panel. Even heading down directly after the signing, almost 40 minutes early, we still barely made it in.
That was not the full line. There must have been 500 people waiting for the panel and I think we were in the last group of ten to make it into the room.
They even let people stand along all three walls, as long as no one blocked the door. But it was worth the wait! The panel consisted of David Chandler, Nils Johnson-Shelton, Rae Carson, Peter Brett, Philippa Ballantine, and Brand Sanderson and was moderated by Ron Hogan. Again, each author got to speak a bit about his or her book then the panel talked about the direction epic fantasy was headed and how they each saw things changing with the genre in the near and distant future. It was fascinating to listen to, and I think next year I’m going to make sure I record all the panels from the beginning.
By the time the panel was done and the con staff kicked us out of the room, the show floor was closed for the day. I have to say my first experience at a full fledge geek con was awesome. I met some great people, listened to some fascinating stories, and saw some amazing costumes! Overall, I had a blast and I hope to go again next year and maybe even find some others to go to before then.
See more pics of the Saturday panels and the rest of Day 3 here.
Thanks to everyone who let me photograph them and for all the cool people who took some time out of their day to hang out with me. See you all next year! 🙂