|I'm looking at you, Hedonismbot.|
7) The layout of the Javits Center.
|Glass fucking houses, nerds.|
Social commentary aside, the arrangement also made for terrible traffic flow in the Javits Center. This year, the organizers wised up and had a fully-integrated Con. There was one show floor on the top level, one Artists Alley on the ground level, and the basement level was only for panels and screenings. Even though over 100,000 people attended this year, traffic flow was kind of okay. I only had one panicky moment where I was afraid I'd be crushed into a fine red paste on the show room floor, and that was my own fault. I should have never tried to get into the most popular part of the Con during peak hours.
First thing we did on Saturday morning after changing into our costumes. I didn't have my glasses on, so my first two arrows didn't even hit the target. I pulled low and to the left, which is actually the same problem I have when I shoot guns. My third and final arrow I WAY overcompensated and hit the bulls-eye.
|Like a boss.|
|Just screams relaxation. Or maybe just screams.|
5) Kill Shakespeare: A Live Stage Reading
Second thing we did on Saturday. "Kill Shakespeare" is a comic written by Anthony Del Col and Conner McCreery, and drawn by Andy B. They projected panels without word bubbles on a screen behind a table of actors, who provided the dialogue. There was also one very busy prop man making all of the sound effects with plastic wrap, spoons, and buckets of water. The story is about a bunch of characters from Shakespeare's plays, some of whom believe Shakespeare to be a god, and some of whom want him dead because of the threat he represents to their power. It was a good story with memorable characters, and it's always fun to see something in one medium make the transition to another.
The best part, though, was that R won a copy of Kill Shakespeare: Volume 1 by answering a Shakespeare trivia question, and it was a doozy. "What Shakespeare character has the most lines in a play not named after that character?" R's hand shot up so fast she almost knocked my mask off. She was in there like swimwear. "Iago!" Iago in "Othello" has the most lines of any Shakespeare character in a play not named after him. Now that is some hard-core nerd knowledge. In my opinion, R definitely won the Con for Saturday.
4) ComicCon Comedy
In 2010, I only saw one stand-up comedian, doing just a single 15-minute set. It was great. This year, there was so much comedy to choose from that I didn't get to see it all. First was the Nerdologues, "a comedy show that explores nerd culture through hilarious sketches and personal stories." Then we saw an hour-long set by Uncle Yo, seen here leering from behind a monocle.
3) Saga panel
"Saga" is a comic written by Brian K. Vaughan and drawn by Fiona Staples, and it's currently the best-selling independent comic after The Walking Dead, in addition to being my favorite comic on the stands right now. I was on the fence about whether or not to go to this panel. Panels with creators are hit-or-miss. Just because you're good at writing or drawing doesn't mean you're a great public speaker, and nothing makes me cringe like seeing some poor creator bomb on stage because s/he can't work the crowd. But Brian K. Vaughan killed it. I laughed almost as much as I did at the actual stand-up comedy. He was charming, friendly, foul-mouthed, cheeky, and just humble enough to be endearing.
|Not even trying to hide the bald.|
My other favorite quote: "I had an idea about this guy and his monkey being chased by women with one boob on motorcycles and I thought, Did I just shit myself? Or was that a real idea?"
Fiona was nice enough, but Brian K. Vaughan owned that stage. Cool for him, slightly problematic for her (see number 1 on this list). Plus I got some artwork!
|My copy smaller.|
This is the meat-and-potatoes stuff of conventions. Writers from Tor.com, Boing Boing, The Mary Sue, The Beat, and Bleeding Cool talked about what it means to be a fan and what it means to be leaders of fans and fan forums. Honestly, this one is a bit of a blur because it was late in the day and I was really tired, but I remember feeling like I was more informed about the way information is disseminated through my community, and that made me feel smart.
|Smart enough to finally make the connection that the guy who ran a website called Bleeding Cool would, of course, be British.|
1) ComicCon Women
So I attended two panels, back to back, by and about the women of the nerdly underground. The first was GeekMoms: Raising Young Padawans, held by the women who write Wired's GeekMom blog. I only caught the second half of this one, and it was entirely by accident. I wanted to attend the panel right after GeekMoms, which was being held in the same room, and I was so tired after two days of walking the Javits Center that I decided to just to the room and sit through whatever was there, just to SIT. And it turned out to be a very interesting discussion about how these women were passing their interests along to their children. They talked about what properties were appropriate for kids in terms of gaming, books, comics, and movies, and how much the landscape of childhood has changed since they were nerdy little girls who had to hide their interests from classmates, both because of their gender and the actual interests.
|I'll just say I'm into leather. No one will suspect a thing.|
I had a moment where I drifted off because they were discussing how to pick the right schools, and suddenly heard one of the panelists mention the Girl Scouts, so I whooped and clapped and completely threw her off track. I don't think she was expecting that much love for the Girl Scouts, but gang, I loves me the Girl Scouts. I loves them a lot.
The second panel was even better, Getting Graphic with Girls: Empowering girls and addressing issues through paneled pictures. This was a younger set of panelists whose moderator cancelled at the last minute, leading to a lot of very funny "Unmoderated!" jokes.
|Look how unmoderated they are. Scandal!|
|She doesn't give a damn if you like her duckies or not.|
|Sh! I'm feeling the curvature of the earth.|
And I swear I'm not making this up. Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg said that her colleagues will sometimes just straight up ignore her comments during conferences. "When I will say something -- and I don't think I'm a confused speaker -- and it isn't until somebody else says it that everyone will focus on the point." Women are ignored. My Big Boss commented as I revved myself up for the Con that he always thought the BF was the one who got ME interested in comics. A student worker followed up with a comment about how you don't meet a lot of girls who are interested in comics. And this wasn't about the comics, not really. Cultural and political movements are almost always dominated by men. Democracy: "Oh, women want to vote, too?" Art: "Oh, Virginia Wolfe, you want to write, too? Oh, Frida Kahlo, you want to paint, too?" Girls can be geeks, too?
|Do we need to see the evidence again?|
And it's that sort of dense brain-food that makes the ComicCon Women my number 1 favorite thing about New York ComicCon 2012.