My New York Comic Con Experience

I have never done a blog for Sequart, but I think everyone at this site would enjoy hearing some Con Experiences. So here’s my personal experience for New York Comic Con.

Thursday: I am a panel junkie so, usually I look for a great panel to look for, and as I soon gathered as the Con continued, I would desperately need to plan my schedule and be in line for several long periods.

After an embarrassing long odyssey, I finally am able to make it to the Javits Center. Once at the convention center I immediately begin one of my goals of handing out plenty of my comic, Grim n’ Gritty, to people nearby. After a short time in line I rush to see the panel hosted by Comicbookgirl19, a brilliant comic and pop culture critic. Her panel is focused on describing the origins of her YouTube channel. She also sets about to dispel illusions and myths regarding being a creative person on YouTube, it is neither easy, nor is it easy money.

That’s when the two leads from Silicon Valley crash the panel in a Smirnoff-sponsored event. Comicbookgirl19 seems genuinely surprised as the two begin to dominate the panel. They discuss their original cosplay characters and speak enthusiastically of fandom, though they are disappointed that few people are in costumes at the panel. They also are offering free Vodka. Not a bad way to start the con. I pass on the liquor to stay sober during the con.

After the panel I wait patiently in line to get Kevin Conroy’s autograph. There is no way I will be at this con without meeting my Batman. Although I enjoy Christian Bale, Adam West, Michael Keaton and Val Kilmer, there is only one true Batman for me, and that is Kevin Conroy. I also have an amazing little story to share with Kevin Conroy. When I took a class on Shakespeare, we were assigned to watch a production of A Midsummer Night’s Dream starring William Hurt. My classmates all agreed that the best actor in the ensemble was the person playing Lysander. That person was Kevin Conroy, and I did not recognize him until I saw the credits. When I relate the story to Conroy he is stunned and flattered. If anyone see’s that production, one will see the powerful presence Conroy is on stage, and also, he could have played Batman excellently onscreen. After that, I ask for the autographs of two of the other Justice League members, Phil LaMarr and George Newbern. They are friendly and welcoming.

I next get information on mainstage panels. After exploring the Hall for various comics and other delights I sit at the live event to see the legendary Naruto creator Masashi Kishimoto. Kishimoto-sensei gives a brief interview where he relates his favorite villain in the series, his impression on the Nartuto fanbase and more. Kishimoto-sensei is humble and honest, and akin to George Lucas, is stunned to see how gigantic his creation has truly become.

After snagging some food I head up to a panel called, “Breaking into Comics”. The panel is crowded and very dry. Disappointed by the lack of information I do not already know I leave about a half-hour into the panel.

I then go into the Empire Stage where there is a preview for two new episodes of Season 2 of Star Wars Rebels. I have never seen the show, despite my rabid love of Star Wars. Luckily for me, the two-parter is about Clone Trooper characters from Star Wars: The Clone Wars interacting with the primary players. The first episode is satisfactory if little more than a wacky-creature feature. But the second episode is when all the potential of serialized Star Wars is shown. Some fans have expressed understandable disappointment that Star Wars has not had the live-action series that Lucas promised. But given the budget and scope that Star Wars demands, it is far better to see the World of Star Wars in animation than diluted. The epic vistas, the scope and magnificent action set-piece in the second episode I saw was more than enough to convince me to give this series a try.

I end up in a conversation with some people that quickly become my friends. We hang out for the last hour in the hall before heading out. As the last minutes go by I run into the hosts of ComicPOP. They are happy that I recognized them and are happy to receive a copy of Grim n’ Gritty #1. I then share my appreciation for their work and we discuss some comics. Quite a magnificent occurrence only possible at a Con.

Before I leave I talk with my new friends about Kevin Smith’s last two films. We greatly admire Red State while express confusion and a discomforted admiration for Tusk. Great first day.

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James Kelly has been obsessed with comics and superheroes since he saw Batman: The Animated Series on TV. His father also got him hooked on Star Wars when he took him to the 1997 re-release of the magnificent Saga. Kelly graduated from Cal Poly with a degree in English Literature, and a concentration in Fiction Writing. He hopes to be able to one day produce his many comics and other writing projects to mass audiences.

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