New York Comic Con 2017 was a weird one for me. Just three days prior Sharon and I had returned from a week in Yellowstone and vicinity so we were still pretty worn out by the time we boarded the train to New York. Day one was spent partly in frustration in a sea of people, while day two certainly made up for it. Here are my thoughts on this annual pilgrimage of nerd-dom and sweaty folks:
- The Javitts Center was on lock down all weekend, with metal detectors at every entrance and the SWAT team roaming around with heavy weaponry. The level of security was due to the craziness in Las Vegas and I was glad to see that they took everyone's safety so seriously, so kudos to the organizers.
- The best cosplay I've ever seen involved a mother and father with two very tiny twins in a double stroller. They had all dressed like characters from The Shining and it was awesome.
- The Block, which is the area that features designer toys and is what I'm personally most interested in, was pushed from their normal spacious area to a small corner in the back by the loading docks. This made visiting with people I wanted to a near impossibility as the tide of the crowd funneled through such small aisles would move you whichever way they were going. I'm not terribly claustrophobic, but I was starting to feel it.
- We randomly ran into former WWE wrestler Jake "The Snake" Roberts by an escalator on day one. He was extremely nice and we talked for a bit about what he was up to and how he was doing after his documentary. In case you haven't seen it a camera crew followed him around as Diamond Dallas Page tried to help him get his life back together while battling serious addiction. He even asked us if we'd like to take a picture with him, which we were happy to do. On day two when we saw him again it was clear that the happy ending of his film wasn't as black and white as he had made it seem. He hit on my wife in a manner that would have been offensive had it not been so utterly hilarious and pathetic. It reminded me of some internet troll hiding in the safety of his mother's basement and anonymously behind a computer screen as he harassed young girls without the benefit of a filter on his thoughts. Actually, I would have been offended had I not felt sorry for the guy knowing the reality that he would have to live with long after the convention floor had closed and the adulation of his fans had once again disappeared.
- We randomly bumped into Michael Ian Black in one of the aisles on day two. He did not sexually harass my wife.
- I spent the least amount of money I ever had at the convention as the releases were much fewer this year. I don't know whether Five Points affected this or the event that was simultaneously going on in Taiwan, or whether so much focus has just been shifted to Designer Con. Either way it felt different than the past incarnations of comic con, as if this convention has become more of an afterthought for the world of designer toys.
- We saw some really inspiring stuff in the artist's alley this year. Lots of original work that was more fine art rather than just another version of Harley Quinn.
- There were some cool prototypes for toys that I'd be happy to own. Here's some photos so you can start planning your finances:
The Tenacious Toys mascot is going from resin to vinyl in the near future. Looked to be around five inches tall, so it's gonna be a pretty hefty chunk of plastic.
Super7 is releasing these amazing Misfits Reaction figures soon. Available in red or black, I'm gonna need both of these pretty badly. And I heard that there's gonna be a King Diamond figure too!!!!
Tara McPherson's Skullflower prototype was on display from Toy Qube. Loved the smaller version and being that I have almost every other toy she's released this one is a must.
- Sharon was most excited to meet Swatch, the shop dog from Mood fabric stores. That's where all of the contestants shop for their materials on Project Runway and that little pup is always there being buds with Tim Gunn. We now have pictures with two famous animals as they were sleeping, with Grumpy Cat being the other. Hobbies keep you out of jail.
- The thing that keeps me coming back every year despite any negative things I may have pointed out are the intangibles that go beyond buying an item or meeting a celebrity. One of my favorite things is to grab lunch and sit on the floor in one of the big halls and just people watch. We'll sit for an hour or so and look at the costumes and listen to the camaraderie that forms between two people from merely being a fan of the same franchise. When you buy a ticket in you're buying an experience and as long as I remember that I always enjoy myself.
- I saw a guy on the train make his girlfriend stand so he could use the seat next to him to eat his dinner. He would literally sit him hamburger on the unprotected cushion rather than the wrapper that it came in. I'm sure he was either murdered by his girlfriend later that not after she processed this indignity or the special strain of New Jersey Transit bacteria ravaged his guts and brought him to an unceremonious end. Either way, he is no longer with us.
Well, that about does it. There was sweat, thankfully no blood, and certainly no tears. Except for that dude on the train, who probably cried a lot when he made it to the nearest bathroom.
Check out www.facebook.com/thetoyviking for all of the pictures.