What Ray Flook Learned At New York Comic Con

We ran over two hundred last week. But Bleeding Cool writer Ray Flook still has a few more thoughts to share…

Thursdays aren't as special as they used to be. It's a money-thing, I'm sure…and that's not a judgment from me either way. The show's grown at a disgustingly fast pace for not even being ten years old; so if there's a "want," ReedPop's job is to satisfy it…and make some sweet additional $$$ in the process. The crowds Thursday afternoon were as large as Friday, which isn't surprising when you consider who's allowed in: Press, Exhibitors, Professionals, Thursday Ticket Holders, Four-Day Ticket Holders, VIP Ticket Holders and any other ticket group I'm missing. It's the age-old trade-off: you become successful but you lose the "intimacy" in the process.


"Having a place to (drop/leave) our (bags/stuff/shit) makes it worth it."

After spending the past twenty-four hours realigning my spine and wondering if the laptop bag strap indent in my shoulder will be permanent…I see their point.

Shuttle service was much better as the con went along, and props to Academy for making changes on-the-fly when needed. Having said that…STILL wondering what the story was with the shuttle bus driver I had Thursday night who decided to make-up his own shuttle route. I'm not sure if he was having delusions of being an MTA bus driver or trying to make money with some personal pseudo-bus service "side project," but I still can't find where 41st and 8th is listed as a stop.

Tapping-in and tapping-out wasn't nearly as annoying as I thought it'd be…and those NBC lanyards made the process smoother. Good year to sponsor them…

Where the hell was DC Comics? I mean…I KNOW they were there: they had the Superman costume display; panels; and an area set-up in the back of Artists Alley for signings/sketching. But it didn't REALLY feel like they were there this year. In fact…


It seemed like the comic book companies in general had a much smaller "footprint" in the Exhibit Hall this year. Floor space for the video game companies seemed larger this year…which meant that if you were a big fan of "walking" and "moving around," you avoided that area at all costs.

If you were looking to buy stuff, then this year's Exhibit Hall was for you. I'm not sure there was a booth that wasn't selling t-shirts, and it was a lot easier to find that "$40 exclusive Naruto piece" at another booth two aisles over for $20…and then three more aisles over for $15. Good year for some price-haggling…

Glenn Hauman (Comic Mix) pronounces his last name "human"…whether he likes it or not.

There were three types of BREAKING BAD costumes this year:

      1. Walter White in Heisenberg-mode

      2. Walter White in "cooking meth"-mode

      3. Walter White in both modes…but apparently showing that the cancer had been in remission for QUITE some time and Walter got his appetite back


(Side Note: It's pretty cool that at a comic con, an announcement like this could never be seen as being gender-specific)

PRACTICE before you come to the con…please! I saw way too many "ankle-breaks" that looked painful. You look like you're sub-cos-playing a newly-born baby deer taking its first steps. Not smooth…not graceful. Unless you're trying to look like a drunk Sailor Moon.

Felt guilty over how badly my stomach grumbled during Dr. Yen Yen Woo's DIM SUM WARRIORS. I think the people sitting around me could hear it.

Covered a panel on how to legally protect your comic book property. Interesting presentation, though it left me with this paranoid-level need to copyright everything in my life. (ALL TEXT © Ray Flook)

Apparently, "Javits" is Ancient Mayan for "Land of No Free WiFi Whatsoever"

Kevin Smith's run at the COMIC BOOK MEN panel was great…but as a first-time live-blogging experience, it was the equivalent of learning to swim by being thrown into a tsunami.

Sat in on a great presentation on the subject of comics censorship by Dr. Carol L. Tilley, where she presented a much fuller profile of Dr. Frederic Wertham's (SEDUCTION OF THE INNOCENT) early work as a pioneering doctor when it came to bridging the divide between medical access and economic standing. I still don't believe that's enough to make-up for the damage he did (no matter how well-intended) to comics and publishing specifically; and to free speech overall.

THE CYANIDE AND HAPPINESS SHOW wasn't just a panel: it was a mind-altering experience in every way possible. Let me just say this: if you're into mailmen who deliver the mail in monster trucks and being found dead in interesting ways, then Wyoming is the state for you. And pissing lemonade would be pretty cool.

Looking at the ratings that DOCTOR WHO gets in the United States and at how many people were dressed as someone from the DOCTOR WHO universe, I'm surprised the BBC/BBC America doesn't have a bigger presence at the convention. Think it's about time for Moffat and a current "Doctor" to make an appearance…

●"Never surrender dreams." Quote from J. Michael Straczynski's panel…and I really liked the way he made sure the crowd knew from the start that their questions had better be good or he was going to go to the questions he gets online. Basically, it was competitive Q&A…kept everyone on their toes.

Artist Alley was well laid-out this year. Even though you're always going to have crowds, there was never a point when I felt like I couldn't move through the aisles. I was surprised how quickly the artwork commission lists filled-up and were closed at many of the tables, though…

It's amazing to watch Tony S. Daniel knock out a great "Wonder Woman" sketch in about a minute.

The book publishers have done a great job these past two years with their space in the Exhibit Hall, especially Penguin. A ton of free books and book samplers were given out throughout the weekend; as well as a steady stream of author signings, contests and other giveaways.

THREE MOST VALUABLE THINGS AT NYCC: outlet space; an internet connection; a compatible connector for the iPhone 5.

Even when he has to be "in three different places right about now," Robert Kirkman still takes the time to talk and pose for a picture…even if my face in the picture looks like he suddenly grabbed my ass just before we said, "CHEESE!"

A special "THANK YOU" to the Arizona Beverage Co. for ensuring that I never went thirsty the entire four days…whether they realized it or not.

Stumbled into the CHOZEN panel and now I can't wait for it to premiere. Seeing Bobby Moynihan (just hours after a live SNL) and Method Man (because it's Method Man) freestyle a rap pretty much clinched it for me.

I'm still amazed how popular the DR. WHO audio dramas are in England, especially when compared with the United States. Considering that he only starred in the TV movie, Paul McGann has done a great job building-up and fleshing-out his "8th Doctor" through those recordings.

David Duchovny and Gillian Anderson were great during THE X-FILES panel; but I got a sense that while they were there to talk about THE X-FILES…they didn't REALLY want to talk about THE X-FILES (ex: "So what brand of notebook did you use in the first scene after the second commercial break of FOX's original broadcast of 'The Erlenmeyer Flask'?"). But

I can think of a hundred worse ways for a panel to end than with a marriage proposal…thankfully, she accepted.


PRO: Seeing little kids dressed up as their (and their parents) favorite characters…because it's never too early to start raising the new "Geek Generation."

CON: Creepy fathers snapping pictures of female cos-players on their camera phones whenever their wives/kids are gone, and then stuffing their phones back into their pockets so they don't get caught. Pretty weird on a whole lotta' levels…


IN: Horribly bad breath

OUT: Horribly bad body odor

Does anyone know exactly what that set-up was that St. Mark's Comics had going on across the street from the Javits Center? I never made it over there, but it looked like it was serving pizza and covered with paper on the outside. Weird…


So that's another year in a nutshell, at least from my perspective. I know some other things are going to come to mind as I finish my reports, but I think that gives you a good general overview of what the vibe of the convention was like. I'm not trying to pretend that I made it to most of what the convention had to offer, but I tried. And I guess there's always next year.

And that's only three-hundred-and-fifty-nine-days away.

And I'm pretty sure the line for THE WALKING DEAD panel has already started.

Ray Flook @DeliciousCowz

About Rich Johnston

Head writer and founder of Bleeding Cool. The longest-serving digital news reporter in the world. Living in London, father of two. Political cartoonist.

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