By Ray Flook
When I mentioned to a couple of friends that I would be attending NYCC Presents…Villains!, the second of a two-part fan meet-up series sponsored by New York Comic Con as lead-ins to NYCC and the inaugural NY Super Week, each of them made it a point to paraphrase (sometimes incredibly badly) the same line from The Dark Knight:
"You either die a hero or you live long enough to see yourself become the villain".
I wasn't sure how to take it. Was this a sign? Were they all trying to tell me something? Were they concerned that the road of heroism I had spent my entire life traveling down would eventually lead me to a dead end of villainy? Was there a battle going on for possession of my soul at this very moment and I was blissfully unaware?
No, actually. Seems that they wanted to make sure I didn't leave this event in the same "condition" I left NYCC Presents…Heroes! back on September 5th. While I won't bore you with the details of that adventure, suffice is to say that I learned two things that night: (1) I know a lot more random geek trivia that I thought I did; and (2) blue tickets are my friends.
It did have me wondering, though, if I would have as good a time at a villains-themed event as I did at the heroes-themed one, especially considering that I've always been more of a "pro-heroes geek" since the first time I picked-up a copy of Spidey Super Stories at the 7-Eleven. I've always respected their role and importance in telling a complete story, and I believe that a hero is only as good as his/her arch-nemesis…the villain helping to define the hero. But I could never connect with them on any real level, and that had me worried that the event would be lost on me. On top of that, what the hell was I going to wear? My Superman Converses? One of the fourteen heroes t-shirts I own? Yeah…not good.
And then I remembered the words spoken by The Great & Powerful Joss Whedon and all became clear:
"Who is to say who is the villain and who is the hero? Probably the dictionary."
He was right. Who's to say who's a "villain" and who's a "hero"? Who am I to pass-up a chance to socialize with fellow geeks? Or the drink specials?
*The McKittrick Hotel was a perfect location for the event, from its slightly-shady, nondescript outside (due primarily to street and construction work being done in that area); to the Heath Room, where the event was actually held. Even though there was a very sizable turnout (many cosplaying), space was never an issue. The lighting and smoke effects really added to the atmosphere, but they may want to consider a PA system for the room because the mini-megaphone the NYCC staff were using just wasn't cutting it.
*Cosplayers did not disappoint, both with their numbers and with the quality/diversity of their costumes. Nothing funnier than watching the faces on the people at the rooftop bar when all of us made our way up there after the event. Glad I wasn't on a panel of judges for the Villains Costume Contest because that would've been a tough call…made sure I applauded loudly for everyone because they all deserved it.
*As an artist, I'm a really good writer. Looked like the crazed etchings of a madman…
*Special mention and props to Charles Soule, James Tynion IV and Amy Reeder for being the special guests for the evening and the judges of the drawing competition. They were incredibly friendly and socialized with the crowd throughout the afternoon, and it was very much appreciated. After getting a chance to preview it, I'm now also going to make a point of checking-out Reeder's Rocket Girl.
*A mixed drink called "Joker's Toxin," a watermelon-based beer and a something-something-"Hobgoblin" ale were my personal beverages-of-choice and they were amazing. There was a drink I had at the rooftop bar that came in a tall, slender glass but that's about all I remember of it…writing-off that to the "Joker's Toxin."
*On a more personal note, I really enjoyed getting to meet some fellow geeks and to start making preliminary plans with them for NYCC. Considering their goal was to promote NYCC/NY Super Week and to give fans a fun opportunity to meet-up and socialize, I'd say it was a huge success. I'm hoping that the turnout continues to grow and that they consider hosting more of them throughout September.
So that's it from here! The road to New York Comic Con goes through NY Super Week…hope to see you out at some of the events and roaming the floors of the Javits Center!
But before I go, some more pics of some great cosplayers…
Ray Flook has been a contributing writer to Bleeding Cool since October 2013; and runs his own blog/website: Old Man Geek (www.oldmangeek88.com). You can follow him on Twitter: @oldmangeek88; and "like" his Facebook page: Old Man Geek)