Why did I go to New York Comic Con?
It is fair, this question. I don't much care for conventions on principle (and I say this as both an anarchist and someone who tries to pretend he's not a geek) as the positives of them are as follows:
1. Get to see previews of upcoming things related to a thing that you like.
2. Meet the people who created or acted or somehow took part in the production of a thing that you like.
3. Meet and talk about the thing that you like to other people who like the thing that you like as much as you like it.
4. Get lots of free shit.
My issue with the fourth positive is that, as I creep ever closer toward my ever-welcoming deathbed, I find that I hate having extra shit lying around more than anything else. Most of the detritus that clutters around us all is something we once looked at and thought "Hey, maybe I'll want to keep this ticket stub around and reminisce about how I got to see The Matrix Revolutions opening night and also I can prove to any doubting Thomases that I did so" or "Hey, I might listen to this Wheatus album again" or "I might actually one day find a use for these mostly broken headphones."
No. You won't reminisce as it was a shit film and NOBODY is not going to believe you saw it opening night. You won't listen to Wheatus; why would you want to do that to yourself? And a new pair of headphones doesn't even cost that much.
The older I get the more I just want less things. The more things you have the more things you have to move with, the more things you have to navigate and work around, the more things you leave for someone else to have to throw out when you die. The Wheatus album goes to some charity that apparently has low enough standards for Wheatus albums, the broken headphones go to the recycling plant, and the ticket stub gets liberated from my back pocket and tossed out in a trash can right after the lights come up before I've even left the premises of the theater, like it's some horrible weight on my existence that must be cast off before it causes any permanent damage because, in my mind, that's kind of what it goddamned is.
So what I'm saying is I don't need free shit (or "swag," to use conventional terminology).
I'd prefer not to.
My problem with the first three positives of conventionania is that I don't actually like anything enough to want to do any of the things mentioned here. I have been to E3 twice. E3 is the largest, most important video game convention there is. And I actually like video games quite a lot. Like, they're a big part of who I am and stuff. However, as evidenced by this fine, massive article here, the idea of waiting in lines to play a game for a few minutes seemed unnecessary to me. I'm past being able to muster up the excitement to actively anticipate anything enough to look too deeply into it before it's release. Why not just wait for the finished shebang? The idea of meeting the people involved in the game's creation felt dumb too. Sure, I respect your product, but I don't know that I want to be your friend or anything. And like I want to meet other gamers? What, like I'm having trouble running into you guys on the Internet or something? I've been trying my damnedest to climb out from the sweat-soaked, acne-cream-stinking cesspool that is geekdom for years now. Like I really need to get acquainted with some scoliosis-ridden sucker who enjoys the finer details of Killer 7 like I do? Maybe we would've been friends and waxed picky on Soul Reaver 2's combat system at one time, but I haven't got the time anymore, okay? I'd rather meet a pretty girl, pretend to lament the loss of Amy Winehouse as a great talent and fake laugh at the same parts she real laughs at in Scrubs.
And the other important detail here is that I hate comics. Well, I don't exactly hate them, but I kind of hate them. I don't get them usually. Plus there's too many of them. Just being aware of the concept of multiple comic universes does my head in and the fact that all those universes seem to be unable to conjure up any kinds of superheroes other than ones in garish costumes with muscles on par with those in Pumping Iron and boobs on par with those in Pumping [CENSORED] just pisses me off. And, yeah, I've read a few wussy indie comics too. Go back to Wussville, indie comics, is what I say. Where are all the muscles and boobs, huh?
I've liked literally only TWO comic book fellers enough to buy their works in my entire life; I used to spend hours cycling through pages on that Superdickery site when I was supposed to be working on my dissertation; and, if this counts toward anything, I like Batman: The Animated Series and some of Gargoyles. And, again, even with these things I like, I don't care to meet the creators, nor do I care to see previews of what they're up to next, nor do I want a free t-shirt with Goliath on it shouting "WHAT SORCERY IS THIS!"
In this scene, the part of Sorcery was played by Jennifer Connelly's mouth.
But comic cons have branched out these days and by "branched out" I mean "entertainment conglomerates have realized the potential for greater market saturation of a subset of consumers that seek to own an extensive number of entertainment products as well as have a compulsive desire to also possess any and all merchandise related to these products" so video games, TV, and film have etched out a place at these gatherings as well. And so some of this stuff isn't even expressly comic book-related, e.g., Cartoon Network's Adult Swim has recognized that there's a considerable amount of overlap between comic geeks and their fanbase so they had some stuff going on at the con, which I could more or less get behind.
Also, my friend Adam was already going and he informed me that, as an adjunct professor of sorts, I could for some reason get in as an educator and get a PROFESSIONAL badge that would get me into the con for all four of its days for the ridiculous nothing price of $10. Furthermore, I live a half-hour outside of New York City.
So, in other words, NYCC 2011 was something to do.
I didn't actually go the first day. It was purely for professionals (this guy), but I was busy teaching and once I was finished doing that I was tired and couldn't be bothered. Besides, it was just a bunch of panels about how to get comic books on your local library's shelves or something (at a guess I would just say slip them in alongside copies of Ayn Rand novels when nobody is looking??).
However, I can wildly speculate that on the first day Stan Lee announced that he was just j/king with all the comic book characters he made up and admitted they're all stupid and everyone should be ashamed of themselves and start reading actual things that matter like Invisible Man and the nutrition information on the back of Cheerios (doing so cures heart disease, if I'm not mistaken). "Hell, even watching Mad Men would be better than reading this filth," said Lee, "And, quite frankly, that show tries a little too hard." Following which, there was some tidal wave of inhaler solution that murdered 75% of the professional comic book person population at NYCC 2011 so I really dodged a bullet (made out of inhaler solution) by not going that first day.
Here is a BIG SECRET PRESS IMAGE that I managed to procure SECRETly that CLEARly shows the TIDAL WAVE I was TALKing about. Look at all the SWIRLING and SWISHING it's FRIGHTENing, GUYS, EVERYONE IN THIS PICTURE DIED and the photograph quality of all cameras on the premises was SEVERELY DIMINISHED just like this.
Of course none of this was reported by the douche-run media because they are afraid to give you the truth in the manner I do and such and Stan Lee received his periodic cattle prod jolt to the head so the next day he was back to puttering around smiling and repeating the phrase "true believers" ad nauseam. So nobody knew about this but me, you guys. And now you, I guess. Keep schtum, yeah?
Anyhoo, to LINK TO IT AGAIN BECAUSE YOU LOVE IT, my terrible coverage of E3 2006 was arguably the best thing I've ever written and inarguably the best thing ever written, so, in some feeble, misguided attempt to recapture that magic, I'll be back to detail the non-goings-on I witnessed on the days I actually attended this comics thing in the upcoming parts of this article that will serve as......
See ya soon.
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