Last weekend I was one of the chosen ones who were able to acquire an NYCC 4-day pass so that is where I spent my days! There was so much exciting news that came out of New York Comic Con that I wanted to make a video to share some of my favorite upcoming things. One thing I forgot to include in my video is that VIZ Media is coming out with a Pokemon art book! I cannot wait. Gimme all the Pokemon things. Also is it Sun & Moon release day yet?! Anyway, I think Marvel was the clear news winner at NYCC this year but I’m also super excited about the new Shoujo manga that Kodansha got licenses for. What are you most looking forward to?
The Geek’s Guide to Unrequited Love is a must read for any fan who’s ever attended a convention. This story really hit home for me because it takes place at my home con, New York Comic Con, over the period of Friday – Sunday. I thought because the story takes place at a convention I have been attending for years that I wouldn’t be able to put nitpicky things aside and enjoy the plot but Tash’s convention depiction is pure perfection. She got all of the little details right between methodically planning cosplay and your daily schedule, to avoiding people in larger than life costumes and even to the seating arrangements on the Long Island Rail Road. I even love how the cover photo is taken outside the Javits Center on 11th Ave because it makes it that much more authentic. One thing to note is that the diner Tash talks about outside the convention center on 11th Ave was recently closed and is being turned into a high rise building (but that happened after she would’ve already gone through the publishing process) and having eaten there myself I was so happy to see it included. (Side story: Funnily enough, the last time Andrew (who works for a structural engineering firm) and I walked past it, he said mark my words, that one story diner will never last to the end of this year. There’s so much wasted sky space and lo and behold, he was absolutely correct.) Also, I could not possibly have empathized more re: line drama UGH.
Even more important than the setting, Tash also captures the spirit of fandom and young love as told by our narrator Graham. Graham is the most endearing type of nerd and he’s been harboring a crush on his best friend in the whole world, Roxana. He decides that NYCC is the perfect place to tell her and he spends a huge chunk of his time daydreaming and planning about how he’ll make a grand enough gesture without potentially frightening her. I also have to note that Tash mentions the epic upside-down-in-the-rain Spider-Man kiss on page one so you can bet that I was hooked. Despite the geeky references and the goings on of NYCC, The Geek’s Guide to Unrequited Love tells a much bigger coming of age story that is not even the slightest bit overshadowed by the amount of pop culture it contains. I genuinely wish that John Hughes were still around so he could adapt this novel because I think many pop culture nerds would love to see this on screen. The supporting characters, Casey and Felicia were among my favorites in the story and if I have one complaint, it’s that I would’ve liked to have gotten to know Roxana a bit better because what I did learn about her, I really admired. (Although, I would also love to read a book from college Graham’s perspective. He really weaved his way into my heart!)
Final Thoughts: If The Geek’s Guide to Unrequited Love by Sarvenez Tash is not yet on your radar and you’ve ever been to and enjoyed a comic convention, you need to pick up this book immediately. It’s such a fun look at how pop culture brings people together and the entire time I was reading, I felt like I time traveled back to high school to hang out with my group of friends. The book is entirely accurate and you’ll feel the nerd rage that I’m sure you’ve experienced IRL when you join Graham, Roxana, Casey and Felicia throughout certain moments in their adventure. The story is engaging, the characters will warm your heart and the setting is everything – especially when we’re smack dab in the middle of con season!
John Hughes meets Comic Con in this hilarious, unabashedly romantic, coming-of-age novel about a teenager who is trying to get his best friend to fall in love with him from the author ofThree Day Summer.
Peter Parker and Gwen Stacy…
Archie and Veronica…
Althena and Noth…
…Graham and Roxy?
Graham met his best friend, Roxana, when he moved into her neighborhood eight years ago, and she asked him which Hogwarts house he’d be sorted into. Graham has been in love with her ever since.
But now they’re sixteen, still neighbors, still best friends. And Graham and Roxy share more than ever—moving on from their Harry Potter obsession to a serious love of comic books.
When Graham learns that the creator of their favorite comic, The Chronicles of Althena, is making a rare appearance at this year’s New York Comic Con, he knows he must score tickets. And the event inspires Graham to come up with the perfect plan to tell Roxy how he really feels about her. He’s got three days to woo his best friend at the coolest, kookiest con full of superheroes and supervillains. But no one at a comic book convention is who they appear to be…even Roxy. And Graham is starting to realize fictional love stories are way less complicated than real-life ones. (via goodreads)
I love this weeks 5 Fandom Friday and I feel like I have an advantage after the few years I spent traveling to every convention I could possibly manage! I think each con has its own identity and personality that makes it what it is so if you’ve only been to one convention and didn’t love it, there’s a good chance you just haven’t found “the one” yet. For instance, DragonCon… so so not my thing. DragonCon is the Vegas of conventions in the sense that what happens at DragonCon stays at DragonCon. It is full of some serious PARTY people (which is not to say that I don’t enjoy a good party, but trust me, DC is just TOO much for this introvert). Here’s my ranked list!
5) San Diego Comic Con – SDCC is making my list because you just never know what will happen when you’re there. It’s THE convention. Whenever anyone so much as mentions a “comic con” chances are, this is the one they’re referring to. I’ve only trekked out one time for the convention and I’m glad that I can say I’ve experienced it. Some of the highlights of my trip include going to the Syfy party and attempting to act normal around the Being Human cast while sipping champagne cocktails with Molly, ending up at the IGN party by complete accident and sitting near a fire pit with Simon Pegg (truthfully, I wish I remembered this a little bit better), and eating a private lunch with some of my favorite comic book creators. The below photo is of the girls and I at the iFanboy party.
4) C2E2 – I think part of the reason I enjoyed C2E2 so much is because Chicago is like a tinier, cleaner NYC that closes down earlier at night. It’s held in the Hyatt McCormick hotel so you don’t have to spend money on cabs getting to and fro (unless you’re Melissa and I and wait until the last minute to book things). Again, it’s a smaller scale con and it’s mostly comics focused. I had a blast cosplaying here and I did enjoy going out for Chicago style pizza with Melissa and Jill even we all agreed that it doesn’t compare to a New York slice.
3) Star Wars Celebration – Oh man, this is one of my favorite favorite conventions. The year I went it was held in Orlando (right near Disney!) and I had so much fun. It’s a smaller scale convention and it’s so overwhelmingly Star Wars. There is such an in-depth history within the Star Wars universe so there’s enough to fill a convention center. This year it’s being held in Anaheim and it’s RIGHT BEFORE Star Wars: The Force Awakens is released in theaters so I can only imagine the amazing things ReedPOP has in store for fans.
2) New York Comic Con – NYCC is my home con so it falls pretty high up my list. It seems to get crazier and crazier every year but I can’t help loving it anyway. There’s definitely been a significant increase in fan attendance since the year I started attending which makes walking from one area to another (i.e., the show floor to Artist Alley) a bit of a nightmare but now I mostly just use NYCC as an opportunity to catch up with out of town friends. I tend to look up a few artists or booths I want to see, I don’t even attempt panels, and I just go with the flow. There’s also great after-parties! The below photo is of Janna, Jill, Chris, Marlene and I at the Mary Sue party!
1) Baltimore Comic Con – This convention is my absolute favorite year after year. It’s completely focused on COMICS and nothing else. I usually buy the majority of my yearly art haul at Baltimore Comic Con. Because the Harvey Awards are held during BCC, it tends to attract most of the biggest names in the industry and yet it maintains an intimacy that allows the con-goer to have a satisfying experience chatting with all of the creators they want without waiting in giant lines. It’s also really easy to get into panels. I went to a Sunday panel that started at 2pm, walked in at 1:55 and got a seat in the front row. Plus I get to hang out with Amy and Steph all weekend!
BONUSES that are industry-only (that means you bloggers!)
1) BEA – BOOKS! Need I say more? I’ll say one other thing. You get them for FREE. And there are author signings!
2) Toy Fair – So. Many. Toys. And enough space that you could presumably walk through the Javitts Center with your arms outstretched and not hit anyone in the process. Plus, you get to see all the toys that are coming out in the next year!
PAST & UPCOMING TOPICS
My second favorite Studio Ghibli film ever (next to Howl’s Moving Castle) is Kiki’s Delivery Service, so I was so incredibly happy when Andrew agreed to dress up as Kiki and Tombo during New York Comic Con this year! We cosplayed three out of the four days, but Kiki and Tombo were my favorite. Andrew kept referring to me as Miss Witch throughout the day and we were stopped for so many photos. I was shocked at how many people thought Andrew was Waldo but it was endearing when other con goers knew that we were from a Ghibli film.
Since the day my press pass for NYCC arrived, I began scouring the official website to see which artists and exhibitors I couldn’t leave the convention without seeing. To say that my enthusiasm level was anything less than the max when I came across Babs Tarr’s name, would be a gross understatement. I’ve been following Babs art for ages before she was announced as the new artist on Batgirl but we have never been at the same convention and her Etsy shop is (sadly) forever closed. I knew Babs’ table would be the one where I spent the majority of my convention budget and I couldn’t wait to hand over my credit card.
As soon as we got to NYCC on Thursday, Andrew and I went to straight to Artist Alley and I basically beelined for Babs’ table. Unfortunately she was busy speaking on a panel so I decided to wait until she was there to take the plunge. After visiting other artist friends and hanging at their tables which just so happened to be in close proximity to Babs’, she returned. I may have even gotten a text message from Jen simply stating “the eagle has landed.”
I rushed back and excitedly pointed at all of the things I needed! Babs was SO nice and I told her about how I had wanted her Harley and Ivy heart print forever but since her Etsy is always closed I’ve yet to acquire it which is when she explained that she hates shipping things. Totally understandable! Anyway, I ended up with 5 pieces in total and I’m so happy I picked them up when I did. As the con went on her selection dwindled because obviously. I just love the way Babs draws female heroes and villains and my favorite print I picked up from her was a Spider-Gwen.
I think part of the reason I’m so attracted to Babs Tarr’s art is because she pays such close attention to fashion. I would wear the majority of the clothing the women she illustrates are depicted in. I’m really really hoping that Babs will design a poster for The Mary Janes since she already took the time to draw Spider-Gwen. Anyway, the below prints were a portion of my NYCC art haul:
In case you also really love Babs’ work, here are the links to her Etsy store and her deviantart page:
DeviantArt – http://babsdraws.deviantart.com/
One of my favorite off-site events I went to during New York Comic Con was the Bee & Puppycat screening and panel at YouTube Studios. My friend Leonard invited Andrew and I to attend as his guest and we both literally jumped at the chance. As soon as we got to YouTube, we were given a nametag to write our real names and YouTube channels on. We were then welcomed by an open bar and a plethora of delicious treats created by the popular geeky tumblr baker Nerdache Cakes! I have loved her designs for so long so I was so happy to 1) see them in all their glory IRL, 2) taste her sweet treats and 3) meet her in person! I kind of fangirled out and told her how much I love looking at her desserts on tumblr. There were Puppycat cupcakes in a bunch of different flavors lining the dessert table and framing the gorgeously detailed cake. It was three layers tall and Bee stood on top in her most recognizable outfit while Puppycat hung on the second layer surrounded by bees and reaching out to grab a work assignment letter. There was also an assortment of different flavors of mochi which felt very fitting. At the other table, there was some dinner food but who can be bothered to eat that when there are cupcakes calling your name?
Before the screening began, Natasha Allergri, the creator of Bee & Puppycat and Fred Seibert of Frederator (!) had a panel style discussion about the show, the creation, the Kickstarter and the fandom in general. Natasha is the most adorable human I have ever had the pleasure of meeting. She would turn off the mic after every single question she answered and you could tell how genuinely excited and nervous she was to be speaking in front of the audience. Natasha talked about how anime influenced her creation and how she spends 12 hours of all of her days on the internet. She said she loves tweeting because people respond and it’s cool and she especially loves getting people mad. She also spends a lot of her internet time watching cat videos. Fred was also really interesting to listen to as well, as he’s had a hand in animating just about everything. After the discussion, we had the pleasure of viewing the next three unreleased episodes of Bee & Puppycat! The show was adorable as always, and it explored the dynamic between Bee and her male friend with two different colored eyes. Puppycat was the cutest and I love that he was so into the same bad tv show as Bee. He was also trying to get Bee to buy him a leather jacket because he hates being cute.
After the food and screening were complete, Natasha and Coleman Engle hung around and did a special sketching session for attendees. They gave out the first issue of the Bee & Puppycat comic being published by BOOM! Studios with a blank cover and we were able to ask them to draw whatever we wanted. Coleman Engle drew a magical girl version of Puppycat for me and Natasha added Bee wearing an adorable Pizza skater dress.
Sorry I’m so far behind on writing my NYCC recap. Things have been insanely busy since our Fangasm premiere, but I wanted to share all of the wonderful moments I had at this year’s convention. NYCC is one of my favorite cons because it’s in my home territory. It’s the one time of year that all of my friends fly to me to visit and gather at the Javits Center because of our shared love of superheroes and such. This year was an exceptionally exciting year for me. I can’t even begin to tell you how heartwarming it was to be approached by so many people who had seen and loved Fangasm. The entire reason I decided to be on the show is because I love the geek community, and I always want to encourage a positive, happy, outlook on our industry, so having so many people tell me that our show inspired them makes me feel even better about my whole experience. Thank you to everyone who approached Molly, Regina, Sal and I and shared your fandom stories. You really made our convention a memorable one :-)
We started our day on Thursday by meeting up with one my favorite geek girls, Ashley Eckstein of Her Universe & Clone Wars. Ashley has always been a role model of mine. She’s a driven business woman, and she’s also one of the nicest people I’ve ever met. I love what she has done for geek girl fashion, and I wear her clothes all the time! After seeing Ashley, the rest of the Fangasm crew and I headed to the Diamond booth where we held a meet and greet for anyone who wanted to come say hi to us! I also got to see Chris (the amazingly talented designer of this very website!), and Stephanie, who did me a huge favor and brought my custom made Nightwing dress by Suckers Apparel so I could wear it the next day. I wish I could’ve hung out with them for longer, but this convention, I was constantly on the move. Next we went to the Stan Lee Collectibles booth and we were given the exclusive Funko Stan Lee New York Comic Con Pop vinyl figures! Mine is currently sitting next to me on my desk and watching me write this recap (and probably silently judging me for not posting it sooner). Afterwards we wandered around the show floor for a little longer and then we met up with Melissa and Christine and it was off to the Mary Sue Bash! When we first got there I finally met my long time internet friend Janna and her fiancé Mike, in real life for the first time ever! I also finally had a brief chance to catch up with Jill (one of the lovely hosts!), Rachael, Marlene, Amy, Eric, Alan, Lisa, and Ali, but not nearly long enough. We actually arrived on time (for once), and we ate delicious popcorn, waited anxiously as the raffle winners were announced, and played with superhero props, all the while drinking Strong Female Characters and Wonder Woman Movies which were cocktails that were custom designed for the party. I also was able to meet two more internet friends of mine, Sam Maggs, who was such a sweetheart, and Nicole who works for WeLoveFine! All in all, the Mary Sue Bash was an absolute blast!
After the previous nights festivities, Molly, Sal, Regina and I had kind of a late start on Friday morning. We spent a few hours lounging in our incredibly luxurious mod hotel room, gossiping and reminiscing about memories from our time we spent filming Fangasm. But once we made it to the convention, we had another action packed day of photos with Fangasm viewers, and we also did our best to walk around the show floor. I was able to buy an adorable Sailor Scout tank from WeLoveFine, and then I headed to one of my favorite places, the BOOM/Archaia booth to 1) get a hug from Mel and 2) pick up the first volume of Mouse Guard (which I’ve been dying to read) and the NYCC exclusive Robocop #1 variant as well as the Robocop trade based on Frank Miller’s original vision for the film. While I was roaming around, I was able to meet the awesome Clayton Cowles for the first time! He, Melissa, and I have a mission to plan a Terminator Christmas, but since we were too busy this NYCC, it will definitely have to happen in the near future. One of the highlights of the day was meting Jonathan London and listening to his psychoanalysis of Bruce Wayne. After the con, Molly, Regina, Sal and I went to Burgers and Cupcakes for dinner, picked up pie, and spent the night drinking champagne in our hotel room and meeting with Stan Lee’s team of people.
Saturday was probably my favorite day of the convention. On Saturday morning, I made Regina and Sal wake up really early and head to convention with me so we could be there when the doors opened. Why, you ask? BECAUSE I HAD TO HAVE A ROCKET RACCOON PLUSH. The line at the Marvel booth was constantly unbearable, but we met Leonard there and put in our line waiting time for over 45 minutes, and then Rocket Raccoon was all mine<3 Leonard also got me the Skottie Young Avengers movie poster print, signed by Skottie himself! Just as we finished paying I ran into Dan who happened to be signing at the Marvel booth in just a short time, and who I almost didn’t recognize because he was fully bearded. I’m so excited about the new Silver Surfer series he’s creating with Mike Allred! Then we headed downstairs to one of the meeting rooms and Sal and I got to sit in and listen to some of Regina’s Comikaze business dealings which was extremely interesting. Then Molly met us, and we went back to the Diamond Booth for more meet and greets, and business meetings! Molly and I purchased our NYCC exclusive Poison Ivy’s which match our Super Best Friends Forever set from SDCC, and I ran into Lauren who was perfectly cosplaying as Catwoman. I wish I had gotten a photo with her. Afterwards, which was one of the most exciting con moments for me, we were able to see Stan Lee again. Stan is such a charmer. We thanked him for letting us take a photo with him and he commented that he could never be surrounded by too many beautiful women. Then I finally had some free time where I was able to meet up with my best friends (minus Melissa), and do one of my favorite con activities, which is sitting in one spot on the floor for hours. Conventions are very crowded, so if you don’t take some time to sit and spectate you’ll use up all of your energy before you get to attend any of the fun after parties. I did my floor sitting with Cassie, Giovanni, Betty, Lauren, and our friend Tom who was working for Marvel visited us twice in the six hours we remained in our same spot. After the show closed Giovanni, Tom, Athena, Lindsay, Jessy, Dan, and I went to Korea Town for some delicious sushi. Then it was back to my hotel room to get ready for the Marvel party! I got to catch up with Judy who I met the previous year at a BlackMilk meetup, and I spent the remainder of my night talking to Tom, Athena, Clayton, and Ramon Perez. Another good night, indeed!
Sunday morning, Regina left us to head back to LA, and Molly, Sal and I walked to the Javits to enjoy our last day. The first thing I did was attend the Comix Chix panel which Molly, Jill, and Heidi were speaking on, as well as some other ladies I love. After the panel I met Bonnie and Kate who are both super adorable and very inspiring! My good friend Leonard also completely surprised me and made my entire year when he gave me a Nintendo 3DS XL in pink! I was in shock! I have been wanting one forever, and I am ever so thankful for his kind gesture, especially since there are so many upcoming games I’m dying to play! Once the panel ended Jill and I spent the day walking the show floor and picking up the last minute things we had been wanting. One booth I was really impressed with was Hallmark. I couldn’t believe that I was seeing so many geeky Christmas ornaments that are debuting this year. I’m definitely planning on getting the Adventure Time, Spider-Man, and Star Wars ones once they hit stores. My only purchase of the day was Mind MGMT Volume 2 by Matt Kindt. If you’re not yet reading the series, I seriously suggest that you start. It’s beautiful and completely unlike what I had been expecting. While we were in the Dark Horse booth, Jill introduced to me Aub Driver, who was insanely energetic for the fourth day of the convention, as well as insanely awesome. I’m also thrilled that I was able to meet Dean Trippe in person. Dean and I have been friends for quite some time now, and he’s an incredibly talented writer and artist who just released an autobiographical comic called Something Terrible which you can read for only 99 cents! He gave me a poster of what I refer to as his masterpiece (and the current background of my computer). Then, just as quickly as the convention came, it was all over. Giovanni and I ended our NYCC by going out for pizza so we could unwind and attempt to mentally prepare ourselves for rejoining the real world. My only regret is that I didn’t have any time to go to Artist Alley. Thank goodness I stocked up on prints at Baltimore Comic Con!
Molly & Kristin First & Last Day Mirror Photos
Every year, at every convention, my weakness without fail is artist alley. I’m trying to diversify my list from past conventions, and luckily, NYCC has so many artists coming, that it wasn’t difficult to include folks I haven’t had the opportunity to meet and purchase things from just yet. My only repeat on this list from my last convention (Baltimore Comic Con), is Cliff Chiang because he had to cancel at the last minute and I wasn’t able to see him. But this NYCC, I’m totally ready to attack his table!
Who are you most looking forward to meeting and purchasing artwork from? Do you prefer to buy prints, or do you like commissioning original artwork from your favorite creators?
This year at NYCC, there seems to be more exclusives than ever! There are so many great items being offered by vendors that I know I’m going to have a difficult time narrowing down my purchases. Here’s what I’ve already decided I must have.
Rocket Raccoon Plush by Marvel $34.99 & comes with a Skottie Young lithograph
Super Best Friends Forever Poison Ivy $24.99 (She’ll match my Super Best Friends Forever set from SDCC!)
Harley Quinn Funko Pop Vinyl Metallic Figure
Stan Lee Funko Pop Vinyl Figure
Batman & Batmobile Funko Pop Vinyl Figures
Her Universe 12 Doctors T-shirt
Personalized S.H.I.E.L.D. Badge
What are you most looking forward to buying at New York Comic Con?