At the time of writing this I’m currently sitting in terminal 5, gate 11 of JFK airport awaiting my flight back home to Ireland after attending this years New York comic-con, and I’m reflecting on the con’s events and definitely one of the best times of my life. I’ve been to cons in my native country, England and America but nothing compared to the scale of NYCC. On the first day that my friends and I went to get our tickets, we walked into the Javits Center and I had to pause. The colorful displays, banners, cos-players, sheer amount of people etc was just staggering.
I was asked by my editor to do a piece on the con and it’s confounded me up till now on what to do. I could’ve done some news reports, reviews etc, but after flipping through all the pics on my phone and such I’ve decided to make it a more personal article.
A first thing first, was the con any good? Of course it was! It was NYCC, arguably the second biggest con in America after San Diego. While SDCC has become more media based, NYCC remains at its core, a comic book convention and for someone like me it was heaven.
With that being said, it was the small moments that actually made the experience truly special to me and I’ll try and detail them to you here.
One of the most significant events at the con for me was meeting Joe Madureira. Ever since I picked up my first issue of Uncanny X-Men back in the mid 90s I completely fell in love with his art. Joe Mad is the reason I became a comic book fan so it was fantastic to actually meet him for the first time. After I did the usual fanboy stuff of gushing to him about his work, getting some stuff signed, I said thank you and goodbye. Afterwards as I had time to spare I made my way to a sidewall and sat down to have a drink of water and survey around me. About 20 minutes past and I’m surprised to see Joe Mad come walking in my direction talking to some guys he was with. He kinda looked in my direction and we made eye contact, he smiled and I gave him a thumbs up and as he reached where I was sitting, we slapped a high five as he walked on. Incredible.
Another example would be when I was waiting in line and when I got to meet Scott Snyder and Greg Capullo. The hottest creative team in comics had two signings on the weekend, one first thing Saturday morning and one Sunday morning. Unfortunately I was too late on the Saturday and the line was capped, but this made me all the more determined to get them on Sunday. I queued from 7.30 and while there was still quite a queue ahead of me I was guaranteed my spot.
Greg appeared first at the signing table and the way the queue was snaked I was halfway down, but also side by side with the first person. Greg came over asking how everyone was and before I knew it he had put out his hand to give a handshake first to me. Of course I obliged and I received the firmest, manliest handshake I’ve ever had. Honestly I thought my hand was gone! I had heard before about Capullo’s enthusiasm and love of life, comics and the fans, but it’s another to behold in real life. He made his way down the line constantly shaking hands and chatting fans, a great, great guy.
Meeting writer Pete Tomasi was also a highlight for me. While he is best known for his work on Batman and Robin and GL corps, I wanted to chat him about his Black Adam mini that he wrote way back in 2008. It’s because of Geoff Johns and Pete Tomasi’s work on Adam that he is my favorite comic book character so I had to show my thanks. He was very enthusiastic and appreciative of my interest and I could tell Adam was a favorite of his too, indeed he expressed that he would love to revisit the character if given the chance soon. I hope so too!
On the Saturday, when leaving the convention center I spotted Rob Liefeld leaving as well. I’m not one to annoy the pros when they are going about their daily business but I had to say hello. He is such a nice guy but I felt bad as I had brought nothing with me for him to sign, I had to scale down the amount of books I brought with me (a disadvantage of having to travel from N. Ireland to New York for the con) but I am an avid follower of his on twitter so I wanted to tell him. He was so grateful to be told this and thanked me for saying.
These are just a few of the great encounters and experiences I had at NYCC this year. I could go on and on about all the fantastic things that happened and all the down-to-earth pros I met like Robert Kirkman and Joe Quesada having no problem posing for pictures on the show floor, meeting Ales Kot and Dennis Hopeless who are two new ‘up-and-comers’ whose work I love and feeling nothing but gracious appreciation from them for the praise I heaped on them but if I was to, this article would never get finished! I won’t get into how I met Stan Lee then …
Like I previously said and I’d tried to convey here, NYCC was amazing and was one of the best times of my life, something I hope to replicate by going in 2014 again.