Monday, February 26, 2007

Where The Girls Aren't

For those of you who've never had the pleasure of attending a comic book convention, allow me to set the scene. Usually, it looks like this:

In other words, it's big, it's loud, and there are a ton of people there; more than you'd ever think would be present at an event that's basically a celebration of things that make you anti-social. I suppose you could think of Cons as the one social event a year that comic book fans get to attend with their heads held high; an event where owning every single issue of "The Fantastic Four" could actually get you laid (or at least it's not outside the realm of possibility, anyway). It's basically a prom for people who never got invited to the prom. And, truthfully, it's kind of neat, albeit in a way so incredibly geeky it can make you spontaneously reacquire your virginity.

This is my second year covering the New York Comic Con for the magazine, and, as with last year, I felt like a bit of an interloper. Comics and the assorted miscellanea surrounding them aren't my world, really. Yes, I've been known to peruse a graphic novel every now and again, but I never really got into the whole superhero, D&D, I'm-going-to-buy-a-sword-for-no-reason side of geekdom. As I'm sure you've figured out by now, I was always the horror movie nerd; the kid who got in trouble in junior high for wearing an Evil Dead t-shirt that was too "violent." Being a horror nerd isn't better than being a comic nerd, mind you; it'd be kind of like a methadone addict condemning a heroin addict. I'm just saying that, walking around the Con this weekend, I didn't have the slightest clue as to what most of the stuff was that I was looking at. I can attest, however, that everything was very shiny and colorful. Which is nice for those of us with no attention spans.

Anyhoo... some further notes:

-The Wes Craven interview ended up being a bit of a bust, as I posted earlier. The Eli Roth interview went slightly better in the sense that I actually got to talk to him, as well as Hostel: Part 2 stars Heather Matarazzo and Roger Bart. However, due to the asshole film crew that interviewed them before me taking for-fucking-ever to break down their shit, my allotted ten minutes ended up being about three. That kind of sucked, especially since I'd sat around all day specifically so I could interview them. Lame!!! Surprisingly, Roth came off as a very nice guy; very enthusiastic about his movie, that's for sure.

-While waiting for the aforementioned interview, I sat in a long hallway amongst a bunch of people auditioning for the new season of Who Wants To Be A Superhero? I don't know specifically what powers these folks possessed, but judging solely by their costumes, they would be, for the girls, Extreme Sluttiness, and for the guys, The Ability To Get My Mom To Sew A Superhero Outfit For Her 28-Year-Old Son. But those would just be guesses.

-Trying to find a place with good cellphone reception, I accidentally stumbled into the last half of Kevin Smith's Q&A session with his legions of fans. Gotta say, no matter what you think of the dude's movies, he can tell a story better than just about anyone. I'd pay actual money just to hear him talk about his farts, because I can guarantee it'd be the best talk on farts ever given.

-I'm going to attempt to put this delicately... there were a lot of, shall we say, plus-sized Luke Skywalkers running around. Full costume, with the glowing lightsaber and everything, but much, much larger than Mark Hamill to the power of ten. Now, I'm a chubby dude myself, so I've no room to point and laugh... however, I do, because I don't dress up like Luke Skywalker with a thyroid problem. All I'm saying is, if you want to dress up as something Star Wars-y and you're on the husky side, you might want stick with, say, a nicely paper-mached Death Star costume. If you take your time, it'll look cool and, as a bonus, it'll conceal your bulk. Also, you don't have to grow out your hair, 70's-style, which isn't a flattering look on most thin people, let alone those of us who frequent buffets.

-They had a John McClain action figure from Die Hard. I wanted it so bad, it was like I had to throw up. But I restrained because, at 26, I have a very hard time justifying the purchase of an action figure to myself anymore. Especially when that money could go for liquor.

-Despite my "oh-so clever" title, which I just couldn't resist, there actually were a surprising amount of lady-types there. Not anyone I'd date, necessarily (not so much into the goth thing), but still. I was surprised. Though I suppose that's terribly sexist of me; girls can nerd out just as good as the guys.

And... yes, that's pretty much the sum total of my experience. An interesting, if exhausting, way to spend a weekend. I did want to leave on this note: At one point, towards the end of the events on Saturday, I stood about five feet away from a very pissed-looking Gary Coleman. What he was pissed at, I'll never know, but I can say this: It was magical.


Blogger C.R. III said...

Gary Coleman IS magic! Ever see the Simpsons episode where he helps to destroy Funzo®? Case closed.

Speaking of Simpsons, I somehow imagine the archetype of "Comic Book Guy" was pretty prevalent at the convention. I just never pictured him dressed up as Luke Skywalker. Thank you for that mental image.

I'm not a big comic book fan, although I totally appreciate the artwork. I was thinking of potential comic book subjects when reading your post and I think I could get behind one that featured Henry Rollins as, well, himself. His superpower would be the verbal beat-down, and if the enemy was too tough, well, then it'd just be the traditional beat-down. Pretty good, no?

9:40 PM  
Blogger Clinton said...

I would fully support a Rollins-starring comic. I saw him in a Starbucks (or something) when I lived in LA and, seriously, that guy's a scary-looking motherfucker.

10:59 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I've been to a couple of comic cons and I noticed a lot of strippers dressed in superhero costumes charging guys to have their picture taken with them.

I also met one of the guys from the original Lost in Space. I chatted with him for a minute and he was like, "hey, you want an autograph?" and I thought "Well, I guess so." Anywho, he signed it and charged me TEN BUCKS! I thought about giving him the old 'no fucking way, dude' but then I felt kind of bad for him, like maybe I was paying his gas money.

12:57 PM  
Blogger Clinton said...

Yeah, for some of those guys, that's pretty much their living. Peter Mayhew (Chewbacca) was charging, I think, 20$ for an autograph at the Con I was just at. A bit pricey for a wookie, if you ask me.

2:23 PM  

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