So more reasons why the Con turned out to be a good time:
Additional Reason # 1: Judy and I got to talk with Paul Levitz for a few minutes because we were at the DC booth right at the beginning and nobody was there. No fans. Just my wife and I with Paul Levitz. So my wife starts talking to Paul about our kids and his kids and comic books and I come over and geek it all up with some talk about his new JSA arc and he turns out to be a super nice guy who just seems really glad to be in the business he's in. I told Judy afterwards that he was the President of DC and she just said, "oh, he just seemed like a regular guy." So there you have it.
#2: I was the only one at the Marvel booth standing in front of Michael Gaydos and Paul Gulacy. Nobody was there either (where had the thousands of other people waiting in that line on the stairs go?) So since I hate getting signatures for no good reason, but I didn't want to be rude, I just starting chatting it up with these two, except all I could think about as I was talking to them was how much I hated that horrible Powerless series that Gaydos worked on (although I actually liked the art--but the story was unreadable and ultimately pointless), and how much I used to like Gulacy, but I think his characters look like Michael Jackson these days. So that stuff was in my brain, but what I said to them instead is, "oh yeah, I like your stuff. Love some of your upcoming covers, Paul." And they just nodded at me, and Paul said, "check out Punisher," and I said "okay," and he said, "seriously, check out Punisher" all serious-like. Guess what. I'm not going to check out Punisher. Punisher and I are done. Forever.
#3: I got two cool t-shirts and a third friggin awesome t-shirt. The friggin awesome t-shirt you ask: ACTION PHILOSOPHERS. The shirt is so sweet that you can't even stop me from wearing it. Don't even bother trying. Plus, it says, "Plato Smash!" So now I have a shirt that expresses how I feel inside.
#4: I tried to convince Peter Laird to come back and visit Drury High School. I teach there now, and he graduated from there, but I know he hasn't been back since. He probably has horrible memories of high school. But I told him he should come back, famous people always go back to their high schools to speak, right? He should, so we could hang out and he could donate a new graphic narrative wing to the building or something. I mean, just because he established a philanthropic foundation which donates hundreds of thousands of dollars to comic book creators who want to self-publish their work, well that doesn't get him off the hook. Nope, he's gotta give something back to the community that probably mocked him and/or beat him up as a kid.
#5: The guys at the Wizard booth. I haven't read Wizard since they invented the internet, but the guys at the booth were running a fun game involving trivia and/or physical challenges. You got to name a category of your choosing, and then they gave you a question from that topic. Then you got it right and spun the wheel or you got it wrong, did a physical challenge, then spun the wheel. The guy in front of us said "Quentin Tarantino movies," then he was asked to name three people Uma Thurman kills in Kill Bill and he couldn't do it. He could only name two, so they made him dance like John Travolta. But the guys started doing these wierd moves and we were all like, "huh?" and then we all simultaneously realized he was trying to dance like Vincent Vega because we all said "oh." Anyway, he spun the wheel, landed on atomic wedgie, and got a free comic. Judy was next. She picked Math as her category, because she is asian and a racial stereotype of herself, and the Wizard guys and to confer because they didn't know any math questions. They asked her the Pythagorean Theorum and of course, she knew it, spun the wheel, landed on Free Comic and got a free comic. My category was "Stuff I have in my pocket" and they were stumped for a question until one of them said, "what is your driver's license number" and of course, I knew it because it's just my SSN, so I spun the wheel, landed on Swirlie, and got a free comic. The free comic was that New Avengers issue where The Sentry sits around with his possibly imaginary wife all issue and looks grumpy because David Finch can only draw grumpy people. So that's kinda like getting a Swirlie, right?
#6: We ended up leaving the convention at 1:45 because it was so packed that we couldn't move around. We'd seen every booth, talked to everyone who was cool that we could find. Spent some money. It would have been nice to see a few panels, but the layout was so screwy, you couldn't go to a panel without giving up your right to ever return to the convention floor. Or something. It was all locked down and guards were posted and it was CRAZY. So we just left rather than deal with all that. As we're walking to our car, a guy stops us and says, "I'm buying bracelets. Got any?" and I say, "nah, don't bother, they're not letting anyone in anyway. Even if you have one." He seems to really want them, so I rip mine off and hand it to him and he says, "I'll give you $20 for both." Okay. I help Judy rip hers off and we're now $20 richer. Had he said "I will give you $1 for both," I would not have asked for more. They were just going into the trash anyway. So that was cool for us.
As for what was bad about the Con:
--I saw a guy waiting in line for Frank Miller and the guy had 50 copies of All-Star Batman and Robin issue 1 for Frank to sign. That just pisses me off. I hope Frank punched the guy. Although perhaps the guy was going to ask Frank for a refund, in which case that guy is my new best friend.
--The layout and entrance to the convention floor was ridiculously complicated and inefficient. Just like New York City (oh--I made a funny!)
--Art and Franco weren't there with Patrick the Wolf Boy. Art does the best 1-minutes sketches ever. Also, the Caveman Robot guys weren't there. And those guys are wicked cool too. Especially Britton Walters--he's the coolest ever because he wrote me a fan letter after seeing the Ninja Wolf: The Movie Super-Spectacular minicomic I distributed in San Diego. But yeah, I didn't see him there. Nope.
--We spent like $100 just to get into the convention between tolls and parking and gas and admission, and we only spent 2 hours and 45 minutes there. That's 60 cents a minute. Let's compare that to a movie--now we haven't paid to see a movie in years because we know the theater manager and everyone who's in charge, but if we did it would be $8.50. So figuring two tickets, that's like 20 cents a minute on average. A hardcover book costs about $25, and takes about 4 hours to read, so a book is worth about 10 cents a minute. A Marvel comic, on the other hand, costs $2.95 and takes three minutes to read, so that's 98 cents a minute. So the bottom line is that the NYCC was not as good as a book or a movie but better than a Marvel comic.
Overall, we felt like most people, I think. It was crazy and too small but we'll be back next year because they will fix all that stuff for the second year, right? Right?