Last week, I attended my very first New York Comic Con. I had attended Comic Cons before, but never one of this magnitude. I was nervous, I was excited, I was ready for my feet to ache. But most of all, I was ready to see some amazing cosplay and to hear some outstanding comic book and pop culture news!
I wasn’t as enthusiastic to go to Comic Con on Thursday because I thought it would be pretty slow due to it being a school/work day. I donned my Waldo costume and set off around noon. As one would expect, I had to go through a gauntlet of people making remarks like “I found you, Waldo!” or “There you are, Waldo!” New York City was bad enough, but once I got into the Con, it got even more hectic. It was difficult walking three feet without someone stopping me to say that they’ve found me. Again, I expected it to happen, but not this much! Regardless, it was fun getting some of the attention.
I spent most of Thursday taking pictures of cosplayers and walking around the show floor. Right when I walked in the front door, however, the first thing that hit me was the Back to the Future display. There was an actual DeLorean with Marty McFly and Doc Brown impersonators who were offering to have their picture taken with guests. Since next week is the “official” date that Marty traveled to the future in Back to the Future Part II, I liked that NYCC had this fun display for the fans, though I wish there was a little more to it. I mean, people have been waiting for 30 years to finally experience October 21st, 2015. You’d think they’d have an entire hall dedicated to the film! Oh, well. The sheer amount of Marty McFly and Doc Brown cosplayers sure made up for it.
Friday was a much more enjoyable experience. My girlfriend and I set off to the Con, me dressed as Waldo and her dressed as Carmen Sandiego. If you thought the attention I got as Waldo was bad, you can only imagine how it was when people saw me accompanied by Carmen Sandiego. People loved the combination. It was difficult for us to move two feet without someone wanting to take our picture. It was amazing. And even with all of these pauses, we still managed to have a great time.
Around mid-afternoon, we attended the Justice League panel. No, it wasn’t about the movie; it was about the old cartoon from over a decade ago. 14-year-old me would freak out if they knew that I would one day get to see the voices of the Justice League in person. Obviously, the panel’s audience was packed with guests, but we managed to get great seating near the front. It was magical seeing people like Kevin Conroy, Phil Lamarr, and Susan Eisenberg in the flesh. No matter what, Conroy will always be the true voice of Batman for me.
The Justice League panel didn’t introduce anything new or extremely noteworthy, but it was still an outstanding time for fans of the old cartoon. The cast recited lines and scenes from Justice League and even did a fun little tribute at the end by acting out a scene involving their characters actually attending the Comic Con. Oh, and hearing Phil Lamarr recite the Green Lantern Oath in person as John Stewart was magical.
Honestly, I wasn’t too sure about attending Comic Con on Saturday. I was absolutely exhausted from the past two days, and I knew that it would be almost impossible to attend most panels due to the huge crowds. At the last minute, I ventured to the Javitz Center wearing my Waldo outfit for the third day in a row (good thing it didn’t smell yet and that I had my cologne handy).
I spent the day meeting with some friends and collecting more cosplay pictures. I also picked up some free comics, including an issue of Fight Club 2. Yes, they’ve made a comic book sequel to the original book/film. To be fair, it’s not bad at all. It makes sense once you start reading into it, but I felt like a sequel was almost ironic seeing as it kinda goes against the themes of commercialization and materialism in the first book. It’s like buying a Fight Club sweatshirt or something. Oh, well. I love Chuck Palahniuk too much to not give the story a chance.
Sunday was THEE day for Comic Con. You’d think this would be the slowest day since it’s the very end of the event and most people would be too exhausted to do much. But I am so, so, so happy that my girlfriend and I attended. The crowd wasn’t AS rough as the previous days, but it was still pretty packed. We made our way across the show floor, trying to take in as much as we could (while still being stopped every few seconds so that people could get pictures of our Waldo and Carmen Sandiego together).
The defining moment was around the late afternoon. We were walking by a booth and saw a crowd gathered around a corner stall. We didn’t think much of it. Then my girlfriend grabbed my arm and said “Oh, my God – it’s Deathstroke!” I turned and looked at the table. I couldn’t believe my eyes. There was no way it could be him. But she was right: Manu Bennett, the actor who portrayed Deathstroke/Slade Wilson on Arrow, was actually at the table signing autographs and taking pictures! My heart stopped. It was unbelievable. Of all the places to encounter such a talented actor, it would be on a Sunday at a Comic Con corner booth in the middle of the show floor. The best part? He was taking pictures with people for only 40 bucks. We hopped in line as soon as we could.
Knowing my luck, I thought maybe he’d cancel photographs right before we had a chance to meet him. Nope. We made it to the front of the line and got a selfie with Manu Bennett himelf!
Who would’ve thought that he’d be such a nice guy after playing such a vile villain in Arrow (and The Hobbit – for those of you who don’t know, Bennett voiced Azog the Goblin)? He took multiple selfies with us to ensure we’d get the best picture. Afterwards, he shook our hands. I was absolutely star-struck and couldn’t say a single word to him. I wanted to tell him that he was the best part of Arrow. I wanted to tell him that he should’ve reprised his role as Deathstroke in the upcoming Suicide Squad film. I wanted to say so much. Instead, I just grinned like an idiot and shook his hand for what seemed like an eternity.
I didn’t think anything could top that experience. My girlfriend and I were wondering if we might as well just head home at that point. We met Deathstroke. What else could we hope for? Thankfully, we decided to stick around and check out Artist Alley again. Since it was our last day, and since we hadn’t really bought anything during our time at Comic Con, we chose to spoil ourselves. She went and bought herself a hand-drawn Doctor Who poster while I purchased some outstanding Ant-Man, Flash, and Punisher artwork.
If I had the money, I would’ve bought a piece of art from every single table in Artist Alley. The talent of these artists is unbelievable, and I respect the hell out of what they can do. If you ever go to a Con, don’t skimp on the artwork. Seriously, some of the stuff these people create is astounding
New York Comic Con 2015 was a phenomenal time. The only thing I could do without is all the walking and all the tight crowds. I can’t wait until next year, though, I think I’ll definitely have to wash the Waldo costume before I wear it again…
If you’d like to see the cosplay pictures we took at New York Comic Con 2015, click here.
Did you go to New York Comic Con 2015? What panels did you attend? What was your favorite part of the Con? Tell us in the comments or on Twitter!