Living La Vida Geeka: NYCC '10

I’ve been wracking my brain for three days to try to think of a coherent way to express the geek bliss that is a comic convention, and in this case, the New York Comic Con. Ever since my return home on Sunday I’ve been trying to think of an angle for a piece here at ForeverGeek, because there’s so much material to cover it’s almost impossible to put into words what a smorgasbord of delights the NYCC really is.

I knew going into it that the most exciting day of the con was going to be, at least for me, Sunday – and those familiar with both the NYCC and my writing can probably guess why – The Walking Dead panel. The opportunity to see Robert Kirkman and Frank Darabont, among many distinguished others, discussing the transition from comic to television was a true thrill.

But before I get to that highlight, let me paint a picture for you of the experience that was NYCC. You step off the platform at New York Penn and into a new world – because not only are you in the city, but you’re in a city that’s been taken over by manga kids and Lolita chicks. The occasional toddler Wolverine crosses through the landscape. You’re dodging plastic katanas slung casually across the backs of teens while you walk down 34th Street in an absolute army of geek power.

You arrive at Javits Convention Center smack dab on the Hudson just in time to queue and be herded like incredibly nerdy cattle to the show floor, which is so jam packed with comics, costumes, video games, and treasures for sale that you hardly know where to look first. Yet you manage to wrangle your focus long enough to buy a FreakAngels trade autographed by the illustrator (Paul Duffield) and colorist (Kate Brown), and stop to salivate over the upcoming Captain America game. Oh, the Dalek t-shirts are of particular interest, too. You stop yourself from buying a pink goth wig because really, the world is a frightening enough place without you in a pink goth wig.

You stop long enough to appreciate a shirtless dude dressed as Sergeant Hatred. (Later, you’ll ride the escalator behind one dressed as #21.) The anime festival is a few rooms away, and the sheer number of Bleach cosplayers you have to dodge leaves you no room to forget.

You take your place in the makeshift theater just in time to not care in the slightest about a The Vampire Diaries panel (although plenty of young girls apparently do). Someone at the Image booth told you that in San Diego they started lining up at 5 AM for a seat at The Walking Dead panel, so you know that you’re cutting it close by arriving a mere 2 hours early. Turns out you’re the only one who got the memo; you have your pick of seats, once The Vampire Diaries crew rides a wave of their own slobber out the door. You’re up close and you’re ready for the wait, which will be so completely worth it. You grab your copy of a Preacher book to peruse in the interim, only to find out you’re to be treated to an unscheduled visit from M. Night Shyamalan. He discusses Unbreakable in detail (which prompts you to watch it again when you get home).

And then…the delay. The build up to the most epic panel of the entire weekend, witnessed by hundreds upon hundreds of eager fans filling the massive room to the gills, made even more…built up by 45 minutes sitting around waiting for them to let all the latecomers in. (Amateurs. They should’ve been there 2 hours early.) Even the actors are taking potty breaks when they’re called on stage. And you really, really need one, but you really, really don’t want to miss a second of the action.

So we arrive at the big event: The Walking Dead panel. I’ve been talking for weeks about this upcoming television show, due to debut on Halloween night on AMC, which is, for those living under a rock, based on the comic of the same name. Kirkman is first to take the stage and the crowd goes insane. It’s heartwarming to know that up there, a fellow geek is getting to know what it feels like to be a rock star. Kirkman, producer Denise Huth, and Frank Darabont spend a significant time talking about production. You learn that they based the entire medium of filming around what would make the zombies look most awesome. (They settled for film, of all archaic practices.)

When they introduce Andrew Lincoln as “that cute guy from Love Actually”, you pretend you aren’t about to turn into one of those The Vampire Diaries fangirls. You’re excused only in that every man in the place is reduced to a gibbering fanboy by the inclusion of Norman Reedus from Boondock Saints.

But most of all, you are stoked, right down to the core, for the exclusive premier footage plucked right from the series.

After sitting through The Walking Dead panel I have no doubts this is going to be a grade A television show with enough elements of the comic to please us fans, and enough new twists and turns to keep us tuned in. I vowed to watch it live to give it my ounce of ratings support. And for a girl who’s married to her DVR and streaming Netflix, and typically wholly incapable of remembering when anything is on TV no matter what it is, that’s saying a lot.

But come Halloween my TV will be tuned into AMC for the ride. And had you lived through NYCC, you’d be with me, too.

Now I’m back in reality with writing to do and nothing but sweet memories to keep the comic con buzz alive. Until next year, when I’ll be back for another round and perhaps if all goes well, another The Walking Dead panel to mark season two.

A geek can dream.

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