So, fast-forward to some time later. I met my girlfriend, Kristina, and as is customary in the greeting customs of the 21st century homo sapien, we friended each other on Facebook. I'm checking out her pictures - as is of course tradition - and I'm noticing all of these snapshots taken at what appear to be numerous panels she had been to. I'm seeing Seth Rogen and Paul Rudd, and - Holy shit, is that Kevin Smith? Kevin Smith AND Jason Mewes? She saw Jay and Silent Bob? Like, with her own eyes?
"Holy shit," I thought. "I've gotta date this chick."
I drop a casual mention of my findings to her in a text. Casual in as much as pretty much my exact reaction above. I ask her where she had seen them, and she tells me New York Comic-Con.
"New York Comic-Con?" I think to myself. "There's a Comic-Con in New York?"
You see, I had always just associated Comic-Con with San Diego, the big one. The biggest nerd nut-shot in the world (promise, last sex metaphor I'll use, for fear I will never partake in it again if I do). Still, I tell her I had always wanted to go. Then, like a shinning beacon of painfully obvious logic, she offers to me an idea: "You should go".
Just like that, my journey into a land I could only have ever imagined began. Two months later, I hopped in my super bitchin' Nissan, and away I drove to the faraway kingdom of New York City. After I arrived, I did all the usual things which are expected of one visiting the city: I sang a musical number about how I had come dreaming of being discovered and becoming famous, I played and splashed in a fountain, I cried at the former site of the World Trade Center, and I danced on a piano at FAO Shwarz. Then I went to New York Mother Fucking Comic-Con.
Of course I couldn't waste the opportunity by neglecting to take a few pictures to remember the occasion. Allow me to share a few of the more memorable ones with you.
It begins. Here was our first sitting of fellow nerds making the pilgrimage to the promise land. As you can see, Master Roshi is weary from his journey, and stops to get a hot dog with his companions, Colossus and what I can only assume is supposed to be a sexy Bob the Builder. The thing with Comic-Con that you quickly realize, is it's a lot like Halloween. There are a lot of people in costume, and many of them are women who have turned things as innocent as a children's television show mascot into a wet dream. In a way, I suppose you could say they are doing a service of charity to all of the lonelier nerds who not only get to see Bruce Campbell and buy silly nerd trinkets, but actual honest-to-God (almost) boobs. They're like Mother Theresa. If, you know, Mother Theresa was more like Olivia Munn.
The next thing you realize about going to Comic-Con - it's a total cluster fuck. This was the main hall on Sunday, and the main hall is at least an open space, with lots of free room for everyone to rub their sweaty, often costumed, bodies elbow-to-elbow. Forget the whole area where all the booths were. I'm pretty sure I was technically closer to most of those people than you would have to be to have sex with someone.
And here we see what appears to be some sort of altercation happening between Cap and Spider-Man, while a neutral-looking Deapool stands on the sidelines. In my mind, it looks to me like Spider-Man is finally confronting Cap about why he was not invited to join the Avengers.
Now this thing was pretty cool. Some of the costumes at the Con are more on the lazy side. Like, a dude walking around in a Thor costume he bought at CVS. Others, like this one, are fucking MIND BOGGLING. The amount of time this guy must have put into this shows some serious dedication, and I can only hope he has at least a cat or something at home to keep him company in the meantime, while he spends his days and nights constructing he very own mech suit. Seriously though, this thing was huge, totally mobile, and totally amazing. It was the first real costume I saw Sunday, and by God, was it a good one.If you go back and look at that crowd photo above, you can see Bumblebee mixed in with the rabble.
Insert your own joke about the mid-season finale of Doctor Who here.
Somebody needs to make a YouTube video, where every instance of Christian Bale in the Nolan movies is replaced with this kid. Don't tell me you wouldn't want to see that. I saw a really good Bane at the Con not long after this, and I'd be lying if I said I didn't want to see them fight.
I have no idea what this guy is supposed to be, but it was the first dude I saw in a skirt, and I was honestly surprised it took so long for me to run into one. That's only sort of fucked up.
Me: "'Free Hugs'? Oh, maybe I should-"
Kris: "Do not touch that man."
Okay, so this is apparently a thing people do at New York Comic-Con. They just stand around, and hold signs up offering free hugs. I have no idea why. I do not know what they gain from this, besides some weird pleasure from rubbing bodies with a stranger, or perhaps they simply view it as some clever little quirk. Like people are walking by going, "Free hugs? WAH? Why, the very IDEA of hugging a stranger! This children are simply too wild!" This guy, however, was one of the few in a costume. He wasn't desperately seeking them either; just standing there, stoically holding that sign.
Jesus hates zombies. What more do I need to say?
And then the big moment came. The crowning moment of awesome for me at this convention. You see, we had originally planned on seeing Bruce Campbell AND the cast of <I> Walking Dead </i> at panels. Unfortunately, by the time we got in line, there was no way that was ever happening. Yet all was not lost, oh no. Sunday, we're walking the floor, when suddenly the girlfriend tells me "It's Terry O'Quinn!"
And there he was. Showing up out of the clear blue fucking sky, like Jacob in a Hurley vision. I don't normally get star struck, but this was pretty fucking cool. This perfect snapshot of him comes courtesy of Kristina, who had more balls than me when she gleefully greeted him as if they were old friends. It's why our relationship works: she helps me to see actors I love, and prevents me from hugging strangers.
So that's it for pictures, folks. Bring up the lights, go use the bathroom if you need to. Slideshow's over. That's my adventure at Comic-Con, in a nutshell. An experience I'm thrilled to have had, and one I plan on reliving again when it rolls around next year. But this time I'll be older, and wiser. More experienced. I'll bring more money, show up early, and mow people down in line for the panel while I tot around my bag of free and assorted tick-knacks. A weekend totally worth the wait. I got to see some crazy costumes, run around New York City and be amazed by the tall buildings like the simple country boy I am, and I was close enough to John Locke to whisper something, possibly something dirty, in his ear. How often does a guy get that chance?
Oh, and I also got to see Skeletor eating lunch in a cafeteria. That may have been the funniest image ever.