The week post-NYCC has flown by, yet it also feels like an eternity ago. The contrast of daily life against the sci-fi and fantasy Disneyland that is New York Comic-Con, is not a transition one traverses lightly; or at least I don’t. Like emerging from the wardrobe after discovering Narnia, I’m still dusting snowflakes from my hair or, rather, quippy buttons, flyers and business cards. I met so many amazing people and went on some pretty cool adventures (some I’ll talk about here, some you might have to read about in my unauthorized biography #pretendingtobefarmoredangerousthaniam). But all in all, it was an awesomely fun, productive and exciting weekend.
Even though the media guests were sanctioned to a far away wing, I was stoked to see all the friendly and loyal fans who came by to grab an autograph, snag a t-shirt, or just to say hello. The laid-back pace was actually a welcome break. Hanging out all weekend allowed me the freedom to come and go and carry on real conversations, rather than frantically packing in a rush of autographs in just a few hours. Admittedly, I only ventured out into the madness twice. On Saturday, I naively walked around artists alley thinking it was the main attraction. A friend of mine with a comic book booth educated me on the different smells emanating from the different areas—that way if I got lost, I could navigate using my ninja olfactory skills. According to him, the publisher’s area was the most offensive, but I didn’t test his hypothesis. I chatted a bit with the cool and talented Cat Staggs, who was kind enough to give me one of her books. Apparently she’s going to be making some BSG art in the near future, so you should definitely keep an eye out. You can find more of her artwork on her site. I also tripped over Scott Adsit (Pete from 30 Rock) pimping out his precious sketchbook for artists to draw/paint/doodle/make magic in. I learned about his idea last year, but this year I actually got to see some of the fruits of his many travels and contributions from incredible artists. I’m not sure how many sketches he has in total now, but it’s an impressive amount and he’s somewhat modest about it; either that or he’s a little self-conscious about the inherent geekery in such an undertaking. I personally think it’s awesome! I also love anything that challenges the fan/celebrity separation. At the end of the day, we're all fans of something, right? And if you're not, sucks to be you! Anyway, I digress, Scott was also kind enough to be excited about my “OH MY GODS! THEY KILLED CALLY” t-shirts and even sported his very own on Sunday. If you catch him in any pics or videos that day, you’re sure to see him representin’. Thanks again Scott! If you're in the city, catch him doing Celebrity Autobiography. It sounds super hilare!
On Sunday I had the good fortune of having a dear old friend from Vancouver serve as my sidekick. So during the slow times we got to catch up and reflect on the good ol’ days kicking around Vancity. It was really nice, and always humbling to have old friends to help you remember how far you’ve come. It was also really neat to hear her perspective on the convention. She moved to NYC seven years ago and has since become a hugely successful and sought-after stylist. She loves her job, but will be the first to admit the fabric holding together the commercial and fashion industry is one of carefully constructed facades and shiny veneers. Her and I have always bonded over our mutual love and appreciation for the nerdier side of life, so it was perfectly apropos for us to unite in such a setting. Her comments on the event were both refreshing and endearing as she compared the people at the convention to the people she normally works with. Sure, they both dress up in outrageous outfits, some of them even with outlandish make-up and accessories. They both obsess over material commodities and identify themselves with their specific interests; most of them form social groups as a result of these interests. But still, there seems to be something tangibly different about these “genres,” if you will. I might be so bold as to say that sci-fi fans seem genuinely happier than my experience of fashion-industry types. But aside from that, I feel the major difference is expressed in their intent. Rather than trying to create an image in order to fit in and be liked by others, comic and sci-fi fans are expressing themselves in a way that is not typically accepted by mainstream culture, and cons are the one place they can actually share that passion with others. I don’t get the sense that con-goers are trying to be cool; in fact, it’s cool not to be cool at a con (the irony is not lost, but you get my point). To put it simply, I it seems like people at conventions come together through a shared LOVE of something, rather than a shared FEAR of something. And that's just cool.
Well that’s enough waxing philosophic for now... More to come on Baba Brinkman’s Rap Guide to Evolution, the Occupy Wall Street protests, and some more cool (mis)adventures I embarked on last weekend.
Oh, and did I mention, I KILLED it in this Black Eyed Peas dance game? KILLED. IT. :)