Is it possible to walk away with a bundle of loot, some great autographs, several photo ops and STILL be miserable about the whole thing? Until last week, I would have answered with a resounding no and then……New York Comic Con happened. The 2014 NYCC didnt have a stellar lineup. It had some big name celebrities, who were doing panels only, becoming hard to impossible to get autographs or photo ops from. Names like George Clooney, Michael Keaton, Ed Norton, Christian Slater, Michael Jai White, Mike Tyson, Matt Ryan and more. These names ranged from Hollywood royalty to just names who were personal needs and wants on my end. And yet they were unaccessible for the most part. So how good is your lineup when these celebs are unaccessible?
With major names being unaccessible, it left really only a handfull of names I had any interest in. The lineup itself, if you were a Star Trek Next Generation fan, was pretty strong. But ONLY if you were a Next Generation fan. When they started announcing celebs, they lead with some nice ones. Sadly, they never really followed up with much else. Several repeats from last year like Gillian Anderson and Hulk Hogan and some status quo names like Giancarlo Esposito and Jason David Frank. In addition, NYCC NEEDS to either sell less tickets, which we know that wont happen, or they need to utilize MORE of Javits Center or find another convention center all together. They have outgrown what they are using. Knowing how bad the lines were gonna be, I tried to plan accordingly so I could avoid too much running from one part to the next and trying to get on a escalator.
That being said, my miserable adventure started on Thursday. Traffic into New Jersey was AWFUL. It put me a good 40 minutes behind. I arrived in Secaucus and went straight to my hippo. I wanted to get checked in before venturing into the city, but sadly was unable to as my room was not ready. I was able to park and took a cab over to Secaucus Junction to take the train in. I figured the cab would be cheaper, as the cab fare estimator online said it was only $7 for the ride. Round trip, even with tip, would be significantly less than parking. Another piss poor cab driver and I get fucked once again. This guy charged me $16 for the cab. I plead my case and he said those sites are BS. How could a 2 mile drive that took under 10 minutes cost me $16?! I paid the guy and told him his services would no longer be needed. I got on the train and went into the city. Once I arrived, I went topside to find another cab….God help me…..and headed to Javits Center. This time, no issue with the cab driver. $7 for the ride and I was there. The line outside was ridiculous! I thought Thursday was supposed to be so much calmer. Yet, there had to be 2000 people already in line and it was only 9:45. I asked the guy at the head of the line and he said he got there at 6am. The con opens at 12pm.
My friend Won met me outside and handed me my vendor pass and we headed inside. Skip the entire line, no security check and I was inside. I immediately went to my schedule to start hitting vendors up for NYCC exclusives. Sadly, none of the vendors were open for business yet. I went to each stop and was met with the same answer. Some said I could come back in a half hour, some said they wouldnt sell till 12pm on the dot, some werent even at their tables and a few I couldnt even locate. Seemed like vendors in 300 and 400 were missing, as there was no table for them and then the tables started to go out of order. What a mess. I was able to secure a few things on my list, but most I either couldnt find the vendor or the vendor refused to sell to me because I had a vendor badge. The big benefit of this badge now blew up in my face. Outside of avoiding the horrid line to get inside and security, this badge now didnt do much for me. What I got it for…..it did me no good.
One of the NYCC exclusives that was at the top of my list of the limited to 50 Arrow prints in artist alley. It was one of my first stops. When I got there around 10:30, the table was empty. Nothing was even setup. So I decided to do some more shopping and come back right before 12pm. When I returned around 11:50…..still nothing. Table empty. I had a bag full of exclusives and just wanted to snag a few of these prints to finish up. Instead, I was forced back to the showroom floor. As I was headed up, I spotted Darryl from Run DMC and grabbed a quick photo with him. He was super cool about it too. I headed back up and went to see Jordan Hembrough from Toy Hunter fame. I’ve always loved Toy Hunter and Jordan seems really cool. I hit his booth and he was just like I have seen him on tv. He was very busy though, so I didnt want to occupy all his time. I know he is there to make money. I grabbed a photo with him and was gone. Still a great experience.
Once I was finished with The Toy Hunter, I ventured back to artist alley. Once again…..nada. This was getting ridiculous. Its nearly 2pm and doors opened at 12. I went back to the showroom to try and get Manu Bennett, but he had not arrived yet. With no artist alley and no Manu, I decided to head for The King Of The Nerds free signing with Curtis Armstrong and Robert Carradine. I got down there and found myself 5th in line. Might as well wait it out for this one. The wait was long and boring. This is where having a partner can help, as well as having a partner for line spot holding. Both Curtis and Robert showed up on time and got started right away. They signed the King Of The Nerds promo and I got a picture with both men. Kind of crappy photo, but the guy behind me in line was all nervous about meeting Curtis. After I was done, I went to the showroom to check on Manu. Nope….wasnt there. Was told he should be arriving very soon though. So it was back to artist alley to see if the Arrow print was available. SHAZAM! Finally…..dude arrived at 3:30pm and was still setting up. I walked over and asked for 2 and was handed numbers 40 and 41. Evidently at some point from my last trip here, a line formed and people waited for this guy. They were just about out of this limited 50 piece run. Back up stairs I went to get in the Manu line. I was about 60 people deep and decided to just wait it out. Its the last stop of the day. I had walked around this joint long enough and had already grown tired of bumping into people who kept stopping in the middle of the aisles to take pictures of cosplayers. This annoys me to no end. I get it. But it still annoys the crap out of me….ESPECIALLY at NYCC, where there is barely room to walk in the first place.
Manu finally arrived and began to sign. He was in great spirits. $50 for an auto and $30 for a photo, if you bought the auto. I just needed 1 auto. When it was my turn, I walked up and asked for 1 auto. The promoter wanted to know who Manu should make this out to. Now normally, if you read my stories you would know, I prefer to have most of my stuff personalized. HOWEVER, my auto was going in my Arrow book. Personalization is just not needed. I politely turned her down and then was told, it would be an additional $50 for NON personalized. WTF!?!? I’ve heard of sports autos charging FOR personalization and even then its like $20 more….but double the price?!?!? She tells me its because I could rip the page out of the book and sell it on ebay for $200. Wait….what?!?! Clearly this woman has never been to ebay. I love Manu. But $200 for a page ripped out of a custom made book signed by Manu?!?!? She insisted. I bantered. She wouldnt budge and I grew tired of her bellyaching. My book was slid over to Manu, who apologized for this woman’s treachery. He signed my book and wrote Slade on the Slade photo and Deathstroke on the Deathstroke photo. He thanked me for coming out and made sure NOT to personalize the book. Manu saves the day.
I was glad to get the hell out of that fiasco. Down the escalator and out the door and into fresh air I went. I had the shits of NYCC already, I didnt even want to order my Uber ride until I got up the street a bit…..just so I could be away from it. I loaded up the app, ordered the car and was picked up in about 5 minutes. They took me to Penn Station and I was on the train back to Secaucus.
One of my closest high school buddies lives near the station and offered to pick me up and get some dinner. I hadnt eaten all day, especially considering the price for food at the con…which is expected, so I was quite hungry. We stopped at the hippo so I could get checked in. I wanted to make sure my drinks could be put in the fridge so they would be chilled by the time I returned. So when my buddy Brett picked me up, we headed to the hippo. I went to check in and faced my next challenge…..my credit card is being denied. I specifically wanted to use this card for the cash back feature. The day before I made a payment over the phone in order to clear plenty of room on this card. So there is no reason the card would be denied. I called the credit card company and was told the reason it was denied was cuz my payment had not been released. But when I made the payment, it said the next business day it would be cleared. Long story short, they extended my credit limit….allowing me to check in.
Next dilemma? Once I got to my room, I couldnt locate the fridge. I called down to the front desk and was told fridges were removed from “rooms with a view” and the view was now apart of the deluxe package. WTF?!?!!? If I want the fridge….$67 more. Get out of here! I grabbed a trash can and filled it with ice, packing my drinks in there. The front desk also informed me the wifi was out.
Out the door we went. We decided to stay local, cuz I was tired and didnt want to be bothered with a lot of noise and people. I had seen enough people for one day. We ate over at Cheeseburgers in Paradise. The food was above average….as was the pricing. We headed back to my hippo to watch the Thursday night game. Brett said it would be another blow out and predicted an Indy win by 30. I said it would be close….Indy by 13. It didnt look good for early on, 21-0 to open…..but per usual, I called it. I was so tired though that at some point, I faded off and Brett had to wake me. I dont know exactly how long I was out, but I was out. Brett took off and I repacked my bag for Friday. Since Brett was working in Secaucus that day, we agreed to get breakfast in the morning and then he would take me to the train station. So day 1 was in the books and I was off to sleep.
Day 2 arises and I am more than sluggish. The memory of Thursday’s con experience still fresh on the brain, didnt help matters. Brett came by and we were off to some diner for breakfast. The food was ok. I usually avoid eating before long days, as the last thing I want is my stomach to become upset. I didnt follow this rule and paid for it. After Brett dropped me off, I immediately felt the rumbling. I need to make a pitt stop. Inevitably, this would make me late for NYCC.
Once I arrived, I went directly to the room hosting the Elementary Panel. It took me a few minutes to reach the room. When I finally arrived, I found out that the line was all the way back the way I came. I had to trek it all the way back. Here I discovered a line 500 or so deep. This was not good. I opted to pass on the panel, instead opting to hit the auto lines. Since Jennifer Morrison was scheduled to start signing soon, I figured she was best to hit first. The liner for her was ginomorous as well. I was probably about 150 back. Without any pressing needs at this point, I figured this was a good place to start. Once she finally arrived, the line moved decently. When I got to her, I offered my How I Met Your Mother poster to her and she loved it. She said she loved that show and really enjoyed playing Zoey. Got my sig and I was out of there. My next stop was The Librarians cast line. Eventhough it was only about 12:30 and that signing was scheduled to start till 2:30pm, there was already about 10 people in line. Christian Kane, Rebecca Romijin and this being a free signing, I suspected a line that would sure be absurd. I hopped in and played the waiting game.
Time couldnt pass more slowly. As 2:30 approached, I was already beat just waiting this one out. To make matters worse, they werent here yet. As the minutes continued to tick, I start worrying about The Americans Panel. With what I saw for Elementary, this could be filling up as well. Almost an hour and a half later, The Librarians finally arrived but so did the Americans Panel. Not only had the line grown, but the panel was half over. So now THAT panel was also off the list. The line moved quickly. They announced no photo ops or extras. I wasnt worried about photos, though I did see some have success with them, I had what I needed. I definitely wanted the extras from Kane and Romjin. I handed Rebecca my photo op from UpFronts and she was hesitant, but did sign it. Christian was next and he was great. He was happy to sign my extra item. Bang, bang and I was done here. I scoped out the Stephen Amell line and it was ridiculous. The damn thing was stretched to the other end of the room. It always seemed the more Stephen put in a dent into the line….the more people will hop into it. Good for him!
Amell autos was on the list for the day, but so was Ron Pearlman. His book signing wasnt supposed to be for another 1 or so and he already had a decent line. I went over to verify with NYCC and the book sellers about extras and was told NO PHOTOS and NO EXTRAS. They said this was a request by Ron Pearlman that he not sign any outside merchandise. I asked if I could buy the book, but get my poster signed and was turned down. I told them directly that you tell Ron Pearlman that I am NOT buying his book and the reason is because I want my poster signed and not the book. All his previous NYC signings had photos and extras. Why at NYCC he wouldnt do them is beyond me? But whatever…you lost a sale.
With Pearlman a bust, there was but 2 items remaining for my day. Amell and the Archer panel. Archer panel wasnt till 7:30. Might as well hit Amell then. I jumped into line. The line moved decently. As I started to approach the pay point, which I loved that they had this before you reach the table, they announced he was leaving for his photo op. Those who do not get through will be handed a number and be able to return after his photo op to line up in numbered order. This sounded much better. Since he was on time crunch, I knew they would be shuttling everyone through like cattle. So I did what I could to keep moving back in the line in order to achieve a number.
One thing that helped in my desire to get a number was that it was announced that Stephen wanted to take a break for a minute. He climbed down and started walking down the line to high five fans. He stopped at me and talked for a brief moment, before he continued down the line. Kelsey, his manager, stopped as well and told me she knew I would be at this one…remembering that I was in the north east.
When the numbers were handed out, it was just a few people behind me that they started with numbers. I ran back and approached the NYCC staff about it. The guy was really nice, but very puzzled. He didnt understand why I wouldnt want to just go no versus a number. Regardless, he handed me #2. With the number secured, I was free to roam for a bit. His photo op was an hour long and they said to be back about 45 minutes. My phone battery was low. So I went upstairs to the AT&T booth, where they locked your phone up and gave it a boost. I had to wait in a small line, but finally got my phone in for a charge. I sat down on their couch, put a pillow behind my head and eventually passed out. Yes….I fell asleep at NYCC. I woke about 40 minutes later, grabbed my phone and raced back downstairs. As I reached the line, it was already huge. I got to the front and took my spot. Not 30 seconds later, Stephen appeared and started signing again. I quickly grabbed my photo op from UpFronts, my SDCC mini poster and Arrow book. It was my turn next. Before I had him sign anything, I reached in my bag and grabbed a few gifts. First was the autographed photo from earlier this year from Kofi Kingston. If you read that adventure, I explained that Stephen is a HUGE WWE fan and Kofi is a HUGE Arrow fan. Kofi loves the show so much, he actually had gear made in a Green Arrow theme, complete with the hooded ring vest. My 2nd gift was a custom made Captain Amell baseball shirt in the Captain Charisma theme. If anyone remembers the Christian Cage Captain Charisma shirt from WWE.com many years back, this was the same idea…..cept it had Stephen’s name on the back and Captain Amell on the front. He loved the shirt. Got my stuff signed and explained how the Arrow book got damaged at UpFronts. He was sad to hear, as he knew I had a lot of autographs in that book already. I opted to do Stephen’s autograph line on Friday and his photo line on Saturday. USUALLY, he wears a cap on day 1 of a con and no hat day 2. I wanted to put this to a test. Was I right? Stay tuned…..
With Stephen’s line done, it left me just my Archer panel. I ran into a few friends with about an hour to spare before this panel. Sadly, I was informed since this was a main stage panel, I needed a wrist band and the wrist bands were given out this morning. I knew that….but I didnt KNOW that. Stupid. Now my shot at Christian Slater just went up in smoke. The only chance I would have now would be him exiting NYCC. I was tired and beat and Slater was really the only name I wanted. I himmed and hawed and decided to call my Uber ride to call it a night. But it was extra busy and the rate fare went to 3X the normal price or around $30 to get back to Penn Station. Guess that was a sign from above to stay and mark out. I went to the spot for Slater and saw maybe about 5 others waiting. It had been about 50/50 in getting people. As I was approaching, I saw Stephen Amell exit. I tried to get my item out of my bag, figuring someone would stop him, but no one moved. By the time I got an 8×10 out, Stephen was in his car and leaving. WTF?! The dealers said they dont even bother with him anymore, citing he wont do it.
Next person we saw was Ron Pearlman. Dude legit waited inside the building for 40 minutes, even with only 5 people waiting outside. His car pulled up and he got inside and was gone. He ignored everyone. Jason David Frank stepped out and provided the highlight of the week with his witty banter. He was very entertaining and was willing to hang out outside and chit chat. He signed my photo op from WW in his White Ranger gear. I even asked him what time it was and he responded 7:57. I screamed no. He jumped in his car, rolled the window down and screamed out….ITS MORPHN TIME! The car sped away and he was gone. Great stuff.
My next get was Matt Lanter of Star Crossed fame. He played the male lead Roman. This was a cool get. I had high hopes for that show, but it kind of fizzled and it never really got going before it was canceled. His wife was also there and runs a fashion blog. I got a photo with her as well….since it seemed to be en vogue. One of the dealer’s approached me and asked who I really wanted. I said Christian Slater. The guy attempted to feed me a line of BS of how Slater wasnt here. He then said it was a misprint on NYCC’s website. I said he was scheduled for the Archer panel, which this guy said he was a huge fan of the show and that Slater isnt on it. I went to IMDB and found that he is. Never believe the dealers. They are such cons. Really?! There are 5 of us here. You really want to lie to chase 1 away to get what?! It wasnt too long before Slater exited. I called out to him, as he had a security guard standing next to him. He turned and started heading my way. Then the security guard grabbed him by the bicep and told him he wasnt allowed. Slater protested and took another step forward. I’ve never seen a celeb man handled like this. Slater and the guard would have words, as they walked to his car. Slater turned and gave that look of apology and climbed in his car. I should have chased after him, but I froze. I couldnt believe what I witnessed.
With Slater gone, there pretty much wasnt anything else left. The dealer who told me, Slater wasnt here, put his stack of 8x10s back in his bag and everyone left. I called for my Uber ride and headed back to Penn Station. My original plan was to hit Broadway Friday night, but I was too tired to even venture out. It was right around the right time, but NYCC was kicking my ass. I think I would have felt different had I not spent countless hours just waiting in lines by myself. There is no animal that is even REMOTELY like NYCC. Be forewarned, this is not Wizard World. This is not a wrestling convention or Chiller or marking out in the streets. It requires an innate ability to entertain oneself for hours upon hours. And no matter how much preparation you put into it…..things….inevitably will go wrong.
Back at the hippo, I ordered some food, rearranged my bag and made arrangements with my buddy Brett, who was going to be joining me at NYCC on Saturday. This would be his FIRST convention of any sort. He had 1 sole want…..a picture with Gillian Anderson. So it was off to bed after dinner and back up early morning for what is known as the WORST day of NYCC. I couldnt wait.
Morning came way too soon. I was sluggish and already feeling the lack of motivation. It wasnt all bad. At least I would have Brett to keep me entertained. We headed directly for the Junction. Sadly, we must have just missed the train, as it was 25 mins before the next one was coming. Already stressed. Once it arrived we got to Penn Station and I summoned the Uber. After a 20 minute wait, estimated to be a 5 minute wait, the car finally arrived….or at least the driver said it did. I couldnt find it. The driver called me, but I couldnt understand a word he was saying. He then began to freak out, screaming into the phone at me. I screamed back, calling him a son of a bitch. I think his understanding of english was about as good as his ability to speak it. With the rain pouring in the city, I finally found him and we were off to Javits.
When we arrived, it was a minute before 10am and they were already letting people in. This was bad. I needed to be prompt today, thats why I left a good hour longer than needed. Marvel was holding a giveaway to meet the cast of Daredevil. I got up to the booth and found a line that was wrapping around and around the Marvel booth. I had to be a good 300 deep. Then something happened. Marvel announced the signing was canceled. They said that a little boy got trampled towards the front of the line and since we couldnt behave, no one was going to meet the cast. We were instructed to come back later to see if they were gonna have it later. What does that mean?! Since I couldnt get a straight answer, I sought out the head guy there to find out. After a lengthy discussion, he said we could line back up. Almost everyone from the line was gone though. The head guy at Marvel assured the little boy he was going to meet the cast of Daredevil. When I looked over to see who he was talking to, I saw it wasnt a little boy. Instead, he was talking to a midget. The man asked the midget where his parents were and the midget became angry. He took his winning ticket and waddled off. I shook my head and just jumped into line. From 300 back to about 30 back. They announced that that there were 400 tickets to be given away, but only 30 would be winners. 30!?!?!? 30 people for a 1 hour signing?! They could easily do 100 people. Why 30?! Needless to say, I was a loser. Even my buddy Brett attempted to score and he too came up short. 2 chances for 30 tickets and we both lost.
I headed downstairs to the autograph lines. Big need for the day is Alex Kingston aka Dinah Lance, mother to Laurel and Sara on Arrow. I had never met her, so she was a good meet for my Arrow posters. When I got downstairs, I saw a line a mile long. I couldnt believe how long her line was. She was keeping up with Stephen Amell’s line. She hadnt even arrived yet and her photo op was in 30 minutes. I was informed that they would not be doing a number system and that she would be gone for several hours, as she had 2 photo ops back to back and then was going to be taking lunch. No need to wait it out. Instead I went to Billy Zabka’s line for my How I Met Your Mother poster. He had about 5 people in line. Billy was really nice and loved the poster. He wanted to sign over Barney’s face, but I told him that was a bad idea since Barney thought he was the REAL Karate Kid. So he wanted to write on Ted’s face. LOL! He signed it and was very cool. But I was done very quickly. Outside of my photo op, which was an hour away and Alex Kingston….I didnt have anything for several more hours. So I decided to just get into line early for my Amell photo op.
I spoke too soon on the early part. I found the Amell line about 200 people deep and sat down. By the time the line began to move, it had already reached from one end to the other and then snaked back to do it again. WOW! Unreal. High praise to Epix photo ops……they were on their game. So organized. So fast, without feeling rushed. So professional. So organized. So stellar. I got inside very quickly and was right….no hat on Amell, got my picture and was out the curtain. By the time I had grabbed my backpack and walked to the table, my photo op was already sitting there waiting for me. WOW!!! They deserve all the praise possible. Every con should be using them. They were amazing, minus the whole cash only thing.
My photo op was put away and I was left with nothing else to do. I opted to just sit and camp out for Alex Kingston. By a strike of luck, she returned to her table shortly after and began signing again. She did not goto lunch. The lined moved slow, Alex took her time. When it was my turn, her eyes lit up at my posters. Then she saw my shirt…..my Oliver Queen prison photo. Her eyes widened and in her British accent, asked me if that was Stephen. I nodded yes. She was confused and shocked. She asked me if he was arrested. This is from the show. As soon as I started to say it, she realized it and laughed it off. She signed my poster and inscribed it with her character’s name. She loved the green paint on my other poster and signed it as well. I was done and done and was out of there. It was good timing too. Arrow panel was approaching in about 2.5hrs.
Brett and I found the line for the Arrow panel and it was several hundred deep. I couldnt even see the front of the line. We got in it and within minutes, we started moving for the panel room. Since this wasnt a main room, it was not cleared. There was another panel there and we got some pretty crappy seats way in the back. Hell, we were lucky to get seats at all. We were some of the last few to get seats. I couldnt even see the stage from here, let alone have a clear path to rush it when the panel was over. The Powers panel just recently started, so we sat through about 75% of it. When the panel was over, people rushed the stage. We used this as a chance to get up and see if we could secure better seats. We headed to the far left and found front row seats. We were definitely closer to the stage, but the view sucked and it was still gonna be hard to get anyone considering that they never left the actual stage. Everyone exited behind the curtains, lowering our chances. We opted to leave these seats and actually move a section closer to the stage about 5 rows back. Gave us a little more direct route to the stage.
Before the Arrow panel could start, we were forced to sit through a safety announcement concerning “cosplay is not consent”. Look….I get it. Common sense. BUT…..NYCC went over board with this and it became nothing more than a sham. This new “rule” was posted all over their website, tweeted on their twitter and posted on FB. THEN…when you arrive at the con, they have gigantic banners near the front door explaining this in depth. No gawking, no awkward staring, no touching, no assaulting, no sexual advances etc. Really?! This is freaking stupid. No awkward staring?! How about this….dress like a whore…..get treated like a whore. Why wasnt that added to the NYCC rules?! Have you seen some of these cosplay costumes? Tits, ass, etc all hanging out. I’m not complaining. I love to look at it. BUT….dont get mad at me when I do. Dangle raw meat at a hungry tiger, you are liable to get bit. Perhaps that is a bad example, as I dont think anyone should be touching or assaulting under any circumstances. But gawking, looking, lewd remarks? All fair game. Lets face it….each of these girls KNOWS they are gonna attract attention like that. Its WHY they are wearing it….for the attention. Now I am sitting here and you are going over this rule?! ENOUGH already. Not to mention if “cosplay is not consent”, am I free to make sexual advances towards girls NOT in cosplay?!
Rant over. Back on topic….the Arrow panel is finally starting. Outside, you could see hundreds upon hundreds waiting to get inside. Sadly, the room was at capacity and they werent allowing anyone else in. It was a great panel….probably the best one I have ever attended. It was very entertaining and the highlight was when Colin Donnell, former Tommy Merlyn from Arrow, crashed the panel and showed up as a surprise guest. He sat in and he and Stephen had amazing chemistry on stage. It was like watching 2 old friends just sit and chat. I even decided to get in line to ask a question, something I rarely do. Outside the 6 requests for selfies after the panel…..all the questions were decent for once. The 6 selfies thing was annoying and you could tell Stephen was annoyed by it as well. There were some good tidbits given away, but nothing that was too huge like previous Amell panels. He was on good behavior with the spoilers. One of my favorite parts was when a fan told Stephen he just started season 2 and was trying to avoid spoilers. He followed up with some annoying question, so Stephen answered him and then said ” Canary is Sara Lance, who is actually alive. Oh and she dies in the first episode of season 3.” This only drew HUGE laughs from the crowd.
When the panel was over, the crowd exploded into a rush to the stage. I used the “swimming” motion to move people out of the way and get to the front. Stephen did 1 selfie with 3 teenage girls, he did 1 for the first guy that requested one and then turned to head off. I called out to him, as he was going behind the curtain. He turned and saw my photo, came back out and signed for me. Then he left. Colin hung out for a little longer. I got to say hello to him. But he was gone shortly thereafter.
Arrow panel was done and we opted to exit out. The only other panel I wanted to do was the Constantine panel to try for Matt Ryan. Do I stay and attempt to rush the stage or do I got outside and try and mark out? Marking out sounded like the better play. So we exited NYCC for the final time and went outside. We saw a lot of people leave, including the cast of Powers. I never saw Sharlito Copely leave, but did get Olesya Rulin aka Abby from Greek and High School Musical. Next was Scott Grimes from Family Guy, American Dad, ER, Party Of Five. Giancarlo Esposito from Once Upon A Time, Revolution, Breaking Bad, Law & Order, Homicide. Then a big want came out…Michael Jai White aka Bronze Tiger in Arrow. Heard he is 50/50 about doing it. But Raza, who was already outside waiting, and I were able to convince him. Raza got his photo and I was able to secure 1 autograph in my Arrow book after telling him how much of a fan of the show I was. The autograph was really nice. I think Raza and I were the only two people to get anything.
As we continued to wait, I got David S. Goyer, director for the new Daredevil series and director of Kickboxer 2 starring Sasha Mitchell. I WISH I had brought my Kickboxer 2 laser disc. Sadly, chances of getting him were slim and I wasnt gonna be able to do his panel. The laser disc would have been a pain to lug through the con, so I left it at home. Then the Daredevil cast left. The crowd of about 8 were all waiting for them. Everyone refused to do it, cept Charlie Cox aka Daredevil from the NEW Netflix Daredevil series. While the dealers chased D’Noffrio and Deborah Woll, I went to Cox. Cox stopped for one person and then me and then security pulled him away. Security was all over this, but also were overwhelmed by the number of actors coming out and the number of people going after each person. Charlie was the last one out and he just walked away from the security circle. Once again, lucky to grab this photo.
Mike Tyson was the next out. You wouldnt know it was Tyson based on the security….you would think it was President Obama. WOW! There had to be like a dozen security guards around him and the NYCC security made a wall to block us from getting anywhere near him. I feared Tyson not wanting to do it, so I needed to have something that would get his attention. If you remember back to my WM 28 report, you would know that I got a photo with Tyson doing the “fuck that tiger” from The Hangover. Tyson loved it and told DJ, who was right after me, that I was a “crazy mother fucker”. Well…..Tyson remembered. I raised my photo high in the air and called out to him. Tyson looked over and got all giddy. He started screaming he knew me. He started telling one of his security guards about me…..”thats that crazy mother fucker.” He walked right over to me, with security still surrounding him. A dealer, who wasnt even in the group that had been waiting, landed in front of me like he had just parachuted from the sky. Tyson actually moved him out of the way and security blocked him saying that Mike was only going to be signing one thing and it was going to be for me. Tyson asked me how I had been and said he remembers taking the photo. He even was nice enough to personalize it to me. He signed it, said goodbye and was gone. We have a winner!
At this point, almost everyone left. One of the dealers, the same from the night before who lied to me, decided to go off on security. Waste of time. Security doesnt care and all you are doing now is creating unwanted attention. Threatening security you are going to go the restaurant they are having dinner or their hippo? WTF?! Saying you were trying to be nice by not interrupting their dinner?! This is how this hobby gets a bad rep. You are announcing that the autograph means more than pure human decency. Not to mention, do you think security is all of sudden gonna back down because you puffed out your chest?! PLEASE. The dude left, presumably to stalk the restaurant for the Daredevil cast. Whatever. There was but just 3 of us left, waiting for Matt Ryan from Constantine. Matt came out just minutes after everyone left, I called out to him and he ran over to me to sign my 11 x14 Constantine photo. He was really nice. I wanted a selfie, but security snatched him up and dragged him off. No one else got…..once again, very lucky to get Matt here.
Finally. FINALLY!!!! My NYCC weekend was over. I was done. I never looked so forward to the long drive home. Eventhough it was 9pm, I didnt care. Driving home would be more fun than NYCC. I summoned the Uber and went to Penn Station. But before I could drive home, I had one more hiccup to over come. When we got to Penn Station, we looked at the board to see the next train was to Trenton in about 15 mins. Secaucus is a stop that is on a lot of trains. We looked at the map and Secaucus was listed as a stop for the Trenton train. So when they called for it, we headed down and got on. This train was CROWDED. We were lucky to get on when we did and grabbed seats. A couple of cute recent high school grads stood right by us, not able to secure seats. We started talking to them and having a nice conversation. Then it dawned on me….this ride seemed to be taking longer than usual. The conductor then announced next stop….NEWARK! NEWARK?!?!!?! NOOOOOOOO!!!!! It didnt stop. We were on the wrong fucking train.
Ok. Stay calm. Brett and I leaped out of our seats, offering them to the ladies and jumped off the train. We ran down the stairs and found the next train to Penn Station/Secaucus. It was leaving in 4 mins. We ran up the stairs of the right gate, looking for a machine to buy a ticket at. Nothing. The only machines were all across the tracks. The train was arriving, so we opted to just get on. Its one stop. Whats the worse that could happen?!
The train gets moving and we hear the conductor annnounce Secaucus. We high five, as we know we have safely avoided a ticket check. PHEW! Smooth sailing. Except….TICKETS PLEASE. The train guy just entered our car and the train was just beginning to break. Do we get up and try and goto the next car? No way. It would look suspicious. How do we avoid this? I was thinking it might take him a minute to get to us and we could be off, but I think he could smell the desperation on us and was standing next to me in seconds. He asked for my ticket. Do I tell him the truth? And then it hit me…..I reached into my pocket and handed him my ticket from Penn Station, covering the start point with my fingers. He reached down, punched my ticket. Brett followed suit and the train guy did the same. He was gone and we were here. We jumped off the train and got far, far away. Mission accomplished.
We left Junction and Brett took me back to my hippo where my truck was parked. We said our good byes and I jumped in the truck to take the long ride home. Tired and hungry, my favorite Wawa couldnt get here quick enough. To be honest, once I got some Wawa in me, it wasnt as bad as I expected. I get in around 1am and went straight to bed. No unpacking….hell, I didnt even unload the truck completely. I needed to hit the sheets and dream of Jeannie.
Can we call NYCC a success? For the most part. I got a lot of what I wanted. I missed a few, but got a lot. I was definitely more lucky than others….thats for sure. The con itself was very exhausting. The new rules sucked. The lines….THEY SUCKED. Would I do it again? I cant say for 100% no….but highly unlikely. The con is just too much, especially when you are trying to navigate it on your own. Its more expensive. It has more people attending. And it has a lot of stuff going on that only seems to draw more people and causes interference. Who they bring in next year will always be a huge factor, but its probably gonna have to be some big wants for me to attend and certainly not doing 3 days like I did this year. Its too much.
If you are still with me here at the end, I hope you have enjoyed this read. I always try and offer up details, anecdotes and an overall good time. Enjoy the pics and see you next time!!!