I’ve just returned from the geek extravaganza that is New York Comic Con, one of my favorite weekends of the year. Sure, it’s not as big as San Diego Comic-Con and it doesn’t have as many celebrity appearances, but that doesn’t make it any less fun. In fact, by losing some of the Hollywood razzle-dazzle it feels more genuine. Not to say that there aren’t celebrities, as Stan Lee, Mark Hamill and Robert Kirkman were there and if they don’t count as celebrities in your book, well then, you’re at the wrong convention all together. But more than the big names, big releases, and big movies, this one is about the smaller independent guys getting a chance to show their work.
Table after table of artists with prints, comics, and sketches were on display. One of the best parts of wandering through Artist Alley is that not only do you get to see a huge variety of work, from horror to fantasy to sci-fi and everything in between, but that the artists are there and ready to talk about their creations. I am always fascinated to see them working on commissioned pieces that take shape before your eyes in a matter of minutes. And they do it all in the middle of a ridiculously loud room, with people laughing and talking and bustling past in a blur. Somehow, these guys stay completely focused on what they’re working on, pausing only to talk when people stop to ask them a question and admire their work.
There were also a huge number of tables with things that weren’t really comics, but that the geeks of the world were sure to love. For all the vampire lovers out there (sparkly or otherwise) there were plush vampire babies complete with fangs and death certificates at Vamplets. If you were a gamer then you could check out the unbelievable case mods from the guys at Major League Mods. They turned an Xbox into a working R2-D2 that I entered to win and if I do, you will hear the screams of joy the world over. But my most favorite thing of all, was actually from a very well-known and not necessarily geeky company.
If you showed up at the Hallmark booth bright and early, then you had the chance to get your hands on a few convention exclusives. One of these was a glow-in-the-dark USS Defiant Keepsake ornament. No, not lights, glow in the dark, just like the stars you stuck on your bedroom ceiling as a kid (or as an adult, no judging). When I found out about this I was so excited, I think I scared the Hallmark guy (sorry about that) but this is THE coolest ornament ever. It will go on my tree this year in a place of honor along with the Enterprise, Captain Kirk and assorted shuttles and spaceships. New York Comic Con had something for everyone, and not only did it make my weekend, it made my Christmas!