Monday, February 23, 2009

2009 New York Comic Con

By LeKeith * Other LeKeith Posts

For the weekend of February 6th – February 8th 2009, the Jacob K. Javitts Center hosted the 5th annual New York Comic Con. A ‘Comic Con’ is – loosely - an event that celebrates geek / nerd life and its impact in popular culture.

I would organize my Con experiences into 6 Areas, or the Comic Con Categories, if you will: Comics, Collectibles, Costumes, Film, Television and Videogames. I will focus on the Costumes category as a grave injustice befell it at the NYCC.

There were two major fiscal hurdles the 2009 NYCC had to overcome: the US economic decline and the post Christmas Holidays spending drought. When compared to the 2008 San Diego Comic Con, which was my first Comic Con, the 2009 NYCC did not reach the same level in illustrious costuming. To be honest, this is not a fair comparison. For the record, the SDCC and the NYCC are run by separate organizations. They are similar in that they appeal to the same crowds and they lean more towards Television, Film and Videogames coverage than other Cons do. But for comparison’s sake, last year, San Diego had approximately 125,000 attendees to New York’s 84,000. The numbers alone indicate that there would be more costumes in San Diego. Also, 2009 is San Diego’s 40th Comic Con while this was New York’s 5th; Advantage: San Diego.

Personally, I was more acclimated to the culture. Years of traveling on MTA subway system have conditioned me to be unstirred by the unusual. My ‘freak flag’ reflexes were dulled to the point that commuting on Comic Con weekend is no different that commuting on Halloween, New Years Eve, or Arbor Day. Oftentimes, it didn’t occur to me that taking photos is not only Comic Con tradition but also part of my assignment.

Meteorologically speaking, it was damn cold. I don't blame anyone who looked at their laid out Green Lantern costume, read the weather report, and opted against donning the tights once they calculated the wind chill factor. In 2010, the NYCC will be held on October 8 – October 10, which should more costume friendly: It will occur between the SDCC and Halloween, taking place in the midst of costume season. Also, the shift to Fall will give men and women time to develop their Captain America or Wonder Woman physiques, so they won’t have to rely on the padded body suits. Nothing says “hit the gym” like tight spandex hanging in the closet. It’s the two-piece polka dot bikini of the comic world.

Much Kudos to anyone who was in costume and Double Kudos to every Ghostbuster I encountered. I have wanted a Proton Pack for years.

Still, my heart stopped at a few sightings (Don't worry; it was started again by any Princess Leia in a gold bikini.). I met the Unemployed Skeletor, apparently the former sworn enemy of He-Man, carrying a ripped cardboard sign with his contact info. What made this even sadder was the prominence of Faker, who was chosen as Mattel’s NYCC Exclusive Collectible (Action Figure). So while Skeletor was combing the floor for employment and presumably combing the carpet for change, his big blue lackey was showcased. There was even a giant Faker Statue at the entrance of the exhibit floor, just to rub it in.

I need to send Unemployed Skeletor this job opportunity my EiC found on Craigslist. Can there be anyone else more qualified for the position? To the other applicants, however: Step up Your Game!

Villains are not the only ones affected by the Economy. On the 3rd Day of Comic Con, I stumbled across Iron Man on 5th Avenue – far from the site of the NYCC – asking for change. His sign – Secret War Veteran – doesn’t tell the whole story. A series of battles – the Secret War, Civil War, World War Hulk and, most recently, the Secret Invasion – have rattled the entire Marvel Universe but few have been as affected as Iron Man. Particularly, the fallout from the Secret Invasion left our Tony Stark fallen out of favor with the Government, bereft of his supercrew the Avengers, fiscally impoverished, and targeted as an Enemy of the State. Poor Guy; he probably had to hock his repulsor ray just to get some cardboard and marker for the sign.

In these economic times, don’t be too surprised to find your heroes and villains tightening their belts a little more, possibly even ordering off the Dollar Menu. Let’s hope that the economy has taken an upswing by the time our Heroes enter the SDCC in July.

1 comment:

  1. You were at Comic Con SD and you didn't tell me?!! I live here AND I went to Comic Con. I'm disappointed LeKeith.

    -Lom (in pretty close to the convention center)

    P.S. If you want to apologize, you can email me at