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October 14, 2011

NYCC: Day 1 Recap

Posted by on Oct 14, 2011

Well, we’re off and running. The Con got started officially at 12, but the convention floor opened to all the non-professionals at 4 PM. The lines were nuts. And yes, there were two of them – each easily over 500 or so people, and that’s a conservative estimate. This is only a good thing, as it means plenty of people to make this year more interesting and next year even bigger. Of course, all those people may well have depleted the reserves of swag for the rest of the weekend – okay, maybe scratch what I said about it being a good thing. But there were plenty of other unarguably good things the first day. Get the full recap after the jump.

Comics

So first, I must have missed his name on the talent list, but I discovered at one point that I was standing right next to David Petersen, creator of Mouse Guard. I found myself completely unprepared, and basically just started to yammer like a newbie fan-boy (I am a fan-boy, but I like to think I’ve moved past the newbie phase). I tried to explain to him that I had no books to sign, as I had lent them all to a friend (looking at you, Jon), but that I would be back. I have to assume the idea got across, as he informed me he’d be around for the rest of the weekend, but that was probably a small miracle. You, dear readers, can count on me going back not just for an autograph but to ask a few questions of one of my favorite contemporary artists.

David Petersen provides the awesomeness that is Mouse Guard.

I also checked out the Panelfly exhibition. They’re putting out the word on their up-and-coming complete fan experience. The plan is to allow you to not only wirelessly flip the comic book you’re reading from your e-reader or iPad up onto your flat-screen, but to then also be able to watch the movie scene of the scene you just read in comic format. This is possible, of course, only when movie scenes are analogous to the comic exist. You’ll also be able to check out concept art and other related materials, like the back-stories of characters in series you’re contemplating starting. I didn’t get to see much of this in action, as they just about shooed me away since they were closing up for the day, but I do plan to check out the demos over the weekend and let you know how the format works in action. I really think this idea is wonderful, because I’m the guy who looks at all the concept art and reads all the introductions by other writers. This also seems to me to be a product re-invention that shows Panelfly knew they couldn’t just settle on being an e-comic  platform and provider, since that technology is fast becoming fairly common.

Games

PLENTY of video games were out in full force, and we’ll be getting to those over the course of the weekend. One that I found hilariously entertaining, at least in its demo set-up, was the Black Eyed Peas Experience demo, from Ubisoft. There was a huge (and I mean huge) dance floor/stage set up to allow up to 7 people to dance simultaneously – to only Black Eyed Peas songs. The dance moves were fairly repetitive, but watching people either struggle to keep up or moving perfectly in time to the beat and making their friends look bad was just too much fun. Maybe this game will be fun at home, maybe not – but it was sure a hoot at the Javits Center.

I also came across a small booth for what I discovered upon looking it up later to be a Facebook game called America 2049. I was presented with propaganda flyers on post-cards calling for reform and freedom, and also given a fake prescription bottle filled with “happy pills” that were actually just candy stars. The premise is that, for whatever reason, these calm-inducing drugs are put into the water supply, and you’re called on to decide how to fight back. The presentation in the booth was rather fun, and the game managed to land cast members like Victor Garber, Harold Perrineau, and Margaret Cho – not too shabby. I’m not big on Facebook games, and with this one it sounds like the political/educational message might be coming on a little too strong, but I’ll definitely at least have to check it out.

The Kick-Off Concert

The show started with Tom Morello. He brought his usual left-swinging hard-rocking act, and it was a lot of fun. He also plugged his new series with Dark Horse, Orchid, then promised not to do it again, then did it again. But that’s okay – he played “Ghost of Tom Joad,” so it’s all good.

Then DJ Z-Trip took the stage. He explained that the set he put together for the night was a one-time only performance, and clearly he knew his audience. Mixing in the theme of the Adam West Batman TV series, a dub-step remix of the Imperial March, and a mix of several Nintendo theme songs (starting, of course, with Super Mario Bros.), Z-Trip brought out one crowd-pleaser after the other. Now, you could write this off as simple pandering, but when he threw in a quote from Yoda and wagged his finger at the audience to emphasize “There is no try,” you could tell: this guy was into the nerdy bits just as much as the audience. It was a blast.

So there you have Day 1. There were some other pictures and goodies posted to the NNAR Twitter account, @nerdnewsreviews, and you should definitely go check those out as well as continue to follow our Twitter feed throughout the weekend. We’ll bring you the fun stuff, we promise. On to Day 2!