NYCC: Wrath of Con

This review could be alternately titled: Why I am never going to a convention ever again.

Where's Waldo?

Before I talk about the hot mess known as The New York City Comic Con, I’ll preface this by saying I have never been to a convention before.I went in with no preconception of whether I’d hate it or not.

Now I can say with sufficient knowledge that the experience was offensive mentally, spiritually…olfactory.

“You’ll have fun,” my BFF, the Queen of Lies, tells me “It’s a place where you can go and revel in your geekdom with other geeks.”

“Have you not known me for the past 14 years?” I reply “You know how much I loathe human interaction.”

But she went to PAX East earlier this year and seemed to have an enviably good time, so I decided to go.

I should have turned back as soon as I saw the lines of people snaking around the Jacob Javitz Center. Or the clusterfuck that was the entrance hallway. I had to ask 5 different people where the press pass was, and they gave me 5 equally vague answers. A room number without directions in an area that massive is not a good answer. I finally got to the pressroom of course, after I stopped a girl with a press pass and asked her for directions.

So I finally get my pass and venture in. The entire floor was packed so tightly I felt constantly buffeted against a sea of nerds, all pushing and shoving to stuff themselves into different booths. Wave upon wave of soft moist bodies, where I was constantly downwind of something that reeked of meat left to rot in the sun. I’m also shorter than about 80% of the people there, so my view was often the back of someone’s head.

That, combined with the ambient noise, created some sort of horrible sensory overload.

At one point I was so overwhelmed, I tried to find a place to sit among the hellish sulfur pits known as the exhibition floor. There was some breathing room near the Rockstar Games booth, where I backed up against a partition that displayed the new Red Dead Redemption DLC. I slid down John Marston’s necrotic zombie face, tried to sit and eat my raisinets in peace.

This was not to be. I was then subjected to a photo session by a cosplay couple and a semi circle of eager photographers. They decided to pose right where I was sitting, so close I could of headbutted the guy in the junk.

But that’s not really an issue. Some of the cosplay was impressive…others not so much. If you want to dress up as Naruto or Silk Spectre, that’s your business…just don’t do it next to me.

But I digress. My issue is with NYCC, which was oversold and understaffed with a generally shitty layout. Example: There was an Intel pavilion that drowned out all other sound, strategically placed near the D&D gaming tables where Ravenloft and 4th edition was played amid the chaos.

Or the epic quest to find batteries when my camera died during a photo op with Chewbacca. First I had to find a staffer to ask if they knew where to find batteries. After 4 tries, one said there might be some at the newsstand. Then to find this elusive newsstand, because obviously the person I asked had no idea where it was. Why should he?

I could continue. Tell tales of gridlocked autograph lines, or the overpriced food, or the maps that made me lost for most of the day. I think you get the idea.

I’ll stay home next year.

Posted on October 12, 2010 at 20:56 by Adrienne Ryan · Permalink
In: Events · Tagged with: ,

One Response

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  1. Written by el fro
    on 2010-10-13 at 01:27

    This year’s NYCC was especially overwhelming and packed beyond reason. I’m a convention pro, and I was ready to turn homicidal. For someone who’s never been to a convention before, going to this year’s NYCC as their first con would be like deciding to learn to swim by leaping from the top deck of an ocean liner into the middle of an ocean during a Cat5 hurricane.

    I recommend small, hotel-based conventions to start with. There IS something enjoyable about a convention; there really aren’t that many opportunities to hang out with people that will like the same sort of stuff that you do as much as you do. The downside, as you pointed out, will be the crowds. I tend to not like convention-center con’s because of their sheer numbers (although Otakon, a Baltimore-based anime convention, is probably the best of that sort out there).

    All this is to say, it’s not really fair to condemn all of conventiondom because of this one convention, as this one really was at the extreme end of the spectrum, not to mention problematic.


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