New York City Comic Con 2016 was just this past weekend. With a lot of cosplayers, shoppers and guests. Tons of panels to entertain the masses, games to share the swag with the crowd and mascots to bring super heroes to life. Here is my review of New York City Comic Con 2016.
I got in line Thursday morning with Metalhead and Mondo Gecko. While waiting for Alopex, who had Metalhead and my badge. We met a lot of other TMNT fans. Getting to talk to people heading to sit in the line that was inside. Besides for the sun, it wasn't a bad waiting spot. I was able to show them a few things on my laptop and we some of the other fun stuff I brought.
Without people we met, it was mostly people wearing TMNT clothes who we shouted out too. Though one was a TMNT fan who has the goal of finding Hot Spot and Scratch, this fan is a friend on Facebook. I know he wanted to meet up more through the day to do an interview, sadly it did not happen. As he was rushed away during the best time to have got to hang out. I am thankful for the gifts he had, a few TMNT ads from back in the day including one from The Coming Out of Their Shells Tour. Another fan who we met, was doing the same as we were, waiting for her badge. She had a TMNT hoodie and we started talking. She was so happy to meet fellow TMNT fans, and we introduced a new way of looking at conventions to her. The worse part here was her badge fell through. She hung out with us till Alopex showed up, did a few group photos and we said our goodbyes.
Once inside the convention I went straight to NECA. This here was my goal booth, I wanted my Foot Soldier set based on the Mirage TMNT Comics. To my surprise they were cash only, so I had to go on the great ATM hunt. Which killed me, cause it went out of bag check area. I had to leave my bags with Mondo, as Metalhead disappeared someone on the dealer room floor to do some shopping for friends. I got the money and went back to NECA to get the sets.
By this point I was a bit worn, as my health has been poor this year. I also felt all the time in the sun also just drained me. We spent a lot of time in the lobby area, not too far from the Nickelodeon booth. I got to see a lot of great cosplayers, including some from Zootopia. I loved it, Officer Hops would pose for photos with kids, then give them parking tickets. She was cute with the kids, and she had Nick with her. They even did some photos like from posters. Amused me for some time.
To not have to carry our stuff around to much Metalhead, Mondo and I took turns going to shop for things we needed. I ran off to Mezco in search for a Living Dead Doll for my friend, Raphael. Sadly they were sold out. Mondo checked the Funko booth and found the line was just too long for him. Metalhead was able to reliever the toy he bought for a friend, to another booth to be delivered. While resting a lot of people came up to talk, some knew who I was. Which made for some nice conversation time.
We did look around a little, though our main goal for that day came to going down to the photo op area. Both Metalhead and Mondo were doing photos with Stan Lee, and Metalhead invited me to join him for his photo. Once we got in line, I was
soon greeted by another friend in the line, that I met last year at NYCC. Always good to see our friends. She went back to her place in line, as I goofed off with the guys. I turned on Facebook live and started to talked with people online, one person mentioned getting mad and the hulk, which got me to go on about a quote I knew from something very very rare of TMNT. I turned it into a trivia and was seeing if anyone could find the quote or knew it. The quote is:
"Yeah, you don't want to make him made because he turns green with muscles bulging out of every part of his body and he goes totally nuts..."
"Mike! Mike! Raph is already green with muscles bulging out of every part of his body, that's the Incredible Hulk Dude"
"I knew that, was just testing you, won some fabulous prizes"
The best part about this, is that it was all on Facebook live, till my phone started to die. I said good bye and went back to picking on the guys. Metalhead ended up giving up and finding out, but Mondo wanted to think more. What was even better was one of the FB comments we got was about not leaving everyone hanging, how not even Google could find the answer for this quote. I am not surprise, only certain people would know it, if they even remember the show that well. I will do as I did with the quote itself, the answer will be shared when I'm talking about Sunday... Give everyone some time to think it over.
When the line finally moved we got to go in, when I first saw Stan, he looked like he was sleeping. Sadly that was while a photo was being taken. His eyes looked closed to me. He seemed so tired, there is a reason he's retiring. Though I know he loves doing this for the fans, which is why he's been doing it so for long. The crew stopped the line, and went up to him giving him a drink and talking as we watched. Then they started the line back up, when he looked at me he smiled and said Hello. I smiled in returned and walked up, for the photo. I am Thankful to Metalhead for making this moment happen.
After the photo we got our prints. It impresses me just how fast they are with having the prints ready for you. I got protective covers for the prints and made sure I had a copy too. We headed back up stairs trying to figure out what to do with ourselves. We were all thinking about dinner, but knew we had to drop off their luggage at our hotel which was a Ferry ride away. The convention was closing, because of how long the Stan Lee line was, which gave us reasons to get our stuff and head out. Ending day one of NYCC.
The following day we were originally planning to just go and get in line for the TMNT panel, since it was at another building. That idea changed when we found out IDW was going to have the autograph session before the TMNT panel. Once we got to the convention we went straight to the IDW booth and waited for them to give tickets for the autograph session. Then we wandered a little bit in that area. I found the Tower of T-Shirts, by Stylin Online. This is one of my favorite booths as I've been buying from them for 16 years now. I went and found a lot of stuff I wanted from there, but was not ready to do my shopping just yet. I said hello to the owner, wish I got to catch up more with him as he's a cool guy. The funniest part was at one point when I was walking by the booth, I heard a worker showing another worker around say.
"Yes, I am the owner". I looked at the guy and smirked.... Then brought up the owner by name to him, as in "Oh so you're..." They laughed, one employee gave me high five for that response to the guy.
After spending time at that booth, we went back by IDW only to learn that we could not start lining up for another half hour. So I lead Metalhead and Mondo over to the Bandi area. Showing them these great TMNT toys based on the classic line. Leonardo and Donatello came out at San Diego Comic con. I learned they were selling Raphael here at NYCC. So I did pick him up as well, these toys are amazing!
While making my way out of the booth, someone did bump into my right arm. This is a risk I take when I go to any event. I know that pain is going to happen, I just can't stop living because of it. This made it hard to think of walking around anymore. Metalhead and Mondo helped me back to the IDW booth, where we started the line for the autograph session. It did not take long for people to join us in line. And a lot of our group was together for the first time.
We had Alopex, Voicechaser, AJ, Metalhead, Mondo and myself. We watched as the guys showed up, and saw the line wrapping around the other side of the booth. Ciro was right near me and said hello, next to him was Rob, then Greg, then Kevin Michael Richardson, Andrea Romano and Andre from Black Nerd Comedy. But sitting to the other side of Andre was Bobby Curnow from IDW, he's the main editor of the TMNT books! Once the posters were put out, and the line was started I went down saying hi to each of the guys. It's good to see so many nice friends. I've met Kevin and Andrea before, but not to the point where they would remember me. So it was like meeting them all over again, they were both great to meet. Once I got to the end of the line, I asked Bobby to also sign my poster. Metalhead did the same thing, we realized we could not stand there and wait for our friends and the line was being smothered by the end of the line. Not enough space for all the people there.
We stepped across the hall and started to wait there, to our surprise the fun was not over yet. As a camera crew came around the corner with Sting! I'm not a wrestling fan in any way, though I respect all forms of entertainment. Sting had a TMNT toy in hand and was interviewing the fans for a camera. Metalhead, myself and Mondo all got on camera. I shocked Sting with a little bit of trivia, the toy in his hand was of Raphael/Sting the new TMNT WWE line. I got to inform him that it was sculpted by Varner Studios. Took him by surprise, he admitted he wasn't going to stump me.
Once we were done with Sting, we had to get to the TMNT panel. I have a hard enough time with pain trying to make it to a panel in the building of a convention. Blocks away... This was a nightmare for me. I started off strong, but the more we were outside. The more I was feeling the wind around me. The slower I was getting. Lucky I had my cane, but it was not enough to really help me keep pushing forward. I wanted many times to just stop, but I knew if I wanted a seat at all I had to go. Once we got there the rules on the building made my jaw drop....
"No Food or Drinks". - This is a convention crowd, we carry our food and drinks on us at all times! Not everyone, but a lot of us. I had a bag on my side that had my drinks in it. If I knew about this rule I would've bag checked my drinks at the convention center.
"No Umbrellas". - I NEED My umbrella that hangs on my side. It's used on strong windy days to help keep the wind off of me. I could not leave that at the convention center even if I wanted too.
I was so upset, as the pain was already washing over me from just walking there. They did not have a bag check. I broke down in tears, as this was a bit a much. Though they agreed to me leaving my umbrella with them and that my drinks can go in if they stay in the bag. I agreed to this. Though my voice is already shot from the con, so I wanted a drink. I went up to their bar and asked how much for a soda, $6! Not even the bottle, a cup! I decided that I'm not throwing my money away.
I went and sat down, near the middle far right during this first panel. Waiting for it to end to move forward. The others sat near the back, but I knew I wanted to be near the front for TMNT and I know how panels work. If you're not ready to move forward, you won't get those seats. I was so worn out from the walk, that with my head resting on my cane I know I dosed off for a short nap. Woke up while the Q&A was still going with the first panel. It's for a show that I saw at San Diego Comic Con a few years back, it was their first panel ever and showed the first episode before it aired on TV. Though I never followed up on it, so did not really know what was going on. Once the panel was getting ready to wrap I started to bounce to one seats, near the front... Then as the panel ended I was able to get a good corner seat in the first row that allowed general admission.
In front of me was the area that the VIP sat, and a lot of the faces sitting there were people I knew from TMNT. A few of which said hello to me. While not sitting in that area, when Eric Bauza went by, Tiger Claw's voice actor, he tapped my arm to get my attention and said Hello. It was good to see him, even if just for a few seconds. Wish he was at the autograph session.
The panel started, and was filled with fun stuff. Starting at this point there is going to be spoilers for the next episode of Nickelodeon's Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles coming back to TV on Sunday, November 6th. If you do not wish to read any spoilers please skip the next 4 paragraphs here. If you want to read the spoilers by all means, enjoy!
The panel started off with a script reading for the upcoming episode. In the scene we start off with Splinter informing the Turtles of a bad dream he had of the Shredder, killing him. Though tells them, not to worry. Meanwhile Baxter Stockman follows Shredder's directions and mutates Shredder, making him a Super Shredder. Tiger Claw is not too thrilled with what Baxter has done. Though Shredder knows one thing, now he can set a trap for a rat. It was a fun script read, and that first line of Baxter was read by Ciro really came out great! Watching Shredder yell during his mutation was a real experience. Overall it was just a thrill to see them act out their parts.
After that they showed us a clip of Super Shredder going after Karai. This is the scene that had us see Super Shredder for the first time. To be honest I was never a big fan of Super Shredder, never understood all the hype about him. I know a lot of fans love him, that's what count. It's just not my thing. Which remains true today, as Super Shredder was on the screen, the only thing I really found interesting about him was how his mouth moved as he talked. I did like how more insane he seems, believing his own little lies as he tries to get Karai to come back to him. I dig the personality more than the look. I know this will be a hit or miss with TMNT fans, let's just see how it goes.
They showed us another clip, this is of Tiger Claw sharing the past. The story of how his tail was cut off. A friend, or even sister. We are not fully informed here, just that he was in school with this girl and that they went through what was a magic door way that opened up. They were tested on and changed there, then joined the circus and after that got into crime. Though one day she turned on him, and during the fight she cut off his tail. He thought she was injured enough to die after she disappeared, but it appears she's alive. This female character is Alopex a character Kevin Eastman created for the IDW TMNT Comics. I am really excited to see her in the series and can not wait to see her personality as I really love her in the Comic Book.
The next clip is of Hot Head, a character from the TMNT toy lines that I always felt was loosely based on a character in the Archie Comics. As the toy did not look like the Dragon in the comic, that is what I related it too when I was young. Tiger Claw has the four Turtles, April and Casey trapped as he summons this Dragon, who threatens to kill Tiger Claw and everyone else. Fun fact about Hot Head, he's voiced by Luke Skywalker himself, Mark Hamill. This was a fun scene, I'd love to see the rest of the episode.
I'm not sure if the last clip was really a spoiler. What is is though is that Greg Cipes has written a lot of songs for Ninja Turtles and Ciro needed to fill some space for one of the episodes and decided to put in one of Greg's songs. This is a music video being done for Ice Cream Kitty. This video is far from finished, but it looked great as it was. And a lot of fun. Greg would even try to get us to sing along. It is not something that looks like it happens in the show itself, it looks more like how Dinosaurs did their sound track and Baby got a music Video for "I'm the Baby gotta love me" or the Simpsons did with Simpsons sings the Blues and Bart got a video for "Deep Deep Trouble". I personally wouldn't mind seeing these from time to time, they're fun and take us out of the story for a bit of a break with the Turtles.
The last part of the panel was more about the Toys. As Sting came through and joined the panel. They talked to him about wrestling and the toy. Greg really wanted Sting to put a move down on him. It was a lot of fun to watch, and everyone was in high spirits up there. I love going to these panels. I would share video of the panel, but they did request no video recording again. This is the third time, that I can not truly share as I did not record as requested. I honor the request, but I really am not a fan of it.
Once the panel was over we stood outside and chatted with fellow fans for awhile. Including some of the awesome folks from Nickelodeon. Fun conversations from our thoughts on the panels, to a serious conversation about a friend's mother getting RSD. RSD is not easy to deal with, and when it hits a love one people really feel it. Her mother has it in the leg, and is starting to try to stand and walk again. I wish her the best, and I hope she's one of the cases that does heal from it. I never want this pain upon anyone.
My biggest complaint about the panel is the location. It was hard enough for people without handicaps to make it to both the autograph session and the panel, let alone for those of us who are hurting. This made Friday a very hard day for us, and took some of the joy about going to a TMNT panel out of it. I know others felt that about their panels as well being there, as the place was not next door. I know other conventions use other buildings to help with hosting panels, but even San Diego Comic Con International uses a building you can see from the convention center. No drinks, made it so my sore throat got worse, I could barely speak after the panel and was coughing a lot. Which sucked because I had drinks on me, that I bought just for this convention. While it was a nice building inside, it was torture to have to go there.
We went back to the convention center and I wandered around artist alley looking for friends. Saw a few of them from Gary Fields to Eric Talbot. I spent a lot of time talking with Michael Dialynas, I did ask for a Donatello sketch that day too. I got some original artwork from Dario Brizuela. It was good to see who we could find. Once the con started to close we headed out, not being able to finish the walk around Artist Alley. I had a goal that night that kept us in the city much longer than any of us intended after the con, leaving both Metalhead and I broken.
Saturday morning was just too much for the Metalhead and I. We both knew we could not make it in, we sent Mondo in alone. While the two of us tried to rest up. Metalhead couldn't get up for awhile and was even thinking of not going in. Which had me sad, knowing the extra walking around the city was my doing. Though he started to be able to move in the afternoon, and he decided to come into the city with me.
It was around 3:30 that we made it to the convention. We made a camping spot in the lobby over near where they rent the wheel chairs, which were all sadly reserved. Reserved, yet never moved. I never saw anyone pick up these chairs with their names on it, it felt like a waste. When I knew both Metalhead and I could've been able to enjoy more of the event if they could've rented them out. Metalhead stayed near the bags more, as he was really hurting still. I used the time there to do my shopping, Mondo stuck with me during that time. I made it over to Stylin Online, got a few things there. Really, that was my main shopping outside of what I did on Friday. I spent most of my time over near Metalhead. We saw a lot of good Cosplay and friends were finding us.
That night we went out with the group of friends that found us. Enjoyed a dinner, and got back to our Ferry just in time to leave the city. The convention was almost over, which was bitter sweet. My body didn't want to keep going, but I can never have enough time of hanging out with friends and making great memories. Once we got back to the hotel room, my body let me know just how done I was. On the elevator I felt myself getting weaker and just light headed. As soon as we got in the room I got to the bed, dropped my bags to the ground, fell onto the bed and kicked my shoes off. I thought I would lay there for only a moment, then plug in my stuff to be charged for Sunday. My thoughts were wrong, as I did not wake up till 6am... Still laying across the bed. Body sore from sleeping wrong, neck stiff from not using my neck pillow, that I've used since my surgery in 2011 for that reason. Arm on fire from not having anything over it to protect from the AC, and nothing stopping me from rolling onto it at night. It's been a long time since I passed out like that. Not a great start for the last day.
I worked at packing my stuff up in the hotel room which took a few hours. Before we were finally ready to go back to the convention. We got there just around opening time, but things only got worse for me. It was windy and cold outside, with a light rain. I could care less about the rain. It was the wind and cold that attacked me. I used my umbrella with both Metalhead and Mondo trying to help block the wind. Metalhead even put his hoodie over me, to try and warm me up. I knew one thing, if I fell or went down outside it would only make it worse. So I pushed through this pain and got into the building, I went to the side and fell right away. At first it was hard to even think about talking as I sat there with my eyes closed. Metalhead got me my meds right away, and I sat there for a long time.
When I finally got up, we went and checked their bags into bag check. I got food from the food court, then we went went up stairs and I sat across the way from the Nickelodeon booth. At 1pm the Turtles were going to be there for a photo shoot. I knew at that point, that I could not walk anywhere and get back here in time. I shared the food with Mondo as we waited. Once the booth opened, we went and did a group shot. Sadly not all of our friends could make it in time.
After the group shot, we came out and decided to do another one over at the Mega Blok booth. Some of our friends had to cut off there, and the friends who missed the photo shoot at the Nickelodeon Booth was able to join us. Hard to get a good group shot with everyone. We did the photo at Mega Blok, then headed back down to Artist Alley. Where I went to find Michael Dialynas. He forgot about the sketch I asked for... Sad he'll make it up to me. We did a group photo with Michael, always a joy hanging out with him.
Sadly while talking with Michael my body once again started to shut down on me, and I had to go sit against a wall. I spent the time hanging out with Mondo as he kept me company. Metalhead got to go see the rest of Artist Alley. The day was coming to a close, we got another photo at the Mega Blok booth, then went to the lobby where we made camp for a bit getting more Cosplay photos. I took off and did one more photo at the Mega Blok Booth, before the convention closed.
This New York City Comic Con reminded me that even though I am doing a little better than I was earlier this year. I am still not back up to par, as I had a very hard time with just the normal things. I am still a fighter and believe that good memories is more important than dwelling on the pain of RSD. Though I gotta keep pulling myself out of the rut that I got myself into through pain and depression these last few years. I will get Cowabunga Corner back going normally, I will film again and I will keep going to see friends. Life is about living after all.
It was a real joy to see everyone again. There was many friends that I did not get to connect with, that I really do miss. I hope all of them are doing well. I know we'll meet another time. To those who did meet up with me, you guys made this weekend awesome! My favorite and less favorite day goes to Friday... Nickelodeon did amazing with the panel. NYCC did horrible with choosing locations for other panels, at least try to find some place the Subway can take us to on the 7 line.
A big Thank you to all of my friends that were there. The memories we made together will last for years to come. I loved getting to catch up with you all, I got a lot of laughs out of our time together. I am glad that we all found things we were looking for and made more new friends to talk too. New York City Comic Con is a convention I have not missed out on in 10 years now, as I look forward to seeing my friends. If not for you all, I do not know if I would make this trek out for the convention. So thank you from my heart for being the wonderful friends you are and for joining me each year. I look forward to 2017 when we make more great memories.
Have you been to New York Comic Con? Which years did you go? Please share memories, comments and questions below!