Review: New York Comic Con 2015

Every year I try to make it out to New York Comic Con.  This is the second time where I did not think I was going to make it for the event, until the last month.  New York Comic Con is a huge event filled with panels, dealers, and guests.  For Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle fans it’s become one of the best events to go too for a yearly dose of Turtle fun.  Here is my review of New York Comic Con 2015.

I got to go for the four days of the convention this year.  Starting with Thursday, where I spent most of that day in line.  My own choice, as I wanted to have great seats for the “TMNT Panel” by Nickelodeon.  They had this wrist band thing, where you line up and get a wristband for the panels of the day that you want to go to on the Main Stage.  Then you can either walk around the convention or stay in line, this way you will get into the panel room for that panel without needing to stay in line.  This is great for helping fans make sure they’re ONLY going to the panels that they’re a fan of.  It makes more room for the real fans of that topic.

There is how ever a bad part to this theory as well.  For me it’s because I love going to a panel room 2 to 3 hours early and watching the panels before the one I want to see.  Not just to get good seats, but to find out what else is out there.  I don’t read comics outside of TMNT, I don’t watch much television anymore and I never been a book reader.  My way of seeing stuff is usually at conventions.  By sitting in the panel rooms early I’ve found new tv shows I watch to this day, I’ve learned of movies that I went out to see and I’ve made a lot of new friends.  I enjoy the idea of being somewhere that when I leave I walk away with new knowledge.   With the room cleared after each event, you don’t get to do that.  If you want a panel, like I do and want a good seat in it.You do not attend the panel before hand, while the line is growing in the hall.  One of the many experience one can miss out on, for these wristbands. 

While I did stay in the hall, it was not a dull time.  I met other TMNT fans that came to get the wristbands, got pictures of people in their cosplay.  Talked with security finding out how long they worked with New York Comic Con and if they enjoy their job there. I had time to check my facebook, instagram and just rest my throat knowing it was going to be shot by the end of the weekend any how.  I had a big group of friends who were coming and going from the line, so I was not alone often.  Though the timing of them all being gone at once was bad cause the rest of the line showed up and here I am sitting there holding the space for a handful of people who did spend plenty of time with me waiting  Their stuff was even left there, went to get food for themselves and me.  I texted them saying to return to the line, thankfully they did get me a slice of pizza so I had pizza before going into the TMNT panel.

The TMNT panel did hold a few surprises for us.  Though before I talk too much about it I’ll like to share a small clip from the beginning of the panel.  This is ALL the video I got this time and you’ll see why in the footage.

I am not a fan of them stopping the fans from recording during the Q&A.  I know you’re not to record what is on the screen.  Though being able to take our own footage of a panel, gives fans the chance to take that home with them.  As something they were there for, without relying only on the official released video.  I enjoy directing my own cameras in where I want them pointed and sharing footage here on Cowabunga Corner that is from the Cowabunga Corner cameras.  If you want to find the panel, the official video was released by New York Comic Con.  I will not be sharing it here.

Besides for having my camera turned off I enjoyed the panel.  I liked that Hoon Lee showed up, that made me really excited.  I enjoyed the Mega Blok name tags in front of each of the guests.  I loved it that Andre from Black Nerd Comedy was hosting the panel again and I really do hope to see him keep this job.  I also really enjoyed getting to watch the first episode of Nickelodeon’s Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Season 4.  Like normal the panel was full of laughs, spoilers and good times.  We even got to see a video clip of Mona Lisa.

The big surprise for me was how many people before and after the panel really knew who I was.  Stopping for photos and talking Turtles with a lot of people  After the TMNT panel I was stopped to talk by a fan that did catch my attention.  His name is Frank, Frank wanted his photo with me and had a lot of really good Turtle topics he wanted to ask me about.  We stepped out into the hallway and talked for over an hour.  He shared how he found out about Cowabung Corner and even put in a request for a Cowabunga Corner topic video.  I may pull it off, for Season 6, as others have requested the same topic of me many times.  Just a hint as what this topic is about… I don’t normally handle the TMNT romance topics.

As soon as I was done talking with Frank, another friend came up and talked with me.  We’ve met before, back with Rutger was in town.  We talked for a long time, I know I saw others waiting around either to talk with me or see if Andre was coming out into the hall to see people.  I realized the time and knew we had to head upstairs for the Nickelodeon autograph session at the IDW booth.  I got up there and a line had already started.  Found a nice comfy place to sit and sat down. 

When the line started to move, I got up there and said hi to most everyone.  What disappointed me though was someone who did not have an autograph ticket or even poster, jumped in to talk to Ciro in front of me.  I know I’ve seen this guy before, as he even said hi to me by name.  I would not have mind if it was a fast hello, but he held a long conversation with Ciro.  Even while my stuff was being signed.  I know I’ve talked to Ciro before, but there was a few things I wanted to say and felt as someone with a ticket for this autograph session I should’ve been able to say what I wanted when I went through line.  Instead I ended up walking around the guy.  I know I can catch up with Ciro at another time, but that was not the point.  And I also know that the next few people behind me, including a friend who never met Ciro before, also gave up and walked around the guy. 

If you are reading this, and you know who you are.  The proper thing to do if you want a full conversation is get in line.  If you don’t have a ticket, get in line behind the ticket holders to see if you can still go through the line, much like many others.  Only time to cut into a line to say hi to someone is if it’s just a fast hello and jump out.  So people still get their time that they’re waiting for.  Respect towards all fans, and give everyone their time.  I do know people without tickets did in fact get to go through the line.  I did try to wait, but I did not want to hold up the line when I knew I could say what I wanted later.  This is not the case for those behind me.

The autograph session otherwise was good.  I did feel bad to see a few people did not attend, like always Seth Green was not there.  Most likely ran off to do a Robot Chicken thing.  I would LOVE for Seth to be at one of these signings at either NYCC or SDCC.  Though to my surprise Hoon Lee was also not there, I was really hoping he would be.  I’ve enjoyed my few times of getting to talk to him when he has taken part of the autograph session before. 

The autograph session was enough for me for the day.  I was on no sleep from the night before as Alopex and I drove in from Pittsburgh.  I got back to my hotel, dropped off stuff.  Ran to Five Guys in Time Square for food to go.  Went to bed early so I could enjoy Friday.

Friday we got to the convention, I was going to run right to the IDW panel.  I stopped when I saw the Nickelodeon booth just to say hello and see what was there this year.  To my surprise one of the ladies at the booth is someone I’ve been getting to know through events.  She really made friends with me at “Heroes in a Half Shell” Art show at Gallery Nucleus.  We caught up a little and I was a tiny bit late to the IDW panel.  They did not really discuss Turtles. I asked a question at the end of the panel, and they said they didn’t want to do a spoiler panel about issue 50 when so many people have not read it yet.

After the panel was walk around time.  Friday really does kind of blur into what all we did.  As we did a lot of the same through the weekend.  I know for sure we found the booth that Partners in Kryme was at, with the Cowabunga Factory.  Michaelangelo was there for photos with the fans and signing autographs.  The Golden Voice of Partners in Kryme was also signing autographs.  They had TMNT music playing at the booth.  They also allowed us to leave our stuff at the booth so we didn’t have to carrying it all around the convention. 

I did some shopping this day.  Got my hands on as many of the IDW TMNT #50 covers as I could.  I talked with Bobby at IDW.  And got my picture in front of the Turtle van made by Mega Bloks.  Made a lot of new friends.  And was looking for old friends.  I got to see Michael Zulli who’ve I’ve only met once before, so I don’t really know him.  Though Steve Murphy was also there and I have met him plenty of times.  It was great to see both of them.  During this time I got to meet up with Phoenix briefly as she was at the convention with another friend.  Once again so much of the Cowabunga Corner Crew at one event.  Last time this happened was Fandom Fest.

While early in the day was going good, things were also going slow as each of us got stopped for conversations at one point or another.  One point when we were stopped Metalhead and Fugitoid were in a conversation with a couple and I was waiting for them.  We were heading down to Artist Alley, and what I fear most at a convention happened my RSD acted up and I found myself sitting against a booth in pain. 

When I get an attack from my RSD there’s nothing anyone can do for me.  No matter what I will remain in pain till it passes by.  Both Metalhead and Fugitoid were in good conversations and having fun.  Which is when I made the choice not to inform anyone that I was going through this till they were done.  A part of me was hoping that this would be a short attack and no one would have to know it ever happened.  When they said their goodbyes, Fugitoid fastly noticed what was wrong as he’s been around enough time when I’ve gone down.  The two of them stayed by my side as we made our way into Artist Alley. 

I know people tell me that when this happen I should just stop and even go back to my hotel.  Though I do not want the RSD to win.  I am a fighter, even in pain I know that life can either pass me by when I let the pain hold me down or I can push forward and keep living.  It’s a struggle of a choice, but one I have made often.  Only time the pain ever won and I left a con early was this past San Diego Comic Con, where I had Miki run back in and say goodbye to all of our friends for me.  Something I never did before, and I hope to never have to do again.  

In Artist Alley the first person he found was Eric Talbot.  Fugitoid started to order a commission from him and I saw another friend, as plastroncafe from TMNT-L came up to talk to me.  This was my only time seeing her at the convention, so it was good to get to talk.  We talked a little bit, and by time I was done I realized that both Metalhead and Fugitoid was nowhere to be seen.  I was still in pain, so I figured I would head back to Cowabunga Factory to sit down.  Though before I turned to start going that way I saw LH at an artist booth. 

I walked over to let Leatherhead know where I was going.  He told me this guy was a TMNT artist, though my head was really just wanting to head back somewhere to let the pain die down.  Then Leatherhead opened an art book in front of him to show me some of this artist work.  The first one he showed me was an old cover, then he opened up to a cover I never saw before.  This piece here caught my eye, I loved everything from the layout, the art style to the characters in the page.  I looked up asking the artist the price of the piece, when I heard I told myself I could not buy this.  And finally I looked up at his name, Michael Dialynas.

Michael right away knew who I was.  He knows of Cowabunga Corner, and was happy to talk with me.  Even though I still wanted to sit down, now I wanted to make a new friend which came before quitting for pain.  It was great to talk with Michael as I learned he’s going to be handling a few issues of the IDW TMNT ongoing series.  The cover that I liked, is for issue 53 of IDW TMNT, which is the first issue where he’s the artist for.  He also had a TMNT Print on the table, that looked amazing. 

While I was enjoying the conversation, I was also in pain.  Fugitoid found us at this booth and we learned the others were up at Cowabunga Factory, we said bye for the day and headed up to Cowabunga Factory.  By this point I knew if I didn’t sit down, I would fall.  I got up against the table and sat on the floor.  Was able to get some of my pills in me, as we saw more friends.  I hung out at the booth till closing time, finally able to walk around again.  The pain was down a lot, but not gone.  And we still had a bit to do that evening.   We went off to do our running around.

Saturday we got to the con a little later than I would’ve planned but trying to take it easy.  I went around and said my hellos, then got down to Artist Alley, the others were already there.  I put a down payment in for that cover piece as I decided to buy it.  Then I also commissioned a Michelangelo from Michael.  We talked there a bit, my goal was to try and interview Michael this day.  Though Kevin Eastman had a signing and he wanted to go up and see Kevin.  I figured we could do the interview right after the Kevin Eastman interview. 

We all headed up together for Kevin Eastman, I missed out in the morning on autograph tickets but was not worried about it.  It was just a joy to see such a long line there for Kevin, after many years of him coming to this convention with little to no lines when he ran the Heavy Metal booth.  It’s just to show that TMNT is big these days.  The worse thing that happened here for me is that Michael disappeared right after getting the autograph.  My fault for not being near the exit of the booth.  I waved hi and bye to Kevin, and left to try and do a few things.

I went to the Nickelodeon booth where I got a free TMNT headband, and then talked to some Cowabunga Corner fans that were getting ready to leave the convention.  One of which I knew his nickname from Instragram since he likes and comments on our photos there.  After talking with them, I got back to Michael’s booth, though I saw the stack of commissions he had building up and realized it would be a bad day to interview him.  So much he still had to do.  We agreed to do the interview on Sunday.

Partners in Kryme and Scott Williams Metalhead and I next went to meet up with Scott Williams, better known as the voice of Baxter Stockman from the 4Kids 2003 TMNT series.  He was at a booth that weekend, selling comics and talking to fans.  Scott joined us to walk around the convention.  I brought him down to artist alley and helped introduce him to some of the artist I knew there.  I do hope that Scott can get a booth in Artist alley sometime, as he’s a good artist with a background in both comics and animation.  

We headed up to Cowabunga Factory to hang out more.  I know my favorite thing hanging out there was when T U R T L E Power came on, I started to sing along.  Golden Voice noticed and would turn down the radio in times so everyone heard me keeping up with the song.  That was so much fun, I never thought I would sing Turtle Power for the original artist behind Turtle Power!  Everything was good till it was time to pack up,  we realized that a bag was missing from our stuff staying at the booth.

Someone stole a Mega Blok bag from under the table that Partners in Kryme had.  In the bag was the IDW books that were released that weekend, including a $40 NYCC copy.  The Diamond Select NYCC Minimate, a art book filled with autograph prints and a build a bear Michelangelo with a recording from Greg Cipes inside of it.  All of which belonged to my friend Metalhead.  A good hearted TMNT fan who would NEVER hurt anyone.  Metalhead goes out of his way to make sure that these events are great for everyone around him.  From helping friends come to the convention, stay with them through good and bad times, and he gets information when needed.  He’s done nothing but good.  Even going through the crowd at NYCC he’s always saying excuse me to the strangers that bump into any of us.  He’s a wonderful person, who puts others needs above his own.  And this here just broke him.  If ANYONE knows anything about this, where at least the Michelangelo plush is.  Please contact us!  It would mean the world if he could get anything from the lost bag back. 

If anyone wishes to return the bag or any of the contents without giving out their name mail it to the Cowabunga Corner PO Box at:  P.O. Box 1609, Royal Oak, MI, 48068-1609    We are not looking to go after anyone, just looking to find some stuff that means the world to the person who originally owned it.  Please help.

This broke a lot of the mood that night.  A group took Metalhead back to the hotel, as some of the others joined me to go to the Nickelodeon booth.  There I got to talk to my friend again, as the convention closed for the day.  We headed out with big plans.

Saturday night was different this year for me.  It was like we attended three parties that night.  The first of which was just a group of us hanging out at the hotel room, before dinner.  Golden Voice, Scott Williams, Alopex, Metalhead, Fugitoid, Leatherhead and myself.  It was an interesting hotel room, with a nice patio balcony so there was room for everyone to relax before going.  Only a  block walk from our dinner reservations.  Once we got there, there was people waiting outside and a group already sitting inside at the table.  The dinner normally is about 4 or 5 of us, but I decided to invite a bunch of friends this time.  I just did not think so many would really show up, this was amazing.  As the dinner progressed we had people come and leave, in total we had about 26 people join us that night. 

Some of the people who joined us for dinner were voicechaser, Jon from the Sewer Den with a friend, Kroze brought 3 friends, Michaelangelo from Cowabunga Factory booth with friends, An April cosplayer that Alopex made friends with, Renet cosplayer I made friends with, and Frank with a friend.  At the beginning of the dinner I made a toast “To Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles for bringing us all together”  This dinner was so fun, good food and a lot of laughs.  I tried to get around the table to talk to everyone, though my voice was totally shot by this time.  We got some group photos at the table before people started to head out.

After dinner we were invited by Partners in Kryme and Cowabunga Factory to join them for another party at a local bowling alley.  Which meant leaving one party to walk right into another.  We enjoyed some drinks, seeing Michaelangelo at work again, even did a group photo.  And got to spend more time talking with Scott and Golden Voice.  The night did not end till well after 2am.  Gotta make this yearly as it was too much fun to be around that much TMNT fans in one evening!

Sunday we got to the convention a bit tired.  Room is packed up, ready to leave.  Metalhead was really down about his bag, and I can not blame him.  That was a lot to lose.  I talked with Metalhead a lot, but I wanted to do more.  Once I got him resting in a spot, I ran into the convention, met up with Alopex and we went on the hunt to get prints to help cheer him up.  I did so in less than an hour.  I ran back to where he was, with the prints hidden and we went up to Cowabunga Factory to say goodbye to Partners in Kryme as he had to leave for the weekend.  I took this moment to give Metalhead a book of some prints from friends in artist alley.  It’s the best I could do for the time, I only wish I could make his bag reappear for him. 

We all said our goodbyes to Partners in Kryme and started to make our rounds to say goodbye to others.  I introduced Metalhead to some of the artist who were nice enough to donate some prints his way for what happened.  We talked with Michael, and even got to do the interview which will be up on Cowabunga Corner next week!  We were at Michael’s booth till closing.

Then we went to Nickelodeon real fast to get some photos before the end of the convention.  We left together and all had to split ways as buses and planes have time limits.  This was an amazing weekend.   With a lot of good friends… time to shout out to friends who made this weekend real!

Metalhead: I wouldn’t have been there without you this year.  Thank you for the amazing memories and I know we’ll hang out to make more awesome memories in the future!

Fugitoid: You’ve put up with me so much this year, but every time we’ve done something really cool!  Always looking forward to our next event.  hmm Mall of America?

Leatherhead: I was so thrilled that you got that sketch of Leatherhead from Michael and even more excited to hear you met the voice of Baymax!  Thanks for introducing me to Michael!

Alopex: Traveling with you and getting to hang out was a blast, we both did so much in so many different areas of the convention.  Hope you can share your personal review.

Golden Voice: As always an honor meeting up and I LOVED singing Turtle Power with you! That was so much fun!  Can’t wait to see ya again.  We will do that interview!

Scott: NYCC would not be the same without you.  Hopefully next time you’ll be in artist alley!

Michelangelo: Cowabunga Factory is totally awesome!  You did amazing all weekend with keeping the booth alive!  Thanks for letting us hang around so much, we have to hang out more some time! 

plastroncafe: Sorry we didn’t get to spend more time together!  Next time!

Jon: We really need to do a trip that is not an event so we can hang out more!  Great seeing you and thanks for joining us at dinner!

Kroze: May next year be easier on you with getting a badge.  I’ll see you at Youmacon!

Voicechaser: Always a pleasure hanging out with you, I enjoy talking and getting to see ya.  Hope the family is doing well and you told them all that I say hi!

Andre:  Great seeing you, you did awesome at the panel!  Thanks for joining us at dinner.  And glad you enjoyed getting to meet Scott.

Felipe: It was awesome seeing you!  Love talking and seeing your art!  Gotta do an interview sometime!

Gary: It was great getting to talk with you this time and love the artwork pages I bought!  Thanks!!

Bobby: Always good to see you, loved getting to talk to you about issue 50.  Tom and you need to do an IDW TMNT panel at NYCC some time for the east coast fans.

Ciro, Brandon, Rob, Greg, Eric Hoon, and Seth: Your panel was awesome!  Doing a great job on the show and bringing in the crowd every year!  Thanks for sharing with us!

Frank:  It was great meeting you at the con.  Always enjoy making new friends and we had a great conversation.  Thanks for joining us at dinner.

AJ: I’m so glad that Alopex met you and introduced us to each other.  Truly enjoyed meeting and hanging out at the party.  We gotta talk sometime when I have a voice!

There are many others that I talked with over the weekend and joined us for dinner.  To all of them a big Thanks for coming and getting to know us more.  Hanging out.  Talking Turtles and con stuff.  Sharing your fandom with us.  We really did enjoy meeting everyone!  Until next year!  Have fun and we hope to see everyone again at New York Comic Con!

Did you go to New York Comic Con?  If yes, please let us know what you did during the weekend!  All reviews, comments and questions are welcomed below!

 

 

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Comments

METALHEAD's picture

I just love my TMNT family!  All things considered,  this year's New York Comic Con is my favorite!  I just loved meeting the new people, as well as, hanging with my Chelonian fam.  The entire experience further proves that even if items are taken away,  my time with loved ones, memories, experiences CANNOT be so easily removed.  It's those irreplacable treasures that are worth more than anything in the world.  I thank, love and appreciate everyone that could share that with me!  Can't wait for next year!