Updated: Jan 23
Adrienne and I are currently on the way back from our very first New York Comic Con, held at Manhattan's Javits Center. It wasn't our first rodeo: We've made the rounds to local events, and in April we took a day trip to the inaugural Empire State Comic Con.
To catch the following day's train in Syracuse, we left right after work. We spent the night at my brother and sister-in-law's house, roughly a two-hour drive. After chilling with them for a while, we got to bed shortly after 11:00, and we had to be up at 5:00. The wee hours were punctuated by my crying one year-old niece. You can probably tell it had been a rough night.
By the time the Mountain Dew and Coke kicked in, I arrived raring to go. (Note my Street Fighter V backpack. Can you believe I'm married?)
A few years back, Adrienne experienced the scope of the Javits Center at a hotel and restaurant convention. I'd heard the place was "really big," but I wasn't prepared for the sheer magnitude of what we would encounter at this, the granddaddy of all nerd conventions.
We figured it would be a safe bet to follow the Macho Man. Also, dig that Sega Genesis messenger bag (conveniently devoid of any copywritten logos)! I totally missed it at the time, too freaked out about being in an uncontrolled environment with all my gear.
Behold the Javits Center:
Here we are outside it, in perhaps the most poorly-composited photo of all time. You always take a chance when you ask a random person to snap your picture, and I consider us fortunate just to have gotten Adrienne's phone back!
As mentioned, we've got a photo-heavy entry with this one, so I hope your wi-fi is faster than it is on our five-hour Amtrak ride (six and a half hours after a Boston delay)! Of course, pictures will be accompanied by my celebrated witty commentary.
I have to admit, the first twenty minutes inside the building were among the most stressful of my life! The sea of geeks seemed to spell certain damage to my proton pack. However, the odds were on my side, as a bunch of stuff broke before we even arrived in NYC! (It was nothing insurmountable.) Despite being jostled about a little, the pack emerged unscathed. I told Adrienne the experience was a battle against OCD. It was so cool to walk the streets of New York, owning it as Ghostbusters. We got shout outs from just about everyone!
I'll get this out of the way right now: The standout cosplayer of the event for my money was none other than PAC-MAN himself! We kept seeing him, and we cracked up every time. But the real treat was hearing the only person in the world who didn't recognize PAC-MAN ask the guy who he was supposed to be! The inquiry was met with a warranted disbelief.
Dragonball Super was one of the hot properties at NYCC 2018.
Here's a rare image of my creepy, toothy grin. Looks like I could have gotten a free lanyard, had I noticed the sign.
This vendor had the Diamond Select Janine Melnitz Ghostbusters figure for sale. At $15, I couldn't resist, and in fact it was the only thing I bought at Comic Con. While at the table, a gentleman had a Ghostbusters story to share with me: He actually worked at Dana's apartment building while the film was being shot! The video is below.
Now we're officially at the big time: The staff of The Tonight Show asked me and Adrienne to be on camera for their coverage of NYCC!
We were also featured on the Kolman Family Vlog YouTube channel. Adrienne was impressed with my ability to spout off random nonsense at a moment's notice.
(We appear at 5:13.)
In a prime example of your vibe attracting your tribe, while we were recording the above video, we crossed paths with another Ghostbuster couple. Mr. Kolman snapped this shot. Looks like we finally have the entire team assembled!
Here's a few of the Godzilla and Ultraman toys which were available from Bandai. It was nice to see Biollante (in the middle of the top shelf) getting some recognition. Godzilla Vs. Biollante was one of my first exposures to Japanese giant monster, or kaiju, films. As far as I'm concerned, it's an underrated gem. I'm also partial to Godzilla Vs. King Ghidorah, and with Mecha King Ghidorah on the far right, this display was all kinds of awesome for me. I have a similar Ghidorah figure at home, which I received as a college graduation gift back in '03. You can see some of my Bandai Godzilla models in Retro Injection's outstanding tribute to Kay-Bee Toys!
Some of my favorite horror flicks got their own action figures. Here, we have representations of Herbert West and Dr. Hill from Re-Animator, Tiny from Killer Klowns from Outer Space and some Critters. And let's not forget a Killer Tomato, the legendary Elvira and The Return of the Living Dead's Tarman! Of particular interest to me were the Creepshow and Day of the Dead toys. Be sure to read our interview with the assistant director of Creepshow and composer for Day of the Dead, John Harrison.
Here's a video of some new horror toys from the acclaimed Mezco: Halloween, Evil Dead 2, Friday the 13th Part III and George A. Romero's Dawn of the Dead all make an appearance.
Capcom had a really impressive display, patterned after the Resident Evil franchise. The company was promoting its Beat 'Em Up Bundle, bringing together several of their classic brawler titles such as Captain Commando and Final Fight. (They're big on alliteration.) The fake arcade cabinets were a nice touch.
This is the same booth; you can just make it out on the left in the above photo.
At the Capcom display, Adrienne and I got Capcom Beat 'Em Up Bundle posters autographed by Executive Producer Yoshinori Ono, who also worked on the excellent Street Fighter V: Arcade Edition. (We had a brief exchange in Japanese, during which asked me if I'd caught any ghosts.) Toting the posters around for the rest of the night without getting them mangled proved to be a bit of a challenge.
While not officially with Capcom to my knowledge, this Chun-Li Street Fighter cosplayer knocked it out of the park.
I was all about the violence and gore, and my wife focused on the cute and cuddly. "COOKIE CAT HE'S SUPER DUPER YUMMY." Good to know?
Adrienne took this photo of me with the Spider-Man SUV, which turned out way better than the official Chevy picture! Once again, you can see those pesky posters: Free bags were scarce!
Despite my best efforts to look like a tough guy, I ended up with Mickey Mouse ears.
At night we got lost going back to the hotel due to streets being blocked off, and walked around in a circle (okay, a rectangle) for an hour. But at least the proton pack looked great. We had a construction worker yell to us from across the street, saying there was a ghost at the site! A British guy asked us where our next job was. I told him we were headed to Times Square, and that Ecto-1 had broken down. Filthy lies.
And here's that Janine figure I purchased, photographed back at our hotel room. She'll join my Louis Tully, one of my last Toys "R" Us purchases. I love the concept of a secretary action figure. She has some options for hands, and her accessories include the "We got one!" bell, a telephone (which is actually not movie-accurate) and some Chinese takeout. We had some of that, ourselves, that night! Adrienne bought a Blu-ray of an anime called Maid Sama!, which she wants to show me. (She's got great taste in the anime department.)
We had a great time at our first ever New York Comic Con, and plan to go again next year. Thanks for vicariously joining us.