I spent this weekend in New York attending the New York Comic Con. Last year was the first year I attended this show and I was anxious to get back. Although I was planning on going (since last October, actually), I had made no plans because, like just about everything else I've been talking about lately, Mom's illness popped up and everything got put on the back burner. So I had no plans to go this year, wasn't really feeling like doing anything at all, but my friend George asked me if I was coming. I talked to Ken about it and decided that I need to do this. For me. Things haven't exactly been getting better since Mom died and I really needed an escape from it all. So Friday morning at the crack of dawn, I boarded the MegaBus for NYC and got my geek on in the best way possible. I arrived in the city at 10:15 and headed right over the the con. By 11 o'clock we were in, my luggage stowed and off to wander. I brought down my sketchbook with me because I was hoping to score a bunch of commissions. This didn't exactly go my way. At 11 o'clock, for instance, many artists were already booked up through that day and most of Saturday. At least the bigger name artists I was hoping to hit up.
The con was insanely busy. Last year I got to the con just after lunch and it was pretty busy, but not too bad. This year, hours earlier, it was beyond mobbed. They estimated that 100,000 people were going to attend. It felt like it, but not in a bad way.
George and I did a lot of wandering around, shopping and browsing and taking pictures. I tried to hook up with some friends I knew were attending. I texted my friend Martha, but unfortunately she didn't see my text until later that night. She wasn't attending Saturday and I wasn't attending Sunday, so we missed each other. I did finally get together with a couple of people I was hoping to, though. The first was my friend Hank. I've known Hank since we were both teenagers, however we've never met in person before. Long before the internet, fandom was based through the mail. We were both members of an amateur press association. We had our first chance to meet back in 1988 when we were both at the San Diego Comic Con, but the night he called up to my room, jet lag and con exhaustion had set in and I was passed out. The friends who I was with told me they couldn't rouse me, I was that dead to the world. The second time we missed each other was last year at the NYCC. I was there such a short while, so it was difficult meeting up. This year, George and I were walking around and we stopped at one point in front of the DC Comics booth. And lo and behold, there he was, standing just a couple feet from us. Finally! We only got ten or fifteen minutes before he had to get back to work. I was hoping to run into him again, but it didn't happen.
On Saturday, George had work to do, so I wandered about on my own and hooked up with my buddy Chris. I haven't seen him in maybe 15 years. He went to college here in Albany and was the roommate of a good friend of mine. We lost touch over the years, but that's bound to happen. It was fucking fantastic catching up with him. Like George, he was at the con to not only enjoy himself, but he had to work, too.
Right after we parted, I was wandering aimlessly when I ran into someone I work with. It was really random. In a crowd of 100,000, someone from work was the last person I thought I would run into.
The final person I ran into was my friend Todd. I found out he was going to be there Saturday, so I told him to text me when he got there. Naturally, he forgot my number. He did try sending me a Facebook message around 1, but I didn't see that until later that night. George and I were walking through Artist Alley when I see someone come up to me fast. It was Todd. Good thing he saw me because I was oblivious to him.
The only thing that sucked about the convention is I wasn't in the best health. I woke up Friday with a sore throat and by Friday night, I had full blown laryngitis. My voice still isn't back yet, but it's coming back slowly but surely.
I had a great time and it was definitely the break from reality I needed. I have lot of pictures, but it's late and I'm too tired to wait for them all to upload tonight. It'll be something to look forward to tomorrow!