Tuesday, October 15, 2013

2013 NYCC Things and a Video...

I am home from the New York Comic Con and I am more than excited about this.

I am not ashamed to say I am excited the convention is over. Pretty much every year NYCC is filled with a ridiculous amount of stress prior to the show and during the show for various reasons but the biggest one is the expense (and I don’t mean the ticket cost). I live in NY so people think that It’s easy for me to attend NYCC as it’s “local” for me when in fact it’s a 2 hour plus commute each way (at its least amount of time). That’s over 4 hours of travel if I commuted to NYC each day. So I stay in the wickedly expensive hotels in NYC and the cost of the hotel is a huge source of stress.

This year my roommate and I stayed at Yotel. I have stayed at Yotel before and I like Yotel. I think it’s a cute futuristic hotel and by no means is it co-ed friendly. The rooms are small (as are all hotel rooms in NYC). If my memory is correct my room in the New Yorker was smaller and cost more. Yotel is cute but I suggest staying there with friends of the same sex or with a romantic partner (and even then it might get awkward). The bathroom is a glass room which means the bathroom wall is a curtain with half of it being the sink area and the other half the toilet and the shower. The shower is completely encased in a glass walls and to close the door you are actually closing off the toilet as well. It’s hard to explain but you can hear anything happening in the bathroom and in the glass area even the shower running echoes. This is why I had a female roommate. Plus it’s ridiculously fun to have girl time.

The hotel also a club on Saturday night and when coming in late with your hands full you have to dig out your room key to be allowed on the elevators. A bit annoying. Otherwise, it’s a really cute hotel and it’s a good value (at NYCC hotel block price) for NYC. We paid around $300 a night and stayed 3 nights. Unfortunately, I had a third roommate who canceled last minute (for a good reason) prior to paying the hotel fees and I wound up paying her part of the cost. Sad face. So I footed the bill for myself and her (which I don’t really have). Something similar happened in Baltimore and this is why running the hotel room is extremely stressful.

The show was pretty awesome this year. The attendance was noticeably less. This was because NYCC nixed fraudulent badges with their tap in and tap out badges. Surprisingly the tap in and tap out ran a lot smoother than anyone expected. My problem is the weapons policy and the staff tagging weapons. At the bag/weapon check (which everyone except press, professional and I am guessing VIP had to go through) the staff was not consistent with weapons policy and were highly prone to breaking props. They also did not seem to understand how to peace bond. I have several friends who were allowed a prop one day and not on another day and then given the option to get rid of it, have it thrown out, or broken. A Captain America shield that had been allowed through security all weekend was not allowed on Sunday. IT’S A SHIELD! Seriously? Whips are not allowed but you can find numerous photos of cosplayers with whips and not costume whips, but real leather whips that could hurt someone. This was most likely brought it by someone who did not have to go through weapons check. Now not everyone stayed in NYC or drove in. Another friend had a prop that was allowed one day, confiscated the following day because suddenly it was against the weapons policy and they couldn’t bring it to their car and their car was in Jersey. Had I known this I would have allowed them to bring it to my hotel room since I was 5 blocks away. Another cosplayer had their con safe arrows BROKEN in half by security.

For my own experience, I don’t really have weapon props. However, on Friday I did bring Black Widows guns and my friend had claws for X-23 (she borrowed my costume). When I went through weapons check my guns were not confiscated. The personnel “peace bonded” them (or so she thought). Peace bonding prevents the cosplayer from using the prop, for a gun this would be preventing it from being fired and zip tying the trigger back so that the trigger cannot be pushed. Security tagged my two guns around the barrels. I don’t understand the purpose of this. This prevents nothing. While my friend was having the claws examined by security they were nearly broken. She freaked out over this most likely because they were wine and not hers. I chose not to get upset about it, but in the aftermath it’s highly frustrating to have weapons check break props. The X-23 claws were a commission and I did not make them, but now I have to fix them because security decided to squeeze them hard enough the pop the blade out of place and now it wiggles freely. Granted it is the best kind of broken prop as it’s completely fixable but it is upsetting to have security break something I spent money on. I just emailed the person that made them for their fixing suggestions which they gave the info I needed in seconds.

I understand the amount of urgency for keeping attendees safe and I am very much okay with this. I want to be safe too, but security needs to abide by the NYCC weapons policy and be consistent with enforcing those policies not matter what day of the convention it is. It’s always good to have people working weapons check that actually know the materials props are made of as well.

I had my sai’s with me on Saturday for Elektra and they passed through security easily. I told the lady they were Party Store plastic. She checked to make sure they were plastic and not metal. She even asked me how I would like her to tag them which was awesome. In reality the only way they could be tagged was around the trident and this is perfect since it’s hidden when I hold them.

The signage at NYCC this year was SPECTACULAR! FINALLY! With the show taking up the entirety of the Javitz now and not just the main floor, it’s been tricky to navigate. Last year people often complained about not knowing where Artist Alley was which was an amazing spot for them but off in their own place. This year, instead of the floor sign that is easily lost when crowds come in, they had a HUGE banner above the hallway leading into Artist Alley. They also had a MASSIVE banner pointing out where panels and autographing are located. I haven’t been to the autographing area in years because I had no idea where it was located. This year I went and took a look at the set up because I finally knew where it was. I wish there was video of my reaction to the banners. THAT’S WHERE AUTOGRAPHING IS???? THERE IS A SIGN!!!!! Happy dance.

NYCC has a floor plan in the exhibitor hall where they locate vendors in a manner where they are spread out and types are mixed. I understand that this is to increase flow to all vendors, but for me it’s a bit annoying. I like to hit up all the toy vendors and they are no longer bunched together. Instead I have to go on a treasure hunt to find them and hope I saw them all. It does and it doesn’t get me to visit other vendors, because in reality if I am just looking for toys that’s the only vendors I will go to but if not I will look at toys and then comics and then statues or whatever I am looking for.

Anyway, I had a lot of fun this year. I saw a lot of people I knew and I met a lot more people. I met a lot of fans too! My friend Alicia met you all as well because we both wound up cosplaying Elektra on the same day (we need to coordinate our schedules next time). We both respond to Alley as well. We had a chuckle about it after the show. I also had fun being a duplicate Black Widow on Friday! Thus far I am a little disappointed in my Castaspella photos but this is by no ones fault but my own. I spent the weekend trying to stay awake by drinking caffeine like it was going out of style. This resulted in me being a bit pudgier then normal and while everyone else might not notice it. I definitely do. Every lady has a spot that she is insecure about (men also actually) and mine is my tummy and in spandex after caffeine it definitely shows. Oh well.

So a day later I get to finish this blog since my internet was a no go yesterday. I don’t exactly mind when my internet is down because it is nice to be offline for a bit, but it is frustrating when I have a day off and I want to get caught up on convention back log. Oh well. I can’t get yesterday back. I am so excited to have my convention year come to a close. What’s even better is that I found out during NYCC that some of my family will be visiting the Island this coming weekend and it could not be at a better time. I am completely free! I can hang out with them all weekend!

However, I have the convention plague like pretty much all of my friends. Clearly we swapped germs somehow. In light of this I am going to close out this blog post, open my book and probably fall fast asleep. I already took NyQuil.

Have a great night everyone!