And so, New York Comic Con came…and went.

I was able to roam NYCC Friday, Saturday and Sunday. Due to money constraints I didn’t buy anything. Due to time restraints and crowding I barely did any of the panels I was interested in (CUUUURSE YOU IGN THEATER HOG!). And due to my own ineptitude and general meh-ness, I didn’t get any free swag.

I did however, hang out with my friends over at the Geek Treats booth (feeding all your geeky sweet tooth needs!) where I was accosted by my friend, @HipsterDalek:

Saved a Daphne, who was being accosted by THREE Jokers. (…no. No REALLY. There’s video of it SOMEWHERE):

Went to the Channel Awesome Post-Con party hosted (for no cover charge! How generous!) by the Tenth Rail bar on 10th ave and 33rd street. Met a ton of folks, hung up with my co-producers, sang mightily, drank mightily-er, and ran into a Dark Nella (Ruh Roh!):

Surreal is the best way to describe it; you can swear real life is always this geeky, this intense, this strange and yet awesome; it’s the day jobs and the commuting, the chores and responsibilities that aren’t the real things, at least, not the things that matter. For a long weekend you find yourself among your own, talking, laughing, debating and carousing. Sleep becomes for the weak, and the weariness of walking and standing and weaving through the thronging geek herd doesn't hit you ‘til your head hits the pillow…if it is lucky enough to do so. And then Monday rolls around, everyone leaves for home and real life in all its banality returns with vengeance. Already I miss the TGWTGers who visited my fair city--Nash, JesuOkatu, Paw, Oancitizen, ShadowTodd—and can’t wait until the next time we can hang out once more.

But enough of the sap. Let’s get to the bitching!

I’ve only ever been to three cons: I-Con, Magfest, and Mini-Merlin. I-Con is a sizable sci-fi/fantasy con on Long Island. Magfest is a pretty sizable one as well in Virgina. And Mini-Merlin is about 40-50 woman (and one dude) drinking heavily while geeking out about BBC’s Merlin, Arthurian legend in general, and do all manner of naughty things. Never been to DragonCon, never been to San Diego.

There is a decided feeling of gross inefficiency to NYCC, but honestly with the sheer numbers of people chaos is bound to descend sooner rather than later. But that doesn’t change the fact that NYCC doesn’t feel like a place that treats the fans kindly. Among the multitude of other things to bitch about, the one issue that most clearly comes to mind is the issue of the IGN panels.

The IGN is the largest theater in Javits and therefore hosts the biggest panels. I’ve sat in that cavern of geekery for Del Toro, season one Walking Dead, and so on. Every year there is SOMETHING I’m dying to see in that hallowed space, and it tends to be scheduled towards the end of the day.

And that is the DAMN PROBLEM.

In the IGN, the audience is not cleared out after each panel. A person could—with the Zen patience and bladder control of a mediating monk—spend their entire day sitting in the IGN theater, WAITING for that uber-popular panel they are dying to see.

And they DO. And it SUCKS.

On Saturday, there were two panels I wanted to see—Walking Dead, and the Avengers, one right after the other. Responsibilities dictated I couldn’t stand in line starting at the Con’s opening to get inside--which people did. And by, oh, 3:30 pm, no one could get into the theater. It was full.

Now, I both envy and respect the early-line waiter. Envy the time they have to spend on line, respect their devotion. If I could have taken off from work, I would have been in the line for the NYC Doctor Who season 6 premiere with my friends starting at 7am (which was a line that had started the NIGHT BEFORE). They waited in the line for hours, got their bracelets and I salute them!

So why can’t Comic Con do something similar, a ticket/bracelet system to first come/first served now clear out of the area ya damn geeks? Yes, I see the obvious issue of ticket/bracelet scalping, fine—but the theater SHOULD be cleared out after ever panel. No one should be allowed to camp inside the theater all day. People should be forced to get in line for only what they really want to see, and they shouldn’t be able a seat away from someone who wants to see an earlier panel!

…like me. :(

Do problems arise from that? Sure! The timing of getting everyone out, the crowd control, what if two panels you want are back to back etc etc. But talking to others frustrated with the way NYCC was run, it truly does feel the fairest option to the fans who pay through the nose not only in money but in devotion as well.

If anything, it would make panel failure an easier pill to swallow.

In happier news, because I was unable to get to the Walking Dead panel or the Avengers panels, I was able to sit in on a much smaller panel, where one of my write-spirations talked about writing strong female protagonists.

TAMORA PIERCE. She opens her mouth and pure feisty awesome-sauce comes out. I’d never gotten to see her before, and you could hear the twinkle in her eye with every dry-witted comment she made. Little wonder I fell so in love with her writing in middle school.

So yes, IGN panel hogs. Have your Avengers special footage. I’m sure it was orgasmic. I got to sit in the presence of a personal writing-hero of mine instead, someone who gave me the kind of characters I wanted to become more like in strength, dignity, and humor.

And I don’t think I’d give that up for all the seats in IGN.

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