John’s NYCC Wrap-Up

New York Comic Con has come and gone, and taken entirely too many of my hard-earned dollars with it.  Big comics news was announced, movies were screened, video games were demoed, sketches were drawn, and lots of geeky stuff was bought and sold.  Good times were had by … many.  Here’s all the stuff I was privy to/excited about at NYCC ’09:

COMICS NEWS:

I may not have attended any panels this year, but the good folks at CBR and Newsarama certainly did! Click either link to get tons of convention coverage of all the panels and major events, if you’re interested.  The biggest news I read about was that the Watchmen pre-screening lived up to everyone’s lofty expectations, and that the new Wonder Woman movie is DC’s best animated feature yet.  Other things of note: Marvel’s Punisher Noir looks to be grounded in real-life Chicago gangster history (I’m sold!), Seth Meyers and Bill Hader from SNL will be writing an Amazing Spider-Man special called “The Short Halloween,” the creative team behind Dynamo 5 will be producing new digital comics for Marvel (though not as a team), Keith Giffen is writing a new Doom Patrol ongoing series, and pretty much every dead character in the DCU will be coming back in Blackest Night.

VIDEO GAMES:

The South side of the Javits Center was dominated by video game publishers, though some had far more to show off than others.  Big hits at the convention were:

GTA: Chinatown Wars – The first GTA game for a nintendo console, this DS game was more fun than the last six games in the series put together (for me, anyway.)  The perspective most closely resembles GTA2, but the bells and whistles from the latest games have been implemented to make it a rich, robust gaming experience.  I was pleasantly surprised and surprisingly pleased with this game.

GhostbustersThe Wii version may sport cartoonish, simplified graphics, but you just can’t beat the fun of using a Wiimote as a positron collider/neutrona wand/particle thrower/etc.  The voice acting is top-notch, as expected from the original cast.  The script looks intriguing as well, which is comforting given the traditional disregard for story in FPS games.  The only question in my mind is which version (PS3, 360 or Wii) to rent and which to buy.

Sonic and the Black Knight – Apparently they gave Sonic a sword.  Until Sonic Team gets the sense to go back to what made the Sonic games great (fast-paced 2-D side-scrolilng platform gameplay) don’t encourage them by buying any of this garbage.

DC Universe Online – Wooohooo!!  I don’t normally bother with MMOGs, but this one captured the fun of games like X-Men Legends mixed with all the neat features of WoW or CoH.  The attention to detail is really amazing, and you can tell that this game is being developed by people who love the DCU as much as the fans do.  Also, super speed is so much fun it’s probably illegal.

MadWorld – If you only buy one game besides Ghostbusters for the Wii this year (and you’re over 17), it should be MadWorld. It looks like a brilliantly sadistic cross between Sin City and the game we all thought No More Heroes was going to be.  I didn’t even get to play this one, but just watching it was enough to have me hooked.

I didn’t get to see any of Marvel: Ultimate Alliance 2 or X-Men Origins: Wolverine, but I trust that they won’t be too different from their predecessors (albeit with updated graphics.)  Unfortunately, there was no demo for my other most-anticipated game of 2009, Brutal Legend.

PERSONAL EXPERIENCES:

I had two goals for NYCC this year: Get sketches from some of my favorite artists and buy tons of discounted comics.  Both of these goals were met, unfortunately for my poor wallet.  The link to my sketch gallery is here (and these will soon have their own page on this site.)  All of the writers and artists I met were incredibly nice, funny people.

Glen Brunswick and Dan McDaid (of Jersey Gods fame) may use my Jersey suggestion (Barock attempts to get a Rutgers Grease Trucks sandwich named after him) in a future issue *fingers crossed!*

Scott Wegener was a hard man to find at first, but ultimately provided me with a spectacular commission piece that you can now see prominently displayed (well, a sliver of it anyway) as the site’s header.

Ryan Dunlavey drew sketches from both his early days (of Stuper Powers!) and brand-new material (from Comic Book Comics #3).  I was the first person to request a Flaming Cape sketch!

Mike Krahulik and Jerry Holkins, The comedic geniuses behind Penny Arcade, were extremely nice and friendly to me despite the fact that I purchased nothing from their booth.  Mike even drew two sketches for me!  I decided to repay them through non-monetary means by giving them two comics I thought they’d like (FreakAngels Vol. 1 and an issue of Rex Libris.)  Scott Kurtz (of PVP fame) shared the booth with them, and was also extremely cool to talk to.

While I didn’t get to see Art Baltazar, Franco (artist for Tiny Titans) did whip up two fantastic sketches – a Li’l Barda and a dinosaur B.B.  They’re adorable!

It was great to see (and receive) more of John Gallagher’s work, and I finally had a chance to pick up Buzzboy Vol. 1 (I had purchased Vol. 2 at SPX in 2004.)

Steve Ellis is quite the big shot now that High Moon is the second most successful Zuda comic, but he still had the time to dash out an awesome dino mug shot.

I picked up nearly 30 comic books of various varieties over the course of 3 days, most of which were discounted Marvel TPBs selling at the rate of 5 for $25.  My biggest impulse buy was the Gravel: Never A Dull Day hardcover omnibus, which I never would have shelled out the money for if series artist Mike Wolfer hadn’t personally offered me a discount on it (as well as a sketch on the inside cover.)  Thanks, Mike!

For you uninterested readers’ sake, I’ll end the entry here.  If you want to see my full purchase list for the weekend, by all means read on:

  • Aetheric Mechanics (Avatar Press)
  • Alan Moore’s A Small Killing (Dark Horse)
  • Apparat Vol. 1 (Avatar Press)
  • Blackgas (Avatar Press)
  • Buzzboy Vol. 1 (Sky Dog)
  • Clock Maker, The: Act Two (Image)
  • Counter X Vol. 1 (Marvel)
  • Counter X Vol. 2 (Marvel)
  • FreakAngels Vol. 1 Hardcover (Avatar Press)
  • Gravel: Never A Dull Day Hardcover Omnibus (Avatar Press)
  • Hero Squared Vol. 1 (BOOM!)
  • Incredible Hercules: Against the World (Marvel)
  • Jersey Gods #1 (NYCC Variant) (Image)
  • The Loners: The Secret Lives of Super-Heroes (Marvel)
  • Marvels (Marvel)
  • The New Fantastic Four (Marvel)
  • Powerless (Marvel)
  • The Pulse Vol. 1 (Marvel)
  • Punisher: Born (Marvel)
  • Punisher: Circle of Blood (Marvel)
  • Rise of the Midnight Sons (Marvel)
  • Scars (Avatar Press)
  • Scott Pilgrim Color Special (Oni Press)
  • Spider-Girl Vol. 1 (Marvel)
  • Subculture : The TPB (Ape Entertainment)
  • Super Human Resources #1 (Ape Entertainment)
  • Tag Vol. 1 (BOOM!)
  • Ultimate Spider-Man: Ultimate Collection Vol. 1 (Marvel)
  • X-Men: The Dark Phoenix Saga (Marvel)
  • X-Men: Days of Future Past (Marvel)
  • X-Men: God Loves, Man Kills (Marvel)
  • X-Men First Class: Mutant Mayhem (Marvel)
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