As kids, my friends and I loved riding our bikes downtown to the newsstand each week. More often than not, I could only afford to buy one comic book, so with my meager allowance in hand, I would carefully consider which comic would earn a place on my nightstand. If there was a new issue of The Punisher or Daredevil available, that always made the choice a bit easier.
Yet as the years went by, my comic book collection took backseat as more “grown-up” stuff, like learning to drive and working summer jobs, took its place. Fast forward 20 years later to October of 2011 when my childhood comic book nostalgia finally got the best of me, and on a whim, I declared to my wife that I would be making the pilgrimage to the New York Comic Con (NYCC) even if it killed me.
Straightaway, I hopped online to make my grand NYCC plans only to discover that I had JUST, by mere days, missed the entire event. After a brief moment of despair, I came to realize that my misfortune was really a blessing in disguise, for now I had a full year until the next NYCC to get myself reacquainted with the comic book universe. It was the perfect timespan for a long term and in-depth project that is of absolutely no real importance, but to which I would wholeheartedly commit. Indeed, I would make my return to comics a year-long theme culminating in the apex of pop culture geekery!
So I went about setting the NYCC wheels in motion. My wife and I alerted my in-laws that we planned to crash their NYC apartment, and we booked my mother-in law to babysit our two (both too young for NYCC) children. You’d be surprised how inclined people are to help you when you give them a full year’s notice! Then I began my year-long journey back into the comic book world as an adult, which turned out to be a completely different experience than when I was a kid, though still quite awesome.
Now a year has come and gone, and my wife and I have survived our first NYCC. Even after a year of anticipation, when I had feared that the novelty of it all may have worn off, it still exceeded all my expectations. I had many highlights, some of which I’ll blog more about later. My brother-in-law and wife also had a great time. My wife, who is generally NOT nerdy or geeky aside from being married to me, commissioned an anime portrait of herself and successfully navigated huge crowds of fans in order to get a photo-op with Christopher Lloyd. It was a total blast to see that side of her.
So, yes, it was awesome, and now I have my sights set on the day when both of my kids are old enough to come with us. There were very few young children around on Friday when we were there, though I hear that Sunday is pretty much earmarked to be the day for kids. I find myself daydreaming about them making their own costumes and commissioning works from artists, trudging through the streets of Manhattan bogged down with arms full of nerdy swag….but alas, they are still a few years away from being old enough to drag along. In the meantime, I need to start thinking about costume ideas for next year. Kids or no kids, I’ll be back.