NYCC 2011: Fear and Loathing at Comic-Con
Day One: This is Bat(man) country!
October 13, 2011 10:38 pmStephen Harvey
The M train reeked of semen. The powerful aroma waffed up from the floor in a dangerous invisible cloud. It stung my nose, punishing my senses in a most foul and awful way. How long could I maintain? How long could I survive? Can I hold out and make it to The City or will the grotesque smells of wasted DNA cut off precious oxygen to my brain and send me into a spiraling vortex of empty, black nothingness?
NO! How could I fail? My goal has never been more clear. I am going to Comic-Con 2K11. Not to discover the newest inside dirt or hottest scoop, but a quest much grander in scale. A quest so rare and dangerous, that it could very well be the Most Important Assignment since Moses wrote Genesis.
I am going to Comic-Con to find the American Dream.
The world is quickly becoming a decadent and depraved pit of lust and greed. The political system has become infested with slack-jawed troglodytes who are much more at home stuffing their fat bellies off of the system than they are doing any kind of public good. But I refuse to give up hope. Dale Earnhardt did not die for our sins so that we may eat other alive in rage and terror. Not today, thank you kindly. The American Dream must be alive and, in the most secret places of my gut, I know it has to be at Comic-Con.
So with my head and heart violently buzzing from the combined effects of a 6-Hour Energy shot and a large can of Monster, I waited on the damned subway car. Not that I needed all this caffeine for the trip, but once you get locked into a serious energy collection, the tendency is to push it as far as you can.
The train took me to street level, where I boarded a bus bound for the convention center. When it finally pulled it front of the Javits Center, I could see firsthand just how thick the crowd was. Teeming with a collection of society’s so-called misfits and outcasts. Whether this is true is open to debate, but I intended to embrace them as my own, for whatever they may be, I am one of them. We are united and we are winning. Stepping in, I was immediately slammed by an over-stimulating buffet of audio and visual extravaganza. Lights flashed, music roared, and a mass of video game characters, doe-eyed anime vixens and comic book spandex-warriors roamed the red carpeted paths freely. Geekery in its purest form.
To even decide where my quest was take me was intimidating at first. The options were numerous, the booths seemingly stretching on and on like telephone booths on a lonely desert highway. You want to find a booth? Pick your poison. Anime? Yuri? Yaoi? Hentai? Marvel? DC? It had it all. No stone was left unturned and no pop-culture gag, internet meme or Big Bang Theory reference had been left out.
My first stop in finding the American Dream was the Transformers booth. The big catch here was the introduction of a new Transformers MMO that would allow players to take the metal titans and their battle for galactic supremacy online. As I admired the life-sized Optimus Prime, I couldn’t help but notice the disgusted grunt from behind me.
“Ugh, Transformers has gone down since Bay took over.” he grumbled.
“I’m sure you’ve heard about Transformers 4 then?” I said.
“Apparently the script leaked on the internet. Top secret stuff, man. Hush hush. Especially over the controversy over the new character.”
His nose wrinkled like that of a curious Pug as he looked at me like I had just farted in church.
“What new character?” he asked with slight disbelief.
“I guess Carlos Mencia voices an Autobot now. His name is Mexibot and he has ‘Hencho En Mexico’ written on his back. It’s supposed to be some commentary on the current state of our economy.”
The man let loose a string of profanity that I dare not repeat here. His shoulders were slack and sullen, his memories of 80’s nostalgia bliss forever tainted by the thought of a D-Level comedian voicing a transforming robot from outer-space. Heavy stuff.
Star Wars was next, their main focus being the introduction of their own MMO, The Old Republic. A kiosk has been setup with several laptops, each running a demo version of this hot title. The line, however, seemed to elongate into the sunset, reaching all the way back to New Jersey. Confidently, I stepped in front of the line to talk with the gentleman who was in charge of this display.
“Let’s get down to brass tacks,” I said. “I’m with the press. What can I do to play this wonderful game?”
He laughed a deep chortle, pausing only to check my face to make sure I was serious.
“Not a chance, buddy. When we demoed this back in San Diego the line reached over seven hours long. You need to wait, just like everyone else. Press or no press.” he said.
“I see.” I replied. Reaching into my faded, beat-up brown wallet, I slowly pulled a crisp, fresh one dollar bill and held in front of me. “And would my friend President Washington persuade you?”
His eyes bulged like a rejected Simpsons character.
“Are you crazy?” he asked.
“No, not crazy. Just looking for the American Dream.” I replied.
The next chunk of time was spent wandering the show floor in a cloud of confusion. My energy buzz had fizzled out like bad soda and my brain was hazy and heavy with the fog of confusion. With a lack of any interesting panels and today being nothing more than a nerdy capitalist paradise, it was time to go.
Outside the convention center, I passed a man attempting to hand me a free bumper sticker that read ‘THE GOLD STANDARD OF A REAL SUPER HERO – RON PAUL 2012’ but I merely walked past with him without a second glance. The first day had ended for me, but the quest had just begun. The American Dream is still out there. Tomorrow we begin anew.