Escape from New York ComicCon
By Cake Blissken
Soooo….I finally attended my first ever ComicCon in New York. I know, I know…what was I waiting for? I was fortunate enough to be asked to participate as a guest artist for the Hero Complex Gallery booth. HCG is an art gallery based in Los Angeles that helps bring amazing art to the masses. Led by Adam and Soua, HCG’s colorful cast runs a very tight ship and deserve a round of applause for all their hard work behind the scenes.
To keep things interesting, HCG gave me specific instructions. My mission was simple, break into the Con without a badge, sign some prints, rescue the President and escape with my eyes intact all in 22 hours, 59 minutes and 57 seconds. Luckily, I had the privilege to train on Dagobah with that little green guy which made getting in easy. I approached the oldest looking gate employee I could find. When the man asked for my badge, I simply pointed to his pants zipper and said “dude, open is your fly”. As he looked down to check, I quickly moved past him. Yes, people, that simple!
Once in, I began to survey the layout. There was so much going on. People everywhere, graphics everywhere, cosplay characters everywhere…oh my! This is going to be a long day. I entered “The Block” area first. It was filled up with merch booths containing just about anything you could be looking for in this industry. Comics, posters, action figures, dvd’s, masks, etc. This is where my eyes first started to give me problems.
Sensory overload!!! Look at that Darth Vader helmet, look at the huge ass Funko Groot statue, is that legendary wrestler The Nature Boy Ric Flair? Wooooo!!! Marvel, Star Wars, Dark Horse, Lego, The Walking Dead, everyone was here. Look at that old school Joker costume there, the hound from GOT and over there, Thundercats hooooo!!! Oh, Harley Quinn, there’s so many of you! Can I please take a pic…Schwing! Batman, Deadpool, The Punisher, Mr. T…I pity the fool who don’t like comics and of course Wonder Woman…you can tie me up and get the truth out of me anytime!
Ok dude, focus.
So, after I stopped sweating and my erection went down, I met up with a motley crew group of artist over at the HCG booth. There was some amazing talent hanging out and signing their prints. Vance Kelly, Patrick Connan, Kevin M. Wilson, New Flesh, Rhys Cooper, AJ Frena, Tracie Ching, Marko Manev, Robert Bruno, Tim Anderson, Alina Chau, Glen Brogan and JP Valderrama. I hung out and got to get a little backstory on most of them. I really enjoy meeting other artist and hearing how they came up or what they’re doing next. Most importantly, they were all cool, friendly and very funny.
Kevin brought over biscuits from the U.K. (We call them cookies here Kevin) which I politely devoured in the back area while blocking the employees from doing their job more efficiently. This led to Tim from HCG to call out…”I’m James Rheem Davis and I came here to eat cookies and get in everyone’s way…and I’m all out of cookies!” Classic!
After being banished from the HCG booth, I was encountered by two very intense looking gentlemen who said they were looking for me. I said unless there is DNA evidence, I didn’t do it. They said no, they were fans and wanted to meet me…wha wha wha what??? Mike G. and Mike K. along with his son gave me the breakdown on their Con experience so far and what to check out. Much appreciated! They were all very cool and walked away with some free JRD goodies.
I ventured out into the chaos again. Eyes starting to melt. So much good stuff everywhere! Unfortunately, if you made a wrong turn into one of the aisles, you were pretty much cattle being led to the slaughterhouse. I was eventually guided over to where all the celebrities were. They were all behind black curtains or roped off to help prevent free pics of them. You could get in line and pay their asking price for a pic or autograph. Highlights for me included Carrie Fisher, Evangeline Lilly and Jon Bernthal. Back to the eye candy.
Once in The Block again, I found more cool artists…Hey, there’s some awesome Alex Ross art, Brian Ewing and Jason Edmiston, Paul Shipper, the cool dudes from Grey Matter Art, Alexander Iaccarino, Joshua Budich, Tim Doyle, Bottle Neck Gallery and Spoke Art. The downstairs area was called Artist Alley and had a bunch of talented Comic Book artist from all over. Eyes exploding!!!
So much incredible talent. It got me thinking…what was the best piece of art that I had seen at the Con. This was a really tough decision…really tough! But, the longer I thought about it, the easier it became, there could be only one! Ladies and Gentlemen, may I present from the macabre minds of HCG’s Jesse and James…this doodle! Greatness on so many levels!
I also wanted to give a shout out to all of the people who dressed up and made the show so much fun. There were a lot of kick-ass costumes, but I really dug this one.
I eventually kept looking for the president, time was running out. I couldn’t find him. I ended up settling on a Bill Pullman action figure from Independence Day 2 in the bargain bin. Mr. President, can you walk or run? Of course not, you’re a doll. No worries, I got you! We jumped in a cab with security hot on our tail and made our escape…mission accomplished!
Check out the photos I snapped!
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