If someone were to ask me what I learned from Day 1 of New York Comic Con, it would most certainly be "going against the current" creates more problems than it solves. Like whitewater rafting, there are several underlying reasons why it would not be wise to try and sail upriver from the power of the current to the solid objects that could be rendered invisible due to those forces. No matter what the justification is, it all comes down to the river being stronger than you can ever hope to be, meaning that going with the flow is essentially the best idea for survival, a concept that saved me a lot of stress during the first official day of New York Comic Con.
To give everyone an indication as to how my day was going to go, my original plan was to get up at 7:00 and be out of the house around 8:15; and while I did get up around that time, the clothes that I had dropped off at the cleaners were not ready until 8:30 (and this was after I had gotten to the cleaners at 8:15 to begin with). Thankfully, the fact that my first panel didn't start until 12:15 kept me from panicking as I went home and threw on my wardrobe for the day and headed out the door at 9:05. I got to the convention around 10:15 and got an immediate reminder as to how big this show was going to be as I saw a line start on 11th Avenue occupying a good two-thirds of the long city block that comes along with all East/West bound streets in that part of Manhattan. Thanking the universe that I had a press pass, I went in the front entrance and met up with Royal Nonesuch, who had just gotten to the convention himself. After taking 20 minutes to get organized, it was time to get to show floor and get in the middle of the action.
Now, it has been eight years since I last covered a convention for a website, so I always thought I would have guaranteed access to any panel that is covered in the cost of a regular convention pass. That was the reason why I thought the hour before the Arkham City panel was supposed to start was more than enough time to scour the show floor for pictures, items that I wanted and to meet up with old friends, and I ended up accomplishing all three. By the time noon came around, I made my way to the IGN Theater on the first level, where I learned I had to get in line like everyone else, which would become a recurring theme through the weekend (making this con that much harder to cover). Luckily, I was still able to get a good enough seat to take in the panel, which definitely got me hyped for tomorrow's release, despite the fact that you need to be online at all times to access the full game (for more information on that, click here). It'll be something I'll wrestle with until it's time for me to make a decision.
With the biggest panel out of the day out of the way, I decided to kill some time until the two panels I knew I had to be at, one of which was not only about how to make a great graphic novel but would also serve as my formal introduction to Archaia as a company. Besides being extremely impressed by their commitment to quality, I was also floored by how much advice I was given about how a graphic novel is created. However, the lesson that stood out was how the traditional format could be used to both help the inexperienced learn how to make comics and get to the goal of making that great graphic novel, especially when Digital comes into play. After that it was time for the "Story Structure for Writer's" panel, and the thing that was so interesting about this panel was that its panelists included David Hine, Justin Palmlotti and Christos Gage, three of my favorite writers in comics for the past three years. The biggest lessons that I took away from that panel was how story structure should be used to focus creativity instead of stifling it, along with how you never make your story structure so tight to where you can't make adjustments that could be better in the long run. With those two productive panels out of the way, my day could've been ended right there and I would've been happy, but there was still more to come.
After taking some time to get a quick late lunch/early dinner, it was time to take in the Street Fighter X Tekken
panel, which I barely got into because I was still thinking that the regular panel rooms would still allow for press to have some kind of priority. That being said, this was the first time I've gotten to see this game beyond the videos on the Internet (along with the five seconds I got the play the game on Thursday). And I have to say, the thing that interests me the most about this game is the new Gem System that allows you to enhance your stats along the lines Attack, Defense, Speed, Crossover Gauge (Super Meter) and Auto -Blocking with a variety of specializations depending on which gem you use. Regardless of what you may think about the system, it's going to be very interesting to see both how Capcom implements it and how gamers react to the it. With March 6th less than five months away, I can't wait to see how this plays out.
With the Street Fighter X Tekken
panel concluded, all of my news duties were done for the day, so I decided to hang out, snap some pictures and wait for the steampunk panels to take place later that evening. As someone who is interested in the aesthetics of steampunk, I thought that these panels (the first one at least) was going to be about the fashion movement. However, I got something else out of them entirely as I learned that the movement isn't just grounded in sleek-looking suits and poufy dresses. Of course, the movement does have its base in wanting to go against the norm (like almost every movement like this), but when the core ideal of the movement promotes customization, lastiblity (its amazing how we create things with obsolescence in mind these days) and treating people with more respect, it's hard not respect it. From a setting standpoint, the Victorian era and its contradictions (the creation of leisure time and discretionary income versus the treatment of unskilled workers, and the advancement of science and technology versus the rampant classism and racism, among others) makes one of the backgrounds I would love to tell a story against, making this panel not only two hours well-spent, but a great exclamation point to the day, as well.
As I was taking the train back to Brooklyn for some needed (and well-earned) rest, the two most important things that went through my head were how keeping my cool saved the day on many occasions. As someone who admits to having a short fuse on occasion, I consider this sign of my continue commitment to self-maturation a victory that I take great pride in. The second thing that occurred to me was how crowded the first day of the Convention was, something that any veteran of this game will tell you is a sign of how hectic things were going to get on Saturday. Could my past experiences prepare me for the onslaught that was about to come? The answer might surprise you.For more of the day in Pictures, click here.
Written or Contributed by: Linwood Earl Knighthttp://184.108.40.206/index.php/news/convention-news/16775-welcome-to-the-madhouse-the-day-1-new-york-comic-con-wrap-up.html/