February 6th: I used to live on 34th Street and 10th Ave, and last year around this time I noticed that there were a ton of people walking outside of my apartment building – my neighborhood is typically a desolate area because really, there’s nothing on 10th Ave.  And even more oddly, I wondered why there were so many people in bizarre costumes.  What the…

It turned out that all these people attend the annual New York Comic Con held at the Javits Center, and this year I decided to make my first appearance.  A Comic Con virgin!!  (Snicker – enter immature comment here.)

Holy crap – people really go all out with this!  Not only were people dressed up, but they would come out with boatloads of bags brimming with books, posters, apparel, figurines, dolls, videos – pretty much anything that can be tied to comics, cartoons, anime, and action TV shows and movies.  It was pretty overwhelming but very entertaining!  It was a great feeling walking into a ginormous trade show where everyone is so enthusiastic and passionate.  I picked up a pamphlet of the entire schedule for the weekend – anything you wanted to know about comics and comic-related things, you would be sure to find a seminar or panel to your interest!

The Javits Center has a large theater where the Comic Con hosted several screenings.  On Friday, I was excited to see the world premiere of the latest Futurama film, Futurama: Into the Wild Green Yonder, which was quite entertaining when you’re into aliens and robots.  I also wanted to attend (but missed out on) the MTV-hosted panel debating “Who Is the Greatest Movie Badass of All Time?” where the panel included Method Man and was being taped, which I’m sure will be aired soon.

I was too unknowledgeable about comic books to talk to many people which was unfortunate, because most of these people would probably be hilarious friends to have.  For the most part I just wandered around aimlessly gaping in awe at all of the merchandise.  It was only when I camed to the Uglydoll station when I freaked out!  I must admit that when these weird stuffed dolls first came out a few years ago, I thought, “Man, these critters are ugly, what kind of people would spend their money on this crap, or let their kids play with them??”  However, the popularity of the Uglydolls exploded and they were in just about every toy store and novelty shop in New York.  In the end, they charmed me and I now enjoy their plushy adorableness.  I own Ice Bat and Ox.

Photos above and below are by Carlos Smith– much thanks!  To see more of his great and extensive photos of the New York Comic Con, visit his flickr album.  And more Comic Con updates to follow!