On New York Comic Con and a State of the Site Address – The Antiscribe Attends
First off, I apologise for what grew into an extended hiatus from this website. It was a largely unintentional action on my part; I ended up becoming extremely busy with other writing work and job hunting in the last month or so, plus I also was somewhat embarrassed by something. You see, when I last posted, I had promised to write about my trip to New York Comic Con. Unfortunately, after going, writing about it ended up being just about the last thing in the world I wanted to do. To be honest, my experiences at NYCC proved to be nothing to write home about…so, simply put, I didn’t. Though to even be more honest, I’d call NYCC something of a personal disaster, for reasons that had to do with the event itself, and for reasons that had to do with me.
For starters, just to get this out of the way, I’m afraid I really don’t have too much in the way of good photographs of the event…I actually ordered a fairly nice camera/camcorder online just to be sure that I’d have some good images for the pieces that were to be posted here. Of course, though I ordered it weeks earlier, it arrived only three days before the event and, as you might have guessed, it arrived broken (I have since returned it and received a refund, thankfully). Still concerned with getting good pictures, I then ran out and purchased a really cheap camera from Best Buy which, as it turned out, took pretty crummy pictures. Nonetheless, I soldiered on, and took lots and lots of photos – some good, many bad, and some really bad. I even went out my way to take photos of the many, many attractive young women at the event who showed dressed up in risqué costumes (for the record, the Batman villainess Poison Ivy was, for whatever reason, the slutty outfit de jour this year). Now, I’m not the creepy voyeur type and I generally have a healthy respect for feminism and the integrity of women, so that wasn’t really something I felt comfortable doing. But…I have a website…so I did it.
It was all a moot point, anyway, because by the end of my third day there, I ended up losing my camera, which meant a huge part of my weekend effort (not to mention about seventy bucks) was pretty much all for naught. I still had some pictures I took on my iphone, which are what I have posted here, but as you can see, they’re neither high quality nor highly comprehensive of the event.
There was also some problem apparently with my credentialing, in that while I was labeled as a member of the press for the purposes of receiving my pass, I was apparently left off the email list to be notified about “press only” events that were happening at the convention, and that required signing up for ahead of time. Therefore, despite my credentialing, I lacked the ability to attend any events in a press capacity, which was kind of embarrassing. I mean, don’t get me wrong, it was very nice to receive what amounted to a weekend pass to the event, but I really wasn’t going there in a “fan” capacity.
The third problem, and the one that ultimately proved the most severe for me personally, were the crowds. While there are certainly some areas of the Javitz Center in New York City that are ideal for hosting an event like this, there are many places that just aren’t, and they can become very, very crowded. Now, why this is a problem for me specifically, is that I suffer from something called “social anxiety disorder,” or SAnD, which, if you’re unfamiliar with it, is pretty much what the name describes. Therefore, on Saturday, when the Con was at its most crowded and I was stuck wandering by myself, I very nearly had a severe panic attack while I was surrounded by hundreds of people. As you can imagine, it was quite humiliating, and after that, I pretty much left the convention and didn’t look back.
In all, I was only there three of the four days of the Con (I just couldn’t go back on the last day after what happened), and given the nature of my experiences, I did not, and still do not, feel I can write a fair and unbiased analysis of the entire event. Which is not to say that there weren’t parts of it I enjoyed; as I discussed in my preview, I mainly focused my time on the side panels and conferences instead of the larger events, and for the most part, they were pretty rewarding. Among the many panels I attended, I actually got to see one of my favorite comic book writers, the legendary Batman editor Dennis “Denny” O’Neill speaking in public for the first time, and I also attended screenings devoted to DC’s Animated media as well as Marvel’s upcoming television projects, including the upcoming season premiere of Avengers: Earth’s Mightiest Heroes. Most of what I saw was quite good, even if most of the presentation fell within the typical parameters of advertising rather than substantive content.
But overall, the event ended up being something of a personal car wreck – which was all the more disappointing to me as the proprietor of this site, as I actually had high hopes for getting some substantial content out of covering it. Now for the most part, I see what I do here as practice and portfolio-building for what I hope to someday turn into freelance writing work, and I hoped having some bonafide event coverage on here would have helped serve that larger goal. Therefore, I spent a lot of time and money preparing for NYCC. Of course, I’ve already mentioned the camera issue, but I also purchased the “Antiscribe” domain name so the site would seem more like a professional website than a blog, had a number of snazzy business cards made up (and they are snazzy), upgraded to a smart phone, and generally just did a lot of research and preparation for the events I was hoping to attend.
But, if there was something of a bright side to this experience as it pertains to this site, it is that in attending New York Comic Con this year, I was struck by how much I’d really outgrown it. As I looked around among the displays, the costumes, the people, the events, the women wearing their ridiculously slutty outfits…it occurred to me that though I certainly still do enjoy much of what these conventions come together to celebrate, I really don’t enjoy that culture anymore. My mindset is now far more toward the analytical, the critical, and the scholarly than the devotional attitudes of fandom, and this site will be progressing, from here on in, toward more aesthetic subjects.
Over the next few weeks, I’m planning to get back to providing more substantive content myself, and I’ve also be bringing in, at least, one other writer whose efforts will be devoted to that same purpose. Personally, looking back over the last few months, this site has perhaps gone too far in the direction of “fan boy” media. While I still will be writing some things in that vein, including upcoming pieces on Batman: Year One, V for Vendetta, and Thor, I’m hoping to expand the scope of this site toward more artistic and even political subjects (and with Oscar season coming up, that should certainly become a little bit easier to do). To be fair to myself, this site is still less than five months old, and I’m still very much trying to find its voice. Nevertheless, now that I’ve licked my wounds from the NYCC experience, my goal now is to make Antiscribe.com far better than it has been, and something, hopefully, you’ll come to enjoy reading for a long time to come.
Some extra photos: