We’re running on little to no sleep. We’re already planning the yoga/massages/full on spinal realignment we’ll be getting after this thing is over. And Kim clued me in yesterday to a handy little tip: preemptively pop the Advil. Your lower back will thank you. Those concrete Javits center floors are unforgiving. (Kim checked her iPhone fitness tracker last night and it showed that we walked 6.8 miles yesterday. No wonder our feet hurt.)
But I took the subway into the city in full Peter Quill cosplay yesterday morning while everyone else was commuting in for work, so who can complain? Comic Con is a marathon, not a sprint. And we’ll sleep when we’re dead. DAY TWO.
– Entry was considerably more organized on Friday morning, so points for improvement. Without a main stage panel on our must-list, we were spared the Queue Hall lines for a day. Instead, Kelly (the TV Mouse), Kim, and I walked the floor, pretending to look at merch but actually mentally preparing to be in the presence of Gillian Anderson, whose autograph session we were heading to later. We failed.
– We’d all wracked our brains to come up with the perfect item for Gillian to sign. The price of the autograph usually includes a nice glossy photo for those who haven’t come with anything from home. And of course Gillian’s table had some gorgeous shots (including my personal favorite: Bedelia and her wine), but glossy 8×10’s are for amateurs. Kelly brought a “Mulder, It’s Me” print; Kim brought a gorgeous Mulder and Scully fan art; and I brought the “I Want To Believe” poster I’ve had since I was 14 years old. It was literally the first thing I ever ordered from the internet.
– She looked stunning, obviously, and was poised, relaxed, and friendly. Rules are strict about photos in the autograph line, but that’s alright. We each had our moment. Kim told Gillian about the X-Files license plate she had in college; I told her she was fabulous in Streetcar (AS IF SHE DOESN’T KNOW) and asked her if they were bringing it to New York (“We’re trying!”) But new X-Files convert Kelly maybe won this session. Because Gillian signed her “Mulder, it’s me.” print like so:
Mulder, it’s me.
By the way, if you haven’t checked out Kelly’s “Times Mulder and Scully Should Have Made Out This Week” posts, you must. I’ve been eagerly anticipating them every week, because I enjoy watching my friends fall apart in real time over the ship-of-all-ships.
– The temporary barricades in the Javits are the opposite of sturdy, so they hit the ground all the time. (And everyone cheers, like in high school when people dropped chairs in the cafeteria.) Anyway, a showboater tried to swoop under the barricade to join Gillian’s line. As soon as he grabbed the pole, it went down and so did he. Apparently Gillian’s response was “Are you drunk already?”, which Kelly and Kim failed to tell me until the end of the day. We are no longer speaking.
– Then it was back to the floor. Thursday was busier than ever this year, but Friday felt like the real kick-off of the Con. The Exhibitors hall was packed with cosplayers, us among them. Kim got lots of love for her “Fires of Pompeii Donna Noble” (and should seriously consider going red for a while); Kelly was a screen-accurate River Song; and, going rogue and deviating from the Who theme, I went for a femme-y Star Lord. It’s ironic, because neither Donna nor River would stand for any of Peter’s nonsense. Imagine River and Star Lord in the same room though. The flirting. The galaxy can’t even handle them right now.
– And now, a Day 2 cosplay photo dump!
– After a refuel in the food truck lot (yesterday, Greek), we went searching for The Mary Sue lounge. I’d gotten the scoop from a Mary Sue editor that the lounge was relatively chill and not at all busy, unlike the Press Lounge which is a little more frantic this year. It’s kind of a heavenly respite. There are bean bag chairs, charging stations, a reading nook, free wi-fi, and CRAFTS.
– Meanwhile, tragedy struck. Kim couldn’t find her iPhone to plug into the charger. We dumped out her bag – no sign of it. So she retraced her steps while Kelly and I tried to work out how we’d all survive this thing with one of our party being totally unreachable. It wasn’t looking good. Kim returned, having checked with security and even gone through the trash where we ate our lunch. We pulled out Kelly’s laptop, wherein Find My iPhone told us that Kim’s shiny, brand new iPhone 6 was already a block away. We set it to lost mode and had it play the find-me sound, just in case. At that moment, a piercing beep broke the calm of the Mary Sue lounge (sorry, guys). The phone was sitting on the table, under an event guide which someone had put there before leaving the room. Kim immediately burst into tears. Everyone at our table looked confused. “Don’t worry,” I said. “She’ll be fine. She does this all the time.” Who’s never heard of happy tears? CRISIS AVERTED
Once my phone had been “recovered” even though it had always been right where we had gone, I raced over to the Photo-Op line to meet my friend Clinton for our picture with LeVar Burton. Clinton and I met via the Community fandom, so the minute LeVar was announced as a guest I tweeted him saying that we should TOTALLY do a Troy Barnes and LeVar Burton picture. If you are unfamiliar with this concept, I’ve embedded the scene below for your viewing pleasure. And if you ARE familiar with the Troy/LeVar scenario, watch it anyway because it never gets old and it remains one of Donald Glover’s finest moments on the show.
Because Clinton is awesome, he immediately was game for this photo. So when our turn came, we walked up to our photo marks on either side of LeVar and he started to do the standard photo pose. “We’re massive Community fans, LeVar,” I said. “So if it is okay with you, we’re just going to stare awkwardly at you.” And LeVar, bless him, was game. Thus, the greatest photo-op since our John Barrowman “BOOBIES” pic was born.
As soon as the photo was snapped, LeVar clapped his hands together and literally bent over in a big belly laugh. “Thank you SO much, you two,” he said. I then thanked him for Reading Rainbow, saying that it was such a big part of my childhood. He clasped his hands in front of his face and made a little bow as he said “Thank YOU”. All in all it was a pretty perfect 90 seconds (this photo ops, unlike autograph sessions, are quick and dirty. But still I think all it’s going to take is 30 seconds in Stephen Amell’s presence tomorrow before Sage and I die). You know the celebrities have to love when people want to do fun pictures (within reason) and I hope LeVar enjoyed this brief moment as much as we did. I will laugh every single time I look at this picture.
Bonus points to Clinton for absolutely NAILING the Troy face.
– When Kim went off for her Levar photo, Kelly and I went off to join the “Damsels in Distress” panel, where Gillian Anderson would be discussing her new novel. We totally underestimated its popularity (and overestimated the size of the room) and so were shut out. It was pretty disheartening, especially since we should have KNOWN better. (“Rachel! Use your head.”) So we joined the line for the “10 Years of New Who” panel instead. In order to be in the room for that panel, a mass of obvious Whovians camped out in the panel before it: a Kickstarter Q&A. The panelists were helpful and the topic seemed liked a relevant one: how to get your comics project backed. But the audience questions really did their job of upping the level of discomfort in the room. Several people who came to the mic did so to either plug their own projects or to monopolize the panelists with a series of questions specific only to their situation. There was literally almost a fight. Which would have been a fun story.
– “10 Years of New Who” was a panel of fans reflecting on the modern series. Not just any old fans, but fans with fan pedigree. Among them were Verity podcast and co-editor of Chicks Unravel Time, Deb Stanish and the co-author of Who’s The Doctor and Who’s 50, Graeme Burk, who have both also popped up here on Head Over Feels. The panelists talked about where they were when they found out the series was coming back (almost no one believed it on first hearing), gave their “hook your friends” episode recs, and debated the likability of our new Doctor. They also talked about the news that a Ninth Doctor comic series would be hitting shelves soon. Would they want some Ninth Doctor Big Finish stories too if a certain lead actor were game? Deb: “Christopher Eccleston’s voice in my ear? Yes.” HEAR HEAR.
– Despite its massive line, Kelly got into the Broad City panel, because she’s very important. I’m only okay with not being in that room because Amy Poehler did not make a surprise appearance. Though apparently Abbi and Ilana did a live commentary on an episode and everyone got “Broad Fuckin’ City” shirts. I’m close to okay.
– Our Final Event of the Evening was the Doctor Who Trivia Contest, sponsored by Broadway Books and Trivia AD (and hosted by the one and only Sage). Our trivia team, “I Refer You to The Yeti”, had won the qualifying round a few weeks before (leaving us JUST the right amount of time to make T-Shirts because we are THAT serious about trivia) and we were set to take on a room full of Whovians for the right to win passes to NYCC 2015. I’ve got to be honest…we were terrified. It’s one thing to win pub trivia, where everyone is at a bar eating and drinking and WHO CARES when you miss a question because the biggest thing at stake is a bar tab for next time. It’s an ENTIRELY different thing to compete against a room of people who hand make their exquisite TARDIS dresses and Doctor cosplays. No longer were we the big fish in the teeny pond. THIS was Comic-Con and this was serious business. 30 Questions of Trivia. No room for error.
– Adding to the pressure was the fact that the folks from Broadway Books did an extensive on camera interview with us before the panels and that we were introduced to the room as the New York Champions of Doctor Who trivia and therefore the team to beat (the matching shirts may have put a target on our backs too). We tried to remain confident as I gave my team a pep talk that Coach Taylor would have been proud of (“CLEAR EYES FULL HEARTS CAN’T LOSE!) and the game kicked off. Sage, who always writes the trivia herself, brought her A-Game when it came to difficulty. There was a section where things got really hairy for us (“Are you shooting with The Macarena?” “Nice shooting!”) so we were certain that our long winning streak would finally be snapped. We never stopped trying though and we turned our answer sheet in knowing that it was going to be a very close call. Third place was announced…not us. Second place…still not us. At that point the 4 of us had kicked back in our seats, relaxing in the shame of our defeat. We missed FAR too many questions after all. Right?
“And the winner is…STILL REIGNING CHAMPS “I REFER YOU TO THE YETI”!!!”
I certainly hope the camera that had been filming us for the entire session caught the dumbfounded looks on our faces. It took us several moments before we started screaming. WE WON. We are the official New York Comic-Con Doctor Who Trivia champions.
I’m totally putting that on my resume.
– As a host, I’ve got several pub trivia nights under my belt, but I had no idea what to expect doing our schtick at NYCC. We came downstairs to a full holding room and a capped line – there wouldn’t be one empty seat. And me with no drafts on the house to calm the nerves. But for a Whovian who’s also a ham, there’s nothing better than having a mic and a room full of Doctor Who fans in the palm of your hand. We had a BLAST in room 1B03 last night. At least I know I did. The crowd was totally game and especially showed their true colors after the official questions were being scored. While that business was being taken care of, I called players one-by-one up to the mic to talk the show with me and asked them a trivia question so they could win a DW novel. (Everyone was lovely, but I’m partial to a little boy named Maxwell who likes the Tenth Doctor the best because “he saves the most planets.”) The game went from trivia to charades, as the whole room gave enthusiastic hints to anyone who was struggling. That’s the Whovian spirit and I’m always proud to be a part of it.
And that’s all (all!) for Friday! Today we’ve got big plans: photo ops with Alex Kingston and Stephen Amell (SO LONG, WORLD) and if we’ve been very very good all year, The Walking Dead panel. As always, stay tuned to our Twitter and Instagram for real-time updates!