The first thing we did was wander around the booths upstairs - checked in at Dark Horse and Image but neither had much going on of interest to us, and I window-shopped (great pony items this year; wanted the Monopoly set but alas, can't justify $40 when it's unlikely anyone would ever play it with me) and bought a dress from WeLoveFine (Happy Halloween; Sexy Dalek is now a thing). After that we went down to Artists' Alley, and I get to congratulate myself for bringing the right stuff this year and actually collecting signatures.
Georges Jeanty is an awesome guy, very warm, willing to talk to anyone. He remembered Lady D from meeting her there two cons ago, and when I told him that I had done the Twilight lion picture and gotten it posted in the lettercol on his suggestion, he remembered me too. I showed him my iPhone case that my friend had made me from that picture and thanked him for his artistic encouragement, and he told me to keep at it. Both of us let him know how psyched we are that he's going to be on the Serenity series now (which is totally true - I know I've complained about his art a lot lately, but I still believe he's got mad skills and a change of scenery might be exactly what's needed to bring them back to the surface). I said "Can't wait to see your River" and he said he's still working on her, which in retrospect, I would have loved to hear him talk about some more. Summer Glau just has an interesting face and I always wonder what that's like for an artist trying to get a likeness. We also made a few jokes about our crazy fandom, but the guy's a brick - instead of letting us steer the conversation into sensitive territory he just teased us right back. Lady D bought a t-shirt from him and he signed my copy of Buffy S8 #40, which I still believe was his best cover.
Also in Artists' Alley I tracked down Chris Claremont, who should honestly be regarded as a living legend and have lines out the door for autographs, but who can fathom the mystery that is comic book popularity. He seemed a little tired and distant - I said a couple awkward things to the effect of "big fan here" and "I have a lot of your stuff but I brought this New Mutants graphic novel because that's the series that hooked me" and "I couldn't believe I missed you here last year!", but it seemed like a conversation wasn't going to happen so I didn't push. He was still very nice, though, and as he signed my book he said "And the artist is right there!" and pointed me at Bob McLeod, which made me all "D'oh!" but I did get two signatures on my one copy which was quite a bonus. (If anyone's reading this and trying to work out why I'm using the words living legend and what exactly I got hooked on, Chris Claremont is early Marvel stuff, particularly the best era of the X-Men, and he's the primary creative force behind many iconic characters we all know. New Mutants was the first complete series spin-off of the X-Men, which introduced Rahne Sinclair, my favorite Marvel character of all time.)
Last stop in the Alley was Peter S. Beagle. If you read my con report from last year, you'll remember this was the author that sent me into fangirl shock when I saw him, but this year I was prepared with something to sign and told him that he made my day last year, I bought the album he recommended, and I wouldn't take up his time again. I have a like-new paperback copy of The Last Unicorn at home, but I already have the graphic novel with his signature and I thought it would be nice to show him one of his other novels for once, so I brought The Innkeeper's Song. (More meaningful for me anyway because my copy was a gift from astrarael!) When his assistant saw it, she said, "That's the edition I have! Let me show you something." It turns out there's a typo in the title on the spine that I'd never noticed. Neither had Peter S. Beagle.
After that we judged it prudent to get in line for the Whedonversity panel, which turned out to be a wise decision. The line was huge when we got there, and it was almost an hour early! I was beginning to get headachey for no apparent reason so I wasn't at my best, but Comic Con is such a great place for people-watching that otherwise I would have been happy as a clam just sitting and waiting. The panel itself really wasn't informative, at least from the Buffyverse side of things, but it was a lot of fun to observe. Aside from Scott Allie, they had Jeanty, Rebekah Isaacs, both cover artists, and Jane Espenson, who had to leave early. If I can think of one thing to share with you that I hadn't already learned before going in there, it's that the Serenity series is only set for six issues, and it's only going to continue after that if the stars align - which as usual, depends on Joss. I was also interested to hear that Allie asked Christos Gage and Isaacs which series they would want, and both of them said they just wanted to stay as a team on the same book. Lady D and I were speculating about that later, and to me it sounds like they got first pick because it's clear they're the best talent in the job right now - also that maybe, just maybe, Victor Gischler was chosen for Angel and Faith because at some point it's going to morph into Spike and Faith. We're not sure what happened to Andrew Chambliss, but, ahem, don't think anyone's gonna miss him.
Most of the time was taken by audience questions. None of the questions were that great (I honestly find myself getting pretty irritated at people using up our limited time by asking something I already know the answer to, and I need to get over that), but again, it was fun listening to the team answer. Someone asked (someone HAD to ask) whether all this love on display for Firefly was going to bring the show back, and everyone applauded (everyone HAD to applaud), but Jeanty was actually the one who had a nice smooth answer about how he's as big a fan as they are and this comic is really the best thing they could ask for, so it's worth enjoying it for what it is. There was one of your typical "What's everyone's favorite moment from the shows?", which drew out some more good answers. Isaacs said she couldn't remember the name of the episode after "The Body" and Allie said, "Conversations with Dead People" - did anyone hear me correcting him out loud? :) Another great thing about the questions was that people were using them to showcase some of the best cosplaying I'd seen so far. Someone who looked like Jewel Staite's twin sister, wearing a perfect Kaylee costume, got the whole room applauding when Jane Espenson had to interrupt her to say that the whole panel had been talking about what an amazing Kaylee she was. Then Georges interrupted a Drusilla to ask her to ask her question about Drusilla in a British accent, which she did, and then got interrupted again by Allie: "You are freaking me out." Naturally the guy dressed as (enigmatically silver-haired) Spike did his best Spike while asking a question about Spike.
It was too bad we didn't get the primary writers - although Gage did send us a nice message, which Allie read to us - but I liked listening to the artists, even the cover artists. You could tell they were fans and there were some interesting bits of insight into the process. We now know to look for an undead Boarataur on the cover of an upcoming issue.
After the panel ended, we made our way to the front of the room and cornered Scott Allie to
Lady D and I enjoyed ourselves afterwards with a walk around the city and a Thai dinner, and I think we made a pretty good day of it in spite of our limited time at the con itself. Of course we had a lot of fun just geeking out with each other during the ride and downtime. And half the fun of going to NYCC is just being there and looking around. I thought the cosplayers were fantastic this year. Seemed like a lot of people were going back to the classics, like Star Wars and X-Men. Incomplete list of favorites: Rogue, Storm, GoT group, Dothraki-style Dany holding hands with Drogo, Wolverine with genuine muscles, Katniss, River, Ten, Eleven, one of the cat-nuns, Korra, Katara, Chewbacca, Mario question box, ponies ponies ponies, Thor, Dark Phoenix, Vash the Stampede x2, Neil Gaiman's Death, Gandalf, and a couple dressed as Marko and Alana WITH THEIR BABY DRESSED AS HAZEL. Some things you just gotta capslock!
Geeks make the worlds go 'round.