First off, I tried attending this con last year... if by tried you define as thinking I could buy a day pass at the event and then waking up and checking online to find that the day before was so freakin' packed that they wouldn't be selling day passes and even people that had picked up day passes might not be getting in. So for this year I picked up a day pass almost a month before it was to start and showed up at least a little over an hour before the doors were supposed to open up. I didn't get there early enough.
The line was... well check out the first couple picks to give you an impression that is not even close to what it looked like. It was blocks long when I got there, fifteen minutes later the line doubled in size - it just went on and on and on behind me. Thankfully it wasn't too long a wait to get in, maybe an hour from when it was officially to be opened. Some actors near the entrance to the Javits Center (who sounded and looked like they usually do Renaissance Fairs) were dressed in Jedi attire and were advertising a lightsaber demonstration for later).
This was my first comic convention, and it is definitely different from all other types I have attended. Just one huge room with craploads of booths of all kinds, it took me all of five minutes to get a bunch of sampler manga books - and luckily another booth gave out a really sturdy bad advertising Rogue Galaxy (that bag saved me cuz no way I was going to be able to hold all of the stuff I collected by the end of the day). Just wandered for maybe an hour or so around all the booths.
At one point early on I found the Wizards of the Coast section and spent over an hour watching demos of their games. Normally I wouldn't do that, especially since a lot of them seemed to involve basically the same gameplay but with different kinds of miniatures (Jedi vs Sith, Star Wars space battles, a weird monster checkerboard type game, and a couple D&D minitures games) but after a quick glance I noticed they sign off every time you watch or participate in a demo. You get at least two demo signatures on your card you get to toss this giant 20 sider and then pick from a bunch of free crap, you demo more than two then you get bonuses added to your score. So I demoed all the games they had available, my favorite was actually the only one not new to me - Magic the Gathering. It's been years since I last played but it sparked off the fun I used to have, I actually participated in a demo of that game rather than just watching - played against a kid who sounded like he would know what he was doing but really didn't (it was an interesting game, he didn't get enough land, I got too much - but yay I blasted him out of the water). Awesome demo guy at the game gave me a free two deck core box (unfortunately no random cards in that box but... could be getting me back into the game if I can find some more players).
Anyways, getting back to the free shit - I rolled the 20sider and got a +6 to my score, got a natural 15 (or 17?) so I got to pick from everything except the really top stuff (some big dragon models were part of that group but by time I got there only new Players Guide was available - but I didn't get a natural 20 so couldn't even consider it). I ended up getting a hardcover of a D&D setting called Eberron, if I still played D&D the cost of that book would've already paid for my ticket entrance to the convention :P
I didn't buy many comics during the convention (a few older issues of Thunderbolts and Suicide Squad) but I found an issue of Drunken Monkey I didn't own so I picked it up. And for doing so, the people at the table inducted me into some 'frat', I got the nickname 'Brother Hump' (because of the back of my Sub-level 03 t-shirt saying 'Humping Across The USA' on that back), and they took my picture... which they say they'd be posting online with a whole lot of other
After hours spent in the main dealer's room I began to get a little bored, so stepped out and checked out the artist's alley. Lot of interesting stuff, should've brought a sketchbook. A little further down that path led me to the gaming area, just tons of tables set up with scenary for miniatures dueling. Also in that room were celebrity guests. I really wanted to get an autograph at the Battlestar Galactica table but it was packed, then I looked at the Buffy the Vampire Slayer section, packed; I already knew going into this convention I would not even attempt Wes Craven, Steven King, or the other bigwigs. I ended up getting an autograph with Garey Coleman (told him how just last year I saw Todd Bridges at Chiller, "Yeah, a lot of people tell me that.").
Went back to Dealer's Room and spotted a long-ass line, ah it's for Mick Foley - alright I can get him to sign the Stonybrook Picture (I printed out a copy of that picture the day before in hopes of getting him to sign it). I found out that earlier (when I was demo'ing at WotC) he was handing out free copies of his book - sucks I missed that. Luckily I found that line when I did, they cut it off about five people behind me. Got up to Mick and showed him the pic, he looked a little dumbfounded at first but then I mentioned it was taken last year at Stonybrook. "Oh right, Mascot Day!" Then went on to say how his kid is terrified of mascots, and first time he brings kid to a game it happens to be Mascot Day :P
After that I was so completely drained and just about ready to head on out but I decided to take on more look around. I head to the Jhonen Vasquez table and see someone packing up some of his comics, find that he'll be in the gaming area doing autographs - so I decide I'll head out there too. I buy a copy of 'I Feel Sick' and (even though I already have a copy at home) a copy of the trade paperback "JOhnny the Homicidal Maniac" (it's his defining comic dontcha know). Get him to sign both and then I'm done and head outside. Get on a bus, catch a subway to catmandux's, grab some foodage, and basically plop down in exhaustion.
Next day headed over to octavius_rodens apartment party. All in all, a fun weekend :)