Got there about 9:45am, which is a little later than I've arrived previously, the line system again felt revised - not really sure it was a great way to do it but with the location and everything I guess it had to do (first time I attended we were lined up outdoors - which this time of year is usually a bad thing not to mention the lines would go over at least a couple blocks so that would lead to some dangers, last year we were lined up in I think a different room - which looked to be in use by a Travel convention, so probably their last choice is what they did) but incorporating an escalator to go down and then back up again... just seemed bad variable. Anyways, I don't know if they threw free shit to people waiting in line because it was too late by that point, they open the doors at 10am... so I managed to make it through those doors around 10:45am.
The place was incredibly packed right from the start but I had only a couple targets in mind for what I wanted to do and did them right away - Neil Kaplan would be handing out and signing some werewolf comic at eleven so headed there first... and seemed to be the only person interested in it. Also wanted to see about getting a free t-shirt from Angry Penguin productions but that turned more like a raffle, so I decided to buy one of their shirts in order to get a free one on top of my purchase - and then found out that they only had large for the free ones, whatever - someone will get a free t from me :P
So at a little after eleven I was free for whatever, and if you've been to a comic convention before you can really find that wandering will eat up a whole lotta time. There's just so many different things to see - the booths, the panels, the costumes, the different toys or shirts or wide range of things for sale, not to mention the amazing variety of comics and people selling them. But I will say right off that nothing instantly grabbed my attention, there was nothing there that I absolutely had to buy upon seeing it.
But oh gawd, there is so much free stuff at these things. I did do the demos at the TSR/Wizards of the Coast section again and they were disappointing in their final prize - you either got a special Magic card or a miniature Cockatrice for the AD&D 4th Edition game. But the rest of the con, I never got so many free t-shirts and books in any of the previous years. Sure fully half the shirts I got were too small for me to wear, but it's the thought that counts.
In previous years playing the demos at WotC could get you a nifty freebie, but it's time consuming - so I headed there soon after walking around a bit. Unfortunately, the Wizards of the Coast section was really limited this year. There were about three different versions of Magic the Gathering that could be played - the cards, on the PC, or on a console. Only played the actual physical version (and I will also mention, there's gotta be better than the honor system for lines - I was waiting behind a few young kids and some teenagers completely cut in front of all of us, had to wait for when they were finished). You play with a pre-constructed deck of a certain color against players using one of each color until first person down, the best part of playing this demo was getting a copy of a color deck - nothing really rare in the deck but I need to update my cards anyways, also got a special card as a prize. Now if I stopped the demo at this point I would've saved myself at least an hour. I was under the impression you would need to play multiple demos in order to get a final freebie, so I stepped into a 4th edition demo. The DM was... really into the game, what might've been a 20 minute demo ended up taking an hour. Which left a lot of potential players waiting and then leaving. Now, 4th edition just plain sucks - Dungeon and Dragons is less about roleplaying these days, more like an overblown board game (like a non-fun overcomplicated game of HeroQuest), forget imagination at all just look at the map and miniatures.
Another sort of fail in terms of game demo'ing came from the Sega section. A few really great new games, and I just might pick up MadWorld for the Wii (it's like an extremely bloody Frank Miller movie :P ) but they have got to have a shorter limit on people playing. At their games section they had a number of stations set up for several different games, you get a card stamped to show you played three of them then you get a free t-shirt. Problem is, in a convention of thousands of folks, it looked like each game was set for at least a ten minute timer (or possibly longer, I mostly was keeping an eye on Madworld). So after waiting twenty minutes and only moving a little closer to my turn I just decided it wasn't worth it - doing that three times? I'd be spending half the day waiting to get their free shirt, plenty of other spots were selling cheap shirts or just handing them out. I came back a bit later to give it another shot but found the line to be just as long and just as slow, I probably wasted about a half hour trying to play one game. Guys, five minutes or less for a demo - people don't need to beat the damn thing to get an idea whether they'll buy it or not.
A number of items I did enjoy buying were the new issue of Mighty Skullboy Army (got the creator to draw my favorite character I've seen - the Turnip), a few nifty Smash Brothers posters by Snafu, a nifty Castle Crashers poster. Also got to meet the creators of Penny Arcade... wow, those guys really don't look anything like their comic counterparts ^.^;;;
Rest of the booths included some great stuff never seen before, some not so great stuff. I didn't want to go overboard in grabbing comics, I've done that too often in the past, but I think I picked up a few that might be fun. Too bad a lot more just had promo posters or just heard about a few that would be coming out later (its name escapes me but the second book will be out next month).
Fairly late in the day I ran into lapistigra, redxfox, and a friend of theirs who... I didn't really catch the name. They had just come from getting an autograph from Lou Ferrigno :)
More as a note to myself, a great looking I wouldn't mind playing at some point was Damnation. Got to glance at it for a few minutes, has a sort of steampunk feel to it.
Early afternoon at the entrance
As the line moves... slowly... along...
April, Raph, and Leo try to cheer us up as we wait to get in
I don't know who this is, she was supposedly some sort of model, I thought of MySpace as I looked at her. Lots of people taking her picture though.
Is someone inside? I don't know!
I checked out one of the other floors and found what looked to be an impromtu episode of the old time Star Trek going on. Sounded pretty damn funny but I felt the need to move on, I hadn't yet seen enough stuff on the main floor at that time to drive me to calmer waters.
A might tall for a Jawa...
o.0 Is that...
I also got a side picture of DW but you see the costume so much better head on.
Some of the hanging posters, games, etc that decorated the main floor
As I was walking back towards the subway to get home I spotted the Joker, Harley Quinn, and the Riddler arm in arm also making their way towards the subway, for some reason I found this comforting ^.^