I have attended many comic cons over the years, but this was my first time at New York City Comic Con. While I heard great things about NYCC, it surpassed all of my expectations and hopes. It was simply amazing.
After arriving midday Thursday, I spent most of the first day catching up with my creator friends Sara Richard, Ali Cantarelli, Dirk Manning, Art Baltazar, Franco, Victor Dandridge, Tom Richmond, K Lynn Smith, Tom Cook, Terry Huddleston and more. It was a fun way to ease back into the comic con scene and get the lay of the land at NYCC.
Over the long weekend, I spent a good deal of time at Michael Kingston's Headlocked Comic booth. A realistic comic series about the world of pro wrestling, Headlocked has several books, along with the support of the wrestling community. As usual, Headlocked's booth had several wrestling legends, including Jerry "The King" Lawler, Jim Ross, Jake "The Snake" Roberts and the crew from the Major Wrestling Figure Podcast Matt Cardona, Brian Myers and Marc Sterling. Michael also gave me a quick update on what's new with the Headlocked series. All of the stars here were awesome, making each fan's encounter special.
All Elite Wrestling had a rotating bunch of wrestlers. My schedule limited me to only meet Kris Statlander and announcer Tony Schiavone. Both were great, but I spent more time with Tony, who was promoting Butts in Seats: The Tony Schiavone Story, a graphic biographical novel he did with Dirk Manning.
The Highspots Superstore had a few wrestlers. I talked to Danhausen about his career and his creator father Brian, whom I have met several times at other comic cons. I also met Orange Cassidy, who stayed in character the entire time. It was cool to see him being old school and keeping kayfabe alive.
I met one more wrestler and he was a major one. WWE legend John Cena had a huge line of fans for his photo-op and signing sessions. Unfortunately, the photo- op had the plastic divider, but that's what happens in a pandemic.
On Friday, I debuted the limited edition Cantarella Ink Johngy shirt. Fellow Chicagoan Ali Cantarella created her version of the Johngy character and I put it on a shirt. Of course, while wearing the shirt, I had to get a picture with her.
I got an update interview with Lady Sara Richard. I have done many interviews with Sara over the last decade or so. She was one of my first comic con interviews and remains among my very favorite creators. As she relates in the interview, she has a lot going on. Sara's and Michael's interviews can be found on the Johngy's Beat YouTube channel.
On Saturday, I met with Ashley Prester, an east coast pal of mine. Ashley was kind enough to help me get some pictures for this report. It was also great catching up and seeing him. Ashley attended several panels and picked up a few new collectibles.
I also want to thank the fine folks at the Conrad Midtown. Located about a mile away from the Javits Center, it was the perfect place for my stay. I took a different route to and from every day, which allowed me to soak in the Times Square and surrounding areas vibes. The hotel was fantastic, with a friendly and helpful staff. I even squeezed in a workout at their fitness center, which had a heavy bag. I have never seen a heavy bag in a hotel and I made the most of it. Of course, that was only one of the many great features. The bed was dreamy, the shower hot and powerful, the views amazing and the whole experience just a pleasure.
The weekend flew too quickly, but I packed a lot of fun into the four days. I am already looking forward to returning for New York Comic Con 2022. Go to NewYorkComicCon.com for more info and updates and go to C2E2.com for info on that comic con, also from the fine folks at ReedPop. Also check back here for my recurring coverage.
Ashley Prester and me in New York, NY-October 2021.