Monday, October 12, 2015

New York Comic Con 2015: Day One: The Adventure Begins!

New York Comic Con 2015 began for me in the usual way.  Meeting first with David Gerstein and traveling to Manhattan's West Side and the Jacob Javits Convention Center.

Once there, we are faced with the ever present and enthusiastic crowds, a typically large percentage of which were cos-players and those who live to photograph them. 

A few observations on this, if I may:

What do these elaborately costumed folks do in their off hours and in their secret identities?  Do they keep the costumes in the closet for another year?  Do they travel from con to con trotting-out the same "wares to wear"? 

...I'd actually like to know, if anyone can enlighten me. 

Just to my untrained eye, I noticed fewer Star Trek and X-Men costumes - and more Batman-related (if that's even possible), Anime, and Sword and Sorcery type characters.

Within the Batman subset, I have some additional observations:

Batman is always there, in one form or another.  Most often, far and away, the "Dark Knight" version. 

Robin and Nightwing are almost never represented.

There are ALWAYS many, many, Harley Quinns, Catwomen, and more persons than I'd ever seen before dressed as Poison Ivy!  It seemed you almost could not walk more than a few feet without running into a "Poison Ivy"!  Is there something that would account for "PI's" dramatically increased popularity this year?  

Jokers and Riddlers are also seen in abundance - but not any other villains.  I never see a Penguin, for instance.  You'd think Scarecrow would be a natural for costuming.  Mr. Freeze, Bane, or even King Tut and Egghead, if we care to consider the '66 TV Realm.  

I saw someone cleverly dressed as Green Arrow, with a New York Jets jersey under his cloak!  I guess that would make him (wait for it) "Gang Green Arrow"!  That beats THIS COSTUME from 2013.

And, for Elaine, even The Unbeatable Squirrel Girl was represented by one inventive fan who went as far as to carry a stuffed squirrel posing as Squirrel Girl's companion "Tippy-Toe"! 

Comics-wise, first stop was the IDW booth, to say hello to our editor Sarah Gaydos.  Sarah was kind enough to see that I got one each of the Convention Edition covers of the first issues of DONALD DUCK and MICKEY MOUSE.  

Check out some of the characters on those covers: Moby Duck, The Phantom Blot, Gus Goose, Chief O'Hara, Detective Casey, and so many more!   

I found a dealer selling "All-Ages" comics from a spinner rack, from which I bought extra copies of my UNCLE SCROOGE # 3 and DONALD DUCK # 4!

...But that would be all the comics shopping for this first day!  

Beyond that, I did reacquaint myself with a... er, "private label" DVD maker, who had several... er, "private label" DVD products of interest.  As this individual, some years ago, had the absolute best collection of Quick Draw McGraw you are EVER likely to see (...barring some unexpected miracle of a release from Warner Achieves) I was happy to pick up a few more gems that are VERY UNLIKELY to ever see a legitimate release...

They are not perfect by any definition but, because they exist, some additional "holy grail series" are now in my collection. 

Complete series for Augie Doggie, Pixie, Dixie, and Mister Jinks, and the ORIGINAL "Alvin Show" (the one with Clyde Crashcup - and the ONLY one I care about), 43 cartoons of Heckle and Jeckle, 21 of the Hanna-Barbera Laurel and Hardy, and 20 of the Hanna-Barbera Abbott and Costello! 

As those 20 A&C cartoons do not include the ONE released on THIS SET, that means I have 21 of those too!

Also this week, I got the Atom Ant complete series from Warner Archives!  Oh, if only I had a few months off to watch all this great stuff!  

This just in while preparing this post!  The Pixie, Dixie, and Mister Jinks set may or may not be complete (I'll have to check it against an episode guide), but it ends with... THREE Huckleberry Hound cartoons that have NOT been officially released on DVD!!!  

Talk about an "Extra Feature"!  The cartoons are "Huck Hound's Tale" with the now-politically incorrect Chief Crazy Coyote, "Nuts Over Mutts" with the snickering dog prototype for Muttley, and "Legion-Bound Hound" with a redesigned Powerful Pierre!  

WOW!  That's the fun of ... er, "private label" DVDs!  You just never know what you've actually got until you watch them all the way through!     

Dinner with David, Thad Komorowski, Disney Illustrator John Loter, and a brief appearance by Jonathan Gray, at our "unofficial hangout" Daisy May's BBQ USA, rounded out the evening.  

More to come in out next post!  



Ryan Wynns said...

Joe, gee, I wish I'd been there to also score some goodies from that "'private label' DVD maker"! Back in the WTFB days, reading Chris' account of finding Kimba tapes from a "private label VHS maker" was one of the foremost things that made the whole idea of a comic convention seem to my 14-year-old self like a paradise, that things I really wanted and thought hadn't existed could be found there.

This "cosplay" thing is too newfangled for even me! But I'll never forget when, at one of the two NYCCs that we met up at (not sure which one it was), I happened to walk right by Joker and Harley "cosplayers" right as they were having a chance meeting. "Harley" looked at "Joker" with big, smitten googly eyes, and said meltingly, "Hiiiii, Mistah J[ayyyy]!" Believe me, she had the character DOWN. I couldn't help but wonder where two complete strangers play-acting that kind of attraction and infatuation could potentially lead! (Hmm, maybe they're onto something... kidding, kidding... kind of!)

Looking forward to hearing about the rest of the weekend. Hope I make it next year!

-- Ryan

Hex said...

Did they sell/give out those convention editions of DD#1 and MM#1 at the New York Comic Con booth? They look like the same as the SDCC exclusives, or are they different?

According to the "IDW 2015 SDCC Exclusives Shopping Guide" they are limited to 500 copies. So I assumed they were all gone by the end of SDCC. Or is it that little interest for Disney comics at the conventions?

Elaine said...

Theory on the popularity of Poison Ivy among cosplayers: In June of this year DC writers Jimmy Palmiotti and Amanda Conner tweeted that yes, indeed, Poison Ivy and Harley Quinn are an item (specifically, a non-monogamous couple). I know this because I frequent The Mary Sue, especially its posts on comics. So gay/lesbian/bi/queer women may be drawn to cosplay as Poison Ivy as well as Harley Quinn.

HQ and PI are both among the first set of (six) dolls to be released to accompany the new show with female superheroes in high school...but presumably that show, aimed at very young girls and boys, will not explore sexuality. So this is just a sign of PI's prominence on another front. The other four are Supergirl, Batgirl, Wonder Woman (or whatever she's called when she's a teen), and Bumblebee. You will note that redheads outnumber persons of color, but then, redheads are famously over-represented on the pages of comics (and in animation). Among female characters in particular, though there are the Secret Twins, Archie and Jimmy Olson!

Joe Torcivia said...


As there were “Harleys and Ivys” everywhere (you couldn’t throw a “leafy stick” or an “oversized mallet” without hitting one), your theory would certainly seem to make sense. That notion isn’t exactly new, and very likely predated Conner and Palmiotti’s involvement with the characters, but they certainly did their best to make the point in the recent HARLEY QUINN ROAD TRIP SPECIAL… that I seem to recall I was also “…talked into buying one fine day at Midtown Comics” – though, this time by Dan Cunningham!

That comic will figure into a later installment of this series, he says teasingly…

Joe Torcivia said...


There were small stacks of each “Convention Edition” cover that were for sale at IDW’s booth. I didn’t wish to take more than one of each for myself because the stacks were so small, and I wanted anyone who had the opportunity to get one to do so. Had I known in advance they would be there (which I did not) I would have bought additional copies for anyone who wanted one by request. So, I am sorry about that.

Unlike the copy of SCOOBY-DOO WHERE ARE YOU # 47, which was a TRUE San Diego variant – and pictured somewhere in THIS POST, the IDW issues were (cleverly) not branded to any specific convention – and thus appropriate for sale at San Diego, New York, or wherever else they might find themselves.

I’ll never know, being a mere freelance outsider, but perhaps there were “500 copies” available for sale at San Diego, and more for other cons? Or, the small stacks I speak of were that which remained from that initial run?

Joe Torcivia said...


As you saw in the post, the “private label DVDs” yielded at least one huge pleasant surprise for me! Who knows what else I might find weeks or months down the road!

Ethically, I am not predisposed to support such endeavors but, since I’ve been collecting DVDs since February of 2004 – and the studios or other rights-holders have YET to see fit to officially release the properties I mentioned as we near the close of 2015 – I feel perfectly justified in supporting such “private label purveyors”!

The cosplayers have moved my “internal needle” from “annoying” to “interesting”! Or, I’ve at least developed an appreciation for their dedication and inventiveness. I still must wonder what they do the rest of the time…

I hope you make it next year as well!

Adel Khan said...

Maybe I should cosplay at next years New York Comic Con as Yogi from Yo Yogi! In all seriousness I have never understood the fascination with cosplay. I don't see why you would want to devote a lot of time in dressing up as a character. You should listen to Scott Shaw's experience of cosplay. It's a lot of laughs.

By chance did you meet Amy Mebberson at the New York Comic Con? The Convention-Edition covers of Donald and Mickey look like a lot of fun. Hey-hey-hey it looks like Jonathan Gray showed up after all. I read a tweet of his saying: "I have no desire whatsoever to take part in NYCC the same way I'm utterly weary of SDCC. Too much hassle and noise and rigmarole".

Years ago I saved a majority of the Meeces, Huckleberry, Hokey, Quick Draw,Snoopers, and Augie shorts from YouTube, before they were removed. It's nice that I can stream it directly onto my T.V. The slight disadvantage with the Quick Draws are that there slightly sped up. What is the quality of these cartoons, Joe? Are these recordings from Cartoon Network/ Boomerang? My preference is always to support the mainstream companies of shows that I like. In the case of companies are uninterested ("Warners, Disney, and Shout Factory") in releasing them I like the third-party alternative. Have you purchased the recent DVD/BluRay of three episodes of "THE ALVIN SHOW" albeit without the closing?

It really feels as if I took part although without being in the company of so many attendees. Thanks for putting your experience up. I am curious at what other treasures in terms of comic books you discovered. I can't wait to pick up my copy of "Uncle Scrooge" #7 tomorrow.

Joe Torcivia said...


As far as cosplay goes, I say to each their own. I’m sure there are folks out there who can’t fathom my own fascination with talking Ducks, so who am I to judge – except when they block convention aisles and impale me with their dangerously long, sharp objects!

Besides, I’m enough of a “character” in my own right to dress up as someone else – ask anyone who knows me personally! And, I’m blessed enough to “be” Scrooge, Donald, Mickey, etc. each month by WRITING them to need to do anything more!

Jonathan is not wrong about the hassle. There’s more of that to be had as a “pro” than as a “fan”. Fortunately for me, I’m just not as much of a “pro” as he is – or I’d see it differently, too.

The quality of all the cartoons I mentioned varies, with those that are the most seldom seen (like Abbott and Costello and Laurel and Hardy) logically having the most variance in its source material. The Quick Draw set, form that same dealer a few years ago, was of excellent quality - and the best I ever expect to see. Unfortunately, it was JUST Quick Draw, without Augie Doggie and Snooper and Blabber. And they are Boomerang prints, without the full credits.

The Augie Doggie and Pixie and Dixie cartoons are all from Boomerang because, in the age of DVD, where else would they be from?

I did not purchase “the recent DVD/BluRay of three episodes of THE ALVIN SHOW” precisely BECAUSE it was only THREE EPISODES. Why bother at all, I thought when hearing about that. That’s why I bought the “private label” version! I’m only interested in the “old-school”, funny, more cartoony-looking ALVIN SHOW from my misspent youth, anyway – and now (to one degree of quality or another) I’ve got it.

There will be more experiences to come – an eventual post for each of the four days. Some purchases will be detailed in the next post. I hope you get to experience this for real someday!

Oh, and *I* can’t wait for UNCLE SCROOGE # 7 either – and I worked on the darned thing! Do let us know what you think, when I eventually post on it – probably after the NYCC series of posts.

Joe Torcivia said...

To Adel:

Spent a little more time with the Augie Doggie set this afternoon. Quality is nice, like the earlier Quick Draw set. All Boomerang prints, of course, but four out of the first five cartoons have full credits. They’re not in chronological order, but that’s okay. Have to check against an episode guide to see if really “complete” as billed. So far, I’m happy!

Deb said...

At my local Barnes and Noble, they had one copy of the paperback edition of Donald Duck: Shellfish Motives (no Uncle Scrooge or Mickey Mouse, though), so maybe if these are stocked consistently, there will be more new readers for the Disney Comics.

Sergio Goncalves said...

Boy, do I envy you right now. I've been hoping for a legit release of "The Quick Draw McGraw Show" for years now. But it looks like it won't happen, I guess because of music copyright issues. Regardless, it's a crime that "Wheelie and the Chooper Bunch" is available on DVD but "The Quick Draw McGraw Show" isn't. Talk about misplaced priorities...

I have to ask, though, how are these bootleggers allowed into conventions? You'd think with representatives from legitimate studios there they'd get a tap on the shoulder... Do they peddle their wares fairly openly, or are they kind of surreptiously hunkered down, black market-like?

Joe Torcivia said...


Alas, I am forced to agree with you that, by this point in time, if there is not a legitimate, studio release of Quick Draw McGraw, there will most likely never be.

Then again, I felt the same way about the 1966 BATMAN TV show, and that was finally and miraculously released in 2014 – so, you truly never know with stuff like this! And there is still no such release for the corresponding, one-season GREEN HORNET TV series – though the character crossover episodes were released as part of the BATMAN set.

Of course, I wish someone would explain to me why there has never been an official release of the Tex Avery MGM cartoons (save the one release of Droopy only), let alone so many other MGM and Looney Tunes and Merrie Melodies cartoons – where the standard excuse of “music clearance” is not a factor. Or, Peter Potamus for that matter!

And, around here, I’ve elected to use “Private Label” as a catch-all descriptive term. As for the “hows and whys”, I do not know – and am very likely better off not opening that tricky can of worms.

Finally, to be perfectly frank, unauthorized postings of these properties on You Tube and any other similar delivery service likely harms, or otherwise diminishes value to, the rights-holders FAR MORE than any small-time, limited undertaking as I describe. If any efforts should be made toward combating "unauthorized use", they should be concentrated in THAT direction!