Wake Up, NYCC

 

Is this any way to run a world class comic con?

Is this any way to run a world class comic con?

So, got my New York ComicCon 2015 tickets. Hooray, not.

I don’t like to quibble much if in a random drawing I don’t get picked, but today I must quibb. My fave hobby is going to NYCC, and has been for the past decade. The ups and downs of securing a ticket were minor, and I always got tickets. This year, it was a major mess. The queue system, which in 2014 utterly, totally whacked out the fair chances for tickets for hundreds, was used again this year. And produced exactly the same results.

Hit the NYCC order ticket button and nothing happens. You must go on Twitter or Facebook to find out there’s a different link, which the NYCC site should have taken you to. That ate up a good 5 seconds which was enough to send your aspirations into the black queue hole.

After getting in BQH at 12:02, I watched this overly congratulatory digital queue message as the show clix tab spinned eternally for the next 30 minutes. All the while I itched to refresh despite the queue page assuring me I didn’t need to, that my place in the line would forever be marked and I only needed to wait my turn but if I did refresh I would return to launch point. It was torturous to just sit and watch as tickets ticked away.

At about 12:22 or so, NYCC posts a message on Facebook that although demand has slowed the process, all is well with show clix although the NYCC site has frozen. Then they direct folks to show clix directly. Deja vu hit me hard. At 12:40 I knew I’d lost hope for VIP tickets and dropped to hopes for 4 day at least. And the show clix tab keeps on spinning, minutes just keep on ticking.

By 12:55 my hopes were on fumes. Can ANY mass ticket handlers have servers this slow? I was at a commercial computer and it was quickly getting expensive to watch a static screen. NYCC flashed another message to NOT use their site, and again provided a link to show clix. At this point I wondered if show clix even knew we were coming.

My spirits vacillated with the posts to NYCC Facebook page. Very few posts were about success. Most were screaming at error after error message in the queue; some people even got timed out! A repeated refrain: “This is f***g ridiculous”. I liked one response: “how can a site run by and for nerds not work?”

Like I said, I at least got tickets, after I finally got to the order page and plugged in for 4 day and got dropped into BQH and then back twice until the 4 day were sold out and managed to get Sat & Sun only to get a white screen of death for 25 more minutes, and then “can’t display page” twice. Then and only then did the page allow me to finally give them my money. So kind of them.

All told, I was online attempting to order NYCC tickets for 2 HOURS. And scrounged out only single day tickets. Really, I love you guys at ReedPop, and Fensterman the Man. But after being propelled from deja vu to groundhog day this is straining my affections for NYCC.  The first convention had its crisis but NYCC learned quickly how to manage ticket holders and wannabe ticket holders. Yet last year’s gum-up is repeated with fanfare.

Let’s add hot sauce to this cooked goose: eBay and StubHub had tickets on sale while many of us were still in BQH. Scalpers pose as fans faster than fans, I guess. Let’s not forget that on a timed application you are required to complete a survey. No pressure, though.

Yes, some people were going to get tickets and some won’t, that’s a given. But listen to the howling of your fans on Facebook and Twitter and know that ya gotta do better. Going with show clix again seemed a tactical faux pas; they still couldn’t handle the traffic which we were assured they could. The energy and disappointment and bad feelings around this consecutive ticket buying mess will be a blot on an enterprise that used to bring such anticipation. Now it brings the dreads, jitters, and worse – second thoughts.

Bring back the fun before the fun, NYCC. Help us look forward to going again in 2016.

 

NYCC Closing In – Hurrahs and Lamentations

NYCC #6 – the host of the most – of anything sci fi!

Hurrahs

Lover of sci fi that I am, the coming of the New York Comic Con in 2006 was like water for the thirsty. I can hardly wait for NYCC#7! Yes, I’m a Founding Attendee of this second biggest multimedia sci-fi convention in America (San Diego Comic Con is first – for now). And yes that meant I transcended the trauma of that first show where hundreds of ticketed fans couldn’t gain entry due to overcrowding! That was all straightened out by the second show and needless to say I was hooked. The guests, the panels, the vendors, the fan pageantry – the fans showed up and wanted it all.

I watched diligently for tickets to go on sale – not gonna leave me left out of the fun! I scored con-buddy Eclipse’s and my 4-day tickets for October. Then waited anxiously with finger to speed dial for notice of VIP ticket sales – ready, set…

AND MISSED IT!

Lamentations

For three years we managed to make the VIP deadline and this year, nada. Woe, woe is we. There is no nicer advantage to have than getting in first to the vendors and IGN, having a lounge and getting a cool official Con swag bag. How cruel is fate to distract my finger from dialing at the critical moment.

So we have to plan (well, differently than before anyway). First off, we do have 4-day tickets which is VIP-light; we get to do Thursday with VIPs and press and go to the party opener. That Thursday kick off was a jumper last year and definitely want to do that again. Then we plot line-queuing strategy; how early is too early? Rest assured there will be a long line by the time the sun rises on that Friday. Dawn? Midnight? Three a.m.?

Last ditch strategy: win VIP tickets from somewhere! Is there a kind, comics con Faery waiting to gift deserving, devoted NYCC fans with VIP tickets? Here we are, we love you and thank you and…

Well, when it’s all said and done, we’ll be there for the best 4-day geek fest the Northeast gets to have every year. Salivating over the guest line up, and will mark up my con planner with neat fan and guest panels. Maybe we’ll have the stamina to secure a place on the IGN line for seats somewhere in the auditorium. With the addition of the new wide screens on both sides of the stage, we’ll be able to see the guests pretty much wherever we sit (barring Klingons or other large heads in front of us). Hey, don’t judge us – NYCC spoiled us!)

It’s a wrap; stay tuned to see if a comics con Faery grants our fondest geek-wish.

Or – see you at The Con!

MOCCA Fest Inks Indelible 10th Year

Hied myself over to the Lexington Avenue Armory on Sat., April 28 for the Museum of Comic and Cartoon Art comics expo. Certainly not the vast vendor-scape of a NYCC or SDCC but crammed with eager talented comics creators you actually got to talk with.  It was like having the two biggest comic cons distilled into their essence – the comic books and their makers. All good, that.

Having only the resources for the admission, I woefully couldn’t buy anything when there was so much worth buying. Thankfully, the artists were super friendly and engaging. I collected free swag and business cards and I will visit every website to follow up on them. Nice turnout.

Friend Eclipse and I opted for one panel, and it was the Nordic Roundtable. These were comics artists/creators from Finland, Norway, Sweden and Denmark, and yes the Land of Midnight Sun comics are different. One panelist mentioned their motivations were usually autobiographical while in the States, external. Found out that Donald Duck is a super star, esp. in Finland. Conversely Mickey Mouse, not so much! Oh, and that Disney’s cartoon work is centered in Europe not stateside. Mea culpa for that surprise.

Made the rest of the rounds of the artists then called it. Almost felt like we’d done a mini NYCC. This was my first MOCCA Fest and won’t be my last. Loved getting a close up on new/independent/alternative works and bonus back-story by creators. Once I’m flush again, will fork over the dough for MOCCA membership with a smile.

And loved this year’s artsy poster.

Fun and informative; just what a geek craves.

Be your dream –

Mythic Mage

NOTE: As mentioned in Rant Rant, have to post this without a picture due to some kind of supernatural/extraterrestrial/WTF? glitch. Rest assured there will be pics when the bogies have been defeated. – MM