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.

 

Advertisements

Musing #1

Just taking a moment on a borrowed computer to cater to my need to return to my fave activity.

Just thinking of the reviews stacking up (Superman, Star Trek Into Darkness, NYCC 2013…) makes me sad. But also redoubles my efforts to get my computer back on track.

Soon, oh soon Lords of the Mechanical Magic Kingdoms.

Come back soon and see!

sam61

IRON MAN 3: A Man with Sensitivity

Tony Stark show his sensitive side in Iron Man 3

Tony Stark shows his sensitive side in Iron Man 3

“It may sound absurd, but won’t you concede that even heroes have the right to bleed. It’s not easy to be me.” from SUPERMAN by Five for Fighting

This time around Tony Stark aka IRON MAN can’t keep his quips as light as he used to. After his recent adventures in New York with the Avengers, Tony starts feeling the weight of the too-close-to-death clashes in his life.  This Tony is feeling feelings and it’s gumming up his works, so to speak.

And I loved that about this outing. Tony Stark is grown up. He’s the man beneath the can’t-touch-this shell, facing the costs of winning or losing. He wants to keep what really matters, and who – Pepper Potts.Tony admits how deeply he feels about her and the worthlessness of his life without her. One of my favorite scenes. But Tony hasn’t thrown in the wrench yet; the movie unspools with some really cool Stark bad-ass touches. Villains sprout up and deflect or deflate as fast as the suit’s thrusters. There was action to spare, with special effects that worked overtime. Well, except for the plane rescue; looked like the producers made cutbacks there although it was certainly not predictable. Especially loved the stark (oh, pun) switch from sunny Cal to wintry whiteness.

Big caveats to Ben Kingsley. I love him anyway but he was so off his lofty acting grid yet made it all hang together. His final scene was just a masterful touch. Big love to Gwyneth Paltrow, back in heels and peeling them off. Her Pepper is a perfect fit for Tony, and their screen chem is still magic on the third round. Don Cheadle got to go commando without the suit and that always makes my movie day. Oh, and as for the after-credits burn: I left with a big smile.

So if I haven’t said it, I loved IRON MAN 3. Fast, crunchy, funny and touchy-feely; a great ride especially on the rainy day that I saw it. If there’s a vote, I’m down for IRON MAN 4.

NYCC 8 is Coming!

We made it through NYCC 7, 2012 without VIP tickets, toughing it out on frigid cement floors, blood draining from our legs on extended waiting lines, and standing shoulder to hip to toe with fellow 4 day ticket holders. And WE LOVED IT!

However, when we wound up in the FIRST wave of the 2013 ticket sales, guess who jumped all over the VIP tickets? Hmm? Yes we did and scored them in the 48 hour window, so yours truly are sitting pretty and counting days till October!

Man I just LOVE you guys at NYCC – can’t wait!

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!

MUST Another One Bite the Dust? SYFY Cancels SANCTUARY

Maybe it shouldn’t hit me so hard. After all, the show has been off the radar for a suspiciously long time. Other shows had the word that they were green light or dead light, and SYFY kept silent. So on May 21 the announcement finally meandered down the pike – SANCTUARY was no-go for season five.

Cancelled? Who said that?

According to the news from Gateworld.org, the head-honchos were everything that was solicitous and praising of the show, crew, producers, actors, noisy pideons, et al. But the bottom line was that they had no vision for continuing the series. Howl though fans did, there was never anyone to contact about the show’s future. Methinks that was probably by design as networks just don’t like being blasted by thousands of emails from disgruntled fans like yours truly.

Too, too bad. There’s some conflicting emotions about SANCTUARY’s course and whether the show was on pointe with the audience or not. Especially when so many noses got out of joint after the episode where main character Dr. Helen Magnus locked lips with another female character. For myself, the show was usually magical. The actors carried off the fact that they were usually acting to an empty room, to which SFX (virtual) surroundings were later added. The show was the first to use the Red One Camera technology on air (Wikipedia:”Sanctuary was the first television series in North America to use the Red One camera exclusively”). It was also the first show to migrate from the internet to television.

I didn’t just follow Amanda Tapping from Stargate SG-1/Atlantis, although that’s not so bad. I liked the idea of the show, of the woman who barely aged and who made her life’s work the protection of the vulnerable, ‘different’ people among us. And everyone’s gorgeous, even Biggie. I wished the stories had been more consistently quirky and original. Still it was a grand outing, a flare in the fog of mainstream programming. I’ll look forward to treating myself some cozy evenings with popcorn and SANCTUARY marathons.

So long, SANCTUARY, we knew you well and salute your bright, short existence.