Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Asbury Park Comic Con 2013

There are many conventions across the globe covering all manor of genre and fetish. Within that world, there must be over 50 that call themselves Comic Book Conventions...or more specifically, as to draw the crowds and bank on the most popular brand, call themselves Comic Con. I've been attending Comic Book and Horror conventions for over 20 years now, so you'll have to trust me when I say Asbury Park Comic Con is unique. HOW does a convention, fairly new to the scene, manage to find a hook few others are attempting these days, in a world where every idea has been done to death? By going back to basics. Asbury Park Comic Con...has comics as its focus! Radical idea.

After 8 years of Action-figure.com and 3 of Idle Hands, you could imagine I've amassed a few toys. At this point, any time I hear someone near my apartment door, I peek out the window to make sure there are no camera crews from Hoarders or Collection Intervention. In an attempt to take back my living space, I've been unloading those items unessential to battling Ewoks or conquering Middle Earth, and so once or twice a month, you'll find me at a local toy show. This is how I met Robert Bruce (of Comic Book Men) and found myself a part of APCC from the first one on. Now we'd be greeting the largest crowd yet, graduating from the tiny Asbury Lanes to the massive convention hall on the beach. To celebrate, I fished out my Casey Jones gear with the thought "WHO wouldn't want to buy toys from CASEY JONES??!!"

Though my view from the show floor was limited, things seem to go off without a hitch. Deadpool, 
Pheonix, Batgirl, Zombie Stormtrooper, Harley Quin, Hunter S. Thompson and a swarm of Doctors slid past our table, searching for treasures they couldn't live without. Over the loud speaker, Rob reminded folks that the convention had..not one..but TWOOOOO FLOOOOORS, as if channeling Crazy Eddie's more stable son. TWOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO FLOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOORS!! he bellowed, his voice cracking like Peter Brady. As vendors unplugged their ears, we took solace in the fact that Rob's voice would soon give out. Lil miracles. Around the con, Punk books were sold, the creator of Ren and Stimpy scribbled away for gushing fans and mini Batmen got a taste of their first geekfest. Our friends at Little Punk People told us the day was not unlike a saturday at a big horror convention, which is to say lots of people spending lots of money, and that is a great thing to hear these days. Over at my table, I continued to employ my low pressure Jedi Mind Tricks. "Yes, sir, you do need an Ultimate Warrior mask. WHERE ELSE will you find a mask with feathered hair??!!" My logic was undeniable. More often than not, a customer would buy an item I convinced them they needed to feel complete, and then physically flung themselves out of our orbit as not to spend the rest of their cash on items I was about to dig up.

Early in the show, a group of guys asked if they could interview me (as Casey Jones) and I happily agreed. We discussed which turtles were assholes in real life, my favorite passtimes...and April O'Neil's boobs. I know full well there have been some jerky press hitting cons with sexist notions about how coverage is done, so in defense of this group, I WAS THE ONE who began the discussion of April's boobs and how well they fit into her jump suit. After all..I was Casey Jones. You'd expect nothing less. They went on to ask me about my thoughts on Megan Fox cast in the new Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles live action movie and I gave them my theory on the stickiness of the actress. Honestly, it's like they have a mandate to keep her wet in most of the movies she is in, OR she secretes some viscous fluid through her pores that would create a trail after you touched her...like the two girls kissing in that movie where you got excited..and then not because the spit trail was just too much to handle..or ectoplasm. Then it hit me. Maybe she's dead? Ectoplasm is made by ghosts...so maybe she's dead??!! It was a profound moment.

With a Batmobile AND Delorean parked in the Arcade (aka the lobby), the day disappeared in a flash. Costumed folks competed for prizes, judged by the Comic Book Men, panels went off without a hitch at Wonder Bar across the street (which meant you could drink beers and listen to Al Jaffee talk about his life in Mad Magazine history) and the vibe was consistently, overwhelmingly positive. As we neared 6pm and readied for the close of show, Robert came over the loud speaker once more to announce everyone would be invited back to the next show, now taking place over two days and possibly in two locations! You could tell this would be the start of something great for comic book lovers across the state and certainly a much needed economic boost for our Jersey Shore, still struggling to recover from the devastation of Sandy.

My show scores included a monsters playing jazz music print from Stephanie Buscema, a very Tank Girl/Rat Fink-esque print from Bob Hardin, an Endor battle gear Leia and two Endor Rebels to add to my battle scenes, a copy of Brian O'Halloran's new movie Miss December and some cash in my pocket so I wouldn't have to eat nothing but ramen noodles for the next two weeks. Team America...Fuck Yea.

Click HERE to see all the pictures from Asbury Park Comic Con!

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