Conventions have always been something I’ve always wanted to go to since I first heard of Comic-Con, MAGFest, PAX and E3 when I was a young teenager starting high school, but instead of going to a very major convention, I decided to go to FanFaireNYC for three reasons: it was closer to home, cheaper, and a majority of the All Ages Of Geek team was going to be there and I wanted to help out as well as meet them for the first time. So as a first experience with the convention, let’s start from the beginning as I tell you the tale on how my day went in my point of view.
I woke up at 7:30 in the morning thinking it was past 9 AM since my brain tends to have alarms thinking it’s late, but luckily I didn’t have to panic much since it was still early, and after about an hour of getting ready, I hopped out the house with energy, and an empty stomach. The train ride was quick and the weather was calm, but windy and cold when I got to Manhattan, since it’s basically an island, and it was just 10 AM when I got there. Now people who were getting ready to go in had to wait a while as they wanted every person of staff ready for this event, and it was completely understandable since there were already about 30 people waiting to get in, but also not wanting to be in the borderline Russian Winter of Manhattan. So after a few minutes, they let us in to pay for our tickets and hang up our jackets, and the first thing I went to do was find the team and give them a good ol’ “heyo”.
Unfortunately, that took an hour, but I’ll explain why.
When I walked in, I saw the AAOG poster next to this big revolving door, and I was thinking that maybe they’re upstairs where all the guests are. So I went upstairs by elevator and went to check it out, and I saw a lot of vendors that were just setting up or were getting ready to sell whatever it was they were selling. I hadn’t seen anyone from the team, so my first assumption, which anyone who’s gone to Community Day, I thought that maybe they were late in classic AAOG fashion, so I didn’t think too much about it since it was a tendency we had. So I went into the main vendor area where people were selling stickers, hats, art, pop vinyl, books, magazines, comic books, you name it, there was a lot of stuff. I kept roaming around waiting on if they were gonna have their own area, but I didn’t see any hints towards it so I started to question a bit, but not to the point of “maybe something happened for them to cancel.” After several minutes I decided to purchase a hat that has “YAOI” written on it with beads and has the LGBT flag on it, because who wouldn’t want some cool weeb swag that makes your dad question your sexuality? So now I have a SENPAI and YAOI hat, all I need is a hat that just says “FUTANARI” and I’ll just have all the key lewd hentai hats at that point.
After about a half-hour I decided to have one last roam around the main area, and I made a purchase of a Kill Bill sticker, since the Kill Bill movies are easily the best Quenten Tarantino movies I’ve ever seen, and a book that was written by Anthony Del Col called “Son of Hitler”. I wish I was joking, but the title alone along with the reasoning as to why Del Col decided to make a graphic novel about it was enough for me to drop a hearty 25 bucks on it. Plus I got a free selfie with him and he signed my book, so that’s an added bonus. I’ll review the book soon as I’m really intrigued by the story and the brief plot I was given as to what the story is about, but that’ll be sometime after Console Wars comes to a close.
So after 45 minutes, I finally had the sudden realization that they might be on the first floor where the massive revolving door was, but them being in the basement was also a possibility, in reference to us working in the basement with other stuff. So instead I went to the first floor because that’s where I saw the poster. I went into the room and was immediately struck by walls full of great artwork from the students of the high school this convention was held and pretty much was becoming more and more stargazed by the art that they made. Eventually, Ariel said something probably to get my attention, and that’s when I had one of those “hold up, I know who these are people are, but who’s gonna say something first” moments, so I said that I knew they looked familiar, and I said “it’s me, Dio!” and then they all had that moment of realization of who I was. I think the Yaoi hat is what made me unrecognizable lol.
I got to meet Ariel, Kat, Tat, Richard and his boyfriend for the first time at that moment and Evan would pop in a little while after I was conversing with them. Admittedly I was nervous as I usually am meeting people for the first time since I’m used to having voice chats with these people whenever it’s Community Day or a meeting of all folks on the team, but I felt a bit more relaxed as time went on since there was nothing to be nervous about anymore, and I also got a sticker, which I stuck onto the back of my Thunderbird bass since it was too big to fit in the front.
Stop laughing in the back.
I should’ve mentioned that I originally wanted to come as part of the press team, but I kinda forgot to speak up about it, and I also thought it might’ve been too late since the last time I hung out with Evan (although it was the first time) was at OS-NYC the week prior for the meet-up of local Twitch streamers. Either way, I still volunteered to be part of the press team and help out with any little thing that may have needed to be done for the day.
Also for the reasoning as to why I was so nervous at FanFaireNYC and not OS-NYC is a bit of an easy reason. When I went to OS-NYC, I was only meeting Evan and everyone else I had no clue who was who. I did get to meet new people that I’ve never met before and we all talked about our love for gaming and streaming, as well as celebrating someone’s birthday that same night. FFNYC on the other hand, I kinda felt like I needed to set a bit of the kind of a first impression of thing since I’m basically meeting up with my bosses for the first time, and I’m the scrappy little intern wanting to help out as much as I can, but I also have a walnut for a brain. I guess it’s probably natural to feel a bit out of place when everyone else is a whole lot more experienced, and hopefully, over time I can get over that feeling whenever the next convention will be.
The primary thing I helped out with was the stuff relating to the Q&A panels that would happen in the basement with people like the co-creator of Ren and Stimpy, a show that was my childhood at 2 AM on NickToons, a popular tattoo artist and a group of women who helps New Yorkers become PA’s. And it was at this point that my weirdness started to show along with my endless references, but it was pretty subdued since I still wanted to remain somewhat professional. This is what happens when my brain goes full dumb dumb mode. You never wanna go full dumb.
Some of the dumb things I said was “the screen looks like boiled soup”, “can the skeleton of a comic be boneless?”, “my brain is singing Feliz Navidad”, me playing with a light while also saying “I’m trying do Morse Code”, having my hand up to a light and saying it’s hot while Kat and Tat ask why do I have my hand up there, replying with “because my hand got cold”, and me staring off into space as if I’m trying to find Polaris. I’ve also never had Chipotle, so I went to McDonald’s instead. I also bought Ariel an “UwU” hat at the vendor place I bought my “YAOI” hat. We went full weird by the end of the whole event.
By the end of the event, Kat, Tat, Ariel, Evan and I were packing up all of our stuff and was also taking a gander of the retro and Japanese imports of Famicom, Super Famicom, Game Boy, Game Boy Color and N64 cartridges that were on sale in the same basement we were recording the Q&A panels at. We had our last conversations for the night while we were packing the stuff up in Evan’s car, and I gave everyone a hug before I waved goodbye heading to the train station.
FanFaireNYC was probably the most fun social experience I’ve had since the OS-NYC Twitch meet-up, and it really feels like 2020 finally started while January felt like a bit of a wet fart to start the year off, with me working a pretty crappy job, only having to quit it two days after my 20th birthday. It really has been feeling like an enjoyable time meeting the people I work with when it comes to writing articles or helping out with networking or any other thing, I really enjoyed my time at the convention. For a minute I thought the day would end a bit flat because some lady was being a Super Weenie Hut Jr. but I (and the others) didn’t want that to bother us since we all had an enjoyable day of interviews, Q&A’s and our randomness.
It makes me happy that I’m part of All Ages Of Geek.