10 Things I Learned at NYCC


This year, I had the pleasure of being a part of the biggest gathering of nerds on the East Coast: New York Comic Con (NYCC). After hours spent waiting in a virtual queue last spring for tickets, months of extensive trip research (aka asking people where the best place to get cheesecake is—for the record it’s Junior’s in Times Square), and a very early flight from Buffalo to NYC, my equally nerdy best friend Mary and I finally made it through the doors of the Javits Center and into fangirl paradise.

I’d never been to a real convention before NYCC. Star Wars Weekends in Walt Disney World is similar in some ways but very different in others, so this was an entirely new experience for me. And it’s one I hope to have again as soon as possible. The early mornings, long lines, sore feet, and big credit card bills were all worth it when I look back on the experience I had. To be a part of an environment that isn’t just friendly toward nerds but created specifically for people like us was incredible, and it’s something I think every fangirl and fanboy should experience at least once in their lives.

I expected to have a lot of fun at NYCC, but I didn’t expect to learn as much as I did—not just about the con-going experience but about my own relationship with fandom and my place in it as a writer (forgive me for getting a tad bit introspective/sentimental). So here—in no particular order—are 10 things I learned during my time at NYCC that I wanted to pass on to my fellow nerdy girls (and nerdy guys).

1. It pays to be patient.
The theme of much of my NYCC experience was “Hurry Up and Wait.” Thankfully, years of Disney World trips have taught me how to handle waiting in crazy lines, but there were still more than a few moments at NYCC that tested my patience. Lines to get into panels felt like they went on forever, and the line to get into the convention on Friday morning wound around entire city blocks. For rooms that weren’t cleared between panels (anything besides the Main Stage), you needed to get there at least one if not two panels before the one you really wanted to see to ensure a seat. But I learned you can use that time to have fun chatting with people around you, to catch up on the eating/drinking you will inevitably forget to do during the day, and to enjoy some quality people-watching. And at least from my experience, once the lines start moving, they move very quickly; while it may feel like you’ve spent so much time at the convention standing in line, it was actually a small fraction of your day. So if you ever find yourself faced with a crazy con line, just remember that the experience waiting at the end of that line will be worth it. Patience is a virtue, fellow nerds.

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TV Time: Once Upon a Time 5.03

Source: ABC/Jack Rowand

Source: ABC/Jack Rowand

Title Siege Perilous

Two-Sentence Summary Secret motivations are revealed in both Camelot and Storybrooke as Charming and Arthur team up on quests in the past and present. Meanwhile, when Hook refuses the temptation of the Dark One, Emma is forced to find someone else to pull Excalibur from its stone.

Favorite Line “I don’t want to only be remembered as the man who kissed a sleeping princess awake 30 years ago.” (Charming)

(I would also like to use this section to mention the perfection of the “Doctoberfest” pun, possibly my favorite Once Upon a Time pun ever.)

My Thoughts Before I begin this week’s episode analysis, I wanted to take a moment to discuss the environment I got to see “Siege Perilous” in. I had the pleasure of watching it in a room full of Once Upon a Time fans at New York Comic Con (NYCC) on Friday, and it was (pun intended) a truly magical experience. (If any of you reading this were there, I was the girl in the navy blue Granny’s Diner t-shirt!)

If you ever get the chance to watch an episode of your favorite show with a bunch of other fans, do it; it’s so much fun. I’ll have more to say about my whole NYCC experience later this week, but for today I’ll try include some notes about the audience reaction to particular scenes, because it’s fun to know what others experienced while watching this crazy rollercoaster of an episode unfold.

Once Upon a Time is a show about fairytales, which makes it a show about heroes and villains. While the line between those two archetypes has grown increasingly blurry over the seasons, what has grown clearer is the idea that those labels don’t define a person so much as the choices they make define them. You can call yourself a hero all you want in this show’s universe, but it ultimately won’t mean anything without making heroic choices. And on this show, a heroic choice is a choice to love others more than your own selfish desires. Darkness on Once Upon a Time comes from hurting others and closing yourself off to love for selfish reasons—whether it’s vengeance, jealousy, ambition, or lust for power. And that darkness is contrasted by those who’ve chosen to fight for the people they love, even when it gets hard—especially when it gets hard.

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