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Big Apple Con September 17th, 2006

Sunday, September 17th the we all piled into the suburban chariot and drove into NYC to see the Big Apple Comic Con in the Penn Plaza Hotel. This convention is like a lot of autograph shows I go to except it's a little less intense and crowded making for a more relaxed and enjoyable atomosphere. We got to the hotel (Across from Madison Square Gardens) around 11:00am and registered to see the show. The Comic Con is a huge dealers room with an "Artists Alley" for the comic professionals and another "alley" for the actors, playmates and wrestling stars that come to sign for a fee. There were a few people I was interested in seeing at this show, first up was Yvonne Craig whose episode of Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea I skimmed through the night before. I had a little chat with her about that and about her posing in the BatMobile at the SuperMega Show I attended in August. Sweet lady posed for a picture with my kids and we also chatted about Howard Margolin and her interview she did for Destinies.

Neil Adams always has a huge table at this show so I walked over and spoke to him for a few minutes and told him I wanted to take a picture for my friend Howard so here it is!

But the main reason I went on Sunday to this show was to hear Ernie Colón speak about illustrating The 9/11 Report: A Graphic Adaptation

So I lucked out and found Ernie at his table signing copies. I hadn't had a chance to buy one before the show so it worked out great. I asked him about the project and told him how glad I was to see this sort of thing out there in a format everyone can read and understand. I tried to steer Ernie into politics to see where he stood and as I did that the fellow sitting next to him started talking to the both of us. I got into a terrific discussion with this guy and about 15 minutes into the conversation I realized I was talking to the great Howard Chaykin! Howard Chaykin is an amazing person with intelligence, passion and in my case tremendous patience! We somehow got talking about movies that can never be filmed (Or something along those lines....I really have to just keep a recorder running on me anytime I go to a show like this!) and I brought up a conversation I had with director Kevin Conner at the 2000 Space 1999 convention. In that conversation Kevin and I were discussing Alfred Bester's "The Stars My Destination". Howard agreed and began disecting that book in front of me. Throughout this I convienently forgot that Howard Chaykin did A GRAPHIC NOVEL of The Stars My Destination. I realized this in the car on the way home! So this became one of those events in my fannish life in which I meet a terrific writer or artist and am totally unprepared for the experiance. Yet the experiance has a huge impact on me and I count the days until the next convention where I can see this artist again. Somehow I missed seeing Howard's name in the convention guestlist and I'm kicking myself for not being more mentally prepared for it.

Howard Chaykin and Ernie Colón

Howard kept recommending books for me to read during our political discussion which I wrote down. So I reproduce that list here for the happy few who read this.

Captain Phil's reading list
as assigned by Howard Chaykin

City of Nets: A Portrait of Hollywood in the 1940's by Otto Friedrich

The Sixties: Years of Hope, Days of Rage by Todd Gitlin


An Empire of Their Own: How the Jews Invented Hollywood by Neal Gabler

During all of this excitement the local news station, NY1 was hovering around and interviewed Ernie and Howard. I was standing there during this and they interviewed me as well. I don't get NY1 where I live (We're DirectTV subscribers) so I missed out on seeing myself. After I told my wife I was interviewed on TV about the 9/11 book she boosted my ego by proclaiming how wacky my eyebrows looked! I hope they can fix that in post!

The NY1 action news crew (One guy with a big camera, mic and tripod)

After this excitment I wandered up and down artists row taking some pictures and eventually went downstairs to listen to Ernie Colón get interviewed by the show, "Nuff Said!" The Big Apple Comic Conventions are nice little shows and everytime I've been to one it's been worth the trip. This time even more worth it. They'll be having another show in November which I'll probably be going to. After we left the convention hotel we came across a small film crew making a movie. I have no idea if this was for an independant film, or television or whatever but if you recognize anyone in the picture below...

...let me know. (Note the Air America ad on the bus behind the crew!)

Lastly, it was a beautiful September day and when I looked up into the blue sky over New York City I saw an airplane. A chill went through me as I remembered what the weather and the color of the sky was like that day 5 years ago. Weird how life changes you, isn't it?

You can't really see the plane so I put an arrow where it is.

Big Apple Comic Con Pictures

David Naughton, Yvonne Craig, Lori Petty, Ernie Colón, Howard Chaykin
                   Matthew K. Manning Mercy Van Vlack, Mark Texera, Mark Paracio
David Lloyd, Convention floor and some 10˘ comics
            Ernie Colón,             Film crew near our parking garage
The New Yorker Hotel
Big Apple proved to me that great conventions don't have to be huge. I had a great time and enjoyed a few hours of fannish fun in New York City. I went to see Ernie Colón and ended up learning a bit about Howard Chaykin as well. I plan on attending more of these in the future and if you live in the Tri-State area you ought to try them out as well. See you in November!

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