Wednesday, June 29, 2016

New York Comic Con Ticket Sale, June 29th, 2016

Today was the ticket sale for New York Comic Con and The Boyfriend and I were fortunate to nab 4-day passes!

We've never attended NYCC before, despite NYC being a short trip away by train or car. Because it is so much closer, travel costs are $1000 less than flights to SDCC - so I really don't understand why we've never tried to attend before!

Buying Tickets
The ticket buying process was first come, first served - but the site placed everyone in a queue based on when they connected with the servers, so that process was similar to the waiting room system SDCC uses.  I actually found this relaxing - after the initial click to access the link I was just waiting to see when (if) it would let me in to buy tickets. No spamming refresh, or any of the other stressful situations I was expecting.

The queue then let groups of buyers in, where they could purchase their tickets and t-shirts. It looks like hotels could also be booked, but I whizzed through the check out process and my receipt page failed to load, so I'm not sure when that was available (during or after the tickets were purchased).

And it's a good thing I hurried. Among the repetitive questions clogging up #NYCC, Twitter was also full of people complaining about their carts timing out. The site would not accept my credit card at first (it said the number was wrong, and I had to retype it even though it was correct) and then the receipt page failed to load, giving me a small heart attack until the email receipt came through.

Sorry for the blurriness, but I was so stunned and wanted to document this so quickly that my hands were shaking!

Tickets went on sale at noon, Eastern time. It took about 75 minutes for 3-day passes to sell out, followed by 4-day passes at ~90 minutes. As of this writing (2:46pm EST 6-29-16**) it looks like all individual days are still available - the official social media accounts have not posted otherwise.

One thing that surprises me is how many people are complaining about the Fan Validation process.  This is really no different from SDCC's Member ID - log on before a certain date, fill out a profile, and bam! - you're eligible to buy tickets. But Twitter is full of people complaining that they or their friends didn't go through FV and feel entitled to tickets even though they couldn't follow basic directions. (The entitlement is typical of any big con that sells out, though...)

Anyway, we have our passes and now we need to learn about the con itself! Like SDCC, NYCC is a big convention, so we already know some survival tips: bring snacks, wear comfortable shoes, stay hydrated, etc.  But the specifics of this particular con - like how autographs are sold/given away, what sort of off-site or party experiences we can expect to find, how certain booths sell their exclusives - that is the information I'm after. I have yet to find the NYCC equivalent of the SDCC blog or Crazy4ComicCon, but I'm searching!

I'm very excited! This will be a new experience. And I am so happy that I get to attend a big convention this year - I am still pretty bummed about missing SDCC and seeing everyone and celebrating Wonder Woman's 75th anniversary, so I'm hoping to meet some Twitter friends at NYCC and that there is something on for Wonder Woman! (And Carrie Fisher will be there!!!)

If you've ever attended NYCC and have some tips or a tip blog to recommend, please let me know in the comments!

** It looks like as I was typing that, Saturday tickets sold out. Sunday kids tickets have also sold out since this post was published.

Friday, June 17, 2016

#Fandom5: Five Favorite Podcasts (June 17th, 2016)

Happy Friday! Today's 5 Fandom Friday is one I am excited to write because I have been wanting to share these podcasts on my blog for months now.

#Fandom5, or 5 Fandom Friday is a weekly blog link-up and the creation of Kristin at Super Space Chick and Megan at The Nerdy Girlie.  It's a lot of fun and a great way to find new blogs! Go here to learn more about it or follow #Fandom5 on Twitter!

Today's topic is five favorite podcasts. I don't know about you, but I really didn't start listening to podcasts until 2014, when I listened to Serial and downloaded the NPR app to listen to at work.

Since then I have realized that I really enjoy listening to specific styles of podcasts - primarily those types that I describe as radio essays (host presents on a topic) and narrative interviews (interviewee does most of the talking, but the host might ask a few questions or edit in a brief comment for context). I also like serialized stories, especially mysteries both real and fictional. My favorite topics are science, history, human interest/personal anecdote, and true crime.

What do you like in a podcast? Do you have any recommendations for me?

1. You Must Remember This

One of my two most-favorite podcasts is "You Must Remember This" hosted by Karina Longworth. This podcast presents the (forgotten) history of Hollywood during the twentieth century, navigating studio spin and popular myth to find the truth behind those stories.

New episodes are released every one-two weeks, with interim weeks showcasing past episodes that are relevant to the current season. The past few seasons have followed themes or topics, with the most recent season being focused on the Hollywood Blacklist and the 1947 HUAC trials.

2. Gastropod

My other favorite podcast is Gastropod. This podcast is about the science and history of food. It is hosted by Cynthia Graber and Nicola Twilley. Episodes have included discussions on how different utensils change our perception of food, why we eat breakfast, and the history of Chinese food in the US. They just started the fifth season and episodes are released every two weeks.

Warning: this podcast will make you hungry!

3. Radiolab and This American Life

I listed these two together because they are very similar in style. Each episode follows a theme and includes 2-3 interviews or stories. I like the variety of the content and the production quality (I think both are associated with NPR). Older episodes of TAL can be found on its website.

4. The Black Tapes and Limetown

Like the above entry, I listed these two together due to their overall similarities. Both are fictional stories done in the style of a serialized radio program where listeners follow the host as she investigates a mystery. TBT is supernatural themed, while Limetown is a bit more science-fiction. Of the two, I definitely like Limetown more. TBT is a good story, but it's prone to poor voice acting and some other style/editing issues that annoy me as a listener.

Limetown finished its first season and I'm not sure if it will have a second. TBT is currently in its second season. Both podcasts should be listened to in order, due to the narrative.

5. Lore

This podcast is one I stumbled upon while browsing the popular podcast feed in iTunes and I really, really like it. This podcast explores folklore and local tales, looking at human behavior and the construction of these stories - and the truths behind them. Episodes are released every other week, and each episode is presented almost like an essay or paper focusing on an event or topic. I think I like this style because it is more "academic" than most podcasts I listen to.

This podcast has become so popular/successful that the creator, Aaron Mahnke, is working with Valhalla Entertainment to turn the series into a TV show.

Honorable Mention: The Mystery Show

This podcast hasn't been updated since July 31, 2015, and that makes me really sad. I loved pretty much everything about this show: the way it was edited, the theme song, even Starlee Kine's lisp. The mysteries she solves aren't earth shaking revelations... Basically someone wonders something (that couldn't be answered on Google), and she chases down an explanation. It's really fun to hear about the twists and dead ends, and the lengths she goes to to find an answer.

I really hope this show comes back soon and that the long delay is just because she is out solving more mysteries.  (If you want to give this one a try, I highly recommend the Belt Buckle, episode #3.)

Friday, June 10, 2016

#Fandom5: Five Fandoms I Just Couldn't Get Into... (June 10th, 2016)

Happy Friday! I hope everyone had a great week. I've really missed blogging lately, and thought what better way to ease back into it than with 5 Fandom Friday?

#Fandom5, or 5 Fandom Friday is a weekly blog link-up and the creation of Kristin at Super Space Chick and Megan at The Nerdy Girlie.  It's a lot of fun and a great way to find new blogs! Go here to learn more about it or follow #Fandom5 on Twitter!

This week's topic is five fandoms I couldn't get into. What are those comics or shows or books that you encountered, maybe even tried to enjoy, but ultimately decided wasn't for you?

1. Supernatural

When I tried watching it on Netflix I just wasn't in the mood for yet another "monster of the week" style program. I got halfway through season one and couldn't be bothered to pick it back up - not because I didn't like it, but because I just couldn't get into it. I'm sure I would like it if I gave it another chance - maybe I'll try again this summer!

2. Star Trek

I really liked the episodes I've watched (Trouble with Tribbles is the best) and I think I've seen almost all of the movies (Original movie, Khan, Search for Spock, that one with the whales, the two new ones), but Star Trek has never been something I fan-girled over. I think if my early exposure to the series had been different I would have loved it - the exploration, the science, the interactions with different cultures... 

3. DC TV

We tried watching Green Arrow, the Flash, and Gotham, but ultimately we got a few weeks behind on the DVR and just didn't care enough to bother catching up. 

The only exception is Supergirl, because I haven't had a chance to watch it yet. I think we had too many DVR conflicts (yay Time-Warner...) so I am waiting to watch it on Netflix.

4. Twilight

I tried. I just can't get into this one. 

(btw if you like Twilight then I think you might like the All Souls Trilogy by Deborah Harkness, because the story is pretty much Twilight + Outlander: vampires and "destined" loved and witches and time travel)

5. LARPing

I had a friend in college who was a member of a local fantasy LARP group. I'm pretty sure her character was an elf... anyway, she wanted me to join and it seemed kind of fun, with the costumes and chance to "fight" in battles.  BUT... I had participated in live-steel reenactment while studying abroad* and I guess I'm a bit of a snob because the thought of fighting with foam weapons just did not appeal.

This post was much harder to write than I was expecting. I'm lucky that almost everything I am introduced to is shared with me by other fans, people who are willing to share their excitement, which in turn makes me excited.

* This October is the 950th anniversary of the Battle of Hastings and I reeeeeeeally want to go! I'm not sure if my friends still participate in it, or where I would get the money to travel to England... but I would love to go see this, especially on a big anniversary year.