New York Comic Con ’09: A Survivor’s Story

Having acquired the wretched and legendary Con Plague, I type this report from a small cot in a smaller cottage in the French countryside where I’ve been sent to heal and paint and reflect. I have a housekeeper called Aude who is tasked with moving my legs as if I’m pedaling through a marathon, fetching groceries from the market in town, and generally being a nuisance. She talks at length of her young suitor, a sailor or sculptor (her English is not nearly as keen as her cooking, which itself is sedimentary). If I am to understand correctly, by the time I reclaim sovereignty over my immune system I’m to brutalize this young man, Jerome,  for various infidelities. This seems to be Aude’s primary concern in her course of treatment. “You get better, Mr. Montgomery. You kill him. You murder the idiot.” Even now she begs that I give my eyes a rest and turn away from this manuscript so that she might entertain me with shadow puppets. Using a single candle and all 19 fingers and toes, she casts a lurid tableau across the bare wall. A young man, perhaps a sculptor, being devoured by a toothy shark. She’s quite dexterous, I’ll give her that. But there is a convention to be reported upon. Leave me, Aude. I’ll tend to the idiot next week.  

I remember it as if it were only this past weekend, New York Comic Con 2009. I was a younger man. A healthier man. And for brief flourishes, a cheerful man willing to hug just about anything (note Uglydoll Babo to the right). I was pleasantly surprised to see my college screenwriting professor and friend Matt Kaufhold on the train and we spent the time catching up and talking about comics. He was also there when my new suitcase broke and cartwheeled down the escalator at Penn Station. Because I travel like a Rowan Atkinson sketch. After we parted ways I purchased a New Jersey point card from a machine that looks exactly like the ones that dispense the Metro Card that I actually needed. I think my own exploits in New York unraveled about 20 minutes quicker than Kevin McAlister’s in Home Alone 2. The journey continued to Josh’s apartment, where I was fortunate enough to stay for the weekend. Josh, his wife Lindsay, and George Clooney The (French bull) Dog were wonderful hosts and I feel incredibly guilty for stealing their kitchen utensils and changing all their clocks.

Sadly, Conor was deathly ill and couldn’t make the first two days of the convention. Ron and Josh introduced me to authentic New York pizza and we were off to the convention hall. Absolute costumed madness as usual. And you’ll see as much in our video coverage next week. It was a full weekend of long days, networking, and numb toes. This was my second big convention experience with iFanboy, and the level of access has increased. We met a lot of great people in the industry and everyone was genuinely gracious. I want to extend a big thank you to all the publishers, editors, and creators who greeted us so warmly and offered us interviews and insight into their current projects. I was overwhelmed by the sense of community. John Siuntres almost came over Saturday morning for waffles at Josh’s. Next year. Next year. (John, if you’re reading this, thank you for the two Word Balloon episodes I listened to on the lonely trip home. A godsend.)

Also, I was finally able to get a sketch from Cliff Chiang. I agonized over which character to ask for, but I finally decided on Alan Scott. I think he knocked it out of the park. 

Click the thumbnail for the full sketch. 

Cliff’s a terrific artist and an incredibly nice guy. Be sure to stop by and say hey whenever he’s at your local convention. 

And speaking of community, we also had our big meet-up at Stitch on Saturday night with ROFLthing, 1Up, Popgun, and a whole host of creators like Paul Cornell and Mike Norton (my first interview!). I got to meet Tom Katers and James Sime, and Conor was thankfully well enough to put in an appearance as well.     

But most importantly, I got to meet a lot of the iFanbase. 

I’d like to express just how grateful I am for everyone who came out to the party or stopped us in the convention hall to introduce themselves. I get a little misty just thinking about it. I’ve met some of you before at other events, but this weekend was truly special and it means so, so much to me to put a face to all the names. The iFanboy community is comprised of some of the friendliest and most generous people I’ve had the opportunity to meet and interact with. I’m humbled to be writing in the company of some really great writers, and now I’m thrilled to write for the most thoughtful audience someone in my position could ask for. I only wish I hadn’t been so exhausted by the time I got to the bar and that I could’ve spent more time talking to everyone. For as exciting as it is to meet the creators and get the inside story, meeting you guys is genuinely the best and most rewarding part of this gig. Honestly. Thank you a thousand times over for your kind words and your friendship. I don’t mind sounding hokey. Much love to the iFanbase.

Best Wishes,


P.S. If you made it to the convention, please share your experiences, links to your sketches and thoughts about the con in general. And if you have any photos from the weekend, please, please send them to and we’ll add them (with attribution) to our official photo stream. Thanks! 

P.S. Hank the Intern was also there. He didn’t mess up too often. 

Paul Montgomery is recovering in a small cottage in the French countryside.  Contact him at You can also find him on Twitter.  



  1. Funny stuff. Everyone should have a 19-digited housekeeper who can’t speak English. "I travel like a Rowan Atkinson sketch." BRILLIANT!

    I’ve really got to get to something aside from Baltimore every year.  

  2. Ahhhhh what a weekend.  I didn’t get any sketches, because I remain a complete blushing fool, but I did meet many people: creators, fellow ifanbasers… pokemon.  Great to put faces to names of old friends, great to meet new friends.  Stitch was a riot.  Much drinking. Much giggling. Significant squeeling. 

    I hit NYCC last year and was quite fine come Monday, but somehow this time drained me to my last inch.  Sunday was spent chatting with people and consistently trailing off and falling into an opened eyed sleep.  I would not be surprised to find pictures of me laying on the Javitz Center floor even though I have no memory of doing so.

    My pictures from the weekend can be found here.

  3. Great article Paul

    But you forgot to mention your sticker duty 🙂

  4. ah, memories

  5. Also, I gave out stickers.  

  6. @Paul: There you go. You know it’s stuff like that you leave out that make people wonder what you really did 🙂

  7. It turns out that I can, in fact, continue to get more jealous even after the event is over.

    By all accounts, this sounds like it was a solid gold blast. I’m gonna have to catch up with you fellows next time.

  8. Hey Paul, it was great to meet you and Ron and Josh on the floor. We discussed the exciting new ifanboy t-shirt we all have planned. Most excellent!

    By the end of day three I was completely spend, even now, 1:35 on Tuesday I’m still recovering. I got an amazing Wonder Woman print from an artist whose work you can find at I’ll send pics… lots and lots of storm troopers there.



  9. I didn’t get to see nearly enough of the insanity, although my booth was in nice proximity to the now-famous "bondage nurses (TM)".

     The highlight of the weekend was finding out all of you internet people are actually real (even Blair!)…I was worried that you were all like the one-eyed giraffe who used to tell me to burn down buildings when I was a kid.  

    Plus, I got an oh-so-dreamy autograph of P.Money.

  10. i think one of the funny moments was suggesting Paul have some cocaine for his aches and pains and he told me it wasnt the first time that night someone asked him.

    also the ifanboy super fan she was all over the palce. lol.

    the pipe. this moment made me wish i wish i had my own camera.

    the autographed picture, i rejected it thinking it was like a joke then he gave them out, i felt douchey afterwards.

    us watching the horse head scene from godfather at the bar.

    us witnessing ron recieve a nut punch.

    oh Paul your the man.

    heres a link to my sketches

  11. @mountainwindcat – I am so excited for those shirts.  They are going to be awesome.  

    @danfaust – I love the juxtaposition of educational comics next to bondage nurses.   

    I will never forget sitting with Yanks and watching that horse head scene playing behind the bar at Stitch.  One of the surreal moments in my life.  

  12. What pizza place did they take you to?

  13. @bigyanks Paul is on that list 4 times! Now who’s the one with internet crushes hm?

  14. It was just a place down the street from Josh’s apartment.  Domino’s I think?  

  15. Awwww Ron got punched in the nuts and I didnt see it?…..There better be pictures of that

  16. I can confirm that Agent M punched Ron in the crotch area.  I am told that this was a regional hardcore scene gesture of affection.  

  17. @itsbecca i would mentions the moments involving you but i thought it was best left out. PLUS i didnt cover my face and giggle everytime a internet celebrity was in your line of sight.

  18. @thenextchampion there was no footage said event apperently its a long island thing.

  19. @bigyank: It’s a thing? That’s like something you would hear in like the jungles of the Congo or something in terms of handshakes. I dont normally think a punch to the balls is a happy thing.

  20. A)I claim ignorance of any moments you might have been referring to!

    B) I just giggle a lot period!  And I cover my face when I giggle, because it’s polite.  I think I giggled when I checked my bag.

    C)Tom Katers is just a darn good looking man.  There’s nothing that can be done about that.

  21. @itsbecca all i have to say is LOL. di you like my drunken stories? Oh and for the record i didnt make it to ricks cabaret. but as the cab passed by Hustler club i almost asked the cab to stop.

  22. This sounds like an awesome time.  Glad the experience was better for it.  I am MAJORLY jealous of that Cliff Chiang sketch.  How do you feel about photocopiers Paul? 🙂

  23. @ Paul: I didn’t get a sticker!  I know I mentioned this to you on Facebook already but it was great to meet you on Friday.  This was my first con and I was extremely impressed by how nice everbody was and how accomidating everybody was.  I got to shake hands with BMB and Geoff Johns, who by the way could be the coolest guy on the planet.  It would have been nice to meet the rest of the guys but I understood that they were busy.  Take it easy, Go Phils!

  24. i JUST sent some pics i took with some of the iFanboys. Great meeting you Paul. you’re not just a lowly intern like you told me but an integral part of the iFanbase and the Website!!



  25. The kids can learn a lot from bondage nurses. 


  26. @Neb – My sketch!  Mine! 

    @ato220 – I didn’t have stickers on Friday!  I owe you.  

    @rayclark – Great meeting you too, man!   

  27. @P.Money – try some Codeine infused cough syrup for that Con Plague! (it’s working miracles for me!) 

    @itsbecca – don’t ever let anyone pick on you about giggling and blushing too much! just come find me and we can giggle and blush together!! 😉 

    Link to my pics –

  28. iFanboy — thanks for being the GREATEST-MOST-FANTASTIC GUYS EVER!! 

  29. @bigyanks

    Thanks for sharing the sketches… those are really nice.  Do you usually have to pay the artists to do stuff for you, or do they just do it?  

  30. I am so pissed that I missed the festivities on Saturday. I got deathly ill on Thursday, and today is the first day I was able to get out of bed. I had one of those halucination fevers. Next year for sure.

  31. @Aread i only paid for one of those sketches the powergirl one. the others are from the booths orwhen they go to my LCS. i try to ask for sketches i dont see alot of people ask them cuz i think if im the third green arrow in a row my wont be as cool as the first one.

  32. At this con, I added, "Carrying a sketch pad around" to my repertoire.  Next time (hopefully Heroes) I’ll work on actually asking people to draw in it.  In retrospect, I remember dozens of occasions when I could have done so, but it’s not so much that I’m too shy as that it doesn’t cross my mind unless the artist mentions it.  I did get them from Colleen Coover and KJ Nimura (sp?) of ‘I Kill Giants’; these are the starting point for what I hope will be a growing collection.

    I didn’t stay at the party very long, for reasons that had nothing to do with the party, but I’m glad I got to talk to Gobo and Becca and Dan and Chris & Maranda (I think?) and Paul, among others.  (Holding Paul’s pipe was,  obviously, the highlight of my weekend.)  And I did get to say hi to Josh & Conor on the con floor, plus many others I ran across.  And I talked iFanboy with the Phonogram crew!  It’s such a fast-paced con that I always feel like I’m doing more running around than talking to any one person, but the whole experience is worth it.

    And I only came home with a little bit of plague.

  33. Someday………. Big thanks to all who twittered from the con Caroline, Becca and Jen come to mind. Paul, please tell me there are stats on that photo like denoting your secret orgin/powers.

  34. My powers have not yet been revealed.  

  35. "Because I travel like a Rowan Atkinson sketch." 

    HAHAHAHAHA  Ahem.  Funny. 

  36. Okay, Paul, what about the booth babe coverage at this con?  Did this sacred duty fall to you or did Gordon pull rank?

  37. Booth babes are very much Gordon’s territory.  So out of respect for Gordon, that footage will not be shared.  Also, I was technically a sub for Conor.  Hank was our intern this year.  He was magnificently adequate.   

  38. @P$ – I assume that when you say ‘travel like Rowan Atkinson’ you mean squeezing into a mini while carrying a dilapidated suitcase that contains bits of clothing and a teddy bear.  Or did you mean ‘travels like a Black Adder sketch’ which, to most American audiences, means poorly?

  39. I roll like Mr. Bean.  I was a huge fan in the fifth grade.  

  40. I really enjoyed reading your story Paul.  Thanks for sharing.

    One of these days, I need to blog my NYCC09 odyssey and load all my pics to flickr.  Lets just say with a little bit of luck and much planning, the early bird does catch the worm.  I accomplished more than humanly possible at my 1st NYCC.

    If your interested you can see my storyboard version on the Rev3/iFanboy forums/NYCC thread (post#80):


  41. I don’t think I got sick I just colapsed from exaustion monday afternoon and the inane thing is I’m taking another trip this weekend to go snow tubeing.  I had fun by counting how many Rorschachs I saw over the weekend.  My finaly tally was 8 Roshacks 2 questons and 3 movie spirits.

  42. Hope ya feel better. Also forgot to thank you for introducing me to the mutter museum, great for dates!


  43. Went for only 1 day, but really fun.  Had a blast and plan on going again next year. 

  44. So this was my first time in New York City and my first time at a Comic Con. i was awestruck. there is so much to see and do in the City and the Con that i felt overwhelmed. I had an amazing time seeing the sights and browsing comics. That being said, the iFanboy meet-up was the definte highlight of the trip, by far. I loved finally meeting people who I had been corresponding with for (in some cases) years. Before this, i would have called you guys aquaintances, but now i truly feel i can call you guys my friends. Most importantly, each and every one of you impressed my girlfriend, who had no idea what she was getting into (you tell your girlfriend you’re going to an "internet party" and it brings up all sorts of issues). She thought all of you were more than welcoming, friendly and kind people. Thank you all so much for making us feel so welcome (even though some of you helped increase the pressure on me to buy her a ring). We have some great pictures from the Con and the Meet-up and i’ll be sending them as soon as I upload them onto my PC.

    BTW Paul thanks so much for the T-shirt and im totally jealous of your sketch! it shows exactly why i was so disappointed when i was too late to get one from Chang.

  45. mmm…seems there was a costume spoiler to the Watchmen TP:



  46. @ chlop Aw I didn’t see that one.

  47. There must’ve been a crap load of Watchmen cosplayers this year. I’m sure there will be hundreds more as the film is released and the cons keep coming out.

  48. Rorschachs as far as the eye could see.

  49. I can only hope Wondercon is as fun.  In SF, every day is cosplay day!

  50. @drake  You’re not kidding.  Last time I was at Fisherman’s Wharf, I watched a woman have a fight with her (presumably) boyfriend, who was dressed in a Dalmatian suit.  Oh, San Francisco.

    I did see a few Rorschachs, but I’ve seen them at cons before.  What was new to me was all the comedians.  I did not, sadly, see an Ozymandias, as I’d love to see someone try to rock that costume.

  51. If anyone saw a Doc Manhattan, I would love to see a picture.  Perhaps Conor was planning on it, if he were not so terribly sick? 😉

  52. That would just be The Green Man in blue… @ohcaroline – are you sure it wasn’t a Cow-man costume?