If there is one thing that always feels super secretive about NYCC, it’s what the hell to do after the last panel gets out. I constantly hear stories of people having no idea what after parties are going on, or if they even exist. Unless you “know the guy who knows the guy” chances are you’re just going home to wait for the con to open again. That’s why it’s great when a group like Sonicboombox comes in to make sure you know where the party is at. They hand out flyers at the con, they spam on Facebook, and they hire very well-known Cosplayers to promote/ host their events. Well that’s all fine and dandy, but I’m sure the question everyone wants answered is; “so how was it?”
Well like any party, it had its ups and its downs. In one case, a very high up turned out to be a very big down. The drink prices at this event were pretty steep. The cheapest beer available was four dollars (About average in NYC), the next cheapest, was around 6, 7, 8, and even 12 dollars! That doesn’t leave many party goers on a budget much of an option. The mixed drinks ran from $10 and up. Just standing at the bar I was hearing single patrons rack up tabs of $50-$90. If I spend $50 dollars at a bar I better not be able to stand up straight anymore let alone piolet an X-Wing in the Star Wars Battle Pod game.
To be fair, the drink prices were decided upon by the venue not the party hosts. So, let’s talk about the venue. The party was held in a bowling alley in the middle of Times Square. Now I’m all for a good round of bowling, but after walking 5 plus hours at a convention, changing out of my cosplay, and traveling all the way back to Midtown, bowling was the furthest thing from my mind. At first all the lanes were being used, but as I expected as the party went on they became more and more empty. After all, how many times can you really bowl? Instead, the lanes became sort of “pocket parties” were groups of friends could dance and frolic in their own little semicircular cells. This to me, kind of defeats the purpose of these after parties though. If you aren’t arriving with a huge group of friends, aren’t you going to these things to meet other con goers and have an awesome time? Given the massive space the party was held in, it almost felt cliquey.
Now onto the appearances. I personally did not see anyone from Image Comics at this event. I’m not saying they weren’t there. I just didn’t see them, and I looked. It was dark, it was loud, and hard to find people I knew, let alone those I wanted to meet. Sonicboombox did make good on their cosplayer promises as Monika Lee, Riddle and Amy Lynn were all present. A surprise guest however was Jessica Nigri. Though she wasn’t billed to appear, she was indeed mingling amongst the common folk. However, given the nature of the setting it was kind of hard to approach these people without feeling intrusive (though when people did muster up the courage to talk, they were all super friendly and approachable, Jessica especially). That could just be my introverted nature overthinking a situation, but still when I pay to go to an event because certain people will be there, I don’t even want to have the notion that I may be bothering them by saying “Hi” or asking for a quick photo. I especially want to be able to find them as well.
So, if you wanted to go to this party for networking don’t threat, I don’t think you missed your golden opportunity to have a drink with your favorite writer and pitch your idea. That’s Enough negativity, let’s talk about why it was fun! I got to drink and dance in the same room as Jessica Nigri. That alone made my night, but then I actually got a picture with her. It’s the little things like this that make these parties special for people. Events like these are great for cutting loose, a place where geeks and nerds can shed that self-conscious skin and have a lot of fun. The DJ was great and the people were friendly. All in all, money well spent on a pretty fun party. Just know going in, you’re getting a party, not a meet and greet.
Sonicboombox is hosting a party October 10th as well at Slate NY (54 W 21st street.) Tomorrows event will not feature Image, but will feature Cosplayer LeeAnna Vamp. If you’re looking for a chill place to dance the night away, have a few drinks, and spot someone famous you love then this is the party for you.