The Sexy Armpit @ New York Comic Con ’09 Part 1

It’s highly possible that a fanboy could very well “totally geek out” out at Comic-Con, it’s our form of cardiac arrest except it’s more emotional, ridiculous, and involves more girlish yelps. 

This was my first official Comic Con and it was exactly as exhilarating as I expected. John Malkovich, in one of my favorite SNL sketches from this season involving a calculator, had a line that’s become an oft used quote in my repertoire: “I’m going to need freak out control.” After surviving the natural disaster that is NYC traffic, the accident that was holding up the flow for several miles at my Turnpike exit, and the aberration of forgetting my iPod, (no tunes in the car!!!) I finally made it home. I was mentally and physically drained since I spent 6 hours trying to contain my excitement and actually put my “freak out control” into effect. Then there’s the fact that I lose my patience while driving, especially when navigating around Manhattan. FYI – KITT was no help at all. Scumbag. I did a shitload of walking, probably made my way through every aisle 2 – 3 times, and I was forced to eat some fairly awful empanada from a lemonade stand that was fresh out of lemonade. What can ya do? There wasn’t much to choose from at Comic Con in the food department but there were plenty of artists, cosplayers, and a ton of geeky new stuff to check out. Read on!

Lots of Video Game Previews!


This is Jared Carr, art director for the upcoming DC Universe Online game was much more informative and cooler than the folks at the Ghostbusters video game preview. The specific reason I wanted a PS3 was to get the DCU game and fans have been waiting quite a long time for it. “We’re not discussing dates” Jared told me. WTF man? Give me a break, honestly. Comic Con wants the masses to come and visit all the latest products and kiosks, but if the game isn’t coming out anytime soon then what’s the sense on wasting a whole booth for it? If the makers of the game are trying to avoid setting a date only to have to push it back 3 times, that’s understandable. The burning question people want an answer to is WHEN will it come out!?! 

I spent a good 20 minutes talking to Jared and despite him seeming rather irritated that I asked the release date, he was extremely easy to interact with and provided a lot of great insight into what the game is going to be like. You’ll be playing as a character YOU create and the customization is basically without limits. The landscapes and graphics in the game are beautiful and flawless. The PS3 version for instance has no noticeable difference visually to the common person even though the creators of the game naturally had more leeway in terms of power when working on the PC version. Jared told me that every map, area, street, city, and point of interest has been researched with the DC comics team which means the player will be officially emerged into the DC Universe when playing. 

The new Ghostbusters game looks awesome although they didn’t have as many of the actual makers of the game at their booth. At least when I was there they had hired hands who kept asking people only to take still shot photos and NO video. The DCU game people were OK with video AND still shots. Regardless, I’m buying both of the games for sure. You can find plenty of video and screen caps from the new Ghostbusters game all over the Internets. They actually DO have a release date (6-16-09) and the Ghostbusters Blu-ray comes out the same day!


Legends of Wrestlemania is gearing up to serve as nostalgia to the old school WWF fans and also bring wrestling video games back to the basics. For years, wrestling video games have grown to feature complicated game play, intricate combinations, and other nonsense that the casual gamer doesn’t want to deal with. The best wrestling games were from back in the day. Games like Super Wrestlemania and Royal Rumble on Genesis and Super NES were so much fun that I’d be hanging out at a friends house playing them for hours on end. Legends of Wrestlemania is authentic since it features all the major classic WWF stars and their entrance themes. The venues to choose from have been those that have hosted Wrestlemania. The fueds and options are all based around classic Wrestlemania matchups. It’s literally a WWF/WWE fans dream come true. The American Dream Dusty Rhodes was there to sign autographs and promote the game which will be release on 3-24-09:



There were many artists who had other business to tend to throughout the day. Some of the artists were doing signings or interviews and had someone else sitting in for them at points throughout the day to sell their artwork. Unless you’ve sought out pictures of the actual artists you’re a fan of, or have met them before, you may not know what they look like. At several of the artists’ tables I passed, I couldn’t be sure if it was really them or not so I always made it a point to look at their professional badges around their neck.


Even though I read his name on his tag “Dean Yeagle,” I verified “Is it really you!?!” I was so excited to meet this guy since he’s a legend in my book. I was first introduced to his art when I first saw his
Mandy character getting into mischief in the pages of Playboy magazine. His art is playful and amusing, with a dash of big-eyed Disney wonder. He signed a hardcover copy of Mandy’s Shorts that I bought. Check out his company at



Within the past year or so I really got into the pinup art of Amano Jyaku. Since I’ve never attended an official Comic-Con before, (been to a slew of conventions) I didn’t realize that I’d be running into artists and other folks who I knew solely through cyberspace. Creators and other people that I’ve become a fan of online seem to be imaginary until I actually meet them. As I strolled up and down the “Artists Alley,” I quickly glanced at a portfolio book and was immediately familiar with the pin-up style girls staring at me from inside the plastic sheets. It was Amano Jyaku, an artist I became friends with through seeing his art on various websites and on Myspace. I spoke with him and Paigey Pumphrey about how the Internet has opened so many doors for artists who, without the ‘net, might be struggling or forced to confine their skill to simply a hobby. I purchased 2 prints that he signed for me: 

Amano’s guitar hero hottie (check out his logo on the guitar!)

Amano’s a big fan of spiced rum, 
hence his love for sexy pirate chicks! I love that blue streak in her hair!

The magic of comic con or any convention of this type is not only the chance to meet the artists and industry people that you are familiar with or look up to, but also hopefully discover an artist or a book you haven’t heard of. Thanks to the Con, I became aware of Jamie Fay for and his awesome art for the first time. I fell totally in love with one of his Emma Frost pieces and I refused to leave without a signed print:
Ms Emma Frost by *windriderx23 on deviantART

Another artist who I was pleased to discover was Richard P. Clark. His diverse portfolio is dramatic and mesmerizing. Clark is a truly versatile artist since he creates everthing from caricatures, and comic book characters to still life paintings. Richard was the type of guy who made me feel like I was already friends with him. He was sociable, funny, and appreciative. Clark was curious about The Sexy and it got a few laughs out of him. He signed an awesome Director Bones DC Comics foil card that he illustrated.


Almost everyone I ran into snickered when they read my badge, that in a plain black font labeled me as “The Sexy” It’s become somewhat of a nickname and I always get a few chuckles or comments, which I invite or I wouldn’t have kept this name otherwise! Thanks to all those who handed me stuff for review and answered my questions. New York Comic Con isn’t as revered as the San Diego Con, but I was still thrilled by the experience and I recommend getting your ass to one of them if you can. Check back soon for Part 2 of my trip the NY Comic Con!

What the World needs now is Comic Book Stores, Sweet Comic Book Stores

I’m not a big fan of shopping but I’m a sucker for a good comic book store. Growing up, going to a comic book store was one of the main things that I looked forward to. Aside from new comics, you could find boxes of 10 cent comics, random junk, posters, and the newest collectibles. Unfortunately there aren’t many decent comic stores around anymore. I think it has more to do with the personal connection that many of us had with the store owners and employees back then.

I was immersed in comic book collecting from a very young age. It all started with a back issue my sister picked up for me, Batman #349. It was 1985 and she bought it at the store that occupied the future spot of Heroes World in Woodbridge Center, I believe it was called The Paper Tiger. The cover is still etched in my mind and the style of Batman and Robin is still a favorite cover of mine ’til this day. I prefer Bronze Age Batman which is reflected in the ’70s and early ’80s comics books. For a better idea of these you can take a look at this site where you can find comic book covers of all kinds. I began collecting several Batman titles, some Superman, Supergirl, The Outsiders, and The Green Hornet to name a few. It was pretty difficult to find a comic book store before the Batman movie in ’89 created Batmania all over the place. Luckily, I started collecting before the Batman movie was on the horizon. At that time comics were getting more and more popular but they were still bought by a relatively small fan base.

My favorite shop, Comic Relief in Colonia, was where my father would take me every week. They had some really good people working there who would remember me and hold my “pull list” of comics for me back when I didn’t even know what a pull list was. For those that don’t know – they always remembered what titles I collected and which issues I was looking out for. Stores aren’t as personal anymore now that eBay and online shops exist. You don’t even have to go searching anymore, you can type in the issue and order it in a few seconds! Not to sound like an old fogey, but it was more fun back when you actually went to the shop and searched for a specific issue in the back issues boxes. It was a great feeling of excitement when you first walked in and saw all the new issues on display. What wasn’t fun was the point you realized you had a stack of 10 books and you were about to pay close to 40 bucks for them! Occasionally for a change of pace we’d go to Tommy’s Cards and Comics in Metuchen. Tommy, the owner, always acted real cocky and wore odd fishing hats. Not necessarily the kind of guy you want to buy your comics from.

Comic Relief in Colonia and Heroes World closed and I was constantly being jerked back and forth like I was on a bumper car. An avid comic collector such as myself was left without a store to get comics at. Heroes World became my destination for comic, collectibles, and action figures for several years. Later, Comic Attitudes in Menlo Park Mall was close to me and a decent enough replacement for a while. The people working there were kind of snotty and they were also overpriced probably due to Mall overhead. Eventually, out of the several locations of Jim Hanley’s Universe, the most convenient for me was the one in Fords near Vintage Vinyl. I liked Jim Hanley’s a lot more than Comic Attitudes since it catered more to the fanboy, not the mall shopper.

It wasn’t until I was about 13 years old that I discovered what I consider the mecca of comic book stores, Midtown Comics in Manhattan. I had an sensory overload when I realized all of the comics, shirts, toys, and hard to find bootleg videos they had. The only problem was that I only had the time and money to get to Manhattan maybe once a month. I started heading into Manhattan once a month to load up on comics. That was before I even had a license! NJ Transit back and forth. After the demise of Jim Hanley’s in Fords and Comic Attitudes, I started giving Adventure Planet in Edison a try. They had a great selection of books without all the glitz of other places like Comic Attitudes. It reminded me most of Comic Relief. In fact, I believe their store was originally a location of another Comic Relief. They also had a killer selection of used and new toys and figures. I used to sell a lot of my stuff to them.

I began this post basically saying there are no more comic book stores around here. That’s not really accurate, because they are around, they just aren’t the same. Or is it that I’m just older? Or is it that the personal touch and rapport that a frequent comic buyer and a store owner/employee used to have with each other?

We still have hope. I visited Little Shop of Comics in Scotch Plains and it’s a pretty decent little store. They have lots of collectibles and a wide selection of new and indy comics. Thanks to Miss Sexy Armpit, another store I visited about a year ago is actually called The Record Store in Howell. It’s pretty awesome and has a large selection of figures, comics, collectibles, and music. My buddy Rebecca reminded me that there was also Rogue Comics in Cranford, which is also a good stop.  Classic Comics in Rahway is OK, but it feels like they’re watching you when you’re browsing. I hate that. Finally, I can’t leave out Jay and Silent Bob’s Secret Stash which is a fun stop at anytime I’m in Red Bank. If you know of any great comic shops please post/link them. Thanks!