In addition to the random programming stuff I was working on earlier, I also decided to jump into the queue for NYCC tickets today. The pre-sale started at 10 AM today. I really wasn’t sure I wanted to bother with it, and I did want to go to the farmers market this morning at 10, so that won out. I came home with some radishes, carrots, and pickles around 10:30, and I checked in on the pre-sale at 10:45. They hadn’t sold out, so I jumped in the queue, just out of curiosity, to see how long it would take to get through, and whether or not they’d sell out of tickets before then.
Well, I just left the queue open in a browser tab while I did other stuff, and noticed that I’d made it through around 11:15. By that time, they’d sold out of “VIP” tickets, but regular 4-day tickets were still available. They were also priced at $210, which was a bit of a shock. (But, looking back at my post from last year, I realize that it’s actually a little cheaper than 2021, when they didn’t sell 4-day tickets, so you’d have to pay $240 for four $60 single-day tickets.) I was prepared to close the tab and say “screw it,” but some wild optimistic impulse got me to go ahead and buy a 4-day ticket anyway.
With a t-shirt added on, plus tax and shipping, my total was just under $300, which seems kind of crazy to me. Especially since I’m not even sure if I’ll go. I’m still pretty nervous about COVID and large gatherings. I did go in last year, but only for one day, and I got sick afterward. (Though probably not sick with COVID.) And I got sick after my trip to Albany in March. (Again, probably not COVID.) So I might punt on actually going to this thing.
We’re nearly at one million Americans dead of COVID now. NYCC is in October. I don’t really know what the COVID situation will be then, but I’m pretty sure it won’t be gone, and I’m pretty sure that a lot of people still won’t be taking it as seriously as they should. So going in to NYC for this will be a bit of a crapshoot.
I guess I’m not as worried about losing $300 now as I would normally be, since I looked at my Merrill statement yesterday. Without getting into specific numbers, let’s just say that I lost more money in April than my total yearly salary in 2010. And May might be even more volatile. So $300 seems like a fairly minor loss, seen from that perspective. And, with inflation, that might not even be enough money to fill my gas tank at this time next year. So why not spend it on a comic book convention that I might not even attend?
(And yes, I know that I didn’t really “lose” any money on my Merrill statement. My total portfolio value dropped. I still have all the same mutual funds I had at the beginning of the month. The value will likely go back up again before I retire. And I’m not retiring for at least ten years, so I’m not cashing in any of those mutual funds any time soon. But still…)
In other comics news, I was saddened to hear of the deaths of two of my favorite artists, Neal Adams and George Pérez, recently. Adams did most of his most famous work before I was reading comics, so I’m familiar with his best work mostly through reprints. I’ve got the nice hardcover volumes collecting his Batman work, and I really love that stuff. I’ve seen him at conventions a number of times, but never thought to get anything signed by him, and I never actually talked to him, though.
Pérez did his most famous work when I was really in that “sweet spot” as a young fan, in the 80s, with enough money to buy a reasonable number of books, enough time to read them, and the right mindset to really get blown away by his work. I really loved his Teen Titans run, with Marv Wolfman, that started in 1980. and I loved his Avengers run, with Kurt Busiek, in the 90s. And so much of his other work was great too.
One more comics-related tidbit: I went to my local comic book store yesterday for Free Comic Book Day. It was pretty crowded, despite it being a rainy day. They limited people to three free books each. I got Red Sonja, Doctor Who, and Donald Duck! The Red Sonja book was a reprint of an old Frank Thorne story, so I grabbed that, even though I’m sure I already have it in a reprint collection somewhere. And you can’t go wrong with Doctor Who and Donald Duck. Marvel and DC, of course, had multiple FCBD books. But I have no idea what’s going on right now in either the Marvel or DC universe, and I really don’t have the spare time (or the inclination) to get up to speed on all that. It looks like a few of the other FCBD books are available digitally on Amazon/Comixology now too, so maybe I’ll pick up a few more that way.