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Shawn

Big Apple Con 08

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Posted by Shawn on June 11, 2008
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June of 2008 marked Newgrounds' first appearance at the Big Apple Con, located in New York, New York. Being a presence on the web is great, but getting out to conventions to setup shop and actually meet fans is another thing entirely. Technically, Newgrounds already had a booth of its own last year at Comic-Con in San Diego, but it was a bit overshadowed by the bigger companies and game studios. Apple Con was the perfect place for NG to stand out and serve as a gathering place for fans and contributors alike.

My intial plan was to fly over to Philly first and help the guys load up the van with NG merch and materials- but between Swain, Luis, and Mindchamber, they already had that under control. So I just took a flight straight into NY and met up with all the guys on Friday night. Not surprisingly, my flight in was delayed two hours. This time though it meant I arrived right after all the unpacking and setup. Maybe it wasn't so bad for once? When I arrived we all went out for a bite to eat, and swung by one of the rooftop bars near Madison Square Garden.

Krinkels, Swain, and Tomamoto Krinkels, Swain, and Tomamoto
Back in the hotel room Back in the hotel room

We got to sleep *relatively* early so we could be up for the start of the convention on Saturday. Krinkels and I slept in a little longer than the others, but we also couldn't get in early like everyone else because we didn't have exhibitor badges. We waited in line for about 20 minutes before the doors opened, during which period we also met up with NG regulars Radioactive24, and Nathaniel and Bryce Milburn.

The booth itself was a pretty nice arrangement. We had a monitor on the left side playing a mix tape of NG animations, and a monitor on the right hooked up with a fullscreen version of NG Rumble and four game pads. Both were big hot-spots. NG merch like shirts and DVDs were laid across the tables themself, and at the end of the booth we had a big yellow posterboard for everyone to sign.

Mindchamber dishes out pain in NG Rumble Mindchamber dishes out pain in NG Rumble
Tom meets the fans Tom meets the fans

We had a nice system going on, with different people handling different aspects of the booth. We traded "shifts" on and off while some went to lunch or left to see other stuff. Later in the day I heard that they had a Nintendoworld store in NY, so I went down to check it out with LeftHandedSock, his friend Bill, and Tomamoto.

This was my first time in NY, and it was definitely intimidating. I've been to Philly and San Diego, both big cities, but they really don't compare to downtown Manhattan. The streets are flooded with people at any time of daylight while the buildings and advertisements tower overhead.

Feel like buying something yet? Feel like buying something yet?
There's a store just for M&Ms There's a store just for M&Ms
The first floor of Nintendoworld was practically a Poke-Center The first floor of Nintendoworld was practically a Poke-Center
Watch out for those random encounters Watch out for those random encounters

After we got back and the con wrapped up for the night, we all went out for a nice dinner at a place called Pop Burger. The only way I can describe it is how everyone else does: Whitecastle size burgers that wont actually destroy your digestive track. I didn't take any pictures for the rest of the night, I'm not really sure why. Some went back to get another good night of sleep before the last day of the con, but others (me) couldn't help but stay out for a little extra late-night bar hopping. It's probably a good thing I didn't take pictures after this point.

Sunday was the last day of the con, and unfortunately it wasn't quite as busy as Saturday was. Still, it was a good turnout. Despite the size of the convention, a lot more people stopped by to see the NG booth here than they did at Comic-Con. Well, people who were familiar with NG at least. I think most of the people at Comic-Con were confused when we tried to explain NG to them. As the afternoon wore on it soon became time to pack-up. I had a late flight out, so no excuse to miss the gruntwork this time. Some of the regulars like Radioactive, CZ-Backlash, and Kirbopher stuck around to help us carry boxes, which was a huge help. No offense to Apple Con, but they have a terrible system for transportation. Not only did everything have to be taken up and down elevators, but just to get to the elevators you had to make your way through some kind of access tunnel, preceded by another, smaller platform elevator. After we got the van loaded up I said goodbye to everyone there and headed off to the airport to catch my flight out. For once the airport experience was actually great- I think they're just more on top of things in NY.

Shot of the whole booth Shot of the whole booth
The posterboard was pretty popular The posterboard was pretty popular

Although we probably didn't make all the money back from merchandise sales, it didn't matter- this event was a big success from my standpoint. NG really stood out among the booths there and I think everyone knew it. Plus, opportunities like this can't be taken for granted. Being able to meet up with artists, staff, and fans all in one place is pretty surreal. It just further stresses the fact that NG is all about collaborating, networking, helping, and conglomerating all sorts of different talent together. I can almost guarantee this wont be the last NG-themed booth display at a convention. So if NG happens to be coming to one in your area, be sure and make it out!


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