Ever since I was a teenager, it’s been a dream of mine to go to Comic Con. The idea of schmoozing with C-list celebrities and obscure writers for Marvel comics, all the while getting a firsthand taste of Hollywood’s newest summer blockbusters, really resonated with my 14 year old self. So when a friend posted a Facebook status saying she had an extra ticket, I cancelled my entire weekend and got my ass to Comic Con.
However, like most dreams coming to life, Comic Con was something of a letdown. For starters, New York Comic Con is the shittier version of San Diego, which happens in the summer. This is not only unfortunate, but also means you have 30,000 attendees vying for one of the coveted 2,000 seats at The Walking Dead panel, creating congestion throughout the lower floors that make it impossible to move.
Then there’s the perversion and misogyny. Every woman in attendance who I interviewed admitted this was a huge problem. There were literally signs everywhere reading, “Cosplay Is Not Consent” because, apparently, Comic Con has this huge problem where horny, sexually frustrated men grope random women who are dressed up as their favorite superhero. Lastly, there’s people. Going to Comic Con is kind of like attending a Neil Strauss book signing: 5% of the people there are journalists, while the other 90% are total weirdos who escaped life’s loneliness through focusing on one overly specific aspect of movie culture. For better or worse, we decided to interview some of the stranger ones.
What are you supposed to be?
A sexual tyrannosaurus.
I don’t quite follow.
I still don’t follow.
From Predator. The movie. It has Arnold Schwarzenegger and a whole bunch of people.
Why the MTV t-shirt?
That’s what he was wearing.
I don’t get it. Are you Jesse Ventura or a sexual tyrannosaurus?
I’m Blain as a sexual Tyrannosaurus.
The character Jessie Ventura plays.
This is a little over my head. Has anyone here confused your character with another one?
Someone thought I was a cowboy dinosaur.
I can definitely see how someone could get that idea. Are you sexy in real life though?
What about the other times?
Then I’m sleeping.
What are you supposed to be?
Crossbones is the guy who killed Captain America.
Where are you from originally?
Not really. It’s a very crappy, dying town. Imagine Silent Hill, but instead of monsters it’s poor people.
Middle-Aged Man Covered in Black Face
I noticed you spray-painted yourself.
It’s a foundation.
I’ll take it your character is supposed to be African American.
So you’re really just re-inventing the wheel of what Billy Crystal did at the Oscars.
I didn’t watch the Oscars, but I’ll assume you’re right.
Could you pull off the spray paint without wearing the costume?
Do you actually think you’re pulling it off now?
If it all stayed on, yeah.
What are you supposed to be?
I’ve never heard of that.
It’s a Spider-Man villain, but I made it into woman form.
Let’s not play coy with each other: you’re an attractive woman at Comic Con. How often do you get hit on?
A lot. There are a lot of creeps. Sometimes I’ll just turn around and there they are, taking the worst photos imaginable.
So far, what’s been the weirdest interaction you’ve had with men?
I turned around and saw a guy taking a picture of my ass.
Are you sure it wasn’t just your back? Sometimes there’s a discrepancy.
You know when someone’s taking a picture of your ass.
Fair enough. What’d you do?
Pretty much told him to fuck off.
Have you heard any impressive pick-up lines specifically related to Venom?
What’s the best pick-up line that usually works with you?
Come home with me.
What are you?
I’m Banana Man.
What is that?
A banana… who’s a man.
Literally just a banana?
Literally just a banana.
Why not draw from something specifically from pop culture?
Because everyone else does that.
How has this worked out for you so far?
I’ve been stopped a lot to get pictures taken.
What’s been the weirdest interaction you’ve had?
A group of kids tried to lick me.
I hope you understand how poorly that reflects on you.
Yeah. There were parents all around and I was like, “What’s happening?” It was the creepiest moment that’s ever happened to me. I thought I was going to jail right then and there.
How do you think you’d fair in jail?
I played football. I’m a pretty big guy so I feel like I’d handle it pretty well.
How do you think you’d fair in jail while wearing this ridiculous banana costume?
I think it’d be fun. Whatever happens, happens.
What are you dressed up as?
Foxy from Five Nights at Freddy’s.
I’m not familiar with that.
It’s an indie horror game about five animatronics that are all possessed and attack you. Your role as the night watch is to stay alive for five nights.
There are a lot of things to pursue in life; such as knowledge, happiness, and love. What specifically drove you to pursue this obscure aspect of pop culture nobody has ever heard of?
Fear of what?
Making people scared of me.
Because this shit is scary. You want to wake up in the middle of the night with this standing over your bed?
Exactly. That’s what I want to be.
You want to be the guy standing over people’s beds at night?
And killing them.
Have you ever sought psychiatric help?
I have Comic Con.
What’s the craziest thing to happen to you at Comic Con so far?
It’s always weird to see people walk up dressed like me, looking exactly like me.
I saw a picture of you and David Blaine on Instagram. What’s the craziest magic trick he ever showed you?
He stuck a knife through his hand and then pulled it out without any blood. It was crazy.
What’s on your current agenda?
“Woman holding skull aka The Archeologist”
What are these right here?
These are human teeth.
How did you get these in your possession?
We buy large medical collections. As you can see by the horrible dentistry, these are pre-1950. They have lead fillings and are a world of pain.
These are from 50 years ago?
Or more. Some are pre-1920s.
So they’re vintage, then?
They’re totally trending right now.
What attracted you to bones?
I went through a really bad emo phase. I’ve always been morbid. Actually, I used to be an archeologist so this is like treasure hunting in a different way.
Do you ever play with them?
Yeah! I try giving them to my friends and if you get a perfectly round cavity you can set a stone in it.
You by far have one of the more realistic costumes here.
This isn’t a costume.
Yeah, okay. Is it difficult patrolling these things?
Not at all.
What do you think of all these people dressed up?
It’s pretty cool actually.
What’s been your favorite costume you’ve seen?
A Scarlett Johansson costume.
You like Scarlett Johansson?
Yeah, she’s hot. And the girl who portrayed her today was also hot.
Are you married?
Yes I am.
A lot of people here have some amazing costumes.
Especially given the events of Ferguson, how accurate do you think the media’s portrayal of the police is?
I can’t answer any of those questions.
What’s up with the ears?
It’s from Banjo-Kazooie, so technically I’m dressed up as a bear.
Banjo-Kazooie is this video game… it’s with this bear and this bird… it’s kind of like Mario, except…
Except it’s not Mario at all.
It’s not like Mario at all, except the way you play the game.
So this is a Mario knockoff but with a bear?
Sure. But I’m a bear and that’s why I have bear ears. I guess that’s what they’re supposed to be. Bear ears. I have regular ears obviously, but they’re under the wig.
Would you ever wear this outside of Comic Con?
I wouldn’t care. If I wore it in normal life, like for a photo shoot, I wouldn’t really have any reason to. But I go to a lot of conventions.
I notice you’re just drinking right out in the open. Is this allowed?
Yeah. Just casually double fisting beers.
Are you drunk?
I’m a drunk bear.