ComicsAlliance’s Chris Sims Goes Speed Dating at New York Comic-Con [Video]
Back when the ComicsAlliance staff was planning out our coverage of the New York Comic-Con, the first thing I said I wanted to do — even before the Venture Bros. press hour or the Batman interviews — was Comic-Con Speed Dating. I am, after all, a single young man, and despite the fact that exactly one person has sought me out for romantic advice, my attempts at finding love are usually awkward enough even without a camera crew and a guy dressed as Storm Shadow manning the turntables.
As for how it turned out, check out the video above, and my thoughts on the event after the jump!The event was was put on by a guy named Ryan who, as he says in the video above, also goes by “Giganakin,” owing to the fact that he’s a big dude who dresses in costume as Anakin Skywalker. He started running speed dating events at the Star Wars Celebration convention, and they proved to be so popular that he’s doing them at other shows across the country. And they are popular. I barely got in and I had a camera crew and a charming smile backing me up, and there were plenty of people (okay, okay, plenty of dudes) getting turned away at the door, even with Ryan adding extra sessions.
While it started out Star Wars themed, the NYCC event was a little more militaristic, with Ryan dressed as the Terminator, Snake Eyes roaming the room for security, and, as mentioned, DJ Storm Shadow on the Wheels of Steel. This, I assumed, was to underline the seriousness of the rules that were laid down at the beginning of the session after we’d all sat down: No names and no locations, so that people couldn’t go home, plug ’em into Google and commence stalking. Once the basic anti-creeper precautions were in place, however, it was time for the fun to start.
As with all things, the victory is in the preparation, and I went in with a plan: I’d figure out where I stood by asking what they were into, then shift into romance by asking which favorite character they could see themselves dating (or who they identified with romantically), before moving on to more serious topics. And by “serious topics,” I of course mean Batman.
Incidentally, that story I tell in the video about how I told an ex-girlfriend that in my heart, “Batman was here before you, and he’ll be here when you’re gone?” That’s actually true. This may have had a direct impact on why she’s an ex-girlfriend.
So what did I learn? Well, for one thing, women love villains. Everyone I asked the “who would you like to date” question responded with a bad guy, which gives me the idea that the years I spent idolizing Cobra Commander and Destro weren’t as much of a hindrance to romance as I’d previously suspected. One woman even told me that her ideal date would be with Anakin Skywalker, which got my first completely unprofessional “Really?!” in response, followed almost immediately by “Awesome, I can totally be a better date than that guy.”
For the record, I did tell her I hated sand. And yes, she meant the Hayden Christensen version, not Jake Lloyd. Comic-Con Speed Dating wasn’t that freaky.
Another weird moment that didn’t make it in the video was when I, having just finished watching all three seasons of Avatar: The Last Airbender, found myself sitting across from a girl dressed as Princess Azula.
After I’d finished totally nerding out about the show (which took about half of the allotted time), we had this exchange:
“So, would you say that you’re as crazy as Azula? Because she’s completely insane.”
“I’m pretty crazy.”
“But you can’t shoot lightning out of your hands?”
“Okay. I can deal with that.”
In the end, it was a lot of fun. Ryan kept things moving at a good pace, alternating between telling jokes, cracking on a few of the guys and chiding us whenever the din of nerd-flirting got too loud. Surprisingly enough, the three-minute chats with each of the ladies weren’t awkward at all — or at least, they weren’t awkward for me. As ComicsAlliance readers are painfully aware by this point, I have no problem at all just rambling on to fill time. Having some boisterous dude with a camera crew and a microphone sit down and start cracking jokes, however, was probably at least a little weird for a few of the girls. Still, everyone I interviewed after the event said they had fun, although nobody would cop to finding a love “as true and deep as the romance seen in the major motion picture Titanic.”
Even so, I ended up with six out of fifteen of the women writing down that they were interested in me, which backs up what I’ve always said about my charm: 40% of the time… it works every time.