Sunday, October 10, 2010

Unemployed Man and Master of Degrees Cheered at New York Comic Con

Unemployed Man emerged from a phone booth and appeared in Good Times Square Friday night.  In Erich's words:

"Words and photos struggle to capture how delighted people were by Unemployed Man. Countless people asked to take pictures with the jobless crusader.  And yes, people even asked me to hold their children.

It was amazing to see how people completely transformed. As soon as they heard "Unemployed Man!" they would drop whatever expression they had (anger, sadness, guardedness) and just completely open up -- delighted. Beyond cheer, there were many soulful acknowledgements and sincere thanks. The reaction spanned all classes and colors of people.

We awoke at 7AM [on Saturday]. We got in costume (me as Unemployed Man again, and now Gan as Master of Degrees).

I should note that all employees everywhere -- at the hotel, convention center, etc -- really responded to us and opened up to us. We were very gratified by this. These workers had no inherent interest in comics, but they really responded and loved Unemployed Man. They told us their stories. We felt like we really made something for the working class.

So we arrived at the convention center at 8:00AM only to be foiled by a single letter -- our presentation was scheduled at 8:45 PM, not AM.
We went to the show floor and set up some books on the table. No one was there yet, so we went out side. Everywhere we went, people wanted to take pictures with Unemployed Man.

Our biggest and most ironic media coup was getting national Fox News to spotlight us on their intro to the coverage of the whole event.

After that, we went back inside and prepared for the roundtable discussion we would be speaking on. About 50 people showed up and were really enthralled with what we presented. People stayed maybe 20 minutes over and crowded us for pictures and earnest conversations. Unfortunately, no one was there to document it.

As we walked around at the beginning, people would ask us who the U guy was, but as the day went on, those same people would shout "Unemployed Man!" across the hall at us. Or we'd walk by crowds and I'd hear someone ask who I was, then hear someone else say "Unemployed Man" and that would ripple through the crowd with voices of surprise, recognition, and delight. "That is AWESOME." "That is hilarious." "This is the best thing I've seen here." I saw people instantly get the whole concept of the book as soon as they saw it."