NYCC 2022: My Epic Photo Op With Hardcore Wrestling Legend Mick Foley
by Brendan M. Allen
One of the experiences that’s synonymous with comics conventions is photo ops. Fans queue up for hours in order to get the opportunity to stand next to their favorite comics creators, movie stars, athletes, and celebrities. This has never really been anything that I’m personally interested in, but this year, Mick Foley was available in the list of celebrities for New York Comic Con 2022.
I am a huge wrestling fan, and my very first memory of watching professional wrestling was watching the TV in the waiting room of a hospital while my grandfather was recovering from heart surgery. I was all alone in the room, so no one was around to tell me what I could watch. This was the ultimate power for a kid in the eighties.
There was a cage match happening on WCW/NWA programming. I had never seen anything like what I was seeing on the screen. I don’t remember who the participants of the actual match were. What I do remember was the moment Mick Foley appeared from under the ring and attacked one of the other wrestlers. The announcers went nuts. ‘That’s Cactus Jack Manson! What the hell is he doing here? Someone get in there and stop this!’ The crowd went nuts. It was an instantly impactful moment.
I was hooked. I spent hours in that waiting room over the next several weeks, and every time, I grabbed that remote and scanned the channels to see if wrestling was on. The other wrestlers were cool, but there was just something about Mick Foley’s Cactus Jack that drew me in. I couldn’t look away.
There is no way I could have turned down the opportunity to get this photo, so I pulled the trigger.
Having never done one of these photo ops, I had no idea what to expect. I never would have imagined the absolute shitshow that it would become. Mick Foley is an American treasure. You will never meet a more genuinely good human. None of what follows is his fault.
There are multiple lines in the photo op area. There are different tiers for each celebrity. You can get a photo at their table for one price, get an item signed for a little more, and at the highest tier, you can get a standing photo, with a convention backdrop, on a glossy 8×10. This is the option I chose.
The area for the standing photos is in a different end of the photo op area. There are no lines. There is absolutely no indication of where you’re supposed to be. You have your QR code and a time. I couldn’t figure it out, so I went to speak with an Epic Photo Ops employee for direction. At first she ignored me. I repeated the question. She shot me daggers, and then yelled at me, vaguely motioning to an area where hundreds of people were stood in a tight gaggle near a man with a megaphone.
The megaphone man was equally unpleasant, yelling at people to shut up and let him speak, or we’d miss the answers that he was supposedly going to give. Those answers never came. It was absolute chaos.
When the time finally came to queue up in lanes and get our photos, it did move pretty quickly. Mick was amazing, and I have an 8×10 keepsake of me grinning from ear to ear stood next to the hardcore legend. In an interesting twist, I banged the crap out of my forehead a few days ahead of the convention, so I have a massive green bruise, which is actually pretty on brand.
In hindsight, I would have probably gotten a few minutes talking with Mick if I had chosen the less expensive table option. There are also clearly marked lanes for each celebrity, so there isn’t nearly as much confusion about where to be or what to expect. You don’t get the professional shot, but it’s much less of a pain in the ass, for less money. If I had known how rough this experience would end up being, I probably still would have done it, because MICK FOLEY, but it was disappointing to say the least.