This past weekend was the return of a convention I believe is the very best of the year–New York Comic Con. I know I recently said that Dragon Con was giving this show a clear run for its money, but NYCC reminded me why I consider it number one.
I thought this week I’d talk about why NYCC is important for the industry as well as what I felt works on many levels.
SO WHAT HAPPENED?
Like many cons in the past, I was helping out Richard Rivera from Stabbity Bunny. However, what was different this go-round was that we weren’t in the Small Press section and instead were in Artist Alley. That meant we weren’t on the third floor, but down on the first floor.
Normally, I’d complain loudly about Artist Alley since many people who frequent that part of a convention are looking for artwork, not comics, in my opinion. But NYCC was different. We spent each day waiting for the next to be less impressive, but that didn’t happen. Instead, each day for us saw more new people at least asking about the comic. And there were a LOT of people there, and a significant number of them were actually looking for comics! Wow!
Granted, the location of Artist Alley itself had changed since last year. It was on the other side of the Javits Convention Center. I don’t know if the space was more than 2018, but it sure seemed that way! There were a great many creators there, and many fans had come to see them. All four days were very, very busy!
Another interesting thing was that Artist Alley closed an hour after the main floor had closed, and they notified people that people could go there by their app and other means. We often had good hours during that time, between 7 and 8 p.m. I don’t remember if that was the case in 2018, but it did help us end each day on a positive note.
As often happens, I did record some interviews for my podcast–one from Titan and another from DC. Thanks to each for making them happen!
As always, NYCC is one of those cons that impacts many aspects of the industry and related media.
If nothing else, creators get to interact with fans, which can give them more devotion and interest what they are doing and will do. That can translate into sales and increased visibility in the industry.
Also, New York is a place where television and movies often are made, so there’s interest in taking comics and translating them to other forms of entertainment. What happened during this con? We probably won’t know for sure exactly what transpired during NYCC for some time to come, but it often does take place. Like San Diego, which is near Los Angeles, these connections are vital to spreading comics’ influence far and wide.
It’s also the biggest con in this latter quarter of the year, so it’s important to end the year well. And many companies brought out their finest talent to help make put their best foot forward in what is likely the last big con of 2019.
WHAT WAS GREAT, COULD BE IMPROVED?
It’s always the case that some things really work well. And other things fall short of expectations.
I liked the fact that there was a pretty big Queue Room for people who needed to get in line for various autographs or program events like panel discussions. Hopefully the location in the middle of the first floor helped fans get where they wanted to go on time.
Also, as I mentioned, there were a great many industry stars on the site, far too many for me to begin to mention.
I continue to be happy with the placement of the DC booth, which always is located to the far left of the second floor of the building. That setting, away from a lot of the crowded third floor, makes it easier to access.
I also noticed that, even though they did offer four-day passes again this year, a lot of people still had one-day passes each day. Just like last year, a lot of those people had to make choices if they wanted to buy things. And they very often did! I also saw that many of the folks walking around had lots of bags full of things they had bought, which I’m sure made everyone happy! There’s nothing more discouraging to someone trying to sell their wares than people attending who aren’t picking up anything, meaning no sales. Yikes!
As far as how we did specifically, we had a fantastic con! We thought Thursday was great, but each day actually got better from there, in terms of sales and contacts. Sunday was even the biggest day of the con, which is truly rare. Usually Saturday is the biggest. I think others also did pretty well, but I’m sure each situation varied from table to table.
NYCC is still one of the very best cons in terms of sheer volume. So many comics creators/companies, media companies, and vendors make it a place that make it a “must see” for fans, if they can at all get there.
As far as our group, we hope next year at New York will closely mirror 2019. It was exhilarating to see so many people interested in comics, asking about the products at our table and those around us. I’m coming away very stoked!
Just as NYCC was closing, everyone who was using their app received a message that said: “Hey, heroes — Thanks for making this NYCC the best one yet. See you next year, for our 15th edition, on Oct. 8-11, 2020!”
I know I want to be there! And I highly recommend it to anyone who might consider attending! It really rocked!
What do you think? What can NYCC do to be an even better con? Was it a good convention this year or a disappointment to you? Whatever your opinion, be sure to share your opinion and thoughts in the space below!