This year’s New York Comic Con was sick! (I found out “sick” is the new “awesome” when I was at a restaurant wearing a cool Batman shirt and a guy came up behind me declaring, “That shirt is SICK!” I may be behind on my current lingo, but I figured it out!)
This past weekend, the latest NYCC was held in the Big Apple, and it was great! I was yet again on both sides of the table, and all four days were big ones, with the crowds being the biggest I’d ever experienced there. Thursday, Friday and Sunday all seemed about the same when it came to attendance, which is quite an accomplishment since most conventions happen with Thursday being the smallest, Friday and Sunday being about the same, and Saturday the largest. Saturday was still the day one had to struggle the most to get from place to place and had the longest lines, though. To find out more about NYCC, here’s their website!
I hope you kept up with things as they were reported here at MajorSpoilers.com! You often knew more about what was going on than I did on the floor if you checked back here often!
FROM A PODCAST PERSPECTIVE
As I mentioned, I go to events like this one with several purposes in mind. One of those is to make contacts for interviews for my Wayne’s Comics Podcast. To accomplish that, I went through the Artists Alley, which had a lot of people I’d already interviewed but never met in person, so we put faces to the voices as we met. I also met new comics pros and talked a lot with them, so I look forward to presenting chats with them in the near future!
Marvel’s booth was always packed, but I did get to meet one of their press contacts, who’s a very cool guy. I saw occasional interviews with people like Joe Quesada, but they were almost always video ones, so me and my microphone really didn’t get to talk with anyone there. I understood, though – their area was almost always full. Hey, even the freebie booth had a line waiting to access it most of the time! And when the cast from the Netflix Daredevil show was on stage? If you wanted to get in or walk around it, fuggetaboutit!
The DC booth is always something special since it isn’t in the main floor, but instead is located in the far side of the lobby. This year, it featured lots of videos, displays, signings and press access. I had submitted my requests for interviews before the convention, but never heard back. I wasn’t surprised then when I spoke with their press people that I wasn’t on any of the lists. “Oh, well,” I thought, “at least I got to talk with the press people.” I asked if they would let me know if they had any cancellations.
They got right to it, and set me up on their schedule with the likes of Jimmy Palmiotti, the Batgirl team, the folks from Gotham Academy, and several others. Scott Snyder and Greg Capullo were also kind enough to grant me an interview. The press team asked me to chat with other creators, too, including those from Prez and several Vertigo books.
They were great and brought order out of what could have easily turned into chaos! I normally don’t record interviews during a con because everyone’s busy making money, but they were super, pardon the pun, to work with! I came away with about 12 interviews, mostly from 5 to 10 minutes long, that you’ll be hearing very soon on my podcast! I want to express a heartfelt “thank you” to all of the folks handling DC’s press during NYCC!
As always, I was helping out when I could with Stabbity Bunny in the Independent Comics section. We were working at a booth with the good folks from the Max Hunter comic, and it was a wonderful experience.
It’s funny – sometimes New York City has the reputation for people not being very friendly, to say the least. But when it came to indie comics, the people attending NYCC were more than open to learning about new titles they were finding for the first time. All four days were full of people who listened to all of us explain what the product we had available was all about, and many even bought some of it! We had a great time interacting with new fans as well as those who already knew about our books, so it was a terrific time for all of us!
Since I also write reviews here at MajorSpoilers.com, I took the time I could to visit with other indie comics creators, and I found a lot of fascinating product I’ll be talking about in upcoming reviews. Yes, I’m biased, but I think that this is one of the best times ever to be a fan of comic books!
I couldn’t possibly even begin to list the names of every comics or media pro at NYCC this year – It’s that big! Oh, and there were lots and lots of displays that were huge, including a Batman that nearly reached up to the ceiling as well as a Hulkbuster Iron Man armor, a Groot Funko Pop, and wonderful memories that I still keep thinking about! It’s SO worth the attending!
As I mentioned in last week’s column, the crowds and people wanting to take photos of the cosplayers often delayed the flow of traffic. I was tempted to go against my own advice to treat others with kindness at times, but I got many “thank you’s” when I let others attending the con get their photos taken or getting things they were anxious to buy even though it meant I had to wait longer. Hey, we’re all family here!
Still, some vented their frustration verbally at times! Those of us with press passes had to wait until 9:40 a.m. or so while my exhibitor friends could already get in. One morning, we were allowed into the lobby area and went near the entrance to the main hall. When I got there, a man and his son were talking with the person checking badges. He told the guy, “The woman with the walkie talkie told me I could go straight in.” When the badge-checker calmly told him that wasn’t the case, he got loud and started saying, “There’s no need to be so rude!” I was stunned since I’d heard the conversation, and the father was doing this to badger his way in. When that didn’t happen and he had to join the rest of us in line, he shared his anger with the woman he had previously spoken with and everyone he could, complaining bitterly to every person working at the con and those of us in line. I shook my head in disbelief. There’s no situation that can’t be made worse by adding some tension to it!
Some areas, like the Funko Pop booth, changed their own rules without notice. When I was standing in line to buy the Hallmark silver Batmobile holiday ornament from the 1966 Batman show, I heard a lot of the people there express their disappointment. Don’t do that to people, folks!
THINGS TO IMPROVE ON
I have to say that this NYCC was one of the best-run cons I’ve ever attended. The folks running things worked really hard to keep lines moving and walking areas as clear as possible.
I would recommend, if it’s possible, to open up more space at the Javits Center. Being as busy as it was, a little more room might help keep everyone moving more quickly, but if that can’t happen, the con people are doing a great job with what they have. I hate to even suggest it, but is there a larger venue available?
There were more food vendors around than I’d noticed before, and they often had long lines to buy starvation avoidance. I still think more are needed since we often lost valuable time when trying to get something to eat.
My badge had its problems getting through the lines coming in and going out. I often had to move it around on the person’s scanner, which delayed people behind me at times. I don’t know why that happened, but I just wanted the folks in charge to know it took place.
I think these are all minor quibbles in the scheme of things, though. NYCC was awesome, a word I use sparingly. Better than San Diego? You bet! More people attending? Sure felt like it! Going back next year? Oh yeah, definitely![signoff predefined=”PayPal Donation” icon=”icon-cog-alt”][/signoff]
Word is hitting the street that attendance was over 167,000. Yeah, that feels just about right!