New York Comic Con
Jacob Javits Center, New York City
I have to preface this by saying that going to the NYCC two years in a row has raised my geek-cred among my peers immensely. That pleases me to no end. I grew up reading comics, dreaming I could fly or walk on walls or use the Force. In many ways, I still do. When I went for the first time last year, I had little in the way of expectations. I am not a fan of large cities or large gatherings (unless its family) so I was apprehensive last year when we went.
First the cons of the Con. There are a large number of people gathered in a relatively small area which leads in general to a mishap waiting to happen. There are a large number of vendors hawking their wares and companies trying to drum up interest in their latest or upcoming product. This leads to a cacophony of sound that someone with general hearing issues (like myself) find bothersome and uncomfortable. This isn't a problem that anyone can do anything about, but it is a negative for me personally and affects both my interest in going to the NYCC as well as my enjoyment of it.
Now the pros of the Con. For the most part, security is very good. The people there are, for the most part, of like mind. We're all geeks of greater or lesser degrees (I have a Master's degree in geekdom for example) and that commonality is enough for the most part to foster a general feeling of brotherhood amongst those attending. The crowds, while large, aren't overwhelming and are polite for the most part. I hadn't heard (or read) of anyone being robbed while attending and it was fun to be able to see the same geeky smile on the stranger standing next to me when some booth unveiled a never before seen trailer for their movie or video game.
The vendors are neither obnoxious nor pushy with their products. The organizers place all the vendors together in clumps so if you're not attending to buy you can easily avoid those areas. This is a celebration of all things geeky; comics especially, but also movies, video games and toys.
The corporate booths are all centrally located and it is here when the crowds gather most. Here is where the swag can be found – that free stuff that draws as many people here as the information the booths provide. I was able to play upcoming versions or view previously unrevealed trailers of WoW, Warhammer Online, Champions Online, Star Trek Online, Marvel Ultimate Alliance 2 and many other games I'm not interested in. I saw the latest – again, previously unreleased – trailer for X-Men Origins: Wolverine and I heard about Iron Man 2. There was also DC Universe and DC vs Mortal Combat, which looks fun.
There were also the presentations in the IGN theater. This year we attended only the LucasArts presentation which concentrated on the 10th anniversary of Episode I and the newly released Fanboys, complete with a panel featuring the writer, director and two stars from the movie. Dan Folger of Balls of Fury fame was amusing, as was director Kyle Newman and his wife Jamie King (Lorelei Rox on The Spirit) but the writer was so forgettable I haven't the foggiest idea who he was. Steve Sansweet from LucasFilm hosted the presentation and he seemed a bit frustrated with the technical issues that plagued the beginning. He persevered and we were able to vote on a special feature for the upcoming Clone Wars Season 1 DVD which was more exciting in concept than it was in practice.
The real meat of the Con for me was the Artist Alley. I was able to meet some people whose work I grew up revering: Mark Texeira, Jose Luis Garcia Lopez, George Perez, Walter Simonson, and Mike Golden to name the tops on the list. Also present were some big names in the industry like Jim Lee and Louise Simonson. I met the creators of Tall Tails JD Calderon and Daphne Lange and their creations. We bought the first three anthologies and now have yet another comic to add to the list that I enjoy.
The NYCC has become a real inspiration to me. I grew up with comics and with the idea of one day creating my own and I left with the idea that it's something I could really do. Perhaps not replace my current income, but something I could do on the side. Hmmm ....
To summarize, the NYCC was a very fun and inspiring event that I recommend if you consider yourself a geek in any way, shape or form. Or to put it in the parlance of the species:
The NYCC totally rocked!