Wednesday, October 15, 2014

NYCC '14 Review

New York Comic Con ‘14
Convention Review

This past weekend NYC was inhabited by geeks, cosplayers and comic book fans who only had one thing in mind and that was to have a great time.  For four days convention goers made the trek to the Javits Center and from Thursday to Sunday of Columbus Day Weekend Midtown Manhattan was ours to party till we could party no more.    NYCC had attendances for the four day event of over 151,000 people attending this convention.  That number does not include press, pros, exhibitors or other people who would be in the building.   That’s an awfully lot of people so much so that NYCC is now the biggest convention in North America.  Bigger than San Diego which was the benchmark that all big conventions are judge by and you can tell there was going to be an increase just by how much a jump in attendees for Thursday.  I can only imagine what next year will be like.

With every convention there were problems.  The only one I came across was with DC Comics and the way the handle their autograph line.  For Batman creative team Scott Snyder and Greg Capullo they have them at 10AM right when the show opens.  Convention goers are allowed to line up at the entrance for Artist Alley.  Once the show opens convention goers make a mad dash to the back of Artist Alley to get in line for the first come first serve autograph signing which gets capped really quickly like under 10 minutes.  When I mean a mad dash I mean you have comic book fans making like Usain Bolt at the Olympics to get to the back of Artist Alley.  Unfortunately for me I had to do this if I wanted to get my books signed.  I find this to be a bit ridiculous as DC could easily hand out wrist bands or number cards while we are queuing to get into Artist Alley.  It would be so simple to do that and prevent people from running and ignoring the poor volunteer who is in vain trying to tell people to stop running to no effect.   Someday someone is going to get hurt all for an autograph that could so easily be obtained if only DC used common sense.

Another thing that was surprising to me was how fast panels filled up.  Even the smaller panel rooms had big lines and were filled to capacity.  People were camping out in the rooms for a long time especially for the Doctor Who panels.  I got shutout of the Friday Doctor Who panel and almost got shutout of the Saturday one but was able to do the camping out thing and was able to enjoy the Doctor Who panel when its turn arrived.  This is a tricky situation as you can’t clear out every panel room as there are some people who legitimately want to see a couple of panels in the same room.   It just has to come down to planning the day better and getting to the panel room earlier if you really want to see a particular panel. I learned this and was at the Batman panel a few hours early and took in the Marvel panel and had a good time watching that panel at the Empire Stage while waiting for Batman.

This year I noticed a drop in comic book vendors.  This seems to be happening more and more every year.  I find this sad as the show is called New York Comic Con.  It has comic in the title and unfortunately I know it is not the shows fault.  If the vendor is not making money at the show then it isn’t worth it for him/her to set up a booth there.  With so many different genre and geek stuff going on it makes it difficult for a particular vendor.   I did see a lot of anime booths taking the place of the departed comic book booths.  In fairness the people who run New York Comic Con do run a comic book only show in June called Special Edition which is a smaller show held in the hall that is home to artist alley.  So they are catering to the comic book fan but in their own show separate from NYCC but at least they do focus on comic books as Artist Alley was packed and there were tons of creators from many of the biggest companies in the US plus independents.  

NYCC used the same badge technology as last year where you had to get your badge zapped when you entered and left the Javits Center.  I really like this as it does prevent people from crashing the convention making it even more crowded that it already is.  Plus it makes everything uniformed as you have a designated entrance and exit and it just makes it really easy to enjoy the convention.  Like last year I had no problem with getting my badge zapped and hope they continue to use this system.

I had a great time at NYCC this year and I am looking forward to attending next year.  ReedPop puts on a great show and for the most part there aren’t any negatives.  At least if there were I did not see any except for the few minor ones I wrote about here.   I always have a great time as each year they do a great job bringing in super guests and programming.  There was so much to choose from like Elementary and Gotham and a viewing of the newest Doctor Who Mummy on the Orient Express.  There was so much to do that it was impossible to do all that I wanted to do. Well unless I cloned myself.   Everyone I talked to in line appeared to be having a great time and was thrilled to see who they came to NYCC to see.  In my eyes NYCC was great fun and I will definitely be attending next year as I expect it to be bigger and better than this year.

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