Tuesday, October 12, 2010

New York Comic Con: More Than Comics

Let me admit up front that although I like Comics, I do not consider myself a Collector.  I buy them randomly as the mood strikes.  The last one I purchased was The Guild comic and it came with two different covers.  I did not buy both.  I know, I know, but letting my daughter pick out the one that she liked best was far more satisfying for me than having both in my meager collection.  Like I said, not a true collector.  As a result, I found that the comics were the least interesting part of my weekend at NYCC.  Now, before you start throwing rotten veggies at me for such heresy, you should know I will hold up a comic as a shield and you risk defiling it's pages, so put down the tomatoes. There, much better.

Even not being a Comic person, this was an impressive Con.  There were boxes and boxes full of plastic-sleeved treasures for the hardcore collectors to peruse.  Artists were there, too, lots of them, signing their work and anything else you had for them to personalize.  There were even some artists creating custom skateboards with their characters on the spot, which was just amazing to watch.  These guys have more talent in their pinkies than I possess in my whole body. And despite the crowds, the majority of these artists were very accessible.  Even the big names who had lines were still there, talking to fans and signing away.  If you were willing to wait a bit, you got your chance.  While you were waiting in line you could always people watch, and were there ever people worth watching.

The Cosplay at NYCC was incredible and it was one of my favorite parts of the weekend.  There were superheroes, villains, video game characters, anime characters with crazy pink hair and everything in between.  And these weren't costumes pulled from the shelf at the local Halloween shop.  These costumes were hand-done labors of love with attention to the smallest of details.  There was a group of attendees dressed as Luke, Leia, Han and Anakin and even their hair, their Real hair, was absolutely perfect.  Now that's commitment.  The only problem with all these tricked out costumes was the risk of losing an eye to a wayward weapon, but that was a small price to pay.

There were even booths that were not comic related at all.  I visited the Xbox Kinect booth and now can't wait to have one of these in my living room.  I flailed my arms and jumped up and down in an effort to steer my little raft in the right direction and didn't even care about the crowd watching because it was just that much fun.  You could also get up on a stage complete with lights and smoke and try out The Michael Jackson Experience.  Just imagine a bunch of Geeks trying to dance like him, complete with moon walk and crotch grabs, and, oh yeah, dress them up like The Joker and Batman.  Priceless.  So, if you didn't get to New York Comic Con this year because you thought it was just about comics, think again.  And get your badge for next year before they're gone!

6 comments:

  1. I don't go to comic conventions because they don't seem to be about comic books. I just can't go to a comic con where Microsoft is doing demos of Kinect. What does that have to do with comics? If they would rename the cons, I would consider going.

    I think I am just bitter at how Hollywood has ruined something awesome like SDCC, and turned it into their own personal PR machine.

    I am happy to hear that the people who do go enjoy it and have a good time.

    -Ryan (@connorcg)

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  2. A lot of people are frustrated with how crazy big SDCC has become and feel it's lost much of it's original flavor. And you're right, Kinect doesn't have anything to do with comics, but I think there is a good reason to have it and other things that aren't comic specific at a comic con.

    A successful con needs not just attendance by fans, but by industry types willing to spend resources to bring those attendees a great experience. If you can only guarantee a small audience, then fewer booths, panels, experts etc are going to attend. By increasing the range of what people will see, you likely increase attendance and companies are more willing to be there, too. Although Kinect is not a comic, it falls within the realm of things that people who like comics often like, too. I think it can help provide a fuller experience for everyone in the end.

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  3. I do wish the comic book industry wasn't in such bad shape that they can't support there own conventions. But until they update there business model, I don't see it getting any better. They are still selling comics the same way they did back in the 40s.

    NYCC sounded awesome and I'm sure I would have had a great time if I had gone. It's so cool that so many people like me gather to celebrate the things they enjoy. I just wonder when comic con became the name used for Geek convention? I still dislike SDCC though. :)

    -Ryan (@connorcg)

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  4. I'd go no matter if it was called Nerdicon, Comicon or Wonderbracon.. especially the latter. Everything changes, geek culture morphs, ebbs and flows, and so should the cons that reflect that geek culture. Theme parks have the same issue I suppose. Sea World has rides and displays and stuff in it that have nothing to do with the sea! And don't get me started on Tropicl Fruit World! http://www.tropicalfruitworld.com.au/

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  5. @Ryan Their business model is in sore need of a rework. DC just lowered all their comics to $2.99 and is doing digital publishing. You can see they're trying, it's just not moving at a great pace.

    @Trickster Can you just IMAGINE the cosplay at Wonderbracon?! I think you summed up the reason for the diversity at a con, or anywhere very well. If things are stagnant, they'll eventually disappear. Tropical Fruit World?! Okay, now I've seen it all...

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  6. It sounds like NYCC is a really fun con. I'm glad you had a great weekend there!

    I think the only time I've ever got touchy about the names is when I went to the first Anaheim Comic Con. It was a Wizard event, and it was all about the celebrities there... and very few comics. I'm not big on getting autographs, so it wasn't hugely fun for me. SDCC and it sounds like NYCC are a big mixture of lots of fun geekery though.

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