The Comic Con of New York, like that of San Diego, is the geek version of Mecca. Here you can find everything entertainment related from toys and television to comic books and film. Even Anime makes an appearance at the NYCC. Free swag is found at every turn and there is a lot to do – assuming you get around the place without being trampled, lost, and knocked unconscious or being forced into a warehouse sized room herded like cattle for several hours. This is a true account of the Comic Con.
Being press I had the great pleasure of getting inside the Javits Center in New York in no time at all. Check-in at the press table was effortless. I got my badge and program book and then headed upstairs to the main floor and sought out my drug of choice: venti hot latte with three sugar in the raw. $5.75 and 20 minutes later I was enjoying my hot beverage. When I walked passed security I was handed a lovely goodie bag filled with some gum (in hindsight I believe some speed stick would have been a better idea), a t-shirt too small for an infant to wear and another program.
There was this cathartic feeling of coming home when you first enter the show room. A 20-foot tall Optimus Prime was there to greet me and I was, for lack of a better word, in awe; absolute and unbelievable awe. I walked around with my mouth agape completely overwhelmed. Then it happened. Everyone ELSE was let in… it was fine to start with. I could still move between the immense aisles and rows of stuff. The people at the booths were awesome. From Marvel and DC to Hasbro and Mattel to the Courtyard guests and artists there were none I didn’t like and they showered upon me my swag. Mountains of comic books and landyards with cool things (Go Decepticons!) and that was awesome.
I perused and laid out my schedule weeks before the convention. I knew what I wanted to see and where I wanted to see them. I only had one single day so I had to be prepared. Once the sea of humanity burst through those doors all of my plans crumbled like Pompei. All of the panels and screenings were on the ground floor while the artists, exhibitors etc. etc. were on the remaining 3 floors.
The main theater of the convention was furnished by IGN. There was no entering from the front – the convention wouldn’t hear of it. Instead, we were herded like cattle to the slaughter to the bowels of the Javits to sit and wait. If you wanted to see the Avengers panel or Walking Dead you would have needed to be in the slaughterhouse by 11AM and wait there until 5:15PM or so. This, my friends, is the life of a Comic Con goer. The smaller panel rooms were set up for roughly 150-300 depending on the size of the room. The lines for the panels were twice that. Add in the absolute and utter rudeness of the fans then you have what I would call a powder keg. By the end of the day I was actively threatening the lives of Ewoks, Grovers and Bublebees.
Some of my highlights definitely include the gang from the Science Channel. It’s a small operation with a lot of dedicated people. They brought with them Rod Roddenbury, the gang from Oddities and the rock star Physicist, Michio Kaku. All of these people and their presentations were great and nice to talk to. The comic book artists were equally as warm especially a guy by the name of Graig Weich. He worked on Spawn and now has his own thing brewing. Google the man, get his book and support indie people.
I will not completely drink a carton of haterade on this one because it truly is an awesome building. There is a lot to see and do for EVERYONE who loves the entertainment industry.
The staff is very knowledgeable of everything going on at the convention and they even provide a free app for your smartphone so that you can easily find and plan what you need. The booths are equally as awesome. The free stuff is great and the prices of the retail items were higher than the normal but fair in this atmosphere. There is no reason in the world 150,000 people should be in the same building at the same time. That’s right… 150,000! This is NOT including press, exhibitors, staff OR guests! That’s a lot of humanity. Those I talked to noted that the attendance last year was half that and if it would have remained half that I would have had a blast.
Several other articles will follow this one as I think there are a few things that need to be said in different ways. Expect two top 10 lists (worst and best of NYCC) as well as a “How to Survive Comic Con”. Until next time true believers, EXCELSIOR!