Con Thoughts: NYCC 2011

I’ve never really reviewed a comic convention before. Well, here it goes.

The New York Comic Con clearly has evolved into a media behemoth on par with the nationally known San Diego show. This year’s show set records, and God, did I certainly feel and experience the “wonderful” sites of that record breaking crowd. But, I did expect such a mass of bodies at this show, so I necessarily can’t hold the crowds against the con. NYCC sets out to draw the mass, 100-thousand crowd. If anything, I have to champion Lance Fensterman and Reed Pop on a successful weekend.

So, the pros and cons?

PROS

– I actually enjoyed the layout of the show floor, and I respect the separation of Artist’s Alley from the rest of the convention. I could care less about video game releases or Avengers panels. Movies will eventually hit the big screen, and I don’t own an Xbox. NYCC got it right when it chose to section off Artist’s Alley, the actual comics portion of the show, because honestly it’s all I came to the show for. And I’m sure many other Artist’s Alley attendees did the same. A separate room for the actual comics made it much easier for me to focus on what I wanted. I could ignore the bullshit and the fat kids in costumes (for the most part), and I could speak to the artists I desired to speak to. In a way, Artist’s Alley felt like its own little con. I was pleased.

-Press passes were waaaaaay easy to acquire. No line. No hassle. Thirty seconds, and the pass was mine.

-A nice array of comics professionals were available to speak to. Remembering the sites of Artist’s Alley, I recall Bill Sienkiewicz, Rob Liefeld, Greg Capullo, Mike Norton, Tim Seeley, Nathan Fox, Gabriel Hardman, Chris Burnham, Jason Aaron, Cliff Chiang, Jill Thompson, Robbi Rodriguez, and John Paul Leon possessing tables. And those are only the names I can remember off the top of my head. Plenty of other “unknowns” held set ups, and this offered some room to explore unfamiliar talent.

– Image Comics and Oni Press presented killer booths. Attractive. Well stocked. Talent to talk to. I met Erik Larsen for pete’s sake!

CONS

-For my personal taste, too much of the Hollywood and gamer culture. Again, I get why it’s there, but I don’t know, such things get in the way of the comics part of “comics convention.”

-Artist’s Alley was cleeeeeeeaar in the back of the convention. I dug the separation, but did it have to be in the back? The nerds will walk miles for their games and zombies. Make them walk through an assortment of artists on their way. You know, promote the comic books. That’s why we go to comic book conventions, right?

Yeah, those are my only complaints.

I honestly had plenty of fun at this show. Hollywood may dominate it, but a true comics reader can see the necessary sights. On a personal level, I would also call the show a success. I had the chance to meet and catch up with many of the people I respect and converse with online. Anymore, this seems to be my reason to go conventions.

Will I go back? Yes, especially if I can acquire the press pass once again. I will  pay $50 for NYCC, but a free entrance ensures any sense of me returning.  The show was fun, but I feel I could attend a smaller con, with less of a crowd, and still receive just as much enjoyment.  Plenty of comic book conventions take place in this nation of ours. It’s easy to find another one. Especially when you hold my interests. If you desire the media attractions, then yes, NYCC should rank high on your list of destinations. This is the east coast “Comic Con.” Reed Pop has them a hit!

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