WOQW: New York Comic-Con

WELCOME ONE AND ALL…

We here at the New York Comic Con are here to bring you the best of the best of the east coast comic scene.

We have big named artists.

We have huge guest stars.

Did you hear Milla Jovavich might show up on Saturday?

Of COURSE you did.

That’s what being in New York is all about – it’s about big stars – it’s about big names.

Now first we are going to need you to get your pass to get in. Please, if you would go stand on that line. Yes, the one right over there. No sir, that seems to be the end of the line… yes, the line that goes all the way wrapped around the building.

Oh! Sir! You made it! Congratulations, but I’m sorry to tell you that we have a bit of a problem. You see due to overbooking the hall, while under-renting it, added into making the booths a little too close together, and not expecting people in the Big Apple to really want comics, we’ve stopped people from coming in.

Yes, I know it’s sad, but we are only letting people in and out on a one for one basis. It doesn’t matter if you got a one day pass, a weekend pass, or even if you work here. That’s right, three people behind you is one of the big inkers on one of the hottest properties in all of comics. No, he can’t get in either. As a matter of fact, you will get in before him. Behind him is an employee of the second biggest comic retailer in the state. No, he can’t get in either. You first.

Now, once you get inside, please do your best to watch your step as there are WAY too many people inside due to our poor planning. You are going to be rubbing elbows with the comic elite. Mainly because elbow to elbow is the only way to stand. If you yawn, you might hurt someone, so make sure you go buy a cup of coffee. Also, if you are planning on looking at comics, I would just like to let you know that due to the heavy population of people, it’s hard to even get to a booth, let alone skim through the most recent issues.

We apologize for the inconvenience, but we have made a huge error in underestimating the need for geeks in NYC.

So as you might have assumed, half of that story is fictional. Why? Because I never made it into the convention. Now, I only live (on a good day) about an hour from New York, so I can lose two hours of my life (not including waiting time at the show) and it isn’t a huge deal. There are people though who came a long way to see that show though, and I would be furious.. I was almost furious, and I didn’t even pay for my damned pass!

I will admit though that on the line with us waiting was the owner and artist of a decent B-Rated book. The show was frozen by the town (assumedly the fire inspector, but somebody else will have to verify that). That was Saturday.

So what does this teach us kids?

1 – There is a budding need for a big convention on the east coast.
2 – Whomever planned the Javitz Center was insane.
3 – When nothing is going on inside… goof off on the outside.
(See associated pictures)
4 – If you were there, and you got screwed – complain.

I’m not going to, but that’s because I really did go more to see friends and go out for drinks later, but if you paid to be there, and you only got to see the line – Or waited for hours to go into a room that was barely manueverable – Or any other number of problems that involve you spending your bucks on a show that was deliriously underplanned – then you deserve to have your voice heard.

Here’s some help:

You can click here to ‘talk to the show manager’ – Which might be a generic comment card, but at least you can write it.
You can call Michael Grant, the Contact at ‘Reed Exhibit Companies’ at:
(203)840-4800

SUNDAY:

So – after that debacle, the NY Comic Con announced that no tickets would be sold for Sunday, and it seemed as if they were allowing most in from the day before. So Danielle and I got there around noonish and began to walk the aisles.

As was told to me, the aisles themselves were narrow. Much more narrow than a show I’d been to before. Even small hotel shows give you a nice 10 foot berth. This show gave 6 or so, enough for two people to walk uncomfortably. Sadly, due to the New York road system of West bound roads and East bound roads, it seems ‘Yorkers haven’t learned that there is a generally accepted ‘walk on the right side’ theory. No, even in the ‘biggest city in America’, people barrel through down the middle like they own the place. Not to mention the standard convention annoyance of friends meeting in the middle of aisles and stopping to talk about how awesome their sketch was.

This is a near exact transcript of a conversation had at the convention:

-Dani and Jamie are walking down an aisle as we come close to a small child sitting in the middle of an aisle looking through his Natch Bell-Gi-Oh Alchomist’O’Man cards.-

(15 feet away)
JAMIE: That kid better move.
DANI: Why?
JAMIE: Because I’ll kick him.
(10 feet)
JAMIE: I mean it.
DANI: Jamie!
JAMIE: What?
(5 feet)
DANI: You can’t.
JAMIE: What? Kick this kid.. no I can.

-At this time, the kid looked up and saw me. I deftfully walked within a few inches of him, and it is quite obvious from the look on his scared little face that he heard me.-

DANI: I can’t believe you sometimes.
JAMIE: The kid will learn in a couple of bruises….

That story portrays me in a bad light, but I really don’t care. If you sit in the midst of an aisle.. prepare to get kicked.

Now – onto the rest of the show.

Given that the Javitz Center is HUGE, I expected to see a great foray into comics, and where the talent list was great… there just wasn’t that much to see. A handful of comic retailers (given the prices of travel and transport for comics, I can understand why) a big showing from the toy and statue folks, and the standard decent size booths for your DC, VIZ, TOKYO POP.

It was now easier to manuever, but there just wasn’t a lot to see. We had seen most of the show in roughly an hour, and then were want for things to stare at. Now, the more cons you go to, the less there really is to see, and a lot of it becomes socializing with people you’ve met, but aside from one or two small press booths, I really felt that this show did very little for the average fan.

SUMMARY

It’s easy to go to a convention and bitch about three dollar water, and how your favorite writer only sat and signed three of your books, and that inker you kind of like only did a pencil sketch for you in your ‘free book’, and Ben Morse asked you a stupid question over at the Wizard booth… all of those things are the simple gripes.

What NY did, on more accounts than I’d even like to admit, they did poorly. I heard reasons ranging from ‘presale was low’ to ‘it’s their first time, cut them some slack’. None of these work in my book… they just don’t. Mainly because this is New York, and aside from the Big Apple Con, which is about as organized as a flea market, and smells just as good, there is just NO Convention.

By the time we left on Sunday, there were more Exhibitors, Press, and Professionals walking around the show than there were fans. These aren’t who you want there buying things. That’s money lost to each one of the people who paid for a table or booth. If I was a retailer, I wouldn’t come back. If I was a professional, I’d ponder how much I wanted to pay in. If I was an exhibitor, I’d wonder if anyone of note saw what I was selling.

Danielle and I even got to the point where we had to ask ourselves if we had been spoiled by going to San Diego the last two years. It’s theoretically possible, since San Diego is not only a quarter mile long, but well laid out and (albeit busy) fairly nice to manuever within. We then decided that it had nothing to do with us being comic convention divas. (Which we are) It had to do with that this show played more on our nerves than it did on our love of the format.

New York has potential to be the east coast version of the Mecca of comics – San Diego… but it’s going to take a lot of work, and a lot of planning for next year.

All in all – Thumbs Down.

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