Another look at NYCC
As I perused the forum posts of recent cons, I noticed that no one had posted anything about NYCC, so the below is my 3-day synopsis of the Con as I had to leave out before Sunday began (stupid hurricane). This information encompasses my impressions, opinions, etc. on the event from the perspective of a normal attendee: I did not get there at 6 am to wait in purgatory, no VIPs, no special treatment of any kind. Also, this does not cover info on the panels due to time constraints and personal choice.
Well today was the first day of NYCC 2016 and all of the nerds rejoiced! Meanwhile, our plucky commentator was escaping the big blowhard called Matthew headed for the east coast. Anyhow, so here is a quick breakdown of my impressions from the first day. Keep in mind that I was not there when the doors opened, but rather arrived a couple of hours later. Time in total was 5-6 hours.
Upon arrival, I headed straight for the show floor to get my bearings. As you reach the main floor, to your left are various publishers, video game companies, etc. and to your right were more of the LCS vendors with various other types of merchants mixed in. I started on the left and worked my way to the right (using the Yu-gi-oh booth as a starting point). Many of the publishers had various new items, but not as many exclusives as years past (my opinion). DC enlists a secondary seller for their items and year after year they seem to be the best at facilitating the crowds. I did not try Marvel as it was its usual madhouse due to layout and I did not want to waste an hour looking at the back of Superheroes.com while in line. Image had a few interesting items, but for the size and type of company they are, I would think they would promote more than just The Walking Dead at the con. Biggest/Coolest item in this area was actually from Lego. They had life-size Harley and Supergirl statues made out of Legos! The Zenescope booth was my next stop and is usually one of the best (at least for NYCC), but this year it seemed more hodgepodge.
As I made my way over to the right and into more of the smaller vendors, I happened on J. Scott Campbell's booth. Picked up a couple of Josies and X-Men (all-signed with CoA) and got a picture with the man himself. It wasn't a long wait, but they didn't have anyone directing traffic which made it somewhat confusing. All in all, this area is similar to most cons in the type of merchandise, etc. Even Neal Adams has a spot (but not impressed with his charges).
Food options here are plentiful and not severely overpriced ($10 small pizza), restroom facilities are many, and the general layout is easy to decipher. The con is outgrowing this space and there are tons of issues with people stopping in the middle of the aisles, so keep your head moving and please PAY ATTENTION when you are walking.
Day 2 began bright and early at 10am. The line into the Con from the street was doubled up on the sidewalk, but thanks to a determined gentleman in a green hoodie, yours truly was able to sneak through 🙂 Once through the doors, the mission was on for the Pink Harley's and a beeline path was plotted to Bulletproof. Managed to score 2 sets upon which I cried a little with tears of joy.
After this, it was on to the rest of the day's adventure starting in The Block. This is a more diverse area of music, gaming, pro cosplayers, and merchants that focus on various components of geek culture. There was a Jessica Nigiri sighting for anyone interested in her Sith outfit, but the best conversations were had with Scout Comics and the writer of Justice Angel. Scout had some Henchgirl variants available including a blank cover.
After this, it was lunch with the food truck in the main courtyard. It was around 12 and the line wasn't bad and the prices were much better than inside. Two sausage dogs and some lemonade later, it was on to Artists Alley.
For those who are unaware, this section is specific to creators/artists of all genres, but most have worked on comics at some point. As I perused the aisles, there was Frank Cho, Babs Tarr, M. Liu, Chris Claremont, Bob McLeod, and Matt Hawkins among others. All were very social and Matt Hawkins even chatted about Lady Pendragon for a bit. The drawback here is that if a line forms for anyone and they are not on the edges, it can become convoluted.
The day ended with hanging around the main pavilion and courtyard, grabbing pics of cosplayers and talking with other fans. It's 5pm so seven hours at the Con is good for me.
On day 3 it felt like we were on a mission to bring a ring into Mordor! As expected, the amount of people attending increased on the main day of the con, and the first day of rain didn't help any. One of the main areas for all of the cosplayers is under the awning and today they had food trucks clogging the space. Not sure why as this was the first time in the last 4 years I have seen this. Anyhow, I know everyone is interested about the comic side of things so here we go…..
This day brought about wrapping up any loose ends for items we had our eye on. With Pink Harleys in hand, and most of the exclusives (minus the red Black Variant), it was a day to look for specifics. First pick of the day was X-Factor #24. This was the last issue in vol. 1 that was missing from my collection and I scored a nice copy from Stan Lee Collectibles for a lower than expected price. I am not sure how they will handle it in the future, but for anyone looking to have a book signed by The Man, they are the best option. The catch is that you have to buy it from them, and then they charge you for the signature (but it's less than paying for a ticket). Also, you can get a COA from them for an additional $20 if needed/wanted. Second stop of the day was back to the Top Cow booth. I have a special place in my heart for these guys, specifically Matt Hawkins as I truly think his Lady Pendragon series is WAY underrated. Anyhow, got to chat with them for a while and scored some Postal, Think Tank, and Dark Vigil books. BTW….the Sejics are there signing and for anyone who has not seen some of Stephen or Linda's artwork, you are missing out!
After that, it was off to lunch at my favorite food truck in the courtyard. Two sausage dogs and a Coke later, the hunt was back on! Managed to work my way through some of the other vendors to grab some other missing books in my PC (Uncanny X-Men #137, #101, and Deadpool #1). Of note is that there were several Auction houses and High Dollar vendors that made my inner child do backflips! Titles such as Action Comics #1, Detective Comics #27, Amazing Fantasy #15, Amazing Spider-Man #1, etc….If you have the dollars, you can purchase some decent copies of these books and be the envy of everyone!
The day concluded with a print of Magik from artist Nen Chang. My opinion is this is an underrated character and the print was outstanding! I tried to get her to sell me the original, but the buyer had already paid cash 🙁
All in all this Con is put together well. Yes, there are many issues with ticketing, lines, locations, etc.; however, as an event that surpassed SDCC in size a few years ago, it is run pretty well. If you have not had the chance to experience the craziness, I definitely would recommend going. Besides the Con, you have NYC as well, so the adventures to be had are most appealing.