nhhs96 went back to NYCC this year and he was nice enough to send us his report like he did last year. Enjoy!!! Thanks a lot, Thomas!!!
Back from NYCC and recovered from a nasty case of the con crud, here is a recap of the misadventures of what is now the largest Con in the US as the last figures show in excess of 200K in attendance!
As everyone who has attended a multi-day con of this magnitude can attest, you have to have a game plan going in in order to see, procure, fanboy out to the greatest extent possible. For me, Thursday was the day as generally it is the least attended day of the Con. However, this year it seemed like there were as many people on Thursday as there was on Saturday which given the attendance figures is entirely plausible.
After arriving in NYC a little later than planned (thank you aircraft delays), I hit NYCC around 2pm. This was several hours after the doors opened, but as this was a day more for planning it wasn’t too big of an issue. This year NYCC had changed the policies regarding entrances and using the last few years as a testament, the plan worked! I was able to walk straight in with only minor delays at one of the two gates and head directly to the show floor.
The layout this year of the floor was pretty much the same as in years past with it split up into sections based on company, vendor, etc. First locations on my list were to determine where J. Scott Campbell’s, Bulletproof, and several other booths I was looking for were located. Yes they do have a map on the website and in the program, but seeing it is completely different than looking on a map.
The biggest advice I can give anyone is to note the aisle numbers for items of interest as the booth numbers are not labeled on the floor. From here, a perusing of the aisles provides the ability to scope out anything that you may not be aware of.
After the show floor, I was off to Artist’s Alley to see where each artist was located. This was probably the biggest change as unlike in years past, it was located in the same building as the show floor, but in what is a basement, sub-floor, holding pen, etc. area in years past. My opinion is this made it more compacted and seemingly more crowded. However, given the excitement for Dark Nights: Metal, DC had most of their prominent names along the back wall which did make it easier for locating them. However, my best grab (which was not intended) while scoping out Artist’s Alley was a couple of copies of The Realm #1 including the Secret Variant.
After this, it was time to get settled into the hotel and grab some much needed food.
So, I am not one to arrive super early and wait multiple hours in a holding pen to rush inside once the doors are open. However, I (and my son) arrived around 10:30am which was 30 minutes after the gates opened and surprisingly there was not a huge line in order to get in (see above comments on logistical improvements by ReedPop).
Once inside, I headed back to the J. Scott booth in order to pickup a few of the exclusives and sent my son over to Bulletproof in order to secure a Wonder Woman virgin copy. He was successful, but I was only partially as the NYCC Black Cat exclusive had already reached quota for the day 30min in. However, I did manage to get his Spider-Gwen covers C&D so chalk this up as a win for the first few minutes. From here it was on to the DC booth to pickup their con exclusives. DC was in full movie/Metal mode as they had multiple exclusives for each. Surprisingly, they also had a foil variant for Batman White Knight which was pretty shiny, so I had to grab a copy as well.
From here it was on to Image and a few other vendors to acquire a few virgins (prints not people) and Mezco for my Wife’s Living Dead Doll NYCC exclusive. With items in hand and a few Zenescope purchases it was time for some relaxation and munchies other than Con food.
As a side note to this, NYCC did have more options for food this year. However, this was by way of food trucks which they lined up in a covered area normally reserved for cosplayers outside. This was by far the biggest detraction for me this year as there was not a location to go and “chill out” as in years past. Also, it provided for more cluster on the show floor with people (myself included) trying to take a few pics.
Arriving slightly hungover and ready to take on the crowds, I spent most of my time back in Artist’s Alley (with a side trip to the autograph area for the wifey). This provided an opportunity to score some of ReedPop’s variants as they had a satellite location setup up away from the main booth (with no waiting).
After this, it was on to get some books signed by Scott Snyder and a few others. For the most part I have found the Artists to be accommodating as long as you are not pushy nor have a huge stack of books for them to sign. Other than Mr. Snyder, I was able to chat with Ken Lashley who is a fabulous artist and professional that seems to take time with each fan that stops by.
From here, it was on to Natali Sanders where we chatted about Magdalena and some of the other characters she would like to draw. Was able to pickup a Magdalena print (which is one of my personal top 10 characters) and grab a pic with her. Top Cow and Matt Hawkins was next on my list and along the same aisle as Mrs. Sanders. Was able to pickup a copy of the new Warframe NYCC exclusive (w/signature) and talk a little about another hidden 90s gem, Lady Pendragon.
After this it was on to Mark Brooks and Charles Soule for some sigs and then Mr. Art Adams. With signatures, prints, and a lighter wallet in hand it was time to take stock of everything and get ready to head out into the NYC. As this was the last day at NYCC, I decided to do one more lap around the show floor just to see if there was anything else that must get in my bag before I left.
NYCC is an amazing experience for anyone who has never been. While being the largest Con in the US, it is fairly easy to navigate once you know the layout. I wasn’t a big fan of the consolidation that the main location did this year, but overall I would still give it an A. This is due to the ability to pickup items I was interested in, openness of the various “talent”, and proximity to other activities after leaving the con each day.
It should be noted that I did not attend any of the panels. While this is one of the key points for many people, I prefer not to have to wait in line, attend, and then make my way back to the floor. This is time I personally would rather spend talking with people, perusing the aisles, or taking stock of the Con.
Until next year!