Sunday, February 25, 2007

NYCC 2007

Well, it's that time of year again, even though it's only the second time that this time of year has had the occasion to be this time of year. That's right, it's New York Comic Con time. I know a lot of you are saying "What?". Well, let me reiterate. New York Comic Con. What it is would be the largest convention on this coast, by my reckoning, not that I have much to gauge by. What started out last year as an overpacked but fun debacle has blossomed to at least three times the previous size, utilizing the main floor of the Javits Center, plus the Galleria. Frankly, they might need to rent out the whole convention center by next year, it's gotten that big. And is it worth it? Why, yes, yes it is.

It started out serenely enough, what with the two hour train ride I take to get in, give or take a few minutes. I don't mind that much. It gives me much needed nap and gameboy time. The walk there is always easy too. Just follow the crowds. Wait, what crowds? That didn't happen this year. Well, it did this time around, lucky me. While last year I could walk right in (albeit dodging the line for event tickets by being sneaky) at the time I arrived, this year I had to walk down several blocks as the line snaked around the building and down the street and then it started to curve again. On the bright side, it had started to warm up a bit and also the line moved quickly. Whereas last year it seemed like the con had no idea what they were doing, this time they were ready and able to rock the house.

Once in, I was in amazement. I had only seen a show this big during toyfair. I was confounded too, as I did my first pass on everything, looking to see where everything was and getting turned around in the process. I saw many exhibitors and dealers, but I couldn't find any artists. Turns out, after reading the handy guide I got upon entering, that the artists had their own damn floor! Now that is great. The booths were large and in charge, staffed by many beautiful women and probably some dudes, but lots of women. The crowd in attendance ranged from little kids and normal guys like myself to hot chicks and geeks and cosplayers. Fortunately, most of the people could actually work the costume. Nothing like seeing a fat Spider-man to ruin your day.

The first order of business, after getting my bearings, was to locate the dollar bins. Finding a good one, I managed to find 21 issues of Starman that I needed, all in good condition. Then it was on to the trades. Here, I was disappointed. I couldn't find as many dealers with good trades or even more dollar bins than I would have liked. There were some, but I think Wizard World had the edge in cheap TPBs. There were more dealers than last year though, and that was nice. I even saw import game dealers and was sorely tempted by Jump Ultimate Superstars but I wanted to spend the money on something else.

Everyone was really nice and helpful and the only complaint I had while browsing would be the people with kids stopping right in the middle of the aisle to chat when there were plenty of places that they could chill out off to the side. You find that anywhere, though, not just cons. Think of the mall during xmas. Movement-wise, it was easy to get around and traffic flowed well, so that was great.

Vendors I checked out included DC, Marvel, Classic Media (no fucking Godzilla Unleashed demo until 7pm, unfortunately), Viz Media, Wacom (awesome 19inch tablet PC), Zapp Comics, Fox and more. I'll have to go get the book to enumerate them all. Safe to say that there was plenty to do.

After hitting up the vendors, I decided to try my luck on Artist's Alley. On the way up, I saw the show store, so I picked up my exclusive Ghost Rider pint glass. That thing is awesome, by the way. great color and weight. The only down side is that they must have shipped them in a case, and they give them to you loose with nothing but a plastic bag to protect it. Luckily, I had some stuff to put around it by this point (god bless handouts) so I kept it intact. Some might not have been so lucky.

Artist's Alley could have been done better, but it was amazing. Three aisles were packed with people ready to pimp their art and take commissions and have you sign things. I got Arthur Suydam and Sanford Greene to sign some stuff for me. I completely spaced on Amanda Connor, Greg Horn and Tony Harris though so I was pretty pissed when I remembered them on the train ride back. There were other artists that I wish I had the time to check out as well. I'm gonna have enough prints soon to open a comic art gallery. Now that would be awesome, but I digress.

Also up here were the celebs. These included the usual Star Wars crew like Peter Mayhew and Ray Park but also in the building were the Buffy stars like Nicholas Brendon and Juliet Landau and child star/train lover Gary Coleman and the draw of the show, Hayden Panetierre, better known as Claire Bennett from Heroes. This was who I wanted to see and I did so.

She's a nice cat, very personable and the line moved fast. I paid for the signature because it went to HERO, which is a comic artist foundation. Otherwise, I probably would have just been content to ogle her from afar. The print I bought (and the JSA one as well) were done by Mark Sparacio. This guy is a fucking talent and all around nice guy. He's done some covers for the big two and also done quite a bit for the comics price guide, giving you another reason to pick up the books since they look beautiful. I have a Green Lantern and a Shaun of the Dead by him and I think another one that I need to hang up. Gorgeous stuff. He's gonna sell me a Jade picture and the Wonder Woman/Troia/Wonder Girl pictures as well the next time I see him, this, I command. Buy some of his stuff. You'll love it.

Not long after that, I was pretty damn tired so I went home. I was alone so that may have had something to do with it. Next time I will roll out in force, and maybe go Sunday since it was packed to the gills and sold out on Saturday. Next year, I recommend you all go. It's a fun time and soon it'll rival San Diego for the place to be, or at least give you a closer and more economical option.

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