Over the next few days, I’ll be attending the annual New York Comic Con at the Jacob Javits Center in Midtown Manhattan in a press capacity (representing this blog). I’m pretty excited, all told; the NYCC is always a fun experience, and the event has made tremendous strides in its organization since its initial semi-disastrous debut in 2006. (If you’re not aware, the event was oversold and actually shut down by the NY Fire Marshall on its first Saturday). Though it doesn’t have near the same cultural footprint as the much more established San Diego Comic Con, the NYCC still offers an interesting smorgasbord of popular culture, and in recent years it has been combined with the New York Anime Festival, broadening its scope beyond the world of American comic books. The NYCC generally has usually not been a very star-driven event, especially as compared to San Diego – pretty much the highest profile celebrities are Chris Evans, Jason Momoa, and Rose McGowan – the event does have the advantage of having access to many of the New York-based behind the scenes personnel at many of the major comic book publishing houses.
Usually the main appeal of the NYCC that past few years has been the exhibitions, and this year that’s no exception, with a vivid cross section of major media companies displaying their projects and wares for their core audience. With that said, I’m personally going to attempt to attend more of the panels, screenings, and discussions than I have in recent years. Now, in most cases, the panels are really little more than publicity events, but there are plenty of intriguing discussions going on that I’m looking forward to. At first glance, I do think there are still some things the NYCC can stand to improve upon. Unfortunately, as a byproduct of being held at the much in-demand Javits Center, the NYCC has not had a consistent schedule from year to year, having been held randomly in the winter, spring, and fall. This one is obviously happening in the fall, which just isn’t a great time of year for pop culture (outside of toys and video games – which aren’t my interest, personally)…the major publicity blitz for the next summer’s films haven’t really geared up at this point, and many of the new television series have already made their debut, leaving very little left on the agenda for the major entertainment companies to really showcase. In other words, it’s unlikely you’re going to get many “scoops” out of this weekend (though there might be a few). If the event were able to be held more consistently at a certain time of year, I think, would be the overall quality of the show, since regardless of the time of year it will begin to have that “destination” aura that San Diego currently has. There’s also some problems I can see in planning, including three major Batman related events going on simultaneously (no doubt to handle overflow from the others, but as someone who would have liked the opportunity to attend all three, it’s frustrating).
But with all that said, this should still be fun and fascinating, where fans of all different facets of fan culture coming together and having a good time. The Javits Center is also a damn fine venue for this kind of event (as long as you don’t want to eat or drink anything – foods expensive). What I’m personally interested in seeing is how prevalent new digital media is represented in comparison to print, since both of the major comics houses, DC and Marvel, went full bore into digital presentation this year. I’m also particularly looking forward to some of the panels on LGBT issues and bullying, and from strictly a fan standpoint, checking out the panel on next summer’s Avengers movie.
Anyway, I’ll be doing my best to present a daily update here of the discussions I attend and will try to provide whatever news and gossip I may be able to gather, along with whatever photos and videos I’m able to take. I probably can’t promise anything on interviews unfortunately, but if I do get any, they will be posted here, as well.
See you at the Con!