Some years at New York Comic Con are better than others. I’ve been to one that ranks among my favourite conventions ever and one that was just so-so. This year, it fell somewhere in between. There were some moments that I will treasure for the rest of my life and some that left me frustrated.
Overall, though, I had a good time, and I’m looking forward to next year.
So, should I start with the good or the bad? The bad, I think, so I can build up to the good things.
The crowds at New York Comic Con are always a problem. This year, however, they seemed worse than previous years. Part of that was the inability to exit the building from Artist’s Alley. Despite the presence of doors, people were not allowed to actually use them, either to enter or exit. This meant that the people who were trying to leave the building had to fight through the crowds trying to get to Artist’s Alley, as well as the crowds picking up their passes and get to other parts of the convention.
Or rather, lack of communication. I’d heard mutterings about NYCC not being particularly communicative, but it wasn’t until Sunday morning that I had first hand experience. One of the things I was most looking forward to was meeting the cast of Arrow. And while I was running late anyhow, I figured I’d find the autograph area, and if the line was tolerable, I’d wait. What I hadn’t expected was to locate the line and be told, rather rudely, that I needed a wristband. Wristband? What wristband? No one had mentioned anything about a wristband. Had I known I would need one, I might have made more of an effort to be at the convention early that day. I still might not have made it, but I would have liked to know I couldn’t just get in line and wait.
3) Getting Stuck Outside
I’ve been told that it isn’t unusual for large conventions to hold people outside until other people exit the building, as an attempt to control the size of the crowd. And while it’s frustrating, it makes sense. But to tell someone who is at the convention with a professional press that they can’t enter the building? That makes no sense.
So onto the good things.
1) Kyle Higgins
The current writer of Nightwing was on my list of “people I really want to meet,” but since most of his signings were at the DC booth (aka long waits and massive crowds), I had all but given up. Then on Saturday, I suddenly had some time to myself, and realised he had a signing in Artist’s Alley. So I wandered over to the table, and there was almost no one in line. So I waited around, and a) he recognised what my not-a-costume was supposed to be (Nightwing finger stripes!), b) we talked about costume colour preferences, and c) he actually asked my opinion on possible changes. If I say I was still vibrating from excitement an hour later, I wouldn’t even be slightly exaggerating. It was the highlight of my weekend. Bar nothing.
2) Peter David
A couple of days before the convention, Peter David asked whether people would be interested in buying copies of his Young Justice scripts. As one of the few people to respond (with an emphatic “yes yes yes!”), I was looking forward to meeting the writer of one of my favourite episodes. I wish we could have spoken for longer, but I was already holding up the line, and I just never quite got back to his table.
3) Artist’s Alley
Artist’s Alley is always a highlight, even before I started reading comics. This year I had the pleasure of meeting Christopher Jones, artist on the Young Justice comic; Franco, writer of Tiny Titans; Francis Manapul and Brian Buccellato, writer and artist of the Flash; Marcus To, artist on Red Robin; as well as many other writers and artists. I may have bought some art (aka a lot of art). Far more art than I have space for, in fact. That, of course, doesn’t ever stop me.
All in all, New York Comic Con was a good convention. The bad things were frustrating, but the good things were really good. This won’t be remembered as one of my favourite years, but it certainly wasn’t a complete disaster either.
And there’s always next year to look forward to.
Miscellaneous Pictures of Costumes
I may have also bought some comics (though not as many as I probably could have)