Hello everyone, its been awhile and I apologize for that. I’ve been wrapped up with an art project (The Straw Hat crew as different colored Lantern Corps) over at DMG -> MP (my art blog) and then I attended NYCC/NYAF this weekend.
This was my first experience at the amalgam convention and while I am disappointed that I never got to attended either of them seperately, it dawned on me that this was a monumental occasion to attend the first convention that represented both fandoms. Although one could argue exactly how much of the same coverage NYAF got over NYCC. For the most part, the American Comics community, as well as the television, films and gaming communities, dominated not only the attention of the convention goers but largely the amount of floor space that was taken up. As someone who is a fan of both worlds of content, I was left a bit perplexed; it was very easy to find the DC & Marvel booths, toys & single issues, but I really had to dig deep to find the manga and their subsequent publishers booths. Vertical, the publisher that is increasingly becoming the fan favorite among Manga readers, was all the way in the small press section, receiving much less visibility than it deserves to.
If you were there for NYAF and not on the show room floor, than you could undoubtedly be found in the lower levels of the 1E convention hall. Packed to the gils with fan drawings of Bishonen, Haruhi Cosplay and a complete performance stage, you knew where you were right when you hopped off the escalator. It was a like a miniature version of what I think attracts a lot of people (especially tweens and younger teens) to an Anime Con in the first place; the sense of a community of people who will accept and appreciate this special interest of yours. Who won’t ignore but applaud you if you know all the words to your favorite theme . In a way though, it really segregated them though; that smaller community was sequestered to that one area of the convention center. Is that what we really want to see in the future of our conventions? A segregation of fandom or do we want to see fans of all types and ages merging together? I, for one, would like to see more a mixing pot of fandom; I think both sides of American and Japanese have a lot that they can learn from each other. We aren’t that different after all.
Moving away from the one really negative thing about NYCC/NYAF, the sheer amount of panels was amazing. They ranged from enormous discussions and premieres (I missed the panel about the new Green Lantern television show) to small more personal discussions. The three that stand out the most to me are:
- Comics/Graphic Novels that are Good for Kids , which thankfully wasn’t a discussion about content as much as it was a discussion about the literacy of children and their parents in this day and age. They did choose some great titles at the end but it was really enlightening.
- The History of Superhero Movies: Past, Present and Future, which is just as fun as it sounds. Historian Eddy Friedfeld has an expansive and very cohesive presentation prepared for this panel, which showcases a lot of great footage throughout the years of all the different incarnations of Heroes in film. I would recommend this to anyone.
- Comics Events that Really Work, where Christopher Butcher of the internet and Beguiling comics in Toronto, presents simple but extremely effect examples of fun ways to get people in your store and in the local comics community.
All the panels I attended or participated in (I did a Culinary Manga panel with Erin Finnegan & Noah Fulmor) were educational and worth my time and all the ones I missed, I heard we’re just the same. It seems that NYCC is very selective about what they choose for events and I think that goes a long way.
Finally, I have three thoughts I’d like to end with and I will get the funny ones out of the way first, to save the sentimentality.
- I can never tell if eyepatches at Conventions are real or not and that irks me a bit. I understand that most of them are probably for show but sometimes you just have to wonder.
- If you are looking to lose weight, attend every con that you can. I was on my feet for atleast 5 to 6 hours for the whole day and was so consumed by what was going on that I ate significantly less than I normally do (which for those of you who don’t know me is a lot)
- The crowd here, was the best that I’ve ever experienced. I met so many people just in, around and outside the center (I’m sure being dressed as Dr. Who helped) but I had great conversations with a lot of publishers and retailers, ending with me always handing out a business card. I can’t wait to stay in contact.
All in all, I can’t wait to attend this Con again. Right after I recover from it 😛 Until next post, please enjoy this picture of me with other Dr’s.