New York Comic Con 2013: Be it Ever so Grandiose, There’s no Place Like You.

After 8 of these events, it’s safe to say that most convention veterans know what they’re in for with this show. Walking, Crowds, Lines , Walking, Overpriced Food, Standing in Line Overpriced Drinks, Buying stuff in the Exhibit Hall, Standing for Pictures if you’re a Cosplayer and loads of walking are what everyone anticipates. However, New York Comic Con is the type of show that has so much going on, that its’ possible that those aspects are the only commonality most will share during the weekend. Being a melting pot of every type of fandom you can think of, NYCC’s scope is one that you can’t be helped overwhelmed by, adding to its’ unique flavor, becoming the main reason why I still look forward to this show.

NYCC 2013 Thursday: Opera Celes

Opera Celes

Over the years, NYCC’s growing notoriety has attracted more and more attention, which in turn has both increased its’ attendance and attractiveness to exhibitors of all kinds. On the attendance front, this weekend had the special distinction of matching Comic Con International’s numbers with attendance reported to be at 130,000. Even If we get a final number count that’s less than this, getting into that ball park with only 8 editions under their belt is simply impressive. Speaking of attendance, I couldn’t help but notice that the convention was less congested than it was in 2012. Of course, people will debate over whether it was the improved traffic control or the new (and controversial) RFID, but considering that I could move of my own free will on Saturday, I think I’ll take that as a win for the time being.

NYCC 2013 - Exhibit Hall

Exhibit Hall

Going back to exhibitors, one of the greatest assets NYCC has always had is the great variety that both Artists Alley and the Exhibition Hall Sports, and this year’s edition of New York Comic Con sported that same expected variety. Joining the usual players in Marvel, Image, Dark Horse and the other major comic book companies, were multiple Generous PC Gaming Kiosks where both tourney and casual play raged all weekend. Console gaming was also not left out of the picture as Nintendo and Capcom were the feature players at this show. While both were showing off their latest faire, Nintendo’s display might have taken some by surprise by the demographic variety it showed. From the all-ages faire of titles like Pokemon X and Y, to the more “mature” attractions like Bayonetta, there was a reason for fans of all tastes to be present. Outside of videogames, Anime was mainly represented by Viz and Funimation, non-comic book publishing was represented by houses like Tor and Penguin and Telvision/Movies were represented by many properties of all sizes. Add that along with the numerous opportunities to meet stars and the diverse offerings of the Artist Alley helped to make Comic Con an even better experience.

NYCC 2013 Saturday - Lady Thor

Lady Thor

Despite all the variety, one of the best aspects about New York Comic is that the show ultimately remains about the very medium that this show is named after. Throughout the weekend there were announcements of future projects from a myriad of comic companies ranging from the most prolific to the refreshingingly ambitious of upstarts. To go along with those announcements, many of the conventions points of interest not only featured comic book characters that are starring in the big Movie productions, but featured creators of the stories that will be pushing the medium forward for the medium’s sake, which is vitally important for comics to remain fresh. Even the biggest attractions in the main panel room still had something to do with the medium that made their cross media success possible. If San Diego Comic Con has become bigger than the comics, then NYCC is making its’ claim to become the biggest Comic Book show of the year.

NYCC 2013 Friday - Bioshock Infinite

Elizabeth from Bioshock Infinite

Even with all of the great memories this show provided, it would be wrong for me not to mention the issue that marred the convention for many. Over the weekend, numerous women (most notably, Ms. Bethany Maddock) were approached by a “Press Group” going by the name of Man Banter who had used their connection to Sirus XM to gain press credentials. During the time they were stalking the halls of the Javitz Center, they engaged in numerous acts of harassment guised in the form of Interviews. Since the time the first account of their actions was published, the group had been banned from all Reed Pop Expo Shows and their parent company severed ties from the group. Despite the convention taking place more than 6 weeks ago, Tess Fowler’s revelation of a famous comic book creator’s actions are a timely reminder that there is no statue on limitations on discussing how women are treated in the geek world. We can only hope that the parent company of NYCC sits down and redefines their harassment policies in a clear and detailed manner.

NYCC 2013 Friday - The Doomkitty and I

The Doomkitty and I

Overall, I couldn’t ask for a better way to end my convention. With all of the less than ideal that goes with it, 2013’s edition of New York Comic Con was the type of convention weekend that comes once every few years. Its energy provided the type of experience that makes you wish every convention was like this one, giving you a reason to continue going to these shows. Hopefully next year provides a similarly worth while experience.

 

 

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