Evan Dorkin (evandorkin) wrote,
Evan Dorkin

Consider this a space holder for an eventual update/report on the New York Comic Con, which was pretty much the big, dumb, crazy monster mess of a show I expected, only messier, as I'm sure you've doubtless heard/read about.

From my personal POV, the show itself was actually nothing spectacular. It was just a con. No better, no worse, as far as the content and exhibitors went, as compared to other larger-scale shows. The fact that NY actually/finally had a decently-programmed Wizard-style muscular comics show with guests who can put asses in seats and cash in the till seems to have made some people feel like the second coming has arrived, and it brought action figures and Mila Jovovich along with it. But if you've done even only a few shows of some variety, this really wasn't anything out of the ordinary -- except when compared to other NYC shows of this type, the stuffed but intimate hotel shows of yore, the awful Greenberg moneygrabs or the cruddy Big Apple flea market shows of today (including the National, a Big Apple show on steroids that somehow still manages to have nothing interesting going on unless you're 12 or think like a 12 year-old). Exhibits, sloppy dealers booths, backpacks, some costumes, a few scantily-clad women, a schmuck shouting about deals, lots of toys, PR panels where there's no real discussion of antyhing, movies, lines. No molds broken, and none expected.

The show differed in size (although it wasn't anything like the BEA -- organized by the same promoters -- or, according to folks, the last Wonder Con), the mistakes and the amount of people turned away and turned off. Pissed off people and mishaps gets hearts pounding and modems racing, which means hubbub and noise. But when you boil the failures and successes down, it was really just a comic book convention. And it wasn't San Diego, depsite how some folks might be acting. Not by far, both for good and for bad. The NYCC said more about how lousy all-inclusive comic shows have been in the immediate NYC area since god knows when, rather than anything progessive about itself as a show (I've been hearing good things about Wonder Con -- a show I loathed -- turning itself around this year in an aggressive manner...of course, they also had overflow and had to turn people away...). Which is all fine, really. A whale of a mess show with things to make the punters and exhibitors and dealers happy is fine and all you can expect from a mega-show based around top superhero talent and movie people. You don't expect intimacy, revelation, insight or anything you might get from a small press show or an old-fashioned gymnasium or hotel con. You expect -- and perhaps demand -- bluster, press releases posing as panels, toys, a certain smell, dirty lonmg boxes of unsellable crap, overpriced Golden Age books, some jerk on a megaphone, loud video monitors, bootleg DVDs (though they squelched a lot of that here), major screw-ups (only, yeesh!), cluelessness, a backpack or three to the face and body, and the sense you survived a show rather than experienced it.

I had a really good time, myself, because the problems of the show never touched me. So, no personal axe to grind here, I had fun, screw you, pal. Several folks who might have spent money on my stuff never got inside, but I'm sure they felt worse about it than I did, and I sold some pages and did okay considering I haven't put a book out of my own stuff in several years. For me it was really a social event, I got to see folks from SLG I haven't seen in some time, see a few professionals I haven't seen since I stopped doing shows like SD, Pittsburgh, etc, I bunkered in the SLG camp and got to avoid most of the mess, people I don't like, and the backpack brigades. Emily played with toys and pulled t-shirts out of boxes and stole stuffed animals, she had a good enough time on Friday that we brought her back on Sunday. People were friendly, things were fine, nothing went wrong for us. We had Exhibitor badges and all was well.

There was, however, a constant sense of something going on, a nervous electricity, of people waiting for other shoes to drop. A buzz arose Friday, with people talking about Saturday looking like a storm heading in -- and there was nothing to be done about it. But the storm, if one wqas inside and shielded from it, wasn't palpable -- it just felt like a con inside, except reports kept coming in that this pro couldn't get in, people were being told to go home, folks were livid. All outside, all outside,. Inside everyone was smiles and business as usual. I gots mine, there's a party going on right here, we are the chosen ones. What a shame for the others, but isn't it exciting? For some, it was the excitement that something was actually happening in NYC comics-wise (well, not counting the vibe at the first MOCCA, but that's a different kettle of fish), a big show landed and it was wild and crazy and people couldn't get in. For others, the show landed hard on a lot of poor bastards standing in 23 degree weather with arctic windblasts hitting them and their kids as security guards and cops shouted and even people with tickets were being turned away. Holy fucked, Batman. It seemed that most folks who got in past the situational velvet ropes had a blast. The others just got blasted. If Michael Brown ever got to to organize a comic convention, it might be run something like NYCC.

I think Spurgeon nailed it on the Comics Reporter, the bad didn't mitigate the good, but the good was no excuse for the bad. To paraphrase. A fun show if you can stand the big shows, some can't, I complain but I still like them enough. But I never had survivor's guilt at a convention before. Walking past hundreds of freezing, unhappy people on Sunday with my Exhibitor badge held high made me feel very weird, screw the women and children, I've got a pass to a lifeboat, some indoor heating, and overpriced Nathan's hot dogs. No comic books for you, pal, just minor frostbite on the toes and a $32 parking bill plus other expenses for jack shit. Fucking harsh, this town.

Some particulars and more thoughts later, unless I get bored and decide to skip it. We got our DSL kit and are awaiting the line hook-up on Thursday, which will help things as far as updates go. Roadrunner is finally going bye-bye, thank goodness.

In the meantime, any NYCC stories/horror stories out there, anyone? Feel free.
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