New York Comic Con is the only convention I attend where the Exhibitors Hall is one of the main draws for me. This is not just a place to shop, though you can do plenty of it if you so desire, companies come to try to get a little piece of your attention whether through demos or free samples. Some booths don’t have much to sell at all beyond an exclusive or a pre-order so you’re free to have fun, explore, and talk without too much pressure. Of course there are also dealers who will happily take your money.
This year also saw the Artist Alley really explode into its own destination, too. This made creators and comics feel like it had a huge presence at NYCC. And although I’ve never been myself, others have said it was a better space and focus than you see you at San Diego.
As much as we talk about panels, guests, and special events one of the biggest lures for most people to a comic convention like this is the Exhibitors Hall and Artist Alley. That is where you get your exclusive merchandise, sneak previews, hot demos, early releases, original art, one of a kind prints and tchotchkes, and all the free swag you can carry. If you go in the Exhibitors Hall at the right time of the day it makes rush hour Calcutta seem placid. But if you have a Thursday pass it is still busy but not anywhere near as insane as the weekend. Even with the increase of 4 days badges it seemed tranquil compared to the main days.
But if you want to chat a bit with your favorite artist and buy some of their art then Artist Alley was far more accommodating and personal. It was still packed but it was never as insane as the Exhibitors Hall. But either area has plenty of places for you to happily give away for money for treasures in return. But there is also good deal to take in (and take away) even if you can’t spend a dime.
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