NY Comic Con & Anime Festival 2011: Exhibitors Hall

Panel, premieres, sneak previews, guests, and are all strong reasons to go to big time comic conventions. But the number one draw of any major comic convention is its dealers room and NYCC is no exception. All the major and most of the smaller comic publishers have booths showing off their latest titles and any animated or live action tie ins they have. There are also video game and toy companies out in full force. And then there are countless booths selling swords, costuming products, nerdy books, boardgames, card games, and anything else even slightly geeky. Also there are dozens of small shops selling everything from classic comics to every conceivable piece of Dr. Who merchandise. And most booths have something free for you can take or at least try to win alongside merchandise you can only get at a con. I did not spend a dime but I left with everything from a picture of me with the Justice League to a collection of housewares. If I had any money it would have quickly disappeared. I am not made of stone and they had many a wondrous item.

Promotional, early, and exclusive merchandise is one of the big draws to a pop culture convention such as NYCC. This is a place where companies show off, talk up, and sell you the consumer on their latest wares. This becomes a rather profitable situation for fans. Many booths aren’t actually selling anything so talking with people has less of an expectation. And anyone who is selling is so overwhelmed that you can browse without bother. In any case, you can leave the exhibitor’s hall weighed down by mountains of stuff whether you wanted to spend money or not.

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NY Comic Con & Anime Festival 2011: The App

Last year I heard pretty much nothing but complainants about the app from the New York Comic Con. As I mentioned in the general impressions report the reception in the Javits Centeris awful.  So when the app was Internet access dependent last year, meaning most people could only use the app when they were outside, making it next to useless inside the con itself. Also someone like me who has a iPod Touch without constant Wi-Fi  could download the app but it would be useless to me a good deal of the time. Thankfully this year they took a good deal of the criticism on the app into account and made something far more usable for everyone.

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NY Comic Con & Anime Festival 2011: General Impressions

The writing has been on the wall for a while now. Since New York Comic Con started in 2006 it was clear they wanted to be the East coast version of the San Diego Comic Convention. New York Comic Con went straight to being a big con even in their first year with a cavalcade of big name guests and over 30,000 attendees. But this year with an estimated attendance of over 100,000 it is clear that while it has still not caught up to San Diego Comic Convention it seems that NYCC has finally gone from being a big con to a megacon. This is for the better and the worse. I know that I heard more grumbling than ever before from people I knew on twitter. For some people this year the convention crossed a line and has become simply unpleasant. But for others it was finally reaching its true potential and they reaped the rewards of that growth.

As someone who attends two or three anime conventions already every year, I wanted New York Comic Con to be a crazy, huge bonanza like the Las Vegas of conventions and this year really felt like that was coming to fruition. It was a place where I spent a lot of money, ran on adrenaline, and sometimes forgot what day it was all the while surrounded with great friends, a-list talent, similarly minded strangers, and a few out of control jerks you hope to never see again. New York Comic Con like any great event is unforgettable but hard to describe and capture for those who did not experience it. Still I’ll try my best to relay the overwhelming weekend experience.

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