Special Edition NYC 2015

hisui_icon_4040 When I was but a wee little lad I would go to conventions. I went mostly to science fiction and comic conventions. I remember my mother taking me to the old Creation conventions in Manhattan most of all.  They were small affairs that mostly took up a single floor of a Manhattan hotel. The main draw was the dealer’s room and the guest signings. There were occasionally a small smattering of panels and some screening rooms but I can’t recall ever doing much with that end of the convention. I mostly came to see whatever Star Trek and Dr.Who guests they had. Our main goal was getting an autograph of whichever celebrities we wanted. Then we would browse the Dealer’s Room a bit and maybe buy a trinket or two. After that we went home. They were mostly two-day affairs but we almost always went on Saturday or Sunday but rarely both days.

In the days before ubiquitous Internet these events were far more important. Getting news, merchandise, autographs was not that easy. There were newsletters, fanzines, and mail order catalogs but you had to do quite a bit of digging to find them and their selection could be very hit or miss. The smaller your fandom the more you had to hunt for anything you might have wanted. Also anything from overseas usually meant you had to search twice as hard and three times as much. The convenience of going to a convention and just being able to get so much of what you wanted, and instantly, all in one place was invaluable. Today you can just pop on the web and get any of that without a second thought but back then it was a very different story.

In lots of ways Special Edition reminds me of those old conventions. It is not a complete throwback. The panel selection seems a bit more robust and everything seems a bit more refined thanks to several decades of conventions teaching everyone some valuable lessons. As someone who is more used to the pomp and circumstances of more elaborate affairs like NYCC and Otakon there is a distinctly more laid back vibe. This is not a full on Relaxacon but the convention is clearly more humble than something like I-CON or AnimeNEXT. It is a professionally run Castle Point Anime Convention for comics.

(Actually I wonder if the panel selection is actually richer today or did I just ignore panels more as a tween and teen?)

narutaki_icon_4040 Special Edition’s first year (2014) seemed like they overestimated their attendance and presence. This year, they’ve reinvented themselves in a difference space with more of a low-key vibe. Don’t get me wrong, the North Pavilion of the Javits was (is) a great space but this con is still a baby and this year felt more like the beginning.  Continue reading

Crime Scene Investigations #007: Special Edition NYC

This is a bonus segment of the Speakeasy Podcast we like to call Crime Scene Investigations. These are random bonus podcasts that we record about various events. There is no regular schedule for these. We will put them up as quickly as we can when the opportunity for one occurs. 

This is the second year for this fledgling convention and we could tell it learned a few things from the year before. There was a noticeable uptick in attendance this year but was it all due to those enticing NYCC tickets?

Crime Scene Investigations #007:
Special Edition NYC

Special Edition NYC 2014: Panels

hisui_icon_4040 It would be easy to assume from the General Impressions post that if panels existed at all they would be small little affairs mostly made up C-listers, has-beens, and wannabe big name fans trying to fill an anemic schedule. Truth be told while none of the panels were announcing major launches or changes in any series (those types of reveals are saved for SDCC and NYCC) there was a solid line up of recognizable names giving panels. I will never claim to even be half the American comics expert that Kate is even I recognize names like Chris Claremont, Gail Simone, Amy Reeder, and David Petersen. They are names that are big enough or lauded enough that I come to know them by nerd osmosis if nothing else. So while I’m sure a bunch of the guests would be instantly know by someone like Ed Sizemore or Eric Ma the fact that I know people shows that is was a strong lineup.

Saturday was the more compelling panel lineup. I spent the whole day in panels rooms other the brief time I spent scouting out the show floor before panels started. Sunday was a little weaker but such is the fate of most Sundays when it comes to paneling. I could have gone to more panels but I decided that I would spend some time really delving deep into artist alley with Kate. That said all the panel seemed well attended. While I was never in a room that had to turn people away all the room were at least half filled at all times. For a smaller first year convention that is a good turn out especially since the rooms were decently sized.

One final note before I start talking about the content itself: I never asked any questions at the Q&A section of any panel. All the panels had at least a small amount of Q&A at the end but there was never that long pause of death for any of the panels where no one asks anything until the panelists have to end early or start giving pity questions. While the questions were your normal gambit of variable quality they were always coming from an engaged audience.

Continue reading