More and more you will hear the joke/thinly veiled criticism/complaint that there is no actual comics related material at conventions named San Diego Comic Con and New York Comic Con. While that is not exactly true it does seem like the main draws to both events is the events centered around video games, movies, and TV shows. There is still comic related booths, panels, and merchandise but it all seems to get drowned out in a sea of other media. The other media are guests at the party that everyone wants to talk to but comics are the guy giving the party but still being ignored in the corner next to the veggie dip. Even when the big movie being presented at a convention is based on a graphic novel it always seems a world apart.
In some ways Special Edition NYC ‘s mission statement is to get back to the brass tacks of comic conventions about comics. In that regard it was a 100% success. There was not a booth or panel for a movie, show, or game in sight. The panels were all about comics and so was most everything on the show floor. There was a booth talking about local food in the area but other than that most everything in the dealer’s room section was either comic companies, people buy and selling back issues and trade paperbacks, and comics related merchandise and services. All the panels were on topic and run by someone who was a part of the industry. Even menagerie of styles that was Artist Alley was made up of people having some section of their wares that was American comic related.
This meant for better and for worse the convention embodied its laser focus.
This year ReedPop, the company that runs mega-cons like NYCC and PAX East, decided to test the waters for putting on a smaller, comics-only focused convention in the heart of NYC. It has been a long time since I was at a con’s debut, but this was in a familiar place with a similar set-up to NYCC’s Artist Alley.
I was only able to attend on Sunday, but as soon as I entered I realize this was really a one day type of con. This wasn’t detrimental in my mind, it was kind of peaceful. Continue reading