October 10, 2013
A Few Notes On New York Comic Con 2013
I don't have a lot to say about New York Comic Con
, the Reed show that roars to life this weekend at the Javits Center and really runs in a "descend upon the city" way from Wednesday PM until Monday AM. A lot of people have a blast at that show. It's become a major show for the mainstream comic book industry, and could potentially end up the
major show. It's also been very successful drawing a crowd. There are some things that occur to me, though, that I thought I'd mention here in scattershot fashion.
1) This year's New York Con will likely show off how big a presence within comics that comiXology has now.
My inbox is already full with PR from the digital comics distributor
, which, with over 100 employees and a dominant leader of their particular market, is a New York comics company right up there with Marvel
and Hearst/King Features
in terms of industry-wide importance. They presented to the press this morning, so I think their place in the world of comics is something on their mind, too. You might not think of it at first, but comiXology is also fairly well set-up to benefit from conventions in the larger sense than the flea-market aspects that still drive a lot of folks' presence there. They don't have physical items to sell, but they're nicely suited for just about everything else a convention can provide. They can do on-the-floor promotions. They can use the news attention paid the show to do things for their general readership. They can partner with whatever player they perceive as being a big deal at this show, such as their Walking Dead promotion at NYCC
. They can also throw a few parties and have a billion business meetings. If all we get from DC and Marvel this weekend is new comics starring old characters, I'll be ready to call the convention for the kids from the digital side of the tracks.
2) You should go to as many off-site events as will have you.
It's a good weekend for parties and random socializing, because that's something that New York does very well. If your involvement with comics is such that socializing with other members of the wider comics community makes sense, I have to imagine you'll want to do some of that this weekend. Heidi MacDonald has the basic skeleton of what's out there for people to do
3) Maybe go buy that Paul Pope book.
I like Paul Pope
quite a bit, and he's one of our talented comics-makers that for whatever reason hasn't quite the book-to-book publishing history to match his prodigious skill-set. So I'm glad whenever he has a book out -- this one is from First Second and is called Battling Boy
-- even though I haven't caught up with it yet. I hope that a hit book would get Paul to focus on book-making now that he's in at the start of the afternoon of his lifetime in art. He's also a New York guy as only someone that moved there from the Midwest can be, so a launch for him seems appropriate to that show.
4) If I Could Only Go To One Table, And It Had To Be Someone With Whom I've Never Shared A Meal
I'd go meet the Comic-Con India People
. One, that's of course a potentially significant market and the homegrown talent seems to become doubly compelling every six months. Two, I want to go there so I would be sucking up to those people as much as is humanly possible.
5) There are fun elements to pursuing comics at a show that features a wide variety of mass-media entertainment.
Last I checked there wasn't a single comics person in the revolving array of pictures headlining the con site. That doesn't mean there aren't tons and tons of comics people on hand. As the bulk of the show runs through a central concourse-type section that's hard to negotiate, more comics-maker than usual are in the small press and artist's table section. You should do a close inspection via walk-through; I bet you'll find someone of whom you're a fan. There are even a few alt-comics sorts: Peter Kuper is local and usually makes it to the show; Bob Fingerman can be found at the Image booth or wherever they're set up; Ditto Evan Dorkin and Dark Horse. Zack Soto and a bunch of the west coast alt-guys
made the trip so hopefully they'll do well just by virtue of being a bit different than the bulk of what's available. But just about everywhere there are comics people you're likely to find quality comics people.
6) Enjoy New York City
The last time I attended a New York Comic Con I spent a lot of time away from the show. This included hitting the city
's great comic shops
, nearly all of which are reasonably close to subway stops you can figure out by taking a few minutes with Google Maps. And of course there is a lifetime of other thigns to do there, from sporting events to opportunities across a wide spectrum of art forms to just kind of walking around with your mouth open. One thing that's great about comics shows is the opportunity to get to know the more interesting cities in which they take place, and certainly that's true of a show like NYCC.
7) Attend Programming
I don't all the way get the NYCC programming strategy. I hear some folks saying they can't get a single panel and yet I read listings that suggest some companies can nab a panel apiece for individual comic book series. In fact, I'm not sure the show has figured out exactly what it does best, not yet. Still, there's certainly a number of opportunities to get off your feet a bit. Start here
I guess overall I would just emphasize that a lot of comics people attend this show, and there are a ton of opportunities for you to interact with comics and comics culture while you're on hand. Take advantage. Stay safe. Enjoy the entire experience.
posted 10:00 am PST
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