Tom Spurgeon's Web site of comics news, reviews, interviews and commentary

October 11, 2012

The Never-Ending, Four-Color Festival: Cons, Shows, Events


By Tom Spurgeon

* big show weekend. One of them is NYCC, aka "The Great Boozening." Another is APE.

* NYCC is an intriguing show, although one I'm not particularly interested in attending right now. They won't miss me.

NYCC has a ton of strengths. It has the Fall season pretty much to itself in terms of shows that size, and the New York location offers an array of advantages. For instance, the local publishers all participate, and you get a big European contingent because flying to New York is easier (and perhaps more fun) than going to the West Coast. It feels to me that publishers are investing more in the show's natural ability to drive press, which I think is a huge advantage for how shows like that settle into the wider imagination of the reading and professional community. The running-around scene is pretty great, too, obviously. In fact, in some ways it feels like the old Chicago show's drinking and carousing values have settled on the New York con, only at NYCC you get to carry on in New York as opposed to Rosemont, Illinois. The lack of the alt-comics crowd and the boutique publishers that perhaps best serve that community are pretty damn noticeable 1) if you like those kinds of comics, 2) if you just prefer shows with that aspect to them even if it's not something you engage yourself. They pull in a lot of manga-related interest at NYCC. They're doing just fine. I still have very little interest in going, at least the way it's currently constituted, but not every show should be of interest to me.

* APE 2012 should do well for some of the same reasons that small-press shows have done generally well this year: basically, that that community wants good shows right now and is in a place to provide them. What it means to me more directly is that this is the final stop on the mini-convention tour for the Hernandez Brothers in their 30th Year celebration. That just kills me, the 30 years. They made some of the best comics 30, 25, 20, 15, 10 and five years ago. They make some of the best comics now. All hail.

* after these shows close down we get a quick run of compelling small-press shows: Short Run, The Projects and BCGF. Then we're reasonably on hold, at least from the North American standpoint, until late January and the whole damn thing starts over. That Angouleme will be noteworthy for spilling into February and for a colossal shift in Grand Prize winners in terms of North American interest. And so it goes.

* I think someone told me the Fabletown And Beyond convention made some announcements and advancements in the last several days. I haven't checked out that site to know if it's changed or been updated, but it seems like they're set to go for next year. I'm encouraged by people trying variations on standard convention models, and one revolving around a specific property is one such obvious variation.
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