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

March 1, 2007

A Last Few Notes on NYCC 2007

While I'm still collecting links of all types here, I wanted to draw attention to a few blog entries on last weekend's New York Comic-Con, from two cartoonists and a long-time industry veteran that I think bring interesting perspectives. I also have thought about the show's future.

image* Jeff Smith, one of the show's top-tier guests and an advertiser here, posts his first con write-up. What's most compelling to me about what Jeff says concerns his DC Comics signing in support of Shazam! The Monster Society of Evil. First, it's vaguely depressing that DC folks would be surprised by kids' interest in the book considering Bone's success at Scholastic in a version targeted to younger readers and the fact that despite 20 years of editorial efforts to the contrary the Captain Marvel character and basic concept remains highly appealing. Second, one has to remember that conventions have long had a traditional role as market correctives -- by which I mean someone might go to a con for something they're not getting through regular outlets -- so there's no guarantee that these kids' interest will be mirrored in North American comics shops. This is one of those areas DC can't depend on Diamond-generated data to back-up or disprove what they saw.

* Mike Gold has it right, by the way: while the convention was hit with a lot of criticism for shortcomings in administration this year and last (more last year than this to be sure), a more basic way to look at any problems is to question if the convention is simply overbooked and overprogrammed. When a comics show sells out, and people on the premises are crowded to the point of discomfort at times, it may have been less of a good thing that effort was expended and space afforded to get every Jedi Knight through the doors and every genre series novelization writer a place to sign.

image* Evan Dorkin attended and sort of liked it, which I take note of because Dorkin's been around a long, long time, has attended a lot of shows, and has in the past demonstrated a low tolerance for public appearances that are a waste of his time. If he's happy as a local professional to attend the event, I'd say that's a vote of confidence in terms of the show settling in for years to come. Dean Haspiel seems to agree.

* Gold's entry deserves notice because it suggests a principle in play that won't necessarily be corrected by adding more space, as the con plans for 2008. A bigger issue for the show's growth? Cost. An obvious area of growth in forthcoming years are those companies and groups not in the New York area. Some companies not on the East Coast simply couldn't afford to risk exhibiting without knowing if the show would be successful. Now that it's clear that it is, it may not matter because of overall cost. Beyond air travel and lodging, I'm also hearing that table costs will go up. The big factor, though, is shipping to the Javits Center -- I hear that it's a mid-four figure fee for the first thousand pounds. Any company that comes from out of town will have a hard time hand-carrying enough material for a decent table set-up, which activates the shipping cost, which may be enough to keep some of them home. We'll see.

art of kids signing and a monster drawing from Jeff Smith's and Evan Dorkin's blogs, respectively
posted 2:46 am PST | Permalink

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