How New York Comic-Con 2013 Went Down
NYCC may not be quite as big as San Diego Comic-Con, but it's still vast and impressive
Chuck Cook Photography
New York Comic-Con ended yesterday at 5 p.m., and boy, was there a ton of stuff going on. Read on for just a few of the highlights of how it went.
Room For Improvement
NYCC had some problems this year, all of which can be improved upon or completely fixed by next year, should the organizers choose to focus on them.
Friday began with New York Comic-Con being all over the media for the wrong reason. Attendees claimed foul when their Twitter accounts posted enthusiastic "so happy to be at NYCC"-type messages all by themselves. It turns out that if attendees chose to link their badges to their social media accounts upon registration, they were also consenting to allow NYCC to post "on their behalf."
Of course, when companies want to post "on your behalf" it's usually not in your best interests; it's so they can spam all of your friends. Fortunately, when the bad press started coming out and NYCC started coming under fire from the likes of Wil Wheaton and Marvel Comics writer Matt Fraction, the convention organizers discontinued the practice immediately.
There were issues with shuttle service to and from the hotels as well. We personally had our shuttle bus blow right past our stop while we were waiting to be picked up. Other times, the shuttle didn't show up at all after 30 minutes. There were no signs at the stops and no apparent adherence to the estimated "15-20 minute" route schedule. We gave up on the shuttle completely after two days and resorted to cab service and walking for the remainder of the con.
The final issue was the reports of cosplayers being harassed by "camera crews" for a male-oriented You Tube channel. There was at least one complaint that NYCC organizers did nothing even after extensive information about the offenders was provided.
The creeps have since been identified and outed, as reported by Boing Boing. Welcome to the power of social media, jerks.
Fortunately, the con was more fun and informative than troubled, so let's take a look at some of what went down.
Artist Alley at New York Comic-Con
Chuck Cook Photography
Many comic book companies are based in New York and that shows in the quality of the art and artists displaying their wares. Posters, original comic book art, graphic novels and random pop-culture themed crafts abounded. Noted Star Wars craft book author, former LucasFilm employee and serial Vandal-Eyeser Bonnie Burton was amongst those downstairs checking out Artist's Alley, which she told us was her favorite area of the convention.
Jimmie Robinson is the creator of the racy Bomb Queen comic book. We spoke a bit at his table about that self-empowered and chaotic character. "She's a villain and makes no apologies for being one," he said.
(Side note: Jimmie actually rescued my San Diego Comic-Con badge this past July when I unknowingly lost it getting out of a cab and saved my entire con experience. The guy is pure class.)
Especially eye-catching were Jim Calafiore's splattered paintings of the faces of iconic superheroes.
Chevrolet shows off versions of its Sonic with nerd appeal
Auto Manufacturers Get Into the Game
Yep, most nerds drive, and Chevrolet had a few "dream cars" to show. Examples of the Chevy Sonic was dolled up in comic themes (our favorite was the Hellboy car). A white Camero was positioned near Artist's Alley, where five different artists decorated the vehicle with their original sketches over the course of the convention.
Nearby, the car company also sponsored a very cool photo booth where attendees could not only get six rapid-fire photos taken, but also both a printout and an animated GIF of the session.
Some of the winners of the Marvel cosplay competition
Chuck Cook Photography
Marvel's Costume Competition
On Saturday, Cosplay Hero Yaya Han Marvel Comics judged the Marvel costume competitions, along with a few Marvel employees. Attendees walked onto the stage to music and then give their best pose so the audience could snap photos of their work. Kids, adults and even a dog walked the stage to show off their handiwork.
The Best In Show winner for the competition that we attended was a guy dressed as Loki who also looked ridiculously like Tom Hiddleston. Now that's just unfair.
A seriously good Loki said he made his costume himself... assuming he's not being completely in-character.
Chuck Cook Photography
Don't forget to check out our cosplayer gallery for many other costumes!
Actor Zachary Levi and co-founder David Campbell have built Nerd HQ into a huge event during San Diego Comic-Con. Their booth at New York Comic-Con is the first time the concept has been expanded to a different convention. It's a feasible venue for Levi, as he's currently based in New York for his leading role in the Broadway production of First Date.
For a donation of $20 to Operation Smile, attendees had an opportunity to get a autograph with or a signature from various celebrities, including Levi, Greg Grunberg and Seth Green. They were also able to purchase clever, nerd-themed merchandise from the supporting business concept, "The Nerd Machine."
Pop culture-themed conventions are fun but they can also get very serious. Nerds, after all, are defined as people who delve deeply into serious subject matters. Here are three of the panels that delved into science and social issues.
• The panel on the follow-up series to Cosmos: A Personal Voyage was standing room-only. The original television series, originally hosted by Carl Sagan, The new show is hosted by Neil deGrausse Tyson and is entitled Cosmos: A Spacetime Odyssey and will debut in the early part of 2014.
• The Comic Chix panel focused on female equality concerns, like sexual harassment, success in the writing, publishing and entertainment industries, business networking and self-confidence.
• A panel was hosted on anti-bullying. Various anti-bullying organizations presented ideas on how to help and victims of bullying shared personal experiences on how it affected their lives.
And all of this was just a drop in the bucket of what all went on at New York Comic-Con. Problems aside, the con had a great deal to offer for attendees of varying interests. Will we go back in 2014? If the opportunity presents itself, you betcha.
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