In February, New York Citys Jacob K. Javits Center played host to one of the largest comic book conventions around, The New York Comic-Con. I had the opportunity to attend the show as both a consumer and as demonstrator of Poser and Manga Studio for e-Frontiers booth at the convention. The show was huge, as in really, really BIG! In fact, far bigger than anticipated.
The first of the three days of the show was mostly for professionals and developers to mix and mingle, though the doors did open to the public late in the afternoon. It was a great chance to walk around and get to know everyone. Say what you will about their software, but the folks at e-Frontier are some of the nicest bunch youd ever want to meet. Actually, the majority of the professionals at the show were pretty laid back, open, and friendly. Along with the 'Big Two' (Marvel, D.C.), there were multitudes of independents like Dark Horse Comics and Project: Neptoon. Tokyopop and manga in general, also had a big presence at the show. Even LEGO was there in spirit, if not in body, as they were kind enough to donate a pair of LEGO Bionicle statues to the convention from a previous show held at the Jacob Javits Center. However, despite the large pro turn out, and because of the late start the public was given, both the convention coordinators and the professionals alike were given a false sense of what the weekend would be like.
Despite the large turn out on Friday, it was believed Saturdays show would be equal or perhaps even less in the number of attendees. Things that werent considered in that line of thought were who would be attending that day: Jim Lee, Joe Quesada, and Milla Jovovich, to name a few. Fans lined up as early as 6 a.m. to buy, sell, or trade comics and get a glimpse of their favorite comic creators and film stars. The crowds grew so huge, with no sign of lessening, and in such a short amount of time, that the number of people attending violated fire codes. Anyone not already on the convention floor was forced to wait until it cleared somewhat, or go home, regardless of your status as a creator or consumer. The large crowds and lines that went around the the convention center, which spans three New York City blocks, drew the attention of the media in every form. ABC, FOX, and even G4 attended the show to do stories on the crowd situation and on the convention itself.
As I stated, I was at e-Frontiers booth most of my time at the convention, so I missed out on some of the special events going on, like the Fashion show (attendees dressed as comic/film characters), and various seminars on the state of the industry and starting your own comic company. I did bump into my old friends at MERGE Comics, who were there both to promote their newly re-launched company, and to purchase some much needed inspiration in the form of their favorite comics! While walking around after my time at the booth, I did spy several fans and oddities like all 100-plus Smurfs in a glass case (Gargamel must be happy), Princess Leia Organna, various Storm Troopers, Vash The Stampede, and several ninja straight out of Naruto. There was even a Skeletor and Spider-Man walking around in all their pot-belly glory (lay off the beers, guys).
Sunday was a rather busy day for the e-Frontier booth. I even ended up staying an hour or so after the time Id agreed to leave, just to help out. After I was done and wished the gang well, I took one last walk around the floor to say my final goodbyes. I ran into a few Renderosity members (hey guys), bumped into the developers of the Comic Book Creator software, rubbed elbows with another former MERGE artist, Victor Claudio, at Crazee Comics booth, and got to meet a few of my favorite 2D artists from another website in person. Though I only had about an hour to myself just about each day, I enjoyed every minute I spent at the convention. I even got to sign a few autographs and shake a few hands of folks who recognized me, and spent time with kids from a school in the Bronx, where I gave a career-day demonstration. If nothing else, that alone was worth it. Hope to see more of you at next years show!
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Teyon Alexander [Teyon] is a Renderosity Front Page News Staff Columnist.
Also serves as Moderator of Renderosity's 3D Modeling, Comics Corner, and Softimage XSI forums.
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Great recap! I was there, unfortunately, only on Friday. It was great. I actually spent about an hour behind the table with the e-Frontier gang. I had a long conversation with Daryl Wise, and he asked me to play around with Poser on-screen for passers-by to see. They were a really nice group of people, and it was great to get to meet them. I'll definitely be there next year, and for all three days next time. Hopefully, they will spread it out more, so it isn't so crowded. The JCC is huge, but they only made use of a small section of it. I can't wait for next year!
I'm so angry because this is my first time I have missed out on all shows in NY, especially comic or anime cons for that matter, because I choose to moved out here in Indiana, I'm hoping to see f a comic con can be set up here soon but need to meet up with the right ppl, also I have some vendors pals who I can talk to about. I wish I had some comic posters.... =0(