My Crash Course in the World of NY Comic-Con

Alison Morris - February 12, 2009

Last Saturday Gareth and I spent the weekend in NYC, where he signed copies of The Merchant of Venice on Saturday at New York Comic-Con. We spent just that one day at the show, but that was plenty long enough for me to get a solid dose of life at a "Con" which was, as I expected, QUITE different from life at, say, BookExpo.

One thing both shows have in common, though, is (ta da!) the Javits Center. I confess to loving that the building’s entryway allows in so much natural light. Ah, if only the convention rooms were that way. 

Below we see the big entrance to the Con which, as you can see, was VERY well attended. So well attended, in fact, that all tickets to the show were sold out at the door when we got to Javits at 10:30 am on Saturday. (Some 77,000 people attended the show over the course of its 3 days!) Gareth and I already had badges, fortunately. Our friends Tim Decker and Cliff Young were told to hoof it over to Midtown Comics, where they were rewarded with two of the last tickets the store had left. (Whew!)

We cruised the aisles of exhibitors, which included comics publishers, book publishers, video game companies, and vendors selling action figures & toys, t-shirts, and more. There were even some booths selling original artwork. I especially enjoyed thumbing through the albums that contained original drawings and paintings by Bill Sienkiewicz. The downside was that moving from booth to booth meant shuffling our way through crowds like this one.

The upside was that the crowd was filled (FILLED!) with people dressed like this:

Or like this:

Or like Catwoman, below. See how popular she is? At the Con, no one shied nervously away from people in costume, like those of us at "typical" book conventions are often wont to do. No, at NY Comic-Con it felt almost strange to NOT be in costume. In fact, I do believe that next year my pal Tim Decker will be dressed like Princess Leia in a metal bikini. (Isn’t that right, Tim?)

(Reality check moment: There is an entire website devoted to Princess Leia’s metal bikini. Seriously. The fact that this surprises me means I am probably not yet ready to tackle a full 3 days at ANY big Comic Con.)

It was fun to see several familiar faces at the Con, including those of the delightful Kirsten Cappy of Curious City, the wonderful Diane Roback (my "editor" at PW), and the seemingly all-knowing Neal Porter of Roaring Brook Press, who escorted a small group of us over to the First Second booth where for the LIFE of me I could NOT get a decent shot of both Gina (left) and Calista (right), who were ably managing the large crowds of people jostling my camera arm — hence the unfortunate photos. You can see better pics in First Second’s photostream on Flickr.

What you won’t see there, though, is the ENORMOUS seemingly homemade Incredible Hulk costume in front of which Gareth and I posed for this lovely shot, which I joked would be PERFECT on our wedding invitations. (I said "JOKED," people. JOKED!)

Better still is this one, of me, Tim, and Gareth, though I do think it would be still more entertaining if Tim was wearing that metal bikini. Perhaps next year.

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