Friday, February 6, 2009

Daily Thoughts, New York Comic Con

Pierre-Auguste Renoir Madame Monet Reading Le Figaro, 1872, 54x72cm. Lisbon, Fundacao Calouste Gulbenkian Museu.

Daily Thoughts

I am going to the Jacob Javits Center in Manhattan for New York Comic Con this morning.

On the way to the conference, I finished reading Halo, The Cole Protocol by Tobias Buckell. Then I started reading Six Hours Past Thursday by Jack Payne. There is an inscription inside the front cover of the book dated 3/11/05 "To the staff, friends, and patrons of the Stonehill College Library. I am honored by your invitation to join your circle. Thank you for welcoming me"-- Jack Payne. The book came all the way from Eastham, Massachusetts.

The conference was at the Jacob Javits Center, because I was going on my own time, I decided to skip the panels and just walk around and look at the conference floor. There was a nice professional lounge in back with coffee and popcorn and tables to sort through things. I picked up a variety of buttons and similar things to use as giveaways for the young adult programming.

There was a very long line of professional attendees. I had to wait about an hour to get in. The conference floor was packed with people. I was surprised by some of the things I saw. There were a lot of video games being displayed that are based on comics, as well as several films based on comic books. In addition, there were a variety of different collectible card games other than Magic the Gathering being promoted.

Many people were in costume. Lots of Star Wars costumes, some Otaku (manga costumes), some video game costumes (Halo was popular) and a few character costumes from comic books. A lot of people had light saber props or futuristic science fiction weaponry toys. People were taking pictures of people in costume. There were a lot of people wandering around with video cameras as well.

There were many vendors selling comic books. Some of them were selling $1 comics, and 3 for a $1 comics. Lots of the older comic books were being deeply discounted up to 50% off. There appears to be a huge glut of superhero comics from the 1980s and 1990s which makes most of them not worth anything. This is good if you just want to read comic books or get something as a present, but not so great for people who are hoping to make money off of old comic books.

Most of the publishers were focused on seling book length graphic novels more than anything else as well as books on how to draw, write comics, draw manga, animate films, and the history of comics. I think they are finding this much more lucrative than selling individual comic books.

I spent a little bit of money and bought a few comic books, Death Rattle 1, 2, and 3 by Kitchen Sink and a few copies of Max Allan Collins hard boiled detective comic Ms. Tree.

I had a chance to go to the artists corner. I did not see Kyle Baker. The artist who I was most interested in seeing Colleen Doran who writes A Distant Soil, was packed with people. Also Peter David, a writer who started out with Star Trek had quite a few people at his table. I bought #1-5 of Death Dealer published by Image Comics for $10. The artist and the writer signed the copies on the front cover. In total, I spent $15 buying things and got into the conference for free.

There was a lot of original artwork being sold. They had a very large set of artists tables. Most of the artists were freelancers who worked for a variety of companies. I did not see as many older artists as you might expect. Most of the artists were professionals in the twenty to fifty age range. There wasn't a lot of x-rated material. There was some cheesecake, things like Betty Page, and pinup girl books. Some people were dressed up a little bit in that style, but not overly revealing.

The major publishers were there, Dark Horse, Top Shelf, DC, Marvel, NBM, Fantagraphics, Oni, Tokyopop, Del Rey Manga, along with a variety of minor and independent publishing houses. There were also quite a few science fiction publishers, Tor, Bantam Spectra, Bantam Del Rey, Wiley, Avon Eos, and many others.

I picked up a variety of publishers catalogs, Rosen Graphics, NBM Spring 2009, Papercutz, Abrams Comic Art, Disney, Titan Books, Top Shelf, and Dark Horse. I also picked two advanced reading copies for me to read, Linnea Sinclair, Hope's Folly and A. Lee Martinez, Monsters A Novel.

I am also donating six new paperbacks which were given as freebies, as well as a graphic novel, Method Man and a trade paperback, Iron Man Beneath The Armor by Andy Mangels to the library which were free.

I got a chance to ask about a few things which I saw, A Dance With Dragons by George R.R. Martin probably won't be out until past Fall 2009. Also, there will be a new League of Extraordinary Gentlemen graphic Novel, 1901, probably in September of 2009. They are releasing it in March of 2009 in the United Kingdom.

I was hoping to see some of my colleagues, but there were so many people that it was hard to recognize anyone. I recognized a few of the vendors from other conferences I had been at.

I enjoyed my brief stay at the conference. I spent about five hours there which was enough. Some of it can be a bit odd. Sometimes you wonder about all the different little figurines and statues which people buy. One of the most interesting products I saw at the conference were personalized computer thumb drives in the shape of different cartoon characters.


dennis said...

Sounds like a great time! NY Comic Con was on the agenda for me this year, but decided to pass to save some money (travel + lodgings + comics for sale = me spending some good money).

Book Calendar said...

I am not far from Manhattan and I got a professional pass so going there wasn't much money. No need for lodgings. I go to Manhattan fairly regularly.

One thing I did hear was that San Diego Comic Con was even bigger and better.