8 Things to Love and Hate About New York Comic Con

8 Things to Love and Hate About New York Comic Con

It's not all rainbows and sunshine, but don't let anybody tell you that NYCC is anything less than a great time.

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The thing that gets me about the social media posts is that they're not the typical promos. Correct me if I'm wrong (I use social media VERY lightly) but aren't most promo posts are of the sort "I voted for X" or "I went to (URL) to get a free thing!" which are consistent across users. They're really obviously automated posts. These NYCC ones try to fake being "in character" and have multiple permutations so people won't see six identical ones pop up from different people.

The whole thing looked kinda slimy from the get-go. No wonder people were mad.

I went to NYCC in 2011, mostly for NYAF (New York Anime Festival that was rolled in with NYCC, another questionable decision which just crowded stuff more), and while it was cool to be part of the "crowd" and experience with so many other people, when a con gets that big, it starts to lose some of the real appeal of going to the con. I don't mind showing up an hour or so early for things, but when you have to blank out your whole day to go to a screening or panel, it gets ridiculous. I still had fun roaming the halls and the various artist booths, but that's only fun for about a day. I could almost say I had more fun doing stuff outside the Javits Center in midtown Manhattan. It just sort of has a sterile atmosphere compared to other, medium-sized cons that attempt to go after niches as opposed to doing EVERYTHING in one con, movies, TV shows, video games, anime, and more or less every other avenue of nerdom.

From what I hear at least San Diego is significantly worse. I think, unfortunately, the Comic Cons are threatened to just become more sterile corporate events instead of "for fans by fans" atmosphere, becoming just a more fun way to buy things. And no, from my knowledge there's no other place in the NYC area you could really have a convention like that, which is unfortunate.

Formica Archonis:
The thing that gets me about the social media posts is that they're not the typical promos. Correct me if I'm wrong (I use social media VERY lightly) but aren't most promo posts are of the sort "I voted for X" or "I went to (URL) to get a free thing!" which are consistent across users. They're really obviously automated posts. These NYCC ones try to fake being "in character" and have multiple permutations so people won't see six identical ones pop up from different people.

The whole thing looked kinda slimy from the get-go. No wonder people were mad.

Exactly! What made me SO MAD about it (and honestly, I am still angry just thinking about it) is that it attempted to speak for me, as me, by masquerading like a personal status update. While the comments were cut to protect the identities of my friends, I received TONS of responses as if they were joining in on my own sentiment and conversation. Some even tried to defend other cons, or act like NYCC was more important to me than, say, Escapist Expo, which myself and all my co-workers worked very hard at all year to put together. Because Team Escapist was hard at work, I didn't even realize this was happening until a day later.

In the end, checking me in to places so I can meet up with folks or share what I am experiencing is one thing. Speaking on my behalf is a completely different issue and I ended up feeling betrayed and manipulated that I even allowed them any access to my social media accounts at all. Last time they ever get that access, that's for sure!

I went to a few NYCC's. Here's what I saw:

First NYCC was great. It was a ton of cool stuff, not too crowded, great guests, one of the best cons of its' type I've ever been to.

Second one was a trainwreck. They far, FAR oversold, there were multi-hour lines for everything (to get in, we had to wait on a line, to wait on a line, to wait on a line). Fire Marshal came down and had to stop letting people in some areas like the main floor because of crowding.

I think I went to two or three after that. After the debacle that was their second con, they took over more and more of, and now I think the whole of the Javits center. As they were spreading, the crowds weren't TOO bad. The problem is, they hit a point a few years back where there was nowhere left to spread, and continued to try to get more and more people into there. So, now we haven't gone in a couple of years. We're far enough away that we'd have to get a hotel room, and anything in the immediate area is in the $300+/night range. The lines were stupidly long enough the last time we went, that we decided the only way we'd go is if we could get VIP tix, and those sell out ridiculously fast.

It honestly just stopped being worth it, from a time and money perspective. I'd rather save the money and travel up to Boston for PAX East. Even with traveling, since there is a $150-200/night difference in price per night at a hotel, it's cheaper to go up there.

Great article! I felt most of the same highs and lows of the convention, but definitely came away happy and already looking forward to next year. Visiting you guys at the Escapist booth was one of my personal highlights, and I'm glad to see you guys felt the same way (I think I had a small shoutout in this article!). I found this year that for me, one of the best things about these conventions is meeting people you follow online and having meaningful conversations with them. It's a nice complement to getting lost in mobs of cosplayers or being part of wildly energetic crowds during panels.

Yeah, I'm about 100% certain that the Javits is the biggest convention center we have, which from what I've heard, is fairly small compared to other convention centers. And the crowding has been a very big problem all three years I've gone. This year I was only able to go Thursday, and a lot of the people I spoke to said that Thursday is supposed to be the quiet, fairly empty day, and it was far from that. I want to say that there's other floors in the Javits the con can use, but I don't know what has prevented them from using them already (maybe it's all storage space or something).

Also, kinda lost my shit when I saw I was mentioned by name in the article. I know now how to take over the world.

I agree with you. Also there was the allowing of kids all three days. It use to be only on Sundays. If that is going to continue the badges have to be even more limited. As a parent, I felt horrible for the other parents that got separated from there unit. All it would take is a second in the wrong crowd and the little ones were lost. My wife and I made it our personal responsibility to help parents get through the crowd to their kids or try and stop the kid when they would run off and leave their parent in the dust.
2011 was the last time I was there and there was way more from Microsoft and Sony. I am assuming this is because the new consoles have not dropped yet and they put all their money into E3. If they were there, it was difficult to see what they were showing. Also, I feel there was just more to look at in 2011. This time 3/4 of this years floor was devoted to people selling things. I did not attend this event to just spend money. Intel was the largest exhibit and there really wasn't much there for hands on. And all the other video game companies were crammed into tiny blocks.
In all I did find it to be enjoyable and having the artist alley in the north wing was a huge plus.

s0osleepie:
Some even tried to defend other cons, or act like NYCC was more important to me than, say, Escapist Expo, which myself and all my co-workers worked very hard at all year to put together.

... oh my. I forgot about that whole diminishing-the-con-you-worked-on angle. Damn, no wonder you're still steamed.

I actually know the girl who brought the harassment to NYCC's attention. Lance banned those people from future comic cons and they offered my friend an apology. Its all in her blog.

hentropy:

From what I hear at least San Diego is significantly worse. I think, unfortunately, the Comic Cons are threatened to just become more sterile corporate events instead of "for fans by fans" atmosphere, becoming just a more fun way to buy things. And no, from my knowledge there's no other place in the NYC area you could really have a convention like that, which is unfortunate.

In some ways you're right. SDCC had already started expanding into the neighboring hotels several years ago. This year they tried something new. They had a handful of panels at a theater in the middle of downtown (less than a 10 minute walk). But you couldn't get in without a ticket and the room was cleared after each panel. I don't remember if tickets were first come or if they did the blind draw for tickets.

Unfortunately, one of the biggest problems at these larger cons is room camping. Now I know people complain and say the rooms should be cleared after each panel, but there are two issues with that. One, some people may have wanted to see both panels. Two, it takes a lot longer to clear and refill the room than most people realize. I know at SDCC, Hall H would only have half the panels because of the shear amount of time it takes to get everyone into or out of that room. The only real solution is the cons need to pay more attention to the schedule and the popularity of the panels. I know I missed the last Eureka panel at SDCC because they put True Blood on after it. I didn't even try to get in because I new it would be a hopeless waste of time. NYCC should have had the Walking Dead as the first panel to get those fans in and out and make room for people who wanted to see the later panels.

I like to think that we nerds are collectively more enlightened than other subcultures

Wow, that doesn't not condescending or completely elitist bullshit at all, good job!

 

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