New York Comic Con – A Rundown of My Time at the Con and a Review
Written by: Jill Geiger
Photos taken by Jill Geiger
Welcome ladies and gentlemen, boys and girls, children of all ages to the one, the only- New York Comic Con! For those who may not know, New York Comic Con is the East Coast’s less-grandiose version of San Diego Comic Con, which has only existed over the past 6 or 7 years. It’s been getting bigger and more popular as the years have passed and this year’s was no exception. NYCC took place over 4 days- October 11-14 at the Javits Center, New York City’s convention center.
Unfortunately, I can’t review Day 1, which was a preview day only open to press, VIPs, and 4-day ticket holders. But, I know I missed some awesome panels like the 25th Anniversary of Street Fighter presented by Capcom; a Ben Folds Five concert; and a lot of autographing opportunities. So, I’ll move on to my Day 1 at NYCC- Friday.
Friday. Friday, Friday…This day was, of course, the least crowded of the 3 I attended due to it still being a weekday and people not getting out of work until later to attend. Me- I took off since it was my boyfriend’s first Comic Con ever and I wanted him to get a decent experience instead of being pulled around under a tight schedule if I had met him there; which, on my part, was a smart move because we actually got to maneuver nicely around the exhibit hall floor and Artist Alley.
We are both hardcore gamers, so the first area we made a beeline for was where all the video game companies were gathered. We had some: Square Enix, Ubisoft, Capcom, Microsoft, Sony, Namaco Bandai, Nintendo, and some smaller independent companies as well. Ubisoft setup their own pre-ordering booth where if you pre-ordered Assassin’s Creed III or another game I can’t remember right now, you’d get exclusive t-shirts. They also had an Assassin’s Creed theatre where the Frag Dolls were hosting an exclusive viewing of its gameplay (THANK YOU GOD for now being able to climb trees!). And as a parting gift, we were given a blow-up tomahawk/hatchet based off the one protagonist, Connor, carries in the game. After that, we circled Capcom’s booth which was sponsoring timed, 20-minute, demos of Resident Evil 6, Darksiders, and other random Capcom games. Microsoft’s booth was dedicated to Halo 4; and the others featured a mix of all of their games instead of having a focus on a specific game or games.
Marvel and DC both had huge booths (as did LEGO), but I would say that Marvel’s was much more interactive than DC. Marvel had its brand new MMO (no release date yet) to play as well as a cool giveaway/game. If you demoed the game, or attended a panel that featured the new MMO titled Marvel Heroes, or did any objective on this list in a pamphlet Marvel helpers were handing out, you’d receive a pretty cool character “trading card” that was worth a certain amount of points. Some were unique (like the Jean Grey that was specifically given out at the panel all about the MMO); some were repeatable (like the Wolverine or Deadpool you’d get for demoing the game). Once you hit a certain point threshold you could hand in the amount for some awesome Marvel Heroes swag. Available were: t-shirts, unique sketches, cards, and mini comics (My boyfriend and I tried to get the unique sketches, but they were all gone by the time we got our amount. So, we settled for t-shirts). Marvel also gave you the opportunity—if you filled out the information on the pamphlet you were given—to win some nice PC peripherals and a brand new Alienware gaming laptop.
And last, but not least on the show floor, were of course your swag sellers; t-shirts, toys, collectibles, art, posters—you name it and it was probably being sold on the floor NYCC.
One part of NYCC that I do love to visit every time I attend is Artist Alley. Artist Alley is where the comic book sketchers, colorists, artists—up-and-coming and pros—show off their talents and artwork; some even available for purchase. I love seeing all the different styles and takes on characters. One artist I loved there was Ellison Keomaka (he was actually on the show floor, not in Artist Alley, but I didn’t think that conversation would’ve been proper above this section). He had amazing canvas artwork of many superheroes, including my personal favorite- Wolverine. Do check his work out (www.keomaka.com).
Another that I loved was colorist, Jeff Balke. He was sitting there coloring, using markers, at his booth and it was just beautiful. The way he highlighted areas of the picture; the color combinations. It was just awesome. Since I was staring, he started a discussion to where I found out that any of the black and white photos within his portfolio on the table was actually available to get colored by him. I thought that was pretty cool. So, I decided, why not? Let’s see if there’s something awesome there he could color in for me. And of course, there was; it was Arkham City Harley Quinn shown full body with Joker’s face, huge, in the background behind her. I immediately picked that one (as did everyone else apparently since she has BLOWN UP, not just blown up, but BLOWN UP). I got to pick the colors and such, but I told him I wanted it traditional and trusted him with the vision since just by watching him, I knew he knew what he was doing (obviously). Unfortunately, my photo was not finished by the time NYCC was over, so he’ll be shipping it to me. We’ll see how it turns out, but I have no doubts in my mind that it’ll be awesome. Do check him out as well (http://jbalkesart.com/ he also has a blog on there, too).