Sunday, September 23, 2012

NYCC 2012: An Alternative to Comic-Con?

This is the 7th year of New York Comic Con (NYCC).

The event is run by the good folks at ReedPOP (whose local setup, by the way, also runs Red Dot Island's STGCC). And from all bets, attendance numbers for NYCC 2012 is set to garner another record high.

Considering the recent "mainstreaming" of what used to be the geekier side of pop-culture, the Jacob K. Javits Convention Center will be jam-packed with noobs and old-timers come October 11 to 14th 2012.  Fact is, the three-day and four-day tickets have already been sold out a couple of weeks ago. And NYCC has never quite "sold out" this much, this early before.

Sigh. Signs of the times.

It has definitely been getting tougher to be a convention-going geek these days. Comic-Con 2012 was a sell-out event more than half a year ahead, leaving thousands of fans sprawled in the dust. When Comic-Con opened 2013's online registration for this year's pass-holders,  the preview and four-day tickets were sold out within 40 minutes!

In search for alternatives, hardcore fans have been scrambling to other venues. DragonCon at Atlanta continues to be a popular scifi/ fantasy fan-based one. Word has been going around that Emerald Con (Seattle) is becoming quite the cool event to go to. As for the professionals and true blue comics fan, the laid-back HeroesCon at Charlotte, NC is being hailed as a hot favourite. But with its New York City location already an established business and travel hub, it's no surprise that NYCC is fast-becoming the convention destination of choice.

Moreover, NYCC has now brought the New York Anime Festival (NYAF) into its fold with effect from this year. So, fans of anime and manga will also be converging into New York that weekend too. Another sign of the times, where "Western" and "Eastern" influences are beginning to blend in interesting ways, increasing the spectrum of pop-culture in even more multi-coloured hues.

Showfloor from NYCC 2011
Curious about the difference between East Coast and West Coast styles, Red Dot Diva attended NYCC last year instead of Comic-Con. The contrast was remarkable. Away from the talons of Hollywood, NYCC had far more comic-focused panels and way less tinsel-town glitz. That was not to say there weren't any TV or movie related events. They were just not as overwhelming. Plus, with New York City being the publishing stronghold of comics, it was befitting that NYCC placed its focus on graphic novels.

There is also a certain feeling of noir when one attends NYCC. Whether one is taking in the buzz (and dirt) of New York City itself, or having a chat with the veterans involved in the industry, one begins to truly appreciate the long history that comes with the world of modern day comics. Best of all, the fantasy of seeing "Gotham City" or looking out for Spider-man swinging amongst the skyscrapers comes miraculously to life.

Then, there's the Artist Alley! Oh, Red Dot Diva thought the NYCC Artist Alley was beyond awesome! It was the largest she had ever seen, with rows and rows of well-known and aspiring artists alike. All eager to connect with industry folks, friends, fans and the public at large. It was an artistically-inspiring place, and she couldn't resist going round Artist Alley several times that weekend.

It is too bad she that she is unable to find more time off work to head to NYCC this time round. Admittedly, she is quite envious of those who are going. Mainly because the superb guest list that has been announced in streams and bits so far is quite the draw. 

There are loads of guests she would have loved to meet or listen to at panels at the convention this year. There's famous writer Anne Rice (ahhhhhhh! Red Dot Diva has always wanted to meet her!), director Guillermo del Toro, and the witty host from "Destination Truth", Josh Gates. And O.M.G. -- Adam West!! (Can someone just buy Red Dot Diva a ticket to NYC already?) Not to mention the endless list of who's who in the comics industry. (Check out the guest lists right here!)

A little of Hollywood is beginning to creep into NYCC too. Cast members from uber-popular series "The Walking Dead" (together with its creator Robert Kirkman) will be there to promote the upcoming new season. Science Channel will be rounding up a special preview for the "Firefly" 10th Anniversary Event - to the glee of all Browncoats out there. Sony Pictures is getting its Halloween groove early and will be showing off first looks of the movies "Carrie" and "Evil Dead". Famous fan favourites like Hobbit-in-disguise Sean Astin, Tom Felton and Christopher Lloyd are all set to be New York bound that weekend too.

Then, there's The WB lineup of promos for four TV series - "666 Park Avenue", "The Following", "Person of Interest" and the much talked about "Arrow". All of which would have accompanying cast and producers attending the panels, adding to the pop-culture excitement during the convention.

And, let's not even get started on the exclusives that would be available at NYCC 2012. This blog might never get to end!

*sniff* Red Dot Diva feels as if she will be missing out on so much cool stuff three weeks from now.
As Comic-Con becomes tougher and tougher to attend, she definitely recommends fans to try NYCC as a viable alternative. Anyway, it is difficult to get disappointed with New York City, in general!

And for those who have got their tickets to NYCC 2012, she hopes you all will have loads and loads of FUN!


Red Dot Diva has some trip planning tips for first-time NYC goers for Red Dot Island natives. Click here for the article!

A follow-up article on NYCC tips will be up shortly.

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