NJ Expo Center is located in a industrial park minutes out of NYC. The kind of place that as you follow google maps you start to wonder “Is skynet leading me somewhere out of the way, to do me in?” But once you’ve found it and ventured inside the hall you’ll find a very comic & toy friendly, as well as cosplay heavy show that has more than a few surprises in store.
We almost blew right by the very first booth in the room until we noticed the amazing array of toys presented. Neca had amazing stuff on hand, they handle making figures for a plethora of great horror and action properties like Pacific Rim, Gremlins, and of course Terminator. Be sure to check out or piece Neca at NJ Comic Expo to see lots of great images as well as some first looks of coming products. Check out our coverage of their booth here.
Right across from Neca was Comic Bento. A subscription service for the comic book lover they advertise “$60 worth of comics in every box and mailed right to your door.” We spent some time hanging out talking with Jeff Moss, Director of Communications, about comics, the curating of the boxes, plans for the future. We were definitely impressed by the love of comics and dedication to bringing the customer new and interesting books. He spoke more than once about the desire to help the reader “step out of their comfort zone”, needless to say we’ll be reviewing a Comic Bento box in the very near future!
Action Lab was on hand as well, their booth brimming with the cool, quality books we’ve come to expect from this new kid on the block. In Action Lab’s short five year history they’ve amassed and impressive collection of titles. Many of which have garnered critical acclaim not only from us but a host of other sites as well. If you’re new to What’cha Reading or just don’t know many Action Lab books check out this link for a bunch of our articles covering their titles.
Both Dynamite and Valiant had booths at the show, Valiant’s always impressive set up included pretty much every trade since their relaunch and is a collector’s dream at any convention. Dynamite concentrated on signings, and had some amazing guests. Garth Ennis, John Cassady, Greg Land, Ben McCool, Frank J Barbiere, Joseph Michael Linsner and so many others!
Speaking of guests there were some unbelievably talented people at the table scattered throughout the show floor. We ran across Jim Lee, Chris Claremont, Frank Tieri (writer of multiple Marvel titles and now Dark Circle’s Hangman) and Justin Grey (All-Star Western, Jonah Hex), Jeff King (DC’s Convergence & Telos), and so many others. This was my kind of show every table held some great (or soon to be great) writer or artist.
They also hosted a bunch of panels from the “Create a Con Badge with the Girl Scouts” to Neca Toys, and “How To Talk to a Hot Cosplayer”. And if you think that was it you’d be quite wrong. NJ Comic Expo brought in some of the energy and fun that shows like Wizard World bring to the table.
There were appearances by Amy Acker (from the cast of Angel, and Alias), Chase Masterson (Voice Actor, Leeta from Star Trek DS9), Drea De Matteo (Sons of Anarchy, Desperate Housewives, & The Sopranos) and a host vehicles to see and pose with. The Tumbler, the ’66 Batmobile, the Mystery Machine, the Back To The Future DeLorean, and of course numerous cosplayers exhibiting and just roaming around.
New Jersey Comic Expo was one of the most well balanced comic book / entertainment shows I’ve been to in a long time, I can’t wait for the next one!