I attended Special Edition:NYC this past weekend. As promised by the promoters it was far more comic-centric than New York Comic Con. It was basically Artist Alley with some vendors thrown in for flavor.
I’m not sure what the crowds were like on Saturday but Sunday they were very light. Even a big name like Gail Simone had a line that was not in the least bit intimidating. This worked very well for me. I could meander the aisles at my own pace, check out booths and actually take time to talk to artists and writers. These are things I used to like to do at NYCC but usually can’t now because of the overwhelming press of people.
I found a couple of indie comics that I picked up after talking to their creators, reviews forthcoming, one conversation was all about Game of Thrones, brought about because of an awesome piece of art with Arya and the Hound. This type of interaction I really enjoy and I’m not one who’s considered very social. There was some amazing art there and I came home with a few prints myself:
These are from Bill Walko, who it turns out is my one of my favorite artists, though I never knew it. I’ve shared a number of his works on Facebook but was completely unfamiliar with his name. Not anymore. We share a love of Donna Troy, as my prints show, but all his art was fantastic, fun and creative. I wish I could have bought more. Go check his stuff out on his site.
I also had the opportunity to meet Marguerite Bennett, writer of many things. For this convention, my first as a recognized member of the press, I needed to bring home some journalistic inspiration, so I had her sign Lois Lane #1.
I also attended a panel called, SEXY, STRANGE AND SILLY: Lost Superheroes of the Golden Age (and some thing they can teach us). I’ll tell you all about that soon.
In the end I’d say I had a great time but the things that made it work for me did not make the show a success. There were rumblings from some artists; I gather that it wasn’t really worth their time. In the end crowds are what bring in money and for many of the creators there, that’s what they need; that and exposure. I think the branding of the show as “Special Edition” didn’t work to draw people in. It says nothing about what it is. It’s not clear that it’s a con and it’s certainly not clear that it’s comic based. I’d like to see it return next year. I think it could be good for the comic industry generally to have this smaller venue to show off their creations but it needs a new name and far better publicity. I’ll give up my happiness with easy to walk aisles for more exposure for some of these amazing creators.
One thing that every con is good for is time with friends, in my case it’s my fellow What’cha Reading writers and geek girl sisters, Julie Hegner and Rosemary Kiladitis. All comic cons are great when you share them with friends: