Monday, October 13, 2014

New York Comic Con 2014 Review

It's been another year for me attending New York Comic Con, held over at the Jacob Javitz Center in New York City. This review comes a bit later than usual, but I still wanted to share my thoughts on the matter. I want to say that my experience this year has had it's improvements compared to New York Comic Con 2013, though I still find some things lacking. One thing that doesn't lack is the number of cosplayers. Each year, they seem to grow in number. It's cool that the fans feel so favorably about characters enough to dress up like them. It's not my own personal cup of tea (though admittedly I did dress up one time many years ago), but if a person spends the countless hours putting together a costume, I would commend them... More so when the weather is cold outside. A lot of those costumes are so skimpy and flimsy looking with the materials. The good thing for everyone this year was that the weather was fairly warm. It makes a difference not having to stand outside in the cold too long before getting inside the convention center.

I'm going to be covering all four days that I attended Comic Con in this review, so here I go:

There was an improvement this year on the speed in which people were let into the convention center. The negative side to that was the organization. The area marked off for where Press and Pros were to enter the building through were allowing all convention go-ers to enter. It makes no sense to designate those specific areas if no one is going to pay any mind to those rules. It's like last year and how the people who had arrived early to wait in line to get into the building had a huge crowd of people walk up and just cut the line with no one saying a thing. Is it because there aren't enough staff on hand to help organize the crowds? Or is it because no one truly cares? I absolutely commend the work done by the staff in charge of the panel lines inside though. They did a really great job. When I was winding my way through to wait on line for the Spider-Man panel or when I was on line to see the Constantine panel, they did a great job to make sure people weren't cutting the lines and were walking through the appropriate areas.

I really liked how this year I saw the people in charge implemented a wristband system that allowed people to get the chance to essentially sign up to see the cool, big panels without having to stand in one line for the entire day. You could get your wristband for a panel and then roam the convention and enjoy lots of other panels until the time came to see the one you got the wristband for. A little more communication between the people working those lines would have been great because I had wanted to see the Daredevil panel so I checked the sign in front of the line that said there was still space available. By the time I got to the end of the line there was another sign that said all the space was filled up so I couldn't get a wristband. Upon walking back I saw that the first sign still said there was space available and it would have been nice if those signs were synced up to save the hassle of walking down the giant hallway.

So on Thursday and Friday I spent most of my time on the showroom floor. The place didn't feel too over-crowded yet. That usually happens on Saturday. I got a chance to look around at all of the vendors. It was a little sad to see there wasn't a big DC booth like there had been in past years. Nothing really cool was given out, that I could tell, as free promotional material. The dollar comics deals seemed to be slowly but surely disappearing. I guess that comes from the general rise in the cost of comics. If a comic book retails at $4 or $5 nowadays, it's still a deal if the vendor sells it at $2 instead of $1 in the convention. Some of the best deals come in buying the discounted trades and I'd see a lot of those at 30-40% off. One thing I could really care less about and would hope to see a change in is the amount of junk food that is sold on the showroom floor. I, personally, find the smell of buttered popcorn unappealing, like nauseating. But that's just this one person's opinion...

It's really difficult for one person to really get to check out all there is to do in the convention so it can't be helped that I'd miss out on some things. I had really wanted to see the Bob's Burgers panel, but I just couldn't fit it into my schedule. Some of the other members of The Verbal Mosh did get to see it and I was so thoroughly jealous. I heard there were many Tina's. So many Tina's. I'm sure some of them were Dina's too. Heheheheheh. And they'd all want to see people touching butts.

One panel I got to see was the Constantine panel, showing exclusives for the new television series on NBC. Getting to see the pilot episode in the panel really helped turn me onto this show. From the promotional photos alone, I wasn't too sure if the show would look good. The photos were a bit dark too and gave the impression that the actor Matt Ryan, who plays John Constantine, had dark hair with frosted highlights and that definitely was not appropriate for that character. It was good to see that wasn't the case. I felt like there was a good level of spook factor to the show, too. But I'm also easily spooked, so there's that.

The pilot episode covers the introduction of John Constantine. Who he is, what he does, and the important part of his past that continues to haunt him to this day, how he lost a child's soul to the devil. I'm not familiar with the entire Hellblazer series. I've read some of the Garth Ennis stories and also the stories illustrated by Giuseppe Camuncoli before Constantine got hit with the New 52 truck. At least from the looks of it, this show seems to be a whole lot better than the Keanu Reeves Constantine movie.

Another panel I got to check out was the Spider-Man panel which talked about SPIDER-VERSE!!!!! I think Dan Slott is a really great writer. This was a fun panel to attend. I don't read every single Spider comic put out, so it was cool to hear about the things that were already happening like with Spider-Gwen being introduced and all. Every. Single. Spider. Ever. Is being hunted by Morlun and his family of Inheritors, who obviously from their name alone you can tell are a greedy bunch of beings. Spiders will be killed off left and right and though I get skeptical when it comes to these event type books, this one looks to be really cool and interesting.

So, that about wraps up my review for New York Comic Con 2014. I had a really good time. I like the improvements the convention made to itself. I, also, liked seeing all of the giant anti-harassment signs that were up. It made for a more friendly and relaxing environment. This year, I didn't have any punk a-- kids with no patience for crowds pushing and trampling their way past me through the halls. I, also, didn't have strange women try to grab my arm thinking I was their son. So, it was an improvement all around. :)

-O. Pelaez

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