Having lived in the UK, the vast majority of my convention understanding had come from MCM London Comic-Con and a host of smaller conventions that I’ve attended over the years. This year I made a trip across the Atlantic ocean to attend New York Comic-Con. While this would be my first trip to NYCC, it would however not be the first US convention I’ve been to.
Several years ago, I attended both Long Beach Comic-Con and WonderCon on the West Coast of the United States. I’ve long understood that American Conventions are on a totally different level of events when they are compared to their British counterparts. However, nothing could have prepared me for the scale and size of what I found at NYCC.
Even though I was there all 4 days of the convention (because of a very kind gesture by Food and Cosplay), it was still impossible to see all of the convention by the end of the first day. It would eventually take us the first two days to work our way through the event halls while stopping off at the food court and venturing outside to take photos of cosplayers.
It would be an incredible feat to go with the intention of making a checklist of all the things to see at NYCC and accomplish them all. You may have a certain cosplayer you want to find and yet the event is so huge that it becomes unfortunately impossible to locate them. This isn’t a drawback, however. NYCC never lets up with its wow factor. I personally found it very difficult to wrap my head around the size of the convention on the first day. Eddie of FnC told me after several hours of walking around the hall that this was just half of the first hall. It was impossible to comprehend just how huge NYCC was. This doesn’t even factor in, the food court, the artist alley, and the numerous panel rooms. My brain 404’ed at the concept of the size of the convention and even after Eddie had shown me just the rest of NYCC, it was still difficult to comprehend how vast the convention is. A convention with its own floor for a food court? Madness. Yet that was what I was presented with and while it took time. I eventually managed to grasp the scope of the event and was thoroughly entertained throughout.
Having finally had the chance to meet well known US cosplayers who’s work I’ve frequently seen on my Facebook or Twitter feeds was a fantastic opportunity. To quickly chat with Danielle DeNicola at the end of the convention to conversing with Hendo Art about New York and it’s locations in video games and the Marvel Universe, to see fellow Brit Osh of the 86th Floor filming his NYCC cosplay music videos where both myself and Eddie were caught unaware in the background of his videos.
Whereas MCM Comic Con’s tend to be more of a varied affair with a mixture of video games, anime, panels, movie guests and artists. New York Comic Con was solely geared to the comic lover and offered far more. In fact, the term “more” is what would best describe NYCC. There’s more of the event itself with 4 days (than compared to MCM’s 3 days), there are more cosplayers and there’s more artist alley. In fact, Artist Alley had it’s own dedicated section solely for people to find their favourite comic book artists. MCM’s attempt at Artist Alley often felt nothing more than an afterthought and are shoved to one side and then promptly forgotten about.
What makes NYCC most appealing is that you have the city of New York in the background. When the convention closes for the night you have the fantastic city to fall back upon and be carried off to some fantastic places to eat (if you’ve got time in the morning, go to Penelope’s alone for their Blueberry pancakes). This gives the convention something that a lot of the English events frequently lacks character. Right from the very beginning to its final day. NYCC is unique and always reminds you that you’re in Manhattan.
The fact that NYCC brings in such an amazing crowd of talent in both comic book art to cosplayers is an incredible draw and bonus for the visitor. You could find yourself at the Vero stand where cosplayers like Hendo Art, Holly Wolf, Kristen Hughey, to name a few cosplayers who could be found for photos and prints. There are artists like J Scott Campbell, Jamie Tyndall, Scott Blair, Tana Ford, Jen Bartel, Gabriel Picolo, and many more all offering unique covers to their comics and amazing artwork.
I loved New York Comic Con and I fully intend to visit again next year. It’s a convention much like the city of New York itself. Big in spectacle and determined to keep your jaw on the floor.
Written by Titans of Cosplay. You can follow their account on Twitter.