A Quick (though very late…but very positive!) Re-Cap by Bob Reyer
Troops, I know that this piece is not the timeliest, but the thing of it is that our on-air coverage of this year’s fabulous New York Comic Con was so thorough that I thought anything that I might add would be superfluous! That said, with our “end-of-the-year” hiatus about to come to a close with our Awards Show this week, what better time than now to quickly revisit an event that was one of my personal highlights of 2017.
First off, as I mentioned on-air (and in my Thursday re-cap!), the crowds were much larger this year than previously, and with the North Wing closed for construction, things were even more jam-packed with (super) humanity than usual. Thanks to the great folks at ReedPop, the huddled masses breathed as free as was possible as their team of professionals kept things moving, and all in a most positive and respectful manner.
This year’s show floor was, as always, a cornucopia of comic and comic-related riches, so whether you were looking to score rare books, value trades, or tchotchkes, you were going to find what you were looking for…and as I did, some that you weren’t, a situation that had me more broke by the end of this year’s show than I usually am!
Added to those purchases, the Artist Alley at the NYCC is a place where you can very quickly go over budget (and I always do!), what with those items that you know that someone else will love added to your own shopping lists! As I made visits to Jeremy Whitley, Elsa Charretier, Kristen Gudsnuk, Erica Henderson, Brandon Montclare, Amy Reeder, David F. Walker, Kate Leth, Linda & Stjepan Sejic, Cat Staggs, and Gail Simone, you can imagine that I left each day with a stuffed tote bag, an empty wallet, and full-up credit cards! With all that I bought, I think my favourite purchase was the custom-made pin of the “Beta Carrot Team” from Ms. Gudsnuk’s wonderful Henchgirl series that you can see to the right:
I love going to panels at the NYCC, as they always have a wonderful mix of topics, with publishers, creators, and media presentations galore. With Marvel and DC both having…interesting years, shall I say, their presentations would have been a way to gauge their futures, but so many things have happened since that events such as the always-special “Women of Marvel” panel now in retrospect take on a bittersweet quality.
My favorite panel of the entire show (and near the top all-time!) was the “Jack Kirby 100th Birthday Celebration” thrown by IDW, which brought Walt Simonson and John Byrne to the party to talk about the impossibly-large influence that “The King” had on the medium. It was an hour that seemed to go by in a minute, as these two legendary writer/artists told amazing stories that dated back to their own first experiences with Jack Kirby’s work. (You can catch some bit of the flavor of this event in this Sy-Fy channel interview.)
As ever, there were legions of cos-players, and if you remember our discussions on-air, my favourite was this real-life couple who not only dressed as Peggy Carter and Steve Rogers, but in their actions and words lived them on the show floor:
..but there were quite a few other great ones as well, as captured in these photos by Melissa Megan:
For me, the greatest charm of the NYCC is the chance to be in a room with so many people whose shared interests in fantastic things has created a community of friends, even ones that you don’t know yet! There aren’t cross words exchanged despite the crowded conditions, and any minor irritation caused by a bottleneck in an aisle is quickly overcome through the sheer bonhomie of the collective.
Any event of any kind is made all-the-better by being able to share it, and this year (from the weekend on at least), I had the opportunity to spend a goodly amount of time in the company of the aforementioned Melissa Megan, Professor Carolyn Cocca, and good friend of Talking Comics Aaron Amos. I cannot thank them enough for creating so many special moments for me, with the ultimate being our “TC Meet-Up”, this time around at that literary landmark, the Algonquin Hotel, where we we joined by Jessica Garris-Schaeffer (and quite a few others not pictured, including her husband Dan!) for a special night at our personal “Round Table”:
(By the way, these folks were much missed at this event, so maybe next year Joey, Steve, Mara, Bronwyn, and Bobby?)
Here’s my final thought, although it might seem contradictory. Despite the mammoth crowd (perhaps 200,000!), huge venue, and star-studded list of creators, the NYCC still has the heart of a smaller local comic convention, so you can always feel the connection to what brought you to the four-color world in its first flush of its hold on your imagination!
Once again, my congratulations to the ReedPop team for their other-worldly efforts at not only making it happen, but creating such a safe haven for the celebration of our shared passions!
See you next year!