There’s nothing like a convention center full of creative people to get your creative juices flowing. This year’s sold out New York Comicon filled almost the entire Javits Convention Center. I couldn’t believe the number of booths, people, and costumes that were there. One of my favorite booth designs was Pigfish. They made their own resin-cast pigfishes for sale as well. (These were the highest quality pigfishes I’ve ever seen.) It was brightly colored, well lit, and had multiple layers of comics, models, and signage.
Its not just about comic books anymore
The wide variety of genres seen at the show included steampunk, anime, horror, goth, superheroes, fantasy, film/TV celebrities, video games, toys, clothing, technology and software companies, comic artists, and writers. Intel had a huge presence there. And I couldn’t even make it to one corner of the hall where people packed in tightly for celebrity sightings and autographs.
The costumes were amazing. I had no idea who half the people were dressed up as. A recurring thought that went through my mind was — “Wow, that took guts to wear that.” Some of my favorites were a giant Sasquatch, a Swamp Thing (or Moldy Chewbacca — not really sure.) Pikachu, Ghostbusters, every superhero you can imagine, and the usual cast of Star Wars characters. Most of the costumes were spectacular. And just as fun are the “Fat Supermans” as Steve from The Outer Limits puts it. There was a big area where people played Dungeons and Dragons games (people still play it!) I had to snap this pic of this guy in a ridiculous muscle outfit rolling dice. Fear him.
I mainly come to the con to meet the artists. I have sketchbooks where I collect original sketches from them. Some are very well known, and others are just starting out. I’m always looking for new and creative styles. One guy folded his comics up into origami. Another had foil-wrapped them like baseball cards, which folded out into a mini poster comic. One of the show highlights for me was meeting Bob Camp, the co-creator of Ren and Stimpy. I was also excited to get a sketch from Ramona Fradon, an 83 year-old artist who started out drawing for DC Comics in the early days of Superman and Aquaman.
In this visual overload, it was interesting to see how each person marketed themselves. Most people were friendly. Many artists tried to explain their new comic book, “So like, there’s these vampires in a post-apocolyptic world, but they’re actually robots…” One guy had a comic book all about African kings and legends, dressed in traditional costumes. Not all of the stories or artwork is particularly good, but I really admire their drive to set up a table and promote their passion. Another guy had copies of his comic open to a page and would thrust it on you as you walked past. “Hey — here’s a one-page story in my book — you’ll either love it or you’ll hate it.” I didn’t love it, but I liked his salesmanship.
One of our clients was at the show promoting their new film “Silver Circle“. When I started working with them a few months ago, they weren’t sure what to make of comic book shows — so I gave them an idea. I suggested that they ask people to scream into a microphone for a chance to have their voice in the movie. Not only is it a fun way to engage people at the show, but everyone who heard the screaming just had to make their way over to the booth to check it out. Check out their video from the Granite State Comicon this summer:They also captured an email address from everyone who screamed. It was such a success, that after about 300 screams on Saturday, they were “encouraged” to take a sanity break by their booth neighbors.
If you ever get a chance to go to one of the bigger comic book conventions like this one, I highly recommend it. Bring a camera and plenty of money — there’s lots of strange and cool stuff to pick up. For a laugh, check out the 2000+ photos on the NYCC Facebook page.