The GeeksverseNYCC Wrap-Up – Teasers/’Net Hurting Cons?

NYCC Wrap-Up – Teasers/’Net Hurting Cons?
Published on Monday, October 17, 2011 by

Scroll down until you see the break if you want to skip my thoughts on NYCC and just find out what I mean about teasers and the internet possibly hurting the conventions.

NYCC 2011 was the first major convention I had gone to in a long time. The last would have been back in 1995/6 or so and that was San Diego Comic Con, which is NOTHING like it is now.

I went to SDCC 2 years in a row, the last year being 1996. Back in those days the internet was just starting out and AOL and Compuserve were the only game in town. Comic creators took to the internet since it was a great way to meet the fans. AOL had a couple of chat rooms and message boards, one of those being Wizard World. I spent alot of time on those AOL forums and chats, under the name TNOSGOOD. Met alot of the top creators at the time (this was when Image was huge): Jim Lee, Brandon Choi, Brett Booth, Jessica Ruffner, David Wohl, Jeff Mariotte and chatted with some on a fairly regular basis.

Back then there were no fan sites or anything. CBR hadn’t even formed yet. I ran an e-mail Wildstorm fan club, was co-president of, and even got a tour of Homage Studios both those years and hung out with Jim Lee and the some of the homage gang. Bowling was alot of fun. So was the round of tequila shots.

SDCC was still the biggest comic book show but it was definately alot smaller in scope then it is now. Comics hadn’t even started hitting/becoming movies yet or crossing over into video games. Not like they do now. So the crossover fan wasn’t there. The years I was at SDCC, the room used would have fit into one half of the floor space at NYCC this year.

And that’s what this is about. How far the industry has come and going to NYCC made me realize how much things had changed. Comics alone weren’t at the New York COMIC con.

Video games had a huge presence, if not more in some cases (the biggest booth there belonged to a gaming thing and Just Dance had a pretty big booth. Top Cow didn’t have a booth but The Darkness III video game had a good sized one where you could play the game. Capcom had a huge booth, probably about the size of DCs if not bigger, where you could play some of their games.

There was alot of that, alot of early game releases you could play, and those had long lines all day, every day.

Sure there were alot of dealers selling old comic books, but there was an equal number of dealers dedicated to just toys.

Back when I went to SDCC, toys and comics were just starting to mix. I don’t think McFarlane had started his company quite yet, but it was soon coming. Now toys are a huge part of the convention.

DC’s booth was mostly dedicated to the toys and upcoming Arkham Asylum with stations so could play the game. DC did hand out some free comics at their booth, but the things that people were in line for and most excited about where the DC Lego Mini-figs that were handed out (and I’m as guilty of this, but then all the books that DC handed out, I already had or could have had, there was nothing new).

It was kind of bittersweet in a way. It’s great that so many people came to the convention, but alot of those people weren’t there for just the comics.

And it’s become so big, and grown so much, that the days of having a tour of a studio, or going bowling with the top creators, are long past.

I can remember walking the floor at SDCC ’96 and randomly passing a creator and stopping and talking with them.

Now? Not going to happen. The signing booths back then still had big lines, but not like now where you have to get a ticket to stand in line.

And where were the preview comics? The ashcans? The things that fans could pick up and read and could be used to get them interested in the comics? There were alot of pins handed out, but I could care less about pins. It’s the books I care about and I want to

I still love comics as much as I always have but it seems like some of the things that made conventions so great has disappeared because of the sheer size of them.

NYCC 2011 exceeded the estimates of attendees by alot. I heard a couple numbers over the weekend. Estimated had been 70,000 but it ended up being closer to 150,000 on Saturday. But that wasn’t just comic fans. There was a big Anime aspect to the show, video gamers, people coming to get autographs from the actors/actresses that were there (and I never once got down to the autograph area to check it out).

I heard that they are thinking of getting more floor space next year. That would be awesome as it was pretty packed. People had to wait in line for 30-45 minutes to get into some of the panels and I was talking to a father and young son (no more then 8 or so) that wanted to go see the Avengers movie panel to see the clip that was shown, they went to stand in line 2 hours before the panel was to start and it was already so lined up there wouldn’t have been space.

And yeah, the Javits center needs to work on it’s internet connection. It was horrible.

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Sitting in a couple of the panels, the thing that struck me was the lack of major announcements.

Yes, they want you to read the books, so they don’t spend much time on plot points, and I’m 100% okay with that. But what struck me was that there was overall a lack of any major announcements.

Used to be that conventions were really the only place the publishers had to make big announcements and say what their new books or events were going to be for the coming year.

But not now. Not with the internet and all the teasers we get.

The X-Men: Regenesis panel talked about the upcoming Astonishing X-Men with Greg Pak and showed a slide of Storm and Cyclops kissing. No impact because we already knew about it.

Sure they were able to announce the new creative team on X-Men: Legacy. We got word that the teaser image shown that included Lapham and De La Torre as the creative team was going to be an Age of Apocalypse ongoing. But from the reaction of some of the crowd around me, that was already guessed at.

Image did announce a couple of new books and Kirkman/Liefeld did announce the return of the Extreme books. So there was some of that at the convention.

But there was also alot of going over what we already knew. And I noticed the same thing reading the SDCC panel wrap ups.

Because of the abundance of teasers, and the “need” (is it a true need or manufactured, I’ll get into that some other time) to have those teasers, it seems like some of the impact has gone out of having the panels at the conventions.

Instead of there being a panel of nothing but big announcements and new information, we got alot of rehashs we already knew about and then a little we didn’t.

For every “return of Sabretooth” announcement, we got a panelist talking about their book and the next couple months which we already know about thanks to Diamond Previews and solicitations being available online.

Maybe I’m just jaded and cynical, but it seems like sometimes the internet can cause more harm then good and I think this is going to become one of those cases.

Not everyone can make the conventions, NYCC & SDCC, so I understand the desire to space out the announcements and release teasers online (and yes, Kitty’s Pryde probably wouldn’t be here if this wasn’t done, so in a way I thank you). But I wonder if there’s a medium that can be hit?

Spread out some announcements but at the panels of the conventions only talk about and announce things that are totally unknown? Still make it worth the price for people to go to the panels, make it worth their standing in line so that they don’t get alot of what they already know, and the fans not there will still eagerly devour it all on the internet in the wrap-ups.

And when the Javits Center gets it’s internet fixed, we at the Pryde would be more then happy to be reporting it for everyone that couldn’t go to the con to read.

And I’d love to sit in a panel and go “wow, holy…, cool, bad-ass, awesome, wasn’t expecting that” at every reveal/slide in a panel instead of just 2 or 3.

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