Friday, October 15, 2010

New York Comic Con 2010 Report

New York Comic Con on Sunday, Oct 10th “Kids Day” was pretty crazy, with crowded conditions and lots of noise – and many distractions which could easily fill your entire day. My kids (6 & 4) and I went in with some pretty well laid out goals, and only managed to accomplish maybe 60% of them. It wasn’t until the drive home that I realized we hadn’t stopped at Dark Horse’s booth, Orbit Books or EOS books. Not too bad considering how many booths we did go to – but still disappointing. There’s always the next time though – as my older son already asked if he can dress as Obi-Wan for NYCC 2011. Meanwhile, I’ll give you a description of some of the things we did get to do. I’ll avoid talking about the toy searching; except to say there was no success finding any Krypto toys after searching many, many toy vendors, though I have some leads for online purchase. We spent probably a good hour on this, and considering we were there from 10am to 3pm, and in Marvel’s Next Big Thing panel from 1:00 to 2:15 (and eating lunch for ½ an hour before that) – you can start to see that our time on the floor was fairly limited (probably around 2 hours total). One of our first stops was to Del Rey, though to be honest I didn’t get much of a chance to look around their booths. They had up the assortment of Star Wars covers as posters that you’ve probably seen elsewhere. I didn’t see any more copies of the Deceived/Red Harvest poster, nor the paperback of Death Troopers, but I did spot a pile of interesting looking credit card sized things with the Fatal Alliance cover on it. Upon getting it home, I’ve discovered it gives me an access code to a special website where I can see exclusive excerpts from various Star Wars books (like chapter 13 of Fatal Alliance, or a huge preview of The Making of the Empire Strikes Back – with pictures and text I haven’t seen anywhere else) as well as comics and the promise of more to come. That was a very nice surprise. Unfortunately, Del Rey being mostly adult books, my kids weren’t very interested in this area, and short of my picking up Alex Irvine’s Iron Man: Virus, I wasn’t able to stop and see if the Deus Ex or God of War books were out as well. Del Rey was preparing for J.W. Rinzler’s panel on the Making of Empire and his signing of the book at their booth later – but I was already fairly certain I wouldn’t be able to make it to those, since my priority panel was Marvel’s The Next Big Thing and I was afraid of torturing my kids with too much sitting and listening to other people talk. We started to make the rounds and stopped off at TOR books, where I was very impressed by what they had chosen to do at NYCC. They were giving away Ender’s Game and two other novels when we stopped by (one a Fantasy book, the other I don’t remember), and they were talking to each of the people who stopped at their booth to recommend those books and explain why a person should try reading it. One of the TOR folks spend a long time with my 6-year-old talking about the “Weenies” series (such as The Curse of the Campfire Weenies), which had the desired effect of both making him aware of the series and getting him to seek it out. I thought this was a great example of what book publishers should try to be doing at an event like this. As we were wandering between toy booths, we had what was probably one of the most unique moments of the convention. I realized we were passing the Her Universe booth, and I saw a blonde girl who looked like Ashley Eckstein to me. So I stopped my sons (all three of us are The Clone Wars fans) and introduced myself. Ashley was glad to talk to us, despite my youngest being rather shy – and called both my boys her “Skyguys”. She also quoted a few lines from The Clone Wars Movie, which seemed to spark some recognition in my older son as he figured out he was talking to Ahsoka. I think he was a little caught off-guard, and ultimately we thanked Ashley and moved on – but to my surprise later on my sons were happily explaining to their mom how they had met Ahsoka at the comic book convention – so it was something that definitely stayed with them. There were a couple more very quick book related stops we made during the day. The first was to Titan books, at which we picked up a copy of The Clone Wars Magazine – something we were all looking forward to checking out. We also stopped at Penguin/Grosset & Dunlap – who make Star Wars books for kids a little older than my crew. I picked up their free samplers, which include some pictures of the pop-up Heroes and Villains books that I haven’t seen anywhere online. Skipping ahead to our last stop before leaving NYCC, we visited with DK Publishing (which makes Star Wars kids books among many others). We had actually passed them by a few times earlier, and the place was always busy. They had stock of signed books from the previous days of the convention for sale, and those piles slowly diminished over the course of the day (like the Avengers Ultimate Character Guide) – but we were still able to pick up a few Star Wars items. While we were there, Jason Fry was signing The Clone Wars: New Battlefronts – The Visual Guide, and he wrote a very nice message to my sons and gave us a couple of signed cards as well. He genuinely seemed happy to talk to the fans who were stopping by, not rushing anyone along and paying close attention to the kids who asked him questions. The kids got a couple of Star Wars DK Readers books, a Clone Wars sticker book, some Toy Story 3 books, an Atlantis Lego Brickmaster book… all in all a great selection from DK, and probably my kid’s favorite booth of the day. Obviously, I’ve skipped some of the other things we did at NYCC – the comic book stuff. I’m also writing a piece for www.cosmicbooknews.com and if you’d like to read the rest of our experience you can check it out there (including a comic written by Alex Irvine). I’ll talk about what booths we visited as well as the Marvel panel we attended. Otherwise though, we had a really great time at NYCC 2010 and plan to attend again next year – and hopefully I’ll be able to stop at more publisher booths next time.

3 comments:

BryStearns said...

Very cool! Glad you and your kids had such a great time at NYCC. But one question, where are the pictures?

M. McGriff said...

Awww that sounds like so much fun! I so want to make it to this event next year! :)

Jim Haley said...

I thought a couple of times to take pictures (and you'll see one from the Marvel panel if you check out my other report at http://cosmicbooknews.com/news/nycc10_cbn_report

but mostly, I was holding the hands of my kids (4 & 6). The place was packed and I didn't want to lose them. Getting out my camera-phone was not a priority. Hopefully next year I'll manage to take more pictures. Thanks for reading!