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NY Comic Con ’08 (Part 2 of 3) April 27, 2008

Posted by Brian L. Belen in Comics, Show and Tell, Up and Away.
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Second of Three Parts: Random Pictures

Alas, I didn’t have a right and proper camera with me at the Comic Con — not that I’m any good as a photographer — so I had to settle for using the one built into my celphone. As a result, the pictures below tend to be a bit dodgy (I had a few more, but they weren’t much better) but they’re good enough for a meager post by way of photoblogging.

Manhattan’s Jacob Javits Center is a pretty big place, so the Comic Con had multiple entrances, all of which were decked out as above. I couldn’t find a vantage point from which I could take a shot of the show floor for some perspective, but the lights in this picture should give some indication of the size of the exhibition area.

Even before entering the show floor there were comic book paraphernalia around. Naturally, these were popular for the token souvenir photo, especially the life-size superhero statues such as Batman’s (see below; there was also one of the Man of Steel, but it wasn’t nearly as awesome).

One thing I did expect to see were people dressed up as Jedi or Stormtroopers or any number of Star Wars characters (I’m pretty sure there was a Wookie or two in attendance as well). So none of that surprised me. But I was quite impressed by these detailed statues of Yoda and Princess Leia.

Sure, they might not look like anything special (especially that blurry photo), but I happen to like mock-ups of cartoon characters, especially when they’re done this well.

Previously, I mentioned that there were a few video game companies present in full force. Naturally, this created many opportunities for cross-promotion, such as the way that Konami was drumming up publicity for their new Hellboy game, The Science of Evil. Others, were there just to sell video-game related paraphernalia, such as Square-Enix.

While I’m aware that the above are probably the worst photos in the history of bad photos, there was no way to get a shot of the entire Konami booth without a wide-angle lens. As for the Squeenix booth, this is what their booth looked like from the side. The decor was very minimal, and their display of Final Fantasy and Kingdom Hearts figurines (among others) ended up buried behind throngs of onlooking fans. All the same, I’m sure my brother would’ve loved to have been there to check out the Squeenix offerings for himself.

Speaking of things my brother missed out on, there was a significant amount of anime and manga at the convention. Indeed, if there was one booth he would’ve wanted to browse through had he been around, I’m guessing it would have been Tokyopop’s.

It should be noted that Viz Media was also around, but I didn’t have the time to check out their manga lounge.

Still, there was no denying that mainstream Western comics took center stage at the convention, especially because it offered the opportunity for fans to meet some of their favorite artists and writers . Going once around the show floor I managed to see quite a few, such as…

…Mark Texiera, whom I remember for his work on Ghost Rider

…Inker Scott Hanna…

…John Romita Sr. and Jr, here pictured during a signing event at the Marvel booth (the line for which was impossibly long!)…

…Tom Raney (at least I think this is Tom Raney)…

…Steve Epting…

…and Mark Buckingham, although this is as close as I ever came to meeting the guy. In fact, for a brief moment I contemplated swiping the handwritten note on the premise that he had written it…but that wouldn’t be right, would it?

And yes, because the NY Comic Con is a big deal among fan circles, it enjoyed extensive coverage from the usual industry news outfits.

Of course, collectors of all persuasions had much to look forward to in the form of comics, comics and more comics!

Naturally, there were huge discounts to be had all over. What’s more, some bargain stalls were selling really old comics for dimes, by far the cheapest deals in town.

Sure, some of the merchandise available for purchase had very little to do with comics (Webkinz?), but at least it ensured that even kids not entirely sold on comics could look forward to something. As for older patrons, there was no shortage of things to vie for their attention. Take for instance the exhibition staff: interestingly, a lot of those working the show floors for the organizers were actually volunteers, many of whom traipsed about dressed in some costume or other. This brings me to the final photo of this post, and the tongue-in-cheek remark I can’t resist to make:

Princess Leia’s slave girl outfit. Teasing adolescent fantasies since 1983.

‘Nuff said.

(Previously: Impressions. Next: The Souvenir)

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