Vendors, fans, artists, professionals and plenty of people in costumes all descended on the Javits Center in New York City over the four-day event… a combination of New York Comic Con and Anime Festival. This year marked the largest New York Comic Con event, with over 100 thousand people attending. As a first time attendee to any kind of “con” I found myself caught up in the excitement of the spectacle.
I quickly realized the reason why Comic Con ran for four days: it would be impossible to cover the entire show floor in just one! I began walking through a section of commercial vendors selling merchandise like action figures, tee shirts, posters, key chains, costumes, handmade collectibles and many other items from the world of television, movies, comics, anime, and web.
Day two brought out the big crowds and with them the many more “cosplayers” (people dressed as characters from their favorite movies, games, animes or other fiction works) who were stopping to take pictures with adoring fans, or holding up traffic with their various appendages (such as wings).
Finally after pushing my way through the crowds, I made it to the section of the convention known as Artist’s Alley. The vendors in Artist’s Alley were comic book, digital and other artists who were selling original artwork, along with prints. The caliber of the artists varied from comic book artists who specialized in ink and line drawings, to digital artists whose colorful prints grabbed patrons’ attention as they walked by. There were also artists who favored more traditional mediums like acrylic, watercolor, colored pencil, and even a few who used crayons. The subject of the work varied from original scenes and characters, to the artists’ interpretation of famous comic book heroes, and Japanese animation (anime) characters.
I managed to save all of my shopping until Sunday (the final, and most busy day of Comic Con), making sure I had canvassed the entire four sections of the huge convention, before committing to buying pieces. Unlike some of the more professional collectors who were walking around with huge shopping bags filled with merchandise and artist prints, my shopping list seemed short by comparison. After purchasing a few gifts for friends (key chains, calendars and t-shirts) from the general merchants, I headed back to Artist’s Alley to purchase some original prints. I purchased prints from several artists, including Shelly and Katie Osowiecki , Joey Chou , Sara Richard , and Jimmy Tran … All artists whom I had never heard of, yet after viewing their work and speaking to them in person, I felt enough of a connection to want to purchase a copy for myself.
My first Comic Con was both exciting and entertaining. I left with some new prints and posters to line my walls, and sore feet. I recommend everyone attend Comic Con at least once in their lives… it has to be experienced.