With attendance of 151,000, this year’s NYCC is now the biggest reported North American comics convention, surpassing the San Diego Comic Con’s 130,000. According to show runner Lance Fensterman, the increase of 20,000 from last year was due to selling tickets for a full day Thursday, which was previously a half-day “pro day.
I’m told neither number includes pros and exhibitors and ‘industry support” however, so the exact number of numb and yet enthused people wandering the halls of either Comic-Con has not been released. Given the number of lookie-loos who hang around in San Diego, that event would still seem to be the biggest.
Many people wondered how NYCC could be bigger than SDCC when the Javits Center is smaller than the San Diego Convention Center. I’m sure Torsten can give us the exact dimensions, but on most lists I’ve ever seen, the Javits is actually larger than SD Convetion Center. This stat is misleading however.
According to Wikipedia, the Javits has 840,000 sq ft of exhibition space and 1,800,000 sq ft of total space.
The San Diego Convention Center has a mere 615,700 sq ft of exhibition space but 2,600,000 sq ft of total space.
The Javits floor is obviously much smaller than THE TOTAL SPACE at SDCC where we spend so much time wandering around. The Javits total exhibit space includes the “Galleria” area on the fourth floor which was used this year as the press room, VIP area and media interview space. It’s a huge area the equal of Hall H that most people never even see. And of course, the SDCC was actually designed with a lot of people in mind, whereas the Javits is a dank rabbit warren of tunnels and low-ceilinged cattle pens. Okay not really, but it isn’t the best.
I did not feel that the Javits was dangerously crowded this year, mostly due to the genial disposition of the gentle mob. However some adjustments are going to be made, as I will reveal in my story for Publishers Weekly to be published tomorrow.
Now a few observations on the show from the meta standpoint. It was absolutely and without question The Year of the Woman. Not only were there numerous announcements of books with female talent, but a dozen panels on diversity and representation drew huge crowds, and the harassment policy was widely considered a success. I’ll have more to say about all this tomorrow, but a few links:
• The diversity panels were PACKED. All 12 of them.
— J. (@janiciaf) October 11, 2014
• Writer and commentator John Scalzi was pleased with the creation and display of NYCC’s harassment policy:
This is, pretty much, how an anti-harassment policy should be implemented.
And as a result, did the floor of the Javits Center become a politically correct dystopia upon which the blood of innocent The True (and Therefore Male) Geeks was spilled by legions of Social Justice Warriors, who hooted their feminist victory to the rafters? Well, no. The floor of the Javits Center looked pretty much like the floor of any really large media convention — people wandering about, looking at stuff, wearing and/or admiring costumes and generally having a bunch of geeky fun. Which is to say that as far as I could see the policy didn’t stop anyone from enjoying themselves; it simply gave them assurance that they could enjoy themselves, or get the problem dealt with if someone went out of their way to wreck their fun.
• According to Isha Aran at Jezebel New York Comic Con Was All About Diversity This Year
• James Whitbrook thinks that How New York Comic Con has shown us a wonderful future for Comics with the announcement of many female led projects:
The fact that these weren’t just throwaway announcements either, but some of the biggest news for DC and Marvel out of the Con, speaks to the importance for getting a wider variety and diversity of characters out into fans hands. The fact that they’re tentpole releases (Wonder Woman ’77 itself will head the vanguard for the latest batch of DC Digital releases, another welcome trend of Comic’s embrace of the digital age), accompanied by madly popular panels devoted to the women of comics and the industry itself from both DC and Marvel goes to show how they are slowly but surely getting better at nurturing their female fanbases as well. Lord knows they’ve both screwed up lately, but it’s nice to see positive news on this front for once.
• Laura Mandanas at Autostraddle has a positive review of the LGBT events at the con, although there could be more programming for this group.
• And a couple more including a representative overview by Jay Deitcher at Unleash the Fanboy:
• And not really to the point of this artuicle but I thought it was funny: Marvel even leads DC in preventing leaked footage.
Heidi MacDonald is the founder and editor in chief of The Beat. In the past, she worked for Disney, DC Comics, Fox and Publishers Weekly. She can be heard regularly on the More To Come Podcast. She likes coffee, cats and noble struggle.