I hate to differ with Torsten but I think Wednesday still counts as a Day Zero becuase of the ICv2 conference—a lot of people came over and milled about.
I thought the panels at this year’s conference were excellent topics and could have gone a lot longer, but maybe better to be left wanting more. The digital storytelling/future comics panel I moderated went very well, I think, and all the panelists were incredibly well informed and smart. Dave Gibbons showed why he’s The Man by making use of his official ICv2 pad to take notes while other people were speaking so he could respond to a variety of topics—in my head I could hear the Direct TV guy saying “Use your ICv2 Pad to Takes notes while others are speaking.” You could easily do a whole afternoon of panels on just digital comics storytelling and platforms, and I expect someone is going to do that very soon. A SXSWi just for comics.
The attendees at this conference were not, as in years past, a lot of people from various comics companies and bookstores, but rather a mix of people from various comics-related things. I didn’t know all of them, which isn’t always the case at ICv2 conferences, and that’s awesome. It also struck me that there are now so many people in this capacity who are making valuable contributions. It’s a true sign of the health of this industry that smart, forward-looking people are getting involved in new things without giving the hard sell. That also wasn’t always the case. At any rate the afternoon sped by. I have a full report up at PW which you can read later today, and Milton Griepp, the organizer, recorded the panels so hopefully we’ll have audio in a bit.
There wasn’t any big takeaway unless you count “DIGITAL IS HUGE AND GROWING” but that was kinda evident already. Comics sales are up for the year although GNs are down. Digital is WAY up. Manga is WAY down. There was a general impression that we are getting new readers with digital and that is going to make a big difference eventually.
Although completely wiped out before the show even started, I made my sole party stop at the Graphic Novel Reporter cocktail party (and my apologies to everyone whose party I didn’t make—party hopping was out of the question.) Got to catch up with show runner Lance Fensterman, and Scot Robins, Jim Zub and Robert Berry. IDW’s Ted Adams was there, but the subject of our conversation will be its own post. In a shocking development that will leave long-time Beat readers stunned, this party was the first time I’d had a chance to eat food all day! That NEVER happened before!
I took some pictures, including some slides of Milton’s comics industry figures, and some pictures from the emerging show floor. Clickee for biggee.
Comics industry sales peaked in 2008. Griepp attributed the decline not to the economic collapse but to a lack of enchantment with the product among readers. The New 52 reversed this trend.
In GN sales alone, 2008 was also a peak year, but they are still at a much higher level than in 2001.
GN sales in Bookstores are still greater than comic shops. I would like to know what Brian Hibbs thinks of this slide.
But the Borders implosion took a toll.
This slide isn’t very clear but shows a breakdown of titles by genre over the last few years. Although the number of titles is down 2% from last year, it’s still up overall.
Manga has seen better days.
But Digital is emerging as they say.
I love my logo! Thanks Comicraft!
Publishing panel from afar.
Chris Hardwick raps with Fred Seibert (SIGH-bert.) Both these guys were very engaging—not exactky a newsflash!—and had a lot of great insights about the creative process and believing in yourself to see a project through. I scribbled some notes but I can’t read them now.
On to the show floor! It is the year of LEGO!!! Lego Gandalf and Bilbo!
Marvel XD at the booth.
Marvel from afar
I have to admit, I am fascinated by this Craftsman tools booth!
Lego Chris Hardwick!
Apparently they will be doing sanding and drilling demos all weekend. Maybe some routing too? V. exciting.
Come tomorrow this will be an aisle of dreams.
The construction tunnel has been converted into a wild, psychedelic Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles display!
More of the tunnel.
This is where it’s all going down!!! Booth #3157! it’s around the corner from the Podcast Arena, where podcasters engage in brutal hand-to-hand combat every day at 1 and 3.
There are a lot of non-comics exhibitors this year. Even during set-up it was clear that NYCC has become a show where brands are showing up to reach pop culture consumers. These brands, like Craftsman Tools and press-on nails, are better able to afford the booth space than small comics companies. It’s sad but it’s a fact of life.
Blurry Image booth with Todd Martinez and Sarah DeLaine. They have the SAGA trade and a show exclusive hardcover of Jonathan Hickman’s THE MANHATTAN PROJECT which looks niiiiiice.
KITTENS! How did they get in here????
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.