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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.

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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.

• 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.

9 COMMENTS

  1. *SIGH*
    Okay… the scorecard, once again:
    SDCC:
    Halls A-H = 525,701 sq. ft
    TONS of meeting rooms, ballrooms, space upstairs.
    Ballroom 6 = 40,955 sq.ft.
    Ballroom 20 = 40,706 sq.ft.
    Sails Pavilion = 90,000 sq.ft. (autographing)
    Total: 697,362 sq.ft.

    NYCC:
    Halls 3A-E = 410,000 sq.ft.
    Halls 1A-E = 305,000 sq.ft.
    North Hall = 80,000 sq.ft.
    Total: 795,000 sq.ft.

    The Galleria/River Pavilion is 45,000 sq.ft., in a T formation.
    Hall H is 64,842 sq.ft.

    If I were King of New York, I’d build OVER Twelfth Avenue, perhaps even do a “Battery Park City” on the Hudson. Then, over the freight parking lot directly south of Javits (which it owns), I’d build a skyscraper which would connect to Halls 1 and 3, plus include ballrooms and smaller exhibition spaces. If the water table allows, build DOWN like in Hong Kong and Toronto (and WTC), placing halls below the street.

    But, Javits doesn’t care. Most likely, NYCC will hit a ceiling (after expanding to Columbus Day), and then use C2E2 as their flagship show, drawing perhaps 1,000,000 attendees when they fill the entire McCormick Center.

    And then there’s Vegas… (LVCC, Sands, Mandalay Bay)

  2. It was my first New York con and I kept hearing how it was bigger than SDCC. Sorry, I just don’t think so. I was there all four days. I know what its like walking through the vendor area on a Saturday at SDCC and it wasn’t close to the same. I know what its like after SDCC closes for the day and we are ejected into the city en masse and again it wasn’t close. How can a smaller building with fewer exits look like less people than SDCC when everyone is leaving?

  3. I heard it was kinda ridiculous for the weapons policy, which kinda undermines the props for intricate cosplays and many popular cosplays out right now (Kill la Kill scissor blade?). Props made out of “foam or cardboard only” are subpar in presentation… I definitely saw that there were many artists there that I follow online, also it coincided with several other events with people flying in from around the country.

  4. Everything is diverse. Except the sales. They’re not so diverse. There isn’t a single regular book that wouldn’t be canceled by any of the major publishers 20 years ago, even with digital added in. So- why isn’t all this diversity showing up at the cash register? It’s been several years now with this diversity push- where are the sales? I just see them going down, down, down as the aging fanboys who keep the market alive drift away. I just see comics creators and indy publishers getting forced out at the cons that they built through years of hard work and sacrifice. People are going to realize that the con culture has been just another bubble. When cosplayers get sick of the hobby and the bubble pops……

  5. I don’t think the “con bubble” is a thing in and of itself but I do think we might see less actual “comic” cons and more “pop/geek” cons which will just get rid of things like Artist Alley altogether. They’ll essentially be geek consumer trade shows with cosplay and TV/movie/video game promotions all over the place. Then the comic cons will go back to being smaller events driven by the enjoyment of the medium and plagued with under-funding since all the cool kids will stick with the bigger spectacle cons. I think that will take about a decade to happen, though.

    Overall I don’t think it’s a bad thing that there are a shitload of people going to cons as long as comics artists are actively promoted and not treated as a box to check off to be able to use the word “comic” in the press release. The alternative is smaller conventions that have a harder time raising good money to sustain a decent event. Sure you’ll be able to be in a more intimate setting with your favorite comics artist but there’s less of a chance of that event happening the following year, too.

    We shall see…

  6. @ Doctor Comix – while I share your concerns, it’s hard to say if digital is helping a little or helping a lot. Publishers are insanely tight lipped about it, and that’s without even getting into how many people are pirating stuff.

  7. If a series hasn’t been cancelled, then the publisher has figured out a way to make money on it.
    Piracy, while always a concern, decreases as accessibility and ease increase.
    Digital sales spur print sales. CrossGen proved this with COW, Boom! proved this with Northern Wind. (The latter was an online freebie, and it still sold out at comics shops!)

    You want diversity? Sales? Go look at Scholastic Book Fairs. They sold 200,000 copies of Raina Telgemeier’s “Smile” (cover price: $11) BEFORE it hit the bestseller lists. Or “Jedi Academy”. Or “Amulet”. Or Ninjago or Avatar or March or The Walking Dead or…

  8. So things have finally come full circle after all of these years!

    New York used to be the big dog when it came to comic book conventions, was eventually eclipsed by San Diego ( and I’m pretty sure even Chicago), and now is top banana again — just as DC is packing up and heading to southern California.

    There is some cosmic irony to that, I suppose.

  9. This was a REALLY diverse con, just on the crowd alone. The multi-ethnic flavor of The Big Mango was in evidence everywhere, from the streets around the Javits Center to the show floor to the panels. With all the languages we heard being spoken, we would have sworn we were on the 7 train. As creators of a multi-racial, gender-bending graphic novel, we were VERY impressed by the diverse press and blogger corps that covered the con, too. The Javits Center, with its hideous, mob-contractor gray paint and traffic-flow-from-hell is ugly as sin, but New York’s gorgeous mosaic lit it up with color.

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