NYCC ’16: A video tribute to Artist Alley and one final look back

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It’s taken me a week to recover from New York Comic Con, as usual, although my brain is still a little fried. This despite the fact that I hid out in the press room for most of three days, and only ventured on to the floor a few times. I really missed most of the show, but what I saw of it I wrote about for PW.

In case you missed it, I asked Lance Fensterman about how much of the audience is actually there for the comics, and he said it’s one of the most important things for fans:

One of the most talked about news items of the weekend among comics publishers was the statistic from pop culture analyst Rob Salkwoitz at Thursday’s ICv2 Insider Talks event, which suggested that only 6% of NYCC attendees are primarily interested in comics. Fensterman challenged that figure, citing ReedPop internal polling that show that the top four reasons for fans coming to NYCC are great experience, friends, love of comics and great panels.

Data also show, he said, that fans budget to buy comics, among other items. Fensterman said interest in comics among attendees is higher than Salkowitz’s research would indicate. “If its only 6%, a lot of people selling things here should be out of business.”

He also told me something I didn’t quote there directly:

We asked fans to rate their satisfaction with 15 different features of the show and the top three were (in order): The RFID badges, our Cosplay is not Consent policy and artist alley (comics were not a specific show feature we asked them to rate here).

I’m guessing that badges wouldn’t be my guess for the most popular aspect of the show, but there you go. Although the show was mad crowded as usual, there was a slightly chiller vabe than in the past as the people who go know that it’s going to be crowded and make mental adjustments for it.

That said, while I was pushing through one particular knot of folks, I overheard a woman saying “I just don’t like crowds!” NYCC is not a place for people who are anxious about crowding or having their personal space invaded by someone dressed like Harley Quinn. Apparently here was a huge line to get in on Friday and a lot of waiting, but I missed most of that.

There were a couple of survival issues outside the show, too. When I was leaving on Friday, the ginormous eight story escalator down to the 7 train was broken and everyone had to walk down. It was very crowded and even when its working, it gives a huge sense of vertigo. This was almost a Poseidon Adventure moment for a lot of people, myself included – people were moaning and gasping the whole way down, and there was one woman who had stopped about two flights from the end, just clutching the handrail, trying to get it together.

This had nothing to do with the show, of course, but it was no fun!

As Torsten reported, the excellent wifi was donated by the Javits Center! Everyone was marvelling at the amazing 5G crackling speeds all weekend, and since it costs $700 for a pro grade wifi signal for JUST ONE DAY at a booth you can imagine how much the sponsorship package would have been — well into five figures, I’m sure. Why did Javits decide to let the people stream? I have no idea, but maybe the sheer size and scope of the event led them to take pity on the huddled masses, crying out for an internet connection. It was great and more than made up for the lack of coffee in the press room.

I did read one thing about another Funko riot, as reported by Adi Tantimedh for Bleeding Cool:

That was the complaint of those in line who had bracelets. They had no proper security. The people who had bracelets knew from social media beforehand. The ones who didn’t have bracelets didn’t know they were supposed to get bracelets to guarantee a place in line. One person I spoke to, who was a doctor, said there were a lot of autistic-spectrum, unstable people with intense emotional investment in toys and Funko figures who got increasingly desperate, and the lack of professionalism and proper security resulted in the fight.

 

Other than that, as you can see from the photo at the top, if Harley Quinn was the queen of NYCC cosplay, Eleven from Stranger things was it’s tiny, Eggo clutching princess. So many Elevens.

I may have a photo parade in a few days but by far the saddest part of New York Comic Con was the farewell to the North Hall and Artist Alley. This lovely, light filled, bathroom packed space will be no more and live on only in our memories. as Alanna Martinez at the Observer wrote:

Let us not forget why we’ve come here: comic books. If you attended New York Comic Con to cosplay, wait in line for celebrity panels, play video games, buy toys, or for any of the other seemingly infinite reasons a fellow nerd may find themself making the annual pilgrimage to the Javits Center, I’m sure you had a fantastic time. But unless you made it down to Artist Alley, in the far North corner of the convention center, you missed the real reason why NYCC exists in the first place. The heart and soul of this fall gathering is comic books and the artists behind them—always has been and (hopefully) always will be.

I was so sad, I made a video tribute. Hope you enjoy it. Peace out.