Monday, October 22, 2012
Recap: New York Comic Con 2012
This year New York Comic Con took place October 11-14, 2012. Curls Studio drove up on Thursday morning to be set-up and ready for the crowds at the Javits Center. The Thursday morning is my favorite time during NYCC, because once we arrange our table, we go to the main floor to witness the huge displays being put up for Marvel, DC, Dark Horse, Lego, and more. At this time, no one is around and we can use of exhibitor passes to get in and experience the set-up process and not be engulfed by crowds. By being behind-the-scenes you can observe a lot and by having this access it also helps to see where everything is and have a game plan with what you want to visit during this calm-before-the-storm.
We were lucky to have Brian Sarvis with us for all four days of the convention because whenever we stepped away, he could handle the table. Lauren Jaslow also helped on Friday and it was her first NYCC experience.
Our table was W13 in Artist Alley. Leading up to the start of the convention, all I could hear were mumblings of other creators who were skeptical of the placement of Artist Alley. The location had moved away from the main floor, where it had been in previous years, and was now located in Javits North (if you were at NYCC in 2011, this was the area where the celebrity wing was). To get there, you have to walk a ramp going away from the main floor. Exhibitors were concerned traffic would not come because of this further location and thinking that Artist Alley would be away from the action. At this time, I had already accepted the fact that Artist Alley had moved and all I could hope for is that people would know where to find us and that NYCC had proper signage to guide attendees. I had already written a blog that included maps clearly marked, so I tried my best to prepare the Curls Studio fan base beforehand.
In my opinion, there was no problem with the Artist Alley placement in the North Pavilion. First of all, this was the largest Artist Alley in history. More space leads to more exhibitors and more breathing room to take it all in. Also in previous years, Artist Alley had been placed near loud video game competitions. We were competing with all this noise and action going around us. We had to step away from our table to do a couple of interviews last year due to poor sound quality. This year, I felt like we could talk to the attendees and not feel rushed. We could actually focus and have conversations about what we do and not have to sacrifice communication for being next to noise and other distractions. Artist Alley was it's own large room and we had it to ourselves. Also attendees who enjoy Artist Alley would not miss us - they still knew where to find us - and I felt even attendees who were not familiar with comic conventions still discovered the Artist Alley section as a break from the more hectic main hall. As you can see in the first photo above, the crowds did come to Artist Alley!
I was at the table most of the time. The only other thing I did at NYCC that strayed far from the table was to see WWE Wrestling Superstar Dolph Ziggler for an autograph signing at the Mattel booth. This only took 30 minutes of my time, as I got a ticket to go early Saturday morning and later got in line at the scheduled time later in the day to meet him. I brought Toast with me to take a photo with him. We love his hair because it looks like spaghetti. From this one short experience of leaving the table, I realized how massive NYCC is on a Saturday. If you did not have a destination in mind of where to go, you could easily get lost in the shuffle.
I also saw the Team Cul de Sac book at the GoComics booth, which was exciting to be a part of that and see it come to life.
On Saturday night we ate at Krolewski Jadio for Polish cuisine in Brooklyn. The building entrance is guarded with two men in armor and the place was dressed up for Halloween. We ordered the Polish Plate, pierogies, and more. The food tasted great and I highly recommend it.
Back at NYCC on Sunday, I got to meet Juanjo Guarnido, the artist of Blacksad, one of my favorite graphic novels. I did not know he was going to be there, but luckily I was chatting with Rafer Roberts about Blacksad and he told me the artist was there. I got Juanjo Guarnido to sign my sketchbook and he drew a small head of Blacksad for me. It was certainly a highlight to meet him. I also briefly took a break to see Elmo at the Variant Stage for Kids Day.
At the table, I got to meet a lot of new people who were just discovering Curls Studio for the first time, by means of just walking around and exploring the scene. Also a few folks dropped by from previous years. It's pretty amazing how they were able to find the Curls Studio table again! We also were at the table when a handful of classmates we knew from VCU stopped by. It seemed like everyone was at NYCC! Here is a video from pugglesformuggles about her NYCC experience. Here is a video interview from glcorps2002 where I talk about the books that Curls Studio creates.
A lot of people expressed interest in Kid Roxy this year, which was exciting to see. We hope to have a new Kid Roxy book out in 2013.
I was also impressed with the quality of cosplay and the costumes this year. It seems like everyone overall stepped up their game. Also apparently female Loki is very popular.
On Sunday night after we fully packed and the convention was over, we ate dinner at La Taverna in Brooklyn. This restaurant served delicious Italian food and I had the grilled salmon. We got some rest to prepare us for our Monday as a "free" day in New York, since we were in town. We looked for the set of HBO's Boardwalk Empire, which we knew was in Brooklyn, and turned out it was very close by LaTaverna, where we had been the night before. The set was closed off and they were not filming, but we were able to see the top of some of the boardwalk buildings and small glimpses of the boardwalk wood. One of the billboards were tossed aside for "Adam's Black Jack Gum" and I took a photo with that.
We then went to the new location of Forbidden Planet comic book store, which is next to the Strand bookstore. We went to Little Italy and ate at Sal's for brick oven pizza and then headed home.
Thanks to my pal, Nadia, for letting us stay at her place. Also big thanks to Mike Negin who did an awesome job of coordinating Artist Alley. Thank to everyone we met and we hope to be back in 2013 for NYCC.
Looks for more photos on the Curls Studio Facebook page and give us a "Like" too! Also check in with AstrayJ on Instrgram. He took a lot of photos documenting Curls Studio's experiences at NYCC.