Saturday, October 5, 2019

The Convention Update of October: NYCC 2019


Guess who forgot to make a post for the month of September? This guy. But if you really do want to know, September was a pretty standard month for me. I managed to get some art of Taku that I started back in January done at long last. I wasn't expecting that much fanfare since Taku at the moment is pretty flat and needs further development. And of course some further development on SRB2Kart racers as if that game couldn't suck me in any further.

Then October came and I was immediately thrust into a convention known as New York Comic Con. Perhaps the biggest convention I go to each year and perhaps so big that I can't possibly experience everything the show had to offer in the time I was there. You have your typical NYCC flaws including being SUPER-packed, lack of benches (so I came prepared and brought a holdup chair) long-as-heck lines for practically everything, and the ratio of cosplayers to non-cosplayers being abysmally low (and with most cosplayers just not being worth your time, if I had to be honest).

One thing I was surprised about was the massive presence of anime at this con, between Dragon Ball Z at nearly every corner plus some My Hero Academia, Epic7, and Yu-Gi-Oh (especially My Hero). Otherwise it's your standard over-comericalised comic convention stuff, similar to EternalCon but on a much more massive scale (but thankfully it had a lot more to offer and wasn't all on a cement floor). In the end though I ended up with several posters being given out at the booths and a few prints I purchased at the booths. Including a Nightwing and a Green Lantern print, mostly due to the influences they give to my characters Hades and Mr. Morph respectively. One artist there even did a lot of lesser known characters including Gum from Jet Set Radio and the only instance of a Trigun print I ever saw at a con outside of AnimeNYC 2018. Overall there's only so many artists at a comic convention that can hold my attention since under most circumstances it's dominated by artists that work professionally for Marvel, DC, IDW, etc. And don't even get me started on their commission prices if you dare fork over a hundred dollars for a sketch bust that other artists charge at $80 less.

There was also a booth for Arcade 1UP. The makers of those miniature arcade machines I've been skeptical on for some time because the cabinets would not fit in that well with my traditional authentic machines in my basement and I already have the games on other formats (especially the likes of Pac-Man, since I'm probably the biggest fan of that silly game and have it on almost every console thanks to Namco Museums and the like). The booth was also one of the few instances of seating in the entire con, disregarding panels (seriously where were the benches along the blank walls of the con?).

But yeah I guess that's enough NYCC for me for one year. Got some good stuff that I need to get onto my wall including a print of this graphic novel supposedly in the works with lots of "motor-punk" vibes or whatever you call it. So what's next? Well I will be making one more journey to the Javits center for the smaller-scaled but more important/exciting AnimeNYC with the goal of meeting more new and returning artists, acquiring more prints and commissions, and overall having a great time. There's three other smaller scale conventions I'm planning on venturing to, but I can only choose one and I will not be referring to them by name for obvious reasons.

*The first of these is a relatively small "anime" convention that is normally held every May followed by an even smaller Halloween-themed event in October. And I put anime in quotes because the content featured there and the artists that exhibit their works there have none, if any, anime-related content, despite the con billing itself to be about anime. Instead it falls more in line with the kind of content you'd see at NYCC and EternalCon, with the October event being billed as an anime convention when in reality it's a costume party confined into a very small space and with no dividers to separate the open space from the stage with the host via microphone and the Youtube'd anime music blasting full force through the small room. And you thought "hey at least the cosplay would be good?" Well it's a free convention and unfortunately that's just begging for lots of low-effort costumes that scream "budget cosplay" with kids and adults dressing in overly simple skintight suits. As much as I'm willing to return to the main convention next May, I have doubts I'll be attending this halloween event of theirs this year due to how abysmally awful it was back in 2018. Even the one they did in 2017 was leagues ahead.

*The second con is an actual convention in New Jersey, believe it or not. I went there in 2016 after being recommended to attend following NYCC 2016. However there was one big problem. By coincidence the convention was hosted on the same day as the release of Pokémon Sun and Moon, which resulted in most of the day just being spent at the hotel's cafe playing through the forced tutorials and grinding up Pokémon over going around and meeting artists. And sadly there were only around ten artists and none of them seemed worth chatting with (instead the dealer's room made up a bulk of the area featuring goods to buy). Sure the place was nice, filled (and I mean FILLED) with cosplays that took actual effort to make which is more than I can say for most comic conventions and there was actual seating and good food options, but it was just a meh convention overall. I did not even consider going there again in 2017 and 2018 because the dates of the con landed on the weekend of and the weekend before AnimeNYC respectively.

*The third one is another free (or at least low-pricing) comic book convention, however this one was far less cringe-y than the "anime but it's actually about comics" convention described under the first bullet. Plus it has actual comic artists to meet up and interact with, including a duo of artists that I'm good friends with. Other than that not much else to say.

So I'm currently deciding on what to go through, as all three cons take place over the weekend of October 26th-27th. Of course the first "anime" convention is out of the question but I'm eyeing up the second and third ones (the first for the cosplay and maybe an improved artist's alley), the second for the professional-level comic artists that I can actually have small talk with. I'm not sure if I can plan on visiting them both over the course of the weekend but hey, there's like three weeks left before I have to choose.