Monday, October 14, 2013

New York Comic Con Day 4- The calm and the reflection


Day 4 of the  New York Comic Con was rather low key. It was much like the previous day where things seemed to run right, and the insanity of the first two days that had me saying less than kind things about the convention was gone. It was the sort of experience that had me wanting to go next year after swearing I was forever done on Thursday and Friday.

Much of the day was spent wandering the sales floor talking to vendors, talking to people, taking pictures (lots of stuff at the Tumblr page) and chatting with friends like Chocko, Mondocurry and Alec. Alec was hanging out in the press lounge waiting for an MIA Hubert to arrive so they could shoot a video piece for Flixist.

I ran into my neighbors Mark and Denise and their kids in the lounge. They had been there for an hour and it was so overwhelming that the kids wanted to head home. The crowds and the many sights had simply overwhelmed them. They told me that normally their kids would have wanted to tear into all of the action figures but the choices were simply too much for them.

The feel this fourth and final day was mellow.

From a vendors point of view I know it was much too mellow, in most cases people weren't buying. I know in previous years Sunday was the big day to buy because of deals and because you wouldn't be saddled with things for the rest of the con, but this year no one bought. Many booths were radically slashing prices to get things to move, they hadn't been planning on taking anything home- or as much as they were. I bought things because of the deals that I hadn't planned on buying.(I thought I was getting out with only spending a round a hundred bucks-but I guess not)

Several vendors by the Block  section were going home damn near bankrupt because of poor sales. A large number of people, even those who made money said they were not coming back next year because the cost to profit margin is too high- it costs too much to be there so you have to make a huge amount of money to really break even. Its not worth the effort.  I think it was a lesson many learned last year since many vendors I used to deal with were no where to be found. A large number of people there this year will not be back next.

I see this as the answer to a piece I did last year asking if New York Comic Con had jumped the shark and changed into something else.- clearly it has. Comic Con is now about being there and being seen. Its an event. It's a happening. Its become something that isn't wholly about fans communing with each other. What you now have is a large number people people going not to be part of the convention and take part in it but to see what it's all about. Its about being at an event and seeing the "freaks" as several attendees called the cosplay people.

They, we are not freaks.

I'm not sure what I think of the now very real change from fan event to social happening. I know the change was what prompted my dislike of Thursday and Friday. These are not typical Comic Con people, these were not the same people who had been there every other year. There was a discussion in the press lounge about were we all getting too old for this? After much talk it seemed to come out, it wasn't that we were too old, everyone was talking about other conventions that they would gladly go to, rather it was this convention was now something else.

There was also lots of discussion about the panels this year. From my perspective and a few other film writers the number of film related panels was small. I tried to get into some and failed, I did make it to the Oldboy panel and the Making Movie About Making Comics panels but outside of that there wasn't much. There was a great deal of TV panels but I haven't seen many of the shows so I didn't attend.

A small problem, the result of my being a Luddite with an out dated phone, is that unless you had the mobile app anything updated from when they printed the convention book a month a go wasn't going to be placed before you- on the other hand the app frequently would tell you about additions moments before they happened and made say running to a Sleepy Hollow signing event a non-starter.

So how was it?

Cleave off Thursday (that was really unpleasant) and it was a good Con. It was probably too slick and too low key, but it was good. I'm not sure I think I like the change from a fan event to a social happening for a wider audience, but it was good. (If you want proof of social happening consider how little cosplay there was on Sunday and how many people were walking around armed with cameras looking for cosplay people)

Will I go again next year?

I'm not sure. I might. Right now I'm too tired, the result of too much over the last six weeks between this and the New York Film Festival. Right now I need sleep.

And before going I want to add- keep reading I'm going to be reviewing several films I picked up at the convention or which I learned about there including several from the Making Movies about Comics panel.
Wide eyed fans crash into each other 


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