New York Comic Con Anime Festival 2011: A Comic Book Fan's Review!
New York Comic Book Convention and Anime Festival: A Great Weekend for Fans!
The New York Comic Book Convention occurred Oct. 13-16, 2011, and coupled with the New York Anime Festival, drew more than 100,000 comic-book fans, video game addicts, cosplayers and indulgent parents over the four days. Marvel Comics and DC Comics had large presences, with Marvel touting its upcoming Avengers movie. There were comic-book artists and writers, anime creators, video game companies and much more. My daughter and I attended the convention on Sunday, and we had a spectacular time. Here are some highlights of our visit!
The Biggest Cultural Event On The East Coast!
...At Least That's How They Advertise It!
The New York Comic Con bills itself as the biggest cultural event on the East Coast, and I can certainly believe it! There were more than 100 exhibitors listed in the catalog, more than 300 panels, shows and events, dozens of comic-book artists and writers, and several dozen TV and movie stars. And that's not counting the anime festival, which had more artists and writers and events going on upstairs from the comic-book convention.
The convention had a special deal that allows each paying customer to bring in one child free on Sunday. My daughter, at age 12, was just under the age limit, so I only had to buy one ticket, which cost me $35. Fortunately I picked it up at our local comic-book store a week ahead of time, because by the start of the convention all the tickets had sold out!
We arrived about an hour before the 10 a.m. opening and were herded into this vast empty hall where thousands were waiting to get in. But we had plenty of entertainment to keep us busy: a goodie bag filled with Magic the Gathering game cards, gum and a t-shirt, among other things. We also enjoyed people watching, as numerous fans showed up wearing costumes -- Steampunk fashion was a favorite, but we also saw Waldo, Captain America and many others.
Here is a photo of the crowd waiting to get in. It was easily 5,000 people before the doors opened.
New York Comic Con Collectibles - Buy Yours on eBay today!
One of the more interesting thing about visiting a large comic convention is the unique collectibles that are offered either for sale or as freebies. These items -- they could be books, toys, figures -- tend to have a market all their own. You can usually find some for sale on eBay, but as always when using the site make sure you read the conditions carefully and note all shipping and handling charges!
Spider-Man, Transformers and the Avengers!
Walking the Comic Con Floor!
We spent the first three hours at the convention just walking the aisles, looking at at the exhibitors and picking up lots and lots of free samples, posters, badges, etc.
Hasbro Toys had a fairly large display, with a huge Transformers statue and a hanging Spider-Man display. The little kids wanted their pictures taken in front of the Transformer, while the older fans were more drawn to Spider-Man.
Star Wars also had a large exhibit, though since my daughter isn't interested in those movies we moved pretty quickly beyond that. At one point I was corralled by a gentleman trying to sell original art by a California man who works on animated films. They were nice paintings, but at $600 each had to pass!
One things that struck me as we squeezed up and down each aisle was how many exhibitors really don't have much of a connection to comic books per se. There were exhibitors selling cosplay costumes based on movies, anime and manga; a display of Chevrolet cars; aisles of book publishers; even a Japanese hotel! The loneliest booth might have been the New York Times', where one guy was trying to sell subscriptions.
Tetris, Wakfu and Shoot Many Robots!
Testing Out The New Games!
One of the best parts of the convention was testing games that have either just hit the market or haven't been released yet. The lines at most of the game areas were dozens of people long, and we didn't want to wait to play the latest game from Nintendo, for instance. But we did get a chance to try some new ones.
At one booth a toy manufacturer was showing off Tetris Link, a board game version of the popular Internet game. My daughter whipped me pretty easily, but we both got nice wristbands to take home.
My daughter played Wakfu, a French-based online game in beta testing that she described as similar to Runescape.
She also tried out an app called Gravity Lab, in which you shot a robot at stars and tried to collect all of them. She described as similar to Angry Birds.
I am not much of a gamer, but she persuaded me to join her in playing Shoot Many Robots. The PlayStation 3 game isn't scheduled to be released until 2012, so we were able to get a great sneak preview. The point of the game is, uh, to shoot as many robots as you can. Yes, it's that simple. The setting is a ruined city street, and I kept forcing my character to jump up in the air when he was supposed to be shooting at robots!
Both of us eventually were overrun by the robots and killed, ending the game.
Gaia Online Presentation
Silly Stunts for Gaia Gold!
After lunch we went through the anime festival to a rear stage where there was a Gaia Online event that was scheduled to last more than two hours. Several hundred people attended, all in the hopes of getting Gaia prizes and gold.
Gaia Online is a social networking site where you build your own avatar, and visit towns and forums and all kinds of neat things (at least that's what I gather from watching my daughter play it). Wikipedia says the site gets 7 million unique users each month, and judging from some of the costumes people were wearing they are quite enthusiastic.
Everyone in attendance got a redemption card for a special item on the site, which turned out to be a badge. But the presenter also called audience members up on stage for a chance to win even bigger prizes by participating in such silly contests as throwing a small ball into a cup, being the first to eat a box of candy, and showing off silly action moves.
My daughter participated in a paper airplane contest, and even though she didn't win she did get some Gaia gold for her efforts. We didn't stay for the whole event, preferring to walk around some more.
In the photo: Contestants furiously making their paper airplanes before the clock runs out!
Transformers on eBay! - Buy Yours Today!
I was too old for Transformers when they first appeared in the mid-1980s, though I do remember seeing some of the comic books. Now they are a major toy franchise still going strong almost 30 years later, and there are many different Transformers items on eBay at any one time.
Keep in mind with eBay you should always check the conditions and shipping and handling before making a bid! Good luck!
Gene Colan Panel
Remembering a Comic Book Giant!
After some more walking around, we ended the day at the one panel that I really wanted to attend: a discussion of the late, great comic-book artist Gene Colan. His work was always interesting to me as a child reading comics, and when he died earlier this year I wrote a lens about his work.
The panel was hosted by Clifford Meth, a writer who had become a close friend of Colan's in his later years. Artists Walt Simonson and David Lloyd appeared, as did writer Don McGregor. Simonson and Lloyd talked about how much Colan's artwork influenced them, while McGregor told several stories about what a prankster Colan was and how lucky any writer was to have Colan as a collaborator.
Several fans spoke up, talking about how much Colan's work meant to them, and I thought it was great that so many people -- probably more than 100 -- showed up for what was the last panel of the last day of the convention.
In the photos, from left to right: Don McGregor, Clifford Meth, David Lloyd and Walt Simonson.
Costumed Fans Everywhere
Captain America, Green Lantern and Steampunk!
A convention is a great place to people-watch. Fans come dressed as various characters, many parents also dressed their children in costumes as well. We saw too many to keep track, but my daughter said Steampunk characters were very popular. There were Wonder Women and Captain Americas, and I remember at least one Wolverine. There was Green Lantern, Iron Man and Poison Ivy as well.
But the fact is that many of the fans were dressed as characters this old-timer just plain didn't recognize. maybe they were new comic-book heroes, or manga or anime. I just couldn't say.
But everyone looked like they were having fun, and the dressed-up fans really enjoyed posing for pictures!
Cosplayers at New York Comic Con - Cosplay Videos on Youtube!
There are plenty of Youtube videos dealing with the New York Comic Con. This one is good at showing you some of the cosplayers that were there, so please enjoy!
The Avengers Panel at the Comic Con - See it on Youtube!
We went to the comic convention on Sunday, so unfortunately we missed this great panel on the Avengers movie that took place on Saturday. Fortunately, the panel is on Youtube for everyone to see. So sit back, relax and enjoy!
Thor, Iron Man, Captain America, Spider-Man and Many More! - Marvel Comic Book Movies on Amazon!
Marvel Studios has produced more than 20 live-action movies since 1998, when it released Blade (a vampire-fighting character from the comic book Tomb of Dracula). The Spider-Man and the X-Men franchises have been hugely successful, while others such as Daredevil, Elektra and the Ghost Rider haven't been as popular.
Many are available on DVD so you can watch them at home, so order some today and enjoy!
The Avengers Movie Trailer
The Avengers panel and stand were two of the biggest things about the comic convention and were of course designed to promote the movie. Here is one of the trailers for the movie, in which Robert Downey Jr. as Tony Stark gets off some pretty funny lines. Enjoy!
The Official Avengers Movie Site and Much More!
- Marvel's The Avengers Now Playing
Join legions of eager fans anticipating Marvel's Avengers. All your favorite heroes – from Iron Man to Captain America – assemble as a mighty team. Marvel's The Avengers Now Playing.
- The Avengers (2012) - IMDb
Directed by Joss Whedon. With Robert Downey Jr., Chris Evans, Scarlett Johansson, Jeremy Renner. Nick Fury of S.H.I.E.L.D. brings together a team of super humans to form The Avengers to help save the Earth from Loki and his army.
- The Avengers (2012 film) - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Wikipedia's page on the movie.
The Second Official Avengers Movie Trailer!
Calling All Comic-Con Veterans!
Back in the 1970s, my brother and I were able to cajole our mother into taking us into New York for a few conventions, but they were nothing like this year's! It was mainly just comic book dealers in a large conference hall at a hotel, with one or two panels held in a separate room. Thirty-five years later the whole experience has mushroomed beyond anything my little teenage mind would have imagined, and it really is something that any fan of comic books, anime, video games or sci-fi should experience!
Did You Ever Go to a New York Comic Book Convention? What did you think of it?
New York Comic Con on the Internet
Here some other places on the Internet where you'll find more information about the 2011 New York Comic Con, including some reviews!
- New York Times article
Here is a New York Times article that compares the New York Comic Con to the San Diego one.
- Drexel University Review
This is a nice review of the Comic Con by a reporter from Drexel University
- New York Comic Con official web site
Here is the official New York Comic Con web site, already promoting the 2012 version!
New York Comic Convention Photos - Scenes from the covention when we visited!Click thumbnail to view full-size
I hope you have enjoyed our review of the New York Comic Con as much as we enjoyed going there. Here's your chance to give your opinion on the convention, this lens, comic books or anything else! Please shares. Thanks for visiting!