Report and Notes
There's no doubt that New York Comic Con / Anime Fest had a lot of problems. I had a lot of fun. I also set my goals fairly low. Friday I played the Dead Space 2 demo. It's scarier and creeper and more ofuk-ofuk-ofuk! than the first game, so I'm happy. Saturday I got Nikki Clyne's autograph (Cally Henderson from Battlestar Galactica). I'd have loved to get Tricia Helfer's and Katee Sackhoff's, but I'm glad I didn't try. I heard of people crying with frustration because of how disorganized the autograph lines were. Only thing I wish I could have done and maybe managed was going to see Bruce Campbell. Hearing Stan Lee talk would have been nice, too, even if I'm not really that big into his comics. But, it probably would have ended in disappointment. For such a young convention, NYCC is pretty big and it's no surprise there's a lot of problems with organization. For a con with so much to do that's so worthwhile, it was way too hard to actually do most of it.
Take a look at an experienced convention staffer's take on NYCC. At the same time, it's worth noting that NYCC gets a lot of great media coverage, for example from TIME Magazine. As a trade show (despite the fan convention level problems) there's a large amount of industry support. Even the layout and style of the convention is reminiscent of San Diego Comic Con. New York Anime Festival, once an independent convention, is now also part of NYCC and probably for the better of both. While some people were unhappy with two shows pushed into one weekend, the exposure for each increases that much more and certainly helps both conventions.
Organizational issues can be fixed through better management and planning. One problem NYCC will have as long as it stays at the Javitz Convention Center will be the location. There is one nearby hotel and, despite being in New York City, the closest food -- other than from street-side vendors -- outside the convention is at least a few blocks away. Until a new subway line is put in, the closest subway stop is even further away. Add to this the relatively early closing time of NYCC. Once the show is over for the day, there's nowhere particularly to go. Of course, this is in one of the world's most famous cities. There's plenty to do for those who wish to explore New York City. However, this is a direct draw away from the convention.
So overall, for all the attractions and opportunities at New York Comic Con, there's a lot of things that make it different from what one would expect of a "regular" convention. Different can be good, but not always. NYCC definitely requires a lot of planning to attend. But, this is a fairly new convention, and with any luck once these growing pains are over what will remain is a pretty solid, enjoyable convention.