Thursday, April 24, 2008

NYC Con Final Report

On the 7 train from Queens we were serenaded by local musicians.

After getting back to Philly from NYC and back to school, I thought I'd post some final thoughts and final pics from the con.
Shaka and Spidey dance-off!

I think the show was good overall . It seemed to run very smooth from my perspective, but again I had no booth or table, but load-out Sunday seemed to go well. I had friends who did brisk business and some who did merely OK. I suppose that is the way with every show, some peoples best, others worst show ever!

However to my eyes it's clear from this show that the ongoing split and separation of the fandom into separate tracks as it were at these shows is really happening. You can see the distinct layering and comics is now even more marginalized and the fans walking the floor are even more defined into separate categories. Superhero, manga, animae, toys etc.

I always observe the crowds at shows and try and get a lay of the land, what seems to be happening, maybe what trends are happening within the business by the type of fan I see, the make-up of the bulk of the fans attending, and I don't mean the costume makeup.

It is clear to me now, the trend I saw first hand a few years back at Megacon in Florida has only continued to grow. That is the growth of the fangirl, the show this weekend was packed with groups of teenage and early 20 something Grrls paling around some fully dressed in cosplay, some only wearing the cat hats etc.

But they were there having fun, en mass. There seemed to always be something going on as far as costume shows the whole time, or at least every time I went past that part of the con. There was really an endless parade it seemed and something going on there and I think that is a huge draw for many fan girls.

This I think is a great thing for girls, and fandom, because as I joked several times this last weekend, the only boobs you used to see at cons were the ones on guys.
But you know, these gals don't give a frig about Marvel Comic or DC or any of they old guard stuff, and I don't blame them, those are clearly boys power fantasies. And despite the cute gals dressed as Powergirl or Green Lantern, most of the costumes worn by gals are non superjock.

How the big companies in Babymania have failed, for here is the next 2-3-4 generations of readers and they are gone, they are reading comics, but not the ones they publish, and you know what? Many of their boyfriends are the same way. I know that even from my experience in teaching that the average class of 20 students will have only 3-4 students who read a Marvel Comic, but they all love cartoons and animae and manga. Nobody seems to talk about these things, at least I haven't seen it. This is a big downer for the hobby, because without the next waves of readers the old wave is now crashing on shore and there are not enough 20 something male readers to offset the crash. Dollar books bins are the norm now, back issue sales, once the backbone of comics retail has shrunk. Last year at the Wizard Philly con, most retailers were selling toys, not comics.

The other thing I see is the continued growth of toys. The hand made plush-monster-one-eyed-dolls. The little custom vinyl toys etc. I heard more than one toy retailer at the show say they were sold out Saturday.
fans chilling out on a bunch of pillows...a great idea for tired feet.

I think were are in the big transition time where comics will shift a lot in the next 5 years. More web comics, more graphic novels and the continued marginalization of the pamphlet and the walled city of Babymania which serves no one well except the babymen. Comics certainly will continue to exist but we will have more versions from cell phone comics to web comics and more.

I also have to report that I had dozens and dozens of people say how much they were looking forward to the Batman Brave and the Bold show and that the babymen were just all kinds of wrong. I also had dozens of people come up and say they not only laughed their asses off at my posts on that subject, but also agreed with me.

Another thing I see it the continuation of the artist/gorilla publishing phenom. With printing coming down in price, the growth of on-demand printing there are a lot more artists able to self publish their work in formats far removed from the old mimeographed fan books of old. The power of the artist now to directly connect to his audience as my great buddy Alberto Ruiz has done I think is another trend we will continue to see. the only thing hurting us artists is the escalating price of tables and availability of space.
Alberto and Stephen Silver

For now I think the NYC comic will continue to be at least 2/3-1/3 comics, but I can see clearly comics or the direct market pamphlet is declining and other forms of fantasy entertainment is continuing to grow AND compete withe comics for the fans $dough$. I think it will compete with San Diego for some folks as that show has become almost too big and it's more about Movies that Comics.

The question I have is how long till Hollywood decides that this show will be Show East as San Diego has become Show West II. This show is more comics centric but I wonder how long?

The Dr. Sketchy booth
Basil Golgos!
Jamar Nicholas and Thomas Zahler
Ronn and Janet Sutton
Lee Weeks

Will Rosado,me, Jamar Nicholas, Mike Hawthorne
Sometimes the Hit comes from yer best friends!

Tony Moore
Phil Hester and Greg Thompson
Ric Remender
Playboy cartoonist Doug Snyed

I always wondered if this was the building Kirby based the F.F.'s headquaters on?

Me, Chris bailey, Will Rosado and Jamar.

Jerry Ordway and me.

the Fantagraphics booth.
Hulk has no BARS!

My friend from Estudio Villagran, Pearla


Kelly said...

Looks like it was a good time. I'm going to have to make it to one of these eventually...

Don Hudson said...

Nice Photos!