October 8-10 2010
By Caitlin Graham
East met West last weekend in a veritable geeks paradise as New York Comic Con merged with New York Anime Festival. With comics and manga, movies and anime represented in this collision of cultures, guests ranged from the father of Marvel, Stan Lee, to the much loved j-metal band, X-Japan.
Fans flocked through the doors of the Jacob Javitz Center early Saturday morning to meet their favorite guests, buy swag in the football-field sized show room, and celebrate fandom in all of it’s forms. Cosplayers— fans dressed in costume to represent their favorite characters- of varying series and skill levels filled the center to capacity. With roughly a hundred thousand people attending the sold out convention it was difficult to make it into any of the various panels and events that the convention boasted.
The guests, one of the highlights of the convention, were tucked into one side of the large gaming room. Bruce Campbell, a fan favorite for his roles in “Army of Darkness”, “Xena Warrior Princess”, and several other popular releases, was swamped with fans willing to pay the $40 for his autograph. His autograph slots were near sold out before the convention, and the line was phenomenal! Other notable names to the Sci-fi industry, such as James Marsters, Christopher Judge, Katee Sackhoff and Sarah Douglass were also in attendance, but although their fans would say otherwise, they did not rate a presale for autograph slots. Unannounced until a mere three days before the convention, M. Night Shymalan, writer of ‘Signs’ and most recently, the horror film ‘Devil’ made a rare showing. The excited fans were packed into several designated lines to wait to meet their idols. Some lines began well before the guest had even arrived, and were broken up by the staff.
Although the conventions were supposed to have merged, there was a visible gap between the Comic Con and Anime Fest portions of the convention. In the dealers room the science fiction and comic book booths were in the front half of the room, while the anime and webcomic booths were in the rear. This trend continued, as the events and forums were held on opposite ends of the convention center. This didn’t stop the sides from mingling, as Vocaloid and Axis Powers Hetalia cosplayers walked arm in arm with the likes of Storm and Spiderman. There was also many a nod to old cartoons such as Nickelodeons Doug and of course, Scooby Doo! Truly an example of worlds colliding.
The Artists Alley, a room where people can show off, and sell fan art and hand-made crafts, was well attended most of the weekend, as it was held side by side with the maid cafe. A colorful canvas greeted attendees as artists and craftsman alike displayed the fruits of their labor. Small handmade props from both television series and anime flew off of the tables like hotcakes, as did pictures of the more popular characters in various poses, pairings–and in some cases erotic positions. This was the room for people who prefer one of a kind art- and a little breathing room- over the overly packed dealers room. While the Alley was primarily anime and video game oriented, there were many talented artists who drew their own popular webcomics.
New York Comic Con was a grand buffet that covered enough of the various areas of science fiction, fantasy and art to please even the most discerning fan. What wasn’t there was made up for with the sheer force of the many thousands of attendees.
Photos: Erin McCarron
On another note, we just love these two video clips from ETC Extra. These two guys sure know how to show us how to have good time at New York Con!
ETC Extra: New York Comic Con – Day 1!
ETC Extra: New York Comic Con – Day 2!