If there's one thing you should know about me, it's that I'm a huge geek. I collect fandoms like a pack of playing cards, and tend to fall from one obsession to the next. So while this week it may be how to make my own Elder Scrolls cosplay armor (Hello, Nightingale, I'm looking at you!), next week I may go back and binge watch Doctor Who... followed by trip to Discworld (Currently reading Eric with that, wossname, parrot).
Comic Con is Mecca.
For people like me, there's one place where we all belong: Comic Con. For the past 6 years, I had attended San Diego Comic Con, also known as International Comic Con. It is the biggest in the world, with hundreds of thousands of geeks flocking to Southern California for their latest cosplay/comic/pop culture fix. Even if you never make it into a panel or walk the expo floor, the city itself bursts with fandoms. Trolleys get wrapped in the latest TV show promos, restaurants transform into video game or old school comic book themes, bright colorful banners hang from street signs, entire buildings get massive signage for the next bit Marvel movie, stadiums get rented out to studios like Geek & Sundry to showcase their twitch and youtube talents, bars and clubs hold SDCC themed late night parties with geek celebrities and people dressed as geek celebrities. It is like Disneyland meets Christmas meets that one birthday where your parents actually got you that thing you really wanted. It's overwhelming and glorious and I look forward to it every. single. year.
Except this year.
This year we moved across the country. This year, we decided to go for the second biggest: New York Comic Con.
The mister and I had been looking forward to trying something new. SDCC gets busier every year, and maybe, just maybe, NYCC would be like the slightly less busy SDCC of our dreams. In years past, several of our favorite people have held panels at NYCC AND SDCC. For example, our favorite stream on Twitch, Critical Role, a D&D live show with famous voice actors. Unfortunately, they didn't attend this year. Neither did any of our beloved favorite authors, artists, or... generally much we actually cared about. The panel schedule was extremely underwhelming.
We did get to see some interesting things, though. We attended a few Cosplay panels (dat armor, yo), An Hour with Adam Savage, a panel on utilizing Tumblr as an artist, and others. There were a few we wanted to get into, but they were at satellite sites and were trending as very popular, so our chances to get in were diminished. The cost benefit of walking all the way to the other site just to not get in didn't seem promising.
Overall, we had way more fun exploring the city than attending panels.
I must say, the expo floor was at least on par with SDCC. It was deceptively huge, with a strange bottleneck shaped floor and a separate Artists Alley. We made a few purchases and enjoyed seeing quite a few things that weren't big on the West Coast.
My little pet peeve moment: the worst part of the convention for me, had to be the lines for the women's rooms. The bathrooms had between 3 and 8 stalls, and usually 30 to 50 people in line at any given moment. I joked that the longest line I stood in all con long, was the one for the bathroom. Inconceivable that a convention center that huge would have such poor bathroom facilities.
Would I attend again? Possibly. But I don't think for the full 4 days. Maybe a Thursday/Friday, enough time to walk the floor and see a panel or two. It's really unfortunate you can't tell what the panel schedule will be like before you have to buy tickets. I don't think, seeing what they offered this year, we would have attended at all. I think next year we'll just stick with some smaller conventions in our area. In a few years, we'll get to return to the West Coast and probably get some pro-badges to SDCC.
Cost: To Attend, Low. Travel/Hotel/Food, very High.
Content: Low. Only a few very exciting panels, therefore 90% of attendees wanted to get into them.
Location: NYC is awesome. It is unlike any city, and just having an excuse to go there at all is great.
Expo: Great. On par with the best cons, for sure.
Artists Alley/ Talent: Medium. Lots of big names in the comic industry, not a lot of pop culture.
I probably would have enjoyed it more if I didn't have such high expectations from SDCC! Also, if they had had some of the same content from years past.