For those of us who are fans of Pop Culture, New York Comic Con is the cultural event of the year. It is the confluence of focal points that influence so much of our daily lives. To be sure, while the umbrella name is “Comic Con” the multi-media event is so much more than just comicbooks. It is the plain on which we exist on a day-to-day level. For while the event may start (and end) with comics, it is so much more than that; it is videogames, movies, anime, literature, Internet, music, clothing, toys, and so much more.
Comic Con is a sprawling multi-media event that not only completely takes over the entirety of New York City’s Jacob Javits Center, but attracts major players from all sorts of entertainment industries. So not only are the giants of the comic book industry there Marvel (pimping its next anticipated box office blockbuster, 2012’s The Avengers); DC (crowing about its recent re-launch of its entire line —The New 52); and Image (talking up the successful translation of their zombie comic The Walking Dead with AMC). Other comic companies included Archie, New Gen (with special guest Mark Hamill on hand to sign autographs); Atlas (run by Jason Goodman, the grandson of Martin Goodman, who used to head up Marvel Comics when Stan Lee was the editor in chief); And many others. Also at this convention were rows and rows of small, Indie comicbook companies that were comprised of just a few folks self-publishing their own line of comics.
Then of course were the videogame houses trotting out their latest releases, as well as several movie studios talking up their comicbook-related films (Boy Wonder, Pizza Man — staring Frankie Muniz), as well as book publishers looking to move product as well as land new ones, plus dozens upon dozens of comicbook retailers, toy sellers and related vendors. Yes, Comic Con is a true nexus of realities, including the thousands of fans of all ages from across numerous walks of life, all of whom can only get their “Geek” fix by showing up to such an event. And then let’s not forget the Cosplay (Costume play) folks, who get their jollies by dressing up as their favorite heroes or heroine and parading around the show in (all-to-often) skimpy and revealing costumes.
Still, while it is all in good fun, don’t let that distract you from the fact that it is also big business and people are there to make deals, like the writer who revealed that every year he’s attended Comic Con he’s come away with a book deal, or the film producer looking for a distributor (and an audience) for his upcoming superhero film. Yes, there are deals to be made here and product aplenty to be had at Comic Con and the numerous shows like it around the country. Just ask professional writer Buddy Scalara who arranged a networking event for creators that resembled “Speed Dating” where he lined up writers on one side of the room, artists on the other then started introducing them. The goal was to introduce yourself, exchange contact info, and talk about your portfolio. Then after five minutes, Buddy would yell, “Switch” and everyone would move on to a new creator, hoping to find a compatible with whom they could possibly work.
Sure, sure it is a good time, but it is also a melting pot of a creative stew on a massive scale, as each industry represented rubs up against another like-minded industry with both coming away from the encounter enriched by the contact. The event occurs here in NYC once a year, on such a cosmic scale, but it is merely the apex of the encounter, as similar events occur all across the US on varying scales, and (believe it or not) there is a strong probability that the next videogame or movie you play or see will be based on concepts that originally saw the light of day at Comic Con.