Big Apple Comic Con has been a comic con staple for years. What started as a fantastic one day show has expanded to two, and this year they had a press event Friday night.
I missed out due to another engagement, but word is it was fun. This year's guest list was impressive: Stan Lee and Frank Miller were headlining, followed by a number of TV and movie guests. Stan Lee wound up canceling last minute and was replaced by Jim Lee…but Jim Lee was only at the con until around 1pm Saturday.
Frank Miller meanwhile was Sunday only, but at $100 for an autograph I didn't see the value. I went up with a fellow CGC Witness to get some books done, only to find out one artist in particular had canceled outright. All that aside the con was crowded to the brim on Saturday. The line for pre-registration was actually long whereas on site registration had no line, and the press line was also pleasantly empty.
The show is not without problems though. One of them being size. The Penn Plaza is a great location. It's right across the street from Penn Station in the heart of Manhattan. But with the growth of this show is gets very cramped on the main show floor.
The other problem is the lack of information volunteers have. When asked where the media celebrities were, most had no idea. For the record, they were on floor 18. The con was on the second level, with some stuff in the basement. Convention programs were on a level above registration which again, not a good idea. Hand each attendee a program guide as you have them their badge, make dedicated staffers of the con (not volunteers, staffers) wear shirts that say "STAFF" across them on the off chance the volunteers don't have answers or can't be found. I wound up getting most of my info from other CGC witnesses, so thanks guys!
There was a good mix of dealers and people were buying. One dealer I had spoken with said he could see that traditional comic cons were becoming the in thing again since the larger shows are getting harder and harder to gain access too. Plus shows like this make is easier to talk to creators such as Roy Thomas and Howard Chaykin. Overall this is a good comic con that pulls in great talent. I sincerely hope volunteers are better informed for next year, as this show will only continue to grow.