Joe Glass writes in the aftermath New York Comic Con 2017:
Having previously discussed the idea of ‘who won New York Comic Con’ in terms of the Big Two, given Joe Quesada’s old joke talks on social media that Marvel won, I briefly mentioned that it was quite arguably those in Artists Alley who won.
I'm speechless PETER CAPALDI CAME TO ARTIST ALLEY JUST TO VISIT MY TABLE I actually cried 😭😭😭😭😭😭😭😭 pic.twitter.com/U3pdNXNg7i
— Alice X. Zhang (@alicexz) October 6, 2017
Having been to New York Comic Con for a few years now, one thing that has always jumped out to me was that attendees of the show seemed to especially, perhaps more than most shows, make a beeline to the Artists Alley section to meet creators and check out indie comics. This seemed to often be confirmed by the impression many creators had, too.
Artists Alley went through the biggest changes of the show this year. Previously held in a large building connected by a fairly long sheltered walkway, it had been near enough a building all its own and was just as busy, if not more so, than the main show floor.
— Christopher Jones (@ChrisJonesArt) October 5, 2017
However, as part of planned large-scale refurbishment of the Javits Convention Centre, this extra building has been demolished, forcing Artists Alley to be moved within the main building. Now, it is all with the aim of building a much bigger extension to the Javits Centre, but this will not see completion until 2021. This means that this new situation will likely be the future of Artists Alley at New York Comic Con for the near future. Many wondered how it would affect things, and whether it would ultimately provide detrimental or beneficial to those exhibiting in the area.
This year, the Artists Alley was located within the lower level, northern side of the building, and while it still took a large space, it did lead to notably fewer exhibitors within the area than in previous years.
However, attendance of the area remained unaffected, at least visibly. It may even have increased in size, with the Artists Alley being nearly constantly busy and full to capacity with eager fans not only looking to meet the big known creators, but check out the wares of artists and indie creators.
— Jim Zub (@JimZub) October 8, 2017
Speaking with those in the Alley, the universal response was that the changes didn’t seem to have a negative effect on Artists Alley at all. In fact, many were seeing incredible business and were selling out of stock early into the con. By Sunday, quite a noticeable number of exhibitors had packed up early — not because they had a bad weekend, but rather they had sold out entirely.
It is worth noting this may also have extended to comics creators on the main show floor. I spoke with one group of creators who said that they had managed to sell more by the end of the first day of NYCC than they had at every previous comic con they had done this year combined. This could be because of the move to single-day tickets only, as many fans could only afford or manage to obtain passes for one day. As such, they knew they had a limited time scale to check out all that NYCC had to offer and were more ready to part with their hard-earned cash for those comics, signatures, and brand new titles.
Arguably, the true winners of New York Comic Con 2017 may very well have been the creators themselves, at all levels of the industry.
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