NYCC: More Comics-Centric than San Diego?

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As comic book fans, I think we’ve all come to accept that the major comic book conventions like San Diego and New York are slowly being shifted to featuring all of pop culture in general, from comics to television, movies, celebrities, and music. We could debate endlessly about the lack of focus on comics at these conventions, but I don’t think that comics are any less prevalent than they’ve been, it’s merely that everything else has grown.

However, being at NYCC 2010 this past weekend, I was shocked to see so little focus on television and movies. It had its share; a huge turnout for AMC’s The Walking Dead panel, Lost Boys: The Thirst, Young Justice and Green Lantern animated series, DC Animation, Comedy Central, and a few more. San Diego was a few months ago, but it surprised me that there very few teases to be shown at NYCC for the more high profile projects. Even NYCC ‘08 held the first glimpses of The Incredible Hulk and a secret Dark Knight trailer (among other things), but there was no Captain America or Thor to be found here, other than in the form of comics and video games. 

Not even the Green Lantern movie made an appearance, even though its trailer was confirmed to be attached to Harry Potter next month, and likely has plenty of footage to be shown, at least as a teaser. The only movie panel I can recall aside from Lost Boys is the one for RED, which had a terribly turnout. The people that were there (including myself) were likely only doing so in hoped of hearing information about the recent closure of WildStorm, as the panel was originally detailed as having a WildStorm focus. Needless to say, we were all disappointed. Still, with only one major presence of a multimedia adaptation, fans were left with very little insight on the many upcoming projects to take home with them.

So what does this mean?  That NYCC has a significantly bigger focus on comic books and their creators? That SDCC is a Hollywood hype fest? No. It’s merely an issue of size. SDCC has been running for decades and has established itself as the premiere pop culture event, whereas NYCC just had its fifth convention. NYCC has grown exponentially, with this year taking both sides of the Javits Center in New York City. Still, SDCC is more massive than even that, and the sheer amount of people justifies a larger focus on all of pop culture. In essence, there’s more space, more people, and more of an opportunity to shill the Hollywood products. 

The comic book stuff is still there. You can still meander your way through hundreds of long boxes. It’s just an issue of getting there and fighting through the crowds. NYCC was so well run this year (granted, I was in meetings for a majority of it), and only Saturday was so jam-packed that it was hard to navigate the show floor. Ironically, the NYCC’s biggest movie/tv panel, The Walking Dead, occurred on Sunday. 

In the end, I’m not sure that NYCC is any more comic book focused than SDCC, it’s just proportionate to the size. While they both have a similar amount of comic book panels and presentations, the amount of space in San Diego allows for a more massive multimedia presence, which can eclipse the comic-centric things in a way that you can’t feel at NYCC. It should be noted that NYCC is growing massively, and with the sellouts and success of the 2010 event, I wouldn’t be surprised if it begins to rival SDCC in years to come. 

Hopefully, we’ll still be able to complete our run of Justice League International, regardless.

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