Monday, December 5, 2011

Experiencing NYCC/NYAF 2011's First Thursday - Part 2

Please read Part 1 of the article before reading Part 2

After my purchase I started browsing the show floor room that I was in. If you look at the picture above, one can tell things were still in the preparation stage. Upon observation most of the exhibitors had their booths and displays set up. However, many of the tables in the artist alley were unoccupied. I was like where are all the artists? It is probably because not everyone was ready or available to come in that day. Another thing that I noticed was the cherry picker/man lift vehicle. It was on the show floor and the back door garage was fully open, which it should not be. I recall seeing signs around the lobby stating “Watch out for forklifts.” Yet, to see a work vehicle in the show floor was totally unexpected. That was probably a safety hazard...

After witnessing the lack of preparations, I skipped the back area, and continued walking through the other aisles. During my stroll, one of the exhibitors, said “hello” to me. I had no idea who he was, but since he was being friendly. I said “hi” back. We started a conversation, and he introduced his comic Buffalo Speedway: A Slice in the Life of a Pizza Boy (FYI – I did not catch his name at the time, but after research I found out his name was Yehudi Mercado). I looked around at his small booth and saw something peculiar, but interesting. It was a poster with characters that resembles the Powerpuff Girls, but with real people called the “The Powerpuff Nerds.” I asked him about poster, and he told me that the people that he associates with are similar to the Powerpuff Girls. I could not help but laugh and decided to take a picture of it. BTW, I think the characters were supposed to be male. :-)

Continuing with my stroll, towards the front of the convention hall, I spotted a huge black square space on the floor. According to the convention website this space was “available.” Not sure if they meant literally no one had chosen that spot or someone had chosen it, but backed out. It was odd to see this, because it literally was an empty exhibition area. However, I do recall that the next day the space was filled with tables and chairs. Sort of reminds me of the basement of the Rockefeller Center, because attendees had a chance to sit and rest their feet. At least the space was made useful in some sense. ;-)

While I was browsing through the aisles I remembered that one of my friends had a booth, Ichigo Black. I usually do not get to see her other than at conventions. So, other than making sure I purchased certain items, I wanted to see my friends. Well, I did find her and we played catch up, but next to her was a completely empty booth! There was a sign, but it was unoccupied. I visited my friend a few times during the weekend, but I still did not see anyone in that booth. Weird huh? Since time was of the essence I met up with some friends and blazed through the other room. Even though there were booths that were unprepared for Thursday, the more extravagant booths with the major players, like Dark Horse and Nintendo, were ready to cater towards the crowd. Obviously, taking pictures of any of these booths proved to be quite difficult. It may have been Thursday, but there was still a crowd to swim through!

In the end, it took me about two hours to browse through one of the rooms. I did not enough time to browse the other show floor room or other areas of interest. Even though some of the exhibitors and artists were not ready or available, I wish the show floor was open during the professional hours prior to 4pm. If an extra few hours were available, it would have given me enough time to thoroughly observe and browse through the aisles, NYAF and the North Pavilion. Although it was not a full force of fans on Thursday, having the working vehicles around between 4pm and 7pm might present some safety concerns. Not everyone will read the signs or notice the vehicles. Plus, it was not easy competing with the crowd. It would have been nice to be able to take pictures of booths without so many heads or bodies blocking my camera; and make contacts with the exhibitors. However, I must say that the spacing for the pathways between the rooms, and the aisles going across the rooms underneath the aisle ID signs were quite spacious. So, there was some breathing room. Overall, I am happy that there was another day available for this convention. I hope that some changes can be made to improve the extra day for everyone.
© 2011 Linda Thai

Photography by Linda Thai

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