Monday, August 11, 2014

Special Edition NYC 2014

Article by Chet Royer
Hello, it's me, Hitomi~! Sorry, just a little something left over from me watching old school Apple Seed anime. Whelp, I'm Chet a.k.a. Ninja101. I recently had the pleasure of attending the first ever Special Edition: NYC, brought to us by ReedPOP. If you don’t know, the company is responsible for New York Comic Con (NYCC) and many other great conventions. So when they announced that they were holding another convention in New York, I felt obligated to go!

The night before the convention, I was having a non-con related discussion with my brother and his friends. When we said our good byes, my brother said “Enjoy comic con pure.” After attending this con, my brother was correct in calling it that.

The Special Edition: NYC website states that this is purely about comic book creation, art and culture in a more intimate setting. I could tell you first hand that that was exactly how it felt. I arrived an hour early just so I could see how many people would be attending...and I wanted to buy my NYCC ticket early ^__^. When I arrived, I was surprised at how peaceful the Jacob Javits Convention Center was. It was so empty. Even as you got closer to where the registration booth was, it wasn't bustling with the large crowd that NYCC brought. I picked up my badge without any problems or waiting and joined the few people on a line to wait for the gates to open. The main show floor was shared with the artist alley in the North Pavilion of the convention center. So they had us wait at the other end of the Connector, which was the hallway that connected the main area of the convention center to the pavilion.

Once they opened up the gates, for many, it was a mad dash to the NYCC booth, which was all the way in the back of the pavilion. In the Connector, there was the usual con food that you would normally find at most conventions complete with sitting area. Also, there was a DJ playing Superman music...but in front of his set up were a bunch of Batman cut outs. He eventually played some Batman and video game music themes.

Upon entering the show floor, I was neither surprised nor let down. It was exactly what I thought it would be: an enormous artist alley with many comic book shops. There were some big names like Marvel, but for the most part, the floor consisted of comic book merchants from all walks of life. I am not really a comic book person; I just enjoy the culture and industry. However, I went to this convention with people who love them. From what I saw, this convention was a treasure trove of hidden goodies once thought lost forever.

After checking out a few booths that caught our eyes, we walked over to the NYCC booth to see if we could buy tickets. The line was huge! Staff members actually capped off the line and told anyone who tried entering the line to come back an hour later. Also, there was a sign stating when was the next available time to buy tickets. This dissuaded me from buying tickets altogether at the convention. I was only here for one day, I didn't want to waste my time on a line. Alas, I believe this to be a good idea on the staff's part. It was very manageable for them. So much so that by the time the convention was closing, there was no line to purchase tickets anymore. So, my crew and I were able to secure our tickets without any fuss.

Hey! You like anime right!? You know how you go to NYCC to get your anime fix in NYC because Anime Festival vanished? Yea...don't come to Special Edition: NYC thinking you will get your fix. I didn't expect to see any anime at all. I was surprised at how focused ReedPOP was on keeping this purely about comic books. Even the vendors there had virtually no anime merchandise. The artist alley was a different story, but that would make sense. Fan art can be anything. Just don't come here thinking you gonna get some anime or manga.

As for panels, I can't say much sadly. Again, I am not a comic book person. Even more so I am not a panel person. When I go to a con, it’s because I like buying stuff and hanging out with my friends. Going to a panel takes time away from that. Unless it’s a creator of a series I really like, I tend to not go to panels. One strange thing I can say about the panels was that you practically had to walk close to 100 yards away from the North Pavilion to get to the main panel rooms. I thought they would have been closer but hey, the panel rooms were near the only thing that was open in the food court: Starbucks.

Would I go to Special Edition: NYC again? Absolutely. I really liked the vibe that I got from the overall convention. It had a very cozy and comfortable feel. If you know a thing or two about comic books, I'm sure you would find many kindred spirits to discuss things with here. From talking about favorite series, lost treasures, or just going nuts over a commission you got from your favorite artist. The only way I think this con can get better would be to become larger....but then it would lose its intimate feel. Also, more food would be appreciated!

Well there you have it. If you really love comics, REALLY love, this convention is practically made for you. I'm not saying if you don't love comics not to go. Just saying that if you did, you would benefit from this event a bit more than the average person. Also, you can come if you just love enjoying a convention like me. Getting first dibs on those NYCC tickets sweetens the deal a bit ;). God speed Spider-Man.

© 2014 Linda Thai

Photography by Linda Thai

For more pictures, check out the Something Deeper: Anime, Manga and Comics Page on Facebook

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