ReedPOP, the company behind New York Comic Con, seems to be confused with how to position the east coast’s biggest comic convention. Unlike it’s west coast (unaffiliated) rival San Diego Comic Con, NYCC has mutated over the past few years. And not for the good. Yes, it’s continued to grow, now, believe it or not, larger than SDCC, but it appears listless, even directionless in its execution.
My first introduction to NYCC was a pleasant ordeal. I was introduced to comics. Pop culture icons roamed the floor, manned numerous booths and spoke. Tabletop games had a presence, as did video games, albeit in a relatively small scale. Most importantly, everything was a mix of new, old and upcoming. Golden Age comics mingled with artists and writers hawking upcoming graphic novels. Games, like those that PAX attendees would enjoy, were strategically distributed across the Javits Center.
This past weekend was, sadly, confusing. NYCC 2014 was simply dominated by vendors. I’m not referring to the core of nerddom. More like tertiary vendors hawking wares based upon popular franchises. Video games, which, let’s not forget a share a fair common market, were almost entirely absent outside a small Capcom booth. In brutal honesty, I felt at times to be walking around a large mall on the decline. Third tier stores filling in the gaps between a few main draws.
NYCC could be a staple of pop culture for the east coast in the fall. ReedPOP already has a successful formula by way of PAX East. Focus NYCC more on the core comic culture rather than video games, a flip of the PAX East design, and you’re good.