Reed Pop just announced that they broke previous records and hit 200,000 tickets sold this year. This is an impressive feat; to be able to organize such a huge event and have so many different exhibitors and guests. As NYCC becomes more about pop culture as a whole and not just about comic books, we’re seeing lots more interesting things. Here are some of my favorite moments from this year’s convention.
‘Planet of the Apes’ Motion Capture
This may have been one of the coolest things I’ve gotten to try at New York Comic Con in the seven years that I’ve attended. This exhinit had a very basic motion capture setup. It was a game in which you play as Caesar, chasing another chimpanzee on horseback. You need to catch him while dodging low hanging branches. While the gameplay itself was nothing special, being able to wave your arms, do dance moves, and whatever else you want and have it mimicked by an onscreen Caesar was hilarious. I really hope to see more of this in the future.
Justice League Virtual Reality Experience
Virtual reality is another thing that is becoming bigger at these conventions. Audible and several video game exhibits have had these in past years. However, Justice League had one of the biggest and longest waits for their game. Each person got a designated booth area and got to play as one of the Justice League heroes. This included gameplay with controllers, which was more interactive than other VR games. Read our full review here.
This is one of the quintessential Comic Con experiences. Check out our separate gallery post to see highlights from the convention. If interested, also check out our comic con cosplay video here.
Lots of free stuff this year. As usual, most of the free swag you get at NYCC will be things you toss out immediately. This includes the many posters and comic books you receive that you have zero room for. This year was a good t-shirt year, and I also got my first ever fidget spinner at the Marvel Runaways booth. A couple of tote bags and hats as well, but this year I made it a mission to not take anything I would never use. Could not find the tape measure that I got a few years back (mentioned in my previous post), which is the one item that I still use to this day.
Syfy channel had a huge presence this year. They had an entire floor, located right below the Press Lounge entrance. This area also overlooked the entrances to the Javits Center. The Syfy floor consisted of a cosplay fixing station, a free snack station with popcorn and candy, bean bag chairs for resting on, retro arcade games, and a t-shirt pressing station. The t-shirt lines were long, but the quality was very high and it was really cool being able to pick the color and watching it get printed.
Shadow of War exhibit
This area consisted of multiple game playing stations where you can play 20 minutes of the brand new Lord of the Rings game, and a photo op area where you can sit on a giant dragon. The employees were incredibly friendly, and I ended up talking to one of the game developers who told me about their six-year long journey in creating this game and its predecessor. The photo op area let you sit on the dragon and have 4 photos taken of you, which was then turned into a video.
I did not go to as many panels as I used to, but each year there are more things happening for those who are interested. There is always a huge variety of panels you can sit in for. I went to one large scale one at Madison Square Garden for Star Trek Discovery. I also did a very classic, Comic Con style Skybound panel with comic book creators. I also went to one called Super Asian America that talked about Asian representation in media and comics.
There were casts for many different shows that came by. Managed to snap a photo with cast members from ‘The Gifted’ who happened to be walking by. Archer cast also did a bigger screening, as well as a smaller interview at one of the Live stage booths.
I had a blast covering New York Comic Con this year. It gets bigger each year, which is both a plus and a minus. More people means more money, which means more interesting exhibits and panels. However, this also means overcrowding. While Reed Pop has worked to expand the venue to locations like Madison Square Garden and Hammerstein ballroom, I hope that the venue grows in size faster to accommodate the increasing number of people. The congestion on the showfloor is unbearable sometimes, especially at a place where people naturally want to take lots of photos, or have to wait on lines. Press Lounge access was great for badge holders like myself since it was better air-conditioned and had plenty of seating. However, I hope that there is a similar option for the general public as well; somewhere they can sit and wind down.
Additionally. I do wish that 3-day and 4-day badges were still available for purchase. As mentioned, I had a Press badge so this didn’t apply to me, but it does matter to those who had to purchase individual day tickets. Not only does this save money for the convention attendees, but it also prevents the number of scalpers I saw on eBay and on the streets.
Overall, props to Reed Pop for running another successful event. Nothing of this size can run 100% flawlessly, and Reed Pop did a terrific job under those restrictions. I was really blown away by the exhibits this year, and can’t wait for next year’s NYCC.
For more highlights from the weekend, check out our video summary of all four days.