More NYC Tidbits

Things I forgot from my previous convention post:

I’m really glad to hear the show is moving to April next year, because the cold and wind was a major detriment to getting out and seeing the city. I felt very very sorry for some of the cosplayers, especially the women. (Although if they were young/dumb enough not to wear a coat…)

I was having a conversation with someone else with a Press badge when he mentioned that he’d mostly gone to “big two” panels. I said “which big two?”, which confused him, but with Viz and Tokyopop as two of the four anchor booths at the show doors, I think it’s a valid point. Dirk asks the same question at Journalista while denigrating most traditional comic news sites’ choices for coverage of the convention.

I’m still reading other people’s writeups and saying to myself “THEY were there?” People attended whom I would have loved to see but had no idea they were present. On the other hand, thanks to my friend Alan, I had a lovely chat with Scott Adsit. I think I need to start watching 30 Rock again, since I didn’t know who he was. Turns out he’s a fan, there with some family members to see Stan Lee.

I was also happy to run into Mike Leib (who had my job at DC Online before I did), Fred Van Lente (who told me that while Action Philosophers will end at issue #9, he’ll continue to work with Ryan Dunlavey on the new Comic Book Comics), and Charlie Kochman (with Abrams, which is putting out some impressive comic-related coffee table books, like Cartoon America: Comic Art in the Library of Congress and Art Out of Time: Unknown Comics Visionaries 1900-1969).

I’m sorry I missed out on visiting with the Chemistry Set folks (link no longer available), because I think they all have big things ahead of them and I’d like to say I knew them when. I did get a chance to find out more about yaoi publisher Drama Queen, which has very handsome production values.

Wanna try over 60 of King Features Syndicate‘s comic strips for free? Enter the code NYCC7 at the link before April 1, 2007.

I skipped the American Anime Awards because I thought their selection and administrative processes were severely flawed, but this writeup of the winners is interesting:

Similarly hardcore fan support also played a role in Fruits Basket winning the “Best Manga” award, even though market analysis demonstrates that Fruits Basket is second in sales to Naruto.

Since when do sales matter in determining an award winner? Isn’t that the traditional consolation? “Well, that crap sells better, but we’ve got higher artistic quality!” They set up an award system where fans could vote, and they’re surprised that they did?

Speaking of sales, there were a LOT of visitors, but I was hearing on Saturday that people were worried about making sales, because they didn’t necessarily translate into buyers. I don’t know if things picked up on Sunday, though. I’d be interested in hearing from small publishers and those in artists alley how the show went for them saleswise.

I went to a panel during the trade section about “Graphic Novel Segmentation: Retailer Merchandising Best Practice”. (I tried to go to one where a Diamond VP and DC’s Bob Wayne was going to tell publishers how to sell to comic shops, but it was canceled without explanation.) It was one of those where, after 40 minutes of panel presentation, the first questioner stood up and said “so, the panel description was about genre racking, could you address that?” Lots of other good information, though. My summary of notes reads like this:

Don’t be afraid to take inventory positions on books you want to promote. Work directly with publishers for better discounts and to stock merchandise that will sell that Diamond may not carry. Arrange stores so customers, especially new ones, feel comfortable and can find what they’re looking for. If something’s not selling, feature it in a temporary highlight area (like zombies/horror comics near Halloween) or move it around to a new location. Use signage and labels so customers can find things.

Tom Spurgeon didn’t even go to the show, and he has the best writeup I’ve seen.

If there’s one lesson I learned from the con, it was persistence. We talked about this some at the blogging panel, that the best way to build an audience (and a “name”, if that’s your goal) is to just keep doing what you’re doing. I ran into friends who, when I first met them a decade ago, wanted to write comics. Now, they have (although new projects are always a struggle, especially with the contraction of the superhero big two to their few preferred creators who do everything for them), and they are, all because they just kept at it.

Before I go, a big thank-you to DC’s Stuart Schreck. Frank and KC loved the surprise.

8 Responses to “More NYC Tidbits”

  1. Ed Sizemore Says:

    Johanna, I attended the Anime Awards and still can’t tell you how they picked the winnner for each category. Their explanation of the voting processing was very vague.

    Also the show was very dull. The presenters would come on do thirty seconds of schtick then read the nominees then read the winners. I wish I had gone to the J-Horror panel by Vertical instead.

    By the way, I should apology to your parents for my appearance when they met me. I’m sure I was a fright and slightly incohorent.

  2. Johanna Says:

    No, no, you were fine. And I’m using the bookmark you got me right now, thank you.

  3. Journalista - the news weblog of The Comics Journal » Blog Archive » Feb. 28, 2007: Which Big Two? Says:

    […] as two of the four anchor booths at the show doors, I think it’s a valid point.” – Johanna Draper Carlson, relaying an anecdote from last weekend’s New York Comic […]

  4. Ali Kokmen Says:

    Since when do sales matter in determining an award winner? … They set up an award system where fans could vote, and they’re surprised that they did?

    I think the “surprise” (such as it is) isn’t that Fruits Basket fans voted for it in the awards, but that Naruto fans didn’t vote in greater numbers that would’ve given it the award. Since there are presumably more of Naruto fans (since Naruto outsells Fruits Basket) and since Naruto fans had recently proved a formidable factor in the Quills Awards (the book industry awards that similarly has a fan/reader voter component, and for which Naruto won the GN category. I imagine, by a huge factor…) I think lots of folks were sorta taking it for granted that Naruto would win the AAA award in the manga category. I know I certainly was…

  5. Johanna Says:

    As always, you have the background that makes it make sense, Ali. Thank you.

  6. Guy LeCharles Gonzalez Says:

    Sorry I missed you this time around, but I ended up missing the entire Con this year. April will be a good move next year, but all things considered, they got really lucky two years in a row with the February weather, just missing cold snaps by a weekend both times.

    As for the canceled panels, it seems there were several of them, not a few apparently involving creators who were listed as participants but were either never asked or hadn’t confirmed. One creator’s confirmation was sent to me twice, the second time after I pointed out the error and provided the correct contact information, presumably because he was on one of the panels I conducted last year, despite the fact that I had zero involvement this year. Curious if there’s a list anywhere of exactly which ones were canceled.

  7. Johanna Says:

    Having worked on programming for a major show, I understand that there can be glitches in the hectic couple of weeks leading up to the show, but one of our priorities was always to confirm panel appearances on-site as well so any misunderstandings can be worked out before someone simply doesn’t show up for a panel. It surprises me that NY apparently didn’t do that in all cases, and it seems that they also didn’t always send runners to gather guests at the appointed time. Certainly, they had a very ambitious, heavily multi-tracked schedule, which is a lot to manage, so maybe they just didn’t have all the staff to cover all of it. I’m still surprised that the major Tokyopop presentation panel was left off the official schedule, so as of 45 minutes before it was scheduled, no one knew where it was to be held.

  8. Blog@Newsarama » Even Good Comics Come to an End… Says:

    […] Action PhilosophersOne unfortunate tidbit that escaped the notice of many comics bloggers, but not Johanna Draper Carlson, because it pertains to an indy book and not one majors: The award-winning Action Philosophers, one […]




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