by Ed Sizemore
It’s no secret that the New York Comic Con wants to be the East Coast equivalent of the San Diego Comic Con. These events are becoming less about comics and more celebration of pop culture in general. Want proof? Here is a listing of some of the companies with booths at NYCC: Sprint, American Airlines, NBC, China Foreign Trade Guangzhou Exhibition, Harlequin Books, The New York Times, American Museum of Natural History, General Motors, and Autodesk.
So I’d like to point out exhibitors that you might overlook among the bigger names. The booth number is given in parenthesis.
Discotek (2030) — A video company with a very eclectic catalog. They’ve put out some good children’s anime, like Little Nemo, so give them a look. If you have kids with you, beware the adult titles.
Hachette Book (939) — If you’re looking for the manga publisher Yen Press, you will find them as part of Hachette’s booth. They are easy to miss, so look for the display of their books on the booth wall.
Comic Book Legal Defense Fund (1158) — A worthy organization protecting readers’ rights globally. I’m a volunteer this year, so stop by and donate.
Museum of Comic and Cartoon Art (2631) — Another great organization, this one helping to promote comics as an art form and preserve comics’ history. They also put on a great comic show in the spring each year.
First Second Books (1730) — If you aren’t familiar with at least one or two books they’ve published, then you’re missing out on incredible books. They are a publisher I keep my eye on.
No School! New Romanian Comics by the Romanian Cultural Institute in NY (2018) — Korea had a similar booth last year. I’m not interested in superhero artists that are Romanian; I’m interested in discovering what the comic culture in Romania is like. How other cultures use comics is always fascinating.
American Library Association (2724) — Libraries are a Godsend. Thankfully, I’m in a library system with a decent comics selection. Find out ways to help support your local libraries. Many are dealing with crippling budget cuts.
Viz Media (932) — Viz hasn’t had much of a presence at East Coast cons the past few years. Usually, they just show up and do a panel or two. So take this chance while you can. Hopefully, this is will encourage them to do more East Coast shows. (Like Otakon, just saying.)
Kodansha (1802) — This will be their East Coast premiere. Don’t miss it.
Kinokuniya Bookstore (158) — Their booth always has an impressive selection of art books. If you like what you see at the convention and want even more, they have a great store in NYC.
A Few More Panels
I also wanted to point out a few great panels I won’t be able to attend because of scheduling conflicts. (I’ve already mentioned those I plan to attend.) These all sound great. If you attend one and write about it, please let me know.
Unusual Manga Genre
Friday 11:00 AM
I attended this panel last year during NYCC. It’s great. The Japanese have proven you can make a comic about any topic you want. This panel has the pictures.
Comixology Open Discussion: Everything Digital!
Friday 5:15 PM
Since this is billed as an open discussion with expected audience participation, it has the potential to be very lively. Johanna & I have podcasted on this very topic.
Comics Studies Conference 4: Batman vs. Iron Man, Can a Person Truly Become Either?
Saturday 2:00 PM
This is a look at what it would take as far as physical fitness, financial resources, and mental makeup to be Batman or Iron Man. One panelist, E. Paul Zehr, has written books on whether a human could actually perform the feats of these two superheroes, supposedly without superpowers. I’m picking up Zehr’s books as compensation for missing the panel.
John Landis & Monsters in the Movies
Saturday 3:45 PM
John Landis has made some of my favorite films. Sorry to miss this panel. He’ll be discussing his new book, Monsters in the Movies. Since there’s a book I can buy, it eases the pain.
Children Who Chase Lost Voices From Deep Below
Sunday 11:00 AM
I got to see this film at Otakon. I’d love to see it again on a big screen. If you haven’t seen it, you must. There better be a Blu-ray coming out soon.
Anime News Network
Sunday 2:30 PM
I’m sorry I have to miss this one, but it’s opposite Makoto Shinkai. ANN is THE news and information source for anime. The staff are all delightful people. If you haven’t met them, you should.