On October 8th & 9th, 2010, I had the opportunity to attend the New York Comic Con at the Jacob K. Javitz Center. A discount on weekend admission is offered for educators, librarians included, as an incentive for professionals to attend. The price for a weekend pass is $10.00, as opposed to the $50.00 regular price for non-professionals. This also includes a time set aside on Friday morning when the exhibit area is open only for those with professional passes before the convention opens to the general public. Professionals wishing to only attend on Friday are given free admission for the entire day. I opted for the weekend pass since I knew I would want to attend for more than one day. This was my second time attending NYCC, having also gone to the last one in February 2009. If possible, the convention was twice as overwhelming the second time around. Despite my bewilderment, I definitely had even more fun at this year’s New York Comic Con.
I was very strategic in the things that I wanted to attend. After initially touring the exhibit area during the professionals-only morning, I met up with several people at the booth for the American Library Association. Several ALA librarians had organized an “Epic Librarian Photo” of all the librarians who were attending the convention on Friday afternoon. Somehow I was invited to the librarian en masse photo on Facebook. I was intrigued enough to check it out. I didn’t get a final number of just how many librarians showed up for the final photograph, but there were at least over fifty of us. It was exciting to briefly chat with librarians as far away as California while people were snapping quick pics of us in front of the ALA booth. Following this, I spent a little more time touring the exhibits before finally making my way over to the autograph area. As a big Buffy the Vampire Slayer fan, I splurged a little and got an autograph from James Marsters (Spike).
There were a lot of cool exhibits during the convention, in particular the very modern Adult Swim booth which had their logo actually lit up as you approached. Both Marvel and DC Comics had perhaps the biggest space as they are perhaps the two biggest publishers of comic books in the United States. At 5:00 PM, I headed over to the IGN Theater, something I didn’t get a chance to do at my last Comic Con experience. The first presentation was on DC Animation, previewing superhero animated films that have not yet been released. This included two films starring Superman; one which also tells the origin story of Captain Marvel and another which is an animated adaptation of the All-Star Superman graphic novel. Bruce Timm, one of the masterminds behind Batman: The Animated Series, spoke about the films in between clips. Following this were two panels featuring Adult Swim creators; Robot Chicken, which featured Seth Green and several others, and Christopher McCulloch and Doc Hammer of the Venture Bros. fame.
After all that I decided it was time to go home, get some sleep, wake up the next day and do it all over again. Despite my enthusiasm, Saturday was much more subdued. I spent the early hours of the convention attending a panel on digital comics, learning a lot about the Comixology website and smartphone application. Following this, I went to a panel on upcoming titles from comic publisher Top Cow. The panel featured Milo Ventimiglia, one of the stars of the recently cancelled show Heroes, who promoted Free Comic Book Day on YouTube this past spring. After this, I actually had the opportunity to speak on a panel about Great Graphic Novels for Adults at 3:00 PM. My panel followed others on great graphic novels for kids and teenagers, respectively. Moderated by Martha Cornag from Library Journal, my fellow panelists included; Robin Brenner, Karen Green, and Natalie Korsavidis. We each discussed the benefits and difficulties of having adult comics in all of our individual libraries.
~Ryan P. Donovan is a senior librarian with the New York Public Library. He occasionally blogs for nypl.org. You can read his personal blog here. Follow him on Twitter @rybrarian