I have been a lifelong comic book fan, so whenever a major event rolls into town I show up, all cash blazing. And with the economic downturn, conventions now offer great bargains for comics fans seeking back issues, toys and other merchandise. I love diving into the dollar bins to seek out classic horror and superhero comics from the Seventies, not to mention perusing the trade paperback and graphic novel collections that are 50% off. The deals work out better for the buyers than the sellers these days, so it’s best to take advantage of the sales while they happen.
Held at Pier 94 on Manhattan’s west side, this year’s Big Apple Comic Con — the first to be run by their new owners Wizard Entertainment and in a larger venue than years past (with an admittedly much higher entry fee) — certainly provided plenty of purchasing pandemonium and also featured celebrity appearances, comic artist tables, panel discussions and video game stations. I got plenty of shopping done, had my portrait sketched by famed Hulk artist Herb Trimpe and managed to chat with a few of the celebrities in attendance (photos below). While William Shatner, Kate Mulgrew and Linda Hamilton were there, I did not have any luck in spotting them. There was an impressive mix of sci-fi, TV, adult movie and comic book celebs on hand, from both old and new BSG stars to members to multiple Star Trek generations to famous faces from movies like Star Wars, Terminator, Flash Gordon and Supergirl. While the celebs were there selling autographed memorabilia and photo ops (something I find awkward often times when I just want to say something fan-like), the ones I approached for shots in ADD were cool about chatting and being photographed.
This was my first Big Apple Comic Con, and I enjoyed the spacious yet packed event. However, the distressing news I have learned is that next year Big Apple Comic Con is going head-to-head with New York Comic Con on the same weekend (October 7-10, 2010), which to me and many others is a ridiculous idea. Having two massive comic book conventions duke it out at the same time will not only test vendor loyalties but also make it difficult for fans to choose which to attend. Why not separate them out? There is easily room for two large conventions during the year.
Let’s not worry about that for now and take a look at my personal highlights from Big Apple Comic Con 2009.