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Author Topic: Nerdvana in the Big Apple  (Read 1585 times)

Offline PingNYC

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Nerdvana in the Big Apple
« on: October 22, 2011, 07:23:14 AM »
Nerdvana in the Big Apple
New York Comic Con & Anime Festival 2011
by Ping


2011 marks the 6th iteration of the New York Comic Con by ReedPOP, the 5th for New York Anime Festival. Each year, this convention has grown exponentially, and with the joining of the two events in 2010, it has taken over the entire Jacob Javits Convention Center in New York City. This year's convention reached over 100,000 in attendance, and occupied each floor of the Javits Center as well as the new 100,000 sq. foot North Pavilion dedicated almost exclusively for autograph booths and events. JPHiP and nandake was on the scene to take you inside to take a look at some of the experience and cosplay at this marquee event.

I've attended both NYCC and NYAF since 2008, and have seen every year become a resounding upgrade over the last. With increased attendance, a greater and increased number of guests, and better floor management over the last. The Hollywoodization of Geekdom at cons such as San Diego Comic Con have spread to New York, with gigantic booths for TV shows, video games, and movies. The attendance of various celebrities from all fields entice fans to wait in lines for hours to attend a single panel or autograph session. Screenings, meet and greets, and opportunities to play games before they come out have become major attractions at the convention. The entertainment and comic book artists have continued to be greater and grander. However, the merging of NYCC and NYAF has not boded well for fans of the latter.

While Comic Con is likely experiencing a record year in attendance, the Anime Festival portion has become relegated to the top floor with nothing but the Artist Alley and a large break room with a small stage. Last year began the first downward trend for the small anime convention that could, this year continuing the trend of fewer and lesser quality of anime and Japanese related guests. Although I am a big fan of NYAF because it is in my hometown, the direction it has taken since the previous year has slowly made me lose hope that the convention could become the greatest anime con on the East coast. It seems like for fans of anime and Japanese culture, people will have to attend other conventions such as Anime Next and Otakon which focuses specifically on this genre. But, I can't fault ReedPOP for this development. They are running a for-profit event and it must be expensive to book all the amazing entertainment and comic guests they have been for the past few years. Not to mention being in the heart of New York City.

Having such large attendance had it's drawbacks as well, with many panels being un-attendable with fans lining up for hours only to be turned down because the room was full. Although this year's show floor and dealer rooms had increased aisle space which led to much less crowding, there seemed to be a lack of thought going into the attendance in panel rooms. However, this is a difficult problem to tackle. While there were suggestions of having other rooms with TVs to view the high attendance panels not held at the IGN theater, this would likely cause the reduction of panels overall and may result in the cutting of smaller panels. I, for one, am happy that I don't have to solve this problem, but it did make attendance to any panel I wanted to attend, nigh impossible.

Large attendance does has it's upsides. My main goal in attending cons is to photograph cosplayers, and the cosplay this year was detailed and excellent, with many people dressed up in outfits with intricate designs that must have taken days to create. You can check out our gallery on the nandake flickr below.

Another great addition this year was the Electronic Sports League's Intel Extreme Masters tournament for League of Legends, Starcraft 2, and Counter Strike. Having a reputable tournament of this size at the convention made the convention more enjoyable and provided an additional draw for those gaming fans interested in the growing popularity of e-sports.

Overall, the attendance was phenomenal, the entertainment and comic guests were quality and a plenty, and cosplay that'll make you go "wow." Although it seems like the anime side of the convention has taken a hit in recent years, the convention is definitely a can't miss event. With more than capable management that continues to show improvement in their show year to year, as well as the vast screenings and panels available for both the mainstream entertainment consumer as well as the comic and video game fans, this is the premier event of it's kind in the world's greatest city.

« Last Edit: September 21, 2012, 07:46:20 AM by daigong »

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