Even though New York Comic Con was mostly made up of good times, I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention some of the bad. These are some of my least favorite moments of the con in no particular order.
In the previous years of NYCC, one of the first things I always do is head straight to the videogames, and this year is no different. Unfortunately many major videogame companies didn’t show up. Microsoft and Sony were nowhere to be found and they both have consoles getting released next month. Both consoles have been playable at other conventions, but they decided to neglect NYCC for some reason. I’ve been on the fence about cancelling my PS4 pre-order because I’m not sure there are any games I want at launch. I was hoping to try it out at NYCC, and finally decide. Now that they have taken that opportunity away from me I’m leaning even more heavily towards cancelling.
Ubisoft brought Watchdogs, and South Park: The Stick of Truth, but they were only in video form. I was hoping to get hands on time, but that just didn’t happen. One of the positives for videogame’s is that Ubisoft brought Assassin’s Creed 4 on the PC, and allowed us to play it with PS4 controllers, which were vastly superior to their previous controller’s. I just wish I was able to try out some of Sony’s exclusive launch titles to help me make up my mind.
One of my biggest disappointments this year with NYCC is how the con handled their Autograph/Photograph sessions. In previous years if I stood far enough out of the way I could freely take a picture of whoever I wanted to. I only needed to pay for something if I was actually interacting with the star. This year they wouldn’t even allow that. I tried to get a decent picture while standing a few hundred feet away from Gillian Anderson, but the staff was told us we weren’t allowed. I don’t blame the staff because they are just doing what they were told, but the convention itself should be cooler with this type of thing.
Another issue I had was with the free Autograph tickets that were distributed online for shows and movies. In previous years for a show like Venture Bros. or Person of Interest you would have to go line up at a specific time to get autograph tickets, and once those were done, they were done. Die-hard fans would get to that place really early and wait until they could get their ticket. For people that tried showing up 10 minutes before hand, they might be out of luck. One way NYCC tried to change that situation was by distributing the free autograph tickets online. This seemed like a decent idea, but the implementation was wrong. The system worked like a lotto scratch off, but they didn’t communicate this properly ahead of time. You go through the process and you either win a ticket or you don’t regardless of what time you entered. To make matters worse it tried to give me more options to win if I gave up my friend’s information to try to make them enter as well. I think a first come first serve online system would work better, just like concert tickets or anything else.
Attack on Titan Cosplay
At Anime Boston when the show had only been on for a few weeks, I was super excited when I saw 2 different groups of cosplayers from the manga/anime. When I arrived at NYCC I saw a few on Thursday and I was initially excited by it, but after a few hours of continuously seeing them done very generically, I got tired of it. I probably counted over 30 Attack on Titan cosplayer’s throughout the weekend. A few people put some work into it and made 3D gear, but most just wore a generic costume that looked store bought, and struck the same salute when I asked for a picture. As much as I love the show and the manga, they were this year’s Narutards.
Not getting into the GTA 5 voice actor panel
I can’t blame anyone for this but myself. This particular panel happened in between the Venture Bros. panel, and the Oldboy panel. People started lining up for that panel several hours before the event even started. When I arrived 20 minutes before the panel started, the room was completely full, and there were several hundred people hoping beyond hope to get in. Eventually a staffer came by and angrily tried shooing people away. Many people stayed, but I decided to run around the con instead. Thankfully IGN has posted the entire panel YouTube.
Generally people were pretty friendly this year. I didn’t get bumped as much as I usually have in the past (or I just didn’t notice it as much). Overall the convention was just overcrowded on Saturday and Sunday, and Thursday felt more crowded than usual. Personally I wish they would scale back a little, but instead they grew from 116K people last year to over 130K people this year. That being said they did try to combat the situation a little with RFID check in to eliminate fraudulent ticket holders. President of ReedPop (NYCC organizers) has told Comic Book Resources that common spaces appeared to be 40% less crowded. I don’t know what he considers “common spaces” but any area I was in felt just as crowded as it did in previous years. They reorganized a few areas of floor space which might account for “common areas” appearing to have fewer people. At various times there were definitely parts of the floor that felt less crowded then other parts, but as a whole it was still over crowded.
San Diego Comic Con in the previous years has had over 130K people, and I have a feeling NYCC next year will add more people on purpose just to top SDCC numbers at our expense. How did they sell out a show last year with the same amount of space, and sell it out this year and add 14K more people? They did it at our expense, and I’m sure they will do the same next year.