I think Wizard Entertainment needs to make a choice. While the Wizard Owned Big Apple Comic Con is very heavy on Comic Book content; it is marketed as more of a “pop culture celebrity zoo” and to be honest, that aspect of it is really it’s weakest component. When the primary draw for your New York City event is the reunion of the “Brady Boys – Greg, Peter and Bobby” -maybe the words “Comic Con” don’t really belong on the flyer.
The advertising for this event suggests in it’s tone that it is THE premiere “Comic Con” event in NYC; the one you shouldn’t miss and the sister of the famous San Diego show (The logos and color scheme on the ads certainly reminded me of the San Diego show) That is just not the case which is a shame because it’s NOT a bad comic book show.
I was at the show from 10am to around 1:30PM. To be honest I had really seen everything by Noon. Two hours for 25 bucks admission is nothing to cry about. When all was said and done I paid a lot more money to see Avatar in an Imax theatre and I certainly had more fun at the Big Apple Comic Con.
I think the biggest problem is that nobody knows what to expect. These two in the photo to the right must have been surprised to be among the only people at the show in costume. Or maybe that’s what they were hoping for. Or maybe a flood of costumed fans came crashing through the doors after 2pm when I had already left. It’s certainly possible though I doubt it.
The best part of this show is the actual COMIC BOOK part. There are a great many artists and writers sitting at tables talking to old fans and meeting new ones. I met Nathan Bulmer (picture to the left) and the odds are good that if I had not gone to the show I would have never heard of him. That would have been a shame because he’s a really talented guy with a bizarre sense of humor who is taking a shot at the comic book dream old school style with a pen, a pad and seemingly unlimited access to a photo copier.
THAT aspect of this show is nothing new; it’s how the show ALWAYS was before Wizard Entertainment started buying up small shows around the country and turning them into traveling circus tours of 1970s TV icons. In the golden age of Comic Book conventions (before Hollywood realized how much money we have to spend on this stuff) a good show would be in a Flea Market or in a Holiday Inn. They’d pay George Barris to park the Batmobile out front and slap it on the flyer. Kids would come to see the Batmobile and then buy and sell books to dealers in the show while Mom waited patiently. There may have been some professional athletes there but it was because of the Baseball Card collecting Dads in attendance. Artists would sign and sketch and everybody had a fun day.
At it’s core (see what I did there? ) the Big Apple Comic Con desperately WANTS to be this. But Wizard keeps telling everyone it’s bigger than that. It keeps telling everyone it’s AN IMPORTANT NOT TO BE MISSED EVENT; when in reality; it’s just a comic book show.
I am not saying it’s not sometimes fun to meet celebrities but I can tell you from experience it’s also sometimes the exact opposite of fun and it tends to draw every weirdo who ever spent more than five minutes thinking about Erin Gray, out of their holes and into my peripheral vision.
But for the most part, everyone seemed to be having a good time yesterday and hey, R2D2 even got to meet Brother Jobu (Jobu was totally cool about it – he let R2 take a picture with him for free)
NEXT: The shocking final chapter of our 2010 Big Apple Comic Con Coverage: THE CELEBRITY ZOO.