Special Edition NYC – the comic convention for actual comic readers
Comic Con is by all means the Mecca for nerds, geeks and fans of all things awesome. People gather from around the globe either to San Diego or New York to see the latest and greatest in film, tv and of course, the world of comics. But with each year that passes, Comic Con grows and grows. In 2014, New York Comic Con managed to have 151,000 unique attendees, beating out San Diego’s 133,000 unique attendees. And when I say unique attendees I mean individual people that are at the con, all at once. With the cons becoming such huge spectacles, companies with advertising money to spend have reason to show up and promote their materials. Unfortunately for comic fans, the companies with the most money to throw around are in gaming, tv and film. Instead of just a tiny booth, these companies can afford massive kiosks or sets put together to attract those walking by. But what about pure comic fans? The people who attended the con in the early days, who are only there for their love of comics and don’t care about catching a glimpse of a celebrity? While Comic Con still has sections devoted to that, the space shrinks every year but luckily the creator of New York Comic Con has brought to us an answer to this growing issue: Special Edition NYC.
Special Edition is the Comic Con for the comic fan. It’s a far smaller show and lacks the spectacle of Comic Con (i.e. don’t come here if you’re a gaming or film fan looking for a sneak peak at what’s to come). Instead it’s a con celebrating the smaller things that get lost in the advertising shuffle of NYCC.
Perks of Special Edition being a smaller show:
I was able to spend more time with the people I met at the con. Usually at Comic Con the lines are so long that you’re lucky to take a photo with the person you’re meeting as usually someone managing the line is trying to photobomb your selfie so no one else can get a similar idea that could potentially hold up the line. Instead, because of the size, there was a level of intimacy where the comic writers and artists I met were genuinely excited to talk to fans and chit chat.
The staff was extremely friendly and knowledgeable. Usually at Comic Con I come across staff that either has no idea what they’re doing, has no idea what they’re talking about or decides to vent their frustration out to the world and unsuspecting con-goers. To be empathetic with them, I can only imagine how stressful a job handling those lines must be especially with how rowdy people waiting on line can be. And with Comic Con being as large as it is, it’s only natural the staff won’t know every minute detail. But, at Special Edition, I was pleased to find people who knew the ins and outs of the place as well as were just cheerful to be there. So kudos on making that part of the experience great!
Another perk of Special Edition being smaller was the great level of coordination. One of the things that stinks about Comic Con is when coordinating large groups of people there tend to be hiccups. Just getting people into the place or handing badges can take an eternity. When entering Special Edition however, staff were going up and down the lines handing people hard tickets so as to not cause congestion when everyone was being let in. It was efficient and made me less cranky to be waiting on a line!
Special Edition having far more of a focus on comic book exhibitors means that it’s easier to find exhibitors and the selection is great. Don’t get me wrong, I love seeing a booth brought to me by Axe body gel, handing out freebies of deodorant, but not having such booths around meant it was just that much easier to find where I wanted to go. For years, I get lost trying to find a booth at Comic Con due to some kind of zany booth in the way but Special Edition was great because it was lacking that Hollywood / marketing flair.
It’s possible to actually get exclusives! Getting a Comic Con exclusive is like winning the lotto. It’s you vs so many others looking to get the same Pop! Figure you want or comic variant you need. It’s rough trying to get a NYCC exclusive. Special Edition was far more chill – I walked up to a booth and got the comic I wanted. It was just that easy.
Special Edition is ultimately something that needed to be made. No longer can comic fans complain about the Hollywood nature of NYCC as the same guys have given them this great haven at another time of the year. Don’t get me wrong, I absolutely love NYCC and love what it’s become. I’m a fan of all of that stuff so I think it deserves the title of nerd Mecca. But for comic fans who want just a bit more attention towards the comic section of Comic Con, definitely check out Special Edition NYC.