New York Comic Con closed on Sunday night after a very successful weekend, with attendance over 64,000 (see “Interview with Lance Fensterman”) and satisfied exhibitors and attendees. The trade day events kicked off with strong attendance of 250 retailers at the Diamond Comic Distributors breakfast, and although neither the programming rooms nor the exhibit floor seemed crowded before the fans were admitted at 3 p.m. (there was a lot more space for both), trade attendance seemed solid, with major retailers from throughout the country in attendance.
Exhibitors we talked to were pleased with the crowds and their engagement. “It was a real high water market for New York Comic Con so far,” Comic Book Legal Defense Fund executive director (and serious convention road warrior) Charles Brownstein told us. “Reed really pulled it together and put on the show that everybody knows that
The Fund’s experience was not isolated, as both major exhibitors and retailers seemed to be doing well. David Webster of Midtown Comics told us from the company’s crowded booth that both Midtown’s exclusives for the show (three comics, two trade paperbacks, and two toys) and its 25% off sale on graphic novels were pulling well. Midtown’s booth was bigger this year, up to 20x40 from 20x30 in 2007. We also heard that other comic retailers were doing well, as were publishers and manufacturers of all kinds.
Lines were present throughout the floor, not only for the typical suspects (signings at the Marvel and DC booths, Mark Evanier signing his new Kirby book, etc.), but also for designers (Simone Legno at the Toy Tokyo booth), and even to buy t-shirts at the T.M. Revolution booth. Game booths from both videogame and tabletop gaming companies were also mobbed.
And of course, the major film and TV programming, the biggest ever for NYCC, also drew very well.
Press coverage certainly played a role in the size and impact of the show, with local coverage helping to bring the crowds, and national media such as Fox News, Today show, EW, USA Today, and the New York Times all covering events at the show.
And although still a long way from how San Diego Comic-Con takes over its host city, there are starting to be indications outside of the convention center that a major event is taking place---there was a billboard featuring Oracle’s Marvel promotion on a building facing the Javits.