The New York Comic Con was held October 11-14 at the Jacob Javitz Convention Center in New York City. This was my sixth time attending the show in the last seven years and I’m amazed at how much the convention has grown since the first NYCC in 2006. If I remember correctly, that first NYCC was in a space no bigger than this year’s Artist Alley and was relegated to the lower level of the Javitz Center. Now it takes up the entire convention center and it’s still barely enough space for the thousands of comic fans and cosplayers that attend.
NYCC started on Thursday but I had a three day pass beginning on Friday. I left work early Friday afternoon and cabbed it to the Javitz Center. There was a good crowd at the Javitz Friday afternoon, but despite the number of people on line the wait time to get in was minimal (on all of the three days I attended) thanks to the fantastic planning by the event organizers Reed Exhibition Companies.
First stop: Artist Alley!
For me NYCC has always been about meeting the comic book writers and artists in attendance, particularly the men and women whose work I read from 1977-1989, and this show didn’t disappoint. I had spent the week prior to NYCC looking over the list of comic creators that would be in attendance and putting together a list of who I would try to get sketches from. My list ran down an entire page and would have cost me about a month’s salary if I was able to get all of the proposed sketches, so I scaled it down to my “must haves.”
The first artist I met was Rick Leonardi, penciller of many Marvel titles including Cloak & Dagger, The Uncanny X-Men, and Spider-Man 2099 just to name a few. I’ve been a big fan of his over the years, and at last year’s show I had commissioned a sketch of Cloak and Dagger from him that is one of my favorite pieces of art in my personal collection. Lucky for me Rick’s sketch list wasn’t filled up yet when I arrived. I asked for a Dr. Strange and he hit this one out of the park. This sketch is definitely one of the highlights of my book. He even added Kirby crackle!
Next up was one of my favorite inkers, Bob Wiacek. His run on The Uncanny X-Men with penciller Paul Smith in the early 80’s is one of my all time favorites. I decided to get a Wolverine sketch on 11″x17″ comic art board based on Paul Smith’s amazing cover from Uncanny X-Men #173. I initially asked Bob to draw Wolverine only with the intention of having another artist draw Rogue, but I quickly changed my mind and asked him to include Rogue as well for a full cover recreation. He showed me the pencils on Saturday, which were AMAZING, and the commission will be fully inked and FedExed to me this week. Needless to say, this will be the signature piece of my comic art collection.
Going into the show I had a Tony Daniel sketch on my wish list, and I was able to get not one, but TWO sketches from Tony on Saturday and Sunday. First up was a sketch card of Poison Ivy, followed by a sketch of Harley Quinn in my sketch book. Not only is Tony an amazing artist, he is one of the nicest people I have met in my years of attending comic conventions.
I was also fortunate enough to get this great Savage Dragon sketch from Erik Larsen. The hits just keep on coming!
One of the highlights of the weekend was chatting with several of the creators in attendance about their work. I have a copy of Marvel: Five Fabulous Decades of the World’s Greatest Comics by Les Daniels and decided to get the Marvel alumni in attendance to autograph the inside cover. I walked up to Louise Simonson’s table for an autograph and was surprised to see former artist/editor Carl Potts. I had a great conversation with both of them and mentioned to Carl that I’m proud the owner of a page he drew from Alien Legion #4 (inked by Terry Austin). Bob McLeod was very generous with his time discussing the creation of The New Mutants (post to follow!).
I walked the exhibit hall floor a few times, mainly to check out the original comic art for sale. I fully expected the number of attendees to peak on Saturday, but the show floor was also crowded on Friday and Sunday. After awhile I decided to stick with Artist Alley.
I did buy one piece of published original comic art over the weekend, a religious themed page drawn by Rick Leonardi and inked by Joe Rubinstein from a story they collaborated on back in the 90’s. I won’t give too much information on the piece because I’m hoping to write a blog post on it for the Holidays. But I will say it was a page that I wanted to buy when I first saw it online, but never thought I would have the chance to purchase it. Now it’s officially part of my “not for sale” collection.
I had a fantastic time at NYCC over the weekend and overall I thought the show was an amazing success. This picture pretty much sums up for me: