No more, we promise, unless it’s really revelatory.
§ CBR talks to show runner Lance Fensterman, including the answer to what many were speculating about:
We heard a rumor that Reed could be combining Comic Con and the Anime Fest here in New York. What are your thoughts on that on a scale of “A Strong Possibility” to “Just Speculation?”
I think it’s both. I think it’s a possibility and speculation at this point. We haven’t decided what to do with Anime in 2010, and our minds are really open. Basically, we just pulled of New York Comic Con 2009, a week before that we pulled off a massive con launching in downtown Chicago, we’ve relocated our Comic Con to the fall; so the feeling was, “We will run an awesome New York Anime Fest in 2009 and worry about what we’re doing from there.”
We’ve got a lot on our plate right now, and we’ll do whatever’s best for the fans. I’ve always said that we respect the community we’ve built for the Otaku and hopefully make it even better in 2010.
§ Although most stories seem to peg the show as an upbeat recession buster, not everyone saw it that way:
In the basement food court Ordalina Acevedo thought this year’s conference wasn’t as buoyant as last year. “There are less people; it’s because of the economy,” she said as she rang up a customer’s sandwich at a cash register.
§ Ron Hogan went to the PWCW panel moderated by Calvin Reid, that covered selling good books in a bad economy:
“High-end titles really haven’t dropped so much,” said Tokyopop’s Stuart Levy, “but the midlist titles have dropped a lot.” Barnes & Noble graphic novel buyer Jim Killen concurred, adding that Batman and Iron Man titles had been hot sellers because of the movies—the latter had actually becaome “an A-list character” as far as sales were concerned. The problem, Liang suggested, was that over the last decade or so comics publishers had ridden a wave of expansion in the retail chains until they’d reached all the audience they could reach there. “I don’t see any explosive growth coming out of the chain sector in the next few years,” he predicted. Killen expanded on the thought: “Constant growth in any market is not possible,” he warned. “There’s a point where you stop being a growing business and become a mature business… Every title is fighting for shelf space now. Every title has to have a reason for being in the store.”
§ One thing that frustrates us about a show like NYCC, which had, all things considered, a very diverse programming schedule is that you have to go through 20 reports on “Cup of Nation” panels to find out about actually interesting things, like the uclick panel. Luckily io9 was there:
It may be minor, but sitting with an iPhone and viewing their most popular converted title – Jeff Smith’s Bone – is truly an impressively enjoyable experience. No longer are you accidentally viewing a frame or two ahead because of the nature of multi-panel pages; you’re actually able to see it panel-by-panel — just like the artists originally created it. Also, because the iPhone is backlit, you’re able to see more vibrant colors and artwork than you’d ever see on crudely-printed paper. It’s not just good for the readers. The model also works well for the content creators.
Jorge Vega, owner of Kid Kong Entertainment and Two Fisted Press, writes the comic book Kaeru-Boy, distributed on the iPhone by iVerse, a UClick competitor. “I can leverage the ease of using the platform…downloading from iTunes… allows me as an independent creator to drive more, easier sales. Because of the $0.99 price point, it’ll bring in potential new readers.” Vega also loves the portability of the iPhone, saying it’s “like a virtual long box.”
But see also the io9 comments section.
§ More of Kiel Phegley’s reporting on the ICv2 conference:
However, the news for graphic novels and comics sales remained good in 2008, with gains in total sales and a jaw-dropping 134% increase in the number of comics for children and tweens. “Graphic novels are continuing to grow, albeit not as fast as they were before. Overall, [there was] about 5% growth in the comics and graphic novel medium. I think one of the questions for 2009 will be whether there will be an economic impact on format choice for people buying comics. I’ve been in this business for over 30 years, and in that time there’s been a very reliable, counter-cyclical relationship between economic conditions and sales of periodical comics. It’s very cheap entertainment and something that is a good entertainment alternative. This is kind of uncharted territory because graphic novels are a much greater percentage of the business than they’ve ever been in the past when the economy has been bad. Also, comic cover prices have gone up faster than inflation, and the continuity of comics is probably different than it has been, [because] the very tightly woven continuity between comic titles makes comic periodicals a much bigger investment than when you’re buying one-off stories.”
§ Dave Roman has his own thoughts on his panel at the ICv2 conference and his exchange with Ira “Hey you kids, get off my internet!” and “Girls? Comics? The devil you say!” Rubenstein, Marvel’s new technology guy. He links to a further discussion on the CBR forum.
§ But our favorite NYCC anecdote has to be this one from Rich Johnston — because it shows that EVERYBODY wants to see Comic-Con!
Daniel Dae Kim, better known as Jin off of “Lost”, also attending the New York Comic Convention this weekend, in his capacity of being in “Lost,” “24,” “Enterprise,” “Angel,” “Hulk,” “Crusade” and all that. But he also wanted to walk around the show, buy comics, meet creators etc, without getting mobbed.
So someone found him a “V For Vendetta” mask, letting Daniel walk around untouched for hours.