New York Comic Fest 2014: My Opinion

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Caveat:  I am not a journalist.  What little journalism training I have was learned in the Eighth Grade, and all I really remember is the inverted pyramid.  My observation skills are easily distracted, and my people skills will never be healthy enough that I can ask strangers pointed questions.  I bury ledes like Montresor.

What follows is my experience today at the New York Comic Fest.  I had specific reasons for attending, which will differ from others.  Reportage was not one of those reasons.

So, let’s break it down:

WHO:  Me, a middle-aged comics fan of 30+ years, with eclectic tastes.

New York Comic Fest Poster 2014 New York Comic Fest 2014: My OpinionWHAT: New York Comic Fest 2014, a comics-centric convention organized by the same folks who have staged the excellent Asbury Park Comic Con in New Jersey for the past four years.

WHERE:  Westchester County Center, a 1930s arena located near the White Plains Metro North train station.

WHEN:  Today, Saturday, June 14, 2014, 10 AM – 6 PM

WHY: Robert Bruce and Cliff Galbraith host amazing comics shows with amazing creators from the entire comics spectrum, with a wide variety of retailers and small presses.  I go to chat with creators, find crazy stuff I didn’t know existed (or had forgotten about), have a good time, and support a show that serves an important niche.

HOW: I took the subway to Grand Central, then Metro North to White Plains.

The gist:  I had a good time, bought way too much cheap comics on a budget of $100, attended one panel, chatted with friends new and old, and look forward to their next show in the Meadowlands next April!

The nitty gritty:

The Westchester County Center is a small arena.  The show floor was placed on the ground floor, filling what would normally be a basketball arena (or concert seating).  The aisles were easy to navigate, while being intimate.

The one panel I attended, on writing comics, was spacious with ample seating.

Bathrooms were accessible and clean.

The gold star?  Nathan’s.  Yes, the hot dog chain from Coney Island.  The menu was limited (eight combos), but for $9, I got a medium soda, the deluxe hamburger, and fries.  FAST, DELICIOUS, FILLING!

Because this was an arena, attendees could relax in the second floor seating overlooking the show floor.

phoebezeitgeist New York Comic Fest 2014: My OpinionThe Gem:  The Adventures of Phoebe Zeit-Geist by Michael O’Donoghue and Frank Springer ($30, Grove Press, 1969 paperback, LCCN: 67-30109)  This is probably due to be reprinted once again.

Specifically purchased to get an autograph:  Hembeck #6 ($10, September 1981)  A cast of thousands!

A nice discovery: Josh Neufeld’s The Vagabonds #3: The Journalism Issue.  Eight years since issue #3!  Is that a record?

The Unexpected:  Two four-page giveaways, featuring Popeye telling kids how to study better.  ($10 each, 1974, 1975)

From the same vendor:  Alien Worlds #1-6 ($15) and The Masterworks Series of Great Comic Book Artists #2: Frank Frazetta ($4)

The Bargain:  The Very Best of the X-Men ($25, Marvel Limited, 1994 slipcased hardcover, in original shrinkwrap with Direct Market UPC on wrap)

The same retailer sold me a second printing of The Man of Steel trade paperback for $3, and from the huge pile of $1 titles:

  • Babe #4 of 4
  • Bone 10th Anniversary Special Edition Comic Book and Collectible Figurine (sans figurine)
  • Realworlds Batman
  • War Picture Library Holiday Special (224 page digest from the UK, 1972)
  • True Classroom Flubs & Fluffs (Scholastic Book Services, 1970, Jerry Robinson)
  • “Just shake the tambourine, please!”: More Best Cartoons of the Year (Dell, 1968)
  • Mom’s the Word (Signet, LCCN: 68-13707)

Quantity and Quality:  One vendor had an amazing selection of vintage bubble gum cards (packs and cases!), but instead, I hit the dollar bins, and found a good selection of comics!  For $5 each, I bought the 1992 (#2) and 1994 (#4) annual reports of Marvel Entertainment Group.  (1994 is when it begins to go south… Heroes World is purchased, Toy Biz enters the picture.)

For $1 each, I purchased Zot!  #11-15, 14 1/2, and 17-36!

Last but not least:  The last vendor of the day, a warehouse from Massachusetts, didn’t have anything I was specifically searching for, but they were nice to chat with.  I discovered their $1 bins, and acquired:

  • Quincy R-05 (King Features)
  • Blondie R-03 (King Features) (Both were part of a supplemental reading program for schools, printed by Charlton in 1973)
  • Superman Annual #10
  • Detective Comics #526 (anniversary issue)
  • Angel Love #7
  • What if Conan the Barbarian …were stranded in the 20th Century? (#43)
  • Walt Disney Showcase: Mickey Mouse Surprise Party (#47)
  • 1st Issue Special #10 (The Outsiders)

Plus, a lot of other cool stuff either outside my budget, or too heavy for my already bulging bike bag.

Tomorrow,  I do it all over again, at Javits.

Comments

  1. I love this recaplet! Sounds like manageable fun!

  2. Was at this show also. Had a great time and also got some great deals from a lot of the vendors you mentioned. Got Spawn #1 for $5 from the guy with all the cards and the 6 issue run of John Byrne’s Man of Steel for $5. Got a bunch of great stuff on top of that. Saw the 66 Batmobile, met Scott Snyder and Denny O’Neil and just had a great time.

  3. Was also at this show. Loved the chill nature, space, etc. Dug Mark Waid’s panels. Got some good, cheap sketches. Would go again.

  4. getting to the show was very easy for me (I live a couple of blocks from a metro north station). when I arrived at the center I expected to see a line already formed. to my surprise there was no line yet, so I ended up being first in line (if I could only have that kind of luck at the nycc shows). the last comic con at this venue was in 1999 and it was a great show (mostly ’cause they had guys like joe kubert and john buscema show up). this show was also a great time. guys like steranko, mark waid, and denny o’neil showed up, among other great talents. I didn’t score any collectables, but I did manage to get seven sketches from guys like luke McDonnell, steve ellis , dave ryan , and joe martino, among others. I agree with Zach above, the mellow (chill) atmosphere of the con really made this con an enjoyable experience. lots of room to navigate in and places to sit down to rest for a minute or two. hope this show becomes a yearly event. I also went to the javits show the next day, but I guess i’ll leave a comment about that show on another thread.

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