Tagged: New York Comic Con

Ed Catto: The Old Order Changeth

There’s a certain comfortable absurdity that an activity that is most likely enjoyed on a solitary basis – reading comics – kicks into high gear every day at comics shops and just about every weekend at comic conventions and every minute in social media. Recently at a comic convention, I was surrounded by some old friends who really like comics, and by a bunch of new faces who do too. And the new faces look so different from my familiar compatriots.

First a little background. I’m ComicMix’s newest columnist, and although a basic fanboy at heart, I come at it with a little different perspective. I’m an advertising and marketing guy. Yes, you could say I’m kind of like a character from Mad Men, but without the coolness, glamour and skinny ties. So when I worked at Nabisco I brought Marvel heroes to Oreo and ChipsAhoy! for a marketing team-up. I developed a “Spot Spidey” promotion for a candy company. At the world’s largest trade show company, I helped grow New York Comic Con in its sophomore year. And now at my own agency, we help brands connect with geek culture.  Unfortunately, I still haven’t figured out how to have afternoon cocktails in the office like they did at Sterling Cooper.

It’s natural for me to try to understand who the audience is for a product, what type of people make up the most engaged consumers for an industry and how it’s changing and evolving. Call me crazy, but I find that fascinating.

So with the convention season upon us, I’m fascinated by the changing profile of convention attendees, and by extrapolation, how the comics industry is changing. How do the 87 million millennials fit into it all ? Last month, I didn’t go to Emerald City Comic Con, although I heard it was (another) great one, but instead was at a small local show in Hasbrouck Heights, N.J. It’s part of a network of rotating comic shows that an energetic guy named Jon Paul runs and has been running for the past 24 years. And the most interesting thing is – there’s a new crop of attendees! They aren’t just all the same people who have always gone to these shows.

Oh, sure, there’s a certain band-of-brothers element amongst the dealers and faithful fans. They’re close-knit communities who have developed relationships over the years “one Sunday at a time”.  But thankfully, like all good hosts, they also are very welcoming to new faces and fans.

This time around, I think the “gods of comics marketing” arranged to send perfect examples of some the new fans to this show for me to meet. Without exaggeration, these folks could have all come directly from central casting.  I’m not sure if there are any big, new ah-hah moments though. It was more a validation, and a personification, of the recent trends that the geek press has been chewing on.

Promethea Girl

There’s been a lot of talk about women in comics, but one young woman this weekend summed it all up for me. She was enthralled by a Promethea action figure for sale. DC Direct had created this figure a few years ago, based on Alan Moore’s brilliant Promethea and Sophie characters. This young woman proudly displayed her Promethea Tattoo, as well as her depth of knowledge and passion for comics. When she introduced us to her boyfriend (who was quickly dubbed “Promethea Boy”) I curiously asked who collected comics first. He shamefacedly admitted that even though he read some comics as a kid, it was his girlfriend’s passion that re-ignited his interest in comics.

New Kid On the Block

carls-comix-newsOne of the coolest fans was also one of the most impressive. Carl is a man on a mission. Or should I say, a young man on a mission. He’s only 8, but Carl knows comics and has a keen eye for what’s cool and what he likes. And he blogs about it on his Carl’s Comix blog. A polite and energetic kid, Carl was refreshingly optimistic and upbeat. And he’s blessed with one of those super-supportive dads, the kind of guy who watches out for his boy, but provides support, encouragement and long leash. Or maybe I should say a “long runway”, because it’s obvious that Carl is going to take off to great heights.

A shuffling iZealot

Larry's ComicsAnd then there was that type of selfless fan who’s looking to bring more folks to the party.  One fan bought a dozen copies of Roberson & Allred’s recent iZombie comic series for his girlfriend. She had enjoyed the first episode of the new CW series. Years ago, when I was dating, I always dreaded that moment when I had to tell a girl my dark, horrible secret – that I bought comics every week.

That doesn’t seem like such a horrible secret any longer. Now, there are so many ways to enjoy this slice of pop culture (movies, TV, comics, apparel, merchandise) and there’s so many ways to share it with those we care about. And this type of fan is anxious to spread the word about comics, not to just keep it to himself.

As a side note, I saw a banner on a Larry’s Comics email that said, “Friends Don’t Let Friends Read Junk.”

So I left Sunday’s comic show with a positive sense of who’s enjoying all this stuff, and how they’re all enjoying it. There are more roads into it than ever, and more ways to enjoy it than ever, and that’s pretty cool. I just hope I can keep up with all these new fans.

One last note – I always associate the title of this week’s column “The Old Order Changeth” with shakeups to the line-up of heroes in the Avengers, but it goes way back and I think it’s from an old Tennyson King Arthur poem. Those classics always get in the way of my comic book trivia.

Michael Davis: The Great New York Con

I’m from New York.

I’m a New Yorker who has lived the last 20 years in Los Angeles or LA, as it’s commonly called. LA is where my life is now; driven here quite literally by an offer I couldn’t refuse.

Despite the often-racist policies of City Hall and its Choke-An-Unarmed-Black-Man-to-Death police force, NYC will always be my home. Every New Yorker will tell you that the city becomes part of you. There’s something about growing up in New York that taints your view of any other city. When New Yorkers leave New York, they may move, but they don’t relocate.

My body may live in LA, but my heart and soul still reside in New York.

When the towers fell, I spent the entire day on the phone with Denys Cowan. We were both in LA less than 10 minutes from each other, yet we were so shocked and heartbroken about our city that neither one of us could muster the brainpower to think to go to the other’s home.

The offer I couldn’t refuse was made by Motown, who left Detroit in 1970 and has operated from Los Angeles ever since. I made a case to keep my main offices on the east coast and Motown agreed. I so loved my city, I endured a weekly flight to LA, and I absolutely hate to fly. After a year I was told to move the business to Los Angeles.

I did, but kept my NYC residence and have that still. I was not happy leaving my cherished city and made no secret of my dislike of all things Los Angeles when I arrived.

My New York egotism is seldom, if ever, modified. Undoubtedly a wise thing to do in many situations, but I can’t seem to make that leap no matter what the setting. I once proudly wore a New York Knick hat during a game between the Knicks and the Lakers played in Los Angeles. Not a big deal – any die-hard New York fan would do that. However, I wore my Knick hat to a Laker game while in Magic’s Johnson’s suite.

But wait, there’s more: I did this during the time I ran a division of Magic Johnson Entertainment.

I worked for the most famous Los Angeles Laker of all time, yet there I sat wearing my Knick hat.

You can’t get much more New York or more stupid than that.

20 years after LA made me leave NY, my answer is the same now as it was then when I’m asked to compare New York and Los Angeles. New York is the greatest city in the world and LA stands for Lower Alabama.

New York is also home to the New York Comic Con (NYCC), billed as the largest pop culture event on the east coast. I’m sure that’s true. It’s a huge and impressive show to be sure. Held at New York’s Javits Center, the convention sold out this year doing “San Diego Comic Con numbers” according to Business Insider.

That’s extraordinary.

What’s even more extraordinary is that NYCC has been around just nine years, and SDCC more than forty. It’s no wonder-people are comparing NYCC to SDCC. When you throw up those kinds of numbers in that short amount of time, you’re a major playa, no doubt about it.

Before, during, and especially after this year’s show, the word coming out of the Big Apple was that SDCC is done.

The king is dead, long live the king!

My dear friend Lucy Valerio, who knows full well of my doings at SDCC, told me a good friend of hers said, “San Diego Comic Con has jumped the shark.”

I wondered two things: had this expert on all things pop culture ever been to Comic Con? Secondly, was Lucy high? I bet her friend was, or he was drinking the Jim Jones Kool-Aid hype social media is selling.

Most don’t know I also have history with NYCC, and believe it or not, I had a small hand in helping them established themselves when they started. Long story short, they reached out to me and I put them in business with two major companies they were unable get to.

After doing so, I was asked to bring The Black Panel to NYCC and I did. So imagine my surprise when the next year, I’m told The Black Panel did not fit the criteria, although I had an open invitation to bring it back anytime I wanted.

The Black Panel has been profiled in the Wall Street Journal, The Guardian, The New York Times, and Entertainment Weekly, to name but a few. The panel been invited to major universities, film festivals, and just recently Japan.

Damn, that must be some fucking criteria.

The woman from ReedPop, the NYCC promoter, who informed me could not have cared less about my open invitation to bring the panel back, nor did she care about what I had done for NYCC.

Fast-forward seven or eight years and the NYCC has put up some extraordinary numbers, but were not really SDCC numbers. They count ticket sales as people. In other words one person buys two tickets that counts as two people. Nevertheless, their numbers were damn impressive and they did sell out.

That sell out and those ticket sales are going to be the first thing ReedPop, the company behind the NYCC, will show future strategic partners, investors, advertisers, exhibitors, and attendees, and they should – those numbers are an incredible achievement, and as any CEO in corporate America will tell you, numbers don’t lie.

Those numbers are reason enough people are listening to the loud voices proclaiming NYCC as the new king of pop culture events.

Numbers don’t lie, but those voices are. Those voices are lying like any husband when asked, “Does this dress make me look fat?”

“No honey bunny.” That’s the lie hubby will tell his spouse.

“No Porky, you’d look fat in any dress.” That’s the truth he’s smart enough to keep from his wife.

The NYCC is a well attended comics and pop culture convention. SDCC is a world-famous pop culture event on a whole other level. Put another way, it’s akin to comparing Jay Z and your cousin Sal who likes to rap.

The numbers NYCC put up this year are undeniably great numbers for attendance to their show. However, the selling out SDCC is assured, not to take anything away from New York, but those are easy numbers to put up for San Diego. The show has sold out completely for over a decade and is still growing in ticket requests.

But, being the new king of pop culture is about a lot more than ticket sells.

More than attendance revenue, SDCC is a pop culture mecca, a place fans from all over the world must visit at least once in their life. Like any Super Bowl city hundreds of thousands of people come to San Diego without tickets. Some hope to somehow attain tickets once there, but for most, just being in the city where Comic Con International is being held is the goal.

The City Of San Diego is number 11 on the 20 most visited cities by international visitors and number 10 on the Forbes list of America’s most visited city. Clearly New York is on both those lists, but I’m damn sure the City of New York will not build new hotels and new convention centers (plural) to keep the NYCC show there.

Undoubtedly, because of Comic Con’s financial impact, San Diego would want to keep them happy by any means necessary. By comparison New York is much bigger and has much more to offer than just one event, True, but just as true, long before SDCC became the monster it is now, San Diego was already one of America’s top tourist destinations.

The economic significance of the SDCC on the city is not measured just in yearly revenue boost but in future investments and growth in the city. The worldwide importance of SDCC is not just a boon to San Diego, but to America as well. SDCC more than any other event in the 21st Century has cemented America’s place as the pop culture capital of the world.

That kind of clout is not what puts SDCC at another level. I was just pointing out the difference between Jay and cousin Sal.

NYCC is a for-profit business. Nothing at all wrong with that… except, in my opinion, in the world of geeks. To look at geeks simply as paying customers at a geek convention is no way to build a pop culture dynasty the likes of SDCC. A recurring issue to many fans and pros is the less than pleasant way convention personnel deal with fans.

To be fair, ReedPop is not running the Javits Center and has little or no control over how Javits security talks to and otherwise deals with fans. But Reed picked the venue, and year after year this seems to be a recurring topic.

SDCC is a not-for-profit educational organization run by a bunch of geeks, and in the world of comic book conventions, geeks rule. The people at SDCC are in the business of conventions, but they are not a convention business.

SDCC Mission Statement:

Comic-Con International: San Diego is a nonprofit educational corporation dedicated to creating awareness of, and appreciation for, comics and related popular art forms, primarily through the presentation of conventions and events that celebrate the historic and ongoing contribution of comics to art and culture.

Regardless of my past dealings with the convention, I want NYCC to succeed. It’s in my city and they are good for the industry. They and every other pop culture event have a ways to go before they can claim to be on a par with SDCC. For my money, Stan Lee’s Comikaze is the convention with any hope of ever doing what SDCC has.

The SDCC show is a pop culture worldwide happening generating much more than revenue and at its core are the fans, geeks, nerds and growing the industry.

This above all else is why Comic Con International: San Diego is on a different level.

A level that the New York Comic Con is, as of yet, nowhere near.


Martha Thomases: Finding The Big Apple

From the sublime to the ridiculous. Except I did it backwards.

Last week, as you no doubt recall, I wrote about New York Comic-Con, one of the biggest pop culture shows in the country. This week, I’d like to write about one of the smallest.

But first, some background and some sociological theory.

New Yorkers are obsessed with real estate, and New York City has only a limited supply. Living in the right neighborhood, working in the right neighborhood, partying in the right neighborhood – for a certain class of people who live in this city, these are vital pieces of their identity.

Nothing stays the right neighborhood forever.

When I moved to New York in the late 1970s, rich people lived on the Upper East Side. Today, you can rent or buy an apartment in some of those buildings for less than it costs to buy the same space in certain parts of Brooklyn. President Bill Clinton bases his foundation in Harlem. Places where my mother wouldn’t let me walk by myself because they were too disgusting are now so expensive I couldn’t afford them.

Over the years, people in the real estate business have tried to figure out what makes a neighborhood happen. To over-simplify, you need artists and gay people. Artists seek out inexpensive space for their studios, and then rich people who buy art want to hang out with artists. Gay people (according to the stereotype) value their homes and invest, bringing with them cute shops and restaurants. In the time since I’ve moved here, I’ve seen this happen in SoHo, the East Village, the Lower East Side, Williamsburg, Park Slope and the western part of Bleecker Street. At least.

There was a time when Eighth Street was the coolest address in the world. It saw the birth of the Beats, the folk music scene, the hippie flower-power leather sandal set. Because it was so cool, everyone wanted to be there. Landlords jacked up the rents, and the hippies couldn’t afford it anymore. Soon, it was nothing buy tacky shoe stores. There were so many that real estate developers referred to a phenomenon known as the Eight Street Effect, in which once there is a certain saturation of shoe stores, a crash will occur.

Landlords don’t like this.

Sometimes, they take their money and go play in another sandbox, in another part of town. Sometimes, they take the long view and invest in the properties they have.

What does this have to do with comics?

This: The Crazy 8 Cartoon Festival, which was held last Saturday, October 18, on Eighth Street between Fifth and Sixth Avenue.

Go ahead. Look at the link. You’ll see that stores all across the street were hosting events of interest to pop culture fans, from tattoos (for $8!) to vintage animation to comic book artists.

I got there kind of late, around four, because I had been to a art studio crawl in Gowanus, Brooklyn, earlier that day (see how-to-gentrify, above). There were a bunch of people dressed as zombies on the street, looking less like The Walking Dead than Shaun of the Dead.

In the back of the Marlton Hotel, there were a few comic book creators showing their wares. Among them was Amy Chu, whom I had tried to see at NYCC but wasn’t able to get close enough to her table, and Sean Von Gorman, whose work amuses me greatly. Not only could one actually have a conversation with these fine folks and others, but there was a bar in the hotel, and free snacks and free punch provided by WhistlePig, a whiskey company.

Unlike a normal comic book convention, this one attracted people who knew nothing whatsoever about comic books. Hotel guests would mosey back to see what was going on, and, at least while I was there, often bought something.

I’ve read about other really small shows, in libraries or in college dorms. I don’t know how this compared to them. Like them, I suppose, it was quiet and friendly. No one was harassed about what she was wearing. No one got into a loud argument about anything. It was incredibly friendly and pleasant.

Yeah, I’d pay extra for that.


Marc Alan Fishman: The Road Less Traveled

A little over a day removed from the New York Comic Con, I found myself in a bit of an existential funk. My bearded brethren of Unshaven Comics and I had seen a whopping 40% increase in our book sales. On all accounts, we should have been cheering and rejoicing the entire 14 hour ride home. But, after our 36th hour in the car over a span of five days – with highway hypnosis beginning to creep around the edges of our vision – we turned to a game of “Would You Rather.”

This is one of those silly time-wasters stoners and the road-weary play to stay alert. One plays it by coming up with increasingly insane parameters from which each party member must choose. Generally this comes after an hour of Marry, Boff, Kill, which for the sake of this article, will not be discussed. But I digress.

Amidst choosing whether we’d “choose to suffer from an hour long seizure once a week”, or “have all our teeth removed without anesthesia,” I’d landed on a very controversial question. It’d been a query long-standing amongst us since the transition from our long-time friendship to a budding business venture. I asked, coldly:

Would you rather make it in comics, and know that the other two would never enjoy… or be in Unshaven Comics together and know we’ll never see the success we’re continually chasing with each passing year?

The question came to me after six years of attending conventions, with a résumé that still would appear no better than an intern’s after some time fetching coffee. Or, perhaps, far worse. To date, Unshaven Comics has produced a single commissioned piece, for which we were paid essentially Five Dollars an hour, to split between the three of us. Beyond that, we’ve been a solo show, self-financed long before the word crowdsourced was in the vernacular of today’s con-goer. As we were placed on the outskirts of the Small Press Zone of the NYCC, we had front row seats to Marvel, Boom!, Image, Dark Horse, and the like (DC apparently is so West Coast now they only sent some Batman suits). Forced to look at every publisher we Unshaven Lads had pipe dreams of working for left me thinking about those roads not traveled. It reminded me of Mark Waid’s non-joke about how breaking in to comics was like breaking out of prison – as soon as you figure a way to do it they seal it off. After six years in the trenches, I’m apt to believe it.

Before nodding off one of the late nights during the show, Matt lamented to me. His friend, now working as an inker for Marvel, was not much of a name when they went to college together. As he put it “he was just sort of there, and then, he wasn’t.” To see him now, with several variant covers, and the inking gig next to his name, Matt was remiss not to think why he hadn’t been lucky enough for the opportunity. When pressed, he recalled said friend landed at the House of Mouse by literally hanging around their booth so long they eventually threw him a bone. And like so many (so I hear) who actually make it, he took the assignment, completed it to satisfaction, and did so as fast as he could. Reliability is the secret sauce in the comic game, so I’m told.

Through the trials and tribulations of becoming an Indie Creator™, I’ve come to the conclusion that making it into the business (as in having one’s name under a known masthead, instead of a self-made vinyl banner) is akin to finding love. It’s not so much about desperately seeking it out, as much as being ready for it when it comes. If I’m to be brutally auto-biographical, I was a bleeding heart in high school (like many, duh). I was always in a constant drone on how woe I was over the fact that seemingly everyone was dating, kissing, and being in love… whilst I pined, and grew a pair of bitching sideburns. I moved on to college having only dated a very nice girl who in retrospect pity-loved me long enough to give me some semblance of confidence. After what I’d dubbed the truest breaking of my heart, I decided that I’d spend my time working on me instead of lamenting for my litany of lonely nights to follow. Less than two months later, I took a girl out to dinner. She’s now the mother of my son, and the love of my life. Natch.

But, back to that errant question. My brothers-from-other mothers did not hesitate in their answers; both opting to go down with our ship over the notion that there can only be one. I should note that Matt also started his answer with “Eh, don’t let the curb scrape yer’ asses too hard!” before digressing. It’s part of his je ne se quoi.

Their answers rekindled my waning spirit. After six years spent making great comics, and earning the respect of those who sit next to us in parts of the con floor the real publishers pity-date on rare occasion, I’m proud to declare I could give two farts in the wind if I never pen an issue of Batman or The Strangers. I’m making books that a continually growing base of connoisseurs plunking down their cash. I’m working beside two rare talents whose ambition, desires, and fit snuggly over my faults. Together, we’re not a lonely island. We’re a team built to succeed on our own terms. And six years of continually expanding sales numbers will build bridges elsewhere in due time. And if it never happens? Well, then I double-down on the ideology:

It’s not about where you’ve been. It’s about where you’re willing to go… and who’s willing to come with you.


Martha Thomases: Doing The Comic Con-Con

Knitting YarnThere was one point at this year’s New York Comic Con when I almost said, out loud, “Do you know who I am?” That’s because I was having trouble getting my badge.

Here’s why I’m glad I didn’t:

  1. It’s a dick thing to say, the kind of thing that proves a person is self-absorbed to the point of obliviousness.
  2. I might have made a mistake when I registered, so the trouble might have been my fault.
  3. This had happened the day before. I am willing to bet that George Clooney didn’t ask if anyone knew who he was. At all times, I aspire to be at least as well-behaved as George Clooney.

Still, it’s an indication of how much things have changed in the short life of this show that I needed more than my smiling face to get in.

I understand that, with more than 150,000 people expected to attend, that it can be difficult for the staff to keep track of everybody. Unlike their other New York consumer show, Special Edition, NYCC is packed to the rafters.

There was a time when very few people wrote about comics, and I knew all of them. Even now, there aren’t that many people who write about comics every week. The (probably overworked and underpaid) person at press registration treated me like I was some kind of scam-artist trying to put one over on her.

Compare this to the way my pal, David Glanzer, says that San Diego treats press (and they get an even bigger crowd):

“I know press registration is a very difficult area. Heavens knows we’ve had our issues in the past. However we’ve actually received criticism for who we consider for press credentials. The truth is we have always considered independent press and bloggers/podcasters as our mainstream press. They are the ones who write about us throughout the year (not always positively LOL) while the bigger outlets really only tend to write about us once a year or so. The independents reporters have been with us since the start and they really still are the lifeblood for our publicity.”

The Javits Center is simply not designed for this many people. I mean, it’s not that well-designed to start-out with. Unlike, for example, the San Diego convention center, this has rather narrow hallways, and the exhibition floors are not close together. Under the best of circumstances, one must do a lot of walking. In this case, it’s nearly five Manhattan blocks (about a quarter mile) from one end of the building to the other.

When you add 150,000 people, it’s easy to create anxiety.

Still this year’s event seemed to run more smoothly than last year’s, at least according to initial feedback. There were lots of signs saying, “Cosplay does not equal consent,” and, while I don’t know if they make any difference (I’m not in costume), they made me feel more welcome. Perhaps in a related event, there seemed to be just about as many women in attendance as men.

The Mary Sue had a room for Geek Girls, which was a lovely respite in a sea of bodies. The room had signings and press materials, but also comfy chairs and books to read, and a crafts table to make friendship bracelets. I sat for a while with my knitting, talking to strangers about what they wanted to see and do. Truly a delight. I only regret that, by talking about it, I’m probably encouraging it to be more crowded next year.

Here are my suggestions to make this a better show:

  • Find a bigger venue, or additional venues. Not only was the exhibition floor jammed, and Artists Alley jammed, and various panel rooms jammed, but the hallways were always jammed as well. I didn’t go to any panels because there were lines everywhere and I was overwhelmed trying to figure out which mass of people were lines for which rooms.

The Javits Center is not designed to hold so many people. It was designed – poorly – for trade shows, not mass media events. More space would permit some room to breathe.

  • Set up special areas for cosplayers to change and to pose. It’s annoying to stand on line for half an hour to use the ladies room only to find that the stalls have been full of people changing, not peeing. Similarly, a lot of the clog on the show floor is people posing for pictures and expecting traffic to stop.

If there were special rooms set aside for changing, and special areas for pictures, then cosplayers and their admirers would have enough room to enjoy themselves, and traffic would flow more smoothly.

I don’t mean cosplayers should be segregated. I love seeing them randomly in the crowd (and on the subway). They make the event much more fun.

  • Now that fans are getting the message that harassment is not acceptable, can we teach them other aspects of crowd etiquette? For example, if you want to stop and talk to a friend, please step to the side. A bunch of people having a conversation in the middle of the aisle blocks the flow of traffic.

Maybe stop-lights at major intersections? I don’t know. I just want to be able to walk with a normal gait, instead of pivoting at a moment’s notice.

  • In general, we should remember that we are all humans in this together. Pay attention to your peripheral vision, people.

I get very short-tempered in crowds, but then I’ll see someone I know and be happy again. Klaus Janson talked with me about the blueberries at the Green Market. I brought the world’s most delicious matzo to fellow ComicMixer Marc Fishman and the Unshaven boys. I saw all kinds of creative new ideas for comics and illustration.

And then …

Some oblivious person with a backpack swiped against me hard enough to rip my sweater. My beautiful, one-of-a-kind hand-knit sweater.

Didn’t he know who I am?


The Point Radio: ARROW – Who Lives, Who Dies, Who Thrives?

This new season of ARROW promises a major thrill ride for characters on the show and fans as well. We talk to the creators and cast who reveal a few secrets on what’s to come (i.e. Black Canary dead or ??). Plus comedian Adam Ferrara is in the driver’s seat for another season of TOP GEAR and he shares with us just how deep his passion for cars really runs.

THE POINT covers it 24/7! Take us ANYWHERE on ANY mobile device (Apple or Android). Just  get the free app, iNet Radio in The  iTunes App store – and it’s FREE!  The Point Radio  – 24 hours a day of pop culture fun. GO HERE and LISTEN FREE  – and follow us on Twitter @ThePointRadio.

Take a first look at the trailer for “Powers”

Take a first look at the trailer for “Powers”

Sony’s Playstation Network debuted the first trailer for its live-action adaptation of [[[Powers]]] to a packed room at New York Comic Con today.

Based on Brian Michael Bendis and Michael Avon Oeming’s creator-owned comic, [[[Powers]]] is currently in production starring Sharlto Copley as Christian Walker, Susan Heyward as Deena Pilgrim, and Michelle Forbes as Retro Girl, and is slated to debut on the video game console’s new streaming network this fall.

Marc Alan Fishman: New York, New Sales, New Aggravation

So Unshaven Comics finds itself once again in the loving bosom of the Javits Center and the New York Comic Con. As I reminded you last week, Unshaven split its booth space with ComicMix in 2013. This year we split with the lovely Jim McClain of the Solution Squad (and subsequently Reading With Pictures). As of this writing ­– literally being written hours before you are likely seeing it posted – Unshaven has had some significant ups, and some hilarious downs. Let’s list them until I’ve wasted enough of your time.

Up: Sales!

It’s always good to see a rise in sales. Given our booth placement (ahem, Marvel-Adjacent) we figured we’d either be in the money or left drowned by lines, crowds, and cheering… and find ourselves in Bone City. Luckily for us, Marvel erected a large wall across from our table. This houses their crowds well enough, and allows us ­­– with a little strain ­– to be heard. And when we have someone’s ear, according to my data, we’re 40% likely to get that sale. We love those odds. And suffice to say since we learned to upsell our typical single comic to a four-book pack (which includes some freebie swag we’re willing to lose profit on to bolster a larger book sale), we’re seeing far more than the 10% growth in books moved that we seek as a baseline for a return con visit.

Down: Pitches!

Data is Unshaven Comics’ friend. It allows us to transcend anecdotal feelings, and instead supply ourselves with factual evidence when it comes to figuring out if a convention is doing us well or kicking our keister. With that being said, I am sad to report New Yorkers aren’t the nicest people we’ve dealt with. In the same amount of time spent on the show floor, Unshaven Comics is pitching about 20% less than we did at C2E2, or Wizard World Chicago. NYCC boasts traffic on the floor greater than both Chicago shows combined. The simple fact is that people are on the move at this convention. More movement means less fine folks to pitch to.

Up: New Fans!

As I mentioned above, seeing such a high closing rate is compounded by the fact that 90% of our sales are to new faces. New faces to me, proves several fun notions. It stands to argue that seeing new folks continually buy our li’l rags proves our product (and likely our passion and pitch) are worth their mettle. It also stands to consider then that the audience for sequential fiction isn’t on the outs like some would have you believe. While yes, I’m sure DC and Marvel and the like aren’t thriving on the racks like they used to, with the continuing growth of the convention scene, we’re seeing a real change to the shape of the market at large. While fans may not flock to the local comic shop every Wednesday as we’d all hope… New York Comic Con continues to instill in me the idea that maybe the fans are just more apt to explore and sample when they can meet creators face to face.

Down: Our Old Friends! Buses! The Price of Tater Tots!

OK, call this my little rib and stick at those we know and love (and New York at large). We’re two days into the convention, and no one save for Media Goddess herself, Martha Thomas, has made pains to say hello. While our editor Mike Gold dined with Debutantes and Dames at the Puck Building Party, and other East Coast Corroborators did whatever it is they do, they’ve not even waved a “Hi, and go ­hug­ yerself!” to we bearded lads. And on top of it, tonight I paid two dollars to upgrade my fries to tater tots, only to be given five of them as a serving. Sorry New York, Chicago understands portion size. And before some crazy Yankees fans point me to Manny’s or what-have-you, Mid Town and sore asses aren’t conducive to jaunts elsewhere. But I digress.

Ups, Down, and All Arounds:

Ultimately, New York Comic Con thus far has been everything we’d hoped it would be. Our sales are tracking on point as desired. Matt and I have enjoyed a few commissions. Our tablemate Jim is learning some valuable lessons (and apparently eating a hell of a lot better than us). And our hosts, the lovely Glenn and Brandy Hauman have been nothing short of perfect inn-keepers. We remain hopeful with two days left on the show floor, the best is yet to come.

Once again, Unshaven Comics would like to remind you they are at booth 1361, and could sure use some extra business to make life dandy. Stop by and mention this article? And Marc will personally thank you, and toss in some free swag with your book purchase.


#NYCC Ticket Prices Triple In Secondary Market

Jesse Lawrence of TiqIQ tell us that it looks like everybody wants to get into New York Comic Con, and that there is a pretty robust secondary market and a totally sold out primary market. Jesse writes: “Our database goes back 5 years, and this is by far the most amount of secondary activity we’ve seen for the show in NYC… there is a major premium every day, with Sunday having the highest at premium at over 300% above face price.”

With ticket sales stated to be over 150,000 people, the convention looks to officially surpass San Diego as the nation’s biggest convention. The 7 subway station across the street from the Javits Convention Center can’t open soon enough.


Sunday activity is perhaps surprising, as that’s usually considered the slower day at conventions. It’s quite possible, however, that people are bringing kids to the show on that day, thereby spiking demand.

The Point Radio: AGENTS OF SHIELD And All Things Marvel

We are back with the cast of AGENTS OF SHIELD to talk about how they planned ahead for the events which unfolded in CAPTAIN AMERICA WINTER SOLDIER and what it is like to live, eat and breathe all things Marvel. Plus we start our coverage of New York Comic Con with a preview of some treats you’ll find at the show.

We will be back early this week (Wednesday) with another podcast right before we hit the show floor. And if you can’t make the show, we are carrying LIVE video feeds from NYCC at our website, GetThePointRadio.Com starting on Thursday. Don’t miss a minute.

THE POINT covers it 24/7! Take us ANYWHERE on ANY mobile device (Apple or Android). Just  get the free app, iNet Radio in The  iTunes App store – and it’s FREE!  The Point Radio  – 24 hours a day of pop culture fun. GO HERE and LISTEN FREE  – and follow us on Twitter @ThePointRadio.