Last month I went to Special Edition NYC. For those of ou who don’t know, this convention is specifically for artists and comics, and is similar to the Artist Alley portion of most conventions. I’ve recently become interested in reading comics and now have a few series that I’m buying each issue of, so I was very excited to check it out.
I was surprised by the venue. It was in Pier 94, which is all one giant room, and it was… strange. It was nice that everything was in the same place I guess, but the panel rooms were nothing more than two curtained-off sections right next to each other, so it was almost impossible sometimes to hear the panel you were in because of the panel next door.
They were also selling some NYCC badges there, and it seemed like a lot of people were only there to get the badges, which took away from the feel of the con that they were actually attending! The lines for the badges were also apparently terrible and there was a lack of signage and so people got angry and confused. As I was not there to get badges, I just kept away from that entire side of the venue until I knew that the badges were all sold out.
I will say this: comics and artists are some of the coolest people I have ever met. From my experiences going to and working conventions, and also from working in the entertainment industry, I’ve met a fair few famous people. Actors, directors, writers, yes, but no one is ever nicer or more sincere than those who work in comics. I had some of the best conversations with people I admire at this convention. Usually I feel like I am totally imposing on people when I go up to them and say “Hi, I really like your work,” but not at this convention. For some reason, it seems like comic creators are much more appreciative of hearing that, and I had lovely conversations with people who makes things that I love.
Highlights were Kate Leth, Katie Cook, and the duo behind Spider Gwen, Jason Latour and Robbie Rodriguez. Robbie actually picked up his board and walked down the very long line to sign and talk to people. Jason was so nice, I’ll admit I started babbling and he gave me a free (pity) poster. Still, both of them were extremely gracious. Kate Leth was very kind when I started asking her questions about hair, and Katie Cook was drawing little mini pictures of people, so Hadas and I each got one. I am head over heals in love with mine.
The only two panels that I ended up staying the entire time through were Representation Beyond Characters: How Diversity Bleeds Into Work, and Freelance Like A Rockstar. Reresentation Beyond Characters was amazing; what an awesome group of women! They were all so supportive of each other and they talked a lot about being women and/or a POC in the industry and as well about how their job can be so isolating (which may be part of the reason they are so lovely to talk to at conventions, because they’re holed up by themselves a lot so it is nice to hear that people are actually reading and loving what they’re doing). The freelancing panel was fascinating. I freelance in post-production and it was fun for me to listen to see what I could apply to my own freelancing in a different industry (a lot!).
Overall I had a great time, but next year I’m not sure if I will get a badge for both days. This might be one that I would be happy doing one full day instead of two. Also, I’m hoping it’s either in the Javitts Center again or that they figure out a better situation for the panel rooms, because the sound was really an issue.
Check out my ep with Hadas all about SPENYC.