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Impressions From The Big Apple

Adrienne Curry in the spirit of things as Silk Spectre.
Damn you, Peter Brady...
Having been to my first comic convention in New York City only last year, I nonetheless felt like a pro walking into this year’s Big Apple Con at Pier 54 on Saturday, October 18.

After all, I’d done my first Con from behind the scenes, and this year, I was walking in as press, so I figured I’d breeze my way right through, knowing all the ins and outs that I had to be taught the first time, how to navigate the Con properly, all that good stuff – nope, not quite.

Once I finally worked out that daily passes were retrieved downstairs in a completely separate building where, as it turns out, the panels were also being held, and got on the winding but fast-moving line to the entrance, I was stoked to learn that, unlike the football-sized, multi-leveled affair that is NYCC at the Javits Center, everything at Big Apple could be easily tracked down. It only took a half hour to do a walk-through of the entire event. This enabled me to track down the generally elusive Artist’s Alley, notate which booths were where and which products were being featured, eyeball the guests and scope out the amount of people waiting on any given event.

The stars were easy to spot and very accessible to Con attendees. Demolition Smash actually approached me for a photo, while Bill Shatner cheerfully made eye contact in between signatures. Jim Lee was more than happy to have press film his panel (my memory card ran out for the second half, but I took lots of notes) and the stage wasn’t miles away from the seats, so you can actually hear all of his responses on the video.

Shatner in his glory.
Featured this year was the new line of NHL figurines by Todd MacFarlane (whose signing at the NHL store the day before Con I was fortunate enough to attend.) The television show, “Heroes” and the movie “Twilight” received heavy coverage, much to the delight of the pre-teen set in attendance. The Wii Fit section positively swarmed with Con-goers, while smart shoppers like myself snapped up fifty percent off and two-for-one trade paperbacks and featured artist bundles (such as the “For Tomorrow” Superman series.)

The opportunity to get up close and personal with the likes of Nichelle Nichols, Adam West and Julie Newmar was awesome, however, there were definitely some celebrity guests whose relation to pop culture was a bit more questionable (see Danielle Staub and Adrienne Curry.)

This being said, a Pop Culture Con is what Big Apple Con truly is. The presence of cosplay was minimal (but really, really well done) and the focus appeared to be more on gold and silver age comics and artists in attendance versus true hard to find treasures. When said treasures did appear, they appeared in the form of auction items.

Julie Newmar and Adam West ... together again.
Free signings were poorly advertised, volunteers were unsure as to where anything was and panels were cancelled without notice to either the booth representatives or the panel attendees (a tiny whiteboard posted outside of the Conference Room areas was thought to suffice.)

Although I really wanted to attend the West panel, I found myself not that psyched to trudge out in the rain on Sunday and unconvinced I’d missed much on Friday. Saturday night appeared to be at the height of all of the best events, and I have to say that this Con, unlike the NYCC, did not really require an entire weekend for me.

I very much appreciated the cleanliness of the facility, the friendliness of the security staff and the fact that the food prices were a bit more reasonable than NYCC. There were two very comfy lounges set up for people to eat at, rather than having to inhale one’s lunch standing on a signing line. The absence of anime was no doubt a godsend to everyone.

I sorely missed the presence of The Hero Initiative and was disappointed at the lack of charitable presences at this Con.

Overall, my suggestion to Con-goers would be to purchase a daily pass for Saturday, stay in the City that night and keep their eyes and ears open for special events surrounding the Con. You can use the saved ticket money to buy more comics, of course, and maybe even bid on a rare cel or two.
Gil Gerard, not frozen in time.

John Schneider, the greatest Pa Kent...

Gil Gerard, not frozen in time.

Todd Bridges. At Big Apple Con,
it takes diffr'nt strokes to move the world.

Deborah J. Draisin


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