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It’s a Recap: New York Comic Con 2013

It’s a Recap: New York Comic Con 2013

In case you missed the buzz, this past weekend (October 10-13) was New York Comic Con, which took place at the Javits Center in New York City. Comic books, manga, TV, film, video games, book publishing – if it entertains, it was probably at NYCC.

Though the convention was open to the press early last week, I only attended for one day and decided to focus on a few specific things: interesting cosplays, manga news, and panels.

I had an eye out for great cosplays, and of the many cosplays I saw on Saturday, I was a bit surprised to see that along with the Batmans, Supermans, and Harly Quinns I expected to see, there were a lot of anime cosplays as well.

Dominating these were the ATTACK ON TITAN cosplays – lots of people who appeared to be cosplaying just soldiers or Titans, but many cosplaying specific characters as well.  I saw a lot of Sashas, Mikasas, and what seemed to be Eren (though I didn’t ask, so I’m not sure.) I didn’t see as many Bleach or Naruto cosplays as I’m accustomed to seeing, but the number of Deadpools made up for that. The number of Wonder Woman cosplays also surprised me.

In terms of manga, the Kodansha booth looked busier than most; Kodansha USA holds the English license for titles including SAILOR MOON and ATTACK ON TITAN. (Though it probably helped that one publicist was cosplaying the Colossal Titan.) Kodansha USA also made a few announcements at NYCC that you can find on their website: in Attack on Titan news, a “definitive guide” will be published in June 2014, ATTACK ON TITAN: JUNIOR HIGH and ATTACK ON TITAN: BEFORE THE FALL manga will release March 2014, and ATTACK ON TITAN: NO REGRETS is coming August 2014; other titles to release digitally in 2014 include MY LITTLE MONSTER (Tonari no Kaibutsu-kun), NEGIMA!, and SAY I LOVE YOU (Sukitte Ii na Yo).

One interesting manga publisher mainstream readers may not be aware of is Gen Manga, which I discovered at NYCC. Gen Manga discovers doujin artists in Japan and commissions full-length comics, which they publish in print and digital formats. Of the titles they had at the con, I was most interested in checking out SORAKO and VS ALIENS.

While I’d planned to cover two panels in total, the first panel – The Mary Sue Presents Representation in Media – was completely full: there wasn’t even standing room. While disappointed, I was pretty excited to see how many con-goers cared about the topic, which is very close to my heart.

The second panel, All Things YA, wasn’t quite what I expected: while I thought it was a trend report, it was actually six editors talking about the upcoming titles from their imprints. Unfortunately, I didn’t take much away from this panel except that The CW is no longer waiting for a book to become popular before making a show out of it (THE 100 and DOROTHY MUST DIE are both on the channel’s plate) and that Random House Children’s apparently can only compare its titles to THE HUNGER GAMES in marketing material.

Overall, NYCC was a mind-blowing experience, but admittedly one day is hardly enough on your first trip there.

Feliza Casano is the founder and editor in chief of Girls in Capes and writes for all sections of the web magazine. She spent her first two hours at New York Comic Con staring at stuff and experiencing con overload. Follow her on Twitter @FelizaCasano.

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Feliza Casano
Editor at Girls in Capes
Feliza founded Girls in Capes in 2013. She edits and writes for all sections of the web magazine, specializing in science fiction and manga. She occasionally live-tweets @FelizaCasano and you can find her at the same handle on Instagram posting pictures of paper products.
Feliza Casano
Written by Feliza Casano

Feliza founded Girls in Capes in 2013. She edits and writes for all sections of the web magazine, specializing in science fiction and manga. She occasionally live-tweets @FelizaCasano and you can find her at the same handle on Instagram posting pictures of paper products.

  • deadbookdarling

    Sounds like a mixed experience – although, lady, your “and that Random House Children’s apparently can only compare its titles to THE HUNGER GAMES in marketing material” line is such a good read on the YA front. Honest to god.

    I’m afraid I’ve been put off Cons by the increasing number of sexual harassment stories. I know that that isn’t because there is more harassment but rather because we’re actually TALKING about it… but still. It sounds like it can be quite an icky environment.

    As for the Wonder Womans: thank Tumblr. The fact that she doesn’t have a movie has actually generated a lot of fans. Also, there’s this fan film… which OMG: http://www.themarysue.com/wonder-woman-fan-film/

    • It would have been a much better experience over the course of at least two days – I literally did spend my first two hours so overwhelmed I could hardly do anything. I’m accustomed to smaller cons – before this, the largest I’ve attended was Shuto Con in Lansing, MI which had about 4,000 attendees last time I went. This year’s NYCC had something like 116,000 attendees.

      I’ve noticed quite a lot that YA lines are increasingly committed to comparing titles, specifically to THG and also to SONG OF ICE AND FIRE, which Mara and I discussed today. Neither of us are fans of comparison marketing unless it’s EXTREMELY specific, such as “a modern-day LORD OF THE FLIES set in a quarantined mall.” (That’s how I’d describe NO SAFETY IN NUMBERS.)

      NYCC actually DOES have a harassment policy, and many smaller anime cons I’ve attended are family-oriented and have pretty strict related policies. One anime con I attended had security people who asked attendees to leave if their cosplay was too revealing or if ANYONE complained about being harassed. I admit I’ve felt the same way about comic and sci-fi cons, though. I’m still a bit intimidated.

      I don’t think Tumblr has created Wonder Woman fans so much as made them appear out of the woodwork. There was even a family there that I saw. The dad was in street clothes, but both the mom and the daughter (around age 2) were dressed as Wonder Woman. It was beautiful.

      • deadbookdarling

        116,000 people is absolutely psychotic. At least with smaller cons you’ve got that 1-on-1 environment. I attended EasterCon last year and that’s what it was like. Chatting with George RR Martin was completely feasible and no one asked for 100 bucks for an autograph. My mother keeps pushing me to attend more of the big cons, but I just don’t think I will enjoy the environment.

        I’ve heard about the NYCC’s harassment policy – they’ve been really good about responding to complaints from this year’s con… It’s more the big con environment in general that worries me. When you have 100k+ attendees, the 1-2% assholes become a lot more visible. It’s just stats.

        As for the Tumblr Wonder Woman thing: I’ll have to disagree with you there! I think it dragged many fans out of the closet, but it has also helped to give her tonnes of new ones (myself included :) Would have LOVED seeing 2-year-old Wonder Woman!!

        But I am totally with you on the marketing thing: I remember the ASOIAF mentions were everywhere at BEA. Although, yes, I would totally read a book sold as “Lord of the Flies in a shopping mall”… if only for the dramatic nightmares that would follow.

        • It was totally psychotic – while I’m totally happy and excited to have the experience, I do think I’d prefer to stick to smaller cons – or maybe at least not 100,000+ cons… Though SDCC is a pipe dream, for now!

          (Skipping down) There were a few ASOIAF mentions on that panel, too, but they seemed to be comparing more to the show than the books – I think the intended audience isn’t quite the same, and they were using the mention mainly about any kind of political intrigue. The title compared to Game of Thrones was THE RING AND THE CROWN, and the title comparison was mainly a pun… “Glam of Thrones.” I mean, I thought it was pretty clever. And possibly accurate.

          My biggest issue with comparison marketing is INCORRECT or otherwise not fully accurate comparisons. I mean, like I said, some titles are more similar to LORD OF THE FLIES than THG, but marketers use the current “hot” title. I’m surprised we haven’t heard more “for fans of DIVERGENT” yet, though it may happen at next year’s BEA after the movie comes out.