NYCC 2011 Retrospect Part 3

Posted by admin On August - 14 - 2012

Drawing Lines: 2011 saw video game industry exert its muscle towering over the Comic book booths like skyline of NYC. The effect gives credence to hybrid geeks and nerds. Good or bad? Depends on your interests.

NYCC 2011 Retrospective Part 3: One Old Comic Book Fan’s Opinion by Ronald Hugh Pollock

For over thirty years, I’ve collected comic books. I spent my Summers at my aunt’s flat in Brookline, Boston during the late 70s to early 80s. My cousin Joey attended Boston College for undergrad and he took me to my first comic book store. I don’t remember the name of the first comic book store I stepped into with my cousin Joey. I remember the smell of stale newsprint and endless rows of comic books. Every thing felt old, worn, and faded. My first book bought by my cousin Joey in Boston. It was Wolverine #1 (limited series). I also bought Daredevil #183 and Invincible Iron Man #100.

Saturday Night Fever: Thanks to several hundred friendly exhibitionists, Cosplay has delivered the Disney effect to Comic Cons that 20 yrs ago was virtually nonexistent except for Star Wars. Where else can Optimus Prime break dance for free?

Back in Detroit ,  I discovered a comic book store, Comic Kingdom was open a few blocks away from where I went to school. My routine was set after 2nd grade. I would walk and buy a slice at the local pizza parlor that had 5 inch thick bullet proof glass ceiling to floor, drop my money in the metal box, and then the slice would appear, go two doors down where iron bars covered the doors, windows of the shop and added Avengers, Batman, Superman, and Justice League of America to my reading list. The owner reeked of alcohol. Didn’t deter me, all I wanted was on those shelves. The stack of books I would buy for $5 would keep me entertained for days. Couldn’t wait for the next week. Over the years, the shops have changed but the routine remains the same. Today every Weds at 0800, I wait outside Midtown comics branch on Fulton Street to open for my books.

 

Star Power: Feeling a part of the Con is an integral part of the experience.

My first Comic Con cost $6. It had maybe 1-2 signings and vendors selling back issues, bootlegs to Japanese anime on bootleg that were on beta. VHS was more expensive and rare. Laser Discs were the most commercially successful at the time. There were very, very few women per 100 nerds and geeks. No “Cosplay” or costume play kids were in attendance. If you didn’t know better it was a retiree party with no music or pulse but zombies moving around from table to table with a few dollars to haggle.

Magic Carpet Ride: Wonder what would nerds and geeks would say today if they looked at what comic conventions were.

 

Times have definitely changed. Comic Cons are the modern day State Fair. They cater to the modern nerd or geeks, which are hybrids of the purists that I grew up with. Hybrids are like Midwesterners at a buffet table of geeks that spent their money on a percentage of interests. Video games, movies, TV shows, blu-ray, costumed dating games, and card games have eaten into the amount of disposable income available for comic book creators. In 10 yrs, I have to wonder if comic books will even be sold at these massive entertainment extravaganzas that are coming more like mini film festivals. No longer a convention for the socially inadequate, mainstreaming has embraced comic books and it’s marketed as something anyone and every one can feel perfectly normal. In a way, that takes away the intimate feelings the die hards enjoy. One wonders what will happen of the last remaining rag tag group of misfits?

 

Rock Stars: Celebs are unaccustomed to rabid NYers who like to challenge and interrogate the privileged. The expression on Doc’s face when a question asked, “What did you do as real jobs? (before you hit it big)” was priceless but when the audience isn’t into it, a panel fails to bring the audience into the conversation.

The best way for an old school comic collector is to share his experiences with friends old and new. It’s no longer how much you can buy, get for free, or exclusively share or own. It’s learning about how the new generation enjoyed their experiences to keep this oasis of fantasy.

Geek becomes sheik: Enjoying company and exchanging experiences, building memories is the BEST way to enjoy Comic con.

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