In the Limelight

Contributed by collector and Overstreet Advisor Art Cloos
Photos by Alice Cloos

As October approaches, pop culture fans grow excited for New York Comic Con. It returned to the Javits Center on Thursday through Sunday, October 6-9, 2022, and was a featured story on all the local news outlets with extensive coverage of each day. Masks were required at the show, however, proof of vaccination or a negative COVID-19 test result was not required for admission.

Comic creators at NYCC included Adam Kubert, Agnes Garbowska, Alex Saviuk, Amanda Conner, Amy Chu, Arthur Adams, Bill Sienkiewicz, Billy Tucci, Bob Camp, Brian Azzarello, Chris Claremont, Dan Jurgens, David Finch, Emma Kubert, Frank Miller, Jim Lee, John Romita, Kevin Eastman, Rob Liefeld, and Yanick Paquette, among others.

Media guests of honor were Oscar Isaac and Sebastian Stan and featured guests included Adam Christopher, Brendan Fraser, Brendan Wayne, Cassandra Peterson, Christopher Lloyd, Daniel Radcliffe, Drew Barrymore, Ice-T and Coco, Jamie Lee Curtis, Michael J. Fox, Ralph Macchio, Tom Welling, and Weird Al Yankovic, among many others. Autograph and photo sessions were held and many of the media and creator guests participated in panels.

Dealers and buyers came from across the US, including Harley Yee, Metropolis Collectibles, Bullet Proof Comics inc., Dave & Adam’s Card World, Greg White Comic Books, Gary Platt Comics, High Grade Comics, Reece’s Rare Comics, Royal Collectibles, St. Mark’s Comics, The Comic Mint, Toy & Comic Heaven, Zap Comics, East Side Comics, Kristina’s Comics, Nerdy Girl Comics, Royal Collectibles, Toy & Comic Heaven, Very Gary Comics, and and too many more to list here.

Auction houses were also on hand, including Hake’s Auctions, ComicConnect, and ComicLink.

Comic art dealers were well represented, such as Albert Moy Original Art, Animation Art Emporium, Dan Gallo, Scott Eder Gallery, Romitaman Original Art, Anthony’s Comic Books, Original Art, and Collectibles, and others.

Toys both vintage and modern were supplied by Diamond Select Toys, Larger Than Life Toys and Comics, Legends Comics and Games, 7 Bucks a Pop, FYE, KnoWhere Toys Comic & Games, Lost 4 Toys, Martian Toys, Tenacious Collective, Absolute Comics & Statues, Toy Tokyo, and many more.

Collectible storage supplies were offered by show sponsor Hot Flips. CBCS and CGC were there to offer comic book grading, signature authentication, and pressing both for purchases made at the show and for people bringing their books to the con.

Longtime dealer and friends at the show were pleased with their sales. There was a good range on dealer’s walls of comics from the mid-1930s to the current hot books of today and a large amount of original comic book art on display. Pop culture inspired clothing, jewelry, posters, make-up, candy, and more were sold at other booths. Even eBay had a booth!

For the second year in a row, NYCC hosted the Gaming Zone. It featured organized play, tournaments, and console free play for all the hottest new games, retro favorites and classic games, Dungeons and Dragons sessions, tabletop board games, and card games.

Many professional and educational panels were held throughout the weekend. The professional panels taught educators how to use comics in the classroom from elementary school to university classes. The NYC Department of Education hosted a panel on how original comics can be used to make civics and historical concepts accessible to young people. There was a panel by librarians and educators that discussed how recent comics like Frizzy and others can be used as a tool to help tweens discover the wider world and explore and formulate a more concrete sense of self-identity. Even lawyers are not left out at NYCC with the panel titled “Hero-At-Law: The Law and Practice of Representing Comic Book Creators and Publishers,” which was a CLE Course offered.

The Harvey Awards ceremony was held at NYCC. Neil Gaiman, Roy Thomas, Gilbert Shelton, and Marge Buell were inducted into the Hall of Fame, and awards were given to winners of the books of the year.

There was a tremendous turnout of cosplayers at the show. NYCC and The EuroCosplay Championships and the Crown Championships of Cosplay Geico teamed up to run The Cosplay Central Crown Championships. Held on Saturday night, the winner got to compete for the global final which will be held at MCM London Comic Con in October 2022. Entrants for the Cosplay Central Crown Championships had their costume construction closely inspected by the show’s judges and showed off on stage with incredible costume presentations or scripted performances inspired by their characters.

From Star Wars to those amateur artists or aspiring wizards, NYCC offered the Family HQ which was billed as having something for everyone. Kids and parents were able to participate in a variety of drawing workshops, interactive activities, and entertaining performances. This year’s version featured the 501st Legion’s Empire City Garrison presents Blast-A-Trooper to Benefit the Make-A-Wish foundation, the New York City Ghostbusters, and the Empire Saber Guild, along with drawing demos and workshops.

In 2021, NYCC introduced the Community Lounge, which is designed to be an open space for fans and local community groups to gather and interact at the show. It housed booths from local community groups, panels, and fandom-related meetups, and was designed to foster the community that NYCC was built on.

We went to the show with our granddaughter Dayana and our friend Pat Dunne, a teacher and serious comic book fan who attended his first NYCC show and had a great time. We also met up with friends like collector/dealer Brian Ketterer, Jesse Simon (Joe Simon’s grandson), Allie’s friend Runita Toomer, and my former student Nurul Khuka. Allie also reconnected with comic artist Mark Texeira who was doing sketches at the Metropolis booth.  

In terms of getting to the show, there were a lot of options. Those traveling to New York City from out of the area used multiple airports and various regional train and bus lines. Once in town, there were a lot of hotel options, with many in the outer boroughs where hotel rooms are almost always cheaper than in Manhattan. To move around Manhattan, fans had the choice of taxies, the city subways, buses, and driving services. Thousands of people walked to the show, which was an amazing sight to see them stretched out on sidewalks for blocks.

As for meal time, Javits offers a food court with a nice variety of options like pizza and hamburgers, though the lines were long. Outside the center, there are multiple food carts and once away from Javits, just a vast number of diners and restaurants to enjoy after a long day of convention fun.

It’s hard to overstate the importance of this show both to the fans attending and the city of New York as a whole. According to Simpleview the con pre-pandemic annually brought in more than $100 million to the city and its surrounding economy. While the figures for 2022 are not yet available it’s a sure bet that they will be at least that high and probably higher.

As Allie and I left NYCC, we were already looking forward to the October 2023 edition of this great show.

New York Comic Con will return on Thursday through Sunday, October 5-8 at the Jacob Javits Convention Center, located at 655 W 34th Street in New York. Convention news and updates will be available at newyorkcomiccon.com.

To see more photos from NYCC, check out our In the Limelight coverage.