This was only the second time Rob and I have gone to NYCC, but it’s already looking to be an annual thing. And we’ve already developed some habits while there—but more on that in a bit (more posts to come, as well as pictures).
First-something of an overview.
We had three day passes, though we’ve since decided that next year we’ll definitely be wanting the four day passes. That was something of a moot point when we bought the tickets, though, because neither of us expected to be able to take Friday off. By some fluke miracle, we both managed that and got into the city early Friday morning. And by early, I mean we woke up when Rob normally does at 5:15am—I had to have blood drawn, and we were on the train by 7am.
Once we were in the city, we got to our hotel—Yotel—and dropped off our luggage before heading to the Javits Center to wait in line (more about that in another post). Inside, it was too late to get to the first panel we wanted to go to, and we started finding the booths we’d end up gravitating to over the course of the weekend—book publishers, Book Country, Her Universe, and Monarch Comics.
See, we go to ComicCon for the authors more than anything else. We didn’t even have to go previous years to know that the TV/movie panels would be packed to overflowing, or that the gaming booths would be a trial to anyone who desired personal space. Not to mention standing in line for one or the other to the exclusion of doing anything else. We wanted to enjoy the con without spending all our time in long lines. So, while I know from announcements that there were Avengers panels, and panels for Arkham City and The Old Republic and so forth, I didn’t even consider trying to get to those.
I don’t think this was a bad thing.
Instead, I got to talk with debut authors, New York Times bestsellers, editors, and others in the publishing industry. This better fits me, anyway, since I’m working toward that kinda thing. And, free books.
Rob and I have what could be considered a routine with how we approach the show floor. And it started happening last year almost by accident. One of my coworkers at Penny Press has a booth-Monarch Comics. Last year, he was across an aisle from the Penguin booth, and there somehow managed to be breathing room on the edge of the booth. So we’d stop by there and rest a bit before moving back into the crowd. This year we did the same, although the Monarch booth was nowhere near the publishers. It was near Book Country, though. So we’d start a circuit at Book Country and move toward Monarch, eventually we’d get to the publishers and circle them a few times before making our way over to Her Universe. There was a decent sized open space, with air conditioning, beside Her Universe because of the Chevrolet cars on display. We did this kinda thing several times each day.
Friday night, we had wanted to go to a panel with several authors, but instead we ended up going with a couple friends to dinner at a little hole-in-the-wall Mexican place—Tulcingo Del Valle. Quite good, too, not overly spicy like I tend to expect. It was pretty slow, and we saw a picture of the line for the panel, so we didn’t think we’d have any chance of making it to Javits and into the room in time. But that wasn’t too big a deal; Anton Strout recorded the audio and put it up on his Once and Future Podcast, so I was at least able to listen to it after the fact.
We spent the day Saturday walking around some more, though this time Rob and a friend were dressed as the Blues Brothers, so they got stopped quite often for pictures. Also, more free books. We managed to get to the Saturday panel we wanted to go to—Military sci-fi—and the signing the authors did afterward. After that, we went back to Yotel to rest a bit before going to the Irish Rogue to meet Jim Butcher fans for a get-together that had been planned.
Sunday—more spending time with friends, and even more free books. A couple free audio books, too.
Overall, the weekend was great, and I’m pretty sure the number of free books paid for the cost of both tickets. Don’t know that I’d go so far as to say they paid for the hotel, though.