New York Comic Con 2014

By Chip Tamplin

Published on Friday, October 17, 2014

I had the opportunity to cover New York Comic Con last year and it was one of the most fun and fulfilling experiences I’ve had doing what I do. Sure, it’s great to photograph bands and cover some of the US’ biggest festivals, but after awhile it can be creatively draining. So, to combat any apathy I felt I choose to dive into unexplored territory. My friend Kristyn Clarke of Pop Culture Madness (whose been one of the most helpful and influential people to me in this field) kept talking about all of the great memories she’d had at Comic Cons – both New York and San Diego – and I just felt compelled to finally be there. I’d had no experience at Cons both as a fan or professionally so last year I had no idea what the hell I was doing. As soon as we got our confirmations we started getting bombarded with dozens of random shows (many of which hadn’t even aired a pilot yet), comic book artists and personalities who wanted us to try and come out and cover their press event. Needless to say, it was daunting and stressful.

Last year I only had one person to help me and this year I had two – I can’t emphasize enough just how much difference that made. Joe Noyes thankfully took over photography for me while Pete Towe helped me cover press panels and round table interviews. This made for much more coverage than we were able to bring you guys compared to last year. What also helped us a lot this year was teaming up with our friends in Pop Culture Madness and Age of the Nerd. We can’t thank Kristyn Clarke, Mike Sievila and Sean McAloon enough for all of their help.

Last year we made the unfortunate mistake of staying in New York which was slightly more convenient but with the egregious prices they charge for hotel, it just wasn’t worth it. Instead, we opted to stay in the murder capital of the east coast – Newark, New Jersey. A quick bus ride from our hotel to NJ Penn Stations followed by a train ride into NYC and a quick walk down a few blocks and we were stationed outside the Javits Convention Center. With multiple levels and a huge space, Javits is a great space to hold the Con. However, due to the increase in attendance – which officially beat out San Diego Comic Con for the biggest attendance of the year, surpassing the former by 21,000 people. With a 151,000 unique visitors over the course of the weekend, you’d think that space would feel limited, but in reality, I rarely had issues getting from point A to point B.

While I spent most of my Comic Con experience sequestered away in the upper level – reserved for press, talent and round table interviews – it was nice to finally get to check out one panel and the fact it was for my favorite show there (The League) made it even sweeter. Still, there were certainly a few disappointments. Most were minor issues, but the biggest is the lack of big named talent there. Due to the awkward dates selected, New York Comic Con falls smack dab as falls shows are premiering or have just returned. So, in turn, most of said shows are too busy with production and shooting to make their way out. I mean, c’mon, would the likes of Arrow and The Flash be no-shows if they weren’t still in the middle of shooting? Given the huge scope of San Diego, it’s a disappointing that New York can’t seem to match them on quality. I wouldn’t mind seeing it moved up a month to bring in a bigger variety of talent.

Gripes aside, I’m amazed by how much fun I have covering New York Comic Con and I can’t wait to cover it again next year, as well as hopefully make it out to cover San Diego Comic Con for you guys. So, without further adieu, I’ll stop rambling and link you guys to all of our great Comic Con coverage as well as photos from Joe Noyes.

Interviews with the cast and creators of The League + audio of their panel

Interviews with the cast and producers of Archer

Interviews with Kevin Smith and the rest of the Comic Book Men cast

Interviews with the creator, producer and voice talent for Robot Chicken

Interview with the cast and creator of Rick and Morty

Interview with the cast of Gotham

Interview with the cast of The Following

Interview with the cast of Constantine

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