Monday, 9 October 2017

NYCC 2017 - Day 4.

Day Four at the New York Comicon 2017.

Ok, I had the Saturday away from the main convention and spent it with pals discovering new areas of Manhattan. I got to eat lunch in a diner at 100th and Broadway that featured in the new Defenders tv series with Bob Fingerman and then went on for dinner with Mr Vander and Harrower. (Bob has donated a couple of books to next weeks Nottingham Comic Convention charity raffle which was very kind of him).

So I was suitably rested before heading back in for the fourth and final day of the NYCC. The queue was distinctly more casual in the morning and everyone sat on the floor like we were in a July park. I have to say that it was noticeable for the whole weekend that I never, let me say that again, never saw one person reading a comic book outside of the back issue sales area. Of all the thousands of people I saw in the cafeteria or halls or lines nobody was reading a comic. Not sure exactly what that means? 

Everyone wants to ride the coat tails on comics these days it seems, even the Brooklyn Brewery was having a try (yes they also had a cosplayer wandering the halls looking a little perplexed.)

I headed in to catch Paolo Rivera and got this awesome Eternal Warrior print from him for a mere $20. This was a print that I missed out on last year as it had sold out. Paolo was great company and says that he is doing some more work for Valiant that is still a bit hush, hush.

You can look at prints like this and some more of his amazing art at or follow him on Twitter @PaoloMRivera.

I also got handed a free copy of Heavy Metal issue 280 which was cool. There are still quite a few Convention Special freebies to be had at the NYCC if you keep your eyes open. Something for the flight back. With a story by Benjamin Mara and Grant Morrison opening the issue it can't be all bad.

I collected an X-O Manowar commission I had ordered from Jim Calafiore. Spot on. I have been a big fan of the man's work since I enjoyed his run on Marvel's Exiles. He asked to do the old school armour, looks great. This head sketch was a mere $50 which was a real bargain in a sea of poeple charging a lot more.

Find out more about Jim's work at

II also managed meet and get a photo with one of my all time comics heroes Keith Giffen. I bought some prints from him and generally took the piss for a while. (Really wish DC would get him back on an OMAC series!)

And yes, I got to look at some more ruddy amazing artwork!!

Yes and even some good old Marvel UK artwork made an appearance... (John F will be pleased ).

I even managed to buy myself a page from one of my favourites series. This is a Ricardo Villagran drawn page from Tim Truman's Scout: War Shaman run!!!

I got to collect this cracker from Mr Vander. He had done a cover for my podcast brother Dan Butcher's Vanguard. (Brian added his own little flourish to the page beyond the outstanding original art - I'll let you listen to the podcast in future weeks to find out what it was....)Find Vanguard at

Can't speak highly enough of Brian's work. He is really gaining some buzz and has recently been working on Operation Boom from the Reckless Heroes stable. Big things ahead for this guy! 

Look out Mr V's work at or find him on Twitter @vander11chi You can buy Operation Boom and other books from the Reckless Herroes at

I've had tickets for every year of the life of this particular version of the NYCC and it's an ever evolving beast. I'll be honest and say that it's feeling less and less like a comics event... In the early days even the T-Shirt for the event would have a major comics character (Ghost Rider one year, Spider-Man the next) but now it seems less in your face.

(The Gifted - Actors gather to be adored - Hash Tag whatevs!)

Artists Alley was in a downstairs hall that seemed smaller in scale than previous years. The DC booth was crammed in a mostly forgotten corner of the lobby. Posters and banners seemed more more in sync with what is going on in TV than the comics. Look, I'm a realist and understand that trends happen and at the moment TV is a book area for comics originated material. But it's also a little sad. Even in the busiest moments of the day you could get a little bit of air in the back issue and Original Art areas on the main hall. 

The launch panel for Black Crown and Full Bleed that I went to on the Friday should have been a packed room. But it seemed to be mostly creators, website journalists and podcasters who filled a few sad rows of seats. This imprint is shaping up to be an artistic hotbed (and in my opinion the new Vertigo style company on the block) and more people should be sitting up and paying attention.

I was also often the only person admiring a flipping through binders of the art of Kirby and Ditko and Buscema and Wood and their like. Just to hold this art in my hands is a huge thrill. If only others felt the same way.

I met some great people inside and outside the Javitts Centre but can't help but feel a little down on the event as I left. Sad that the future seems a little precarious for our favourite medium. The fact that you were around a hundred times more likely to hear about a cartoon than a comic talked about in the lobby means that there may be some slim years ahead.

I'll be back again next year.....

Many thanks for reading.

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