April 26, 2018

First NY Comic-Con Is a Smash Success

By LJ Staff

The first New York Comic-Con swallowed Manhattan’s Jacob Javits Center, February 24 – 26, attracting a crowd of 35,000, who enjoyed three packed days of panel sessions, author/artist signings, film/TV screenings, and a show floor bursting with comics and graphic novels of every description, action figures and models, DVDs, and artworks ranging in price from a few bucks to mondo bucks. Reed Exhibitions admittedly underestimated the first East Coast show’s allure and booked the smaller of the Javits’s exhibit areas. Show director Greg Topalian told New York’s Newsday that only 4,500 advance tickets had been sold for Saturday, so it was assumed that those purchases would constitute most of the attendees. Multiples of that number, however, simply walked in. The crowd was so huge that roughly 400 advance ticket holders were barred from entering.

LJ sponsored a panel session "A Nosebleed Means WHAT?: Sexuality in Japanese Manga," which drew roughly 100 librarians. The panel, hosted by LJ‘s Ann Kim, quickly evolved into a group discussion, with the audience and publisher panel trading vital information. One of the most surprising revelations came from the librarians, who said that the biggest hurdle to collecting the often misunderstood and challenged format was "other staffers," rather than overprotective parents or local politicians. "’How could you buy this?’ is the usual reaction," said one. Librarians also had issues with physical durability and the rating system used to determine appropriate age levels for the content.