116,000 attendees! That’s the figure that New York Comic Con has calculated for the number of people who filled the Jacob Javits Center from October 11–14; it would have been even greater if there hadn’t been a construction site taking up a good portion of the third-level show floor and the entirety of the fourth. And somewhere in all that madness was the crew from StarWarp Concepts.
Of course, it didn’t start out a madhouse…
Wednesday, October 10, was move-in day for a lot of the larger exhibitors, as well as the day to pick up exhibitor badges, so I figured I’d get that out of the way first thing. After grabbing my allotment of passes I wandered around the Javits Center to see what was going on, and to find The ’Warp’s booth.
And there it was: booth 2139. Supporting walls to be used for the Snail Games island across the aisle (who says StarWarp Concepts isn’t neighborly?), but definitely there. Yeah, I know, it doesn’t look like much: considering what the con charges for a small-press booth (close to a thousand dollars), all you get for your money is a space on the floor with pipe-and-drape assemblies around it—you have to provide your own table and chairs. It sucks, but the alternative is to rent material from the Javits Center, and that’s insanely expensive.
Still, the location was pretty sweet. Lots of open space in front of the booth, placed right near a major intersection, and once you moved all the construction junk out of the way there was little chance of passersby not seeing us—as you’ll notice in this next photo I took from the SWC home base the next day, when the con was in full swing:
Nice, right? I think that’s a DC Comics’ Nightwing cosplayer in the blue-and-black costume on the right-hand side. And the Devil May Cry video game consoles behind him were busy all four days of the con, as were photo sessions with the cosplayer dressed as “Hello Kitty Chun Li” (off-camera) for Capcom’s honest-to-God mash-up of Hello Kitty and the video game Street Fighter. (No, I didn’t pose with Hello Kitty, but here’s a picture I found on Flicker.)
With the booth location noted I headed off to check out some of the other exhibitors. Not the easiest thing to do—the place was a very active construction zone, with forklifts and mini-cranes and the like roaring up and down the aisles, signs and lights being hung from the ceiling, and some booth walls leaning at dangerous angles as they were being set up—but I still managed to get some shots of:
• The Marvel Comics island in progress. Spaces like this (DC Comics and the gaming companies had similar ones) are called islands because they’re separate from the average connected booths, and so much larger they could have their own zip codes. I’m not sure what’s going on with the image on the wall of the conference room being built—whether it’s a promotional image or a comic cover—but it looked nice.
• One of the DeLoreans used in the Back to the Future movie trilogy, complete with “Mr. Fusion” fuel processor and “Outatime” license plate. To the right of that, under the tarp, is the Batcycle that Adam West and Burt Ward rode in the Batman TV series. (Sorry, guys, but the Batgirl cycle with 1966-era Yvonne Craig is the only one I care about. ) Next to the Batcycle, off-camera, was the Batmobile, also under a tarp. (Okay, that one I care about.) And don’t ask “Which Batmobile?” As with Highlander, when it comes to Batmobiles in the end there can be only one:
• The Mystery Machine from Scooby Doo. No Great Danes running loose (or whatever kind of breed Scooby’s supposed to be), or shaggy-haired stoners behind the wheel, but that thing must get a ton of stares while it’s tooling down the highway. And people constantly asking for Scooby Snacks. But y’know what’s really funny? That license plate. I didn’t know the Scooby Gang was from New Jersey.
And those weren’t the only vehicles on display! Down by the main entrance to the Javits Center, where fans would be lining up to get their tickets the next day, I also found… the Buffymobile. Seriously? I guess the Onstar button puts you in touch with the best help available in tracking down vampires to slay.
One final shot before I left the Javits: these are the steps leading from the fan entrance up to the main show floor. This year the steps were wrapped in a giant advertisement for the Tomb Raider game relaunch. Man, I thought, there were gonna be a lot of people stepping on Lara Croft’s face over the next four days…
Tomorrow: Welcome to Thunderdome!