NYCC: A Review

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NYCC: A Review
« on: Nov 03, 2012, 12:14 AM »
NYCC 2012: A Review

Introduction

   
  • Or Wow The NYCC is Pretty Cool

So I sit here still flush from the furious action and excitement of the New York Comic Con 2012 just a mere couple of days after it has ended.  I am still fairly new to the convention circuit; the etiquette and subculture that permeates it is something I’m also recently learning.  Yet because I’m a newbie I feel that there is some value in the experiences I have partaken and so I write this article with the hope that what I have experienced will be of benefit to those who have not gone or cannot go.

Let us be clear from the get-go though.  If you ever have the opportunity to go to one of these big conventions then do it.  The NYCC touts itself as one of the largest on the coast as an all encompassing beast that swallows up comic, anime, figure, and videogame fan alike.  Truth be told, aside from the usual paraphernalia of imported figures, models and posters I did not feel much of the anime/manga crowd as being a definitive presence or at least not as strongly as the highly visible videogame and comic booths.  As a fan of all of these things, I wasn’t much bothered by it but I wonder how fulfilling this convention was for particular fans?

            There were minor annoyances such as the confusing layout, the massive crowds and ignorant staff.  The convention had a barely functioning app and I survived by having the very handy program which included a map for convenience.  The best advice I can give is to be prepared for much walking and to carry some refreshment on you.  If anything knowledge is power and it’ll work in your favor to familiarize yourself with the layout of a convention immediately and have working guides handy.

The Comic Book Professional and You

   
  • Or How Not to Stare at Someone You’ve Met For the First Time

            What I wanted to talk about specifically though were those experiences concerning the amateur comic artist/writer and how important I realized the convention was to such people.  While the main floor offered booths full of precious swag and moneymakers, the artist alley provided for connections that may or may not last a lifetime.

As a lifelong reader of comics, it is daunting to come face to face with the creators who were just names on a cover but whose painstaking work you’ve held in your hands and long admired.  It is even more daunting because unlike the celebrities on TV, you don’t always know what your hero may or may not look like.  Those preconceived notions may just as easily be smashed as they might be maintained.  As senior VOID correspondent Pi so aptly put it, “Some artists resemble their artwork.”  And then there are those other artists where you stand there gawking and wondering how their very large ideas fit in so tiny a frame.  And then that one guy with the six pack abs and gun show who colors comics for a living and you wonder what he’s doing there.  Well, the point is that when you put a face on them, they become quite human.

I watched as young hopefuls scurried about with portfolio in hand eagerly meeting their favorite artists for a portfolio review.  And as I listened like a fly on the wall to the advice that was doled out, it dawned on me the importance of a website like EnterVOID and why I continue to advocate for it.  The advice that was given was not much different from the critiques we give and if anything was different it was advice on how to put together a proper portfolio.

            If you are one of these types, then I will repeat for you the points I heard from editors and artists alike while I was there:

Portfolios


   
  • Or Wow I just Eavesdrop On Everybody Don’t I?



Portfolios, which no doubt you will be eagerly clutching one while navigating the stampeding maze of people, there are important points to consider when presenting.  One point being that the content should always be new and fresh.  And obviously it should be of your best work and finest quality.  An excellent piece of advice I heard from an editor at Heavy Metal was that the work in a portfolio should be no older than two years of age.  If you’re constantly improving and evolving as an artist as you should, then older work won’t help you in the eyes of the publisher.  Secondly, you should arrange the portfolio so that your newer work is towards the front.  Remember it’s all about putting your best foot forward and people want to see immediate results.  They’re probably going through tons of portfolios at these conventions and elsewhere so you’ve got to start off strong.

And a final piece of advice I managed to gleam concerning portfolios was that composition and arrangement of one’s work is also a factor.  Let me explain in detail what I mean.  A young woman approached for a portfolio review.  The art was fairly good but he gave her important advice in regards to how she had oriented the art.  She had printed her digital art and fit a few pieces on each page.  He explained to her that how she placed her pieces together, especially in regards to one another was also important and that the goal was to be eye catching in every regard.  So the thing to take away from what I’m saying is that a portfolio should be new strong art, no older than two years, arranged by newest art first and should be eye catching in all regards.

The Importance of Community
  •     Or Why VOID Is So Cool and How This Relates to The Con


As a first time attendee of such a large convention such as NYCC (my first comiccon being Boston Comic Con the year before) I was impressed upon the importance of networking.  NYCC itself offers several opportunities for review and critique and has a few panels devoted to discovering talent or having an editor review portfolios.  Yet it is also just as important to sell oneself to others, to pass cards out to others and put in the necessary legwork.  More importantly though as I nervously spoke to many artists and creators, I realized how close knit the comics community was.  Some current and popular titles came about because a writer or another artist already in the business had namedropped talented friends who were given opportunities.  In some cases, some of these artists came from the webcomic side of things and many such artists have been making small transitions to printed work.  A great example of this is the Adventure Time comic which features backups and regular artists who all have their own popular webcomics and have lent out their talents.  This impresses upon me the importance of a community like VOID.  VOID features people of all skill levels, some who are already in the business and others who are far from it but even so, aside from the art skills we all desperately want to improve upon, and perhaps subtlety so we are also improving our ability to network and reach out to others.

 
Entervoid also gives strong critiques but in the end it depends on your own ambition and drive to succeed.  At the convention, I heard many critiques which mirrored much of what we often push which is a focus on backgrounds, anatomy, practice, etc.  This experience has strengthened my view of why such a website is important.  Naturally there are all sorts of opportunities available and some happen by chance but by placing yourself in an environment with other people reaching for the same goals, you’ll improve.  By becoming accustomed to deadlines and vital critiques you’re already creating a foundation which can only help you.  Entervoid is a tool which will benefit you as long as you use it.

THE END


 
  •   Or Is It…?


I came away with this convention with a sense of utter satisfaction and contentment.  I had accomplished many personal goals and gained valuable experiences (many of which I have shared with you).  There is something surreal about being amongst people who have broken away from the everyday and are mingling with talented people, some of whom are legends in their own right and have contributed to our own personal journeys.  A convention is a transformative experience and I highly recommend it.
« Last Edit: Nov 03, 2012, 10:29 AM by William_Duel »

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Re: NYCC: A Review
« Reply #1 on: Nov 03, 2012, 04:39 AM »
there are nights i stay up wonder, why don't i just move out to new york so i can hang out with all my void friends all the time?

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Re: NYCC: A Review
« Reply #2 on: Nov 03, 2012, 09:16 AM »
I agree with a lot of your points. For me it was really exciting to see exactly how valuable Void is in person. Getting to see stuff like Andre at the Hell Yeah booth, Jar at the Comixtribe booth, Evan at the Riceboy booth, Zsa's networking and my networking was pretty cool. It felt like Void was really well connected with the professional world.

Really the only thing I didn't like about NYCC was Saturday! Next year the convention center is supposed to have even more room for the con so maybe just maybe it won't be as big as a problem to walk a few steps without getting to second base with someone.
Kittens wearins mittens

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Re: NYCC: A Review
« Reply #3 on: Nov 08, 2012, 04:17 PM »
there are nights i stay up wonder, why don't i just move out to new york so i can hang out with all my void friends all the time?

I wonder that too sometimes but I dunno if I'd want to move away from Canada. HARD DECISIONS.

Cool write up though, I wish I was there. One year I'll make a trip of it.

 

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