Saturday, April 12, 2008

The New York Comic Con: April 18-20, 2008

(Last year's Comic Con.)

For Those Interested In Such Things: Beginning this Friday, April 18th, the third annual New York Comic Con rolls back into town. Actually, as it has the past two years, it'll be held at the Jacob Javits Center in NYC , and if you can get in, more power to you. Over the last decade or two, comic book conventions have become less a chance to pick up old out-of-print novels (ranging from science fiction, pulps, mysteries, movie tie-ins, plus actual literature like stuff by Kerouac and Kesey, etc.), music sountrack CDs and bootleg (shh!) videos of old movies and TV shows, as well as back issues of old comics, and more a place for publishers AND MOVIE STUDIOS to promote their latest wares.

(One of the currently out-of-print books I've been looking to find a copy of: Philip Jose Farmer's 1990 adventure novel Escape From Loki , a "prequel" to the once popular Doc Savage pulp adventues from the 1930s & 1940s. Maybe at this year's convention...?)

If you go to the convention's site here , you'll see the schedule of events and speakers that will appear. The list of guests includes not only various comic book professionals but actual film and TV celebrities as well. (Be sure to scroll down the list, as you may miss somebody you might find interesting.) That's because several years back, studios caught on to the PR value of promoting their new products (especially if they're comic or fantasy based ones) to attendees. And the more stars attend, the more the public attends, resulting in a win-win situation for all. (The studios get people to see their films when they come out and the fans get to meet the stars of said films.)

Based on my experiences the previous two years, I'm gun shy about attending this one. Long lines, lots of waiting and lots and lots of bodies crammed into one building (the annual Auto Show never gets this many attendees) are usually the norm. (As far as parking goes, well, I've heard stories...) Also, dealers actually selling hardcover and paperback books from previous decades seem to get fewer and fewer in number at these shows. But if you're interested in going (or know somebody who is), check it out & have fun! -Ed

(And maybe this year I'll finally find a copy of Harry Harrison's classic -and currently also out-of-print- 1966 novel, Make Room! Make Room! , parts of which were used for the slightly half baked but reasonably entertaining 1973 film Soylent Green.)

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