Convention Report: New York Comic Con 2019

 In conventions
new york comic con, nycc, artist alley, reading with pictures,

Back to the Big Apple.

I’ve been going to New York Comic Con (NYCC) almost every year since it started, and it keeps getting bigger and better every year. This year, I helped out at the Reading with Pictures (RWP) booth again, which was once again placed in an excellent position in artist alley right next to A-row, which was loaded with fantastic kid-friendly artists and creators. This fantastic location was no doubt part of why we did so well once again this year.

When I landed and took the train into the city, I got to our booth space and found that our 10×10 was right where some major traffic would be going, but there’s wasn’t any barrier to separate us from the vendors to our side. I rushed to the store to buy some string, and used it rope off our space so attendees didn’t accidentally walk into our booth space. I got everything set up, and then met up with my friend who I was staying with all weekend. Her and I went to the AirBnB just a few blocks away, and then headed to the pub below the apartment to grab some grub. Some of her friends met up with us as we were finishing our meal, and we shared some drinks until her husband showed up. Around that time we called it a night, trying to save as much of our energy as possible for this long and exciting weekend.

nycc, new york comic con, reading with pictures, josh elder

Thursday – preview night.

The AirBnb was very close to the show, but I woke up a little under the weather on day 1 (not good!). I think the Irish Pub we went to below the apartment (and the server not knowing if their fish and chips was any good or not) may have been a red flag I should have paid more attention to. I grab some healthy (and easy on the stomach) snacks and headed to the con to open the booth. Attendance on the first day was like a busy Saturday – and this was PREVIEW NIGHT!

I had a few volunteers helping throughout the day, but the bulk of it was on me and my voice was already starting to get gravely before the convention floor closed that night. I went out for some much needed ramen noodles that night, and went to bed early to help rest my voice (and the rest of me).

nycc, new york comic con, heather antos, reading with puctures, valiant comics

Friday – why do I have Saturday voice?

I grabbed a bite at the local deli and headed to the con to set up. I ran into a bunch of other creators who were suffering from the same infliction I was – why the heck does my voice sound like it’s end of day Saturday, when it’s only Friday morning?! Well, at least I wasn’t the only one.

Volunteers came and went throughout the day, but again most of the work was on me – and the attendance traffic felt a little lighter than the previous day (but it wasn’t lighter…my brain was just playing tricks on me). I had a chance to walk around a bit and see some friends I knew in artist alley, but also some people came to visit me – like my buddy Heather Antos, who’s now an editor at Valiant. Her and I set a meeting for the next day, and she went on her way.

I had a few meetings throughout the day while my volunteers helped at the table, and was selling at the table anytime I wasn’t in meetings.

After the con ended, I headed to the Webtoons after party. I had a bunch of friends there (since they have original series that update on Webtoons), and had an opportunity to network a bit while catching up with some good friends I hadn’t had a chance to see earlier in the day (because, let’s be honest – we’re all too busy at our tables trying to sell comics). It was a great way to end the day, until…some of the people I knew got a little slammed. I walked them 30-ish blocks to the bar where the rest of their party was hanging out, and then headed back to the apartment to crash. My voice was completely shot, and I still had two more days of selling to somehow do.

new york comic con, nycc, art balthazar, franco, art and franco

Saturday – the day I completely lost my voice.

My morning started with meeting up my buddy Justin Jordan for breakfast. He had been at the Webtoons party the night before, and we talked about how the format differs from print comics and some of the tips and tricks he’s learned working in the format. He was a great opportunity to catch up and talk business, but also talk about our lives outside of comics.

We walked to the con right after, and underwent a killer day of sales. More volunteers were helping at the table, and I kept holding up a sign to help draw people in to (hopefully) save my voice as much as I could. Art and Franco were right across from me, and they started sketching silly pictures of me holding a sign. It put a smile on my face as my voice continued to disappear.

That night after the con was another after party, but it was quite a bit later – so I went to dinner with my buddy Josh (after walking around FOREVER trying to find a place that didn’t have a 45+ minute wait time). We grabbed some Indian food, and then headed back to the apartment so I could drop off my stuff…and that’s where I completely lost my voice. Like, couldn’t even whisper – it was gone completely. Suffice it to say, I didn’t even try to go to the after party that night. I just went straight to bed.

nycc, new york comic con, artist alley,

Sunday – the final day of con.

I got up and packed up my stuff, and went to meet up my buddy Johnny Young Bosch (Power Rangers, Devil May Cry, Bleach), for breakfast. He had been staying further uptown, and it was nice to have a chance to catch up with him and see how his first NYCC experience was going. He was signing next to some other actors all weekend, and had some chances to slip out to go see some Broadway shows, go for runs downtown and through parks, and even find his new favorite pizza place. As a voice actor, I  asked him some of his techniques for not losing his voice – he recommended tea and honey, so I got some on the go. We walked over to the con after breakfast, and separated at the con so he could get to his booth and I dashed off to pick up my volunteer.

Aliza was helping me on Sunday, which was awesome because she’s helped me out at NYCC for many years (as well as a few C2E2 shows in the past), she knows the product and she’s really good at talking to attendees. It gave my voice a much needed rest, and I didn’t feel so much pressure to do all the selling myself. Plus, she’s tons of fun to talk to behind the table between sales.

Aliza and I went through most of the rest of the books, having sold through most of the books on our table the last two days of the con. It was a crazy-busy but also an amazing experience – and I can’t thank ReedPop and the convention staff, organizers, and volunteers enough for making it as special as ever.

Will I be back for more NYCC? Absolutely. And you should be, too.

trevor mueller, nycc, new york comic con, reading with pictures, albert the alien
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