• Rock! Shock! Pop! At The Big Apple Comic Con, September 25th, 2021!

    By Ian Jane
    Photos by Dan Truman

    After a successful warm up event held back in July, The Big Apple Comic Con once again returned to the historic New Yorker Hotel in Manhattan, this time for a two day affair (and in fact, day two is happening right now, as this article is being written). It was, as the July event also was, a very nice, reassuring return to form in a city that was devastated by Covid last year and that is still, like so many other larger cities in the world, grappling with how to host large communal events such as this and do it safely and with the lowest possible risk of transmission. As per New York State law, attendees had to show proof of vacation and matching photo identification to get in, and while some might argue that’s an invasion of privacy, honestly you’d be showing photo ID to pick up the tickets you bought ahead of time online anyway, so that argument is pretty much a moot point. There were signs up politely requesting that everyone wear masks and there were hand sanitizer stations set up throughout the convention area. The aisles were also pretty wide and the vendors were not all packed in beside each other as they sometimes are at other shows. In short, it would seem that the convention and hotel staff did what they could to ensure a safe experience for convention goers, and for that, I thank them. Little things like this can and do make a difference and honestly, it didn’t seem to affect anyone’s enjoyment of the show one iota.

    But enough about that – what about the show itself? It was a good time! Saturday’s guests of honor were Jimmy Palmioitti and Amanda Conner, one of comicdoms most beloved couple. They were happy to sign for attendees and to meet and talk with fans. Shi creator Billy Tucci was also on hand signing, sketching and talking to fans. Additional guests included comic book artists Keith Williams and Reilly Brown, voice actress Sarah Natochenny and Power Rangers star Jason David Frank. Jim Shooter was set to appear on the second day of the show. Additionally, there were cosplayers around and, of course, the main hall was once again filled with dealers from all over the area selling almost entirely comic books – which is a nice change of pace given that show many ‘comic cons’ these days aren’t really all that focused on comic books themselves, but the media events that are so frequently spun off of them. You could call this an old school show, and in many ways it is, but that’s not a bad thing at all. Who wants to spend three hours of their day waiting in line for a panel that they might not even get into in the first place?

    At any rate, the selection was great – everything from boxes of one dollar books (always important not just to bring in bargain hunters but to get new readers interested in the hobby) to books costing hundreds of thousands of dollars were on display. Is it a cliché to say there was something there for everyone if it’s true?

    One interesting part of attending Big Apple Comic Con is the location. The New Yorker Hotel, which is literally located right across the street from Madison Square Garden, opened in 1929 and was, at the time of its opening, the city's largest hotel, complete with its own private power plant in the basement. Although the hotel was given a makeover in the 90s, the hotel's gorgeous art deco style remains in place and for those with an interest in the city's history or art deco in general, the place really is a treat for the eye.

    Another interesting attraction that was set up was The Gallery Of Great Collectible Comics that was presented in conjunction with eBay.

    This was set up in a side room away from the main hall and was, when I walked over to check it out, unfortunately closed but contained inside were some of the most historically significant comic books ever published, including the likes of Detective Comics #27 (the first appearance of Batman), early issues of Wonder Woman, Batman, More Fun Comics, Superman, the first issues of Batman, The Incredible Hulk, All-Flash Quarterly, Superman, The Green Hornet, The Amazing Spider-Man, Daredevil, Captain America, The X-Men, Green Lantern, The Fantastic Four and even Invincible and the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles as well as the first appearances of Thor, Iron Man, Spider-Man, Wolverine, Batgirl, Moon Knight and quite a bit more.

    While we weren't able to make it into the gallery due to scheduling, you can check out the great video from PiercingMetal below:

    In closing, it was hard not to have a good time at this show. The staff was attentive, polite and actually friendly (a lot of times that isn’t the case at conventions), Covid protocols were being taken seriously, the dealers room was great and the overall vibe was just positive and fun – what more could you want?


    Comments 2 Comments
    1. Mark Tolch's Avatar
      Mark Tolch -
      Glad that show was allowed to happen, and awesome to see people getting out and having fun while respecting their fellow humans.
    1. Ian Jane's Avatar
      Ian Jane -
      Yeah, the organizers did a good job and the attendees were all pretty respectful of one another's safety.