NYCC 2019 Review! Written by Ankur
This review of New York Comic Con comes to you a few weeks after the show has concluded, as I am still recovering from a whirlwind of pop culture! Wow, what a show! If you have never been and are close to New York, I highly suggest making a vacation out of it. Many people including myself plan their entire year around this event. The lines are frightful, the crowds are massive, but the attractions are well worth it. My review will be based on the two days I attended, Thursday and Sunday. You may have had a very different experience depending on your reason for visiting and the days you went.
One of the largest attractions that NYCC has become famous for is their artist alley. Artists from around the globe clamor in to the basement of the Javits to show off their wares. The demand for art has never been higher. In most cases, die hard collectors of commissions arrange for pieces months in advance, or find ways to get inside early so they can be on their favorite artist’s sign up list. But I have found that even if you are able to sign up on the first day, there is no guarantee that your request will be completed. It is unfortunate but in reality, it is a very difficult show to get work down with the constant barrage of fans asking for autographs and to buy merchandise. I have heard of artists staying up until crazy hours at night trying to complete their commission list. Doesn’t sound like much of a vacation for them does it? As fans we have to understand, this is a job for them, not always enjoyment as it is for us. Be understanding and realize how difficult it is being pulled in multiple directions by thousands of fans.
An interesting note I will report at the artist alley, is the fact that there is very little price resistance. Prices for commissions have steadily risen over the years. But every year, artists are booked with no capacity for requests. This tells me the market is not only very hungry for art, but there is new blood entering the art hobby with money to spend. Many seasoned collectors will shy away at the price increases and look for other opportunities. I know I have, and many I have spoken to have done the same. The temptation is real though. Walk around artist alley and you will find artists from Japan, Singapore, Italy, Brazil, England, Australia and even India! It is truly a melting pot of artists with immense talent. This is the only show I have heard of that brings worldwide talent. If you are an up and coming artist, I highly recommend setting up in artist alley.
While the majority of my time was spent chatting with artists and gawking at portfolios in artist alley, I did spend some time on the main floor. While many say the show has geared way from comics, I find this to be untrue. There were dozens of comic dealers selling golden age to modern comics. And of course you have the memorabilia, toys, shirts, posters and other goodies fanboys and kids love. There were also a number of original art dealers present with very impressive inventory. Prices were strong for art in the majority of cases with much of the same inventory seen over the year. Fresh material went fast, especially those being sold by collectors. Practically every key comic you can think of could be seen at the show including the highest graded Marvel Comics 1! A great sight to see. In general, any significant key was priced about 10-15% over market. In some cases this is what it takes to buy these from dealers at big shows. If you are looking to pay market prices, your best bet is to stick to auctions or buy from other collectors on message boards. You can also find books with lesser eye appeal but I advise steering clear of those. There are deals there, but you have to look hard.
With the market being strong for art, I would say not to hesitate paying up a little for a high quality piece. But do your research. Our art engine is being refined constantly. Some comics have corrected in price or the upward trajectory has started to flatten. Keep this in mind when you are ready to buy. It may be a good time to buy some keys, but be careful paying strong premiums for them, especially bronze and silver age.
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