Special Edition NYC was a surprising addition to the convention scene in New York City. When you think major NYC con, NYCC is what comes to mind so it was exciting to know a “smaller” convention solely focused on comics and their artists was being added to the mix. Any reason to get out there in cosplay and have fun with friends right? The con did pretty well overall, with everyone having a good time just on a smaller scale. Mini NYCC is what it felt like, even being held in a corner of the Jacob Javitz Center.
Enter 2015. Special Edition was to be moved further up the road to Pier 94. Maybe it was to separate itself from its “mini nycc” title? Make itself feel like it’s own full fledged convention without living in NYCC’s shadow? It seemed like a pretty cool venue choice nonetheless. A con right off the water? Heck yeah! Unfortunately it ended up feeling like a very different type of convention than I had imagined.
Not long before the convention, NYCC 2015 tickets went up for grabs. Congoers “broke the internet” trying to buy any types of badges they could. Single, weekend, in bulk… it didn’t matter as long as they got their hands on one. Apparently the same issue as last year had occurred again. People either couldn’t get tickets because of a laggy website or scalpers had bought so many in bulk that it sold out fairly quickly. To counter this issue, NYCC refunded people who had bought badges in bulk to avoid scalper issues, unfortunately many of those were actual congoers making sure they reserved their own badges. One problem led to the next… until Special Edition announced they would have all of the extra badges available for sale at their convention. What this did was make SE: NYC the go to place for badges… and not much else. It was NYCC: The Prequel! People lined at at 5am to make sure they had their shot at badges but a lot of the people lined up were there to enjoy the convention itself. Apparently two groups of people ended up on one line. I was not there for this 5am line but from what everyone tells me, it felt like a small scene from the movie 300, everyone fighting their way through a bottle necked doorway to make it to the SECOND line where you’d buy NYCC badges. Unfortunately it was not SE’s intention to have both groups on one line but only realized this until after the damage had been done. Now onto the convention itself.
Now, Pier 94 was fairly the same size as the building SE: NYC was held in last year. Plenty of artists made it feel like the place to go and grab some prints. There weren’t many vendors at all, however, but honestly I don’t remember there being many (if any) vendors last year that weren’t comic book related so I just shrugged it off. The problem with that is… there wasn’t much else to do after having walked the entire con floor in a couple of hours. Thank goodness hanging out with all of my friends that frequent cons is always a welcome reunion.
On Sunday, it was practically barren. No one really started showing up until after 1pm and even those people were few and far along. Why? I want to believe that it was because Saturday was the more popular day, but no… it felt more like all the people that wanted NYCC badges had gotten theirs and there was no more reason to be at SE: NYC. With not much more to do at the convention except for a panel or two and just walk around to enjoy the atmosphere (which luckily I’m very ok with), the hours melted away fairly quickly.
Overall, it was a very lack luster convention with a seemingly ulterior motive. I’m all for small conventions, but for it’s second year it didn’t feel like anything had been added to make this a truly worthwhile outing. A nice couple of afternoons out to enjoy the day, maybe, but SE: NYC really needs to up the ante next year to avoid being a laughing stock. I want it to succeed. It’s a home town convention. I just hope they want it to succeed on it’s own just as much.