Exhausting. If I had to sum up this convention in one word, it's that.
For some, it's the exhaustion of post-convention depression, the feeling
of emptiness and letdown after riding high on the energy of crowds,
cheers, and celebrity signings. But while there was energy for me, it
seemed empty; like electricity was powering a model train set but with
no purpose or pride in the building, or pride in the community.
The panels I did see were good: I saw a number of anime/manga specific
panels as well as a panel on "writing what you don't know" hosted by The
Mary Sue, and another panel on kickstarting comic projects. These
panels held a wealth of advice, and not that many people lined up for
them compared to the wall-to-wall lines I had seen for other panels
(Sailor Moon, Marvel, Randall Munroe/Bill Nye, and more big names). But the lines got so bad that if you were going to the convention casually, you might not see much at all except for the crowds in front of and behind you.
It sounds like I'm being unduly harsh on this con, but again: this is a chance to see some big names that you might not have otherwise, or sample a lot of fandoms at once through the exhibitors' hall, or simply get a LOT of free stuff (among other things, I got paperbacks of Game of Thrones and Hounded). But even free stuff comes with the cost of hauling it back and forth, and it got exhausting to keep going for all four days. So exhausting, in fact, my chest cold got WORSE on Saturday, and I was struggling to breathe - only now am I more recovered.
With the lines, poor and overpriced food at the Javits ($4 for
water? Coffee starting at $4-6? What?!), customer service griping about how attendees "weren't prepared" (in terms of bringing cash), lines, walking hard for the equivalent of at least 4 miles per day, and lines, I came home with
blistered feet, convention crud, and a heavy heart.
Since the merger of New York Comic-Con with New York Anime Fest, there aren't really any other convenient conventions for New York City or Long Island fans (especially if they can't/don't drive). But if you're saving up for a big convention, save up for the trip for Otakon if you can or go out to Anime Expo. If you're local, check out some of the smaller events if you can, or events at your library system.
New York Comic-Con is not a convention for the faint of heart, or the light in pocket.