New York Comic Con 2022: Welcome Back To The Greatest Show on Earth

by Tom Smithyman

I’ve had the pleasure – and sometimes the misfortune – of attending comic book conventions around the world. Some are amazing. Others are underwhelming. Some are big toy stores passing themselves off as cons. But, for my money, none are as good as New York Comic Con.

For many reasons, this convention — the 2022 version of which kicks off today in New York’s Javits Center — is my favorite of them all. Yes we have to wear masks, but it’s a small price to pay for the glory that is NYCC; particularly after the quasi-show from 2021 where so many artists backed out at the last minute because the pandemic dragged on.

I first came to this show nearly 10 years ago. It coincided with my renewed love of comics. I started reading them in the late 1970s and continued through high school. I subscribed to a few in college — mainly The Avengers and Batman — but as the 1990 began, I found the storylines predictable and, in some cases, ridiculous. But still, I had my ear to the pavement and still read a few here and there.

Flash forward to 2011 – 11 years ago this week. I was in a monster automobile accident that left me homebound for three months. I broke 11 bones, including my back and my wrist. Confined to bed, I sent my wife to the library to get me every trade paperback she could find. In those three months, I caught up on more than a decade of stories – from Hush and The Long Halloween to Avengers Disassembled and everything in between. The insatiable hunger came back – in a big way.

I started going to comic book conventions, and somehow managed to get to NYCC on a Sunday. It was breathtaking – bigger than anything I had imagined. I remember buying a print and getting lots of pictures, but not much else. I didn’t even bring books to be signed.

A few years later, I was at the show when a friend with a blog asked me to report on what was happening. That was my first time as would-be member of the press corps.

I love the show for the variety, for the people, and, of course, for the artists. While NYCC has evolved over the years, comic books and art are still a prime driver here. You can’t say that for other shows, especially San Diego. SDCC is an amazing experience, but it feels that the comic books that inspired so much of the show’s experiences are merely left to the sideline there. NYCC is something different.

As someone who loves the theater, I have the added benefit of hitting a Broadway play after the con concludes for the day. (I’ve already seen the marvelous revival of Death of a Salesman, starring Doctor Who alumnus Sharon D. Clarke.)

I realize that most fans can’t make the trip to NYCC, but let be your guide for the next several days. It’s gonna be something!

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