Big Apple Comic Con celebrates its 22nd year in New York City!
On March 9 & 10, Michael Carbonaro’s long-running show returned to Penn Plaza Pavilion inside Hotel Pennsylvania with celebrity headliners like William Shatner, Mike Colter, Brent Spiner, Kathleen Turner, as well as comic creators like Frank Cho, Tony Isabella, Ramona Fradon, Peter David, and many more guests.
With their “Million Comics Alley”, I do believe Big Apple Comic Con actually housed a million comic books or more! Over a dozen comic book vendors were specializing in Golden, Silver, Bronze, and Modern books… not to mention, plenty of key issues, graded books, signed books – you name it!
It’s the perfect place for you to pull out your holy grail list and start hunting!
And with so many comic book guests, it was an adventure for attendees to get their favorite issues signed.
Comic book veteran and living legend Ramona Fradon was in attendance and many fans brought their cherished issues of Metamorpho, whom Fradon co-created with Bob Haney in 1965.
Fradon was seated around a number of other talented creators in Artist Alley like Jae Lee of Albert Moy Comics, Daxiong of Flag Art Studios, and Peter David (whose work includes The Incredible Hulk, Young Justice, Supergirl, and Spider-Man 2099), who was a guest on the very special panel “Stan Lee Tribute: Excelsior Forevermore!” with fellow Marvel vets Jim Salicrup and Danny Fingeroth as moderator.
It was a heartfelt hour as stories were shared about Stan Lee… first memories, last memories, and the ones in between. The audience was then in for an additional treat as surprise guests Rick Parker and Nancy Shores-Karlebach also looked back on their favorite Stan Lee moments.
I was fortunate enough to stop by Peter David’s booth afterwards and ask him to sign two of my books, Spider-Man 2099 #1 and Star Wars Tales #1. After the panel, I was even more excited to meet him in person!
Comic book fans were also able to take advantage of the services provided by CGC and CBCS, who both grade and provide witnessed signature verification. Big Apple Comic Con was the second show to implement the new CGC Signature Series witnessing process, which replaces standing on a physical line with a virtual queue. This reduced crowding and really streamlined getting things done!
But right across from CGC was award-winning artist Frank Cho of Comic Sketch Art who regularly amassed crowds around his table. Known for drawing well-endowed female characters and his “Outrage!” sketch covers over the years, Cho had a very limited run of his new convention book titled “The Book of Outrage”, containing over 50 pages of art.
Cho also had a booth full of prints for sale, which is quite common at conventions whether you’re an artist or a vendor.
Here’s Topps artist Brian Kong, featuring some of his great sports art, pop culture posters, Star Wars trading cards, and an exclusive Big Apple Comic Con print of Mike Colter as Netflix’s Luke Cage:
Codakhrome Comic Shop was another creative vendor who creates shadow boxes of popular comic book covers & panels to create one-of-a-kind pieces for display. Available in different sizes, and even made to order, Codakhrome is a great way to make some of your favorite comic book moments *pop*!
Artist Kevin Liell thinks outside the box at conventions by not only having prints but also original patches, pins, and apparel he designs as a licensed Lucasfilm artist. He even designed the official Big Apple Comic Con patch and a patch for the upcoming Star Wars Celebration in Chicago!
And speaking of Star Wars, there was cosplay everywhere you looked! Imagine seeing around the show floor a family of Stormtroopers, Street Fighter’s Chun Li, or an incredible Voltron + Carnage! That’s right!
But the biggest draw at the convention was the legendary William Shatner from Star Trek fame. In the Globetrotter Room, Shatner moderated his own panel filled with anecdotes and Q&A’s. The room was overflowing with audience members captivated by the stories told.
With the lights dimmed, all attention was on Captain Kirk himself… all eyes, ears, and cameras focused on what unbelievable story he’d tell next:
William Shatner appeared both days of the con for photo ops and autographs, as well as other actors including Godzilla: King of the Monsters motion capture actors Alan Maxson, Jason Liles, and Richard Dorton who play the three-headed Ghidorah’s right head, middle head, and left head respectively.
I was excited to meet Richard Dorton who has been dubbed “The Motion Capture Man” because of his numerous mocap credits in TV, film, and video games. I had a great time talking to him about the process of motion capture, the challenges of what he does, and how much the technology has evolved over the years! We even got to talk about one of his favorite roles, Darth Vader in Star Wars: The Force Unleashed II.
And if autographs are your thing, I did spy a couple of vendors with some nice autographed photos & posters too:
And while the main focus of Big Apple Comic Con is indeed on the comics, there are still plenty of vendors who sell vintage & modern toys, Legos, pins, trading cards, Funko Pops, and other odds & ends! You definitely have to keep your eyes peeled because though the space may seem small, there’s a lot packed into this con!
There were even freebies set up for some of this year’s most anticipated movies! You could have picked up a poster & lenticular button set from DC Comics movie Shazam! (in theaters April 5, 2019), or gotten a 2-in-1 flashlight/pen combo & free photo printed of you for the upcoming remake of Pet Sematary (also in theaters April 5, 2019):
But the very last thing I did before the end of BACC was stop by the booth of Comic Sketch Art artist Creees, who has done covers for IDW, DC, Image, Dynamite, and is currently working on a new series Lab Raider by Black Mask Comics. His newest variant covers for TMNT: Shredder In Hell #1 and Do You Pooh (One Shot) can be found here.
Creees had beautiful prints for sale, as well as original full-size pieces, and was completely booked for the duration of the show with commissions (custom art request) ranging from remarques, to comic book sketch covers, to 11×17’s.
I got on his waiting list at the beginning of the show to get a very special cover done. As an homage to Neal Adams’ legendary “Kryptonite Nevermore” issue of Superman #233 (1971), this cover would instead feature Supergirl based on the CW’s own Supergirl, Melissa Benoist. I also had a remarque done on his variant cover of TMNT: Shredder In Hell #1. I’m very excited to share the final products:
If you’re looking for a place to meet some of your comic book heroes and maybe even discover a future legend, you need to check out Big Apple Comic Con! Mike Carbo has been running his cons for decades and has always focused them on what started it all… comics!
For more on Big Apple Comic Con, check out their website and Facebook page.
And if that’s not enough, then check out my Facebook photo album and video below from this year’s Big Apple Comic Con: