After years of attending Wizard Conventions, I’ve come to expect a few things- tons of vendors, interesting panels, a few celebrities varying from the comic book industry to the film industry, and a veritable ton of fans all jammed into one place. Big Apple Con didn’t quite feel the same as any other Wizard con I’ve been to though, and it was painfully obvious why. While most Wizard conventions are an active hub for the comics industry filled with various announcements and events, Big Apple Con seems to have missed the memo and become a lackluster con where the only thing you can really hope to accomplish is seeking out some back-issues or rares collectibles you were looking for. In my entire first day at the con, I was unable to find a single panel to sit in on, let alone any industry led events that are seen at most Wizard cons. Aside from some great industry people (artists Greg Horn, Ryan Ottley, Jim Cheung and Arthur Suydam come to mind) and a few celebrities ( such as Morena Baccarin, Tom Felton and James Marsters) being on hand for autographs, there didn’t seem to be a whole lot going on throughout the con; but that’s not to say that Big Apple Con is something that should be written off so easily.
As an avid collector of both comics and collectibles (toys/statues/replicas), Big Apple Con was a veritable goldmine. While the venue (Penn Plaza, New York, NY) was relatively small in size (especially in comparison to the location they use for Wizard World Philadelphia), it was packed full of as many vendors as they could squeeze into the small space. No matter what direction you looked in, there is always something amazing to be found, whether it be a life-sized-fully-automated Leatherface replica or even something as simple as “that one back-issue” that you’ve been looking for; Big Apple con had it all. Wizard seems to have gone above and beyond to make sure they had a surplus of quality vendors on hand for this convention, and while that doesn’t entirely make up for the lack of programming and other content, it certainly helps. This convention is very much for those of us that are looking to fill in gaps in our comic collections with back-issues or trying to find the rare collectible we’ve been trying to hunt down for years. Look at my personal success story as proof- I managed to find the DC Direct Teen Titans Modern Superboy I’ve been hunting for since 2005! If you like hitting up conventions to get some shopping done rather than meeting industry people or seeing some cool events you wouldn’t normally get to see (Wizard World Philadelphia’s annual Jedi Academy Parade comes to mind), then Big Apple Con is for you.
Overall, while Big Apple Con is done on a much smaller scale than most Wizard conventions, it is still a pretty fun way to kill a weekend. There’s plenty of great stuff to pick up, awesome industry insiders to talk with and some amazing cosplay going on! At the time of this posting, this two-day convention is only halfway through, so if you’re in the vicinity of New York City there is still time to come down and make a day of it! If you aren’t anywhere near New York then don’t fret, Wizard is hosting a plethora of conventions all throughout the country over the course of the year and is more than likely hosting one not too far from you! Check out the full listing of their conventions and dates here!