New York Comic Con is coming. Fast. Really. Sure, it’s three months away, but time flies. You know what else flies? Butterflies. Speaking of which, today’s Halloween, and I totally wanted to dress up as the Monarch with the girlfriend dressed as Dr. Girlfriend. The girlfriend (who asks I not use her name but is totally not a figment of my imagination), though, takes issue with this and ain’t willing to pop on a pillbox hat. Whatever. While I could and should be majorly upset with her, I’m not. Why?
The brain trust behind The Venture Bros. – Jackson Publick and Doc Hammer – will both be coming to NYCC. Jackson and Doc will be headlining a very special Venture Bros. panel (of course, all Venture Bros. panels are very special), and they’ll be more info coming soon.
Big huzzah and kudos go to Adult Swim, World Leaders, and AstroBase Go!
Friday, October 31, 2008
Tuesday, October 28, 2008
A few months back NYCC did a series of focus groups in NYC that I called Con Fabs. There I met Kate who had some of the most articulate ideas and thoughts on how to improve NYCC. Then I learned she's also a blogger and a huge Anime nut. So it was fun to turn the tables and let Kate pepper me with questions during a broad ranging interview with Kate and the rest of the Reverse Thieves gang a few weeks. Teh focus is NYAF but I think we got into much more than that! You can read the full interview here.
Also, check out Reverse Thieves NYAF recap right here.
To be fair, during my interview there were 3 of them and just one of me, so if I sound like I don't know what I'm talking about or I might be lying - it was not my fault, I was outnumbered.
Monday, October 27, 2008
Holy crap have things been busy around New York Comic Con Global Headquarters and you are probably wondering just what the hell we’ve been up to. Well let me attempt to give you a little abridged list of what I can think of right now:
- Guest announcements will start coming fast and furious beginning this week. We’ve got one coming out in the next few days and then we’ll have lots to start trickling after that. Lots of big comic names, but I think you’ll be impressed with the list of guests from all corners of pop culture including tv, movies, anime, video games, books, ping pong, interpretive dance and anything else we can think of that we think you'll like.
- Video games are everywhere. We have more companies bringing more titles than we have ever had before. It’s going to be huge.
- I just saw sketches of the official poster for this year and it is sick. I’ll put images up as soon as the artist tells me it’s ok to do it. I can’t wait to see it once it’s inked.
- We are building a rec room for everyone to play in. Details to come, but we will have a huge area at the show just to play games, kick back and have some fun.
- Holy crap Hollywood. You are going to have an accident when I can finally tell you what kind of stuff we are bringing to the IGN.com theatre to show you on the big screen. NUTS. INSANE.
- VIP Tickets will go on sale very, very soon. Maybe even this week. The ticket will be different this year than last as it will be more about getting in early, no lines, having your own lounge than about exclusive merch. You can buy the merch separate that way you only buy what you want. The fans told me this is what they want. If you have ideas or suggestions, leave me a comment, ok?
- I am very, very close to a huge announcement about the future of NYCC. That’s all I can say right now and I know that makes me a gigantic tease, but there are some big things I’m working on and you just have to trust that you’ll hear about them first.
Its official, the cavalcade of guest announcements have begun......
J. Michael Straczynski will be a Guest of Honor at New York comic Con this February! This is the first of many, many guest announcements to come. JMS will be hanging out with us all 3 days at the show doing panels, signing stuff and he’s even going to do a writing workshop which Is really rare. I’ll get details on the web site ion the next few weeks, I promise. No go buy your tickets to the con!
Also, I’m writing a NYCC update to post later today.
Also, we are getting really, really close to have VIP tickets on the web site, so please stay tuned for that, ok?
Now I’m going to lazily copy and paste from the press release that we’ll be sending out tomorrow on JMS……
He began his career as a journalist for publications including TIME and The Los Angeles Times. Moving into entertainment, he wrote and produced for series including The Twilight Zone and Murder, She Wrote. He then became famous as creator, executive producer and head writer for Babylon 5, a science fiction television series heralded for its strong narrative and equally strong characters. Rather than resting after this accomplishment, Straczynski would continue on to create two additional television series, Crusade and Jeremiah, and then shift his pen to comics. He has written for Marvel titles including The Amazing Spider-Man, Thor, and The Fantastic Four and DC books including The Brave and The Bold.
While still writing for comics' biggest publishers, Straczynski began working in film where his career has found new expression. In addition to his work on the upcoming Changeling, he is involved in a growing number of future projects including Lensman for Ron Howard; They Marched Into Sunlight for Tom Hanks and Paul Greengrass; Ninja Assassin for the Wachowski Brothers and Joel Silver; and World War Z for Brad Pitt's company, Plan B.
When asked about his distinguished and diverse career, Straczynski humbly noted, "I've written for every medium except poetry, at which I suck."
Pursuant to my post yesterday about BookExpo and the Arab Publishing world, the UK paper The National has a good piece about publishers looking to the Arab World for new readers and new business.....
You can read it here.
Sunday, October 26, 2008
My lack of blogging has been pretty shameful in the past week or so. I was in Germany the week before last and that just kind of threw everything off. When I finally was back in the office I had about 23 immediate things waiting for me and posting kept falling down on the list. Not to mention the fact that I've not mentioned Germany one bit, so I thought it was high time.
I spent a lot of my time there meeting with various organizations and publishers from the Arab World all in Frankfurt for the Buch Messe. I think in total I had about 15 meetings with different groups from the Arab World in an effort to organize a stand collective, educational progam and business exchange at BookExpo next year under the banner of our Global Market Forum.
I was honored to meet a number of exceptional people and learn volumes about the burgeoning world of Arab publishing. One of my personal favorites was Mamdouh Shaat, the Under Secretary of state for the Egyptian Ministry of Culture - we're pictured together below. He's an exceptional man and an author of 5 books, many of them his own stories of working under Sadat.
The week full of meetings culminated in a dinner the BEA team hosted for about 40 of our new friends from the Arab World at a restaurant in downtown Frankfurt. And while at times it can seem a bit cliched, I was reminded about how our business of publishing is a different from most other businesses. Here in the states, "competitors" are not that competitive with each other. They see a slightly broader calling or mission. And in deed internationally speaking it is not that different - What bound this group together was not a common background, language or story but books, literature and words - in whatever language they are written in.
This is an exciting project for BEA and I'm pleased to aide literature broaching cultures and countries and once again I find myself humbled to be a part of it and this business.....
PS - I promose my next post won't be so heady!
Saturday, October 25, 2008
Friday, October 24, 2008
Want to celebrate Halloween with the New York Anime Festival? Want another excuse to cosplay? Want to see if Peter goes for the Asahi or girly drinks? Come to Forbidden City (212 Avenue A) at 9 PM on October 30th as HAPPYFUNSMILE rocks Halloween Eve! HAPPYFUNSMILE is the Official Band of Peter Tatara, and he'll be at Forbidden City all night long pretending he's a part of the band.
So, I mentioned Cosplay Night at Kinokuniya a few days back. We were planning a little pre-Halloween Party on Oct 29. I had hoped to have details for you earlier in the week, but some issues kept preventing it, and do to these issues being unresolved, Cosplay Night on October 29 isn't going to happen.
Sorry, all. I was looking forward to it, too.
What do you do if you still want to hang out? Read the post right above this one.
Sunday, October 19, 2008
You'll be hearing a lot more about Cosplay Night at Kinokuniya (1073 Ave of Americas) very soon. It's October 29 and kicks off at 6 PM. I can't talk details yet, but I can tell you to make sure your mark the date and make sure you've got a costume ready.
Saturday, October 18, 2008
Manga For Dummies author Kensuke Okabayashi will be visiting our friends at Kinokuniya Bookstore (1073 Ave of Americas) in NYC at 3 PM on October 25. Okabayashi will be presenting a reading and demonstration followed by a signing. Peter will be there and taking notes for his Lance and Steve yaoi doujin. Stop on by and maybe -- just maybe -- Peter will write you into the comic, too.
PS: Ali T. Kokmen, I've got a book I want to pitch to you.
The Medium At Large mission statement is to break news about New York Comic Con, the New York Anime Festival, and BookExpo America -- and also post the occasional cute cat picture. We've been severely delinquent in this last aspect. We apologize.
Thursday, October 16, 2008
NYAF is over, but the anime events keep on coming. Yen Press and Kinokuniya Bookstore have just announced “Haruhi Day” will take place this Saturday – Oct 18 – from 3 to 6 PM. Yen Press is holding the event to celebrate their upcoming release of the Haruhi book series, and the day includes a panel from the editors at Yen Press, a screening of Bandai’s Haruhi series, giveaways, and an amazing raffle.
Prizes include a $100 Kinokuniya Gift Certificate and a Year Subscription to Yen Plus!
NYAF isn’t coordinating this event, but we’ll be there. Stop on by to see if Peter’s slept since the Anime Fest ended. The answer may surprise you.
Tuesday, October 14, 2008
New York ComicCon
New York Anime Fest
203.840.5507 (o) 203.417.3607 (m)
Sent from my BlackBerry Wireless Handheld - Please excuse any typos!
Posted by Lance Fensterman at 10:09 AM
This is a firm, but friendly reminder to all professional creators, now is the time to register for New York Comic Con! Pro Creator (I love that term, say it fast!) Registration is open and FREE until 11/15. After 11/15 you’ll have to pay full boat, or finagle a pass through the publisher you are currently working with.
Pro Creators can register for free Here!
All applications will be reviewed for legitimacy and you will be alerted after the first of the year if you have been approved.
Sunday, October 12, 2008
The New York Anime Festival, Kinokuniya Bookstore, and VIZ Pictures invite you to a NYC screening of Death Note 2! The movie -- the cinematic conclusion to the cat-and-mouse game of life-and-death between school boy Light and boy genius L -- takes place October 16 in a theater in Midtown Manhattan, and we've got five pairs of tickets to the event. How do you win your pair?
Simply be one of the first five fans to post over at the NYAF Messageboard...
I'll be contacting the first five fans who respond.
For the last 3 months we here at BEA have been talking with publishers about BEA and the talk has not always been fun recaps of the L.A. party circuit! The conversations have been frank, straightforward conversations - the kind you have with your parents when you are 17, came in an hour after curfew and clearly have vomit on your shoe. OK, maybe that was not a professional enough description. The President of our company has phrase he uses – ZOUD – The Zone of Uncomfortable Dialogue. On BEA I’ve been living in that zone for the past three months. I’ll be honest though, I’m energized by the feedback and challenges I’ve gotten during these conversations. When all is going well, change is hard to make. When times are tight, money is short and hard decisions are on the horizon, change is not just welcomed, it’s demanded. This is all to say that in the coming months you can be sure that you are going to see change on BEA – how we do business, where the show is located, who attends and much more.
Publishers Weekly recently ran a story that is a good encapsulation of the task at hand for the show, and in reading it you can see that BEA must change, but how depends on who you ask! Read it here.
Our first announcement on BEA 2.0 came out last week regarding our education programs – we’ve formed an advisory committee to help us craft our educational programs and we are opening up the process to you in the form of a call for papers (catch PW post on the call for papers here).
This may seem minor from the outside, but in fact it represents a major shift in just what our education is about. From the conversations we had in the ZOUD, it became clear that the educational offerings at BEA were too numerous and lacked impact and stature. We believe these steps will address it and the goal is simple: To create high level, focused programming on subjects effecting the entire global publishing industry comprised of the key players in our business and conceived for the industry, by the industry.
Simply put, you should expect less panels and expect them to be of a greater impact.
You can submit your own ideas for BEA educational session by using our call for papers right here. If you are interested in who is serving on our conference advisory board, you can see the entire group here.
This is the first of many wide sweeping changes you’ll be seeing from BEA this year and I promise to keep you updated and involved in all of them via the blog and other avenues.
Do not fear the ZOUD!
Sunday, October 5, 2008
Changes to NYCC Trade Pro Registration
I blogged last week that ticket sales for New York Comic Con are now live and you can buy passes right here. However, I did not give you the lowdown on a few changes we made this year, shame on me!
We needed to make some minor changes to how trade professionals get into the show this year that you'll see when you go to get your tickets. For sake of definition, Trade Pro's are the booksellers, librarians, comic retailers, educators, etc. Just as last year, Professional Creators, once certified, are free. We shut down complimentary professional creator registration in late November and from that point forward they must pay or get a ticket through the publisher they are currently working for.
For Trade Pro's we are offering a free Friday badge (Friday is when the exclusive pro hours take place) and ask that if they want a weekend pass they pay 10 bucks. I know, you’ve never had to pay before but we needed to do something to make sure that you are legit and that you are really going to use that weekend pass, here’s why – We want to assure that as many fans as possible can have the opportunity to get into the show. So why are these two thing linked?
Here's why - When we provide a 3 days pass to someone, we have to assume they are coming for all three days for building capacity reasons (so when we tabulate our capacity on a day like Saturday we have to count every trade professional who took a weekend pass against our max capacity). So the logic is that if there is some value assigned to the pass, no matter how small, the trade pro won't opt for a full three day pass unless they really plan to use it. This means we have more tickets for fans on Saturday.
Last year we were very close to selling out on Saturday, to totally reaching capacity for our space so I do not want to have to cut off ticket sales thinking that trade pro’s might show up when they have no intention to.
It's not a profit driver by any stretch, it's simply a way to try to get the most number of happy people into the building for Saturday!
I hope you see the logic here and work with us for the good of everybody and remember, it’s just 10 bucks. I know, money is money, but we tried to keep it super duper low and still accomplish the goal.
Friday, October 3, 2008
A big huzzah and kudos to all of NYAF's contest winners!
Hall Cosplay Contest
Best in Show - Elizabeth Fong (Eugine de Danglers)
Craftsmanship 1st Place - Paul Colen (Shinku)
Craftsmanship 2nd Place - Cadamn Votal (Vivi)
Journeyman 1st Place - Scout Isensee (Nunnally)
Journeyman 2nd Place - Molly Taylor and Brian Hsieh (Mrs. Lovett and Sweeny Todd)
Novice 1st Place - Jennifer Hwang (ION Fortuna)
Novice 2nd Place - Hidetumi Kakrzoe (Tougaoh)
Youth - Zachary Thomas (Sasuke Uchiha)
Judges Award 1 - Gugi Mendoza (Lenalee)
Judges Award 2 - Molly Smith (Jolteon 1)
Judges Award 3 - Antarctica Cosplay (Avatar: The Last Air Bender)
Judges Award 4 - Patrick Kelly and Susan Kelly (The Great Gurren Brigade)
Judges Award 5 - Lisa DiGovanni (Hina Ichigo)
Best In Show - John Bernales (Mainstream Love)
Best Action - Susan Fraumeni (Let's Get Ready To Die)
Best Comedy - Jennifer Dury (Whatevah)
Best Drama - Terrell Codrington (Love In Your Eyes)
Best Upbeat - John Bernales (Mainstream Love)
Judges Award - Alexander Franz (Let's See How Far We've Come)
Thursday, October 2, 2008
Thanks to everyone for all of the links! I've got a whole new batch of cyber experience for you to live from NYAF, scroll down and click through!
Vid Coverage of NYAF from Bytejacker (The show for "gamers with fast connections and short attention spans," - and what better description could one ever hope for) can be found here and here.
Deb Aoki from Guide to Manga on About.com has an absolutely insane amount of coverage that you might want to review here and a great photo gallery here.
Our good pals at Suvudu have a nice little round up of The Fest you can check out here.
Keith Cristal aka TheBigTog has some killer photos (including the one of the handsome guy I've posted here) that concentrate mostly on the Guests, WCS, and Baby, the Stars Shine Bright. Look at them as they really are pretty amazing, take a look at them here.
The Sakura District blog (all the way from Japan, she came!) has some postings that you can peruse here.
Publishers Weekly Comics Week has a great photo parade you can surf here.
Not NYAF related (but he was at the show!) is a Publisher Weekly profile of one of the coolest guys I know - and I really mean that - Kuo-Yu Liang that you MUST read right here.
Laura Hudson has a nice story about Hideyuki Kikuchi for your approval here.
Wednesday, October 1, 2008
Ye of faithful readers of my humble blog, I promised you that one day your loyalty would be rewarded. You probably thought that would mean scepters of gold or a trunk filled with tasty Necco Wafers, but alas, today your sweet, sweet reward is getting a leg up on every other fan boy and fan girl in the world. Yes, you are the very first to know that tickets are now on sale for New york Comic Con 2009.
Stop reading and go buy your tickets! Use this handy link right here.
Tomorrow the media circus will officially begin. We'll send out a big ole press release on this and you'll read all the digital rags and scoff as to you it will be old, stinky news and your tickets will already be saved on a server somewhere out in the ether just waiting to be mailed to you in a few months.
In the next 2 weeks we'll begin the cavalcade of guest announcements. We'll also add merch and special VIP tickets in the next 2-4 weeks so hang on for those tasty tidbits. You gave me lots of good ideas for tickets and merch these past few months and I promise that I've listened and we'll do you proud.
But for now wield your new special power of knowledge to do the only sane thing you can do:
BUY YOUR NEW YORK COMIC CON TICKETS!