The numbers are in and this year's New York Comic Con breaks the all time attendance record with estimated 151,000 attendees surpassing San Diego Comic Con by 21,000. Thus, becoming the largest comic book convention in North America. However, should New York be so quick to claim victory and celebrate from this accomplishment?
Since the first time Comic Con was held in New York back in 2006 it has been playing catch up with San Diego Comic Con's impressive 4 decade supremacy, and yet in mere 8 years NYCC was able to dethrone them. So, how were they able to accomplish such feat, you ask? There are various factors but the two that made a difference this year was the producer's (ReedPOP) decision to expand Thursday which was typically reserved for press, VIP, and 4 day pass holders only. In addition, their ability to impressively maximize space to accommodate more foot traffic hence giving the impression that there are less people this year when in fact that wasn't the case at all (except Sunday, definitely felt over crowded). In contrast, SDCC capped its attendance number out to 130,000 since 2010 and will be stuck there until their planned expansion is completed.
As far as attendance alone, there's no arguing that NYCC beat SDCC and technically they also beat them last year with 133,000 attendees. So yes, you have a valid reason to claim victory and celebrate, New York! However, in terms of overall quality and exclusive contents, NYCC still have a ways to go. Case in point, the biggest draw they could offer is Walking Dead and that's about it. SDCC on the other hand easily tramples that with A list celebrity guests and big budget movie panels. Nevertheless, it's hard to deny the undying popularity of these Cons wherever it may be and its ever-growing mob of fans.
Despite the constant East Coast vs West Coast absurdity, at the end of the day we, the fans, win! It's healthy to engage in friendly competitions but let's not forget why we attend these events in the first place...to get lots and lots of freebies baby! Oh right, there are also cosplays, comic books, artists, etc. If you're in to that sort of thing.
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