New York Comic Con is an annual event at the Jacob K. Javits Convention Center in New York, hosting varies booths and panels for comics, movies, television shows, anime, and video games. SEGAbits writers Kori-Maru and FlareHabanero visited the New York Comic Con to hunt down SEGA-related products, cosplays, and artists, but at the same time looking at the event in general. SEGA nor Atlus themselves were present at the event, but that didn’t stop them from hunting down SEGA for all it’s worth. Notably, artists who worked on the Sonic Archie comic series were present at the event, along with miscellaneous merchandising like Figma and CharaGumin.
If you want to hear impressions from both FlareHabanero and Kori-Maru, please click below.
Before I even went to the event, I knew I had a lot of concerns. I asked a lot of questions to make absolute sure we had a plan, like how we were going to meet and communicate, or strategizing our priorities. However, when I went to the event itself, all those worries were replaced by excitement. I normally don’t go to huge events like Comic Con due to budget concerns, but I’m glad I went to the event because I can feel comfortable being myself.
When it came to panels, me and Kori-Maru saw one based on the Starz TV series Ash vs. Evil Dead, a Bandai Namco panel that talked about Tales of Berseria, Sword Art Online: Hollow Realization, and Digimon: Next Order, and one based on Archie. My personal favorite was the Bandai Namco one, especially with Tales of Berseria due to how cool the heroine of the game is. However, the other panels had their highlights, like the Ash vs. Evil Dead one revealed the 2nd episode of the 2nd season, which contained a really… “unique” scene. The Archie barely contained anything related to Sonic, but at the same time it reminded me that Archie has evolved over the 75 years. For example they recently started to experiment with comics in the horror genre, and are creating spin-offs for specific characters from their signature Archie series. Overall, I didn’t mind the panels since they did their job, but at the same time I’m not passionate like some people are about these.
The show floor, however, is a story in itself. Merchandising was everywhere on the floor, with people on the floor room trying to move from point A to point B in a sea of cosplayers and fanatics of all sorts. There were booths from video game companies like Bandai Namco, Capcom, and Square-Enix, comics and manga like Viz Media and Archie, figurines like POP, Nendoroids, and Figmas were everywhere, and overall there was something for everyone. Some booths also hosted trailers or sneak peeks of upcoming products, for example the Good Smile booth showed off some prototype figurines of upcoming Figma like the Samus one based on Metroid Prime 3. Some places also had demos of video games you can try, for example Bandai Namco had demos for games like Dragon Ball Xenoverse 2 and the aforementioned Tales of Berseria, while Capcom had Street Fighter V available for play.
If I had to pick a personal favorite booth, it would probably be the VOLKS USA booth. For context, VOLKS is a company that creates figures based on varies video games, anime, and manga, their most notable product being the CharaGumin series. CharaGumin are beginner friendly figure kits that require minimal painting and tools to complete, with the amount of pieces and the pricing depending on what you buy. For those that like SEGA, there were several surprises in there that might interest you. It was the only booth in the entire show floor that contained anything related to Puyo Puyo, Valkyria Chronicles, and Sakura Wars. Puyo Puyo had every figure available so far, which had Arle, Amitie, Ringo, Carbuncle, Satan, Draco, Sig, and Onion Pixy, however there was nothing about the upcoming figures based on Schezo, Witch, Suketoudara, and Raffine. There was also a CharaGumin based on Sakura from Sakura Wars, and Selvaria Bles from Valkyria Chronicles. The biggest surprise though is that some of them were fans of Puyo Puyo, and I knew some of them personally. Though for the sake of respect, I won’t say whom due to them personally requesting it.
Another highlight for me is personally meeting some of the artists behind the Sonic Archie comics series. I get to personally meet people like these and get signatures from them. I can’t claim to be the biggest fanatic of the Sonic Archie comics, since outside of the Mega Man and Sonic crossover I haven’t payed much attention to it in recent years. Also because recently I’ve been trying to avoid Sonic due to how horribly inconsistent the franchise is and how senile some Sonic fans can be, but this was a different experience because I can tell these guys cared a lot about their job. That made me feel happy, reminding me that being a Sonic fan shouldn’t be a miserable heap of garbage, but a fun experience. It made me feel nostalgic when I was a Sonic fan.
Naturally I tried to look for SEGA stuff through out the event, which is where my main problem with Comic Con comes in. SEGA’s presence is bare, even their signature Sonic series was surprisingly hard to find. There was a lot of Vocaloid material, ranging from figures and toys, to cosplayers that dress up as characters like Miku and Rin. If you’re not keen on the Vocaloid series, you may be alienated in those regards. But SEGA still had minor presence, the aforementioned CharaGumin is one example, along with Figma of Akira and Sarah from Virtua Fighter. Surprisingly, we did find a cosplayer for Vyse from Skies of Arcadia.
Don’t get me wrong, I absolutely adored the event because it showed that being a fan of your favorite franchise can be a great. But I seriously hope that SEGA has a proper booth next year and they go all out with their own products and panels. If it does happen, I hope me and Kori-Maru will show up to report on that.
New York Comic Con is one of New York’s biggest annual conventions founded by ReedPop which dedicates to comic books, television shows, movies, and of course video games. This year, FlareHanbero and I attended this year’s convention to cover anything SEGA related. Unfortunately, SEGA had no plans attend New York Comic Con this year. However, there were a few surprises headed our way.
Flare and I were able to get the chance to meet up with the staff behind the Archie Comics Sonic series (Tracy Yardley, Jennifer Hernandez, and Matt Herms) and interviewed them about their starting careers and roles when it comes to developing the next issue of a long running video game comic book series and their favorite SEGA video games. You can watch the interviews on the SEGAbits YouTube channel.
Our next big surprise while roaming around the convention was running into Cedric Biscay of Shibuya Productions and one of the producers of Shenmue III, who happened to be wearing a SEGA shirt. We’ve ended up meeting in the press room for a brief interview about his video game career, the Shenmue series, and his passion of SEGA video games. Surprisingly, he happens to be a big AM2 arcade fan as we were discussing about classic arcade titles like Daytona USA and Virtua Fighter 4. For Shenmue fans out there, please look forward to the 3rd entry to release on December 2017.
Archie Comics had a panel showcasing 75 years of Archie with several announcements on the comic book series with new issues, spin-offs, and the new CW television series, Riverdale. While it lacked Sonic the Hedgehog, the staff at Archie Comics did mention the upcoming issues such as Sonic Mega Drive one shot comic and the Genesis of a Hero arc for fans to look forward to.
While SEGA was absent from attending NYCC this year, Flare and I were able to meet a few amazing people involved with SEGA. We’ve also took many pictures from the show floor of SEGA merchandise, games and cosplayers. On our spare time, we took a look inside of New York’s Dave & Busters that featured multiple SEGA arcade titles like Daytona USA and Mario & Sonic at the Rio Olympic Games.
That’s it for our New York Comic Con coverage! Please look forward to our next convention report next year and enjoy this video of Tracy Yardley drawing Sonic the Hedgehog social media manager Aaron Webber for his hard work at SEGA of America.
If you want to see some of the SEGA-related stuff seen at the New York Comic Con, click here. Be warned, as some of the images are blurry due to the crowds making it hard to focus.Ad: