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First Thoughts on Five Points Festival

There is something very special about a comic convention. It's a mass gathering of folks all interested in the same thing. I'm fortunate enough to attend New York Comic Con every year for HorrorTalk, but that it a massive convention catering to everything from comics to video games to movies and TV, and a whole lot of stuff that doesn't really fit anywhere else. I mean, why does Geico have a booth? Come on. For someone like me that mainly covers comics, there are a lot of areas that I can't devote as much time to. Enter Five Points Festival, a new convention in downtown NYC that is focused entirely on comics and toys. It's backed by Clutter and LeftField Media.

Five Points Festival is like a more refined version of the short-lived Special Edition NYC. It's a smaller con with some curation to it. It's something you could make a day out of between the booths and the select food trucks parked right outside. Five Points is a great introductory con too for any fan that is interested in checking out the scene and meeting some of their favorite creators. It's not a complete madhouse where you're packed into a hall like a sardine. Nor are the lines too crazy. I was able to walk right up to folks like Peter David and have a conversation. Plus, I was able to walk through aisles without bumping into a few thousand people along the way.

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The comic guests featured a nice variety between up-and-coming talent like Cody Andrew Sousa (Croak, Sonitus) and Ben Kahn (Shaman, Heavenly Blues) to more established creators like Ben Templesmith (Dagon, The Squidder), Mike Henderson (Nailbiter), and Sean Gordon Murphy (Punk Rock Jesus, Tokyo Ghost) and everyone in between. One of my favorite things to do at a convention is walk through Artists Alley and this one was packed with awesome stuff, albeit a little cramped at times. The tables were rather close together, so there was an occasional bump, but nothing too severe.

The toy side was totally unique. These aren't the kind of action figures you're going to pick up at Toys “R” Us or Target. These are really interesting mostly hand-created toys. There was also something for everyone, whether you were into pop culture, super heroes, or horror. One of the real stand outs was King Korpse from James Groman. It's a model of King Kong as a zombie. The final version has a removable rib cage and an optional light with a strobe light. How cool is that?

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Although the small size of Five Points Festival works for it, it also works against it. Unless you're going through and spending time talking to every single creator and company, you can breeze through in a few hours. It was open for two days, but you probably only needed one to do everything you'd want to do and meet everyone you'd want to meet. If there were more things to do, such as a handful of panels, it would make for a more robust experience. Midtown Comics, one of the sponsors of the event, had a number of high-profile signings, including Scott Snyder, Greg Capullo, and Bryan Lee O'Malley. The lines were pretty reasonable too, so more of that kind of activity would be awesome. This could be a bit of a catch 22 as bigger names and more things to do would bring bigger crowds and more lines. I'm torn.

As mentioned above, Five Points Festival is a great introductory convention for fans of comics and toy collectors. It was also pretty family friendly. Although there was a section specifically for adults only exhibitors, it wasn't explicit. I honestly didn't even notice it when I walked by originally.

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About The Author
James Ferguson
Lord of the Funny Books
James has a 2nd grade reading level and, as a result, only reads books with pictures. Horror is his 5th favorite genre right after romantic comedy and just before silent films. No one knows why he's here, but he won't leave.
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