Special Edition NYC is a Reed Pop event that represents what New York Comic Con was supposed to be. NYCC was originally a small convention overshadowed by other events sharing the Jacob Javits Convention Center on any particular weekend. Since then, NYCC has blown up to bloated proportions that make it expensive and difficult for artists and small stores to rent space or get noticed by fans. SE is supposedly the answer to the issues plaguing NYCC. I will admit that if you push aside the dumpy venue chosen, Pier 94, then the experience can be fulfilling for those who are interested in interacting with artists and coming across some unique vendors. To compare the two events, for those who have not had a chance to check out Special Edition yet, imagine only the artist alley of a convention plus a very small space for local stores. You won’t find a gigantic Sony booth or a video game showcased at this small weekend event. You will only find rows of artists taking commissions or talking to fans. One such booth that grabbed my attention was one run by Singularity & Co.
What caught my attention to this particular booth wasn’t the amount of comics in protectors or flashy banners in the backdrop. It was actually the simplicity and humble appearance of the booth. Bundles of old books grabbed my attention; they really stuck out in a room filled with replicas, comics, and accessories.
Cici James, owner, was kind enough to spend a few moments talking to me about her book store, Singularity & Co.
“We sell mostly used, vintage, rare, out of print, science fiction, fantasy, a little bit of other genre stuff… western… smut… whatever else comes in the estate sales we buy all of our books from. We also have a publishing side where every month we find a rare and out of print book and get through the legal hoops and make it into an ebook and release it once a month.”
Cici explained to me that Singularity & Co. is about three years old and 2015 is the store’s first appearance at
Special Edition. She also said the store looks like a “mancave from 1977.” The store hosts parties, sleepovers, nude readings, normal readings, and other book themed parties. Cici also takes old and out of print books and creates themed “book bundles” that readers can buy. The bundles were initially what attracted me to the booth!
I asked Cici how she felt about Special Edition, “I think we are in the right place because of the print focus as opposed to normal comic con in October. New York Comic Con is so filled with gaming and movies, etc., that it’s easy to lose focus.” She also added that she thinks it’s a smart way to support the little guy and sell more NYCC tickets. She found that it helps smaller vendors get noticed and also gives them an opportunity to get a table at New York Comic Con. When asked if she had a booth at NYCC last year, she mentioned that it was simply too expensive so she didn’t have a booth. Instead, she said Singularity & Co. was an official sponsor of the after-party and she was the host. Cici hopes to have a table at NYCC will be affordable as the fee last year for a table was more than her store’s monthly rent.
Singularity & Co. is located in the DUMBO section of Brooklyn, NY. You can visit at: 18 Bridge Street, Brooklyn, NY 11201. See them on the web: http://singularityand.co and http://singularityshop.com