In recent years, as comics conventions become a showcase more for media properties, costumes, and celebrities, the question is whether there is still room for comics at Comic Con. We asked some of the creators exhibiting (both on the main floor and in artist alley in the North Pavillion) at New York Comic Com 2015 about the benefits and evolution of the event and whether it is still an effective way to promote comics.

Caleb Goellner (Birch Squat, Mermaid Evolution)

“It’s still a great place for networking, hanging out with other creators, and building an audience. NYC attendees come ready to spend some cash. ReedPop’s artist alley island setup is always busy, and it seems to filter out people who are inherently uninterested [in comics]. Things have been mega busy for me the past two years, so I can’t really gauge if the shifting focus has made a dent.”

Jim Zub (Skullkickers)

“People who head to the artist alley pavilion are eager to discover new comics and interact with their favorite creators, but hotels are hellishly expensive and shipping books can be quite a pain, even when I plan ahead. I’ve been surprised that the artist alley has continued to be so busy given all the competition from the [main] hall and the media events.”

David Baron (Justice League, Batman)

“Exposure is the biggest benefit, as sales at big shows are never as high as the smaller cons I attend. However, more people do see and remember me if they see me somewhere else. Plus, at big shows, it means I can meet more of the readers and fans of the projects I work on.”

Allison Strejlau (The Regular Show)

“It’s such a huge show that it’s great to be able to reach out to a wider audience, but as with any con the foot traffic may not be great where you’re seated, but that’s a gamble at any show, really.”

Alex de Campi (Grindhouse, No Mercy)

“The Wi-Fi actually works, and there are no bathroom lines. And they have a strong antiharassment policy. NYCC has one of the best organized artist alleys around. There’s a serious effort to spread top talent around (even way in the back) to encourage traffic flow.”

Declan Shalvey (Hero Killers, 28 Days Later)

“The increased media attention at cons isn’t really a problem, as I feel the creators have been segregated from that into an artist alley, which is a lovely big space. I think the people who come to artist alley are comic fans who want to meet their favorite creators, and that’s where I’d prefer be. There might be more foot traffic in the main hall, but that audience, to a large extent, isn’t looking for creators—they’re looking for a “comics culture” experience. I much prefer being in artist alley, where it’s easier to talk about comics with people who are looking to do so.”