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New York Comic Con's Lance Fensterman

The ReedPOP global vice president and New York Comic Con grand pooh-bah gives us an insider’s view of the big event.

Photograph: courtesy ReedPOP
Lance Fensterman

If you’ve ever attended New York Comic Con, you know that the sheer amount of panels, screenings and vendors can make planning a day there overwhelming. Imagine what it’s like to oversee the whole thing. That’s the purview of Lance Fensterman, the global vice president of event company ReedPOP and grand pooh-bah of NYCC. We picked his brain about what he’s looking forward to this year and how he recently ended up inside an elevator full of LEGOs.

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Time Out New York: I’m sure stuff is probably getting crazy as it gets closer to the con.
Lance Fensterman:
Eh, when you’re kind of crazy to begin with, you don’t even notice.

Time Out New York: Have you seen it change a lot over time?
Lance Fensterman:
It’s changed immensely. It went from, what, 25, 28,000 people to 120,000 people in five or six years.
Time Out New York: Geek culture has really ballooned over the past few years.
Lance Fensterman:
Totally. We’re a culture of niches. The most popular things now are a fraction of what the most popular things used to be, whether it’s a song or an album or a DVD or a TV show. The biggest TV show is tiny compared to what the biggest TV show used to be; quirk is now mainstream.

Time Out New York: What do you think sets New York Comic Con apart from other cons around the country?
Lance Fensterman:
For one, it’s massive. We’re in New York City, we’re in the media capital of the world, we’re where comic books were born; it’s just a reflection of the city. We have the ability to swing big. And we do. It’s pretty stupid how big it is.

Time Out New York: What events are you most pumped for this year?
Lance Fensterman:
I’m pretty excited about the Comedy Mutant panel with Janeane Garofalo and Brian Posehn (Oct 10 8–10pm; Main Stage 1-D). That’s gonna be fun. I’m a big Eagleheart fan, which is an Adult Swim show. Chris Elliott’s been a hero of mine since forever (panel: Oct 12 5:30–6:15pm; 1A06).

Time Out New York: Do you consider yourself a geek?
Lance Fensterman:
Yes. I mean, I don’t know that appearance makes you a geek, but I’m, like, six-five and skinny as a rail, and gangly as hell, with glasses thicker than my biceps, so… And I’m a LEGO geek. I was moving recently, and I had the elevator full of my LEGOs, since it was the last thing I moved because it’s the most precious. And somebody’s like, ‘Oh, you must have a son!’ and I’m like, ‘Yeeeeah.’ Because it would be inappropriate for a grown man to have thousands of dollars of LEGOs.