When New York Comic Con descends upon the Javits Center, it almost feels as if the circus has come into town. Oh what a circus it is filled with parades of Harley Quinns and Luigis of all shapes and sizes. It’s impossible to contain the energy and excitement that’s felt near and around the convention center. October is the month locals and out of towners look forward to each year to be a part of the geekiest and nerdiest love fest you’ll ever see, and attending just one day of the convention is still enough for me to get my fix every year.
New York Comic Con has grown in popularity over the years and purchasing tickets for the event has gotten trickier as time goes on. The convention’s new purchasing system still doesn’t quite help get the tickets you want or minimizes the frustration of waiting on a virtual queue for your turn at buying what available tickets are still left. Luck always seems to be on my side when a friend manages to get on the purchasing page before me and offers to buy the tickets I want on my behalf. I attended this past weekend’s convention on a Saturday with the usual friend I go with and we made the most of the single day we had.
When you attend enough conventions year after year, you start noticing what are the most popular cosplay you’ll see without fail. Harley Quinn has always been a fan favorite cosplay along with the usual suspects of Batman, Superman, Storm Troopers, or Thor. Because of the recent film release of Suicide Squad over the summer, there are way more Harley Quinns at this year’s convention than there has been in previous years. Hell, there’s enough Harley Quinns to start an army of them. There’s the video game Harley Quinn, the classic ’90s Batman cartoon Harley Quinn, and of course Margot Robbie’s most recent interpretation of Harley Quinn from Suicide Squad. One of my other friends, who attended the con, jokingly said it’s time to play spot the Harley Quinn. I joked back that people can make a drinking game out of it, which my friend pointed out it may actually cause someone to pass out quickly with the amount of Harleys we saw. We haven’t even reached the Javits yet and we already saw two or three walking around. Harley Quinn takes this year’s prize for the most ubiquitous cosplay at New York Comic Con.
Fortunately, not all cosplays are just of Harley Quinns. The popularity of Netflix’s hit show Stranger Things also saw a surge of Elevens, a Jim Hopper, and a few Joyce Byers. I saw plenty of Elevens and a Jim Hopper on the day I attended the con and other entertainment sites featured a photo of a cosplayer dressed as Joyce. I definitely enjoyed spotting these newer cosplays from shows I’ve seen. Joining the ranks of Star Wars cosplay at the con are Rey, Finn, and Poe Dameron from The Force Awakens. What makes attending the con year after year feel fresh and interesting are the cosplays. You may see the common ones, but you’re bound to also find newer ones when a TV show or movie becomes an instant fan favorite. I always look forward to seeing what attendees come up with.
The show floor is, as usual, a dazzling array of drool worthy geeky items you’ll want to get your hands on. At least if you have the cash to spare. The floor also showcased plenty of upcoming video games to try out, such as Final Fantasy XV. It’s extremely difficult to wait on line for these games, especially now that New York Comic Con has grown in demand. Lines can be so long that it may already be capped before you ever make it to the front. When you have one day to spend at the con, you really don’t want to waste your experience on a line that won’t really move much. My friend and I skipped lining up to play any of the video games we saw, but we did stop to watch other people play for a few minutes. It definitely looked cool and fun if you’re lucky enough to meet the capped line limit to have a go at the game of your choice.
The biggest panels held on Saturday were The Power Rangers and John Wick: Chapter 2. To spread things out, New York Comic Con started holding bigger panels in other locations near the Javits, like Hammerstein Ballroom or Madison Square Garden. I actually wanted to attend John Wick at Madison Square Garden, but I heard the likelihood of getting into these panels are no better than when the con used to have all their panels held at the Javits itself. Between rumors of not clearing out guests after each panel finishes to lines being so long that there’s no point in trying to make the semi-long trek to Madison Square Garden (distance between Javits to Madison Square Garden is no short walk at all), I scrapped the attempt to go. The idea of seeing Keanu Reeves was very appealing, but not so much when it may just be a massive waste of our time. Instead, my friend and I went for the smaller panels––Archie Comics Forever: 75 Years of Storytelling and Fashion, Comics and the Rise of Geek Chic.
The Archie panel was more for my friend who’s a much bigger Archie Comics fan than me. The panel gave everyone in attendance a look at their new and upcoming titles, such as a new Josie and the Pussycats and Archie Meets Ramones, as well as a brief discussion about the CW’s new show Riverdale coming out in January. This live action TV show will see Archie and the gang come to life with former Disney Channel’s The Suite Life of Zack and Cody star Cole Sprouse among the actors attached to this new series. The production stills they showed during the panel piqued my interest a bit for Riverdale and I may give this show a shot when it premieres next year.
Having an interest in fashion, or at least dressing well, Fashion, Comics and the Rise of Geek Chic was my choice for the final panel we saw that day. The featured guests of the panel were artists who created the unique and fashionable looks of some newer comics currently in publication: Robbi Rodriguez of Spider-Gwen, cover artist of Jem and the Holograms Jen Bartel, and Cameron Stewart of the new Batgirl. Much of the discussion dove into what inspired each artist to create the clothes and looks for the characters they drew, their approach to creating clothes that may actually look like something a comic book reader can buy and recreate in real life, and how fashion can tell you much about a character based on what they wear. The panel highlighted illustrations from the comics and what went into coming up with each detail.
Aside from looking at the clothes comic book characters wear from a different perspective, the biggest takeaway I got from the panel was when one of the artists said what’s most important about being a creative person––get out there and observe people. Take what you like about someone or something and then make it your own. I think this piece of advice is extremely important whether you’re an artist or writer. The panel also made me realize that sometimes we get caught up in a story we’re reading that we forget about how important small details can be too. Fashion may seem insignificant in the grand scheme of things, but it does provide a visual of the character to help you uncover one small piece of their personality as you gradually get to know them further by reading their story.
This concludes my one day at New York Comic Con. Scroll down further for more photos from my Saturday at the convention!