Traveler, writer, reviewer, all-round observer. I like anything cool & fast, but occasionally sit at a cafe watching the world go by.
It’s October 7, and there’s a stir in the air on 11th Ave between 34th and 38th Streets. Exhibitors and volunteers are working furiously to prepare for a yearly pop culture event called NY Comic Con.
It was only a few years ago when I myself thought it to be an interesting geek-fest for comic book readers, superhero fans, and cosplayers. Well, that opinion changed real fast when I went to my first pop culture event a couple of years ago to write a review (you can read my published reviews here: http://wp.me/p41X97-E and http://wp.me/p41X97-P ). What I found out is that it’s actually a celebration of all things popular. This includes fiction and nonfiction, fantasy and science fiction, comic books and graphic novels, new and old movies, TV and theater, anime and cartoon, and anything else popular locally and worldwide.
So here I am. The day before 170,000 people come through those doors during the course of a weekend to experience, buy, listen, view, and enjoy whatever it is they have an interest in: The Walking Dead series; Marvel and DC movies, comic books, and graphic novels such as The Avengers, Batman vs Superman, and so on; all the various Anime series; Disney stories; works by J.R.R. Tolkien; new tech graphic novels and comic books from Brian Haberlin such as Anomaly and Shifter; unique toys for all ages such as Furry Feline, and the creative Tenacious Toys; Sci Fi past and present such as Firefly, the upcoming Star Wars movie, and the current Star Wars cartoons; fictional heroes, villains, and interesting characters such as Marvel’s Agent Carter, and Breaking Bad’s Walter White; a wide variety of comics; famous and successful actors, artists, authors, and writers; the list can go on and on -you get the point.
It’s an everything convention for everyone of any age and gender. And what makes it even more fun are the Cosplayers. While interviewing one of them a couple of years ago, she said, “It’s like Halloween before Halloween. Being October makes it perfect!” She’s not the only one that thinks that – during the first NYCC 10 years ago, 15,000 people attended the inaugural yearly event. Fast forward to 2012, over 110,000 attended. In 2013, over 130,000 (about the same size as San Diego’s, which had to cap it’s attendance due to size limitations). This year, the final numbers came in at 167,000!
On May 13, NYCC 2015 tickets became available. On that same day, VIP and 3 day passes were sold out -some reported it was within an hour despite problems on their server due to demand. Twitter, Facebook, blog posts, and comments on the homepage filled with complaints from people trying to get tickets. It’s unclear when the entire event became completely sold out, although some news outlets reported it was the next day -May 14.
Excitement and New York’s expectation for these 4 days goes back to two years ago when plans were drawn up to enhance and expand the area. For a great many years, since its 1986 opening, the Javits Center was surrounded by old warehouses, garages, the NY Port Authority bus terminal, and Madison Square Garden. Last year, the High Line (an abandoned above-street railroad line that’s been converted to a public park) expanded its stretch to 34th Street. With this expansion, the incredible growth and popularity of Comic Con as well as other conventions held at The Javits, the NY MTA expanded the number 7 line to just a few minute’s walk to The Javits and The High Line. As a result, construction in the entire area ensued -high rise condos, hotels, office buildings, parks, and walkways. The buzz began buzzing.
This year I attended NYCC to help Furry Feline and Tenacious Toys set up, man their booths, as well as tear down their exhibitors area. Thanks to them, this allowed me to mingle and rub shoulders with cosplayers, exhibitors, actors, artists, writers, authors, as well as “normals”. It was grueling, but man-o-man, it was worth it!
Stay tuned for my next installments as I’ll walk you through those 4 days.