Freaks, geeks, and greatness at Comic Con 2012
Full disclosure—New York Comic Con doesn’t feel like an overwhelming dog and pony show to me. It feels like home. A crowded and lively home in which brothers and sisters hang out, argue, and barter—all the while wearing their favorite superhero’s costumes. New York Comic Con (NYCC), which runs through Sunday, October 14, is a comics, anime, film, and overall pop culture convention at the Jacob Javits Convention Center, 655 West 34th Street.
Any preparations I had for taking on the con went out the window as I stepped under the massive NYCC banners. Walking through the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles tunnels, complete with posters of senseis and pizza, I entered the main show floor. There was almost too much to admire and buy in the booths that instead I turned my attention to the people around me.
The cosplayers were out in full force. Doctors Who, Harley Quinns, and Captains America abounded but many attendees cosplayed more obscure characters. I even came across a Lady Sybil from “Downton Abbey” rocking her signature harem pants. All fandoms were represented at NYCC—from the Fullmetal Alchemists to the Hunger Games tributes.
The Block, the alternative and “edgy” showcase within the larger con, proved to be more low-key than the claustrophobic mania of the main show floor. In the far corner of The Block, after passing by one too many superhero-themed lingerie booths for my taste, I found the ShiftyLook Freeplay Arcade. I dominated at Time Crisis and Galaga, but couldn’t really handle anything more complex than that.
But the best experience of the day came at the Legendary Comics panel when film director Guillermo del Toro graced the stage to promote his film “Pacific Rim” and its tie-in comics. Del Toro released a first-look of his sci-fi action film set to be released summer 2013. “Pacific Rim” pits giant Godzilla-esque monsters, known as kaiju, against the human-operated equally gigantic robots called Jaegars. Del Toro stressed that the film conveys the “romance” of a human resistance against a common enemy rather than “jingoistic, let’s-kick-some-ass” sentiments in other action films. And yes, it looks just as cool as it sounds.
It’s at gatherings like NYCC that I realize that this crazy stuff isn’t normally represented in everyday life. But the sheer number of passionate attendees reminds me of the vitality these fandoms contain. And normalcy is relative, anyway—especially in a place where men and women holding lightsabers and wizard staffs is considered normal.
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