NYCC 2012 Memories – Comics, Games, and Cosplay
For the past couple of years I’ve been fortunate enough to cover the New York Comic Convention. Honestly people, if you consider yourself a gamer or a geek or a comic book fan or anywhere in between, these kinds of conventions are for you!
With the recent success of SyFy’s Heroes of Cosplay television series starring the incomparable Yaya Han, cosplay has seen a stunning amount of ‘professional’ attention in the past few years. It’s conventions like these that the talents of such people shine. People from all walks of life spend months obsessing over their costume and the many accessories needed to make their costume a hit. It is truly amazing and even inspiring to see families coming to Comic-Con all dressed up together as the Avengers or even just the kids dressed up as their favorite hero. Even better is watching kids who walk around squeal with joy as someone cosplays their favorite super hero, video game character, or cartoon character. Honestly, everytime I attend, there are numerous costumes that leave onlookers gaping and asking to get pictures. Before you even get into the show floor, there are areas of the convention where dozens of costumed fans pose for pictures and rest up from pushing their way through the show floor.
I had personally been to a few minor comic book conventions in NC where the focus was purely comic books, comic toy collectibles, anime, and retro gaming. But when you attend an event like NYCC, it is almost like another universe! It becomes like this grand HQ for East Coast geek culture and features a host of great celebrities, games, panel discussions, artists, musicians, and collectibles. Major motion picture films and TV shows take up large amounts of space to plug their upcoming works in various exciting ways. Actors and actresses from these shows and films attend and make appeances at show floor booths, autographing sessions, panels, and screenings. Popular geek personalities from websites like Nerdist, IGN, and G4TV make appearances on the show floor as well for autographs and a bit of facetime as well.
I remember how The Avengers and The Walking Dead dominated the theme for NYCC2011. When I went that year there were so many contests, giveaways, panels, and screenings for both that it was near impossible to attend anything related unless you knew about it and got in line HOURS beforehand. Sometimes that didn’t even help. Press passes were meaningless in these popular events and scores of people clamoured to get a peak at the new Avengers movie. If I do remember correctly, Agent Coulson (Clark Gregg), Loki (Tom Hiddleston), Chris Evans (Captain America), and Mark Ruffalo (Bruce Banner -Hulk) were all in attendance. It was always very clear when one of them hit the Marvel Avengers stage or was walking to one of the panels.
For NYCC2012, however the theme kind of shifted to seeing more Iron Man 3 related stuff as well as a bit of Man of Steel, Pacific Rim, and other similar promotion. While I’m typically there to cover and experience the gaming side of the convention, which is always strong, there are always so many fantastic comic book related artists and writers there showing off their work, doing quick sketches, and talking about their new efforts.
I managed to take in a few great sessions of Halo 4 multiplayer which were a great prelude to a fantastic game. 343 Industries had decent showing there where there were always long lines to get an opportunity to blast complete strangers away in a suit of Spartan power armor! The game showed really well with some of the best graphics possible for the Xbox360.
Also highlighted was Ubisoft’s Assassin’s Creed III! At the time, the booth for ACIII was set up like a mini-theatre where attendees had to be over a certain age. Once inside, the Frag Dolls proceeded to exhibit the amazing abilities of the half Mohawk half British hero Connor. From the gorgeous scenery in the snow while hunting to the spectacular havoc that Connor can incite in military forts, the demonstration only heightened the buzz for a game that was certainly worth all of the buzz.
This is what conventions like these are for, to give the public early looks at some of the upcoming blockbusters in movies, gaming, and TV! NYCC never disappoints in that regard.
Even walking outside of the Javits Center is an experience. I remember one moment while walking with my sons and my wife after a long day, Kids Day which is on Sunday, we passed by a topless protestor. Honestly, I can’t remember what it was she was protesting but I distinctly remember her being there!
As I was saying, outside of Comic-Con there’s typically the flurry of late-comers who probably just finished their costumes or just got off of work. It is standing out there that women in particular feel redeemed for being geeks. They all come out in full force dressed up as their favorite heroine and even just decked out in their favorite geek related T-shirts. While walking down the street to the convention, NY residents would tease and flirt various cosplayers as they made their way too and from the event. Of course, once in view of the Javits Center, most comments were all love from other attendees.
Probably the biggest thing I had to get use to when attending this convention was the ridiculous amount of panels and screenings being held in the various conference rooms on the bottom floor of the convention center. While many of these panels feature the writers, editors, and artists of various popular comic books, there are just as many panels by gaming developers and for TV shows and upcoming movies. Most times the schedule of interesting panels overlap each other so it is typically stressful to choose between say the Mass Effect panel and the Walking Dead panel screening. You would have events like Geek speed dating, artist tryouts for different publishers, Beyblade tournaments, pilots for new Cartoon Network shows, cosplay contests, and much more.
For example, in 2011, a large area was set aside to have real-life Quidditch matches! While I didn’t get to see the spectacle, there were so many fans there in attendance that cheered on the players throughout all of the matches.
A big draw at NYCC2012 was a decent sized Lego display by area adult Lego groups like LUGO CT (The LEGO® Users Group of Connecticut). They all had an awesome display of various themed sets like Justice League, The Avengers movie, various Star Wars themed scenes, and plenty more. Each of the sets had cute cameos like the Enterprise flying over a Battle of Hoth theme, the Ghostbusters, different Lord Of The Rings scenes, and plenty more.
There are even area events away from the Javits Center scheduled like Nerdist after-parties, Nintendo release events (once held for an upcoming Pokemon game), movie screenings, and others I’m certain that I didn’t hear about.
It is at events like these where us geeks can let go. Let it out and fellowship with one another. People of all ages and colors under one common banner…. GEEKERY!