Comic Con Descends on New York City

Costumed superheroes and villains, comic book lovers, sci-fi fans and video game avatars will descend on the Javits Center this weekend for New York Comic Con. Industry-watchers will be keeping a close eye out to see what trends will emerge from the second largest comic convention in the country.

Digital media is one area that is expected to be a big topic. Karen Green, the graphics novel librarian at Columbia University will be looking to see how digital comic providers, like ComiXology, will impact the traditional medium. She said it’s been a challenge to integrate digital comics into her library.

“This is, I think, the big question of, what is the future of digital comics, what will be the effect on print comics? It’s very much like what’s playing out in the newspaper industry, and the magazine industry, and the book industry,” she said.

Angela Watercutter, who is covering the convention for WIRED, said she’s also curious about digital comics and tablets, and how they’ll change the playing field for comic writers, artists and audiences.

“One of the things I think I’m going to talk to people about, as much as I can, is finding out ways that they’re sort of finding new ways to use that format as a narrative tool,” she said. “Does it make creators or artists think about what they’re doing in any different ways?”
 
Despite the name, the event covers more than comics. There will be also be panels from TV shows like “The Walking Dead” and “Arrow,” autograph sessions with pop-culture celebrities like Carrie Fisher — aka Princess Leia — from “Star Wars,”  and even sci-fi speed dating.

Green doesn’t think the mix is that surprising.

“Star Wars and Star Trek have always been a part of geek culture, along with comics,” she said. “There’s not a guarantee that everybody loves all three, but … the odds are usually pretty good,” she said.

The sold-out four-day event wraps up Sunday.

Crowds are expected to top 100,000 once again at this year's New York Comic Con.
Crowds are expected to top 100,000 once again at this year's New York Comic Con. ( Annmarie Fertoli )
Mother and daughter Killian, left, and Kat Bradbury dressed as Sally Jupiter from Watchmen and Fiona from the TV show Adventuretime.
Mother and daughter Killian, left, and Kat Bradbury dressed as Sally Jupiter from Watchmen and Fiona from the TV show Adventuretime. ( Annmarie Fertoli )
Some of the superheroes represented at NYCC.
Some of the superheroes represented at NYCC. ( Annmarie Fertoli )

Jonny Rockus, Pete Langlois and Patrick Locket as the Ghostbusters."We're the Ghostbusters of New Hampshire," Locket said. Rockus said the costumes typically cost $2,500 each. This group made their own, but came close to spending that much anyway.

( Annmarie Fertoli )

Sterling Ellis, left. dressed as Konohamaru from the anime comic Nauto. Lawrence Tagarelli, right, dressed as Vincent, from the video game Catherine. "I'm a graduate of FIT, so it's really easy for me to do this," Ellis said of his homemade costume, which cost about $45. Ellis and Tagarelli planned to wear different costumes for each day of the convention.

( Annmarie Fertoli )
Steve Woods, Terry Keizer, and Bill Heyman each spent about $35 on their zombie costumes.
Steve Woods, Terry Keizer, and Bill Heyman each spent about $35 on their zombie costumes. ( Annmarie Fertoli )

Annmarie Sanchez as Harley Quinn and Brendan Bils as the Joker, from Batman. Sanchez made most of her costume, but said her corset cost about $100. Bils spent $200 on his costume. Sanchez said she might dress as Poison Ivy, also from Batman, on Saturday.

( Annmarie Fertoli )
Comic Con attendees pored over hundreds of comics, old and new, boxed for sale.
Comic Con attendees pored over hundreds of comics, old and new, boxed for sale. ( Annmarie Fertoli )
The Ninja Turtles also made an appearance.
The Ninja Turtles also made an appearance. ( Annmarie Fertoli )
A bust of Batman presides over the convention.
A bust of Batman presides over the convention. ( Annmarie Fertoli )

Robert Cella, dressed as Green Arrow, said he bought some parts of his costume, and modified others. All together, he said he probably spent around $35. As for why he chose Green Arrow? "Right mix of recognizability but also not overdone," he explained.

( Annmarie Fertoli )

"We are from the Shire," explained Juan Vazquez, right, and Chris Portas, left, dressed as a hobbit from The Lord of the Rings. The two said they mostly made their costumes or wore things they already owned, except for a wig and hobbit feet, which they bought online.

( Annmarie Fertoli )

Erin Witzel, left, said she bought and styled a wig and made the rest of her costume, from the web comic Todd Allison and the Petunia Violet. While Sarah Scully wasn't dressed up on Friday, she said she planned to go with friends dressed up as characters from Tim Burton's A Nightmare Before Christmas over the weekend.

( Annmarie Fertoli )
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