New York Comic Con 2014

Article by Monica (Yimeng) Geng
Photo by Xue Liang

The second week of October this year was a week that every comic enthusiast in the east coast looked forward to. It was the week during which the New York City Comic Con took place for four days straight at the Javits Convention Center. Even though DC, Marvel Comics, as well as some of America’s most popular TV show panels were the most important attractions, many Asian cultural exhibits were also highlights of the convention.

One of the most popular Comic Con element was “ Attack on Titans”, which is a Japanese anime that became worldly viral throughout the past few years. The anime presents a futuristic story of how human are living inside enormous walls, shielding themselves from mindless cannibalistic giants. The creative concept, intense graphics, and heartbreaking storyline of “ Attack on Titans” have made it one of the most popular Japanese animes of the 21st century. Thus it also became one of the main Cosplay themes in NYC Comic Con this year. Almost every ten minutes you could spot a Cosplayer wearing the Survey Corps jacket and carrying two wooden blades. Occasionally, some Cosplayers wore a flesh-colored jumpsuit with a terrifying mask to imitate the “Titans”. As for the merchandise at Comic Con, many vendors carry “Attack on Titan” related comics, figurines, plushies, and etc. Many of the “Attack on Titan” postcards, stickers and posters from the artist gallery were also quickly sold out, the popularity of this anime at NYC Comic Con this year was draw-dropping.

Artist gallery is a special section of exhibits that specifically focus on artworks of some of the most famous comic artists. These artists were also vendors who were signing and selling their works while simultaneously sketching by the booth so that buyers can witness the making process. One of the rare Asian artists at Comic Con this year was Tony Moy, who specializes in watercolor comics.

Filliping through his artwork album, I was amazed by how much detail he could portray with watercolor brushwork. Instead of being soft-toned and light-colored like typical watercolor paintings, the super hero figures in Moy’s art pieces all possess sharp features and are very powerfully presented. Each of them also has interesting background stories, rich compositions, as well as dynamic texture. His unique style resulted in the “Moy booth” being a very popular spot in the artist gallery.

Some of the other most popular vendors at NYC Comic Con this year were those who catered to cute Japanese girly outfits. Being some of the most prestigious Costume stores in the industry, they incorporate a variety collection of styles. From princess ball gowns to maid dresses, these vendors center on a “Kawaii” and “Loli” (“cute” in Japanese) theme. Unlike regular Halloween outfit, which mostly have poor design and quality, the Japanese girly costumes at NYC Comic Con were all meticulously produced with excellent quality down to details. Although these dresses were a little pricey, mostly range from 150 to 300 Dollars, many of the “Kawaii” and “Loli” cultural fanatics were still willing to sacrifice their wallets. Indeed, NYC Comic Con has provided an enormous platform for these merchants to promote their business.

The overall experience at NYC Comic Con this year was incredible. Even though it was a little bit overwhelming, the entire convention was well organized and detail oriented. What amazed me the most was the participants’ spirit and how much they respected the Comic Con theme. Being a part of a four-day event, most of the Cosplayers were still extremely committed to their characters even on the very last day. Such powerful cultural energy and atmosphere are difficult to be found elsewhere.

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