New York Comic Con/Anime Fest 2011

I’ve attended several large comic and anime conventions now, but my reaction upon arrival is the same every time; dumbstruck awe. There’s so much to do at an event like NY Comic Con/Anime Fest that it’s difficult to know where to start.

One could’ve happily spent the entire convention circulating through the Javitz Center while snapping photos of costumed fans (cosplayers) and bearing witness to their entertaining hijinks. The cosplayers were arguably the most appealing aspects of the convention as they literally added color and character to the halls.

Panels and presentations were popular among guests and the topics of these events ranged from whimsical to professional. A panel like “Unusual Manga Genres” provided a good chuckle (pachinko manga, anyone?) while the presentation by the Comic Book Legal Defense Fund painted an eye-opening picture of censorship in the United States and provided examples of just how misunderstood comic book art is in the justice system. A number of beloved writers and actors such as Kevin Smith, Maggie Q, and Chris Evans also participated in television and film panels.

For those with busy hands and feet, the massive Artist Alley and Show Floor offered a maze of artwork, video game demos, and shopping from vendors large and small. Guests with shopping bags nearly the size of their entire bodies were a common sight. And for those who really wanted to get their blood pumping, live quiddich matches were staged in a large arena, complete with broomsticks and hula hoop goal posts.

It’s clear that comic con had no shortage of things to do. Whether your interest is in X-men, Naruto, Starcraft, or The Walking Dead (or anything awesome, really), there was something for you there. What all attendees had in common was their enthusiasm for the unique con culture. Hobbies that are usually enjoyed privately at home were shared together in a lively weekend of joy and unabashed geekdom.

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