Greetings Earthlings! You have landed at New York Comic Con!

Article By Merry Wu
Photo by Niko

On October 11-14th, a plethora of comics, video games, and anime enthusiasts enter Jacob Javits Convention Center only to be greeted by these very words.

New York Comic Con has always been one of the biggest conventions on the East Coast not only for Comics, Japanese Animation or Video Games but also for popular culture happening in USA. They bring over 100,000 attendees every year (NYC and outside of the East Coast) and it keeps growing! In fact this year’s New York Comic Con sold out once again, just days before the yearly anticipated convention started!

Although this is my 6th year going to NYCC, I cannot express the amount of growth I’ve seen the convention experienced. Not only in the guests list, the panels or activates planned, but also in people that attend this convention.

First, the guest list has always been top notch as we had a fine pick of celebrities people love to see! This included the ever popular Tom Felton who played Draco Malfoy in the Harry Potter series and Adam West, star of ‘Batman (1966 film)’ and TV series, both whom had thousands of fans lined up waiting to see them. They even had award winning manga artist Yoshitaka Amano of ‘Vampire Hunter D’, Moyoco Anno of ‘Sakuran’, co-founder of tokidoki ;Simone Legno and many more!

Many activities were also going on like a Quidditch match hosted by the International Quidditch Association. Plus panels had the latest sneak peeks at what was going on in the gaming or comic industry like DC’s ‘The New 52: Superman’ to celebrations like Street Fighter’s 25th Anniversary. People even had a choice to go to panels on how to get started in the comic industry to learning about Japanese street fashion!

The dealer’s room also had many vendors that appealed to everyone ranging from comic bookstores to Kpop merchandise and even the popular Necomimi were selling fast! Necomimi are cat ears that can move according to your brain waves showing the application of advanced technology in a cute way!

Even the Artist Alley was booming with business as upcoming artists sell their art to people and allowed attendees to meet with their favorite artists or writers!

However this year differs from previous years in that the staff of New York Comic Con has officially taken away the New York Anime Festival aspect. In its place, they have diminished the Anime presence to only some panels, guests, vendors, and artists.

Over the years, New York Anime Festival grew smaller but still catered to a large Anime (Japanese Animation) and Manga (Japanese comics) community. Anime and Manga although are mostly Asian focused still attracts a lot of people from all over regardless of ethnicity or age. Thus the outrage from some people over this year’s removal has been debatable. Some attendees have accepted it with a sad note, understanding that the budget couldn’t support both conventions while others have decided never to attend New York Comic Con and chosen to attend a different convention elsewhere.

As a fan of both Manga and American Comics, it is disappointing to see such change happened. While previous years encouraged the mix of both fandoms, it almost seem like this year was the end of the fusion.

Yet amazingly, this doesn’t stop people from cosplaying (costume role-play) anime characters or visiting vendors that sell Japanese merchandise like Good Smile Company or Necomimi. Showing that the convention doesn’t really need an actual label like New York Anime Festival to have anime fans still come out, be a major presence of the convention and have fun!

The one thing that can surprise people is the change in audience for New York Comic Con over the years. There’s always been this stereotypical “geek” or “nerd” image of people who attend conventions like New York Comic Con. However over the years it has gotten to the point that anyone can attend, still fit in and not be really label a geek or nerd. New York Comic Con has become one of those events that are not to be missed, even if you’re into comics or not. It still largely caters to the geek fandom but it also invites anyone else to join in this event and feel welcomed.

Although this year was definitely overcrowded with barely room to breathe; the excitement and happiness from everyone around you makes it very enjoyable and fun to attend. Whether you make new friends, attend panels, take pictures of the cosplayers, or visit guests, New York Comic Con is where the home base is!

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