New York Comic Con Phenomenon

Article By Rebeccah Ortiz
Photo by Niko

New York Comic Con is a phenomenon many in the area have come to know as ‘that weekend when the crazies come out’. It’s not uncommon to see women and men of all ages this weekend with candy colored wigs on riding the subway as if they did it every single day. Face paint, and bulky weapons and superheros of all shapes and sizes camp out and make the Javit’s Center home for 4 fun filled days.

Friday was the kick off day for many attendees, and boy, did it start with a bang! Even before the 10 am opening time for the show floor where all the goodies are kept, there were costumed crusaders and their handy dandy photographers scattered around the event space, getting in some photoshoots without the hectic crowds to come later in the day.

By noon, the number of needy nerds had multiplied tenfold, pouring into the center at an alarming rate. Construction work in the Javits Center made it particularly difficult for these dedicated fans to even enter the show floor, and made for a bit of an ugly entrance place on the West side, by 34th street. But once inside and surrounded by all the booths of awesome merchandise and cool giveaways, all of one’s misgivings just faded away. Free swag bags were being given away at random, and people who may have never heard of such a thing as ‘free stuff’ before now danced down the aisles with bags of more posters and chapter samplers than they probably knew what to do with.

The diverse array of panels also offered a lot to fans in terms of info and more free things. Most notably was the Archie Comics panel, where not only were attendees treated to info about the companies upcoming projects with established characters like Archie and the gang, Sabrina the Teenage Witch, and more, but each attendant received a gift bag filled with approximately 50$ of comic books and merchandise. The grand total of free swag for the weekend was around $50,000!! fans were lining up at least an hour beforehand to guarantee themselves a baggie, and none left unsatisfied. As a lifelong fan of the franchise, I personally left with a huge smile on my face. Carrying that heavy bag of free stuff for the rest of the day was (and is) probably the only downside.

Overall, Friday was a great day for everything associated with a con. The crowds weren’t too hectic yet, the free stuff and contests were fun, the cosplay was great, and the atmosphere was hopeful. By floor closing at around 5 or 6, I could already tell the buzz was growing for the rest of the weekend. New York Comic Con was off to a beautiful start!

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