Most people recognize the month of October as the time of the year in which millions of children, teens and adults dress up in costumes on the last day of the month. However, a certain group of New Yorkers and their neighbors celebrate costume play annually just a few weeks earlier. That celebration takes place on the first weekend of October every year when New York Comic Con takes over the Jacob Javits Center in New York’s borough of Manhattan. Over four action packed and highly entertaining days entice those comic book, movies, television and science fiction fans of every genre to celebrate their love for the arts in many different ways. New York Comic Con is a celebration for the fans, and a highly profitable retreat for dealers, studio and entertainers. It’s one big money making machine in which just about everyone leaves happy. It’s why they do it every year. It’s why we go back every year.
Last year we arrived at Comic Con very early in the morning. We were sent inside and ushered into long que lines. On one hand, it is miserable having to wait online for anything. Yet, at Comic Con there is always someone interesting to talk to standing next to you online. I have had some very interesting and entertaining conversations while waiting online at comic book conventions. Furthermore, there are many people who have actually created some long lasting friendships with people that they have met waiting on Comic Con lines.
This year, we arrived at NYCC 2018 a little later than we usually have. We entered the Jacob Javits Convention Center at the 12th avenue and 34th street entrance. It was around 11.30 am when we got to the center. We were expecting long lines as has been the case every year. However, when we got to the check in and baggage check, it was like Holy Bat Surprise! there was no wait at all. It took about ten seconds to have our bags checked and to walk through the scanners. As soon as we were past the check in, it was hello Comic Con!
The 34th street outdoor entrance leads to the lot in which there are many food trucks for the fans. It is also the lot in which a great deal of interaction between those participating in Cosplay takes place. Throughout the day as I wondered into that lot, I did notice that there was never a line to get in.
COSPLAY At NYCC 2018
With the exception of meeting stars like William Shatner, I have to say that Cosplay is what I enjoy most about New York Comic Con. I am definitely not alone on that. Cosplay has become in essence the show within the show. For anyone who has ever wanted to be a film or television star, New York Comic Con offers the chance to be treated just like one. Anyone who dresses up in even a halfway decent costume, is treated like a star by the fans. There are so many photographers at Comic Con looking to write stories and publish pictures. (just like this site) In the outdoor lot there are professional lighting umbrellas set up for photos. Cosplay participants usually take photos all throughout the convention. However, it’s in the outdoor lot by the food trucks where some of the best photos are taken.
Some of the people who dress up actually perform small shows in the lot. This year there were two Spidermans who seemed to be also trained gymnast. The two of them were leaping around, doing somersaults, back flips and even climbing some of the walls (they got in trouble for that) Other Cosplay participants often interact with each other with sword and gun play. Ninety nine percent of those participating in Cosplay are always extremely friendly and very willing to have their pictures taken. Just ask them nicely and make sure to thank them for the pic. I have never had anyone refuse to take a picture.
I was surprised to see that New York’s Comic Con allows animals in the convention. Throughout the day, I saw various small dogs being carried or walked around. Of course, some of the dogs were active participants in Cosplay. One little beagle was dressed in a Venom costume that looked completely outrageous and downright scary when you saw it running around on the floor. The side view hid the dog’s face so the costume’s huge teeth looked very intimidating as it moved in circles around the floor As I was waiting in a line, the dog ran past my legs and almost gave me a heart attack.
Some of the fans who participated in Cosplay took it to such a professional level that it became difficult to distinguish them from fans. One of our favorites from the day was a woman who dressed up as Harley Quinn. Not only was her costume a perfect fit, her role playing matched the character perfectly as she really brought Harley Quinn to life everywhere she went.
There were many Harley Quinns, but the one pictured below really nailed it. She was also extremely friend and accommodating with anyone who wanted to take a picture. I watched her take pictures with people of all ages as she posed in front of a great comic strip backdrop.
New York Comic Con is very much in tune with the selfies and cosplay photographic experiences. All through the Show Floor and outdoor lots there were many great backdrops to take pictures against. The vendors are also aware of everyone’s desire to take pictures. Many of them create beautiful artistic backdrops that also promote their product. It’s a brilliant set up because they know their product name will be shared in the millions of social media selfie shares that occur from Comic Con.
Many television shows also incorporate sets or backdrops from their series to enhance the interactive experience while also promoting their tv shows. The networks will actually take the photograph for you and send the pic to you via email with various social media links to share the photograph. In the end, the fans have a cool photo and the networks have thousands of media shares promoting their shows. The Paramount television show Heathers which is based on the old Winona Ryder and Christian Slater film Heathers, had the actual bus in the middle of the showroom floor. NBC’s The Good Place had a very cool looking set in the outdoor lot that we had some fun with.
Thursday at NYCC 2018
The Thursday shows are usually the last show of the four day celebration to sell out. For obvious reasons, people are in school and work. However, don’t let that fool you. Thursday is just as action packed as the other four days. In fact, this year the Thursday show was exclusive to one of the biggest stars appearing at the convention. Mark Ruffalo appeared only at this year’s Thursday Show. Mark Ruffalo, who most fans know as the character that plays The Hulk was for the most part the biggest movie star to appear at Comic Con 2018. However, to get a photo-op with Mark Ruffalo, it would cost you 200 dollars. That high price did not deter Avengers fans as the lines to get a photo-op with The Hulk were stretched all the way to Titan. Mark Ruffalo was the second Hulk to appear at a New York based Comic Con this year as just a few months ago the original Hulk, Lou Ferrigno appeared at Long Island’s Eternal Con.
Zachary Levi who first came to fame as the star of NBC’s wonderful series Chuck appeared at Comic Con 2018 on Thursday and Friday. Zachary Levi was charging 100 dollars for a photo-op which was the same price that William Shatner charged at last year’s New York Comic Con 2017. Levi’s price may go up next year depending on how well Shazam does at the box office.
Entertainment Guest at NYCC 2018
The television show Gotham had a heavy presence at NYCC 2018. Many of the show’s stars appeared this weekend on the Gotham panel and autograph sessions. Other noted film and television stars to appear at this years NYCC 2018 Comic Con were Dean Cain of Lois and Clark fame, along with Terry Hatcher who served as Dean’s co star on Lois and Clark.
Continuing with the list of big time stars appearing at NYCC 2018 Comic Con were such fine actors, actresses and favorites of ours such as Michelle Rodriguez of The Fast and The Furious fame, Stephen Lang of just about everything including Avatar, Danai Gurira of the The Walking Dead, and Marvel film The Black Panther, Jamie Alexandrea of Blindspot, Jason Moma of Aquaman, John C Mcginley of Stan Against Evil (although we have loved him since his amazing performance in Platoon) Neal P. McDonough who also has done just about everything. There were so many television and film stars appearing over the course of four days that it’s just too many to list here.
Comic Book Artists at NYCC 2018
NYCC 2018 is not just about entertainment guests, there was also a great schedule of legendary comic book artists including Alex Maleev, Greg Capullo, Jae Lee, Frank Miller, and our favorite comic book artist of all time, Kevin Maguire. There were over a hundred of the best comic book artist in the business signing autographs and engaging in conversation with their fans. In the end, it’s the comic book artists that originally fueled theses Comic Cons and so having so many great ones in the building is in essence what Comic Con is really what it’s about.
New York’s Comic Con does not stop at just entertainment and comic book artist guests. New York Comic Con 2018 also showcases a fabulous selection of many brilliant Literary Guests and Anime Guests.
Final Thoughts on New York Comic Con 2018
New York Comic Con first arrived in New York City in 2006. While the show’s first year got off to a rocky start because of overcrowding, the company that runs the show (ReedPOP) has gotten pretty good at providing a safe and wonderful environment for fans. While it still gets pretty crowded especially on the Show Floor, there is a limit on tickets. The company has also waged war against scalpers with its fan verification process.
Most fans spend the whole day at Comic Con. Because of the length of time we all spend there, it’s imperative that New York Comic Con is able to provide basic human needs like food and relief. From the culinary perspective, the Jacobs Javits Center offers many different food choices. The food trucks in the lots also present fans with some very tasty and not too expensive culinary delights.
There are many restrooms inside the Javits Center. However, the rest rooms are very small for such a huge venue.. The lines at times can be extremely long. There are also a row of porta potties outside, but who really wants to use them?
After standing in lines and walking around for hours, fans need a place to sit. There are chairs and tables at the center but finding and empty seat is more difficult than finding the Lost Ark. Most people find comfort on the street curbs outside and the inner walls and floors of the Javits Center.
If you have never been to a New York Comic Con, your missing out on an extremely fun experience. If you have kids, the Sunday show is devised for you. You don’t have to be a comic book fan to enjoy New York Comic Con. There is such a celebration of culture at Comic Con. Anyone is bound to be somethings that ignites their passion for living. In the end, what we enjoy most is the camaraderie among the fans. That is New York Comic Con.
New York Comic Con 2018 Cosplay Photos
All photographs Brian Kachejian ©2018
All photographs of Cosplay are displayed for the sole purpose of New York Comic Con Review. Photographs are not for to be reproduced in any fashion and are protected under Copyright Law.
The Show Floor And More At New York Comic Con 2018