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Universes Converge At New York Comic Con

Perhaps the fastest growing part of geekdom in the comic world is comic con. Fans get to see the first footage of their favorite shows, meet and pose with famous actors and entertainers, and even dress up as their favorite character. WAMC’s Patrick Garrett wasn’t in character but was on the floor this past weekend at New York Comic Con.

Comics, movies, television series, sci-fi, anime, cosplayers, plushies, pillows, posters, and action figures packed the Javits Convention Center floor in New York City. The bustling convention center featured items available for purchase, pre-order, trading, and collecting. Some were molded figures, others could move to pose in heroic stances.

Merchandise took up most of the floor but sitting in the corner occupying about a fifth of the floor space were old fashioned comic book retailers. One of those was Anthony’s Comic Book Art, which took up multiple booths. Shannon Miller, a vendor for the shop, detailed the sheer of mass of product for sale.

"Comic con is super hectic, New York Comic Con is super hectic just because everyone mobs booths. New York is a huge buying show and other places is like small retailer like I came to meet this person. And comic-con is just like everyone is here to buy stuff, all the time. That's what sets it apart is it's a very big retail show."

Anthony’s even bought out another vendor’s booth for the last day just to push more stuff. For a non-fan, the numbers can be staggering.

"We probably have 30,000 comics.. we have at least 150 long boxes," explained Miller.

Online outlets reported a record attendance of more than 180,000 people across multiple venues in the city, including the Hammerstein Ballroom and Madison Square Garden. New York Comic Con has grown to become the largest comic convention to date. And it only continues to get bigger.

Across dozens of panels and screenings, fans were able to get a sneak peek of what’s to come for their favorite franchise. Attendees saw footage for the upcoming Netflix series Iron Fist, which is the fourth installment on the streaming service for Marvel. Previously, Netflix had teased footage for the Defenders, a similar but albeit smaller group of superheroes like the Avengers. Showrunners revealed that actress Sigourney Weaver of Alien and Ghostbusters fame will play the villain in the series. Big shows making an appearance included the Walking Dead, Power Rangers, Ash Vs. Evil Dead, Justice League Dark, among many others.

People dressed as their favorite characters dotted the showroom as well as the sidewalks outside. Cosplayer Kris Cambria said it took her multiple weeks to recreate Spider-Gwen, a popular character from the Spiderman universe.

"I worked on this for about a month, I would come home every night to work on it... everything is custom... I found just a really good pattern."

Cosplayers are a newer staple of conventions. Some people have even made it into a profession, selling prints, autographs, and even fabrics for other cosplayers. Shannon Miller said her favorite part of cosplaying is engaging with the community.

"Just standing at the booth I see everyone that goes down my aisle, I meet everyone, and that's part of what makes cosplay really cool is that it gives people an excuse to talk to you, it gives you an excuse to talk to people. You create such amazing connections by doing that. You would never say hi to a person on the street unless they were dressed up like a crazy person and running around as your favorite character."

For more on Comic Con and everything else in the world of geekdom, subscribe to the WAMC podcast RetConned. 

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