When New York Comic Con, the largest comic convention on the east coast, was held in the Javits Center, people from all over turned up with their passions in tow. Popular companies, various artists, famous writers, actors, and directors all met to showcase their work – whether it be comics, movies, TV, videogames, books, toys, art, or something else just as awesome.
Another integral component of this event is fan participation – a huge portion of attendance comes in costume. My favorite was torn between a bawler Iron Man who was a total ringer for Robert Downey Jr, and an adorable boy who made a perfect Avatar Aang. And of course there were tons of Guardians of the Galaxy, Legend of Korra, and League of Legends cosplayers as well. Take a look at some of the great cosplays I ran into on Friday in the featured slideshow.
This year, walking around the city in the aftermath of the convention each day, it dawned on me just how much of an impact cosplay culture really has. Related status updates from unlikely people were scattered across my Facebook, local bars and restaurants had Comic-con specials for those who were dressed up, and exclusive cosplay afterparties raged across New York. Moreover, I continued to see people in cosplay halfway across the city and even on the PATH train back to Hoboken.
As it was my first year with an outfit that I actually thought about and didn’t just throw together the day before, the overall welcoming attitude and helpfulness of the community surprised me.
It’s interesting. On a normal basis people tend to be so private to the point of avoiding eye contact – but once you put on a costume or a mask, they have no problem walking right up to you and conversing as if they know you. Strangers turn into characters people know and love, and they’re comfortable with that. Or maybe it’s the person behind the mask that becomes bolder, more approachable. Probably a bit of both.
Either way the community was very friendly – maybe a little too friendly, according to the alarming signs strewn about the venue that read “Cosplay is not consent”. It’s a shame that people didn’t know on their own to keep their hands to themselves, but at least they seem to have smacked down the rules pretty clearly now, as these billboards outlined the anti-harassment policy of Comic-con in extensive detail.
Overall I think that cosplay has command of quite a large audience. It’s a fun, creative way to interactively show support for the shows and games you love. By building upon the cosplay community, we can help one another with costumes & props and challenge each other to create great new designs that really bring our favorite fictional wonderlands to life.
In your opinion, what would a world where cosplay is mainstream look like? Would that be something to look forward to? Is cosplay too mainstream already?
Leave your comments below, and don’t forget, I took a few pictures of some great cosplays from NYCC 2014! Check out the slideshow and see for yourself!