As a die-hard comic book fan, comic book conventions never fail to captivate me. Since I was five years old, the mythos of superheroes have played a significant role in my life, inspiring me as both an individual and creator.
As a result, each and every convention I go to, no matter how big or small, provides me with a sensation akin to opening a gift on Christmas morning. So, despite having gone to New York Comic Con in 2018, going to this year's event still felt as though I was experiencing a comic book convention for the very first time.
The Place to Be
Walking into the Javits Center, amongst other individuals who maintain similar passions as myself, is undoubtedly an overwhelming experience. The vastness of the complex in addition to the immeasurable number of people it can hold is something one must take a moment to appreciate.
With this, witnessing the adornment of the center with depictions of fan-favorite characters and sagas can feel like a dream.
Of course though, a major aspect of the Javits Center's magic lies in its setting of New York City. The artistry and the wits that the city births, bleeds through its famous streets.
Consequently, the Javits Center presents a conglomeration of artistic creativity from both the city, and globally, in the form of New York Comic Con.
Comic book conventions can often draw people in through their high profile panels and celebrities. Of course, these are awesome aspects to any comic con. However, my personal belief is that the heart of New York Comic Con, and any comic book convention for that matter, is its Artist Alley.
Being able to walk among those who created some of the most influential, fictional characters of all time is a powerful thing. It is also enthralling to witness these creators write and draw right before your eyes.
As you observe these artists and writers engaging with their imagination throughout Artist Alley, you witness both the humility and passion many of these creators maintain.
Of course, observing these artists and writers is only one part of the awesomeness New York Comic Con presents because actually being able to meet these creators is even better.
Some of my personal favorite creators include Artgerm, Tim Sale, Joyce Chin, and Scott Snyder. All of them, and various others, were in attendance in Artist Alley.
Like the vastness of the Javits Center, seeing some of your favorite creators in one space is an overwhelming thing. Though, no matter how. intimidating, getting to meet these creators is absolutely priceless.
I managed to interact with Artgerm and purchase a print of one of my favorite Catwoman variants of his. I also got to meet Joyce Chin and acquire prints of her work on Wolverine and The Mighty Thor directly from her.
Of course, I am fully capable of getting these prints online, but there is a certain pleasure that comes with getting them from the creators themselves and expressing your appreciation for their work face-to-face.
Overall, the experience of personally engaging with these creators and getting an understanding of their own inspirations is something that you truly cannot capture in an article such as this. It is an experience I would highly recommend to any comic book fan who has yet to attend a comic book convention of any level.
But Wait...There's More!
As aforementioned multiple times, the Javits Center is incredibly large. Thus, it takes a while to truly explore all that New York Comic Con has to offer, especially across the main Exhibition Hall.
Though, if you are willing to take the time, walking throughout the exhibits multiple times is worthwhile. I honestly do not know how much time I spent scanning the comic books of various vendors because there are an infinite number of vendors present at the con.
Walking through the Exhibition Hall, one can truly witness the history comic books have held. Of course, there is the literal sense depicted in the vendors who sell Golden Age comics.
However, there is another sense in which you can see the growth of the industry. There are a multitude of imprints, characters, sagas, and reinterpretations of comics that have constructed multiverses of content. Thus, one can witness this particular evolution in the convention's presence of merchandise, comics, creators, etc. that maintain generations of interpretations of characters.
Comic books have a deep-rooted history, and you can easily live it at New York Comic Con.
So, if you find yourself walking across the floors of a convention, be sure to take a minute to think of the legacy and impact comics have set for themselves.
Now, there are several inevitable aspects that come with any comic book convention. However, the most recognizable of these aspects arguably lies in the cosplayers.
I myself have cosplayed various times in the past, and I can assure you it is quite the exhilarating experience.
Not only does cosplay permit a degree of self-expression, but it also promotes an individual's creativity and passion in regard to the character they are portraying.
Therefore, I wanted to be sure I captured as many cosplay moments as I could. This is why I have included a multitude of photos of cosplayers I met at the convention, cosplayers who inspire me to step up my game.
Obviously, there is plenty to do at a comic book convention. Attending panels is a great way to gain more insight into the development of a new series. So, this year, I took the time to attend the anticipated Dawn of X panel.
Growing up, the characters of the X-Men mythos were of great interest to me. Jean Grey is undoubtedly one of my favorite superheroes. In fact, I cosplayed as Dark Phoenix at the 2018 New York Comic Con. Thus, attending the Dawn of X panel was a no-brainer for me as I wanted to be among the first to know what was coming for the X-Men.
Now, the phrase Dawn of X refers to the newest relaunch of the X-Men franchise, following the ResurrXion relaunch that commenced in 2017.
Thus, the latest iteration of the X-Men began with Jonathan Hickman's acclaimed work on House of X and Powers of X, series that have certainly provided a dramatic alteration to the X-Men mythos.
With this, there are a variety of new titles coming with Dawn of X in early 2019 and early 2020. Among these is Marauders, a pirate-esque story to be written by Gerry Duggan with Kitty Pryde at the helm of the adventure.
Jonathan Hickman's slate looks to get busier as he takes on X-Men and New Mutants, the latter alongside Ed Brisson. Now, this new X-Men title will feature an evolving roster with each installment.
Like I said before though, Jean Grey is one of my favorite superheroes and without a doubt my favorite X-Men character. Consequently, I cannot wait for Benjamin Percy and Joshua Cassara's take on X-Force in which Jean Grey and Domino will be featured, and that is a team-up I do not want to miss.
Fan-favorites Rogue, Gambit, and Jubilee will embark on an adventure alongside Captain Britain in Excalibur, from Tini Howard and Marcus To, while Psylocke will star in Fallen Angels from Bryan Edward Hill and Szymon Kudranski with X-23 and Cable making appearances.
Now, the real surprise came upon the end of the panel when a new Wolverine solo series was announced with Benjamin Percy and Adam Kubert developing.
Percy himself stated that Wolverine Is his favorite X-Men character of all time, and he is ecstatic to be taking a stab at the character.
So, it is safe to say I left this panel with a lot of excitement. There seems to be a lot of creative, and even a little risky, ideas being brought to the table, providing the X-Men with a relaunch that, at the very least, will be remembered for its boldness.
New York, New York
The benefit of attending a convention in New York City is the capability to leave the convention and explore a variety of other activities.
As a result, I was able to take a stroll through Central Park and on The High Line. I was able to see the latest exhibits of The Met and grab lunch at Hudson Yards.
Unsurprisingly, after walking throughout New York City and the convention itself, I came back home incredibly exhausted. In fact, I'm still recovering.
Though, to say that this experience was one of my favorite events of 2019 is a vast understatement.