Crafty, Vitamin D-deprived legions of fans flooded West 34th Street from Thursday, Oct. 11 to Sunday, Oct. 14, to attend this year’s New York Comic Con (NYCC), a four-day convention dedicated to comics, film, television and nerd culture at the Jacob K. Javits Convention Center in New York, N.Y.
Of the many vendors, professionals and fans who attended the event, several stood out as if they were lifted right off the page, panel or screen: the cosplayers.
“Cosplay” is a common convention practice of dressing up like a character from a show, film or book and interacting with other attendees and characters, third-year theater major and convention veteran Julia Fell said.
Those who participate are often solicited for photos from other convention guests and brought into full role-playing situations.
Though she spent last year’s convention decked out in full Victorian regalia as a fan favorite character from “Doctor Who,” Fell said she decided to pull back a bit from the grand spectacle of a home-made costume to create a more simple outfit as Katniss Everdeen, the main character of “The Hunger Games” trilogy.
Fell said she thinks people choose to cosplay to show off their costuming and crafting skills, and to demonstrate their enthusiasm and love for whatever movie, television show, comic book or fandom they’re involved in without the often awkward introductions.
“At conventions like these, I think a lot of people who attend have trouble introducing themselves normally,” Fell said. “This is a great way to meet people who you know you have something in common with.”
Unlike Fell, Marie Smith, a first-year undeclared major, donned the mantle of DC Comic’s Robin for her first NYCC venture.
Smith said she was underwhelmed by some of the costumes she saw throughout the event, expecting a higher caliber of costume-work at such a large convention.
“I felt some of them were a bit lackluster for [NYCC],” Smith said. “I was expecting these mind-blowing crafted costumes but it seemed like people just went to Party City and picked up a spandex slutty Batman suit.”
However, she said she was impressed by her fellow Batman cosplayers, many of whom she posed with for pictures, especially one man dressed as the Joker who stayed in character throughout their meeting, referring to her as “Birdboy” and laughing maniacally at random intervals.
“I think cosplaying is a combination of costuming, acting, photography and modeling,” Smith said. “Cosplayers are the highlight of the event.”
Ariana Blucca, a first-year undeclared major who has attended the convention once before, went to the event dressed as Merida from Disney’s animated film “Brave,” as it will also be her Halloween costume. She dyed her own curly hair red to more accurately play the part of the ginger princess.
Blucca said she thinks cosplaying at conventions has the same appeal as Halloween for those who want to escape their otherwise boring lives.
“Whether it’s a superhero or a princess, you get to be whoever you want to be,” Blucca said.
– By Katherine Speller | Features Editor
*Photos Courtesy of Dylan Gonzalez