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New York ComicCon 2023

By Lori Perkins

ComicCon came to New York City in full force, brimming with cos-players of all kinds, as well as super fans and families (some dressed as cos-players, which is always a special delight for me because I used to take my own son to ComicCon as a young single mom).

I was always working during ComicCon, so I never really understood the cos-play aspect of it, but one attendee explained it simply for me this year: “The experience is very different as a cos-player versus an attendee,” he said. “Wearing a well-executed costume can make you feel like a minor celebrity for a day.”

Of course, this year there were many Marvel and DC super-heroes, Ghost Busters, Star Wars and Star Trekkies and Harry Potter cos-players, and surprisingly few Barbies, who I thought would dominate the arena. There were a lot of Loki’s of all shapes and sizes, as well as quite a few Ashoka's.

This year’s con did have a number of beloved celebrities (many did not show up for San Diego ComicCon because of the Hollywood writers and actors’ strikes), but they were mainly signing books and posters. If they were on panels, the panels were only 30 minutes and did not address their acting (because the SAG strike is still on-going). Ewan McGregor spent half of his 30 minutes talking about how important the strike and the union is; David Tennant talked about how boring his memoir would be if he wrote one; and Chris Evans spent most of his half hour sharing his personal history of dog ownership.

But the 200,000 people who attended over four days don’t only come to dress up and listen to celebrities. They come for their favorite artists whose work overflows artists’ alley on the lower level, where they are selling both classic and new comic book art. There are also a plethora of books, games, T-shirts and miscellany connected to the comic world that you can only get or see at a ComicCon (such as the Hallmark Christmas ornaments or the display of the Star Trek clothing for the Kid Cudi episode of Star Trek).

As a professional, there are also media events to highlight books and movies. One of the stand-outs I attended was a breakfast tea launch for RUINED, a real graphic novel (meaning erotic!). Written by Sarah Vaughn and co-illustrated with Niki Smith, this Bridgerton-esque, marriage of convenience story is one of the firsts in the market of its kind, reminding me of the kind of graphic novels that are a mainstay of the French comic book industry where they did issues of The Story of O. The thick book pubs in 11/23. Pre-order! You will not be disappointed.


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