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New York City Comic Con presented a four-day extravaganza from October 7-10, the nation’s largest graphic novel, sci-fi and fantasy convention, just behind its San Diego counterpart.
For the first time since the start of the deadly pandemic, the city streets were teeming with cosplayers who turned heads like their favorite fictional characters. Although this was under close pressure as hundreds of people gathered to enter the entertainment mecca, the number of fans was considerably lower than in previous years. Reedpop, the event’s organizer, made 140,000 badges available, well below the usual 250,000, with only Saturday sold out (Sunday children’s passes were also sold out). With less humanity cluttering up the expansive halls of the convention center, fans could freely explore the usual horde shoulder-to-shoulder – with strict COVID-19 security protocols still in place.
Everyone who entered the Javits Center, including talents such as actors, presented a green wristband which was only distributed to vaccinated adults or children under 12 who showed proof of a COVID-19 test negative. Face masks were also strongly encouraged inside the Javits Center.
Despite the fact that Comic Con looked quite different in 2021, that didn’t spoil the experience for longtime fans. Katie Stark has been meticulously crafting her own costumes and attending Comic Con for a decade now and says that while her mask may conflict with her costume, it’s all in the interest of safety.
“Of course it’s very different – the mask takes a bit off the costume, but we have to do what we need to do to keep people safe at the end of the day. There are other places I can go to take pictures, so in a convention setting it doesn’t matter as much. Everything to keep people safe, ”Stark told amNewYork Metro.
Artist Christian Masot has also been participating in Comic Con for several years, but this is the first time he has exhibited his works on his own stand. By signing his work and even painting in real time, Masot caught the attention of fans.
“I can tell you it’s a little different from normal years, but it doesn’t look any different, the only thing is you can really see the precautions they took. The aisles are wider, there is definitely less traffic for social distancing, but I’m telling you what: it feels so good to be back. I think this show does a lot for a lot of people, I think the show means a lot to a lot of people and I’m telling you, I haven’t been going there myself for a year, I felt it ”, a Masot declared.
The Comic Con itself is a multi-story event with various attractions designated for each zone, including the lounge where ticket holders can purchase comics, artwork and collectibles, a signature zone where celebrities take selfies and scribble their names on memorabilia, and staging areas where panelists chat and present upcoming movies, TV shows and graphic novels.
But perhaps one of the most notable new additions this year has been the Empire Stage – the culmination of a major expansion of the Javits Center, allowing for more floors and, in turn, more space. space for viewers to attend film premieres and listen to speakers.
Above all the glitz and glamor of the celebrities and cosplayers, for many the biggest takeaway from the event was simply their emotional return. Marvel and DC characters could be seen charging into each other’s arms as they reunited under a shared bond.