To be sure, while it is easy enough to dismiss NYCC as a gathering of Nerds, it is truly something far more than that. Every year, when the mainstream media covers this event they tend to only see the cosplayers, and attend the big flashy news conferences held by the larger players in this field, but truthfully, there really is so much more to ComicCon than what you see on the surface of the event.
NY ComicCon is actually a far-reaching cultural event of epic proportions, as thousands of like-minded people descend on the Davit’s center this weekend, you can see that there is a larger population than one3 might imagine. Still, even as all these folks head towards this nexus of all realities, you can see that it isn’t just one thing that propels thee people to wear their passion out in the open. They are gamers, cosplayers, and fans. They read manga, sci-fi, and comics. Hey watch movies, TV and the play on the Internet. They watch TV and movies. Their interests range from The Walking Dead, Twilight, King Arthur, westerns, and everything in between.
Any attempt to quantify who these people are, or to pigeonhole them into a particular category will simply backfire, as there is so much crossover between genres that any such attempt will simply backfire as they will skitter off to the corners. ComicCon is the very heart of Geek culture and if you don’t believe that Geek culture is powering a goodly part of what you are seeing all you need do is check out shows like Big Bang Theory, or a CSI when they investigate a homicide at a Furry convention or a Comicbook show.
Thematically, it would be very hard to codify the type of individual who comes to ComicCon, as the gene pool is so completely and totally diverse. Men dressed as female characters, women dressed as male characters. Superman, Batman, Spider-Man Captain America, Poison Ivy, zombies, Steampunk, anime, Goth, soldiers, men in kilts. It takes all kinds to populate ComicCon, including fans, pros, semi-pros, parents and children. Men and women with tattoos and piercings, as well as rather ordinary people simply wandering wide eyed up and down the aisles carrying large blow-up Godzillas. Oh, and if you are looking for Waldo or even Kevin Smith look-a-likes you are sure to find them here as well.
Still, while it is more than just Nerds at play, the Con is a great event for like-minded people to gather and share their passions, discuss the business of comics, as well as the fun of it all. So if you ever have the opportunity to attend one of these events — weather it is one of the massive multi-media events in one of the large cities around the country, or just one of the smaller, more intimate events in smaller venues — we highly suggest that you take the opportunity to see what all the hub-bub is about. After all, comicbooks are one of the only truly American forms of art that exist in the world.
Robert J. Sodaro has been reviewing comicbooks for some 30 years. During that time, his reviews and articles have appeared in numerous print publications, as well as on the web. Subscribe to receive regular comicbook articles and reviews.