Since childhood, nothing made me feel better than being surrounded by superheroes and comic books. What always stuck to the back of my mind, was not attending the New York City Comic Con. Being a part of that environment would’ve definitely left an impression on a young me. And I mean like, a rare-collector, avid-reader, cosplay-type of impression. But as I got older with adulting to do (thanks, puberty), the chance of attending the Con started becoming a distant memory, pushed further and further back into my mind. That is, until Ms. Fate came through with an awesome surprise. My cousin told me of the magazine she works for, Geek Caster, and asked if I have any interest in writing any articles for them. Most definitely I jumped at the opportunity without hesitation. After answering questions from Michael Michael, the man behind the operation, I was invited to do something I only ever dreamed of: Attending my first Comic Con! It wasn’t NYCC, but it didn’t even matter! I was going to do something my kid self’s been wanting to do forever! So, on Saturday, March 9, and Sunday, March 10, 2019, on 34th street, I went to the Big Apple Comic Con, the longest-running convention to date. Kid Lu was more excited that an adult Lu.
On my first day, as I enter Hotel Pennsylvania, I notice the long line of people anticipating to get inside to bask in the world of superheroes, fantasy, and other genres. After receiving my press pass, I took the up escalator to the convention floor (The place where everyone sells their things), and I was speechless. From comics to merchandise, the place was littered with nostalgia and new things alike, catching my eye all at once. The stands were a bit overwhelming at first, but I became used to them after a while. What I discovered, actually, was not everyone is a famous artist selling just their comics and arts. There’s also striving artist trying to make a names for themselves. One particular vendor which caught my eye, was that of Dwayne Robinson and Terence Young, two artist looking to make a mark in the industry. Dwayne’s comic, Nightfall, is about Michael Vash, a young man whom discovers he is a werewolf by his mother. What truly intrigued me was how the comic starts out in black & white, being that Michael only lives in his truth: A High School Football player, boyfriend, brother, and a son. Nightfall then turns into color as he changes into a werewolf, forced to accept the actual truth. I’m a big, BIG fan of werewolves, so of course I had to get a copy. If anyone wants to check out their work, the website is www.animationcomicsent.com, Facebook page @AnimationComicsEntertainmentLLC, Instagram page @animationcomisent, and twitter page @anicomentllc.
Stan Lee Tribute: Excelsior Forever!
At 11:00, my cousin and I made our way down to the panel room, right at the Remember Stan segment. Danny Fingeroth, Jim Salicrup, and Peter David pay tribute and reminisce about the King of Cameos, the Father of Marvel Comics, “Smilin’” Stan “The Man” Lee. Though each individual shared their personal experiences with Mr. Lee, they just about ended with him being this charismatic, lovable, boisterous personality that can take over a room and grab people’s attention. Mr. Peter David recalled a story that grabbed my attention, showing it wasn’t only about comics and everything work-related. Mr. Lee was a stand up kind of man. He begins talking about the time where he was going through a divorce with his first wife, whom wanted full custody of their children. Down on his luck, and with nowhere to turn, he needed a character witness to help testify on his behalf. To the judges, lawyers on both sides, and the soon-to-be-ex-wife herself, were in COMPLETE shock that Mr. David was able to get such a character witness. Can you blame them?! Stan Lee! As a character witness! How great is that? There were also a question asked about whether he was happy with the direction Disney and his other characters were going, and each gave the answer that Mr. Lee was absolutely ecstatic how Disney and others are going with the directions with his characters after he sold the rights to Marvel (Probably because he got to be in every movie, and got paid a hefty sum of money). All in all, to be able to get a closer, personal inside look of a great icon, was a really great experience to be a part of most do not really get to have.
Captain Zorikh’s Costume Contest
Later on, was the final part of BACC: The cosplay contest. People stood in a line, and showed off their best cosplay of one of their favorite characters. Now, at first, I was out trying to guess characters, laughing, and having a great time. Until it truly dawned on me: This is what cosplay is truly about. This is a place where people can come, and be themselves. No one’s being looked at for dressing a certain way. Everyone smiles when you address them as their character. Cosplayers get compliments on the realism of their costumes and the materials they used to design them. And no matter what happens, everyone’s a winner! My favorite cosplayer of the contest would have to Mase Man, whom embodies the ideal freedom and enjoyment of cosplay without any consequences. And that is how it should be. No one should be judged off of how the way they want to live their life, or rather, live two completely different lives for the prevention of being seen as “weird” or “not normal.” People should be able to embrace others for whom they cannot be. This, and more, embodies that meaning, that feeling of accepting whom you are with confidence.
And this was only the first day! The second only gotten better. More about that coming soon! Keep looking out!