New York Comic Con (NYCC) swung back into the Jacob Javits Convention Center on Thursday, kicking off a four-day weekend filled with cosplay, entertainment, and live discussions.
Thousands of superheroes, supervillains and pop culture aficionados walked the streets of Hudson Yards decked-out in intricate, handmade outfits inspired by film, television, graphic novels, and video games ready to partake in the entertainment mecca’s annual showcase.
While they are treated to everything from celebrity interactions, exclusive previews, limited edition merchandise, and much more, attendees say the real allure is finding community.
Dressed in a crisp black and white suit, Chris Cabezas clutched onto a plush pit-bull stuffed animal and a golden cross, items indicative of the famed assassin John Wick.
Cabezas had already grown out his hair and beard, so it wasn’t a far-reaching concept when he decided to embody Keanu Reeves’ hitman for his fifth year attending NYCC.
For Cabezas, dressing up is more than just a fun pastime, but a bridge to connect with other individuals.
“[Cosplay] opens up people. People are a lot more approachable than they are outside of here,” Cabezas said. “I was just talking with people on line for like an hour while we were just waiting to get in here.”
Cabezas shared that he will enjoy all four days of the convention with friends, adding that he will probably make new ones thanks to the welcoming community atmosphere that is fostered at this large-scale event.
Cosplaying is not for the faint of heart, especially for Barbie Chula, who could be found crawling along on the floor of Javits Center mimicking the supernatural monster in The Ring.
Every year, Chula dons an outfit she finds most terrifying, calling herself the Horror Queen. From donning clown makeup like the demon in Stephen King’s IT to masking her face as the Predator.
“I like to cosplay a lot, make friends, and go shopping,” Chula said, “Everybody can be whatever they want, you have fun meeting tons of people and make people happy with your costume and make up.”
New York Comic Con will run through Sunday and is expected to draw thousands of fans from in and outside of the Big Apple.