There’s a stigma in our culture of Comic-Con being extremely nerdy. I mean, we’ve seen stereotypical nerds in movies and television (The Big Bang Theory, anyone?), and when we hear the term “nerdy,” that’s what we associate it with. Well, not anymore. Comic-Con has evolved and isn’t even solely comics anymore. It now includes movie franchises, television shows, graphic novels, web series, manga, anime, and video games. It has transcended the “Trekkie” pocket-protector idea in the cultural imagination and has refashioned itself into an all-out media convention.
Unfortunately, I didn’t get to go this year (sob), but I heard so much about it from my friends, and there are pictures everywhere online. This past year had an infinite amount of fandoms represented. Some of them included (in alphabetical order):
Buffy the Vampire Slayer
Dr. Horrible’s Sing Along Blog
Game of Thrones
Guardians of the Galaxy
Legend of Korra
Lord of the Rings
And these weren’t it by far. No, NYCC was huge this year. After looking through the schedule for the weekend (Thursday-Sunday), I couldn’t even get through the list of panels and autographing sessions because of how long it was. It seemed like every fandom had about 1,000 things happening.
For those of you who have managed to read this far and still aren’t quite sure what Comic-Con even is, that’s a great question. Comic-Con is a media convention that (like its name suggests) originated as a soiree for comic book lovers. And, as I’ve mentioned earlier, it has evolved way past that singular line of interest. Now, I’m going to be honest, when I said it wasn’t as nerdy as the stigma makes it seem… I was lying a little bit. It’s not as nerdy as it is stereotypically deemed, but it can still be pretty nerdy. Most of the people going do so proudly, however.
At this year’s NYCC, there were panels about each and every thing you could ask for — every part of every fandom and beyond. But what’s a panel, you ask? Pretty much a bunch of “experts” on the subject sit at a table at the front of a room and get asked questions. So if it’s a panel about props in Harry Potter, for example, then prop-makers from Harry Potter would be sitting at the front ready to answer questions about the wands.
Some of the panels were all about feminism and getting rid of the stereotypical sexism in (some) comics and empowering female characters in all types of media entertainment. Some were about how comics have changed in the last 50 years since Comic-Con first started. One was about celebrating Doctor Who over the last 50 (yes, it’s been a thing for that long) years.
Now, if anyone were to decide to go to NYCC, they wouldn’t see anyone dressed normally. Why’s that? Everyone cosplays (glorified dress-up). People go with varying degrees of cosplaying — from wearing a costume vaguely resembling a certain character to doing extensive background research and refusing to break character even to buy a pretzel for lunch. To be honest, though? It’s way more fun than it sounds. Kinda like Halloween for “nerdy” (we’re using the term loosely now) teens/adults. Plus, if that character is there, you can take a picture twinning with them! If your cosplay costume is really good, you can even compete in contests.
Yeah, NYCC was awesome this year, and it just keeps moving on and around the world. There’s a countless amount of them, all around the world, so I highly recommend you find one near you and give getting down and nerdy a shot.