Once a year in Midtown NYC, something strange happens. You might be on the subway to work and a man dressed as Ash Ketchum bumps into you, but you think nothing of it, because it's New York. It gets to lunchtime, a woman dressed as as the Cat in the Hat is smoking a cigarette and drinking coffee outside a deli — odd, but still it's New York. But when you're finally heading out for the day and get knocked over by a group of people dressed as Deadpool, it can only mean one thing: Comic Con.
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The setting for the world's largest pop culture convention this year was the 840,000 square feet Javits Center, a building that hardly felt big enough for the 200,000 people that turned up over the weekend. The convention is comprised of hundreds of stalls, big and small, independent businesses selling comics, gaming giants advertising the latest Avengers game, or companies like Geico giving people free bags in exchange for their data.
The show floor was heaving. Immediately upon entrance, you joined a slow moving river of people with very few riverbanks to get out. This busyness was a theme throughout: thousands lined up to pay $250 for the autograph of Pippen from Lord of the Rings, and there was a queue of roughly 300 hungry people to get a portion of bland, $15 chicken tenders.
The main attraction of the weekend, though, was the cosplay. People put insane effort into their Comic Con outfits. Some can spend up to six hours getting ready every day for each of the convention's days, assembling intricate costumes and applying stunning makeup. Some, like the man in the Trump Superman shirt, put considerably less effort into their look.
The days were long, and our heroes need to eat and rest, so the hallways and food courts of the Javits center were as busy as the show floor. Disney princesses ate pizza while checking Instagram, wile some of the thousands of Jokers took naps and Darth Maul enjoyed some nachos and a Bud Light.
Unlike at a trendy bar or fashion show, at Comic Con, if you're dressed in the same look as someone else, fucking fantastic. Instead of avoiding their costume counterpart, people were high-fiving their doppelgängers and taking photos together. Turns out sharing the love is more fun than enjoying it alone.
Photography: Adam Powell