Here in New York, October is the weirdest time of year. Amongst the ordinary folks making their way around town, there’s an odd parade of costumed nerds that makes its way steadily to Javits Center in midtown one weekend, where they get to experience the biggest pop culture collective on the east coast: New York Comic Con. It’s a place for geeks of all flavors to gather together to share their interests and learn about entertainment industries. The convention is celebrating its tenth anniversary this year, so here are some of the things that have changed about the convention since it began.
In a word? It’s up. In the past couple of years, acquiring NYCC tickets has become notoriously competitive, and all tickets are almost always sold out within a few hours of going on sale. Last year, NYCC’s attendance numbers even topped San Diego’s Comic Con, the original and what many consider the greatest in the country. The expected tally for this year is over 150,000 people – it’s a lot to squeeze in, even somewhere as big as Javits Center.
You can see everyone at Comic Con, from independent artists selling their works to amazingly famous people like Lucy Liu, Sean Bean, and Bryan Cranston. Last year, William Shatner even made an appearance, a true joy for the Star Trek fans in attendance. This year, the roster spans the entertainment and comics industries, with actors, writers, artists, directors, producers, and everyone in between.
The New Convenience
For many years, the one biggest hurdle for convention attendees was the long trek between the nearest subway station (Penn Station, at 34th Street and 8th Avenue) and the convention center. The three-avenue-block walk might seem okay for someone dressed comfortably, but for the many who came dressed up to the nines and even higher, the journey was arduous indeed. Those people are happy this year because of the MTA’s extension of the 7 Line: it now stops just across the street from Javits Center, cutting down on the walking time and adding to the convenience. As a bonus, the station is new enough that it hasn’t gotten all grimed up like the rest of the subway has.
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