By Jeremiah Rivera
Swarms of comic book fanatics dashed to Manhattan on October 8th as the Jacob Javits Center kicked off their 9th annual Comic Convention. With over one hundred exhibits and numerous panels, Comic Con took New York City by storm. Fans from far and near experienced exclusive looks at television programs such as Nickelodeon’s “Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles” and CBS’ upcoming “Supergirl” series.
Visitors had first access to get news about upcoming projects like Funimation’s “Dragon Ball Super” and other comic titles from Marvel and DC Comics to name a few.
As part of a marketing campaign for DC Entertainment’s upcoming 2016 film “Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice,” visitors logged into a free Wi-Fi network under the name LexCorp while at the event. For those who are not familiar, LexCorp is the name of the enterprise owned by the film’s antagonist Lex Luthor. Once signed into the network a video from LexCorp Industries appeared and provided insight on the new project . It also notified visitors of a free phone charging station located near the Batman V Superman booth.
A variety panels at Comic Con covered topics that ranged from LGBT representation in comics to highlights on particular comic book characters. Visitors enjoyed entertainment or attended discussions as part of the convention. “Hip-Hop & Comics: Cultures Combining” was one of the more contemporary panels which brought attention to the relationship between art,music, and diversity. The panel was led by Patrick A. Reed who is the founder of pop culture journal Depth of Field as well as being a writer for MTVGeek and Comics Alliance. “Hip-Hop incorporates dance, visual arts, music, graffiti, breakdance, as well as music and DJing” Reed said adding. “There’s all these elements that go into Hip-Hop culture and the same way for comic culture because it has gone from simply comic books to animation to as far as martial arts and toy collecting.”
Up and coming artists, writers, and editors spoke with talent scouts from Marvel in the “Breaking into Comics the Marvel Way” panel. Attendees networked with one another in this small community of young visionaries as well as had their questions answered on how to break into the business and learned about employment and internship opportunities at Marvel.
“When you submit your portfolios, we want to see your original work before we let you take on one of our characters,” said panelist Robbi Rodriguez, a Marvel artist and creator of the Spider-Gwen comic. “Were want to see your ability to story tell and see how well your art skills are.”
One of the panels that focused on the entertainment aspect of Comic Con was Nickelodeon’s “The Splat” panel hosted by the cast of the 90’s hit show All That. The prominent purpose of the panel was to announce the eight hour TeenNick takeover programing. Everyone in the audience was mesmerized by the “All That”cast reunion which included Lori Beth, Kel Mitchell, and Danny Tamberelli to name a few. Kingsborough Community College undergraduate Erin Cortes said the 90’s era had the best shows on television.
“Finally, I’ve been waiting for something like this for years, the nineties had the best TV shows,” Cortes said.
The cast also came together and shared behind-the-scenes insight into the beloved show which ran from 1994-2005. The group also answered fans’ questions.
Comic Con is a four day event where cosplayers, celebrities, aspiring artists, and fans of comics or movies gather to have a great time and celebrate the testament that is the power of for imagination. To get the full Comic Con experience it is suggested to buy passes for all four days in order to check out the different panels for a favorite television show, movie or even insight on a favorite comic book story or character. If the visitor is an aspiring artist, Comic Con is definitely the place to find the inspiration and an environment to network with other artists and storytellers.
“I’ve always wanted to go to Comic Con” said Amy Martinez, who wore a Sailor Moon costume, adding “It’s been on my bucket list for years. It gives me a reason to dress up in costume and celebrate with so many interesting people.”