Courtesy of Adam Wolfe, with contributions from Hugh Sheridan, Madeline Ricchiuto, Gavin Sheehan, Sofia Annunziata, Jason Borelli, Joe Glass and Freddy Valle – the whole Bleeding Cool team were out photographing the fine cosplayers of New York Comic Con 2017. And they have so much to show off!
Cosplay has always been a central visual focus of the show, but do you know of its history?
The New York Comic Con is a for-profit event produced and managed by ReedPOP, a division of Reed Exhibitions and Reed Elsevier. The first con was held in 2006 at the Jacob K. Javits Convention Center. Attendance was far more than anticipated, and the main exhibition hall could only hold 10,000. The main exhibition hall hit capacity Saturday morning and was locked by the fire marshals until people left, with the lockdown ending in the afternoon. Major guests, including Kevin Smith and Frank Miller, could not enter the main hall. Reed announced that additional space would be acquired for the 2007 show. The second con was held in 2007, with the convention organizer booking double the floor space than the previous year’s space, and moving to the upper level of the Javits Center. Due to better planning, advance ticket sales were controlled, and the convention sold out for Saturday. Lines started forming at midnight Saturday to enter the convention, and by Saturday morning, there was an 2-hour wait in 20 degree temperatures to enter. Crowding was a problem in the Artists Alley, which was off the main convention floor, causing it to be moved to the main floor for 2008 The American Anime Awards, hosted by New York Comic Con, was held on February 24 at the New Yorker Hotel, during the Comic Con. The third con held in 2008 moved to April, continued to grow (expanding space by 50%), and occupied most of the main level in the Javits Center. Stan Lee was awarded the inaugural New York Comics Legend Award at the Times Square Virgin Megastore before the Comic Con. Kids’ Day programming was added to the convention on Sunday with the help of Kids’s Comic Con. The fourth con held in 2009 returned to February and featured a charity art auction to support The Hero Initiative. Due to scheduling conflicts with the Javits Center for spring dates and the creation of the Chicago Comic & Entertainment Expo by Reed, New York Comic Con was moved to October for Halloween starting in 2010. The New York Anime Festival, previously a separate event created by Reed, was also merged into Comic Con. Registration for the combined events was 190 percent ahead of 2009’s numbers, convention space was increased by an additional 40 percent, and the anime festival was moved to the lower level of the Javits. The main floor of the convention center was split by a large construction area due to repairs to the Javits Center. Intel Extreme Masters Global Challenge – New York took place in Comic Con 2011. It featured eSport tournaments for games such as StarCraft II, League of Legends, and Counter-Strike. In 2011, the convention was expanded to four days. The first day of the convention was initially limited to press, professionals, and fans that purchased a four-day pass. This changed in 2013, when single day Thursday passes were put on sale for the first time. With this addition, attendance at New York Comic Con grew to over 130,000, which placed the attendance of the convention on par with San Diego Comic-Con for the first time ever. In 2014, NYCC’s attendance reached 151,000, surpassing SDCC to become the largest comic book convention in North America; the latter is unable to grow further due to venue capacity limits and an attendance cap of 130,000.In 2016, it was announced that everyone attending NYCC 2016 would be required to complete a “Fan Verification” profile. The event organizers explained that this step was implemented in an attempt to reduce the amount of scalpers and resellers who purchase tickets. Fan Verification would only be open from May 20 – June 14, and tickets purchased could only be assigned to someone with a profile. It was also announced that NYCC would no longer be selling VIP tickets, and that show tickets would not be sold at any retailers or events leading up to NYCC 2016. In 2017, the sale of 3-day and 4-day passes to the event were discontinued. Only single day Thursday, Friday, Saturday, Sunday, and Sunday kids tickets would be sold for the event.