Con Report: New York Comic Con 2021

It’s been about 2 weeks since New York Comic Con took place in New York City and I wanted to do a little write up about my thoughts about the con.

I’m really happy that New York Comic Con (NYCC) was able to take place in 2021. After nothing happening in 2020, I truly missed the con scene. I’ve been attending anime and comic cons annually since 2007. My first NYCC was in 2008 and while I haven’t gone EVERY year since then, I’ve gone more often than not. In the past few years I got more into cosplaying and I’ve been cosplaying Harley Quinn from the movies – I was sad not to be able to debut a new look in 2020 but alas, nothing we can do about a pandemic.

This year, NYCC required all attendees to provide proof of vaccination (or I believe a negative test – I know a negative test was acceptable for children who cannot yet get vaccinated, but I’m not sure about those over 12 and adults) – but regardless, I’m happy everyone had to provide proof they didn’t have COVID and masks were required indoors at all times. And everyone followed this rule! Even when cosplayers had their photos taken indoors, they wore a mask. I saw some photoshoots happening without masks, but generally those people were not around others so that didn’t bother me.

I only attended 2 days this year, Thursday and Friday. Those are generally the quieter days anyway but this year Thursday felt like a ghost town – it was so surreal to see so fewer people in attendance. NYCC limited the amount of tickets for sale and expanded the size of the show floor and space they had – and it really showed! I never felt overcrowded and there always felt like there was space to walk around without being on top of others. I will say Friday did feel a litle more crowded than Thursday, especially on the show floor, but overall I was impressed.

I did attend one panel on the “main stage” and I will say the queuing system was awful – everyone was packed into corrals like cattle and it was a tight fit until we were allowed into the seating area. I can’t speak for other highly sought after panels (like Ghostbusters or Outlander) but I can only imagine those were less than ideal COVID situations in terms of lining up.

I have to mention how perfect the weather was this year. The first weekend in October can go either way but this year the weather both days I attended was so perfect. Not hot, not cold, about 65 F so it was truly beautiful and one of the best NYCC in recent memory in terms of weather!

Side note, I’ve started a cosplay instagram if anyone is interested in that, I’d appreciate any follows! (New page, who dis.) https://www.instagram.com/missykittycosplay/

Ok so, what did I actually do?

Thursday:

8am – I started off Thursday by actually going to get rush tickets for a Broadway show LOL. I went to the Booth Theatre for Freestyle Love Supreme. Box office opened at 10am and I was able to get tickets for previews opening night! From there I walked over to the Javits where NYCC is always held.

11:15-12:15 am – I attended the Universal and Unique: Experiencing Life as a Teen panel. Bookseller Ali Kokmen dives into the challenges created for their protagonists by Naomi Novik (THE LAST GRADUATE), Alexandra Leigh Young (IDOL GOSSIP), Victoria Lee (A LESSON IN VENGEANCE), and Chloe Gong (THESE VIOLENT DELIGHTS).

I had a lot of fun at this panel and it was great to see authors in person again!

Then I walked around and met up with some friends for a while! It was nice to have a relaxing afternoon, not rushing around and just being able to meet up and chat with friends. It was also great to be able to actually sit down and eat lunch! Thats not something I typically do at cons LOL.

At 2pm I got in line for the Brian K. Vaughan autographing – I recently finished reading the Saga graphic novel series and loved it so I was thrilled the writer would be at NYCC. It was a long line which shows how much love people have for Vaughan’s works. I hope to read his Paper Girls graphic novel series next – but open to any recommendations!

I briefly popped into the Conventions, Games, and other Fannish Delights! panel. Nerd out with Petra Mayer (NPR), Ryan La Sala (BE DAZZLED), William Evans and Omar Holmon (BLACK NERD PROBLEMS), Alexis Nedd (DON’T HATE THE PLAYER), and Lincoln Michel (THE BODY SCOUT). It was insightful and I’m glad I could catch part of it!

I spent some time walking the entirety of Artist Alley after that! I’ve never walked all of Artist Alley and I’m glad I had the time to do so this year. There is so much talent out there, I highly recommend visiting the Artist Alley of any con you visit! I ended up buying two pieces of art, Loki and Sylvie from the Loki Disney+ show by @BriannaCherry! You can see the digital artwork here. I saw her stuff come across my Twitter feed and when I saw she would be at NYCC, I knew it was fate and I needed these pieces for myself! (I’m planning to frame them and hang them up – I just have to go get frames from Michaels.)

And then it was time to go grab some dinner before heading to see Freestyle Love Supreme! This is an improv show with different performers each night and they use suggestions from the audience to make their show so it’s fun! I saw it before the pandemic 3x, and at the time of writing this post I’ve seen it twice more after that for a total of 6x. They allow videos & photos at the end, so check out my YouTube video for a brief glimpse into this show.

Friday:

Needless to say after a long day Thursday, I was pretty exhausted. I let myself sleep in a little and arrived at NYCC around 11am. So late for me LOL. I didn’t have any plans in the morning so I enjoyed walking the entire show floor and occasionally stopping when people asked to take my photo – that always makes me so happy. I do my cosplays for myself so when someone else also enjoys it, it brings me joy.

I checked out the new building they were using and it was a great location for photoshoots, a lot of open space and windows, it was gorgeous! As I was leaving that building to go back to the main building, a NYCC staff member stopped me and asked if I wanted to have my portrait taken – of course I said yes! So he brought me and another cosplayer up to a make-shift photo studio they had set up. It was a lot of fun and I love how the photos turned out!

I was actaully on my way to a panel when I was pulled aside, but I’m glad I had my portrait taken and showed up a little late to the panel which was Romance in Dark Fantasy for Teens featuring Marie Lu (STEELSTRIKER), Marie Rutkoski (THE HOLLOW HEART), and Victoria Lee (A LESSON IN VENGEANCE), and moderated by Ryan La Sala (THE HONEYS). This panel was fantastic and I’m glad I attended! Afterwards I went to the autographing session and had my copy of The Kingdom of Back signed my Marie Lu and told her how just before I read this book I was actually in Austria and visited Mozart’s Birth Home, so this book meant even more to me after that.

I went right back into the panel room then for Love In the Time of the Pandemic which might have been my favorite panel I attended! Journalist Lily Herman will discuss the joys of Happily Ever After, or at least Happy For Now, with Brigid Kemmerer (DEFY THE NIGHT), K.M. Jackson (HOW TO MARRY KEANU REEVES IN 90 DAYS), and Christina Lauren (THE SOULMATE EQUATION). This was a fun panel with talks of romance and life in general. After that I went to the autographing session again to have my Christina Lauren books autographed. These two are always such a joy to speak with and I love them and all their books!

And then I walked around the con floor for one last time, hung out in the corridor where other cosplayers were and had some photos taken and talked with others and then it was time to head home by 7:30pm.

I truly missed seeing publishers this year, but I’m glad there were a handful of authors in attendance. RJ Julia was the independent bookstore selling books this time around. I always love attending NYCC and I recommend attending if you are local or want to come for a visit! There is no other feeling in the world for me like attending a con and seeing people in costume and see others geek out about the same things you love. It’s such a good feeling.

I will be attending YALLFest in a few weeks for the very first time and I’m looking forward to a book festival!

Until next time!

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