ay one of your lengthy pilgrimage to New York Comic Con can be especially isolating (more so than driving in). If you start on a train in Jersey as a Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle, your Leonardo will be sitting next to regular-person Bill on his way to the office. Regular-person Bill neither understands you, nor realizes how cool you look. Regular-person Sharon will be whispering to regular-person Becky about the weirdo “alien” three rows up. If you’re a female dressed up as Poison Ivy, regular-person Bill transforms into creepy Bill. Regular-person Sharon transforms into judgy Sharon whispering to eye-roll Becky.
Once you get into the city, you have about a mile to walk to the Jacob Javits Center. If you’re wearing a cape, you better hope it’s not windy. Your cape will turn into a murderous sentient being determined to blindfold you as you cross the street. If you’re wearing makeup, you better hope it’s not raining. If you’re wearing a mask, there’s no hope for you. Your mask will smell like your mouth no matter what you do because you’re walking a mile…with a freaking mask on. Are you wearing clothes? Any type of clothes? You better hope it’s not sunny, hot, or humid. You’ll be sweating and smelling like the post apocalyptic version of yourself. Are you showing a lot of skin? You better hope it’s not cold. The cold flatters no one.
Once you arrive, you’ll get a free bag where you can put all your free swag. This bag is massive. You can fit several bottles of wine in it. You can also fit Tyrion Lannister in the bag to help you drink all the wine. No cosplay works with a gigantic bag that has some random pop culture reference printed on it. No one remembers that episode of He-Man where he holds the giant shoulder bag. No one remembers it because it doesn’t exist. Optimus never fought Megatron while holding a giant Rainbow Dash shopping bag. It never happened.
You can’t hold or carry anything else either. How many pockets does Superman have? Flash? Wonder Woman? Harley Quinn? Psylocke? Jean Grey? Wolverine? Spider-Man? All…none. Your only hope of carrying your phone, wallet, keys, and touch-up paint is going as the 90’s version (when all character costumes were remixed to have one thousand pockets and pouches).
Do you want to crush a child’s image of his or her favorite character? Let that kid see you dressed-up while eating a hotdog or chicken and rice. You hit the gym for months so your version of Bane has dope arms and looks tight. Awesome! Post lunch, Bane’s gut is full of chicken fingers and has ketchup all over his mask. Not that intimidating. You’ve spent every Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday morning in yoga class so you can do Chun-Li justice. Little Johnnie takes a picture with your Chun-Li. Your Chun-Li has mustard splatter on her face and stockings. Dream shattered. Little Johnnie gives up video games and becomes a doctor or something.
Dressing up does come with an added bonus. You automatically have three versions of your costume. There are multiple powered-up versions of Saiyans: Super Saiyan, Super Saiyan 2, 3, etc. All the way up to god and beyond. As the day goes on, you will do the opposite and you will depower. You and your buddy start your morning off as Super Mario & Luigi. You’ll love taking pictures of fellow cosplayers and you’ll love having your picture taken. You’ll be running around and jumping with one arm in the air, pretending to stomp on goombas. It’ll be a blast. Around lunchtime, you’ll turn into Cranky Mario & Luigi. Cranky Mario & Luigi no longer run anywhere. They hesitate to have their picture taken and only take pictures of the best cosplayers. Around 4:00 PM, everyone starts to gradually transform and, eventually, a costume theme will have developed. It’s like a virus spreading throughout the entire venue. You slowly turn into Sitting-in-a-hallway Mario & Luigi. You’ll be flanked by Sitting-in-a-hallway Han Solo & Chewbacca while Sitting-in-a-hallway Lion-O & Cheetara are napping across from you.
You know who won’t be sitting anywhere near you? Regular-person Bill, judgy Sharon and eye-roll Becky (Eye-roll Becky is the worst). While you’ll be making memories, creepy Bill will be making copies. Judgy Sharon will be ordering the same tuna melt she orders every Friday. While you’re out contributing to the New York Comic Con atmosphere, eye-roll Becky is sitting in a meeting she’ll never think about for the rest of her life.
Sure, dressing up for New York Comic Con can be a little inconvenient and there are some minor things to think about. But dressing up for Comic Con is a lot of fun. Dressing up for Comic Con gives you an experience most people will never know. Dressing up for Comic Con makes you a part of Comic Con. Roll your eyes at that, Becky. ♦