New York Comic ConWhen I attended high school many moons ago, I was the smart kid who loved horror movies, heavy metal, sci-fi and comic books. It made me a little bit of an oddball (although not a social outcast) and certainly not that popular with girls. As time has marched on, however, more fans of these genres, particularly celebrities, have openly acknowledged their love for them in public, and now, of course, there is a new wave of geek girls that appreciates this stuff. Thanks for skipping my generation, ladies.

Seriously, seeing the large number of women as well as the multigenerational demographic that encompassed the massive, record-breaking throng that attended New York Comic-Con 2013 from Oct. 10th to 13th was heartening and inspiring. No longer are comic books and superhero movies relegated to a certain nerd contingent. Well, maybe they still are, but in our Big Bang Theory era the mainstream is finally taking note and accepting them. Plus, women think they’re cool too, which hopefully will lead to more female heroes onscreen in the near future.

Thanks to increased awareness and ticket sales, NYCC 2013 was its biggest incarnation yet. According to event organizer ReedPOP, attendance was up to 130,000 this year, a good 12% jump from 2012. While comic books are the uniting point behind this annual event, the interest groups definitely splinter off: anime, superheroes, video games, toys, film and TV. Some of them cross over, others seem very focused. For me, the main attractions are the movie panels, cosplay characters, artist booths and vintage comic book bins. (There were so many good deals this year that I could have gone broke. Thankfully, I understand restraint. For now. There’s always next year.) Overall, the four-day event is a nice weekend break into fantasy where people can openly express their inner geek, nerd, hero, whatever — I am a proud geek — and be appreciated openly by the masses and the mass media.

NYCC 2013 certainly embraced it all, from the 25th anniversary of Child’s Play panel — with the director and cast of the new Curse Of Chucky present — to celebrity signings (Stallone, Shatner, Sigourney Weaver, Patrick Stewart, many others) to panels about breaking into and staying in the comics biz to videogame presentations to TV series previews to … you get the idea. Even with a three-day or four-day pass you would have found it impossible to see and do everything, but at least it was all there. Admittedly, the inspiration to wait in line for 30 to 60 minutes for a panel has worn off after all these years, and sometimes the human traffic jam in the aisles is tough, particularly on Saturday, but bless all the fans who show such passion and perseverance. They help drive the business and keep creators inspired. Even when NY Comic-Con wears me out physically, I never tire of it in spirit.

All photos herein ©2013 by Bryan Reesman.