NYCC 2015

New York Comic Con

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NYCC 2015

8th - 11th October 2015 | Written by Maxxum

This year's New York Comic Con was the first in our experience where if you'd asked which panel or exhibitor set the theme for the rest of the show, we'd be hard pressed to give a definitive answer. Star Wars, The X-Files, Jurassic World, and even an absent yet present in spirit early viewing of the Walking Dead set the tone for much of the press buzz during New York Comic Con.

Our team counted six significant panels or marketing campaigns connected with Star Wars; the majority of them focused on toys, accessories or food. While each of them were crowd pleasers (the Darth and Luke mascots from M&M were especially notable), the most apparent display of that IP was in the form of fan developed costumes or machines, such as the R2-D2 unit below:

Home developed R2 units can cost thousands of dollars, but this hasn't stopped fans from developing these "droid" systems, and we counted several systems at-event. In the case of the droid above, we were unable to identify a human controller, and our suspicion was that the droid was enabled with a camera for remote operation, a first for our team to have observed if true.

However, fan inventions, though a pleasure for attendees, do not match the overwhelming and continuously more complex cosplay. The trend continues to increase year over year such that one could now assume that if you meet someone who isn't in costume, they are likely a member of the press, or a parent attending with their children.

Cosplayers in like costumes often form roaming gangs, who then organize photo-shoots with the intention of demonstrating their unified power-base as a warning to other characters. In previous years, the honor of alpha character(s) fell to Assassin's Creed, and Attack on Titan... this year it was Deadpool.

Competing with so many costumes and devices, blending into the visual din is a problem for product marketing teams, however one campaign from Progressive managed to succeed where other simply went unnoticed. As an insurance company, one wouldn't expect there to be a comic angle, yet by providing free "line insurance" to people stuck in long lines for panels, Progressive was able to demonstrate their product in action, while engaging in arguably artistic avant-garde aadvertising.

With so many spectacular, eye-drawing events happening inside the event, one can miss the smaller gems. Street food vendors outside the Javits center are ubiquitous, an irony given the number of starving artists who occasionally setup shop on the streets leading away from the event. This year we ran into New York Spray Paint Street Art. Their name speaks to their trade - their work can be made to order and created in front of the person commissioning the work, often within minutes.

For us, the biggest draw of NYCC was Weta Workshop. A special effects team based in New Zealand, their work is visible in commercially successful movies like Lord of the Rings, Spider-Man, District 9, and other well-known movies. The company hosts an large amount of talent ranging from make-up artists, to computer software developers, and engineers. We spoke with Mike Gonzales about Weta, follows our interview:

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Photos by Maxxum, Video by TriFocal Productions