Over the weekend, hordes of costumed New York Comic Con attendees packed into the Javits Center: attending panels, meeting their favourite comic book artists, and shopping the showroom floor for posters and collectibles.
If you happened to go downstairs and out the glass doors below the 35th street entrance, however, you’d find yourself in the most fantastical world possible.
It’s a private park lot, a few acres wide, with two-story concrete walls keeping outsiders away. Some discover it by chance, in search of a quiet place to smoke a cigarette or eat their greasy convention-center grub. For others, this backlot is a highlight of the annual convention.
Cosplayers gather here, which is accessible to anyone with a ticket to Comic Con, with other cosplayers of the same genre to conduct photo shoots. In just an hour, we saw meetups take place for Disney, Marvel, and “Attack on Titan,” a Japanese manga comic.
Nearly 50 Ariels, Snow Whites, Meridas, Rapunzels, Elsas, Annas, and other characters from the House of Mouse came together for the Disney meetup. They posed on the stairs, striking just the right prince and princess mannerisms.
This is what the scene looked like from their perspective. There were just as many photographers as cosplayers.
Morgan Campbell, a 22-year-old recent graduate of Marymount Manhattan College, says each year cosplayers arrive and ask other cosplayers in their genre if a meetup has been organised yet.Eventually someone takes on the responsibility of planning it themselves.
Campbell created a Facebook event and posted it to other cosplayers’ pages. Although it only gathered 20 acceptances, word of mouth carried the invitation like wildfire throughout the weekend. The news also picked up traction on Tumblr, according to Campbell.
After the initial group photo, which took about a half hour to pose and shoot, Campbell divided the cosplayers into characters for more intimate portraits.Here are some of our favourite shots, republished with Campbell’s permission.
The Ariels, from “The Little Mermaid,” seemed pretty stoked to be on land.
Anna, the freckle-faced heroine of “Frozen,” was a much less popular cosplay than her sister Elsa. It looks like she and Olaf were on their way to find the Snow Queen.
If you were patient and stuck around long enough, Campbell photographed princesses individually. Rapunzel, from the movie “Tangled,” was one of the last cosplayers to have her portrait taken.
Meanwhile, across the lot, an “Attack on Titan” meetup was underway. The organisers of this event were reminding guests that if someone didn’t want to participate in the shoot, do not force them. They made the crowd repeat back to them, “Cosplay isn’t consent” — a phrase that appeared on posters throughout the Javtis Center.
And earlier in the Con, Beast, Black Widow, Star-Lord, Loki, Magneto, Spider-Man, Captain America, and other members of the Marvel universe came together for a family portrait.
For more photos of the best cosplay at New York Comic Con, click here.
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