Call me crazy, but at the 2013 edition of The New York Comic Con (October 10 - 13, at the Jacob Javits Center), I noticed many many more women attending, especially dressed as either renowned female characters or taking their own unique spin on established heroes. Now maybe I was paying more attention to feminine pulchritude I was encountering instead of those stock muscle bound (or just rotund and t-shirt clad) male figures but I really do think I have taken note of something I might have found utterly unbelievable when I started out in science fiction and comics fandom many years ago.
Is it an indication of such cultural shit, a triumph of geek nerd culture, a celebration of the fantastical rather than the testicular. But what was the cause?
Certainly it could be women reading the YA and dystopian fiction proliferating bookstores and providing source material role models that cosplayers and LARPers (for the uninitiated that’s costume players and live action role playing) identify with. But there are also the comic characters from Marvel and DC that have persisted for decades, characters from indie comics, films and so on. Cons all over the world are filled with women who tirelessly create costumes that bring these comic characters to life.
But what astounds me is how these character become the scrim that people step out from behind and transform themselves totally, and at the same time, express their own unique identity and fandom. Even better, women and men are playing out these fantasies without subscribing to conventionally acceptable body types, color, or behavior. Now that might confound some part of the social norms police but that makes these cons a new kind of celebration of this world of infinite niches.
To learn more, go to http://www.newyorkcomiccon.com/