Jason Riedmiller

PHOTOS: 2022 New York Comic Con at Javits Center, 10/06-08/22

PHOTOS: 2022 New York Comic Con at Javits Center, 10/06-08/22
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Geek culture invaded New York City once again on the weekend of Oct. 6-9, and locals who see it all just about every day were once again turning heads and craning necks at the fun and truly bizarre cosplayers at the Javits Center in Hell’s Kitchen, Manhattan. Pop culture fans donned everything from elaborate homemade costumes of their favorite superheroes, iconic movie characters, and Saturday morning cartoons to one person who just walked the show floor holding a sign that simply read, “This is a sign.” So it was business as usual on the one weekend a year that New York gets weird… well, really weird.

Why does this matter? We all know why. The pandemic is quickly becoming a memory, whereas as recently as six months ago this seemed like an impossibility. Aside from a scarcely enforced mask mandate, COVID skipped this year’s con after shutting it down with rest of the world in 2020 and looming over 2021 with long waits for health checks and the wrong kind of mask on every face.

This year the celebration was on! The highly emotional “Back to the Future” 35th anniversary panel on Saturday evening was the must-see event of the show. Winding lines wrapped around the queue area with fans hoping to get into the main stage theater to see Michael J. Fox and Christopher Lloyd have a hysterical and cathartic reminisce of the 1985 sci-fi comedy classic.

“The Walking Dead,” the show that has ruled NYCC for the last 11 years, drew another full theater for its final panel ever, as the AMC series ends in just a few short weeks. Not to worry, though – spin-offs are coming soon.

The original scream queen Jamie Lee Curtis was interviewed by Drew Barrymore on the Empire Stage. Those seats were also highly coveted as the pair discussed the 40th anniversary of John Carpenter’s “Halloween” and the franchise’s final(?) film, “Halloween Ends.” Strangely absent was any hype for Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson’s Warner Bros./DC Comics blockbuster “Black Adam,” which releases this month.

As always, major comic book creators garnered long lines in Artist Alley. Japanese superstar artist Peach Momoko made her NYCC debut to lines that started with exhibitors lining up before paying customers could get into the venue, almost causing violence to break out several times. ReedPop, the event organizer, had to cap her line early every day. The Marvel exclusive artist, whose commissions for the entire weekend sold out by 11 a.m. Thursday morning, was signing up to 10 comics for free.

Also drawing big crowds, but thankfully no pushing and shoving, were “Batman” writer and artist Scott Snyder and Greg Capullo, respectively, “Old Man Logan” penciler Steve McNiven, Run-DMC’s Darryl McDaniels at his “Daryl Makes Comics” booth and, as always, legendary “Uncanny X-Men” writer Chris Claremont had fans flocking to him.

This year also brought the opportunity to acquire one of the most sought-after autographs in the industry. Spawn creator Todd McFarlane, who rarely attends conventions, was at the convention for two panels. One promoted future releases from McFarlane Toys, including “Avatar” film merchandise and DC Multiverse figures; the other was to promote the upcoming Batman/Spawn crossover, a comic that is sure to sell quite a few issues. At both panels, he teased his ever-delayed Spawn movie starring Jamie Fox and (possibly) directed by himself. A dark R-rated superhero horror film is all but guaranteed with Blumhouse Productions involved, as well as writers Scott Silver (“Joker”), Malcolm Spellman (“The Falcon and the Winter Soldier”), and Matthew Mixon.

“The Toddfather,” who is well known for not doing signings, also autographed some items for a few lucky fans who were able to make reservations online the week before the con. As always, he signed for free. However, CGC was there snapping up signed comics to have graded for a steep fee and a months-long wait to have your property returned sealed in a plastic prison forever. Even luckier than those who managed to reserve their spot online were some fans with a good tale to tell themselves. We saw two people get added to McFarlane’s signing queue. The first was a middle-aged photographer with an “Incredible Hulk” No. 340 that he has been hoping to get autographed since he purchased it in 1987 – you get three guesses as to who that was. The second was a boy of maybe 10 or 11 who brought a drawing he made of Spawn villain The Violator as a gift for the legendary artist. McFarlane was clearly touched by the gesture, capping off a weekend of nerdy moments that comic fans of all ages will remember forever.

See NEPA Scene’s photos from the 2021 New York Comic Con here.