Dressing up as your favorite comic book/superhero/anime/game character was once confined to a small dedicated group. However this year New York’s Comic Con will attract over 150,000 attendees and a fair proportion of them will be in costume.
People all over the world are now doing it and they’ll spend mega dollars and over a year to craft spectacular costumes. Just looking at the first video it’s obvious the wonderfully well dressed Mad Hatter and other ‘Alice’ characters probably took a few days just to get their makeup right!
A $5,000 prize is on offer for the best costume and the competition is very, very fierce. But frankly cosplay, dressing up as a character from a movie, book or comic book, while fascinating and beautiful is not where the money lies. Though if you are one of those happy retailers who sell all the wherewithall to people who want to make a cosplay splash at NYCC, you will be coining it.
No NYCC is a humungous commercial success, pulling in over $50 million a year for the company, Reed Exhibitions, that runs the event and their take improves markedly each year. This is because superheroes and fantasy characters from all entertainment genres are big, big business. So now panels are huge at NYCC.
A Panel is when a group of actors, the Director and other people associated with a new film or TV series turns up at NYCC and sit a row while fans adore them and reporters ask them questions. These panels are now the place where new story lines are dropped, new characters take a bow and upcoming films are promoted. They are very, very, very big business.
So panels, cosplay and merchandizing by all the big players adds up to a huge commercial success and it will all probably just keep rolling along year by year getting bigger unless we all die of superhero fatigue. For people who want to be among the 150,000+ who attend, know that the competition for tickets is super fierce and you had best start the groundwork for 2016 now so you are ready for 2016.
This years online sales, and most tickets are made available online, were a stuff up. Start pestering the organizers right now about how they will improve things so loyal fans don’t miss out.