New York Comic Con

There’s a reference to “Star Trek” in “Billy Elliot The Musical,” which I saw on Broadway with my daughter and some other student/parent pairings from Pace University. You can tell the “geeks” in the crowd because they often seize this opportunity to flash the “Vulcan salute” Leonard Nimoy devised during the late 1960s during his “Mr. Spock” gig.

“Geeks,” by the way, is the self-identifier used by folks who enjoy all things comic book, sci fi, anime and such. Once considered a put-down, the word now brings a sense of pride to those who carry it. I should know, I’m a “geek mom.” We put Abby Lee’s “Dance Moms” to shame.

There were several items on my “must see” list for my first full day in NYC this time around. First, waiting in line hoping for “standing room only” tickets to “The Book of Mormon” — no luck there. Then time on Park Place — home to an Amish Market, Muslim community center and Anne Frank Center. And finally, several hours at New York Comic Con.

My interest in New York Comic Con originally derived from my daughter’s fascination with geek culture. But after visiting the Anne Frank Center, and learning from their education director that a newly published book tells Anne Frank’s story in graphic biography form, I realized for the first time that “comic books” can be just as significant as other forms of literature.

My first stop at New York Comic Con, which was held Thursday through Sunday at the Javits Center in NYC, was a large hall housing the “Artist Gallery” — where fans attending the pop culture convention could chat with the artists who create all sorts of comic book fare, even watching them in the act of drawing.

I paused for the first time to consider the skill it takes to create such detailed works for a genre where the images must be every bit as powerful as the words.

The short slide show below shows some of the folks I met that afternoon, many of whom are quite talented. All struck me as sincerely devoted to their craft, something you just don’t find in every occupation.

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Watch for a future post about my Comic Con adventures outside the Artists Gallery — where I explored anime, video games, books, toys and more — and even spent some time with a grouchy character from Sesame Street.

— Lynn

Note: Folks who missed NYCC this year can “save the date” for next year’s event — taking place Oct. 11-14, 2012 at the Javits Center.

Coming up: Exploring Anne Frank’s diary through the arts, Main Street meets 42nd Street

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