The advent of global culture has trickled down to comic books and the annual festival celebrating them.
This year’s Comicon in New York attracted record crowds in its 6th year. Although still over shadowed by San Diego’s Comicon, NY Comicon has reached a critical mass with an estimated 100k + people. There was a noticeable difference in the Comic-con crowd since the explosion of graphic novels, comic book inspired blockbusters and vogueing of comic book nerds.
Initially, as comic book culture grew, attachment to the details and sci-fi proofs was important in creating a dialogue between fans. The creating a realism in the worlds they sought was important in making the aspirational fantasies attainable in the far future. The once ostracized “geeks” have become a driving power in creating the realism in the fantasy worlds many of us now seek out in video games, apps and movies. Fantasy worlds are now a daily reality, encased in visually empowered devices and interactive technology.
With an expanded global audience and classic character reboots and interpretations, which cater to the multiple media platforms, there are as many faces to individual heroes as there are masked characters. Global reinventions (Pavitr Prabhakar, which is Peter Parker’s phoneticized Indian name) and multi-cultural versions (Miles Morales, the half African-American, half Latino version of Spider man) have emerged as a need arises to represent the global melting pot of cultures and backgrounds.
Block buster adaptations of comic books have partnered to create parallel video games to complete a trifecta of engaging story-lines. These games have been licensed to give artistic range while remaining beholden to the original DNA. On the eve of the second iteration of Batman’s highly successful Arkham Assylum video game, comic book cross-overs finally have a poster child of success in the video game arena. Video game publishers are steadily expanding their capabilities across platforms, driving innovation to the increasingly gamer and visually friendly iOS and mobile technologies opening new opportunities for comic story-tellers.
New Yorks Comicon attendees, DIY artists and devoted fans penned creative costumes from the melange of character backgrounds and media sources, in contrast to the past rigid interpretations of our modern myths. This second wave of fans have bought into the fantasy and mythos of characters new and old. The plurification of media sources and character ethoses have created a wide base and strong bonds in new fans. In an age of co-creation, recreation is the newest form of flattery.