New York Comic Con 2013: The Stars, Comics And Costumes

On Gladness and Quitting and Being 24 in New York

Some even have a new costume featuring a different character for each day of the convention. There were zombies, plenty of Catwomen and “Ghostbusters” characters galore. Pretty much anything goes at Comic Con. The more elaborate the better, as people stopped to pose with one another, making friends along the way. Some have been going for years. For others, the 2013 New York Comic Con was a first. Parents brought their kids, and students played hooky from school. An estimated 130,000 people are expected to walk through the Jacob Javits Convention Center in New York City throughout the weekend. That’s a jump from last year’s 116,000 convention-goers. People traveled as far as Hawaii to take it all in. Many celebrities will be sitting on panels and meeting with devoted fans, including William Shatner, Patrick Stewart, Seth Green, Sylvester Stallone, David Duchovny, Gillian Anderson, Sigourney Weaver, actors from “Game of Thrones” and the cast of TV’s “The Walking Dead.” Approximately 700 exhibitors from the publishing, TV, film and comic worlds are on site to get the word out about their projects. Though not as big as San Diego’s Comic Con , the New York convention is definitely growing. Stallone was out and about signing autographs. Saturday will see “The Walking Dead” panel, which will screen new footage from the upcoming season.

Stevenson said the rebranding is really about going digital and reaching out to readers abroad. “The real driver of what we’re doing is a belief that there is a global, digital audience for the journalism that we do,” Stevenson said in a recent interview at the newspaper’s offices in the La Defense business district west of Paris. He pointed to the goal of converting visitors who get limited free access into paying customers. “Right now, about 10 percent of our digital subscribers are outside of the United States but about 25 or 30 percent of our digital audience comes from the outside the United States,” he said. “Right there, in the gap between people who are subscribers, and regular visitors to our site, there’s an opportunity.” For the launch week, access to the international edition’s website,, will be free, Stevenson said. With many print publications facing competition from social media, bloggers, 24-7 international television newscasts and other outlets, the Times Co. has been shucking assets notably The Boston Globe to focus on a core business of becoming an online provider of news, comment, video and multimedia. While the IHT’s circulation has held up relatively well in recent years compared to some print publications, Stevenson said, “the reality is that print across our industry, around the world is a really tough business now.” The International Herald Tribune was the latest incarnation of a newspaper founded in Paris 126 years ago as the European edition of the New York Herald, which was a rival of the Times in the bruising mid-19th century New York newspaper industry. James Gordon Bennett, Jr., son of the founder of the sensationalist and popular Herald, put to use new trans-Atlantic cable just as readers were spreading out by rail and steamship. Over the years, the Herald Tribune became an ink-and-newsprint staple for U.S. expatriates and foreigners looking for a dose of Americana. For more than a century, it was one of the few distributors of English-language news plus baseball scores, daily crosswords, and comic strips to readers in far-flung corners of the globe. Recently, it has gained a strong niche in fashion coverage: Fashion editor Suzy Menkes is a doyenne of the Paris catwalks. The newspaper’s Parisian roots were epitomized in Jean-Luc Godard’s immortal 1960 film “Breathless,” with Jean Seberg as an American gamine “Golden Girl” who peddled it on the Champs-Elysees while wearing a sweater bearing the Herald Tribune logo. Stevenson said Paris “is part of the DNA” of the newspaper, but “it’s no secret that Paris is a very expensive place to do business.” The IHT’s last edition Monday included a special insert section with snapshots of its front pages announcing the death of Britain’s Queen Victoria and founder Bennett; a headline on Germany’s invasion of Poland in 1939; and photos of Martin Luther King, Jr., Andy Warhol and George Clooney reading it.

New York Times Goes Global by Rebranding IHT

The piece chiefly rests on a light-hearted comparison between living in a city and being in a relationship (the sense of belonging, the conflation of identity, transitive properties of self-esteem, etc.), and that those people who stick it out in New York are the ones, “who never fell out of young, difficult love…” with it. We have chosen to stay with our narcissistic, Prom King boyfriend — it’s not “fun,” but he’s the king. In essence, to stay in New York is to say yes to a certain amount of misery. Rereading Friedman’s piece, it strikes me that the root of the perpetual New York misery is not that New York is inherently miserable or that dissatisfied new New Yorkers are just in a relationship with the wrong city — it’s that we’re trying to have the wrong relationship with New York. We actually really have invested in the fantasy of a perfect city romance, and when it doesn’t come true (due to the inescapable reality that — per Friedman — “Your early twenties are going to suck no matter what,”) we internalize it and feel like failures. You could say we put the building in bildungsroman. We arrive with a narrative in mind: New Person comes to the City to begin their Real Life and things will Work Out. And the city’s not just a setting, it’s a character in the story — much like the comic-relief sidekick or love interest — usually waiting in the wings until we’re about to cash it all in. Then, the city presents itself in the form of a stellar view or an improbable coincidence, validating our existence. “You belong here, you have a destiny here,” the glinting Chrysler Building/ homeless man singing Sinatra/crumpled Phantom program in the gutter seems to say. And, like that, our faith is renewed, and we continue on our Journey. My own iteration is temptingly romantic — a job at a New York literary agency whisked me out of Baltimore and the wreckage of a breakup with such precise timing it was only rational to attribute it to fate. This city and I were “meant to be.” Moving here, I reveled in the anonymity and cultivated what I felt was an aura of mystery that in retrospect was a little misguided, like feeling sexy because your voice is hoarse from a cold. Didn’t stop me, though. I was 22 and _________.