New York Comic Con 2021: Black Nerds Showed Up and Showed Out

New York Comic Con is the most popular event of its kind on the east coast, and when I say Black nerds showed up and showed out, that’s not an exaggeration.

The four-day convention turned The Javits Center into a playground for cosplayers, gamers, furries, and other nerd varieties. 

People traveled from the states and beyond, in spite of the extra hurdles put in place because of the pandemic. There was more melanin on the show floor than I saw at New York Comic Con in 2015.

A common misconception is that Black people don’t care about niche interests like video games, anime, and comics, which simply isn’t true. Some of us do, which is how the term “Blerd” came to be.

We’re fighting for more recognition in the nerd community, having to wrestle with some of the same microaggressions we experience outside of it.

Black cosplayers are expected to stick to Storm, Blade, and Black Panther, but if we dress up as anybody else, questions about authenticity arise.

The fantastic Naiquan (@cosplaynay) caught shade for dressing as Trunks from Dragonball Z because of his skin color, as if the painstaking work he’d put into nailing the hair & outfit was irrelevant.

Nor did it matter that he has made children, not to mention adults, smile with his many Spider-Man appearances. Such miserable energy is tiring, but still, we persist.

New York Comic-Con offered a platform for Blerds to share our joy, and even with masks covering most of our faces, it was clear who was who.

We called out to each other like we were longtime friends, snapped our fingers, and swapped social media handles. We threw ourselves headlong into the escapism, and there was nothing bizarre about it.

I’ve dressed like several fictional characters, and this year I was Lady Dimitrescu, the tall, vampire-like woman whose meteoric rise to popularity was unprecedented in the Resident Evil franchise. 

I got stopped many times for pictures, but nothing matched the enthusiasm exchanged between Blerds which was more pure and uplifting than I can articulate.

To read more on this experience, click below!