Comic Con New York 2019 has passed, but cosplay never stops. Pictures of cosplayers in their favorite superhero (or supervillain) attire from this year’s NYCC are still surfacing on the Internet.
Ali Reza Malik, a Brooklyn-based photographer, is the artist behind a handful of iconic cosplay photographs from this year’s Comic Con New York. Ali’s work focuses primarily on South Asian communities, exploring the different forms of portraiture with the aim of promoting the visibility of these and other minority communities in the US. He may have taken a short break from his usual work once at Comic Con New York, but his camera had no rest.
Bored Panda got in touch with Ali Reza Malik, who was kind enough to show the Comic Con cosplay scene through the lens of his camera. Read our interview with Ali and vote on your favorite cosplay from NYCC 2019 below.
Ali traces his photographic roots back to the mid aughts, when he got hooked on art submission websites and blogs: “[This] threw me on the path of design, music, writing, and photography (instead of my major—finance) by force-feeding inspiration for hours on end each day.”
It didn’t stop there. Ali’s passion for all things media was further fostered by a close friend. “It was only further perpetuated by a close friend of mine during that time—a constantly optimistic presence who never left her camera at home, even when we (bitterly) asked her to shelve it for a night,” jokes Ali.
“I have her to thank mostly, and seeing photography in practice eventually triggered something in me to do the same.” This was enough to inspire ten years (and counting) worth of freelance creative projects and branded work.
When asked what drew Ali to attend Comic Con, he explained: “Comic Con is a haven for all of the interests that I've maintained since high school, but never found a community to enjoy them with. Even without hunting down exclusives or attending panels, the simple act of walking through an environment full of constant unadulterated excitement and recognition for every type of fandom makes NYCC feel like home.”
“Cosplayers best exemplify the peak of what NYCC offers, not only in terms of dedication but in artistic prowess and creative ingenuity. It's a judgment-free zone that celebrates instead of competes, and everyone has the chance to feel part of it,” continued Ali.
Finally, we asked Ali to name some of the more memorable cosplays at NYCC: “The standout cosplayer is the obvious choice: Borderlands Mario, created by Akellyz. I caught him in a rare display of widespread awe in the middle of the convention floor, where a tremendously wide and complete circle was formed around him—wider than anything I'd seen at NYCC before.”
Groot, Gamora & Yondu
“I also had the pleasure to shoot a group of cosplayers, all donning a hijab, getting together to portray different Marvel villains with immaculate attention to detail while tweaking the characters to fit each of their individual styles,” carried on Ali.
Of course, Comic Con isn’t only about cosplay. “Outside cosplay, I was lucky enough to be part of a booth run by Omar Mirza of The Last Ansaars, who had his own hectic weekend trying to maintain wild demand for the release of the third issue of his political satire series, The Incapable Trump (@theincapabletrump).”
“We've been handing out a limited number of issues for free for the past few years, and started seeing them flipped on eBay for upwards of $1,000. Someone even returned this year with their 9.8 CGC copy of the first issue, and it was signed by Stan Lee—that was, by far, the highlight of the weekend,” added Ali.
If you haven’t had your fill of cosplay, continue scrolling to see the rest of Ali’s NYCC experience and check out more Comic Con New York cosplay here provided by Bored Panda. Let us know if we’ve missed any cosplay character names in the comments!