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New York Hosts its First Comic Book Convention


New York City recently hosted its very first Comic-Con. That's short for comic book convention -- and believe it or not, comics are a worldwide multi-million dollar business. But it takes a very special person to truly appreciate the appeal of comics. This report is narrated by Ernest Leong.

This is New York City's first annual Comic Con, and all of these people are here to meet their favorite comic book artists, see the latest video games, and pick up a few mementos of their favorite superheroes.

Others prefer to become their favorite character.

"You may know me from an old cartoon called 'He Man and Masters of the Universe.' I play his arch enemy Skeletor. Unfortunately in recent years, I'm unemployed."

Word about New York's first Comic Con apparently spread quickly. Organizer Greg Topalian says they were caught off guard by the sheer volume of the event.

"Just on Saturday alone, we had upwards of 20,000 people that day. So we, unfortunately, had to turn some people away which is always unfortunate and leaves a bad taste. But the exhibit floor was packed."

No wonder -- these comic book conventions are overwhelmingly male. Paul came from Washington, D.C. "Yeah, it's a hobby. Figure we'd come up to New York, and come and enjoy the convention."

Art is in the eye of the beholder, says artist Michael Gatos. "Actually I grew up enjoying comic books and it was pretty much what I wanted to do since I was a little kid."

Industry estimates indicate comic books and related merchandise, including animated DVD's, toys and video games, generate more than a billion dollars in sales -- and a dedicated fan base.

This is New York City's first Comic Con -- but judging from the crowd -- it surely won't be the last.

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