NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — Hundreds of thousands of fans are converging on the Jacob Javits Center for New York Comic Con 2017.

Lines stretched down 11th Avenue Thursday morning as fans waited their turns to enter what’s billed as the biggest pop culture event on the East Coast.

“I just love the culture it’s like Halloween for nerds,” Harlem resident Techna Deschanel, who was dressed as Belle from “Beauty and the Beast,” told CBS2’s Vanessa Murdock.

EXTRAWhere To Eat During NY Comic Con

The alternate identities are endless in the aisles of the Javits Center, from the Joker to Goku from “Dragon Ball Z” to a 9-year-old yellow Daredevil.

“It was important because it shows I’m not just an ordinary kid who dresses as Batman or The Avengers,” she said.

Incognito as Blade, Marc Richmond told Murdock he was there for the very first Comic Con in 2006.

“I walked up the day of the convention and bought my ticket right on the spot,” he said.

Years later, that’s no longer possible. Tickets sell out way in advance. The beloved gathering of geeks has grown bigger than the walls can handle. Several other venues host Comic Con events now, but so much of the good stuff is in New York City.

You can sit atop the scales of dragons, pose for a photo with Ultron Sigma, even stick to the ceiling like Spider-Man.

Dustin Nelson of Dark Horse Comics says it’s also important to have the books.

“The books are the reason we’re here,” he said. “It’s something folks love to hold in their hand.”

Proof evident in Monika Bolino’s reaction to some comic books.

“I’m so excited, so excited it’s absurd,” she said.

She says so many enter this iconic convention come with a plan, but not her.

“I see new things, let it flow,” she said.

Despite being dressed as a villain, Uldrich Devourer of Gods revealed a real soft spot for the other people there.

“It has been the community that has always been the most welcoming to me,” she said. “It’s been the most friendly.”

New York Comic Con runs through Sunday. More than 200,000 fans are expected through the weekend. For more information, click here.