I was asked to describe my time at NY Comic-Con in three words. It took me a few minutes to answer. In three days I had ran the gamut of emotions. I came up with fun, chaotic, and beautiful. All of these will be explained as we go through this article. We were given press credentials by the organizers and I was so excited because not only am I a comic book fan, but I love going to conventions. Sean and I arrived on Thursday which is usually just a preview day, but it has now grown to be just another “con” day. The Javits Center is a massive complex with four levels of geeky goodness to take in. We hit the show floor just to walk around and get our bearings.
The show floor is a mix of companies who are showcasing new products, toy shops selling new and vintage toys, and favorite actors/entertainers of years past waiting to talk to you and sign autographs. We immediately hit the Marvel booth which was massive. They went all out for New York. Giving out free comics, promotional posters, pins, you name it it was there for the taking. Along with opportunities to get autographs with some of today’s best artists and writers.
Next we stopped at legendary comic artist turned toy icon Todd McFarlane’s. He was debuting his new building sets based on the popular AMC show The Walking Dead. He said “I wanted to make toys cooler by adding art”. That is why his action figures are sought after by collectors everywhere. His attention to detail and making sure the figures are perfect is what makes him so great. Coming from an art background it really shines through in his products. The Walking Dead sets work like other building block type toys. However, all of the figures’ parts are interchangeable. So you can make your own figures, and the “background” sets work like traditional building block sets but once again raised to another level. They are on sale now at Toys R’ Us exclusively until the first of the year when other retailers will get them on shelves. You can find out more about all of Todd’s toys at http://www.spawn.com/
One of the first big announcements we got a glimpse of was the all new Marvel Live Experience. This six acre mobile complex of domes and activities to immerse you into the Marvel universe. They will have all new technology that encompasses live action, 3D,4D, and more top secret things to be announced later. The experience will hopefully come to a city near you, because it looks amazing. Some cities have been announced more to be later as the logistics of finding locations for this are difficult to secure. They also announced ticket prices will be very affordable from 22.50-35.00. You can find out more at http://themarvelexperiencetour.com/
The crowd was light and it was easy to move around the different floors. The lower level was reserved for panels, autograph booths, and celebrity photo Ops. All for a price of course that are set by the individual celebrities and can get pretty pricey.
There wasn’t a big Disney presence at this convention in the traditional sense. They did have a Disney Press booth that showcased some of the books that they have out and coming out with. Specifically from Disney parks, frozen, and star wars. There are definitely some that will be on my Christmas list. Usually Disney doesn’t have a big showing at these conventions because they save their information for the D23 Expo. However it was nice to see all of the fans who came in Disney costumes.
On a non Disney owned property side note. The DC Comics booth was very disappointing. This was the 75 anniversary of Batman. Also, DC is having a resurgence on TV and film with the success of Arrow, the new series’ Gotham and The Flash. They didn’t showcase any of those things at all. I think they really dropped the ball in New York.
Friday we experienced the chaos that is getting wristbands for the panels. There was an Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D panel later in the evening that we didn’t want to miss. So we got in the long frozen like queue line for our shield band. After that we were fortunate enough to interview Ryan Penagos. He is the Executive Editorial Director of Marvel’s digital arm. We asked him about the future of digital comics, and several other topics. He was such a great guy. I have to say everyone from Marvel we talked or listened to really impressed me with their level of excitement for comics. I know they work for Marvel, I get that. However, their passion for the stories, art, and characters is really infectious. We also got to catch up with friend of the show and writer for the hugely successful Figment comic series Jim Zub. We got his thoughts on the success of Figment, his new projects, and a hint of more Disney comics to come. So stay tuned for those announcements.
We browsed through artist alley and this has to be my favorite section of any comic convention. I have such admiration for artists because I have no artistic ability whatsoever. So to walk up and down rows and rows of amazingly talented artists and look at their work is always a treat for me. We met a former Disney cast member turned artist Charles Thurston. He created some wonderful children’s books about some of pop culture’s more menacing characters. He did this to help them not be scared and see them with feelings and emotions. He also made a parody of “elf on a shelf” with “Wedge on a ledge” based on a famed rebel pilot from star wars. Please check out his etsy page https://www.etsy.com/shop/CharlesThurston . Artist alley is also where I tend to lose a lot of money haha. I love supporting great artists and getting to talk to them.
We went into the panel for Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. We were warned several times about not recording during the panel and were surrounded by security guards with night vision scopes. I got really excited because that means we’re going to see things that haven’t been released yet. Jeph Loeb, who heads up Marvel’s TV division, started off by talking a little about the success of the show. Then Clark Gregg, who plays Agent Coulson, interrupted to a thunderous applause. He asked if they could show the entire episode from next week’s. Jeff said yes and we watched with amazement. By far the best episode I’ve seen. Then Gregg wasn’t done yet. He asked of we could see a piece of footage from their upcoming series “Agent Carter”. They just started filming this past Monday, but Loeb reluctantly said yes. It looked really good. That will be out next year.
Saturday we got to the Javits Center extra early to try and get some of the exclusives the vendors were offering. Although we tried our best we were too late (even though we were early).
The crowds were bigger than the other two days. The swells of people coming into the convention center reminded me of watching the ocean roll in. If you haven’t seen our time lapse video on our YouTube channel check it out. We saw several Disney cosplayers who were excited to be recognized for their dedication to the house of mouse. We got our wristbands for the Daredevil panel later in the day. This was a god day to park and listen to panels because it was so difficult to move around the show floors.
The first panel of the day for us was Marvel’s Cup O’ Joe. Marvel Executives showed us what is to come in the world of comics. A new Star Wars comic based on the Rebels character Kanan is the one I was most excited to see. Others included a new Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D comic inspired by the TV show. Look for it Christmas Eve. Lastly if the new AXIS series wasn’t enough crossover for you Black Vortex will bring together characters of Guardians of the Galaxy, X-Men, Captain Marvel, and Cyclops. Next on the panel list was for Marvels new Playstation series Powers. It is a more adult oriented show based on the comics of Brian Michael Bendis. It makes me want to get a PS4 because that’s the only way to see it.
Then it was time for Stephan Amell to discuss his show Arrow for the CW network. Although not a Disney owned property it is easy to get excited for this series. Amell is passionate about comics and very protective of the characters. The success of the first two seasons of Arrow is what made it possible for the new series Flash to be made. Needless to say there will be some crossover episodes between the two. The first two seasons of the show have been amazing. I have to say that Amell is such a great guy who loves and appreciates the fans. It seems like actors of these genres get that the fans are the most important factor in the success of these shows.
While Sean was covering the Daredevil panel I stayed for the Star Wars Rebels panel. Once again before it started the night vision squad were walking around. I joked with one of them about the scope he was carrying. Vanessa Marshall, the voice of Hera, joined in to discuss this wonderful series. I have to admit I follow her on Twitter @vanmarshall and she is amazing. Her knowledge of Star Wars is impressive. She is a true fan who is living out her dream voicing a Star Wars character. She told us how she researched the character Hera. She worked out, shot handguns to feel the emotions of doing it, and really dove into this head first. Many of you know our admiration for voice actors on the show. Her level of passion, dedication, and fandom is why voice actors are so important to these projects. We then got to see the entire episode that will air October 27th. Although I can’t give any spoilers here I can tell you it was AMAZING. It ties in an old character you will know, and it begins to develop the characters that will make this series so great. One other thing that Marshall said is that Dave Filoni, who directed the fan favorite Clone Wars series, had them watch some old footage of that show to get a feel of character interaction. Which as a Star Wars fan I appreciate, because the one thing fans were upset about when Disney took over the franchise is that they canceled the Clone Wars. They ultimately put the final season out on Netflix, but I like that they are taking things from that and putting it into Rebels. You can find Rebels airing now on Disney XD.
I think what I enjoyed the most about Comic-Con was interacting with other fans. I really loved just talking to people and finding out about them, their costumes, what things they were into, etc. That is really what these conventions are about. It’s a gathering of fans who all share a common love. We had an amazing time, interviewed some great people, saw some beautiful artwork, and can’t wait for next year.