New York Comic Con 2013
By Shawn “Fangirl S” Alexander
For the first time in my convention-hopping travels, I managed to make it to New York Comic Con. I wasn’t sure the trip was going to happen after all the other conventions I’ve made it to this year (more on the convention journey to come). I was lucky enough to snag a coveted press pass for this year’s con and I couldn’t have been more excited.
My NYCC experience was more than I could have hoped for. NYCC has been dubbed as the second largest comic-con in the United States; at least it had been the second largest until this year. NYCC tried something new this year with their badges. RFID chips were in each badge and everyone entering or exiting the con tapped in and out giving a more accurate count of attendance. According to all accounts, NYCC surpassed SDCC in attendance this year, becoming the largest con in the U.S. There were a lot of people at the con, but it never felt crowded.
My crew (P Jay Bogert, Jimmy David, and Thomas McCalvin) and I started on Thursday with preview night. The floor had shortened hours so you could walk through and check everything out in a more relaxed manner as there were no panels, interviews, or autograph sessions going on until Friday. In all honesty, Thursday turned into the “buy everything we want today so we don’t have to carry anything over the next several days” kind of night. One member of my crew stood in line for Marvel for well over three hours, while a second member of the crew and I ran around picking up various items on the floor. Needless to say, everything was not done on day one and we still made purchases throughout the con.
The set up for NYCC was nice– inasmuch as there was plenty of room between booths to move around– but my only qualm is that artist alley was set off by itself and many people did not know it was even there. It was set in another section of the convention center all together and was missed by a great many people. I did get a chance to check out the entire show floor as well as artist alley. I had a great time making finds that I had previously missed in my con-going experience, such as artist Ellison Keomaka (keomaka.com) and John Ghiang (orbitalharvest.com). These men are quite talented and if you haven’t seen their work, go look them up immediately.
The next several days were spent taking care of interviews and in panels. The first interview with Robot Chicken co-creator Matt Senreich and actor Breckin Meyer set the tone for my trip. They were funny and laid-back, and made you feel like you were just hanging out with friends. Of course it didn’t hurt my feelings that they wanted to talk about the jerseys my photographer and I were wearing, specially made for our crew. I managed to get into the Robot Chicken panel immediately following the interview. The panel included co-creator Seth Green, Macaulay Culkin and Clare Grant. We got a sneak peek at the upcoming Christmas special (which will have a character voiced by none other than the talented Bryan Cranston), and the next DC special which is still in the early stages (we only had a chance to see pencil drawn sketches) will have Nathan Fillion back as Green Lantern.
The next interview was with the very talented U.K. artist Des Taylor (Despop.co.uk). Des talked with me candidly about the inspiration for this work, hinted at upcoming projects, and discussed his guilty pleasures while in the U.S. For his next year of cons, he will be attending SDCC and NYCC, and for the first time, he will be coming to Chicago (at the time he was unsure if it will be C2E2 or Wizard World Chicago).
A few other panels I saw included Comic Book Men, which was emceed by Kevin Smith. Kevin repeatedly told everyone to go out and follow their dreams of making movies and doing podcasts because you never know when lightning will strike for you. The Hercules: The Legend Begins movie panel featured Kellan Lutz, Gaia Weiss, Liam McIntyre, Scott Adkins, and director Renny Harlin and co-producer Jonathan Yunger. The preview for the movie looked incredible and I can’t wait for it to come out. The cast also gave away props from the movie to a few lucky fans at the panel. Sadly, I was not one of them. The final panel I managed to get into was the Showrunners panel featuring Ron Moore (Helix and Outlander), Terence Winter (Boardwalk Empire), and Greg Plageman (Person of Interest). The panelists talked about the ups and downs of being a showrunner and the fact that it is the one of the only jobs in the business that has a 100% rate of burn out.
The next press roundtable was with Teen Wolf stars Dylan O’Brien, Linden Asbury and showrunner Jeff Davis. The interviewees gave so much information about their characters, where the show is going the next season and the whys of certain elements involved in the show, that I was hoping it would never end. Alas, after over 20 minutes, they were taken from us to move to the next group.
My final interview was with Twistory Entertainment’s star of the upcoming Belle: The Television series, Danielle Vasinova. She was such a delight to interview. She really was into the character and talked about all the hard work she has put it with weapons training and horseback riding. Check out the weapons training video at www.twistory.com/portfolios/belle-the-film
The final day was spent walking the floor and getting pictures of the great cos-players that were in attendance. I understand there was a certain “media” outlet that harassed many of the female cos-players throughout the convention. I am deeply sickened that anyone would call themselves press, then act like a complete barbarian toward these women. There are several new procedures that are to be put into place for NYCC in the future because of this (at this time, the only information I have on the new procedures is stricter verification of press credentials and other procedures as deemed necessary by NYCC); I believe other cons are sure to follow. Thankfully these “media” people are barred from future events and have since taken down their Facebook, Twitter and You Tube pages. I just hope that the acts of these few people do not hurt the rest of the press who cover conventions.
Overall, my NYCC experience is one that I will treasure. I was lucky to have my crew with me to help with everything. I really don’t think one person can fully cover any con by themselves. There will always be something missed, but with the great crew that I had (P Jay, Jimmy, and Thomas), I think we managed pretty well.
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