NYCC first set up shop back in 2006. It was considered a hit before the doors initially opened. The demand was so overwhelming, it nearly became a fiasco. The event planners grossly underestimated their demographic. This resulted in way too many people and not enough room to accommodate them. The massive logjams were so bad that even some featured guests could not gain access. The kinks have since been ironed out, and the festival now runs like a well-oiled machine. This event has grown so large, its attendance now rivals the great granddaddy of them all, The San Diego Comic-Con!
Attending Comic Con for the first time can be a little overwhelming. Over 135,000 fans are expected to attend this year. The event has the scope of a massive military operation; it now controls the entire Javits Center and The Hammerstein Ballroom. With so many special guests, demos, panel discussions, exhibitions, sneak peaks, fan meet-ups, previews, signings, and screenings, it makes sense to put a plan into place. The popular special events usually fill up quickly, so time management is paramount. Navigation of the floor plan is essential to maximizing how you spend your time here, so mapping out in advance where you want to go is important. Here is list to the events to get your bearings straight.
Without comic books, there would be no Comic Con. Comics are the back bone of today’s fantasy market. They maintain a huge influence on today’s film, television, toy, and gaming industries, as well as written and digital media. 2014-15 has shown a favorable uptick in comic book growth. Smaller comic houses Image and Valiant Entertainment are pushing their way to the table with powerhouses like Marvel and DC. Many of them, too many to list here, will be on hand at NYCC. Stop by some of their tables and booths and see what they are all about. You will be amazed by the talent and intelligence that goes into this craft and surprised how many you know without realizing it.
Getting autographs from your favorite comic book artists and character actors is not frowned upon. It is a rite of passage and is encouraged. Stop by one the many tables and say, hello. Ask questions. Get pictures. That’s what it’s all about. Amy Reed (Rocket Girl), Dan Slott (Spider-Man), Chris Claremont (X-Men), John Cassidy (Star Wars) & Amanda Conner (Harley Quinn) are just a small sample of the many amazing artists that will be on hand. Please note that some sign for free and others for fee.
Star Wars! Star Wars! Star Wars!
The Star Wars franchise is back and more imposing than the Death Star. Unless you have been stranded on a desert island, or in a coma, for the past several years, you know another installment is coming out in late December. Much hype, hoopla, and fanfare have raised excitement levels to a critical mass. It is still all shrouded in secrecy. All that is known is many of the original main characters are involved in various capacities. The Force Awakens is the biggest buzz of the festival. There is speculation that a sneak peek might be made available. May the force be with you!
The Evil Dead TV Show
Starz will be previewing a few episodes of its new series, Ash vs. Evil Dead. For anyone not familiar with The Evil Dead, it is a horror franchise that built up a sizable audience through word of mouth and video rentals. The films carry serious weight within the horror film community. Sam Raimi’s fusion of terror combined with slapstick comedy was a revelation. If you are not familiar with E.D., imagine if The Three Stooges were cast in The Exorcist. Bruce Campbell will be reprising his role as Ash, the reluctant, bumbling hero, and Sam Raimi is at the helm as producer. If this series is anything like the films, subtlety is going out the window.
Creator Chris Carter hit the motherlode when The X-Files first appeared on the Fox Network in the 1990s. It tapped deeply into a collective post-Cold War paranoia. It fed suspicious minds that held contempt for what they perceived as big, overreaching governments attempting to suppress the Truth. It became an immediate hit and, for a time, its rabid fan base rivaled that of Star Trek. Agents Mulder and Scully are back and ready to expose and confront more conspiracies, shadow networks, alleged myths, and occasionally open up a can of worms. Creator Chris Carter and actor David Duchovny will be on hand to discuss the new series and probably answer your questions with more questions.
Fan meet-ups are one of the brightest events at the conference. They are what make Comic Con so special. They give people a chance to get together, let their hair down, and geek out. There is nothing better than getting an opportunity to talk shop with others who also feel the love. There are meet-ups ranging from the obvious (Star Wars, Game of Thrones, Dr. Who, Batman, Star Trek) to the more remote and obscure fandoms (Sailor Moon & Supernatural). The meet-ups are all about celebration: dressing up to parade around at panel discussions and getting down at the occasional dance parties.
Adventure Time and Adult Swim
This year, The Cartoon Network is going for animation domination at Comic Con. They will hold court with nine separate panels featuring either Adventure Time or Adult Swim. While Adult Swim’s irreverent comedic anarchy will be duly noted, expect Adventure Time to get the most love and adoration. Adventure Time is the most original, striking, and wholly realized vision on television in many moons. The show is visually stunning, funny, surreal, trippy, and occasionally profound. It has gathered quite a following and deservedly so. Expect big crowds.
Games Of Thrones? Game of Thrones!
Yes, Game of Thrones, the most talked about show on television will be on hand – as will lots of angry fans wanting a good explanation from someone in charge over at HBO about what happened to Jon Snow this past season. Expect mayhem.
The Dark Knight 30th Anniversary
The Dark Knight hits a huge milestone this year. Frank Miller’s masterpiece, a reimagining of Batman, is considered – along with Alan Moore’s Watchmen – one of the most important and influential graphic novels ever published. DC Comics will be on hand setting up shop to honor this great achievement. Fans are encouraged to come by and pay homage. There will be some work on display, and special guests will be on hand for the panel discussion.
Celebrities Galore! Yes, even Godzilla will be there.
What’s a convention without celebrities? This year’s festival is crammed full of big names. For brevity, here’s our short list: Jack Black, Kevin Smith, Jonny Lee Miller, Vin Diesel, Seth Meyers, John Hodgman, Sam Raimi, Robert Rodriguez, and Bryan Cranston. Even the big fella – the lizard king, Godzilla – will be on hand. Maybe he’ll destroy a fleet of jet fighter planes or pulverize a few skyscrapers, for old time’s sake. Please check schedules for when they are appearing; not all will be available each day.