New York Comic-Con 2016
- Hasbro's 'Twas the Night Before... pre-NYCC Coverage
- Hasbro Twitch Panel Tweets
- "Death Race 2050" Panel Tweets
- "Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. Panel Tweets
- Westworld Experience Report
- "The Expanse" Panel Tweets
- "Dark Matter" Panel Tweets
On October 6-9, 2016 fans of pop culture and media gathered in New York City for New York Comic-Con 2016. This event covers a wide range of interests ranging from movies, to TV shows, cosplay, Anime, toy collecting and of course, comic books. This event has grown expontentially over the years, drawing hundreds of thousands of attendees over the course of four days. Indeed, whereas it was once contained mostly in the Jacob Javitz Center, the event has now expanded to the Hammerstein Ballroom/Manhattan Center and the theater at Madison Square Garden.
Ben's World of Transformers would like to give thanks to Reed Pop for providing a Press Pass for the event. It definitely went a long way in facilitating this coverage and it is deeply appreciated.
To give you an idea of just how popular this event has become Thursday used to be a day reserved for only certain members of the attending audience to enjoy the show. Back then you could go in and run around with your arms out and not run into anything. Now however it is a general admission day so anyone can attend. Add to that the fact that Thursday is the only day that does not sell out almost instantly and Thursday is now almost as busy as all the other days.
Thursday started with an off-site interview with the folks from the Hasbro design team. I'll present a transcript of the interview at a later date, but this gave me the chance to chat with the Hasbro team in a calm environment. They were kind enough to give everyone ten minutes of their time (I was one of many venues that had an interview scheduled). Even better? They had some of the figures from the previous night's event on display in proper lighting for us to photograph. You can see photos from the event on Facebook. For those who did not attend the pre-NYCC party or had interviews with the team, the Hasbro team held a live Twitch stream. You can see Tweets from the Twitch panel here. At the panel they showed off a prototype of Titan Class Trypticon's leg and the Optimus Prime voice change helmet from "The Last Knight". It was cool to have a panel dedicated to Transformers again at NYCC and I'm glad I found out about it that day or I may have missed it!
Death Race 2050 Panel & Preview
Set in a dystopian future where a cross country race scores points for kills, this film provides satire, violence, racing and a healthy dose of social commentary. The film is by legendary film maker Roger Corman who created the original "Death Race 2000" film. The star of the film is Manu Bennett who is best kown to genre fans as Deathstroke on "Arrow" and Allanon on "The Shannara Chronicles". We were shown the trailer for the film (below) and the first ten minutes of the film. Even better? Afterward we were treated to a poster signing! As a Geek it was an honor meeting Corman (and I told him as much). I have enjoyed Bennett's work so getting to meet him was super cool. If you are interested in reading my live Tweets from the panel, you can check them out here.
In between panels I ran around the dealer's room. Many of the larger scale companies such as Bandai, Diamond, Mezco, NECA, DC and Marvel all have standard spots they inhabit the whole weekend. In between them was an amazing array of vendors featuring everything from comic books to video games to vintage action figures and custom made items ranging from liquor flasks to clothes to plush dolls. Truly the show floor is an amazing experience that any Geek who can attend the convention needs to experience at least once in their life.
Friday was the day I aimed to get some shopping done. One of the tables I enjoy visiting is the Eaglemoss area. Eaglemoss makes a wide range of collectibles but my focus is on Star Trek Starships. Ever since I was a kid I dreamed of having a "fleet" of ships from the Star Trek universe and Eaglemoss makes that possible. Their Star Trek ships are finely crafted and come with booklets that give you the history of the ship along with technical information. It is very geeky and very cool all at the same time.
I also checked out the DC area which focused heavily on Wonder Woman since the character has a film coming out in 2017. On display were costumes from the film including that of Wonder Woman herself. A special treat was also there: the original Wonder Woman costume from the 1970's series worn by Lynda Carter! To many, Carter is still the definitive Wonder Woman so having this there was fantastic. Nearby was concept art used for costuming on that show. It was a nice way of showing off the history of the character on screen. Check out the trailer for the movie below.
A new area of the convention focused on several Virtual Reality experiences including one for "Suicide Squad" and another for "John Wick". I was able to experience the "Suicide Squad" VR. This was a really interesting experience. While filming a key action scene in the movie, actress Margot Robbie wore a special helmet with several cameras attached. This footage was then converated into a VR experience where you saw the entire scene from her point of view. It was slightly disconcerting but also fascinating at the same time. While you wear special goggles you can look up and down and to the sides and you'll see the ceiling and walls as if you were in the room. The movement flowed very well, but if you get motion sickness easily I would caution against the experience. This is a really cool addition to the convention and I hope it is here to stay.
Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. Panel
Marvel panels are special and if you ever go to one you'll really know what it's like to soak up geeky enthusiasm in a concentrated dose. First, this is held in the Main Hall (which, I was told, holds about 2300 people) and you're pretty packed in so when the crowd cheers and roars it's quite the experience. Sure you could get this at a rock concert or something, but how often do you experience this as you watch a superhero take down a bad guy (one week before the episode airs on television to boot)?! In attendance were Jeph Loeb, Clark Gregg, Chloe Bennett and Gabriel Luna who joined the show this season as Ghost Rider! I live Tweeted during the Q&A portion of the panel. You can read those Tweets here. During the panel we were shown a super fun video where the three actors went onto the show floor in costumes to talk to fans.
After the Q&A and video fans were shown a cut of the episode airing this week. No spoilers here, but I will say that the audience was jazzed and it was fun to watch an episode with people cheering, laughing and clapping with you. I think after a rough couple of initial seasons, "Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D." has finally found its footing and is in a good place. I look forward to many more seasons!
Day three was the most incredibly hectic day of the convention, and that is no surprise. Saturday is the day most of the guests come and not only is it crowded, but this is the day when most of the "big" events happen. As a result, I was running around all over the place the entire day!
First I ran to the VR area again because I had (quite by accident) learned that there was some type of promotion for the new science fiction show "Westworld". This new HBO show has had quite a lot of buzz so I was interested in just what they were doing to promote it. Check out my full report on that experience here.
As for what I did with the rest of my time, the Syfy channel became my focus. In recent years the channel has tried to move away from its mixture of "reality TV" type shows and bad C-level movies. Instead they have begun producing more actual science fiction programming including "The Expanse" and "Dark Matter". I attended the panels for both these shows. I live Tweeted from both panels and you can check them out via these links: The Expanse Tweets, Dark Matter Tweets.
As a bit of an epilogue to the day the cast members of "Dark Matter" had a small Q&A and autograph session at a Barnes & Nobles bookstore uptown. This took place inside a small meeting room where authors generally speak. It was a fairly small crowd, maybe about twenty something odd fans and the cast members. Also in attendance was Jay Firestone, creator and producer of the show. Because of its small size the whole affair was more like a conversation with a lot of back and forth along with a lot of laughs. This was one of the biggest highlights of the New York Comic-Con weekend for me.
New York Comic-Con continues to be an amazing fanboy experience. Even as this year ended I found myself already looking forward to next year!