New York Comic Con at Javits Center boasts its high numbers of fans every year. These numbers were certainly visible in the lines to get inside. Gridlocked sidewalks full of heroes, villains, robots, and the less adventurous t-shirt wearers extended down 39th Street all the way from 11th to 10th Avenues, then around the corner to 37th Street. If you tried to avoid this line, you were diverted down 34th Street to 12th Avenue and all the way around the exterior of Javits. And these lines didn’t even include the fans who lined up for panels at offsite locations: Hammerstein Ballroom, BookCon, and the Theater at Madison Square Garden. Crowd control was a struggle for some workers on the streets who just couldn’t compete with a mob of Luigis or Pokemon. Perhaps these impatient fans need to get multi-day passes next year! In line, though, was an opportunity to explore the NYCC app, which provided schedules, maps, guest lists, interactive activities, and ways to link your experience with social media. It also alerted notifications on when panels and autograph lines reached capacity (as Stan Lee’s did every single day).
Inside, the adventures began, as fans lined up to scan their badges for attendance at Main Stage panels or to wait for panels in other rooms. Getting to the screening of an episode Season 3 of Netflix’s Black Mirror a half hour early was not enough time to make it into the session. At least there isn’t long to wait for the new season to air on October 21st! The Walking Dead cast came to the Theater at MSG, a panel that was capped an hour before it even started. New York’s huge facilities just weren’t big enough for the huge fan following! The show floor, Artist Alley, cosplay meetups, and interactive video gaming opportunities kept other fans busy throughout the day. Freebies, contests, and photo ops made for an even more exciting experience. And, of course, there was the fan appreciation for obscure character costumes, homemade efforts, and acting or posing like your character. The panels offered educational opportunities, first-time screenings, and a chance to hear from big name creators, writers, artists, and actors. NYC proudly hosted another successful Comic Con this year!
Stranger Things Panel
“Inside the Upside Down with Millie Bobby Brown and David Harbour” was filled to capacity on the Main Stage Friday morning. These stars of Netflix’s hit series, Stranger Things, talked about auditions, stories from behind the scenes, and the next season. (Well, they talked about how they couldn’t talk about it.) A very bubbly Brown explained her acting methods for a character who doesn’t say much more than “no” and “Papa.” For telekinesis, she said that she would think about what her face would look like if she were physically performing the act. In response to a fan’s question, Brown said she loved playing 11 but would love to be in a comedy.
David Harbour’s acting method included taking Chief Hopper’s character home with him to immerse himself in the role, tapping into feelings of guilt while isolated. He educated Brown on growing up in the ’80s: “You actually had to show up on time to places.” He also said he used to play D&D; meanwhile, on set, Brown said that she and the boys played Pokemon.
As for Season 2, Harbour said loose ends will be addressed and assured us that, unfortunately, Barb is truly dead.
DC Comics Preview Panel
The DC Batman Family panel gave us updates on what several DC writers and artists are currently working on. After taking the reins of Batman, Tom King and David Finch talked about “I am Gotham,” whose collected edition will be released in January 2017, and announced their upcoming “I am Suicide.” Meanwhile, Scott Snyder hasn’t gone far. He continues to work on All-Star Batman and announced that he and Greg Capullo will be teaming up again soon for a new project. For Birds of Prey, Julie and Shawna Benson revealed that a new member will be joining the team soon. Tim Seeley discussed Nightwing and the ability for Dick Grayson to be such a versatile character, and Steve Orlando expressed the fun of working on “Batman: Night of the Monster Men.” James Tynion IV announced he is working on a Batwoman Rebirth series spinoff, “Batwoman Begins,” slotted for release in February 2017.
In the fan Q&A, Snyder talked about the development of Poison Ivy’s character as on the cusp of hero and villain. When asked about bringing characters from the TV shows into the comics, there seemed to be an overall consent that, with the exception of The Animated Series, these creators do not turn to the TV shows for material. Tom King joked, “They steal from us; we don’t steal from them.” Finally, James Tynion IV responded to a fan’s question in the affirmative about a return of Julia Pennyworth in Batwoman.
Con Man Panel
Saturday’s Main Stage panel with Alan Tudyk previewed his upcoming second season of Con Man. Available on Comic-Con HQ, Con Man, which stars and is written, directed, and produced by Tudyk, was the fastest crowd-funded project to raise one million dollars within 24 hours. Tudyk also heavily promoted the app, Con Man: The Game, which is based on the show. Throughout the session, Tudyk slipped into the voices of various characters that he has played. He expressed the fun of playing a rooster in Disney’s upcoming Moana, especially in experimenting with various sounds, such as a rooster under water. During the fan Q&A, Tudyk gave fans a random assortment of autographed items. He also announced that he would love to do Broadway someday. With his range, I imagine he could play all the characters!
This year’s NYCC was bigger than ever, proving that the so-called “nerd” culture is gaining in popularity. After all, the coolest among the fans are those decked out in the wildest costumes. And New York City will continue to embrace us; next year’s con is already for October 5 – 8, 2017.
Photos from this event can be found at Fanbase Press’ Facebook gallery, NYCC 2016 – Erica McCrystal, photographer.