Despite having lived in New York City pretty much my whole life, I’ve never actually made it out to New York Comic Con. This year, I finally rectified that. I managed to get passes for Friday and Sunday and was able to check out some interesting panels and peruse the convention floor to pick up some books and comics and nab some autographs.
My friend and I kicked off Friday by getting together our (pretty simple) cosplay and heading to the Book Con portion of NYCC, which featured a panel on the upcoming Star Wars books called Star Wars Presents: A Writer’s Roundtable. It featured authors Chuck Wending, Jim Luceno, E.K. Johnston, Charles Soule, and a special appearance by comic book author Kieron Gillen. However, my friend and I went to see the one and only Timothy Zahn, an author whose work in the Star Wars universe had a profound impact on our teenage lives.
We were there early enough to be allowed to get autographs from the authors as well, which was a definite plus.
We hit up another, less interesting, Book Con panel after that, and then went to the floor. I meandered Artists Alley to try and get some autographs on from comic book authors and artists whose work I’ve enjoyed. We also hit up the main convention floor, where we ended up getting photographed a fair amount and picking up some solid shots of our own.
We ended the day by checking out the world premiere for Beyond, an upcoming sci-fi thriller series on Freeform. The show is about a kid who wakes up from twelve years in a coma and starts to discover that he has strange powers. As it turns out, while he was in a coma, he was living a whole other life in another world, and now he has to reconcile the two as well as catch up on all the time he’s missed.
We were shown the first half of the 2-hr pilot, and I think the show has potential. It’s a bit “YA”, which could be good or bad depending on your tastes, but the premise is very cool, and the lead actor is engaging. The producers Tim Kring and David Eick, along with writer and creator Adam Nussdorf and lead actor Burkely Duffield, ran a short panel following the episode where they answered some questions, which was fun but (naturally) not very revealing.
I only made it to one panel on Sunday, which was the We Need Diverse Books: #WhiteWashedOUT in Books and Media, a topic near and dear to my heart. It featured Keith Chow, Marjorie Liu, Sarah Kuhn, Preeti Chhibber, and was moderated by Sona Charaipotra. Ellen Oh was supposed to be there as well but was unable to attend.
The panel covered all of the major whitewashing of Asian characters or (in the case of Iron Fist) missed opportunities to cast Asian-American leads that have taken place over the past year, and presented some thoughts on ways that increases in diversity might start to happen. I found it encouraging to be in a room full of people from many different backgrounds who clearly share the same concerns I do on this subject and to listen to creators who could very well articulate some of the reasons this is such a problem.
Outside of that, I didn’t do much on Sunday other than roam the floor, which was pretty fruitful. I ended up purchasing five Valiant comic books, which should give me some insight into their properties. I’m fairly familiar with Marvel and DC, and Valiant is one of the big upcoming superhero IPs, so I’m curious to read their works.
Also, more autographs were had:
Overall, it was a fun weekend. I think the floor of Comic Con is less engaging than floors of gaming conventions like PAX where you can demo a variety of different games to keep yourself entertained. The floor for Comic Con is more about buying things, and there are a lot of neat things to buy, but there isn’t much to do outside of that.
That being said the panels were cool, and it was awesome to be able to meet some writers and artists who work on the books I read. I could see myself going back, especially if there were some interesting panels I was aware of, or some celebrities I wanted to meet, though I’m not sure I would want to go for an entire weekend.
Did anyone else make it to NYCC? What were your experiences?