New York Comic Con Experience
This is the year that New York Comic Con became the east coast version of San Diego Comic Con and then some. The rumor around the convention was this NYCC was on track to have a larger attendance this year than SDCC. It’s more than felt on the show floor and in the panel rooms or if you even consider moving around in between. Thankfully everyone fairly quickly masters the standard New York walking pace of ‘keep moving as if you’re being chased by wolves’.
NYCC wasn’t the only thing that made the city itself feel even more jam packed with people this year as this was also the first year of the NY Super Week. If you had the means, you could have come out to New York for about a week’s worth of geeky events and shows around town even before the convention itself started. It was a great way of taking the weight off of NYCC a little bit and transferring it to the rest of the city.
This was also the first NYC where Thursday’s hours and panels were extended. Instead of the Thursday of the convention being an abbreviated day, NYCC is now a full 4 day convention. I wouldn’t be surprised if next year the convention got started on the Wednesday as a shortened preview night. They have more than enough people, panels and interest to support it.
This worked smoothly and was well managed by the friendly and eager staff. There was plenty of signage around to help out if you got confused and plenty of staffers keeping the sectioned off panel lines intact. How the system worked was you’d pick which panel you wanted to see, and get in line for a wristband. After getting it you could pick between hopping in line for another wristband for any other panel you’d want to see that day, going out to enjoy the convention until your panel came up or you could wait there in line for the best seats to the panel you really wanted to see.
This meant no Hall H situation. No waiting overnight to line up (Unless you’re waiting for The Walking Dead panel apparently) because most panel lines filled to completion a few hours after the con doors had opened. No waiting all day through panels you might not be interested in to get to the one thing you care about. No one is there that doesn’t want to be there, you’re surrounded by thousands of other people who care just as much about the thing you’re there to see. This system was a success and I hope they continue it next year too.
Clark Gregg & Jeph Loeb Signing
Clark Gregg and Jeph Loeb’s signing at the Marvel boot was a ticketed event on Friday, which means you had to line up at the Marvel booth first thing in the morning and enter to win a ticket to the signing. For those lucky enough to draw a winning ticket were able to come back later in the day for the signing event and spend a few seconds with Clark Gregg and Jeph Loeb as they signed things for you. The Marvel booth staff were especially nice and talkative and kept the mood light and the crowd organized the whole time.
The line moved briskly once the signing started. Clark and Jeph were as chipper as ever, eager to meet the fans. There was a huge crowd of onlookers that didn’t have tickets that just wanted to come out and support Clark and Jeph. And if you needed another reason to love the guy even more, after the ticketed signing had ended Clark even started signing and handing out even more posters for people in the crowd. If you ever have the chance to meet Clark Gregg, take it. You won’t be disappointed.
The Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. Panel
This time they made us turn off our phones and cameras right at the start of the panel, so no pictures even of the pre episode screening banter with Clark and Jeph. The Marvel-S.H.I.E.L.D. security agents equipped with night vision goggles were out in force as usual and maintained their take-no-prisoners attitude when it comes to illegal recordings of their panels. You do not want to ever get on their bad side if you value holding on to your mobile devices.
Jeph took the stage first, welcomed everyone and called this year a little different, a little busier with this panel and Daredevil the next day. We learned that Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. is called “the mother-ship” around the offices. Loeb then noted that the one thing we all learned from last year’s season is anyone could be Hydra, and then promptly revealed a green emblazoned hydra shirt from under his jacket. Clark Gregg immediately dashed on stage and confronts him in only a way the Director of S.H.I.E.L.D. could, by staring him down, then jumping off the stage to high five fans in the front row much to the surprise/shock/horror of security. Their faces alone were worth it. He was welcomed back to the stage with a standing ovation and cheers and chants of “Coulson, Coulson” from an ecstatic crowd.
Clark then talked about his history with NYCC and how it’s always going to be special to him as it was the site of his resurrection, the convention where they announced his involvement with the show, and the place where the public finally found out that Coulson lived.
Of course, the only way Loeb could make up for his Hydra transgression was by playing this week’s new episode Face My Enemy. No spoilers from me, but it was the best episode yet. And I know I say that every week this year, but still, I mean it. The crowds cheered and screamed and gasped at certain reveals and intense fight scenes.
Let me also take a moment to touch on Kevin Tancharoen, director of episode 4, brother to Maurissa Tancharoen and creator of Mortal Kombat: Legacy. The fight scenes he directed were like nothing we’ve seen yet in the whole series and there was a specific part of a certain fight that made the crowd go ballistic. I’m not going to say where but you’ll be able to figure it out pretty dang quick come Tuesday. My heart goes out to Ming-Na Wen and the entire stunt team for this amazing episode.
After the episode played and after a quick ‘we have to wrap up the panel’ fake out, Loeb and Gregg showed off the world premiere footage from Agent Carter. The scenes we saw were filmed earlier on Monday and were made ready especially for Friday’s panel. Again, no spoilers, but the crowd ate it up. We got to see Peggy and Howard Stark back in action and our first look at Edwin Jarvis, played by James D’Arcy. The whole segment was like welcoming back old friends you haven’t seen in a while. The look and feel are just as you’d expect for this series.
This year’s NYCC was as hectic and crowded as usual, but at least as far as the panels and lines were concerned, a heck of a lot more organized. For those not able or willing to make the trek out to SDCC, this is the place to be.