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Published on October 12th, 2016 | by Lauren Bycroft

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New York Comic Con 2016 Recap

This weekend I attended the sold out tenth annual New York Comic Con.  By all accounts NYCC is the biggest it’s ever been, holding events in the Javits Center, Hammerstein Ballroom, and The Theater at Madison Square Garden.  Thursday, things got off to a quick start.  When I arrived, there were already hundreds of people in line to get on the floor.  I made B-line for the Main Stage panel queues and was able to attend AMC’s Comic Book Men Panel, Tales from the TARDIS, and the world premiere of Batman: Return of the Caped Crusaders.

The theme of day one seemed to be the idea that it’s better to be positive and embrace things than it is to hate on them.  Kevin Smith gave an amazing twenty minute answer to a fan’s question about the panel’s thoughts on the current DC films.  While Smith admitted that he couldn’t believe that the movie spent “two hours for Martha?!”, he also stood firm on the fact that he is happy Batman v Superman exists.  He discussed, and the panel agreed with him, the fact that as a child he wanted nothing more than to see his favorite characters up on the screen.  These films are filtered through the imaginations of the filmmakers creating them and he acknowledged that that filter is not always going to match up with his or anyone else’s.  He also celebrated the other Comic Book Men – Walt Flanagan, Bryan Johnson, Mike Zapcic, and Ming Chen – calling them the “stars of my childhood, my personal life, and my professional life.” Bryan also mentioned that he is currently working on Vulgar 2. The hilarious and uplifting panel was a great way to kick off NYCC.  I got the opportunity to talk to Ming Chen on the floor of New York Comic Con.  You can listen to that interview here:

The positivity continued with Tales from the TARDIS, a panel with former Doctor Matt Smith, former companion Jenna Coleman, and recurring star, Alex Kingston.  The Doctor Who actors discussed their upcoming projects, Matt Smith has The Crown coming to Netflix, Jenna is finishing up ITV Series, Victoria, and Alex Kingston is on CW’s Arrow.  The panel discussed the first Doctor Who episodes they saw, Jenna’s was The Eleventh Hour and Matt and Alex started with Christopher Eccleston and William Hartnell respectively, as well as their favorite episodes and what they loved about the show.  Alex Kingston in particular talked about the lack of smart and mature children’s programming in the States and theorized that that has led to the popularity of Doctor Who here in the US.  She went on to say that John Borrowman is “quite keen to reboot Torchwood”, and that she thinks Smith was the first to explore the Doctor’s emotional vulnerability and that that was a credit to show runner Steven Moffat.

Following the TARDIS panel I had the privilege of interviewing the great Adam West and the director and writer/producers of his new animated Batman film, Batman: Return of the Caped Crusaders as well as attend the premiere of the film. You can listen to those interviews here:

And read my review of the filmhttp://sknr.net/2016/10/11/batman-return-caped-crusaders/:

Friday morning I hit the incredible popular and packed Stranger Things panel with Millie Bobby Brown (Eleven) and David Harbour (Chief Hopper).  It was one of the funniest and most delightful events I attended all weekend.  Despite spending little time together on screen, Harbour and Brown have wonderful chemistry and a clear bond.  Harbour talked about his acting style and the characters and actors that influenced Hopper – Harrison Ford/Indiana Jones, Jack Nicholson/Five Easy Pieces, Gene Hackman, and Roy Scheider.  Brown was keen to poke fun at herself and Eleven’s propensity to stare and use her powers instead of talking.  She also talked about her desire to work on a comedy – she should, she’s very funny.  Harbour talked about what a rich emotional arc it would be if Hopper and Eleven were thrown together in Season 2 and seemed to hint that it was a possibility without committing anything.  He did, however, confirm that poor, sweet Barb is definitely dead, while also saying that Season 2 will tie up some of the loose ends left from the first season.

In the afternoon I was given the opportunity to interview cast and crew members from Adult Swim’s new show Dream Corp LLC and long running animated series Venture Bros. You can listen to interviews with Executive Producer and voice of T.E.R.R.Y., Stephen Merchant, Creator Daniel Stesson, and stars Jon Gries and Nick Rutherford from Dream Corp LLC  here:

And you can also listen to my interview with Venture Bros co-creators, director, and writers Jackson Publick and Doc Hammer, here:

At the Adult Swim panel following the interview, attendees were given the opportunity to see the first two episodes of Dream Corp LLC and they are wonderfully weird.  In my interview I told creator Stesson that the show’s trailer reminded me of broken down Michel Gondry, and received an enthusiastic thumbs up.  Blending live action and rotoscoping, the 15 minute episodes pack a lot of original visual style into a show that manages to be part workplace comedy and part surrealism.

Day three of NYCC was a full day in the Theater at MSG where I took in the panels for Zhang Yimou’s new monster epic The Great Wall, the upcoming Saban’s Power Rangers, and John Wick sequel, Guillermo del Toro’s new animated Dreamworks/Netflix series Trollhunters, and the main event, the Walking Dead panel.  It was an impressively star studded day with Matt Damon, Keanu Reeves, Common, del Toro, Ron Perlman, and Kelsey Grammer attending along with the entire cast of The Walking Dead with the exception of Andrew Lincoln.  The highlights of the day were definitely the world premiere of the John Wick: Chapter 2 trailer which was absolutely incredible as well as the first two episodes of del Toro’s Trollhunters.  The new series, dedicated to lead voice actor Anton Yelchin, whose work in the show is wonderful, is a funny, sincere, perfectly Amblin-esque animated adventure and I’m extremely excited to see the rest of the show when all 26 episodes drop on Netflix on December 23.  Aside from those two episodes, everything that premiered for our crowd on Saturday is now available for you to see online.

On NYCC’s final day I kicked things off at Hammerstein Ballroom for Crackle’s SuperMansion panel with stars Keegan Michael Key, Heidi Rhodes, Breckin Meyer, Gary Anthony Williams, and creators Matthew Senreich and Zeb Wells.  The panel, announcing the show’s Christmas special, The War on Christmas, coming to Crackle December 8, showed how incredibly funny and light on their proverbial feet this cast is.  The panel also hosted a free signing before hand for the fans, something I thought was a really lovely and classy thing to do.  The Christmas special will deal with Santa being wished into existence and the fall out as he goes insane with power.  I was able to talk to the panel afterwards about the show.  You can listen to my interviews here:

It was almost time to say good bye to NYCC but before I left I hit the Star Trek booth set up by Paramount in celebration of the release of Star Trek: Beyond on November 1.  New York Comic Con can be an expensive proposition.  Tickets, travel, lodging can run you a lot before you even arrive.  There’s not a lot you can do for free on-site so I really applaud Paramount for setting up something so great for the fans.  The Star Trek booth let fans sit in the captain’s char and take a series of pictures photo booth style for free.  They also let attendees insert their face into the blu-ray’s cover, replacing star Chris Pine’s.  I walked by the booth multiple times a day and the line never lagged.  Fans definitely dug the opportunity and I don’t blame them.  I took advantage myself.

Speaking of free I also took full advantage of South Park’s set up outside the Javits center where they allowed fans to step into dioramas of iconic scenes from the show’s 20 seasons.  I took my picture on Carman’s couch, in Mr. Slave’s intestines, standing alongside drunk, arrested Randy Marsh, and at the iconic bus stop with the boys just to name a few.  The wooded cut outs are a genius set up, mirroring the construction paper animation of the show.  It was another fun, free opportunity for fans, and one that had the bonus of getting you out of the crowds and into the fresh air for a bit.

Overall NYCC was a great experience.  The floor was packed as usual and at times hard to navigate but there was no shortage of things to do if you needed a break from the crush.  Adam Savage, Alan Tudyk, and Jon Bernthal attended and hosted solo panels, Marvel brought Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D, Iron Fist, and surprised fans with The Defenders and their villain, the incredible Sigourney Weaver.  The casts of Teen Wolf, NBC’s Timeless, The Man in the High Castle, and HBO’s Westworld attended.  BBC America brought multiple shows and took over MSG for half the day Friday. Nickelodeon brought the cast of their Legends of the Hidden Temple TV movie and set up a booth for fans to meet characters like The Rugrats.  There was truly something for everyone to enjoy in New York this weekend.   If you couldn’t make it this year, mark your calendars now.  2017’s con runs from October 5-8.

 

 

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