New York Comic Con 2018 highlights

New York Comic Con was a strange beast this year. First of all, the main panels that are a must for me weren’t even there this year. Ash vs The Evil Dead was cancelled earlier this year so clearly there’s no next season to push. And The Magicians as well as Steven Universe were sadly absent as well, though due to production rather than cancellation. The Magicians showrunners and producers Sera Gamble and John McNamara were in attendance, and did a Syfy Live Stage interview:

So that left me with a very strange schedule, with things either being completely empty or having 3-5 overlapping panels of interest. I had more floor time (and more missed panels) than I can recall at NYCC. Still, there was a lot of great content and a couple of standout events.

She-Ra and the Princesses of Power This seems like an odd pick, even for cartoon-loving me, but the show looks great. I went to the panel because the main producer is Noelle Stevenson (of Lumberjanes fame), and it’s pretty much a given that whatever she touches will be worth checking out. She-Ra does not look like an exception. I never watched the original but this reboot looks to give the characters and their relationships far more complexity than I’d expect.

In addition to Stevenson, the panel had Karen Fukuhar (Glimmer), Aimee Carrero (Princess Adora/She-Ra), and Marcus Scribner (Bow). They all sounded excited, and Scribner seemed to let slip that his character Bow has two dads.

Adora and Bow

We were treated to some short clips and I have a sneaking suspicion that my favorite character will either turn out to be Mermista (played by Vella Lovell) or Jordan Fisher’s Seahawk. Mermista is essentially Heather from Crazy Ex Girlfriend if she were also a mermaid princess, and Seahawk is the kind of foppish rogue who likes to scream the word adventure at inappropriate times and charge on the count of one.

Mermista, Seahawk, Perfuma, and Entrapta

The next panel that stands out as a delight was American Gods. The host was Patton Oswalt and Neil Gaiman was there, so that alone secured it as a good time. Ricky Whittle (Shadow Moon) holds the crown for one of the funniest, kindest, and most energetic panelists to ever grace a Comic Con stage. I was not surprised that he ran through the audience, gushed about his fellow actors, and jumped down to give a Q&A asker from the audience a hug and a kiss. What was kind of shocking was how utterly and delightfully nerdy Bruce Langley (Technical Boy) is. Whenever they got to him with a question, from character motivation to whether he’d side with the old or new gods himself, he’d launch into a lengthy monologue that quickly veered into theory and metaphysics.

Speaking of nerds, I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention StarTalk with Neil deGrasse Tyson. His guest scientist was Brian Greene and I was in Ravenclaw heaven as they debated the practicalities and feasibility of the T.A.R.D.I.S. as a time machine, Ant-Man’s shrinking ability, and the physics of the Upside Down in Stranger Things. Unfortunately I had to duck out during that last segment, but am already waiting for it to hit StarTalk radio so I can catch up.

Utterly packed and utterly hilarious was the Drunk History panel, with Derek Waters, Rich Fulcher, Amber Ruffin, and Rob Huebel. There was a clip from an upcoming “spooky” parody, Are You Afraid of the Drunk. During the Q&A section the most common questions seemed to be “would you do a Stoned History?” and “can you make a version that I can show to my students in class?” The answer to both of these was no.

There was also a Star Wars: Women of the Galaxy panel which turned out not to be a discussion of the women of the Star Wars universe, but rather a question session with some great artists about a new coffee table book. Though a bit disappointing, the art and write-ups looked beautiful. So while the panel was less than I was hoping for, it did its job as marketing since I ended up buying the book the next day. The pitch was solid, and the publisher’s booth had it heavily discounted, along with a Leia print. Plus, it came with a list of the artists’ locations in Artist Alley, so I spent a good portion of my free time that day running around for an artist scavenger hunt/meet-and-greet.

While I didn’t make it to the Good Omens panel, I did to the walk-through experience which replete with photo ops and good swag (a heavenly apocalypse enamel pin and a blank journal with the cover of The Nice and Accurate Prophecies of Agnes Nutter).

Audible also had a good walk-through. Though the actual content was meh (excerpts from the Harry Potter audio books), the presentation was great. Upon entering (after about a 45 minute wait), you walk through a stone archway with small glass vials on ledges. Each vial has a character name (and an ID tag on the bottom). Once you enter the room there are projectors aimed at sheets of glass, with a small tray for the vial. Upon plugging it in, an except from the book plays that is relevant to the character’s name on the vial, while the screens show footage meant to evoke a real-world pensieve.

And with that I’ll leave you with a little gallery/montage showing off some excellent marketing, poor costume choices, and one of the sickest cosplay props I have ever seen in my life!

About Adam

Adam is a Jewish American who's sick of the white Christian male being America's "default" setting. For money he works in a public library because free books and information access are wonderful things. For love he writes here for his pet project, The Chaotic Neutral, which is always looking for more writers. You can follow him on Instagram, Goodreads, and at his oft neglected Twitter where he will try to post more, and probably live-tweet the Eurovision Song Contest.

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