Chris Troy writes for Bleeding Cool
I've been attending New York comic conventions since they were being held in church basements ( aka the mid-90s), so Reed finally getting access to the enitre Jacob Javitis Center was quite the upgrade for me. My feet are killing me as a result, but I assure you, the 3.5 days of walking around was worth it.
Thursday's preview night gave me the chance to chat up Reily Brown (Cable/Deadpool, Amazing Spider-Man), who was plugging his new digital-only comic "Powerplay" at his booth, as well as doing some sketches and autographs. The fan-favorite artist was a delight to talk to, and his new comic looks promising, and as a native New Yorker, it's nice to see someone capture the city right (Oppose to the creative team over on "Avenging Spider-Man", which preview features a bridge that somehow connected Manhattan to Staten Island). After getting a Cyclops sketch and 2 prints from Mr. Brown, I managed to bug the likes of nerd-rock duo Kirby Krackle, Atomic Robo creators Brian Clevinger and Scott Wegener, before forgoing the Artist Alley for the other 2 exhibitor halls, where I spent most of my times oogling toys, and playing yet-to be released video games.
Friday morning started with me annoying the likes of Tim Seeley, Kevin Maguire & Kieron Gillen before attending the "Zombies, Fallen Angels & Other Paranormals give new meaning to "Undying Love" panel. My presence there was strictly based on the fact that it was moderated by Deadspin.com contributing Editor Drew Magery, who recently released his 2nd novel "PostMortal". The panel was quite excellent, as the writers spoke on how to approach this heavily exploited genre, and Drew did a fine job of keeping us from the Deadspin community amused with the type of one-liners you'd expect from a blogger who writes Football fan-fiction. From there, I met up with my lovely wife and got in our respected weekend cosplay (her a maid variant of the Yoko Litner character from Gainax's Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann, myself Cyclops of X-men fame) to be interviewed for an upcoming Nerdist.com web show. From there, a photo-shoot (Yes, not only am I a nerd who cosplays, but I'm one who demands pretty photos of himself with said costumes) with photographer Michael Fong and some friends, which lead to a brief and delightful run-in with Robot Chicken's Seth Green. We obviously got a picture with him before he ran off to his panel, followed by a 9 foot Bumblebee (of Michael Bay's Transformers) cosplayer. At this point in the day, Marvel was hosting their cosplay gathering on the massive Avengers set that made up their booth, something I couldn't resist, so my makeshift X-team made our way there, and added some diversity to the plethora of Wolverines/Captain Americas/Spider-Men/Deadpools already station at the SHIELD Helicarrier inspired set. And after my attempt to get into Marvel's "Amazing Spider-Man" panel was thwarted by the legion of Mark Hamill fans camping in the room for his following panel, I called it an evening, did dinner with my friends and returned to Brooklyn.
Come Saturday, I had agreed to be in the Cosplay Masquerade half-time show for the Anime Festival, which meant I was suppose to be in the IGN theater rehearsing said show before the major panels/screenings began in there. That never happened, as 2 studios demand last-minute tech runs. So instead it was back to Artist Alley and the Exbitor's Hall, to poke the likes of the Tiny Titans crew, Amy Reeder, Garth Ennis, J. Scott Campbell, Clay Mann, and Daniel Way for sketches and signatures. Way, who in his own words, was out "Drinking with Ennis in the Village and was either hung over or still drunk" managed to doodle a terrible looking Deadpool in my sketch pad, and told a joke or 2 at the expense of fellow Marvel creators Brian Michael Bendis and Jason Pearson during our conversation. Deciding I wanted to play it safe, I got in line early for the DC The Edge/Dark panel, where:
-Technical problem with the microphones delayed the panel for 10 minutes, and continued to be a problem throughout the panel, leading to some tension between the moderator and the Javitis tech crew.
-Scott Snyder spoiling most of the 3 issue of Swamp Thing, including a new villian who will affect both his book and Animal Man.
-Jeff Lemire confirming a Swamp Thing/Animal Man crossover in the near future, as well as a O.M.AC./Frankenstein 2 issue crossover. The leads of each respected book will explain the same scenario from their own P.O.V., and Lemire pointed out that you could skip buying O.M.A.C. And still get the complete story, messing with Keith Giffen. Also his choice of using a powerless Ray Palmer was not editorial mandate, but something he wanted to do.
-Giffen confirmed that Dan Didio more or less sends him plot outlines, and Giffen handles the rest. Readers should expect more Kirby characters to appear as the series continues.
-I, Vampire readers should expect Batman and John Constatine to appear in issues 4 & 5.
-Adam Glass pointed out that "Harley Quinn fans aren't trying to kill him anymore, he just has to look out for Amanda Waller fans, and fans of Deadshot's mustache".
Overall, the panel was very by the book and well-controller by the moderator. Why there was no mention of Justice League Dark is beyond me, but probably had something to do with the fact none of the creators were there.
From there, every panel I tried getting into (Mass Effect, Marvel Animation, Cup of Joe) lines were full even before they started, and I knew better than to try my luck with the "Walking Dead" or "Avengers" at this point. So after a later lunch and a run in with a pair of actors from NBC's 30 Rock (Scott Adsit & Judah Friedlander), I got in my costume for the Cosplay masquerade half-time show (ironically Deadpool) and spent way too much time waiting for the event to start. Apparently tech issues had been plaguing the IGN theater the entire weekend, so the masquerade, which was suppose to start at 8pm, didn't do so until 10ish, meaning I didn't leave the center until Midnight.
That being said, I didn't roll into the con until Sunday. I did another round of the center, coming across Phil Noto in the exhibition hall, working on an Uncanny X-Force piece for Autodesk SketchBook pro. He managed to bang out Psylocke and Wolverine, but when it came to Deadpool, apparently he had forgotten was his mask looked like. Having no less than 2 Deadpool wallpapers for my iphone, I managed to supply Mr. Noto with the reference, and he repaid me by signing a Cyclops/Jean Grey/Emma Frost print he had drawn earlier that weekend, After swinging by the Man of Action book to secure a signature from Joe Kelly followed by the Oni Press booth for the 1st volume of "Wasterland" it was time for the massive X-Men Re:Genesis panel, which feature a plethora of X-Men writers and editors, sans anyone who wrote Deadpool or Uncanny X-Force. Highlights included:
-Marvel asking their fans to turn Geoff Johns into a liar and having the X-books once again outsell Green Lantern.
-Christos Gage being announced as the new writer for X-Men Legacy, and bringing Iceman and Cannonball onto the team.
-Professor Xavier will be in Wolverine and the X-Men #1, as well some small, Nightcrawler-esque demons.
-Fans should expect Doop and the X-statix characters to make appearances soon, and the New X-Men characters to be spread out between Legacy, Uncanny & Wolverine &TXM.
-X-23 fans should expect Laura to pick up a part-time job as a baby-sitter for the Future Foundation.
-Several fans pointed how much they appreciated how diverse the X-teams have been over the years, as the books served as metaphors for both sexual preference and race, and helped served as coping mechanisms towards intolerance.
-Peter David had way too much fun with miniature signs, and remained a crowd favorite..
-One ten yr old child asked what political parties the split X-Teams aligned with. The child said he was a Republican and a Wolverine fan, and Peter David said that made sense, as Cyclops was a Libertarian.
-Another 10 year had a question he said "Was told to ask after going to the other place first" (We assume it was the DC panel, no confirmation though), the panelists laughed, but were thrown off when then child asked who "they considered Jean Grey's true lover was". The moderator asked who the boy, in a Power Pack costume none the less, thought it was, and he thought it was Cyclops. Both 10 yr olds were brought on stage to meet all the panelist, although the one asking about Jean Grey's love life scored a exclusive X-Force Archangel figure signed by all the panelists.
-The final audience question praised how well the collective X-writers and editors worked together over the years, and then asked if they could locked Brian Michael Bendis in a room and explain how continuity and endings works, citing problems with his New Avengers run. Upcoming writer James Asmus laughed pretty hard at this comment, but the moderator pointed out that Bendis' writing-style has made him Marvel biggest and best selling writer.
With that, I took my leave of NYCC, enjoying it's 6 year of it's existence. Now excuse me as I rejoice as I don't have to wear tights for at least another 30 days.
-Chris Troy curses his existences on a regular basis on his twitter feed @anarchris. He also rants about how awesome Marvel Universe figures are for Forbidden planet. The Seth Green/X-Men photo was taken by Michael Fong, who's work can be seen here: http://www.flickr.com/photos/fotofong/.