New York Comic Con is not for the weak and weary. Nor is it for the less than passionate nerds.
We had an amazing time at NYCC 2018! With four days filled with panels, star power, and nonstop fun, it’s easy for an introvert critter like myself to feel overwhelmed. But I powered through and by the weekend, I was a NYCC pro.
I spent the weekend walking around and engaging with my fellow nerds. It’s hard to compress four days of geeky fun into one post but I’m going to do my best.
At every tick of the clock, NYCC panels were happening. From informative to secret screenings to just plain entertainment (I’m looking at you Zachary Levi & Mark Sheppard), fans didn’t have to look far for a panel that matched their interests. Although it was impossible to attend them all, there were a few that stood out above the rest.
Outlander: Held in the Hulu Theatre at Madison Square Garden, this special screening brought in hundreds of passionate and excited fans. The panel started right on time and as the lights dimmed, everyone in the audience waited with bated breathe for the familiar theme song and characters that everyone love. After the screening, we were all graced with the appearance of the cast who spent 30 minutes answering questions and overall teasing all of us with insight into this upcoming season.
Outlander returns to Starz on Nov. 4, 2018.
A Discovery of Witches: Set to premiere on Sundance Now and Shudder early next year, NYCC attendees got an exclusive look at the first episode of this eight-episode mini series. For those unfamiliar with this fictional Deborah Harkness story, A Discovery of Witches follows the story of Diana Bishop, a history of science professor at Yale University. After accidentally finding an elusive, long-thought-lost manuscript, Diana is compelled to embrace the magic in her blood that she so badly wanted to ignore and engage in a forbidden romance with the charming vampire Matthew Clairmont.
Harkness came out after the screening to answer a few questions and fans of the book can rest easy to know that while there were some necessary changes to make the plot move on television, she commends the writers for “sticking to the spirit of the books and the characters of the books.”
A Discovery of Witches comes to Sundance Now and Shudder on Jan. 17, 2019.
Mortal Engines: My fellow geeks may recognize the name Peter Jackson as the brain behind the master franchise that is known as The Lord of the Rings. Well my friends, he’s back and is tackling another book-to-movie adaptation. Mortal Engines is based off of the Philip Reeve book and is set in a post-apocalyptic steampunk world where entire cities have been mounted on wheels and motorized and prey on one another.
We at NYCC were lucky enough to see the first 25 minutes of this much anticipated film and I’ll be honest, we did not want it to end. In just those first 25 minutes alone, action packed and beautifully shot scenes filled the screen. When the cast and crew came out to discuss producing and filming this adaptation, it was evident just how passionate they all felt about the project. Jackson and his co-producer, Philippa Boyens, shared with the audience the intricacies and challenges that come with turning a book into a film and praised the actors for taking such great care of their characters.
The film is scheduled to be released in theaters on December 7, 2018.
Mark Sheppard: Forever the snarky King of Hell, Mark navigated the awful sea of fan questions with grace and sass. I found myself nonstop laughing at his responses and to see the room completely filled despite his unceremonious departure from the popular show Supernatural warmed my heart. Unfortunately, I had to leave the panel early, but I did capture a few classic Mark moments before then.
Netflix & Chill: If you’re a Netflix junkie then this panel was everything you didn’t know you needed. Highlighting four upcoming Netflix originals, this panel welcomed stars like Ellen Page, Mary J. Blige and Ross Lynch. Stars shared with us the filming process as well as insight into these Netflix originals. Not only did we get to see teasers of new shows and laugh at the banter between castmates, but the cast of Chilling Adventures of Sabrina also surprised us with a special screening of the first episode.
Chilling Adventures of Sabrina is set to release next week on Oct. 26, 2018.
Midnight, Texas: After speaking with the cast earlier that morning, I knew I had to attend the panel. Not only to check out the special screening but I also wanted to just bask in the presence of the cast. Their chemistry and joy in working with each other simply took my breath away. Although I didn’t watch the first season, the recap perfectly caught me up. We were left with a happy ending at the end of season one but NYCC attendees learned quickly that for those living in Midnight, Texas, happiness just doesn’t last very long.
Without spoiling anything for my fellow fans, let’s just say that trouble is brewing in Midnight. But at least there’s no trouble in paradise when it comes to chemistry between the cast members. Not only were those in the audience pleasantly listening to a litany of praise among the cast but we also witnessed a burping contest between Arielle and Francois. I’ll let you guess who won that competition.
Midnight, Texas will also be returning next week on Oct. 26, 2018.
THE STUDIO BOOTHS & INTERACTIVE EXHIBITS
One of my favorite parts of attending conventions is checking out the creativity of my fellow geeks. NYCC has probably one of biggest vendor area where you can find everything from exclusive funko pops to one of a kind comic books. For more creative pieces of work, head down to the artist alley or just hang out in the lobby and do some people watching. Everywhere I looked I saw a Superwoman, Thor, and Captain America walking around. I even saw a few more … unique creatures.
We were lucky enough to get early admission to some of the booths. I was able to avoid the long lines and experience the one-of-a-kind displays.
STARZ American Gods Motel America Diner
To tease season two of “American Gods,” STARZ will bring one of the show’s central locations, the motel America Diner, to New York Comic Con. The diner will capture the attention of American Gods fans old and new by recreating everything from the iconic Motel America sign to the branded place mats that line the tables.
I really loved how the studio made the American Gods diner feel so realistic. Immediately upon stepping in, it felt like you were in an actual diner. From the place mats to the decorations hanging on the wall, STARZ certainly took incredible care in designing this booth. Fans got the chance to play with a photo booth and grab a free t-shirt and button from the counter to make repping this show easier.
STARZ Outlander Fraser’s Ridge
Working with artisans and brands from the era, the STARZ “Outlander” cabin experience will feature two apprentice-style workbenches where fans can customize a leather item as well as receive natural healing elixir inspired by the show. Brand experts will be on-site to talk about the process and authenticity that went into bringing to life the historic details from colonial America.
Each morning, if you passed by this particular booth you would see a long line of people waiting. But they weren’t exactly waiting to check out the booth, though that was certainly an added perk. Nope, these people were actually waiting for a chance to win an autograph signing with the Outlander cast.
Still, I thoroughly enjoyed seeing the historical details throughout the booth. Not only did I learn about a new type of scent made from a special tree called sandalwood, but I also watched as a brand expert carefully pressed my initials into a leather luggage tag.
It really did feel like I was stepping back in time into a cabin during the late 1700s.
‘A Harry Potter Pensieve Experience’
Inspired by the Hogwarts Pensieve, fans can select a Harry Potter character to follow on an immersive audio journey, sampling some of their most memorable moments in the audiobooks that continue to capture the hearts of millions of listeners everywhere.
As a Potterhead, I absolutely loved this exhibit. There were six Harry Potter characters that you could choose from. Once you made your choice, brand ambassadors were on hand to hand you your vial of memories and guide you through the experience.
I naturally chose Severus Snape and I’ll be honest, I was not prepared to hear the gruff voice of Jim Dale read out the memories of my favorite character. There were four stations, each with a different memory from the character’s life. Who said technology was destroying our creativity?
Even though the interactive aspect of this booth was really cool, what I loved was actually the visual design of the whole exhibition. The Audible creative team really took the time to design the booth to appear as if you were stepping into someone’s brain. Don’t these kind of remind you of the brain’s cranial nerves?
THE VENDORS & CREATIVE COSPLAY
And of course, how can we forget, all of the talented creatives that set up shop in hopes of turning their creative passion into a source of income. I got the chance to speak with Kristen Cummings from Jelly Belly and Gabriel from Marvel’s Contest of Champions. Both shared how motivating and inspiring NYCC is for them and through spending a few minutes with them I learned quickly that one’s creativity really has no bounds. After all, Cummings makes a living creating artwork out of jelly beans while Gabriel spends the bulk of his day designing an alternate universe for Marvel fans to escape to.
But it’s not just the vendors who are creative at NYCC. As I walked around the convention center, I was capturing the magic of cosplay. Although randomly running into stars like Katharine McNamara and Melanie Scrofano was pretty cool too.
THE STAR POWER
And of course, how can we forget, all of the celebrities that made an appearance. The Fandom was lucky enough to sit down with a few to chat more about their upcoming pieces of works. We caught up with the casts of Charmed, Legacies, Midnight, Texas, Tell Me A Story, and Titans. We’ll be sharing those interviews soon!
We also caught glimpses of star power on the NYCC SYFY Live Stage and the Hulu Theater at Madison Square Garden. From one fellow geek to another, NYCC may be overwhelming and exhausting, and you may come down with con crud afterwards like I did, but it’s totally worth checking out.