With New York Comic Con (NYCC) initially kicking off 10 years ago, the city and comic fanatics alike will once again prepare to descend upon the Jacob K. Javits Convention Center for yet another highly-anticipated extravaganza. Since its inaugural showcase all those years ago, its presence has grown leaps and bounds, not only in hype but in traction as well. Officially reaching north of the 150,000 attendance mark in 2014, NYCC surpassed its San Diego convention counterpart as the largest comic book convention in North America. And now with excitement levels reaching maniacal highs ahead of its October 6 launch, the show’s organizers continue to plan and execute a wide variety of events staged outside of the main venue all in efforts to appease the many personality types scheduled to attend.
So much more than just a summit to meet and greet like-minded admirers or to shop the latest and greatest comic book merch, this year’s NYCC will play host to a wide sweeping selection of functions to take note of. To help get you prepared for one of this fall season’s biggest draws, we’ve comprised a list of can’t-miss events, panels and guests, not to mention a mini provisionary guide to alleviate some of the many stresses that often unfold with gatherings of this magnitude.
In anticipation of setting off yet another occupence record, ReedPOP, the convention’s organizing party have brought back some precautionary measures to help ensure smooth passage and general safety throughout the four-day event. Aside from filling out a mandatory “Fan Verification” profile, each guest will be assigned an RFID badge unique only to them. Containing your very own NYCC-ID, each must be activated prior to entering the convention grounds. Not only used to ward off or diminish to some extent, scalpers and resellers, the accompanying chip can also sync to consumer social profiles for ease of media sharing. Moreover, to help customize patron experiences, an official NYCC App and My Show Planner! tool will work in tandem to provide a detailed guide complete with information on such areas as Exhibitors, Artists, Panels, screenings and more.
Previously known as New York Super Week, a fun-filled series of unofficial ancillary events leading up to the main show such as live podcasts, screenings and dance parties, has since been rebranded to NYCC Presents. The tactical name change takes aim to curtail confusion from the week-long festivities’ true relation to the convention itself. Also, newly added to the exhibit’s jam-packed schedule, is BookCon @ NYCC being held at Hudson Mercantile. The consumer-focused literary fanfest will initiate host autograph sessions, panels, and meet and greets focused on traditional book authors.
CONVENTION TO-DO LIST
Get ready for Instagram overload with this year’s comprehensive guest list of photo-op participants scheduled to partake. For those keen on snapping a pic alongside some of the industry’s most noteworthy, here are just a few of who will be available; Carrie Fisher, Evangeline Lilly, Jack Gleeson, John Bernthal and Matt Smith, amongst others. As for group photo ops, check out available times for cast members of Doctor Who, Stranger Things and The Outsiders.
If comic books, stuffed caricatures and toy figurines don’t pique your interest, a custom illustration from a professional artist just may. On-goers will surely head over in droves to Artist Alley to have an original drawing commissioned just for them. With endless scenarios to mull over, creativity is the only parameter in relation to its possibilities.
NYCC Eastern Championships of Cosplay
For some over the top visual stimulation, the Eastern Championships of Cosplay may be a viable option for the itinerary. Considered by many as the largest and most prestigious costume contest on the East Coast, here, competitors will represent or depict in some way a character from the pop culture realm, while a panel of judges determine the cream of the crop in cosplay costuming.
The Block is where various genres of art collide — an interchange seeing collectible toys, fashion and design convene in one space. Los Angeles-based tokidoki, whose artwork has spawned noteworthy collabs alongside such names as Karl Lagerfeld, Marvel and Xbox is slated to set up shop. Also on deck is renowned vinyl toymaker Kidrobot, whose work has been admired and used by the biggest names in fashion design, graffiti and sculpting.
Brooklyn Defender Brew
Attendees can wind down their day, or rather jump start it, with a pint of the official beer of New York Comic Con. In alliance with the Brooklyn Brewery, the Brooklyn Defender is a fruity, yet bold IPA draft which features a bitter undertone from the addition of roasted malt. Animated graphics for the brew comes courtesy of Brooklyn comic artist Jamal Igle. Clad in high-tech armor, this year’s Brooklyn Defender boasts innate technological brilliance used to ward off wrongdoers.
Schoolism LIVE Workshops
Aspiring artists will look to converge in on these interactive sessions as a series of accomplished artists will share insider intel on how to make it in the ultra competitive design industry. Lectures will dive into past portfolio work as well as covering such topics as image planning, brainstorming and production design, etc. Guests will include the likes of Michael Knapp who has worked on Robots and the Ice Age franchise as well as Sang Jun Lee, part of the creative team behind Rio and War of the Worlds.
Comic Con Vixens
Showcasing the sexy side of Comic Con, is a night filled with burlesque dancers accompanied by striptease parodies of X-Men, Stranger Things and Game of Thrones, among others. Brought to you from renowned performer Dangrrr Doll and eclectic bar venue Littlefield, one can expect live music, circus performances and special guestings from the likes of Stella Chuu, Sweetpea and Nona Narcisse.
GBX: Electric Underground
With Space Ibiza set as the venue, resident DJs will spin the latest EDM remixes of cult classic anime and video game-themed tunes. The evening will also make way for several live performances, namely, one from Korean pop star Jessica Jung, not to mention a live set from Japanese dance sensation DJ Taku Takahashi.
Boozy Bowling Afterparty
Bowlmor Lanes has been pegged to host what’s known as the Boozy Bowling Afterparty. The 21+ event will highlight featured cosplay characters, unlimited bowling, arcade games, in-house contests, raffles, and of course a cash bar.
New York Comic Con ‘90s Party
In this massive palooza-style party hosted by Lucky Strike, cosplayers, comic book aficionados, and the general public for that matter are welcome to partake in a massive Mario Kart 64 world championship contest for ultimate bragging rights amongst other prizes. Also on tap are classic ‘90s-themed tunes and of course plenty of cocktails flowing round and round.
MUST SEE PANELS
Tales From the TARDIS
“Eleventh Doctor” played by Matt Smith, Alex Kingston who plays “River Pond,” and Jenna Coleman starring as “Clara Oswald” comprise this Doctor Who reunion cast of whom will tell tales of time travel and all that goes along with the infamous tardis.
October 6 – Main Stage 1-D
Inside the Upside Down
Without question one of the most noted breakout surprises of this past summer was the Netflix supernatural series Stranger Things. Taking to the stage is Millie Bobby Brown who stars as “Eleven” and David Harbour better known as “Chief Hopper” as they divulge on top secret behind-the-scenes tidbits, and hopefully what fans can expect for its highly-anticipated second season.
October 7 – Main Stage 1-D
Hip-Hop & Comics: Cultures Combining
Patrick A. Reed from Depth of Field magazine has been called upon to spearhead a conversation taking aim at the deep-rooted intersection between two of pop culture’s most prevalent domains. As rappers and graffiti artists incorporate superheroic imagery into their visuals and comic books make references to music and movement, the panel will draw expertise from several graphic artists and musical innovators to further discuss the complex relationship.
October 7 – Room 1A10
Season 3 Exclusive: Netflix Presents Black Mirror
For those not yet tuned into this Netflix exclusive, Black Mirror is a suspenseful anthology series with each standalone episode narrating satirical tales exploring the techno-paranoia world in which we now live. The presentation includes a screening of “Play Test,” a brand new episode where characters “Cooper” and “Sonja” test out a terrifyingly advanced video game.
October 8 – Room 1A10
Race and Gender: A Conversation with Ta-Nehisi Coates and Steve Orlando
In efforts to address the highly controversial, yet rather delicate matters of race and gender, Coates and Orlando, both of whom have achieved high praise for their works which go on to freely assimilate both topics, sit down with comics scholar Jonathan W. Gray for an informative chit-chat. Gray will engage both artists as he explores the implications of their work and the effects it has on the industry and society as a whole.
October 6 – Room 1A10
With the most prevalent of pop culture events set to invade what many consider to be the liveliest cityscape on the planet, the stage is set to revel in what may prove to be the biggest, baddest convention yet. With a multitude of event options all within arm’s reach, Comic Con, once seen as a gathering for hardcore comic devotees and animation enthusiasts has proven over the last few years to cater to a much broader spectrum of thrill seekers. With an open mind and plenty of patience in tow, this year’s New York Comic Con has all the makings to surpass its already lofty expectations whether for the avid on goer or for the novice first timer.
- Evonne Ermey, Richie S/Flickr, Alberto E. Rodriguez/Getty Images, Miguel Tenicela, JOHN LAMPARSKI/GETTY IMAGES, Comic Con Vixens