So, Saturday, October 15th, 2011, was an eventful day for me at the New York Comic Con as I navigated tiny Daleks, too many Ghostbusters and Voltron’s aisle blocking presence. The early phase of my day was wandering about buying comic books based on German opera, some DC New 52 #1’s (yeah, that does seem confusing), and contributing to the Presidential aspirations of one “Dot Com” (Kevin Brown) of 30 Rock fame.
He was nice enough to autograph a campaign button in exchange for a contribution. I also expect to be made Secretary of Defense in his cabinet someday. Sadly, I did not see Grizz, but I am told he had been around the con earlier.
I also ended up getting kinda-sorta autographs from two guys some booth claimed were members of SEAL Team Six. I’ll admit, this was bizarre. I wanted to get in on that sweepstakes for the Samsung Galaxy Tablet, and all it would cost me was getting some vague, handwritten messages on a glossy ‘Rubicon‘ flyer saying things like “tango down” and “Mike, give no quarter” … no actual signatures though. I hope I win the tablet.
Aside from a potential leader of the free world and guys who can kill with a fork while defending it, there was a man present at the con who actually defended it from the Nazis … and the Daleks.
Ian McNeice, a man recently known for his recurring appearances in TV series such as Rome and Doctor Who was, in fact, sitting next to an old “ironsides” Dalek at the Doctor Who merchandise booth. Seemed like a nice man, but I had to move on to catch some exciting panels.
First off, in order to be assured of making some of the bigger exhibitions at the IGN Theater during the convention, you have to get on line pretty early. In my case, I was on board for The Walking Dead panel at 3:00 PM, two hours prior to the scheduled start. This meant having to sit through another set of screenings delivered by Sony. The Total Recall remake was completely off my radar before seeing this scene with the lead, Colin Farrell, participating in an action sequence that actually stunned an audience of pretty jaded nerds. There was also a trailer for a sequel to the Underworld franchise about warring vampires and werewolves, called Underworld Awakening, that I frankly don’t care much about, and then Mark Neveldine and Brian Taylor, the directors responsible for the two Crank movies, showed some amazing clips and behind the scenes footage of the dangerous stunts the directors themselves pulled off in order to make another film in which I initially had no interest, Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance.
Moving onto The Walking Dead, the creator, Robert Kirkman, along with executive producer, Gale Anne Hurd, SFX wiz, Greg Nicotero, and a good chunk of the cast (including series newcomer, Lauren Cohan, playing Maggie Greene, who I especially loved when she was on the show Supernatural), showed off some extensive footage to be featured this year on the series (just a day before the new season premieres no less). Intense stuff featuring the kind of things my recurring nightmares about zombies have featured since my childhood: flimsy hiding spaces, lots of zombies, an intense feeling of being trapped.
The cap to the evening actually featured Cap … Captain America, played by Chris Evans, along with Tom Hiddleston (Loki), Cobie Smulders (Maria Hill), Clark Gregg (Agent Phil Coulson … he also gave the best answer of the night to an audience question when asked who his favorite ‘male’ super hero was, and he responded with Adam Warlock as drawn by Jim Starlin), Mark Ruffalo (Bruce Banner/The Hulk), and the President of Marvel Studios, Kevin Feige. While the guests were great, and entertained quite readily, the most important part of this panel was the rather lengthy scene involving Bruce Banner being contacted by the Black Widow, Natasha Romanoff (Scarlett Johansson) that had never been shown before, on top of the trailer that had been released earlier this week. It was nerd-vana, and thanks to Marvel Studios for making that happen!
Glossing over some unpleasant trolls in the audience, the occasional rude jerk amongst the show floor crowds, and the soul-crushingly long lines for everything from The Avengers panel to the ATM machines, Saturday was a good day at the con. Special kudos to Chris Hardwick of The Nerdist podcast and the host of Talking Dead, who kept everything light and entertaining and corralled a restive bunch of geeks while moderating such high profile panels as The Walking Dead and The Avengers, as well as the Friday panel I attended spotlighting Felicia Day.