G33king out in the city that doesn't sleep: NYCC '13

cover-stories-nycc.jpg

written by Justin Prince (@prince_justin

New York: city of dreams. Known for being the home of the Yankees, the birthplace of hip-hop, and after attending New York Comic Con… now feels like a mecca for geeks and geeks alike. We’ve attended San Diego Comic Con many a time and have gotten used to the vibe there, while NYCC is smaller than SDCC (but not by much) they have an identity all their own, and I was digging it. Before going I had those butterflies in my stomach, the same ones that I felt before going to my very first SDCC, the new con butterflies are something we at the LG offices have felt throughout this year; what with going to so many new conventions.

The first thing I noticed about NYCC was how more intimate it felt than SDCC. SDCC is the Mardi Gras for geekdom, feels like a huge party crops up at the San Diego Convention Center and spills out into the Gaslamp District; this is very different from the vibe at the Javits Center in Manhattan. Feeling more contained, all that is Comic Con was contained in that one building, but this doesn’t mean it was small mind you, NYCC was a huge show and very impressive. While I enjoy the spectacle of SDCC, the biggest part of it is also what many feel is the biggest detractor of it, that SDCC has become more entertainment/pop culture centric rather than comic book centric. NYCC’s Artist Alley was far more impressive than the Artist Alley over at SDCC. More space and much better organized than just throwing them into the mix with vendors selling toys and comics, the NYCC Artist Alley was in a separate room from the show floor. Tables upon tables stretched back from wall to wall making it very convenient to find your favorite artists and writers.

what a crowd! what a show!

what a crowd! what a show!

I was so jazzed to meet some of my favorite artists and especially was looking forward to getting a few books signed. My proudest autograph hunt moment was trying to get all three headlining names to sign my issue of Superman/Wonder Woman #1; I even bought the NYCC exclusive variant cover of this issue. Hunting down the two credited with the artwork was easy, Tony S. Daniel and Matt “BATT” Banning were seated right next to each other, series writer Charles Soule was much harder to track down, it wasn’t till the final hours on the last day that I was able to FINALLY find him and complete the set. A couple other notable autographs I got were David Finch (artist) to sign my Forever Evil #2 variant, Greg Pak (writer) signed my Batman/Superman #3, and Rod Reis (cover artist) signed my issue of Aquaman: Black Manta 1 #23.1. Overall it was a good day for meeting some of my favorite artists, I feel like I should have brought more of my comics but I didn’t want to pack my bags too tight now.

the man behind the bat... MISTER Batman himself Scott Snyder signed my issue of Batman 24!

the man behind the bat... MISTER Batman himself Scott Snyder signed my issue of Batman 24!

Before we get too into this cover story, I wanted to wish this pair the best of luck and sincerest congratulations. This Joker cosplayer proposed to his girlfriend at Comic Con and she said yes! Way to go guys! Way better love story than Twilight , seriously... fuck that shit! Congrazzles and I wish you guys all the happiness in the world! 

all you need is love, love... love is all you need... ... and comic books

all you need is love, love... love is all you need... ... and comic books

I went to quite a few panels, most of which comic book centric. DC Comics was out in full force with several panels dedicated to many of their properties. The Batman panel was arguably one of the biggest, headlining this panel were Scott Snyder and Greg Capullo, the writer and artist currently helming Batman and right now penning the amazing “Zero Year” arc. Also in attendance were the minds behind such Bat-Family books like Nightwing, Bat Woman, and Red Hood and the Outlaws (to name a few). The biggest announcement was that “Zero Year” would continue practically well into the new year. With 2014 being the 75th anniversary of the goddamn Batman, this feels fitting. They also announced their plans for a new ongoing monthly book in the Bat-Family called Batman: Eternal. DC really knows where to put their money and it seems that Bats has the most appearances across the many books in the DC New 52. Other DC panels I attended were the Justice League/Forever Evil panel, where they spoke about the ongoing series Forever Evil and the plans for the future of the Justice League. Also the New 52 panel where they touched on other DC mainstays such as Wonder Woman and The Flash.

The first panel I attended at the con was one of the most entertaining, Kevin Smith was moderating the Comic Book Men panel and being such a huge fan of Kev Smith and the entire team over at Jay and Silent Bob’s Secret Stash, this was a treat of a panel. I just wish it was longer, or that Kevin Smith had his own Q&A panel. At SDCC one of my favorite panels to attend is An Evening With Kevin Smith, and that panel spans a time slot much longer than the hour we got with the Comic Book Men. Most of the audience questions were directed at Kev, but at least he was good about steering the conversation back to the cast of the show again.

this con really needed alot more Kev Smith!

this con really needed alot more Kev Smith!

John Barrowmen’s Q&A panel was an absolute treat, an hour of fan questions and funny stories from his time playing Captain Jack Harkness on both Doctor Who and Torchwood. My biggest complaint and I would have rectified this if I was able to get up and ask a question was that nobody commented on his turn playing the villain Malcolm Merlyn on CW’s Arrow. The guy is dripping with charm and charisma and just hearing him talk was pure entertainment.

Going back to Batman, my favorite panel of the whole weekend was the Batman: Arkham Origins panel. The game drops next week and I couldn’t be more excited to play it! Game producer Eric Holms (WB Games) was in attendance with Roger Craig Smith (the new Batman) and Troy Baker (the new Joker). One surprise was this guy from NetherRealm Studios, if you read my review for the companion iOS game to the console version of injustice: Gods Among Us you’ll see that I was a fan of the game and especially with how achievements in the game could unlock bonuses in the console version. The same can be said here, Batman: Arkham Origins will be getting a streamlined, on-the-go version for iOS devices that allow you to earn rewards in the console version of the game. The announcement of another assassin was also big news, Electrocutioner makes his Arkham Universe debut alongside the other revealed assassins who are gunning to take down Batman for Black Mask. This also was an announcement for the overall gameplay style of this entry. Similar to Mega Man, every time Batman takes down an assassin he takes their unique ability and modifies it to be added to his arsenal.

some awesome cosplayers

some awesome cosplayers

If you subscribe to our YouTube channel you may have seen this video, but one of the sweetest treats from this panel was Troy Baker reading a monologue from “A Killing Joke” in his Joker voice, hands down one of the best moments from the panel, bringing the crowd to their feet in roaring applause. Troy Baker is one of the most versatile voice-actors in video gaming today, having played roles like Joel from The Last of Us, Booker Dewitt from BioShock Infinite, and currently slated to voice Delsin Rowe in the forthcoming PS4 game, inFamous: Second Son. This guy is the Daniel Day Lewis of voice acting. No doubt about it.

What would Comic Con be without the toys? While I didn't grab nearly the same amount of exclusives as I would at say SDCC, I did manage to grab a few sweet additions to my toy box. Kid Robot was featuring a special “Day of the Dead” Homer and a Gold Ryu figure I was able to pick up, the DC booth also had this exclusive Green Lantern dual pack figure and a Poison Ivy vinyl statue. Over at the Kotobukiya booth, they showed off many of their statues but also showed off concept art for their next entry in the Bishojo Statue line, this time around… Jubilee! I sent the photo to my partner Riri and she was pretty jazzed to start making that costume for a forthcoming con, Emerald City Comic Con maybe?

Overall, New York Comic Con was a blast! I had so much fun and I can't wait to come back next year! Make sure to check out our cosplay roundup from the con as well (posted earlier) and subscribe to our YouTube channel. Keep it locked and get lifted.