New York Comic Con 2019: A Saturday Attendance Recap

What has been an annual tradition every October, this past weekend was New York Comic Con at the Jacob Javits Center in New York City. I have also stuck to my usual one day attendance to the convention, which has been Saturdays. Like in years past, New York Comic Con has been a day filled with fun, geekiness, and plenty to see or do. Without further ado, here are the highlights from my weekend at the convention!

One of the first things me and my friends did as soon as we entered the Javits Center was check out the goods on the showroom floor. Similar to last year’s NYCC it appeared that many of the major video game companies, like Nintendo and Xbox, were no longer setting up shop at the comic conventions anymore. But one company that did have a booth this year, but didn’t last year, was Playstation. The only video game I saw Playstation was offering a demo on was their upcoming Predator: Hunting Grounds. Other than that, the booth was woefully sparse and uninteresting. Unless you wanted to have your picture taken with a lifelike Norman Reedus statue from Hideo Kojima’s Death Stranding.

I’m now completely convinced that video game companies are shifting away from exhibiting their games at comic conventions, and are waiting for bigger, more dedicated conventions for video games, like PAX and E3, to market and show off their latest projects. I suppose it makes sense. Comic Con should be about comic books and other things pertaining to the comics arena and less about video games. Although, where major video game companies and developers may have opted to skip Comic Con, mobile game companies seem to be snatching up the spots that Xbox and Nintendo used to occupy. Summoners War and Epic 7 Seven are two mobile games that had booths at the convention this year. Not being much of a mobile games player, I had no idea these were games until one of the friends I was with made me aware of the fact.

Aside from a few game demos, the convention had plenty for geeks of all types to find something they’ll want to part with their money for or maybe stare longingly at. Take a look at some of the merchandise and booths that were on the showroom floor:

After we got our fill of shopping for what we wanted to buy and took a short snack break, my friends and I went to our first panel of the day which was Brian K. Vaughn’s discussion about Paper Girls with his illustrator Cliff Chiang. Vaughn and Chiang talked about the process of putting together Paper Girls, where their source of inspiration came from, and then announced that Paper Girls is currently in development to be adapted into a show for Amazon Prime.

Unfortunately, I couldn’t take any photos of Vaughn and Chiang because my friends and I were sitting too far back from the stage. Oddly enough, there was no camera set up for those sitting further back to watch a monitor of the panelists talking about their work. I would say this is the worst set up I’ve ever seen for a panel. I’ve attended enough panels to expect that if you’re not fortunate enough to sit close to the panelists in a fairly large room, then a camera should be set up to broadcast the talk on a big screen or monitor. Other than the mild irritation of not being able to see the faces of the ones talking, I did enjoy the Paper Girls panel immensely. I’ll admit I haven’t read any of Vaughn’s work, though I am familiar with his comic Runaways, now a show on Hulu. But after listening to Vaughn and the other panelists with him talking about the story for Paper Girls, it has motivated me to add his graphic novels to my growing to-read list.

When the panel finished, and I said goodbye to one of my friends who needed to leave the convention early, me and my other friend who remained went back to the showroom floor to catch a short talk with actors Billy Boyd and Sean Astin of Lord of the Rings fame on the SYFY Wire live stage. Both actors reminisced about their time shooting Lord of the Rings before the conversation completely switched to a discussion of Sean Astin’s character on Stranger Things as the ill fated Bob Newby from Season 2. I particularly loved how Billy Boyd busted Astin’s chops for being the character who got killed on what is easily an avoidable death. Boyd jokingly turns to Astin, asking him why did Bob stop running? To which, Astin fell silent and had this expression on his face that clearly read, yeah, rub it in why don’t you? The rapport between the two actors was really beautiful to see live and I’m glad they both had a chance to be in the same room together again. Dominic Monaghan was also originally scheduled to attend Comic Con, but had to cancel at the last second because of a sudden project that came up.

Billy Boyd who played Pippin Took and Sean Astin who played Samwise Gamgee in the Lord of the Rings trilogy.

The rest of the afternoon and evening was spent scouring the convention for cosplayers we wanted to take pictures of. Among the most popular cosplay this year was Fat Thor from Avengers: Endgame followed by a few Stranger Things Season 3 cosplay of Joyce and Hopper and Steve and Robin in their Scoops Ahoy uniforms. Here are some of the cosplays I managed to photograph:

I think he looks more like The Dude from The Big Lebowski than Fat Thor. Though it’s easy to mistake considering Fat Thor was obviously channeling The Dude throughout some portions of Avengers: Endgame.
Isabelle from Animal Crossing.
Mace Windu with his light saber.
Green Ranger and Rita Repulsa.
Cardcaptor Sakura with Kero!
The cast of Avatar.
A really good Maui from Moana.
Katniss Everdeen taking a break.

Closing out my day at the convention was going to the panel for Netflix’s Castlevania anime with the creators and voice actors of the show. I have to say that this panel was probably my favorite one for this year. The panel was fun and engaging to the point that you didn’t want it to end. The creators and voice actors answered a bunch of fan submitted questions, ranging from what the development process was like to adapt a famous video game series into an anime to what they would all do if the audience suddenly turned into vampires right before their very eyes. I was laughing at some of the answers each person on the panel gave and it was fascinating to learn how the creative team approached the Castlevania lore. The writer Warren Ellis was particularly impressive in that he admitted not having played any of the Castlevania games, unlike Sam and Adam Deats, much less heard of the series when he decided to take on the project. Despite Ellis coming into this series a little blind, he certainly did a fine job in capturing the themes and tone of the whole world and characters. Below are some of the photos I took from the panel:

From left to right: Assistant Director Adam Deets, Director Sam Deets, Graham MacTavish (Dracula), James Callis (Alucard), Alejandra Reynoso (Sypha), Ade M’Cormack (Isaac).
James Callis
Sam Deets
Adam Deets
Graham MacTavish
Alejandra Reynoso
Creator, writer, and executive producer Warren Ellis

This concludes my New York Comic Con write up! Hope you all enjoyed reading my time at the convention.

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