NYCC 2010: Comics, Cartoons, Costumes, & Chaos

After 1 year and 8 months since the last New York Comic Con, the East Coast’s premiere pop culture event returned to the Jacob Javits Center in New York City last weekend.  The five-year-old convention has exploded in popularity since its inception, hoping to one day rival the legendary San Diego Comic Con.  

In an effort to further the event’s expansion, ReedPOP, NYCC’s parent company, combined it with the New York Anime Festival.  With crowds of comic geeks and otaku filling the halls, the shoulder-to-shoulder attendance turned out to be a sell-out crowd. The selling of weekend and day passes was suspended on Saturday.  The grand total of attendees was an amazing 95,000+.

Fans were shoulder-to-shoulder in the aisles of NYCC

Following the trend set in San Diego in July, DC and Marvel, the heavy hitters of the comics industry, showcased the latest and greatest from their respective universes.  Remaining at the forefront of the DCU, Green Lantern had plenty of publicity.  Blackest Night may be wrapped up, but Brightest Day is in full swing.  On hand to discuss the popularity of GL in the DCU was writer and Chief Creative Officer, Geoff Johns.  Mr. Johns received a great deal of exposure at his own Q&A session, as well as at panels pertaining to the upcoming Green Lantern animated series and the “Emerald Empire” of the GL mythos.  While many questions were dodged to preserve secrecy, Johns still managed to coyly drop some hints about upcoming events both on the page and on the screen.  With four Green Lantern titles on comic shop shelves, an animated series in the works, and a feature film nearing completion, the popularity of Hal Jordan and the intergalactic police force is at an all-time high.

Green Lantern: Emerald Empire panel

Video games were also a large part of Marvel’s presence.  Game developer SEGA was on hand to show both a demo of “Captain America: Super Soldier”, and production art and a behind the scenes look at “Thor: God of Thunder.”  The debut of both games will coincide with the releases of their respective feature films in 2011.

OTF with Next Level Games’ Brandon Gill, game director of Captain America: Super Soldier

Continuing the theme of Marvel video games, attendees were able to play the recently released “Spider-Man: Shattered Dimensions” at the Activision booth, “Marvel Super Hero Squad Online” at the Marvel booth, and, of course, the highly anticipated “Marvel VS. Capcom 3: Fate of Two Worlds”, which could be found at the center of the large mob of people at the Capcom and IGN booths.  Apparently, since Marvel has already saturated the film market, they are now focusing on the gaming market.  Not to be outdone, DC Universe Online, the MMORPG that will be finding its way to PC’s everywhere next year, was also featured.  OTF got to sit down with Executive Creative Director Jim Lee and game director Chris Cao to discuss the game.

But if you’re interested in more cutting-edge gaming, Microsoft and IGN teamed up to give NYCC attendees a chance to get physical with a demo of Kinect, the Xbox 360’s revolutionary motion control gaming and entertainment experience.  Playable sample games included racing, rafting, and dodgeball swatting…for lack of a better description.  If you plan on purchasing the new peripheral, make sure you have plenty of room.

OTF tries out Kinect

Across the show floor, Marvel Comics had their own goodies to share.  For Marvel, one word sums up their mission for the next few years: Avengers.  We all know the film is on the way, but surprisingly enough, there was almost no sign of it at NYCC.  Instead, Marvel featured news and footage from the upcoming animated series, “The Avengers: Earth’s Mightiest Heroes.”

Not far from the busy industry booths were the humble tables occupied by the creative individuals behind smaller productions, such as independent print publications and webcomics. Among them were PVP creator, Scott Kurtz and “Nowhere Man”creator, Jerome Walford. They each took the time to speak with OTF and shared details about past and upcoming features.

OTF Editor, Thor with PVP’s Scott Kurtz

Fans of Cartoon Network’s Adult Swim were treated to panels featuring the creators of “Robot Chicken” and “The Venture Brothers.”  Seth Green, Matthew Senreich, Clare Grant, and Macaulay Culkin previewed Season 5 of “Robot Chicken” and also gave the fans a look at their third Star Wars special, due to air on December 12th on Cartoon Network.  “The Venture Brothers” creators Jackson Publick and Doc Hammer (and unexpected guest Michael Sinterniklaas) had nothing to show, since their new season is currently airing, but they were more than happy to take questions from the fans and answer them in the most bizarre way possible.

Jackson Publick and Doc Hammer, creators of The Venture Brothers

Other panels and screenings that took place over the course of the weekend ranged from discussions about SyFy’s now complete, yet still popular Battlestar Galactica series to a preview of DC’s newest animated series, “Young Justice.”  OTF Contributor Cinephonic was even in the fray, co-hosting the panel, The Music of Heroes, discussing film scores and composers involved with big screen superhero adaptations.

OTF Contributor, Cinephonic (right), discusses superhero film music.

And what would a comic convention be without cosplayers?  Fans from as close as New Jersey, and as far as Canada descended upon the Jacob Javits Center clad in all forms of spandex, armor, and fur, breathing life into their favorite comic, cartoon, video game, movie, or pop culture characters.  It’s impossible, even for the intrepid OTF crew, to see every spectacular costume, but the few we spotted can be found here.  We applaud the dedication, creativity, and in some cases, bravery of all of these talented fans.

All in all, NYCC was a rousing success.  Sure it’s crowded and an attendee is unable to experience every single sight, sound, or event, but we at Open The Fridge did our best to experience as much as we could.  I’m just happy we don’t have to wait another year and a half for the next one.  New York Comic Con 2011 will be October 14th-16th.

Written by: Rob "T3K" Piontek

Rob is excited to be contributing to The Fridge. With one finger on the pulse of Marvel/DC and another on that of Hollywood's superhero franchises, no multi-issue arc or casting rumor is too small to report. When Rob opens The Fridge, the light inside shines green!

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