By Guest Contributor Kendra James
Okay, so there’s not going to be anything Avengers-sized at this year’s New York Comic Con. That said, I’m still thrilled to be spending the weekend down at the Javits Center on behalf of The R. I’ll be on site Thursday through Sunday covering panels, celebrity sightings, and other general Con-ness. There aren’t as many panels as we had back at this summer’s SDCC, but the way I see it that just makes it easier to hit up more great stuff!
Thursday, Oct. 11
Thursday’s pretty low key and centered mainly around professional and media attendees. Among the panels concerning teaching through graphic novels, making it in the industry, and integrating comics into public libraries, there’s also:
5:15pm-6:15pm: Power and Sexuality in Comics. Cameron McKee (UC-Berkeley) argues that Tom of Finland’s subversion of heterosexual spaces in Kake constructs an iconic gay identity. Sam Cannon (UT-Austin) shows how the sequential artistry in Los Penitentes intersects with (homo)sexuality and political power. Evan Johnson (UT-Dallas) explores the sublimation of female power in the Marvel Universe. (1A07)
6:30pm-7:30pm: Constructing and Reconstructing the Superhero. Forrest Helvie (Norwalk CC) discusses how the conventional hero of Transcendentalists and Gothic writers contributed to superheroes like Batman. David Lewis (Boston University) explains why superheroes never really die and the “superhero afterlife subgenre.” Rachelanne Smith (CSU-Sacramento) discusses how South Park’s Coon character clarifies society’s need for the altruistic hero. (1A07)
Friday, Oct. 12
11:00am-12:00PM: The History of Comics Censorship. Charles Brownstein takes attendees through the history of comic censorship. The panel promises a review of the latest developments with the Comics Code Authority and an overview of reader rights. (1A08)
12:15pm-1:15pm: Anime Network. The Anime Network’s celebrating it’s 10th anniversary with giveaways and possible screenings.
2:25pm-3:45pm: AMC Presents Kevin Smith’s Comic Book Men. Kevin Smith isn’t for everyone, and I find that people tend to either love or hate his movies. I fall in that first category, so I’m pretty excited for this panel which features Smith along with Cryan Johnson, Michael Zapcic, Ming Chen, and Walter Flanagan.
6:30pm-8:30pm: Comedy Central. We’re not here for Daniel Tosh, but I may sit through this Fall Preview if it means a little Key & Peele sneak peak. (IE07)
Saturday, Oct. 13
This is the Big Day of the con and the number of panels increase exponentially.
10:45am-11:45am: Lost Girl Season One. Ksenia Solo, Rick Howland, and Zoie Palmer discuss season one of the Sci-Fi show about a succubus named Bo. (1A01)
11:00-12:00pm: Halloween Eve Autographing. Brandon Montclare and Amy Reeder will be signing copies of their Halloween Eve one shot. The book’s synopsis:
Eve has an imagination that’s more than active—it can be downright dangerous! Working late at the costume superstore Halloween Land, she gets lost in her own thoughts until something goes bump in the night…The rubber masks and plastic novelties are coming to life, and Eve must face ghosts, goblins, and gorilla suits made real!
You can also check out the Kickstarter page here. (Booth #1229)
11:15am-12:15pm: Once More With Feeling: 15 Years of Buffy The Vampire Slayer. If you have any tough questions for the creative team behind Buffy, this would be your chance. The almighty Whedon won’t be there, but Jane Espenson is joined by Jenny Frison, Rebekah Isaacs, Scott Allie, and Sierra Hahn (and unannounced special guests) for this TV retrospective. (1A21)
12:00pm-12:35pm: Information Doesn’t Want To Be Free But Kids Do. Author Cory Doctorow goes through the effects of SOPA, PIPA, and ACTA on the newest and youngest generation of internet users. (Unbound Stage)
12:15pm-1:15pm: Weight Hacking: A How-To Guide For Geeks Who Want to Lose Weight. I may not make it to this panel, but I’m still interested to hear how body image is addressed in an arena where, for better or worse, it’s an in-your-face topic. (1A01)
12:15pm-1:15pm: Teen Wolf. Star Tyler Posey and exec. producer Jeff Davis discuss the show for an hour. Something race related and awkward is bound to happen. It won’t be Posey’s fault. (1E07)
1:45pm-2:45pm: Person of Interest Special Video Presentation and Q&A. Taraji P. Henson, Michael Merson, Kevin Chapman, and Jonathan Nolan will be on hand for a look at season two of the hit CBS series. (1E13)
2:45pm-3:45pm: Marvel Now!: The Avengers. Sticking this on here only because of what I’ve read about the new Avengers story arc known as “Avengers World,” per writer Jonathan Hickman (who will also be in attendance):
One of the first things we all agreed on is that the roster should look more like the world. So far we’ve seen the biggest and most iconic characters, but as we reach issues #7 and #8, we’ll see more new characters and characters we’re reviving or recreating. Eventually there will be 24 characters. 12 will be either female or minority characters.
The panel could be worth attending if only to find out more about this plan to diversify. (1E07)
4:00pm-5:00pm: Gay Marriage in Comics: Revolutionary or a Step Backwards. Using Northstar’s marriage to his fiance Kyle as a jumping point Astonishing X-Men author Phil Jimenez and others will discuss the state of LGBTQ representation in comics. (1A01)
4:15pm-5:15pm: The Writer’s Room. This is a chance to listen to Brian K. Vaughn, Grant Morrison, and Jonathan Hickman shoot the breeze about the creative process. So, essentially, a master class in comic writing. (1A21)
5:15pm-6:15pm: Geek Thoughts. Top Blogs Discuss Writing About Science Fiction, Fantasy and Fandom: Reps from Tor.com, Boing, Boing, The Mary Sue, i09, The Beat, and Bleeding Cool discuss their approaches to writing. This panel includes Jill Pantozzi! (1A01)
5:15pm-6:15pm: Hip-Hop and Comics: Cultures Combining. This panel is going to be a lot and it’s not to be missed. I’ll let the description speak for itself:
Since its earliest days in the South Bronx, hip-hop culture has been linked to comic books–graffiti and album covers utilize superhero imagery, rappers adopt secret identities and grandiose aliases, artists use the vocabulary of comics to help forge a new urban culture. Comics creators have responded in kind, using the elements of hip-hop to give grounding to street-level storytelling, incorporating graffiti techniques into logo design and art styles, and using rap lyrics for context and content. Both forms thrive on excitement and energy, have achieved worldwide influence and inspire passionate fanbases. Here, Patrick Reed, editor of Depth of Field Magazine, brings together musical innovators (including Darryl ‘DMC’ McDaniels of RUN-DMC, Public Enemy DJ Johnny “Juice” Rosado, revered underground MC Jean Grae and legendary producer Pete Rock), visual artists (including acclaimed comic creators Ron Wilson and Adam Wallenta, and celebrated painter/graphic designer Eric Orr) and other special guests from the comic and music industries to celebrate the possibilities inherent in combining the worlds of hip-hop and comics, discuss how the forms have intersected over the last four decades and look ahead toward the future. Giveaways will be offered, new projects will be showcased; it’s a don’t-miss hour of history in the making! (1A06)
6:15pm-7:15pm: Firefly 10th Anniversary Special Event + First Look. They’re promising special guests for this one, so if you want to potentially find yourself in Gina Torres’ presence (hey, Suits shoots in NYC and a girl can dream) check this out. (IGN Theatre)
6:30pm-7:30pm: Ladies of Womanthology. A panel of women involved in the publishing of Womanthology discuss working on the book. (1A07)
Sunday, Oct. 14
The con winds down and it’s Kid’s Day (bring your nerdy youngsters!) but that’s no reason to stay home.
11:00am-12:00pm: 666 Park Avenue Special Video Presentation and Q&A. The discussion here will include stars Terry O’Quinn and Vanessa Williams and other stars and producers. If you’re looking for supernatural entertainment with a lighter tone than Supernatural but still more grown up than Once Upon a Time, this may be a show for you to check out. (1E13)
12:00pm-12:30pm: Sesame Street. I would consider attending this panel with Elmo and Gordon only because I really want to know Elmo’s opinions on Mitt Romney. (Variant Stage)
12:15pm-1:15pm: Marvel: Women of Marvel. Once again I’ll allow the description of this panel to speak for itself:
From Ms. Marvel to the X-Men, from Twitter to Tumblr, women in comics has been one of the most talked-about topics in comics for the last year. With topics suggested by the fan community in the weeks leading up the con, we’ll tackle it all–including the on-going debate: do we even still need a “Women In Comics” panel? Join the conversation as women from every discipline in the creative process at Marvel discuss what it’s like working as a woman in comics today and what it means for the future of the industry. Guests include New York Times best-selling author Marjorie Liu (Astonishing X-Men), Eisner Award-winning artist Janet K. Lee (Emma), colorista Jordie Bellaire (Fantastic Four), editors Jeanine Schaefer, Lauren Sankovitch, Sana Amanat and some special guests! (1A10)
1:15pm-2:15pm: Marvel: Ultimate Comics. Apparently we’re getting Miles Morales news at this panel. We just have to hope it’s good news. (1E07)
3:00pm-3:45pm: From Leia To Buffy: Creating Strong Female Characters in Sci-Fi and Fantasy. A discussion with authors Isla Neal and Martin Leicht about the best fictional female protagonists. (Unbound Stage)
4:00pm-5:00pm: Getting Graphic With Girls: Empowering Girls and Addressing Issues Through Paneled Pictures. This panel promises a frank discussion concerning addressing a young female audience and the issues they’re more likely to care about. (1A01)
In addition to all of this I’ll be attending the Geek Girls Network #NYCC Geek Out on Saturday night at STITCH: Bar and Lounge with some videographers from Bleeding Cool and (probably) submitting myself to three days of Sci-Fi speed-dating. Other than that I’ll be wandering the Javits Center between panels and screenings, so please don’t be afraid to say hello if you spot me. It shouldn’t be too hard: Misty Knight on Friday, Captain America USO Girl on Saturday, and Zatanna on Sunday.
Other than that, I leave my fellow NYCC attendees with the usual con prep advice: stay safe, be respectful, have fun, and brace yourself for that $5 bottle of water.