This Thursday marks the beginning of New York Comic Con, the biggest pop culture convention on the East Coast, rivaling even San Diego Comic Con in size. With more than 150,000 guests to contend with and a beastly, albeit incredible schedule of panels, events, signings, and booths to consider, NYCC can be a daunting undertaking without the proper planning.
Fear not, con-goers! I have you covered with a daily schedule of the best bets, sure things, and niche events to consider when planning your agenda for this, the tenth edition of New York Comic Con.
Best Bet: Disney/Lucasfilm may not be attending the con with any guests or panels for The Force Awakens, but at least the second best Star Wars title of the moment will be represented. With the second season of Star Wars Rebels on the way, and season one just released on Blu-ray, the Disney XD hit will be highlighted in not one, but two events in New York on Thursday. The Star Wars Rebels panel takes place from 1:30-2:30 pm and will feature executive producer Dave Filoni, Ashley Eckstein (Ahsoka Tano), Taylor Gray (Ezra Bridger), and Buffy herself, Sarah Michelle Gellar, who is playing a new villain in the second season. Later that night, from 5:30-6:45, fans will have a chance to catch two new episodes from season two, one of which features Captain Rex, another popular character crossing over from the Clone Wars animated series.
Sure Things: Westeros fans shouldn’t miss the Game of Thrones panel of Ice and Fire featuring actors Finn Jones (Ser Loras Tyrell), Keisha Castle-Hughes (Obara Sand), and Natalie Dormer (Margaery Tyrell). For those looking to learn more about what Hasbro has in store for the next wave of Star Wars toys, the Hasbro Star Wars panel might literally have the droids you are looking for.
Beyond Niche: Two of the day’s coolest options include Lion Forge’s panel for its newest graphic novel, Andre the Giant: Closer to Heaven (due out in December). The panel features special guest Robin Christensen Roussimoff, daughter of Andre the Giant, the man we fondly know as the eighth wonder of the world. Another intriguing option for Thursday is a panel celebrating the 50th anniversary of kaiju hit Gamera on the NYCC live stage from 1:00-1:30pm.
Best Bet: Batman fanatics can’t miss DC Comics’ panel celebrating the 30th anniversary of Frank Miller’s landmark series The Dark Knight Returns. The panel is set to feature a number of DC writers and artists, including the book’s inker Klaus Janson, as well as some promised special guests! Could Miller himself make an appearance? It’s very possible, especially considering that the panel is likely to feature a preview of Miller’s forthcoming sequel to the series, Dark Knight III: The Master Race, co-written by panelist Brian Azzarello.
Sure Things: Marvel Television is on-hand with not one, but two great picks for Friday. From 3:00-3:45 pm, Marvel TV head honcho Jeph Loeb will preview what’s new in Marvel Animation, then, from 6:00-7:15, he’ll share a look at what to expect in the new seasons of Agent Carter and Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. in the Agents of Primetime panel. If Marvel TV isn’t your bag, check out the Camp Out with the Lumberjanes panel from BOOM! to catch up with one of the most fun times to be had in comics.
Another promising panel for Friday is the Con Man panel during which Alan Tudyk, Seth Green, Felicia Day, Nathan Fillion, and others will share stories and preview the new convention-based comedy series. I’m also intrigued to check out the screening of the pilot episode of Colony, a new sci-fi series coming to USA from Carlton Cuse. As a bonus, the Colony panel will be followed by a Q&A for USA’s amazing Mr. Robot!
Beyond Niche: New York Comic Con is fundamentally about the comics industry, with panels and workshops celebrating the art of comics and guiding future creators towards careers in the industry. Part of that celebration includes workshops with known illustrators. On Friday, two great picks for inspiring illustrators/Star Wars fans include a kids Star Wars creature drawing workshop with Lauren Perry (My Little Pony, Topps Star Wars) and another with Sabine: My Rebel Sketchbook illustrator Annie Stoll.
Best Bet: For me, the most exciting event of this years NYCC is Saturday’s X-Files panel featuring show-runner Chris Carter and Mulder himself, David Duchovny. The panel will include an advance screening of the first episode of the six-episode X-Files event coming to FOX this January. Even better, the panel features a post-viewing Q&A with Carter and Duchovny moderated by the hilarious Kumail Nanjiani (Silicon Valley) who hosts “The X-Files Files” podcast on Feral Audio.
Sure Things: Saturday is absolutely packed with great events! Movie fans should check out The Last Witch Hunter panel featuring Vin Diesel, Elijah Wood, and Rose Leslie. TV aficionados have even more great options, including a panel and viewing of the new Starz series Ash vs. Evil Dead featuring Bruce Campbell, Lucy Lawless, Sam Raimi, and more. Other TV panels of note on Saturday include a Firefly reunion with Nathan Fillion, Jewel Staite, Gina Torres, and others and a first look at the new Syfy series The Magicians, based on the popular Lev Grossman book series. Star Wars fans should stroll over to the Journey to The Force Awakens panel to catch up with the new and upcoming books Disney-Lucasfilm Press are releasing leading into the new film trilogy.
Marvel fans also have a lot to check out on Saturday, including the quintessential Marvel panel Marvel Cup O’ Joe, which always features a barrage of announcements from Marvel CCO Joe Quesada. The biggest Marvel panel of the day, however, is the Netflix Original Series Marvel’s Jessica Jones and Marvel’s Daredevil panel featuring a first look at the new Jessica Jones series and Q&A with the cast. Oh, and there’s also a Disney Infinity 3.0 panel on Saturday offering a first look at the games newest play sets. Excelsior!
Beyond Niche: Nostalgia lovers like myself, who carry fond memories of Nickelodeon’s heyday in the late ’80s and early ’90s, should check out The Splat panel previewing Nick’s newest block of retro programming. The panel also features an All That reunion, though I’m more excited for the return of other shows like Rocko’s Modern Life, Are You Afraid of the Dark?, and Salute Your Shorts.
Best Bet: R.L. Stine’s popular Goosebumps series is coming to theaters with an all-new live action film starring Jack Black as Stine himself. Fans will have an opportunity to get their first look at the new film during Sunday’s Goosebumps panel featuring Stine, Black, and the rest of the cast.
Sure Things: Warner Bros. Television is taking over the NYCC Empire Stage for a day of panels featuring the casts of Gotham, Blindspot, and Person of Interest and first looks at Supergirl and DC’s Legends of Tomorrow. Two more great TV options for the day include Gravity Falls Revealed, a panel uncovering the mysteries of the Emmy-Award winning Disney XD series with creator Alex Hirsch, and a preview of Crackle’s new stop motion animated series SuperMansion, featuring Walter White himself, Bryan Cranston!
Beyond Niche: Sunday is family day at the con so there is a ton of great events to choose from for fans of every size and taste. A couple of fun, hands-on options include a wand dueling workshop for Harry Potterheads and a Cosplay Armor and props workshop featuring how-tos for beginners.
Stay locked to GeekDad all week for updates from NYCC 2015!