With four full days of programming and events New York Comic Con (NYCC) brings hundreds of thousands of fans each year to the Jacob K. Javits Convention Center in Manhattan to celebrate all things pop culture from comics, anime, video games, TV, movies, collectibles, posters, and of course the best artist alley there is. After being forced to go fully digital in 2020 due to the pandemic things began to feel semi-normal again when NYCC came back to in person conventions with their 2021 show. While the show did have some digital elements and did suffer from some larger and familiar exhibitors passing up on in person shows the ReedPop team should still be commended on likely putting on the largest convention since the pandemic started.
At any convention there is usually a split between fans either wanting to grab the hottest and most exclusive items and fans that want the up and up on their favorite fandom and that’s where panels come in with everything from representation across the industry, panels for educators, and from anime to TV shows and movies fans head to the panel rooms for a chance to hear and discuss their favorite content. With hundreds of hours of content both in person, virtual, and hybrid ReedPop did their best to fully represent the spectrum of their fandom. Additionally this year ReedPop was able to capitalize on the finally completed Javit’s expansion allowing them to pull back all the content back into the building instead of having to utilize the Hammerstein Ballroom or the theater at MSG; especially by utilizing a huge new “Empire Stage’ room capable of seating over 5,000 fans for a panel. This year I was a bit more reserved with panels since I only wanted to attend in person panels so I didn’t quite hit as many as normal but here are a few I attended below.
That said since the ReedPop created The Metaverse if you were unable to attend any panels those with an account can view these panels at their leisure!
In my opinion one of the top three panels throughout the weekend along with Outlander and The Boys Retrospective was for the upcoming Sony Pictures’ Ghostbusters: Afterlife movie. Way way back at the Hasbro Entertainment Brand Event during the 2020 New York Toy Fair Director Jason Reitman and producer Ivan Reitman came out to show a sneak peak of the movie and show off some a really neat replica Plasma Series Prop Neutrona Wand. I remember then wanting to see the movie but COVID had other plans and the movie was unfortunately delayed several times. But at NYCC fans were treated to a fairly well attended panel by the Reitman’s and other cast to discuss the legacy of the Ghostbusters franchise. As a surprise to everyone in attendance Jason Reitman announced to 5,000 person packed Empire Stage room that we the fans had waited long enough and so I and everyone around me were treated to the entire Ghostbusters: Afterlife movie.
I don’t want to provide spoilers but while there were some issues I had with the first half I thoroughly enjoyed the second half and I felt it really paid homage to the first movie very well. I feel the time for heading back to the movies is here and this is one you should not pass up.
The BOYS Retrospective Panel
Seemingly out of nowhere an unofficial Boys panel seemed to have been formed by NYCC. This is also the panel that broke NYCC and the Empire Stage; leading up to the panel most of the other panels were mostly fairly attended but not quite full but seemingly everyone that had reserved a spot for the panel wanted in which did cause a bit of an issue as attendees that had not reserved the panel in the system were seemingly left in the lurch, so kudos to the cast of the BOYS who when they debuted at NYCC a few years ago did not fill up a smaller room. With the season having wrapped up and a few of the cast making their rounds on the convention circuit ReedPop pulled together a panel with Karen Fukuhara, Chace Crawford, Erin Moriarty, Jack Quaid and Antony Starr to discuss their favorite moments from the first two seasons of THE BOYS. Nothing was off the table from the casts table reads to their experiences on set and interactions with fans once they became household faces! As this did not appear to be an Amazon sanctioned panel nothing was really discussed about season 3 but we’re still here for it once it drops!
What We Do in the Shadows (FX) Season 3
A fairly late addition to NYCC the vampire comedy What We Do in the Shadows returned to NYCC with an airing of a new episode followed by a panel discussion with the cast and creative team behind the show. Follow the lives of Colin, Nandor, Nadja, and their bodyguard Guillermo as they Vampiric Council of the Eastern Seaboard in the Emmy-nominated documentary-style show. BAT!
An Hour with Adam Savage
Walking around the Javit’s on Friday I found myself in the expanded area and decided to sit in a bit for the Adam Savage panel, just long enough to hear him speak but before he opened up the floor to questions. Adam spent his talking time showing off his latest costume builds and other bits and pieces that he worked on while stuck in his house during the pandemic. He got his hands dirty in so many different crafts from building a replica Hellboy gun all the way to machining a watering pot for his wife’s birthday and everything in between. It was really an insightful panel. Check out his site Tested. Cool side note for poster fans he built a sword wrack which wraps around a Tyler Stout Kill Bill!
Y: The Last Man (FX on Hulu) At Long Last!
Up until a week before the convention I had not seen this show, but in anticipation of the panel I caught myself up and got in on the panel. Unfortunately I don’t have much to say here as I was in a bit of a time crunch and had to leave right after they aired the episode so I could not stay in for the panel discussion which included Executive Producer/Writer/Showrunner Eliza Clark and cast. The show adapted from Brian K. Vaughan and Pia Guerra’s best selling comic follows survivors in a post-apocalyptic world where all mammals with a Y chromosome suddenly died with the exception of one man and his pet monkey. I’ve enjoyed the show so far; if you have time check it out.
Dune Advanced Screening
Any comic con is a balancing act, trying to weigh one choice over another and Dune was one of those choices and the reason why I had to leave the Y: The Last Man panel early on Saturday. Earlier in the convention NYCC partnered with Warner Bros to host an advanced screening of the highly anticipated Denis Villeneuve adaptation of Frank Herbert’s Dune. When the Atreides family must travel to Arrakis (referred to as Dune) to take over the planet’s mining of Spice, a valuable resource for interstellar travel, the entire Atreides line is put at risk from multiple enemies. Paul Atreides must adapt to the planet’s harsh climate and claim his destiny for his family and people.
Without giving too much away I will say that while HBOMax will release the movie simultaneously on its platform at the same time it releases in theaters you should spend the money to see it on the big screen. Having not read the books or seen the other adaptations I did not have any real pre-conceived notions heading in to see the movie but I thoroughly enjoyed the first three quarters with rapt attention and while I felt the last quarter was a bit slower for me the acting, cinematography, and FX were superb.