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New York Comic Con 2017: Event Recap and Saturday Highlights

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Photo: Michael Esmeralda

Halloween might be just around the corner, but for some fans who simply love dressing up, the holiday came a little bit earlier this year in the form of New York Comic Con. For four days, the Javits Center in Hell’s Kitchen completely transformed into New York’s nerd paradise—attracting a diverse fan base of all ages. Drawing over 200,000 cosplayers and fans alike, this year’s convention broke previously held attendance records. Celebrating all aspects of pop culture, thousands of geeky fans descended upon the sleek convention center, and they were certainly not disappointed. Our team was thrilled to be in attendance, including our content manager, Jade Nicolette, and photographer and videographer, Michael Esmeralda. Read on to find out all of our the event coverage from the action-packed weekend!

Photo: Michael Esmeralda

Organized by ReedPOP, New York Comic Con officially celebrated its eleventh year of existence this year. Over the years, the popularity of the convention has risen steadily, drawing legions of comic book fans to the Big Apple from all corners of the globe. Stan Lee, the creator of Marvel Comics, has been a major headlining guest at the convention—attending five times over the past decade alone. Throughout the years, NYCC has also welcomed a slew of other noteworthy guests, including Joss Whedon, Patrick Stewart, and the late Carrie Fisher.

Photo: Michael Esmeralda

In 2013, attendance numbers for New York Comic Con rose dramatically, rising to over 130,000, and putting it on par with the colossal San Diego Comic Con. Much to the surprise of fans, New York Comic Con removed the 3-day and 4-day passes this year, and instead opted for a policy where only single-day tickets would be sold. Although Saturday tickets sold out in a matter of minutes, a select number of Thursday tickets were still available to purchase up until a few weeks before the convention.

Next up, ReedPOP has their hands full with TwitchCon this weekend at Long Beach Convention Center. After that, ReedPOP will host Comic Con Paris, Pax Australia and Indonesia Comic Con. The company is well-known for hosting events such as PAX South, Emerald City Comic Con and Star Wars Celebration.

Saturday, October 7, 2017

Instagram user @geekgirlstrong killing it with her Misty Knight cosplay!

Photo: Michael Esmeralda

Stopping by the packed Show Floor

With tons of amazing booths, the Show Floor offered an overwhelming amount of options for fans to peruse, including promotional booths for Middle-earth: Shadow of War, Amazon’s The Tick, Star Wars: The Last Jedi, and more. While browsing the aisles and collecting swag, we were also able to capture a few snaps of some seriously awesome cosplay.

Twitter: @theweeknd

The Weeknd gets his own comic

The floor was also abuzz with Marvel news, stemming from a fresh announcement with musician The Weeknd. Also known as Abel Tesfaye, the artist unveiled his upcoming collaboration with Marvel Studios. "The Weeknd and Marvel presents : STARBOY... comic book coming soon. I’ll be signing autographs in the Marvel Booth @ 2:30 #NYCC”, the artist tweeted on Saturday morning. In July, Marvel released a similar comic book collaboration with The Black Eyed Peas, entitled Masters of the Sun - The Zombie Chronicles. Be sure to keep your eyes peeled for Starboy’s official debut next year.

Photo: Michael Esmeralda

Star Trek Discovery Panel

Although we spent most of the morning and early afternoon walking the Show Floor, we decided to take a risk and try to attend some of the panels held at the Theater at Madison Square Garden. After a short walk, we arrived at the venue around 3:30pm, and surprisingly enough, there wasn’t even a line! We were able to grab seats towards the back, arriving just in time to watch the Star Trek Discovery panel featuring Sonequa Martin-Green and other members of the cast. If you’re eager to learn more about the new series, TrekNews.net has uploaded exclusive coverage of the Press Conference from this year’s convention.

Just as things were about to wrap up, fans were pleasantly surprised by a guest appearance from none other than Michelle Yeoh, who was secretly planted in the crowd. The actress is well-known for her work in films such as Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon and the beloved animated franchise, Kung Fu Panda. Beaming from ear to ear, Yeoh looked as radiant as ever. On Star Trek Discovery, Michelle Yeoh and Sonequa Martin-Green share a unique bond through their relationship of mentor and mentee. After greeting her other co-stars, Sonequa Martin-Green wrapped Yeoh in a huge hug, and fans erupted into cheers. As some of the room began to clear out slightly, and we were able to move a bit closer to the stage to get a better view of the upcoming panels. Catch the latest episode of Star Trek Discovery every Sunday through the CBS All Access subscription service.

Photo: HeroInitiative.org

Stan Lee Panel

For weeks leading up to New York Comic Con, anticipation was building for any news related to the upcoming Marvel / Netflix project, The Punisher. Although an exclusive panel was scheduled in advance, Marvel cancelled the event in light of the recent tragedy which occurred in Las Vegas. The story focuses on a lone shooter, Frank Castle, and the showrunners felt that the timing was inappropriate. For weeks, fans have been dying to hear any news about the show, and yesterday, the studio officially shared a new trailer and announced a release date of November 17th. Although surmised that the show would be released during New York Comic Con weekend, we’re glad that the series wasn’t delayed until next year.

Instead of The Punisher panel, Marvel replaced the event with Joe Quesada Presents: My Chat with Stan Lee - An Exclusive Screening, featuring an interview with Stan Lee, which was originally taken in April 2017. Hosted by Joe Quesada, the Chief Creative Officer of Marvel Entertainment, the interview was said to have only been screened to a small audience, and it was the first time it was shown to a larger audience of fans. With tons of quirky anecdotes, laugh out loud jokes, and other amusing tales, the heart-warming interview shed light on Lee’s humble beginnings in the comic industry. As a comic book fan, it was fascinating to learn more about Lee’s creative process—especially how he created his own standing desk, and preferred working outside for hours.

Sadly, the interview was taken in the spring, and there were multiple references to Lee’s dear wife, Joan Lee—who passed away at the age of 95 in July. Lee certainly loved his wife dearly, and openly credited her for having inspired him to create such a magical world of comics. To be honest, I didn’t know what to expect from this panel, but I was definitely impressed with the quality of the content. Stan Lee was laugh out loud hilarious, from his amusing exchanges with Joe, to his adamant belief that he actually called the Inhumans, the “Unhumans”, instead. It was a joy to hear more about his creative process, and very intriguing to learn more about how he eventually worked his way up to creating Marvel Comics as we know it. Lee also shed light on the popular misconception that comics are just for kids, treated with a disdain by many in the publishing industry. Lee expressed his sincere belief that comics are a powerful mode of storytelling, and emphasized that comic books appeal to fans of all generations and backgrounds.

Photo: Michael Esmeralda

The Walking Dead Panel

As if the excitement from the first two panels wasn’t already hype, the energy was certainly palpable leading up to The Walking Dead panel. In order to help get the crowd even more energized, two hosts led several amusing dance contests, and even called all the Negan cosplayers to the front of the stage. After a whopping twenty three fans in full-on Negan cosplay lined up, the DJ immediately dropped a track meant to incite fear into the hearts of fans, “Easy Street” by The Collapsable Hearts Club. Of course, the catchy, pop-infused song might seem totally out of character for a show like The Walking Dead, but fans will undoubtedly recognize it from the torture scenes inflicted on Daryl Dixon in the episode, “The Cell” from season seven. In an amazing twist, all of the cosplayers immediately broke out into some epic dance moves, and the whole room erupted into laughter.

Andrew Lincoln (Rick Grimes) and Jeffrey Dean Morgan (Negan)

Photo: Michael Esmeralda

And then, the time for AMC’s The Walking Dead Panel was finally upon us! Nerdist founder and host, Chris Hardwick, graced the stage, and introduced all of the special guests. Actors Andrew Lincoln (Rick Grimes), Jeffrey Dean Morgan (Negan), Melissa McBride (Carol), Lennie James (Morgan), Austin Amelio (Dwight), Katelyn Nacon (Enid), Tom Payne (Jesus), and Norman Reedus (Daryl Dixon) were in attendance. Actress Lauren Cohan, who plays the beloved Maggie Rhee, was supposed to attend, but had to cancel last minute due to unforeseen circumstances. “Hello sweet TWD fan family, I am so sad to miss NYCC this year, was shooting until very late (7am today) and want to stay in good health to Finish this season strong for you all! You are in my thoughts and heart, sending you love from Lauren and Maggie!!” The actress tweeted, and Cohan also tuned in for the livestream with fans at home.

The panel was full of hilarious exchanges between the host, Chris Hardwick, the cast, and the audience of raging fans. One of the highlights from the panel was an official announcement from creator Robert Kirkman, who confirmed that The Walking Dead and spinoff series, Fear the Walking Dead, will have an unusual crossover between the two television shows. “There is one character that is going to go from one show, that I will not name, to another show, that I will not name,” Robert Kirkman said during the panel. “This is a huge event in the world of The Walking Dead.”

Photo: Michael Esmeralda

The panel at The Theater at Madison Square Garden also showed a previously unseen clip from The Walking Dead’s 100th episode, which was released shortly after the panel. If you’d like to watch a recap of the panel, check out the official video from Collider here. The long-awaited Season 8 premiere of The Walking Dead kicks off this Sunday, celebrating its official 100th episode, entitled “Mercy”.

Stay tuned for more New York Comic Con 2017 coverage! We’ll be featuring an exclusive look at the Star Wars: The Last Jedi booth, along with sharing our experience at Marvel’s Cup of Joe panel on Sunday with actor Charlie Cox (Daredevil). See you soon, fellow nerds.

Written by Jade Nicolette

Twitter: @nicolette_style

Photographer and Videographer: Michael Esmeralda 

Instagram: @mikee_bee_eezee

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