For a few years now I have wanted to go to a Comic Con, and now I can say I attended the most attended Comic Con in America. I was amazed to be in a building with so many people, but I never felt too crowded (minus waiting in line for The Walking Dead panel).
As it was my first time, I did rely on my friends who have already been to NYCC. It is always a good idea to talk to the ones who have already experienced dealing with Cons in the past and receiving pointers from them. I am most indebted to my friend, Kim. Luckily the first panel I went to was one with her, and I was able to better navigate my way around for the rest of the weekend.
One of the most important things to do is plan ahead of time. Never go to a Con without a plan, and always meet up with your friends before you arrive at the convention center. It is easier to find someone if they are not in a mass horde of other fellow nerds.
The next step is to know which panel you want to see the most. I mainly attended panels in the main room. My biggest problem was deciding between Elementary and Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., and even though Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. was later, the queue line for it was longer. In the end I was able to attend both, but I was willing to sacrifice it for a chance to be in the same room with Clark Gregg. Unfortunately Cons also come with sacrifices.
Always arrive early for a panel or you may not get in. This includes smaller panels because it means there is less room for that panel. This should especially be applied for any panel that will be incredibly popular. The Walking Dead queue line filled up the fastest and the line was capped quickly. I will applaud NYCC for establishing different queue lines for the various panels on the main stage, and clearing out the room after the panels were finished.
The only time I experienced problems with the new process was with The Walking Dead panel. Hopefully they will be able to work out the kinks with the new system, but even if they do I won’t stay in line that long again. The screens have excellent views of the stage, and it leaves you time to explore other panels, the show floor, or even better the Artist Alley. I can now say I have waited in a crowded line for hours, and to me it is not worth it. Time is better spent by exploring what the rest of the Con has for entertainment.
The one place I will definitely recommend is Artist Alley. Forewarning: Be prepared to spend your money here. The artists are creative, and if someone is able to leave there without more than one print, they are stronger than me. The artwork is spectacular and is better than many of the posters you see for the actual artwork for the shows or movies.
The panels I went to were a delight. The first one was the Disney panel, which made me really interested in Big Hero 6. I saw the trailer, and it appeared alright, but what really sold me on this movie were the clips they showed us at the Disney panel. Seeing Baymax low on power is priceless, and was my favorite clip. It introduced me to the term of “hairy baby” used for cats, and according to T.J. Miller we are supposed to use this word from now on.
The panel for Tomorrowland was next and if I wasn’t already convinced Damon Lindelof has superpowers, I am now. Hugh Laurie talked about a lunch he had with Lindelof and Brad Bird where he did not remember the conversation, but knew he wanted to be part of the film. Lindelof is a Jedi. This can be the only conclusion. The biggest surprise was indeed George Clooney appearing on stage after Laurie said Clooney has been lying about his age and is really 75. Clooney has never really been a part of nerd culture so it was surprising to see him at a Con. Of course he was his very dapper self, and said he apologized for his Batman to Adam West as well as the nipple suit. Hugh Laurie and George Clooney sitting right next to each other during a panel was something I never expected, but I greatly enjoyed the experience.
Friday was the day of full episodes. While I was fully expecting a full episode of Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., the Elementary premiere came as a shock. The premiere was enjoyable, but felt a little disjointed. Of course I believe it was a goal because Holmes and Watson went their separate ways in last year’s finale. However, it was clear as soon as Lucy Liu and Jonny Lee Miller took the stage they have a wonderful partnership. Even with the little things with Liu pouring a cup of water and then handing it to Miller. Ophelia Lovibond, the newest cast member, was asked how it was coming onto the show, and she called it a well-oiled machine. Miller then responded that they were very well oiled (I love how snarky some people are). Later in the panel, Miller talked about how Sherlock’s addiction is a struggle and how there will be many mistakes made. I genuinely love how big of a part Sherlock’s addiction is on this show.
The Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. panel won the day because of Clark Gregg. He was originally not supposed to be at NYCC, but asked to come. How could someone say no to that guy’s face? This man is so awesome they brought him back from the dead and gave him his own show. The man is adorable. They need to find a way to make miniature Clark Greggs so you can keep him in your pocket and always have him around. They also showed the episode which aired last night, and it is by far the best episode of the season. One of the best parts is being able to watch a solid episode with so many fans of the show. After the episode, they informed us Gregg had flown out with the first clip of Agent Carter which was shot Monday. I may be more in love with this show, and really hope they further explore Peggy Carter’s and Howard Stark’s friendship.
Saturday, was dedicated to The Walking Dead. It was enjoyable to see the majority of the cast in person as well as Scott Gimple, Robert Kirkman, Gale Anne Hurd, and Greg Nicotero. To me these four are just as big as the cast. We were again promised heartbreak and more crossovers between the show and comic book series. Sometimes it is hard going into a show where you know it will lead to heartbreak, but I still trust Gimple as the show runner. I love the man dearly. The only problem is there is never enough time. The cast is big. While I’m glad so many of them came, it never feels like there is not a lot of time. This panel made me wish there was a better way to filter fan questions, and possibly give some a time limit. I understand this may be a person’s only time to talk to whoever is on stage, but I wish they would also think about the people in line behind them who also want to ask questions.
While Saturday may have been dedicated to The Walking Dead, Stephen Amell still won the day. A room with him doing a Q & A is already perfection. However, he made it better than perfection because he had emailed Colin Donnell, and told him to show up to his panel. The moment he appeared on stage was amazing, and let me just say everyone who was at the Con definitely looks better in person.
Sunday had the best conclusion, with the last panel on the main stage being Sleepy Hollow. Honestly, I would attend probably anything that gave Orlando Jones a microphone. For me this was probably the best panel because it showed the audience only half the episode leaving more time for the cast and crew to answer questions. While it is enjoyable to see a full episode, it doesn’t give a lot of time for the people on stage to talk. No one should ever take away time for these people to talk. When they get to talk we learn things about the show like Ichabod learning about Karaoke, or Jones choosing “I Will Survive” as his song choice (I now want to see Frank Irving break out into this song). It was interesting to see that singing may be one of Tom Mison’s talents and him saying there were many things Len Wiseman did not know about him via text during the panel.
Overall the experience was fun, and I cannot wait to go to my next Con.