If you seem to be suffering from an unexplained sense of ennui this morning that’s perfectly understandable. You see, this past weekend was the 2013 New York Comic Con, and with its end comes the unofficial conclusion of the convention season. As you may have noticed if you read the Topless Robot Twitter feed over the weekend, I attended the event. My findings? The words “somewhat organized chaos” and “clusterfuck” spring to mind most immediately. During the height of the convention on Saturday afternoon, the main floor of the Javits Center in New York City was so crammed that it took an interminable amount of time to get from point A to point B. (However, the traffic jams did result in the birth of a new convention game: Count the Heisenbergs). For all of my yammering about how packed the con was, the fact remains that it is a hugely successful event that is slowly nipping at the heels of its San Diego rival. Need proof? Just check out some of the news that came from NYCC. Tatiana already told you about the Star Wars: Rebels panel and Luke gave you the details on the Marvel Universe Live stage show (something I am unreasonably excited about), but what of the other newsworthy stories from the 2013 NYCC? Read on to find out.
9) Victimized Cosplayers Get Revenge
An unfortunate side effect to the proliferation of cosplay at events like NYCC is that it often brings out jerks who are looking to fetishize, shame or just generally be an asshole to people who have spent plenty of time and money to enhance other people’s con experience by dressing up as genre characters. Over the weekend, one cosplayer was allegedly harassed by a man claiming to be from a film crew, and she doesn’t seem to have been the only one. Disgusted by his actions, she decided to get revenge by posting his professional information online. Now as we learned in the aftermath of the Boston bombings earlier this year, there is a definite dark side to such crowdsourced revenge tactics, especially when it points a finger at the wrong person. Having not witnessed the alleged infraction above, I can’t really say that I know exactly what went on with this specific incident.
What I can declare with confidence, however, is that it is the latest example of how cosplayers will not stand for what they feel is perceived victimization of them. To paraphrase a post-911 NYC mantra, if cosplayers see something amiss they are going to say something. Let that be a warning to any potential creepers out there; your bad behavior will be recognized. Let the conversation about jerks and cosplayers seeking vigilante-style online discussion commence in the comments: it’s a compelling topic that I want to hear more of your thoughts on.
8) Farewell Betty and Veronica
Given the success of such titles as Life with Archie and Afterlife with Archie (which is easily the most daring comic Archie ever released), it makes sense that the company will once again be shaking up its core formula in next year’s Farewell Betty and Veronica. In a rollicking panel moderated by Afterlife with Archie writer Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa, it was announced that writer Michael Uslan (who kickstarted the Archie renaissance a few years back with his Archie Marries storyline) will be teaming with Kevin Keller creator/artist Dan Parent to create a new series in which Archie’s main girls will leave Riverdale, only to be replaced by new babes who will probably be eerily similar in appearance to their departing counterparts. Is it a stunt? Of course. But as the company seems to consistently prove, no one can transform a high-concept publicity move into an ongoing storyline these days better than Archie.
7) Minimate Mayhem
Diamond Select continues to be on fire with their great Minimate lines.Just check out the above Aliens minifigs. In space no one can here you say d’aww! (Okay, so I used the Alien tagline, but the joke still worked). Also on deck for the company are some terrific new Ghostbusters Minimates, and the latest series of Marvel Minimates that will bring everyone from The Falcon to Elektra to adorable, teensy weensy life.
Though the main toy standouts from this year’s NYCC were from Mattel, including some Batman: Arkham Origins toys and their jaw-droppingMultiverse figures, these new Minimates were a close second.
6) Mulder and Scully Still Have It
As a reminder that the passage of our days are just a slippery slope towards oblivion, let me point out that it has been 20 years since The X-Files debuted. Yes, I know that X-Files nostalgia is the last thing that any of us want to deal with given the lackluster nature of the series’ finale and subsequent film sequel, but do me a favor and watch the above clip, okay? I’ll be waiting here when you get back.
While watching that bit of improvisational nonsense from David Duchovny and Gillian Anderson I realized something unexpected: I missed these two together. The pair have gone on record recently saying they’d like to do a third feature. Maybe I’m just a glutton for punishment who never learns from his mistakes, but I kinda would be on board for that. Especially if they somehow write the above scene into the script.
5) Parker Gets Illustrated…Again
Having already won multiple awards for his comic adaptations of Donald Westlake’s novels, Darwyn Cooke will return to unleash more Parker work…this time by doing color illustrations and designing new covers that will be featured in IDW’s upcoming deluxe reprints of Westlake’s novels featuring the characters. (With The Hunter debuting early next year and the subsequent works to follow thereafter). Cooke’s art fits Parker’s damaged, noirish world perfectly, so it will be fascinating to see his illustrations accompanying the original works.
4) The Cast of Bob’s Burgers Are Awesome, Patient
The darkest side of the Hollywood experience isn’t a trip to rehab or having a trashy biography published about you, but rather it is being forced to participate in roundtable interviews. For those of you who are (luckily) not familiar with this concept, a roundtable interview is when celebrities promoting their latest project must sit down with a bunch of “journalists” to take on questions before moving on to the next table packed with more eager interviewers.These events are often a free-for-all that are too often dominated by unprofessional bloggers/podcasters who inexplicably scored a press pass. At one such event this past Friday I found myself seated with, amongst other peers, a man dressed as a dinosaur to ask the cast of Bob’s Burgers about the new season. As I listened to inane questions about everything from the cast’s favorite hamburgers to what they did earlier in the day, I found myself experiencing an existential crisis about my chosen profession.
Throughout it all, Bob’s Burgers cast members H. Jon Benjamin, Dan Mintz, John Roberts and Larry Murphy, along with show creator Loren Bouchard, never let their kindly exteriors crack as they dealt with what felt to me like one insufferable question after another. Bouchard made a point to learn everyone’s names and collect business cards, Roberts and Mintz were quick to break into character, Benjamin and Murphy handled themselves with the utmost professionalism – not an easy task when being presented with questions by someone who clearly has never seen the show they are there to promote. I already respected the Bob’s Burgers crew for presenting the best animated show on TV, but after this experience, even more so. In terms of actual news gleaned from this experience, Bouchard let it be known that a soundtrack album to the show is in the works. Lovers of “Lifting Up the Skirt of the Night” can rejoice.
3) IDW Announces Impressive Artist’s Editions
Continuing their commitment to preserving and archiving a wide range of works from across the history of the comics medium, IDW used NYCC as a launching pad for three new Artist’s Editions. The company will be releasing deluxe versions of Jim Steranko’s Nick Fury, Agent of S.H.I.E.L.D and Nick Fury & Captain America, as well as Charles Schulz’s Peanuts, Jack Kirby’s New Gods and an so-called “Artifact Edition” of Watchmen focusing on snippets of Dave Gibbons’ most-memorable art from the series. Complete information on all of these releases can be found here, but the ultimate appeal of these books is that they try to recreate the original work as closely as possible, including editorial notes and corrections.
Like special features on DVDs and Blu-rays, these offerings all provide a look at the artistic craftsmanship that went into these iconic releases. For comic historians, these are invaluable documents that shouldn’t be missed. Add them to your wish lists now.
2) Marvel Announces Everything
The winner of this year’s New York Comic Con was far and away Marvel. The company announced such interesting offerings as the All-New Ghost Rider (this time an LA teen who apparently has a Ghost Rider car. Awesome) relaunched Elektra and Captain Marvel, a new Punisher book which has Frank Castle traveling to the West Coast for more bloodletting/fun-in-the-sun, and, most excitingly a New Warriors series by Chris Yost – the man responsible for the incredible Avengers: Earth’s Mightiest Heroes cartoon – and artist Marcus To. And let’s not forget George Romero’s Empire of the Dead, which will bring zombies back to the Marvel Universe once more…with vampires in tow? Utter sacrilege. Sigh.
Anyway, these, along with the recent reports of the She-Hulk revival, are a sign of good things to come from the perennial House of Ideas. But these announcements were just foreplay for the sweet sweet lovemaking Marvel was about to proceed with by announcing…
I’m not sure how much dark magick had to be performed to make this happen, but comic fans are finally going to be getting their Marvelman/Miracleman fix once again. We’ve known since 2009 that Marvel had gotten the rights to Miracleman (the reasons behind his name change, as well as the various legal issues surrounding the character are enough to leave this writer more confused than a month of Heaven’s Love Thrift Shop strips), but he has been in limbo since then. Until now. As you can see in the above video, the original Warrior Magazine/Eclipse stories from Alan Moore will be reprinted first, leading up to a continuation of the aborted story from Neil Gaiman and artist Mark Buckingham. Marvel has the complete details of the long Miracleman saga, as well a complete lack of mentioning Moore’s name and what, if any, input he had into this new phase of the character’s life.
So there you have it: a San Diego Comic Con-level announcement at NYCC. At the very least, the one that will be stirring up the most comics discussions in the weeks ahead. Did I leave out your favorite news story? If so, be sure to let me know in the comments!
Previously by Chris Cummins
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