NYCC ’13: TODAY! Check out our two panels on European cartoonists and comics documentaries

jeff and m.jpg
Today I’m moderating not one but TWO fantastic panels full of very talented people, neither of which has been seen at New York Comic-Con or at any con. Above is a still from BETTER THINGS: The Life and Choices of Jeffrey Catherine Jones, Maria Cabardo’s documentary about the late artist.

Title: Publishers Weekly Comics World presents: Doing It the Euro Way
Date: 10/12/2013
Time: 1:45PM – 2:45PM
Location: 1A15
Speakers: Emma Viecelli, Esad Ribic, Heidi MacDonald, Stephanie Hans, & Will Sliney
Description: The American comics industry has been invaded by artists from around the globe, and many of them are at NYCC. Cartoonists from Europe including Esad Ribic (Thor: God of Thunder #1, X-Men), Will Sliney (Defenders, Celtic Warrior), Emma Viecelli (Amazon Chronicles, My Little Pony), Stephanie Hans (The Mighty Thor) Alvaro Martinez (The Ultimate Comics X-Men) and more talk about their work and their native comics scenes.
Title: Making Movies about Making Comics: Three Filmmakers in Discussion
Date: 10/12/2013
Time: 5:15PM – 6:15PM
Location: 1A01
Speakers: Heidi MacDonald, Ian Fischer, Maria Cabardo, & Patrick Meaney
Description: With the rise of comics culture, movie screens and DVD racks have been seeing a rise in new documentaries that explore the comics medium and the men and women behind it. But getting these movies made can be an epic journey in itself. Join Patrick Meaney (The Image Revolution, Warren Ellis: Captured Ghosts and the upcoming Neil Gaiman documentary), Maria Cabardo (BETTER THINGS: The Life and Choices of Jeffrey Catherine Jones) and Ian Fischer (Rude Dude: The Documentary, Superhero Nation) as they go behind the scenes and show exclusive footage, including a sneak peek at the upcoming Neil Gaiman documentary.

NYCC INTERVIEW: Al Ewing on Loki, Agent of Asgard

One of the biggest pieces of news from NYCC would have to be the announcement of a Loki solo series from Al Ewing and Lee Garbett. Due in no small part to the critical successes of both Journey Into Mystery and Tom Hiddleston’s performance as the character in the Thor movies, Loki has made the unexpected leap from favoured villain to anti-hero and crush object.

With Loki: Agent of Asgard announced, I got to ask writer Al Ewing a few questions about the series, which follows the adult-bodied version of the character as he embarks on a new role in the Marvel Universe.

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NYCC ’13: DC Announce Stephanie Brown’s Return

The Batman panel is going on right now, and The Beat has Jeffrey O. Gustafson on the floor right now. But according to reports we’ve had from several of the people sitting in on the panel, it sounds like there’s one announcement we HAD to let you know about immediately! It appears that Scott Snyder has announced to the fans that cult favourite character Stephanie Brown will be returning to comics in Batman Eternal #3.

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NYCC ’13: Avengers Undercover – the Follow-Up to Avengers Arena

Marvel have announced their plans for the follow-up to Avengers Arena, the somewhat controversial series in which a number of trainee superheroes were kidnapped and forced to fight each other to the death by Arcade. Written by Dennis Hopeless and drawn by Kev Walker – the creative team from Avengers Arena – the series will see several teen heroes go on a new mission.

Spoilers for Avengers Arena below. [Read more…]

NYCC ’13: Avengers World #1 from Hickman, Spencer, and Caselli

The Avengers panel is currently going on in New York, and there’s all kinds of new stuff being announced – as is the wont of convention panels. Among them is the news that Jonathan Hickman, Nick Spencer and Stefano Caselli will be the creative team for a book called Avengers World.

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NYCC ’13: A Black Widow Solo Series from Nathan Edmondson and Phil Noto

Possibly one of the most demanded comics from fans, Marvel have announced today that they will be publishing a new Black Widow solo series, written by Nathan Edmondson and drawn by Phil Noto. Natasha Romanov will be in the title role.

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NYCC ’13: Loki, Agent of Asgard

Al Ewing and Lee Garbett have been announced as the creative team for an interesting new project – Loki, Agent of Asgard. Spoilers for Young Avengers follow in the article below. [Read more…]

NYCC ’13: Richard Isanove Takes Over Savage Wolverine’s Next Arc

French artist Richard Isanove has been announced as the next creator taking over on Savage Wolverine, a title which has turned into a showcase book for artists to flex their storytelling. Following recent arcs by Jock and Phil Jimenez, painter Isanove will join the title in 2014 for an arc.

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NYCC ’13: Guardians of the Galaxy and All-New X-Men Crossover “The Trial of Jean Grey”

The expected crossover between All-New X-Men and Guardians of the Galaxy (both titles written by Brian Michael Bendis) has been announced as “Trial of Jean Grey”, starting in January 2014. The storyline will see Sara Pichelli drawing GOTG, and Stuart Immonen on ANXM.

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NYCC ’13: All-New X-Factor with David and DiGiandomenico


Let’s go, everybody! It’s NYCC time! Prepare for an avalanche of news updates from the convention. Let’s move to the X-Men panel, where some new storylines have been announced, as well as a relaunch – Peter David and Carmine Di DiGiandomenico will be the creative team for All-New X-Factor. [Read more…]

New York Comic Con apologizes for posting rah rah tweets without owner’s knowledge

This is the kind of thing that kind of alarms me, but since people don’t believe in privacy anymore, the practice of allowing corporations to hijack your social media to advertise their products may be less of a big deal as it undoubtedly becomes more common.

As we all know, New York Comic Con installed a new badge system this year that involved RFID technology. The radio frequency enhanced badges not only allow security to check whether you have been going in and out too much, but in theory allow organizers a Marauder’s Map-like chart of where all the badges are over an area.

They also, as Mashable reported, used a system set up to allow NYCC to post as you, with such messages as these:

Even this morning as news broke, the con was urging you to activate your badge to join on the advertising campaign:

However, soon a more comforting message was released:

If this apology seemed a bit glib, a more formal one was released to news organizations this morning:

“As you may have seen yesterday, there were some posts to Twitter and Facebook issued by New York Comic Con on behalf of attendees after RFID badges were registered,” the representative wrote. “This was an opt-in function after signing in, but we were probably too enthusiastic in our messaging and eagerness to spread the good word about NYCC. We have since shut down this service completely and apologize for any perceived overstep. Please accept our apologies and have an absolutely excellent time this weekend. “

There are a couple of lessons here: #1 Don’t opt in to things you don’t understand. I rarely “authorize” apps to post as me–my Twitter is my professional news feed and only I can handle it. I realize this ship has sailed for people who always check the box.

#2 It was obviously an over-zealous marketing meeting where these boosterish messages were approved. This technology is getting more and more common and it’s our guess that people will come to see it as the price they pay for free social media tools.

Con Diary, NYCC Thursday – Everybody Here is a Giant

Still up and about, with only minimal cramp and voice loss, yesterday I got into the convention floor for an hour of joyous, horrifying, nicely-carpeted comics browsing. And then I realised where Artists Alley was and went there instead.

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Hometown convention survival – a guide for the unwary


Con food

The five con food groups – fruit, vegetables, grains, protein and chocolate with hard candy coating.

It’s that time again, New York Comic Con is back. And as a New Yorker, it’s  much more accessible than, say, San Diego Comic-Con. The Beat already has guides for what to do when you get on the floor. Everyone knows that you have to plan a convention trip as if you were invading Normandy – or Khazad-dum for that matter. But that con in your own hometown or city? Has secret pitfalls that’ll the get unwary every time. Sure, there’s no hotel room scramble, no airport or bus station nightmares, but will you still want to live there on Monday morning?

Here are some things to think about before you ever foot on the floor…

Laundry, laundry, laundry

When you’re going away to a con, the clothes problem takes care of itself. No one wants to pack dirty clothes. But when you’re at home, you don’t need a suitcase, and hey, you don’t have to weed out what to wear, you’ve got all of your clothes right there! Yes, but is it clean? If you wore your “Joss Whedon is My Master Now” shirt to go bowling on Sunday, it might not be clean and ready to wear to the con on Friday. Do your laundry (or at least, the parts you want to wear) a day or two before the con, and you won’t have this problem.

And while we’re talking about clothes… layers. May I suggest layers? If it’s hot out, the convention center is too cold. If it’s brisk, you’re going to get overheated on the walk there, or freezing while you stand in line outside. You don’t have a hotel room to go back to.

Grocery shopping

You are not a stranger in a strange land. You actually know where the grocery store is, there’s no reason to wander the halls searching for scraps or spend eight bucks on an awful sandwich. Pick up food that won’t take much time or effort to cook, for those late post-con, pre-crash dinners, not to mention food to eat at the con.

(Oh, and make sure you have enough of the things you need every day, like milk, coffee and toilet paper.)

Speaking of food to eat at the con, pack a lunch. And snacks – protein, not just starches and sugars, so you don’t crash an hour later. Personally, I like to pack a sandwich, some carrot sticks, some kind of fruit something and some trail mix or energy bars for between panel attacks of the munchies. And, okay, maybe a little candy.

Charge all the things

“Oh hey, that’s right, I have a kindle I can read comics on!” Not if you didn’t charge it, you don’t.

A con in your own town feels more casual and last minute. More spontaneous! Batteries don’t care.

Plan your route early

When you’re away from home, you have to figure out how to get there. When you’re at home, it’s easy to think you know how. But did you check what roads or subways are working, or where they’re allowing you to park or enter? Do you know how long it takes to get there?  It’s annoying, but you don’t really want to miss that George Perez signing because you got lost.

Have a con houseguest? Don’t leave anything to chance.

We’re a community, and fans like to help each other out. This means couch surfing. Don’t try to play host at the same time you’re hunting back issues – work out the details of when they’re showing up and how they’re getting there now, not at 2pm on Friday while you’re in line for the megapanel for that show you like. Put the sheets on the couch (or guest bed or air mattress or yoga mat), put the key under the rug, and buy that soy milk that they absolutely can’t live without. Now, not tomorrow. Because let’s face it. You won’t, tomorrow.

Where is my food?

But Daddy, where is my cat food?

You’re going to need that to do list

No amount of planning will change the fact that you still live here, and stuff needs to get done. Make a check list of the things that you still need to do every night, so you don’t have to try and remember when you’re half asleep and wiping off your Gamzee cosplay face paint. Your cats will thank you when they have a clean litter box!

Clean house.

No, seriously, clean house.

Change your sheets, water your plants, sweep the floor, set your TIVO and scrub down the stove and counters because, let’s face it, once the con starts, you’re a zombie. And zombies don’t clean the fridge.

Don’t get me wrong, your home will still go to hell during the con, but at least you won’t be giving it a head start.

Con Diary, NYCC/Wednesday: Shakira and Dan Slott

The terrible news is that I’ve arrived in New York, and have been stumbling around your lovely American sidewalks for just over a day now. The good news is that I’ll be writing about my experiences around the city and in the convention hall right here on The Beat! This is also terrible news for some of you, meaning you just got a double-dose of terrible news to start off your morning. Bad luck!

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NYCC ’13: Day 0…a full slate of demographics

The first day of full-on New York Comic-Con activities began bright and early with a media presentation at the offices of comiXology. I’ll have details on all that over at Publishers Weekly, but it was an impressive presentation, with David Steinberger, John Roberts, and new CTO Jeff DiBartolomeo all talking about their various areas of expertise. The company has just expanded to a second floor of a midtown office building, and shows no signs yet of slowing down. The most interesting part was a presentation on their customer demographics, but once again check out PW for details.

After that, The Beat and fellow journo Brigid Alverson trekked over to the Javits for the ICv2 Conference. There we met Sterling Steve Morris for the first time! And got to witness Steve and Torsten talking shop. What a day to remember.

Milton Griepp presented his annual white paper on comics numbers and trends. Calvin Reid will have the breakdown over at PW, but the basic message was nothing too surprising….overall numbers are up to pre-market crash (2009) sales—he noted that the comics boom was more due to the end of Borders and its own internal factors and not the big recession.

However, it’s great guns now, and even manga is showing signs of improvement, with Kodansha’s raw-looking ATTACK ON TITAN a surprise sales hit.

Panelists chewed over Kickstarter, digital, and whether we’ve reached “peak geek.” There was nothing too revelatory but much general reinforcement of the idea that comics are reaching a more diverse audience by having so many more channels for distribution, even as huge media hits like THE AVENGERS and The Walking Dead do give comics sales the occasional boost. Still, there are some glaring omissions. Midtown’s Gerry Gladston recounted asking Skybound’s Shawn Kirkham why The Walking Dead TV show doesn’t run ads for the comics. “He explained all the reasons it couldn’t happen, but it’s still a missed opportunity,” said Gladston.

After that it was a VERY brief walk around the show floor for The Beat, still being set up, before racing off to some social events. We ran into an excited ReedPOP employee who told us they’ve been running drills on the whole “tap in and out” process and it’s going to work. Attendees are a bit anxious about all this, but I think it may surprise people.

Here are a few pics and commentary.

Milton Griepp in action.
A good year!
Greipp, Steve Rotterdam and Rob Salkowitz discuss the marketing of the geek.









A quick jaunt around the floor.

The DC booth in assembly…
…and ready to roll. Respite all the controversy, this is actually a great use of this space and a good way to keep foot traffic moving around.

Just in case you missed it, there will be different entrances with different kinds of people. This is where the total jerkspress, pros, and other special badges will enter. Pray for us all.

Dynamite Tease Project Involving Greg Pak, Fred Van Lente, Frank Barbiere

Dynamite have started teasing projects this week, with the arrival of three images promising a project from Greg Pak, Fred Van Lente, and Frank Barbiere. Each of the teasers – released since Monday – have gradually started building up a phrase, which presumably when completed will form the tagline for whatever the writers have planned.

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