By Zena Tsarfin
Another New York Comic Con has come and gone! Now that the hoopla and humidity have settled, let’s reminisce about some of the coolest booths and most fun activations from this year’s annual gathering of the nerd tribes.
It was certainly easy to pick out the most exclusive—that would have been the appointment-only, mysterious Westworld installation. Ash vs. Evil Dead once again had the most abundant giveaways and photo props, and the various new hyper-articulated prestige statues like Voltron and Dark Knight Batman within Sideshow Collectibles’ area stopped many in their tracks, making them wish they’d been saving their lunch money since junior high. And I think I hit peak adulthood when I expressed deep concern over the many young Elevens handing out Eggo and Netflix-branded Stranger Things “watch party” kits outside of the Javits Center with nary a protective presence around such a mass vortex of activity.
And with that, here we go…
Trivia was the theme behind South Park’s latest activation, during which poncho-and-goggle equipped fans tested their knowledge for various prizes, incurring the wrath of Randy Marsh’s “puke” (water) for answering incorrectly. Seeing it in person was like getting flashbacks of watching Double Dare. There to jog your memory: complimentary “member” berries.
THE ART OF ALEX ROSS
This elegant and expansive gallery-style oasis featured white walls built out on a diagonal. The result? Fans of the esteemed painter could actually linger and enjoy his vivid takes on superheroes, plus a stunning series of grayscale oil-on-canvas prints of Universal Monsters, and a whimsical Monty Python creation conjured especially for the event.
WETA DIGITAL/PLANET OF THE APES TRILOGY
Ever want to get your Andy Serkis on as a CGI character? You know you have, and so do the folks at Weta Digital, the groundbreaking company behind the motion capture technology for film series like Planet of the Apes, Lord of the Rings and tons more. Their NYCC setup allowed the masses to try on and use various pieces of WETA’s pricey tech to transform themselves before their very eyes, straight into a variety of scenes from the recent War for the Planet of the Apes.
With Domo dancers, a giant live DJ Domo, Domo cosplay, tons of cool Domo figurine setups and a slew of cool props to make .gifs out of, Domo! World was just that – and mind-boggling thrill for all senses that overwhelmed in the best -and cutest – way possible.
STAR WARS: THE LAST JEDI
Would any convention really be complete without a Star Wars shout-out? This booth, essentially an exhibit of props used in the forthcoming The Last Jedi film, consistently had some of the longest lines of the convention – and some of the most satisfied smiles leaving.
MIDDLE-EARTH: SHADOW OF WAR
The booth for the hotly anticipated video game sequel to Middle-Earth: Shadow of Mordor was pretty easy to find—just look for the giant dragon. When one got there, not only could you pose by sitting on it (and have your animated .gif be enhanced with said dragon breathing fire), there were also plenty of demo consoles to try out the game, and even a dedicated YouTube livestream for those who couldn’t make it in person.
This streetwear fashion line wasn’t even vending at NYCC, but that didn’t stop tons of attendees from dropping by their showroom-like booth—comprised entirely of VHS movie boxes—to use as backdrops for their Snaps and Insta stories. Those who used Dumbgood’s hashtag on social media were rewarded immediately on site with printouts of their photos. Simple and effective marketing, and most importantly, the fledgling attendees felt their ROI was well met.