The biggest show of the year is later and The Beat’s elite staff has rounded up all the NYCC winners and losers for your perusal.
Going to the can was worse than ever this year and some pros are boycotting the show because of the long lines. “I don’t want to go to a con where I might pee myself,” was one succinct description of the situation. Every woman I spoke with was complaining about the 30 minute waits to go, but while passing the Headlocked Comics booth I overheard one prominent male wrestler announcing “Okay, I’m going to try to go to the bathroom now.”
Apparently there were secret bathrooms for Exhibitors and Artist’s Alley, but not everyone knew about them. While this may seem elitist, when you have a schedule to keep in order to interact with attendees, it makes sense to have a dedicated toilet.
There were also port-a-potties available for all, but again, this was not as well known as it could have been.
The Gender Neutral bathroom was also a bit of a fail as some men using it seemed resentful and unaware of the purpose of this bathroom. By law, ALL bathrooms in New York City are gender neutral, so watch out for next year – it may be a pee-for-all.
Ultimately NYCC’s bathroom problem is due to the way the Javits Center was designed – as a facility for shows with less than 100,000 people a day. I have no idea how many people were inside the building each day, but whatever the number it was for more than the infrastructure could bear. As for how to solve the problem: more port-a-potties better marked? (HM)
WINNER: The New York Public Library
The panels the library hosted were smart, the building impressive, and one room in the basement even had a spread for attendees with free sandwiches.
People like it! Despite all the reasons that some are planning to hate watch this, the overall reaction to the first episode’s debut was a surprised “Hey, this is pretty good!” Co-creator Dave Gibbons was brought on as a special guest at the panel and even he approves. In particular Regina King is getting rave reviews as the focus character. While this may not be HBO’s next Game of Thrones, maybe it will be the first Watchmen.
Nothing new aside from a very short scene was released—no release date, no trailer; the show was renewed for its third season almost a year ago. What gives?
WINNER: G Willow Wilson
Wilson has been teasing a “bucket-list” announcement for months, even leaving her underrated Wonder Woman run to make room in her schedule. On Saturday we learned that the mysterious project is The Dreaming, with art by Nick Robles. Not only are they perfectly suited for a Sandman Universe title, but committing to the pun of calling it a “dream project” for so long without any of us catching on is as clever as anything Neil Gaiman’s written. Plus, Wilson’s co-creation Ms Marvel/Kamala Khan was revealed as a playable character in the upcoming Avengers video game, with Wilson confirming that she consulted.
LOSER: Big crowds in tight aisles
The aisles on both the show floor and artists alley were of uneven sizes this year, leading to some pretty cramped spaces in an already crowded con.
WINNER: N.K. Jemisin
After Friday’s DC Nation panel, Internet chatter focused on co-publisher Dan DiDio’s brief tease of a blurry internal planning document. The real story there, however, was writer N.K. Jemisin, who was flanked by comics royalty Jim Lee and Tom King…and still managed to steal the show with talk of her forthcoming Young Animal title, Far Sector. Jemisin’s descriptions of the book’s subject matter, themes, and inspirations were clear and intriguing. Combine that with her historic three consecutive wins of the Hugo Award for best novel (the most prestigious accolade for fantasy/sci-fi prose), and excitement should be sky-high for her DC Comics debut next month.
LOSER: Line tracking
The NYCC Lines twitter account only recorded once lines were capped, not when they were getting close to capacity, leaving busy fans, pros and press alike out in the cold.
Monday’s big Stan Lee tribute included every comics luminary in the area, and Tom Hiddleston and Ming-Na Wen and was a fitting salute to the man who means comics to so many.
With fans expecting an announcement for the expansive lineup for Dawn of X’s 2020 slate, choosing the absolute last second to drop just another Wolverine title seems borderline cruel.
WINNER: M. Night Shyamalan and Alex Garland’s big reveals
Two filmmakers who have been generally secretive about their upcoming series (Shyamalan’s Servant for Apple TV+, Garland’s DEVS for FX) took advantage of the rapt NYCC audiences to give them pretty extensive sneak peeks, although the premise for Servant is significantly easier to understand immediately than the one for Devs.
With no power outlets, sandwiched in between the noisy and crowded cosplay area and with one of the smallest bathrooms I’ve ever seen (see the note above about “Bladders”), it just made life even more miserable for the press who have been so pivotal in getting people excited about coming to NYCC every year. A quiet room downstairs somewhere with more tables/outlets… kind of like the early days of NYCC … would be greatly appreciated.
Also while splashy media press rooms are still a fixture at SDCC, NYCC can’t even seem to get sponsored coffee for the press room. One year there were Doritos – and we’re still talking about Doritos years later – BRANDS, THIS IS A GOLDMINE!
WINNER: DC Universe subscribers
Subscribers who stopped by DC’s set up received a new, free Harley Quinn and friends pin each day and a bonus pin for visiting their nearby offsite. The offsite location had a subscribers-only lounge which hosted breakfasts, snacks, talks with DC talent and trivia contests. -Billy Henehan
Despite having a knockout lineup of signings (including a surprise signing by the Birds of Prey cast), announcements were sparse and news was thin considering the anticipation of their upcoming projects across various mediums. And this whole 5G thing is s big head scratcher.
WINNER: Artist Alley
Although it was crowded, and didn’t have any signage, this is still the best Artist Alley in North America, and talent handlers like Comic Sketch Art, Essential Sequential, and Splash Page are bringing more and more amazing artists from around the world to the show. It remains the best place to meet creators. (HM)
LOSER: Artist Alley
Typically there’s always a big sign listing every artist and their table at designated locations around Artist Alley so you don’t have fumble through the guide. For whatever reason, they decided to do away with it. Plus, half the time I felt like I was in a maze since I could barely see or even find the aisle letters. -Taimur Dar
WINNER: Fan art lovers
While getting through the floor was obnoxious, there was a great variety this year. There was more art that catered to diverse, female, and queer audiences and fandom people than before. It’s nice to see this kind of art becoming less shameful and hidden at big cons like this.
LOSER: (Some) Attendees
In the immortal words of Taylor Swift, you need to calm down. Every con-goer loves this stuff just as much as you do. Asking more than one question at a panel Q+A is rude. Sprinting through the show floor for an exclusive variant is gross. Stopping at the bottom of a down escalator because you can’t wait to take a picture of a cosplayer is dangerous. Nobody is such a fan of anything that they’re excused from being inconsiderate and disrespectful.
Rooster Teeth’s hit animated series won cheers from fans, with the release of a trailer AND the first twelve minutes of the first episode.
LOSER: NYCC app/SYFY fans
Unless you went to the stage or follow SYFY on some type of social media, you might have missed out on some great interviews. Their schedule needs to be incorporated into the NYCC app to help fans plan accordingly.
WINNER: The Expanse
Amazon Prime has already picked up season five, and season four looks like it’s off to a pretty incredible start, with the season premiere shown at the con. There’s a lot of enthusiasm for this hard sci-fi show.
WINNER: For All Mankind
The new space race alt history show from Battlestar Galactica and Outlander’s Ronald D. Moore looks awesome, and it should be a winner for Apple+.
WINNER: Star Trek Fans
The trailers for Star Trek: Discovery and Picard were fantastic and the crowd really got into the panels. Plus, listening to Patrick Stewart is just sort of perfect.
WINNER: She-Ra fans
Lots of new info dropped at the panel including a whole episode. Plus they are getting an entire new season again in a month. Also, the energy was great and inclusive and the people involved in the show are super engaged.
WINNER: Independent comics art
The variety of voices and styles in full display at the indie comics booths was impressive. There was new material and small publishers doing their best to talk to people about it. Just hanging out in that part of the convention was a joy and the conversations had there were among the best to be had at the con.
LOSER: Independent comics area
The Marvel stage, which had demos of the new Avengers game and signings was right next to the indie comics area. Next to Marvel was the giant Image booth, followed by BOOM and Dark Horse. The amount of traffic they pulled made getting to the smaller booths nearly impossible at times.
WINNER: The Harvey Awards
Coming it at a bare 80 minutes and with heartfelt speeches by winners including Alison Bechdel, Mike Mignola and Maggie Thompson, this was actually a night that comics could be proud of.
LOSER: NYC Anime Fest
LOSER: The trash left behind
By the end of the con, there was so much trash left behind on nearly every floor of the con that it was disappointing to see. The custodial staff was doing their best, but fellow con attendees…there were trash cans everywhere! Utilize them!