A Look at BookCon 2015

On May 30th and 31st, the Javits Center opened its doors to the 2015 BookCon. This event, described by its organizers as a place “where storytelling and pop culture collide,” saw both an increase in attendance and size this year. With author and celebrity Q&A’s, panels, autographing areas, meet and greets, interactive events and quizzes, and special screenings, BookCon had something for everyone this year. Many publishing tables offered free posters, postcards, tote bags, and books to attendees, while a booth downstairs offered many of the invited guests’ books for sale. While there were a few organizational issues, most of the attendees had nothing but praise for the event and cited huge organizational and regulatory improvements to last year’s BookCon, including the popular wristband policy that ReedPop affected with its most recent New York City Comic Con. While the event boasted a wide range of book genres represented, it definitely felt as if the young adult crowd was the most prevalent, especially with the many Youtubers in attendance this year. Next year, the event will be moving to Chicago and will take place on May 14th. Below are some snapshots from the event.

Once Again, KC’s Planet Comicon is a Rousing Success!


Planet Comicon, one of the best and biggest fan-driven conventions in the country, ended another great session this past weekend in Kansas City.

With such celebrity guests as Cary Elwes, Michael Rooker and Scott Wilson, the lines for autographs were long (but moved quickly) and there were plenty of vendors ready to work a deal or two. Whether your love was movies, television, comics or toys, there was plenty to see and plenty to do. As in other years, many guests came in the guise of their favorite pop culture characters.

The “Behind the Mikes” podcast team of Moviemike, Loaf and Brett “Movie Quote” Coker, along with photographer Dan Lybarger, worked the vast expanse of Kansas City’s Bartle Hall, speaking with fans and capturing the sights of the event. Fans of every genre’ were encouraged to get on stage for trivia, hosted by a gentleman in an amazing looking suit!

A huge THANK YOU to Chris Jackson and his Planet Comicon staff for making this annual event one of the most anticipated each year!

Moviemike, Loaf and Brett (l-r) bright and early in the morning. Midwest Wonder Woman

 

The artist with her signed painting The Walking Dead’s” Scott Wilson Photog Dan Lybarger and Michael Rooker The trivia quiz master and his assistant. Lady Avengers Three of a kind

 

“Thank you, Walt Disney” trying to raise money to restore Walt’s original Kansas City studio.

Orlando MegaCon Returns to the Orange County Convention Center April 10-12, 2015

ORLANDO, Fla. (March 2, 2014) — Orlando MegaCon, the Southeast’s largest comic book, anime, gaming and multi-media event, is returning to the Orange County Convention Center April 10-12.  The popular event promises to be bigger and better than ever with more events, exhibits and the announcement of celebrity guests including comic book icon, Stan Lee (Saturday and Sunday only).

The weekend starts off with the First Annual MegaWalk at MegaCon 2015, hosted by the Hero Initiative. This event will take place on Friday, April 10 at 11 a.m. with all proceeds going towards the Hero Initiative. The Hero Initiative creates a financial safety net for comic creators who may need emergency medical aid, financial support for essentials of life, and an avenue back into paying work. The walk’s grand marshal will be comic book legend George Perez.

The festivities continue on Friday night at The Cosmos Party. With DJ performances, dancing, laser light show, VIP celebrities and costume contest, The Cosmos Party is the official launch of MegaCon. The Cosmo Party takes place in Ballroom D and tickets are $20 in advance and $25 at the door.  Attendees must be 18 or older with proper ID to attend this event.

MegaCon’s avid attendees come first and foremost to see the all-star line-up of comic book guests including George Pérez, Ed McGuiness, Mike Perkins, Marv Wolfman, Allen Bellman, Amanda Conner, Jimmy Palmiotti, Frank Cho, Ethan Van Sciver, Andy Smith, Darwyn Cooke, Drew Geraci, Rob Hunter, Katie Cook, Bob Layton, Chuck Dixon, Andy Price, Mike Lilly, Sean Chen, Greg Horn, Dan Parent, Sergio Cariello, Billy Tucci and Brian Pulido

Also big draws at MegaCon are the “media guests” (stars of TV, film and professional sports).  Media guests include:

  • Norman Reedus, Michael Rooker, Jon Bernthal, Sarah Wayne Callies – The Walking Dead
  • Ron Perlman (Hellboy) and Mark Boone Junior – Sons of Anarchy (Saturday and Sunday only)
  • Hulk Hogan – Professional wrestling icon (Saturday and Sunday only)
  • Cary Elwes – The Princess Bride
  • Karen Gillan – Doctor Who, Guardians of the Galaxy (Saturday and Sunday only)
  • Jenna Colman, Arthur Darvill – Doctor Who (Saturday and Sunday only)
  • Summer Glau – Firefly, Arrow (Saturday and Sunday only)
  • Adam Baldwin – Firefly, Chuck
  • Alan Tudyk — Firefly
  • David Ramsey – Arrow
  • Lou Ferrigno – The Incredible Hulk
  • Sean Patrick Flanery, David Della Rocca, Clifton Collins, Jr. – The Boondock Saints
  • Jeremy Shada, Olivia Olson – Adventure Time
  • Rob Paulsen, Jess Harnell and Trey MacNeille – The Animaniacs and professional voice actors
  • Grey DeLisle and Troy Baker – professional voice actors

Other weekend events include the MegaCon video gaming with the Supercon 2K series and an arcade room by Freeplay Florida.

MegaCon 2015 Showroom Dates and Hours:
Friday, April 10:        12 p.m. – 7 p.m.
Saturday, April 11:   10 a.m. – 6 p.m.
Sunday, April 12:     10 a.m. – 5 p.m.

MegaCon 2015 Ticket Prices:
Online:  Friday – $30, Saturday – $35, Sunday $30, 3-day – $70
Onsite:  Friday – $35, Saturday – $40, Sunday $35, 3-day –$75

MegaCon 2015 Location:
Orange County Convention Center
West Building – Exhibit Halls A4 through B4
9899 International Drive
Orlando, FL  32819

Saturday tickets are expected to sell out, so guests are encouraged to consider attending MegaCon on Friday or Sunday.

About MegaCon

MegaCon has grown to become one of the largest comic book and sci-fi conventions in the nation with attendance increasing each year. Designed to appeal to all ages and interests, MegaCon allows attendees to meet and mingle with their favorite comic book artists and TV/film stars, buy amazing collectibles from hundreds of vendors and artists, enjoy gaming events, and participate in numerous activities throughout the weekend.

The MegaCon guest list is constantly growing. Check www.MegaConvention.com frequently for more updates.

###

Editor’s Note:

Guest appearances, events and times are subject to change or cancellation. For current information, visit www.megaconvention.com.

Creators Dan Harmon & Justin Roiland join actors Chris Parnell & Sarah Chalke to discuss “Rick and Morty” at NYCC

Rick & Morty, Adult Swim’s hilarious sci-fi animated comedy from Justin Roiland & Dan Harmon (“Community”) released its first season on Blu-ray and DVD last month. To celebrate this release, the creators joined actors Chris Parnell (“Saturday Night Live”) and Sarah Chalke (“Scrubs”) at New York Comic Con where they sat down with the press just prior to taking the stage for their panel.

Rick & Morty follows Rick (Roiland), a belching, misanthropic mad scientist who’s moved into his daughter Beth’s (Chalke) family home, much to the dismay of her husband Jerry (Parnell). Rick drags his poor grandson Morty (also Roiland) off on outrageous science adventures that include other planets, other dimensions and on occasion inside a human body.

What about the show do you think speaks to the audience?

Justin Roiland: I think it’s a bunch of things. It’s the sum of all these parts, like Harmon’s ability to tap into a sort of the more emotional core component. Making characters really relatable and real. And then me, my sort of crazy, insane retro scripting and I don’t know. It’s very strange. It’s a weird sort of perfect storm of creative, I don’t know—

Dan Harmon: The carefree vibe. Like you…it’s nice to feel like you’re watching something that kind of doesn’t care if you’re watching.

Roiland: Yeah, yeah.

Harmon: So it’s kind of that energy that a new project has an opportunity to have that’s just like ‘alright let’s just—’

Roiland: And maintaining that is tricky. You know we’re trying to continue to maintain that. I mean I love stuff where at the end of the episode, Rick’s like [dropping into the scientist’s voice] ‘Member back in the first act of the episode when you did this?!’ It’s like you know, fuck it. It’s a TV show. We all know what we’re watching. We’re watching a TV show. I just love that kind of stuff. Just not giving a shit. The end of MeeSeeks is a great example you know where he’s just like…’Hey!’—he’s waving at the camera— ‘Alright! See you guys next week! Fuck!’ You know, whatever, like ‘I don’t give a fuck is my new catchphrase!’ All that shit. I don’t know I think that just lends a very loose kind of…it just let’s everyone who’s watching go like—Well then there’s the people who go ‘Does Rick know he’s on a TV show? Is this like some sort of master plan?’ But no, it’s just us having fun and being loose and allowing ourselves to do that kind of stuff. And who knows, I don’t know if that’s the secret ingredient. I think there’s a lot of things that added together make the show really connect with people.

 

One standout character of the first season was Mr. Meeseeks, a loud blue guy that exists solely to complete one task set by the human who summons him into creation. He spends most of the episode trying to teach Jerry a better golf game. The cast even brought a lifesize Meeseeks along with them to NYCC!

 

What was the origin of Mr. Meeseeks? 

Roiland: Uh, we were breaking a story, Harmon was on tour for Harmontown, he was out of the room and I remember like we had some story…I don’t remember what the fuck the story was, but I was just like this fuckin’ sucks and I was like ‘We gotta have fun with this! And [dropping a Mr MeeSeeks-like squawk] I’M MR. MEESEEKS! I’M MR. MEESEEKS!’ and I just started doing that. [Series writer Ryan] Ridley got all mad at me and I was like ‘I’M MR MEESEEKS LOOK AT ME!’ And then I don’t know if it was until [Harmon] came back—I think we came up with like the conceit of the Meeseeks but then Harmon came back and really helped us fine tune the story with Jerry and the golfing and all that stuff kind of was after [Dan] got back because I remember [him] being in the room and the whole like wiggle at the end. When [Jerry] finally lands the putt and they all disappear. But it was really just like out of my frustration of us really banging our heads against the wall of the other story that was just lame and we couldn’t get it…And Ridley was all pissed. But then he kind of came around. But then there’s a lot of stuff in that episode…that’s verbatim, like ‘I’m Mr Boobybuyer—I’ll buy your boobies!’ that’s all Ridley kind of angrily pitching ‘OH WHY DON’T WE JUST, I’M MR BOOBYBUYER!?…I’M THIRSTY SLIPPERY STAIR, BLAHBLAH’ And I’m just like ‘That’s perfect! Type it up!’…Now I’ve found that when Ridley gets upset and angrily pitches things spitefully, I’m like ‘Pay attention, guys…this could be good to put in the show.”

 

What would you make your own personal Meeseeks do for you?

Sarah Chalke: Your own wish granting Meeseeks…

Chris Parnell: Wow. I guess to make me a lot of money, maybe you know?

Chalke: Yeah

Parnell: Just a lot of money.

Chalke: Then you don’t work and the Meeseeks goes out to work for you

Parnell: Well I still probably want to work because it comes with a certain sense of self-worth…you know…but yeah to have a lot of money. I’d buy a nicer house and put my kid through college. What would your Meeseeks do?

Chalke: Probably a lot of neck massages. They’d take over the barista duties of the household. Which are about 13 to 14 a day, so it’s a heavy job. So, barista Meeseeks.

 

My personal favorite episode, Rixty Minutes, had Rick showing the family a remote control that not only flipped channels, but show programming from entirely alternate universes, many of which were ab-libbed voice work by Roiland.

Lauren Damon: Were there any additional alternate universe scenes in Rixty Minutes that were cut?

Roiland: The production plan for that episode is so different from the normal production pipeline because we’ll write and the break the—I guess you could call it the B-Story, the A-Story, whatever the narrative is—and then we try to keep that relatively tight and small. A third of the overall episode run length and then all the sketches are just experimental. It’s just like, I’ll go in the booth and just riff and improv shit. Harmon will be on the other side…But yeah, it’s weird, it’s a huge strain on the team, you know.

Harmon: Was there ones that we cut?

Roiland: We cut a Seinfeld one. It was just like Seinfeld—Unrelated Seinfeld and he’s like [twisted Jerry Seinfeld whine] ‘What’s the deaaaaaaaal with Chinese BONES….Whhhhhhy do they taste so goooooood?’

Harmon: Yeah, it was a universe where all of Seinfeld observations were just totally unrelatable.

Roiland: Like ‘What’s the deal with HUGE cocks? WHY do they taste so good in my mouth?!’ And then Rick’s like ‘Jeez, uhhh, Seinfeld’s really—’

Harmon: ‘This universe’s Seinfeld, his observations aren’t really resonant…’

Roiland: But then the audience is just exploding in laughter [Morty’s voice] ‘Oh, boy they really like it though!’ But that got cut…we might have put that on the DVD as a cut, deleted scene. That pitch was probably better than what—if it’s on the DVD you’ll be like okay, I see why they cut this. A lot more got cut for this new one, I really cast a wide net. And our poor storyboard guys boarded way more than they needed to board. But anyways…

 

If you could travel to any of the Rick & Morty worlds, where would you go?

Chalke: Uhhh, planet Squanch

Parnell: That’s a good answer. Pluto. I wouldn’t mind going to Pluto. That’s one that comes up this season. Jerry goes to Pluto.

 

Do you ever have to ask the writers what the hell is going on when the shows really offbeat?

Chalke: I mean every time you read the script, it’s one of the funnest jobs for that reason. Like you get the script and you’re so psyched to see where it goes and I laugh out loud when I’m reading it so the jokes are crazy. That’s the fun part of it, you get to see all these different ways a character can go. Like we go to a different dimension in the second season. They have us go to other planets as well, so that was cool and different and I got to be…like our characters but in a different dimension. I don’t know if I’m allowed to say what so for that you got to try totally different voices. I was like a Warrior who talked like this [Deep roaring] ‘JERRY!’

 

How much is ad-libbed for you guys?

Chalke: Most is the scripts. I mean the scripts are genius, mostly it’s the script. But if something happens or comes up and I ad libbed that Beth was a burper like her father, so we throw some burps in there. One of my few talents is burping on cue.

 

Are you ever surprised by how much vitriol Justin can get in just saying “Jerry”?

Parnell: [laughs] Uh, no. But it’s fun, it’s fun to hear it. I mean—I don’t know if he does Rick and Morty at the same time, I kind of think he does, I mean I’ve seen him do it. In person. But it’s just, you know, it’s amazing to watch. And then also they get so many great guest voices, you know? Sometimes you can kind of pick out who it is…

 

Season one set up so many crazy things, are we going to follow up with them in season 2? Like the League of Ricks? And that evil morty? Does the continuity exist?

Roiland: It’s sprinkled throughout the season.

Harmon: A little goes a long way. I mean it’s like I have a lot—I come to the table with a lot of gun-shyness from Community because I feel like Community’s fanbase became so rewardable and was so thankful for continuity in the show and I never like to do inside stuff. Meaning that you would have to have seen something previous in order to get it, I always try to painstakingly avoid doing that but I felt like over five years, Community—because of the intense relationship the fans had with the show—it actually got branded as being more ‘inside’ than I ever strove for it to be. And so now I’m in the writer’s room in this new show and  we got Mr. Meeseeks, we got the Council of Ricks, we got a billion things that we just shot out you know and so the question ultimately becomes do we revisit that stuff? I tend to be the guy that says no, not yet. Just let’s show some restraint and then we’ll be rewarded for it later. And not that Justin’s like ‘NO let’s do everything again’ but he’s a little less convinced that it would destroy the show than I am. Somewhere in between there what happens is little sprinkles here and there.

Roiland: Yeah, we don’t want to jump the shark, so to speak, too quickly in the show in terms of giving away too much of Rick’s backstory and going back to all the things we’ve kind of established in season one—

Harmon: I will say we spent a great deal of time in the writer’s room this year revisiting a major thing from season one and ultimately it was all wasted time. I mean it might be spoilers for season three for me to talk about what we were doing…but I will say it was like four or five weeks of us talking about ‘Okay, the finale’s gonna be when we do this…’ and we ended up going this isn’t working. It’s sort of like the second Dungeons of Dragons episode of Community was cursed from the beginning because it’s like to decide that you’re just going to do something again, you better really have your shit together…Ultimately stories tell themselves. It’s already hard to do that. But if they’re fighting you because you decided that you know what a story is better than the story knows, than you’re really screwing yourself.

 

Did any of you have an older relative like Rick making a bad influence on your lives?

Roiland: Not a huge bad influence. Maybe a little bit. I think I’m a lot like him and I’m gonna die at a young age like he did…

Harmon: I had a great grandpa who died a hermit. He lost all his money in the stock market and then he made it all back but he never trusted banks after that. So he lived in a corrugated tin hut out in some land in Wisconsin. He was rich again but it was all cash under his mattress! And he was a theology major and like he was the only other Harmon who went to college I think.

Roiland: [Rick voice] ‘DAN! DAN! C’mere I got cash under my mattress!!’

Harmon: But I never got to meet him, he was my great grandpa. The first time I saw him was in a coffin. I think Rick is just a symbol of all our mental illnesses.

Roiland: Rick’s a weird combination of me and Dan. Depending on what episode you’re watching, it’s more Dan or more me.

 

Rick & Morty is out on Blu-ray & DVD and you can check out their full NYCC panel at Adult Swim’s YouTube page.

New York Comic Con 2014 “The Following” Panel

On Sunday, October 12th, Marcos Siega, Kevin Bacon, and Shawn Ashmore took to the Empire Stage at New York Comic Con to discuss their show The Following. Slim on specifics, the actors and director didn’t give too much of the new season away to fans, instead opting for vague descriptions of possible upcoming plot points. With Lily Gray’s plotline officially wrapped up and Joe Carroll in prison, it’s a new dawn for The Following, allowing a new set of events to start and creating a good entry point for new viewers.

In the teaser that was shown, Bacon’s character Ryan has a new love in his life, an ER doctor, as does his niece Max, but don’t worry Following fans. Shortly after setting this idyllic scene, a cocktail waiter was shown coming towards Ryan with a knife- perhaps setting us up for a new slew of bad guys?

After the teaser and discussion, the floor was opened up to questions from the fans. One woman asked Bacon and Ashmore for tips on working in the FBI; they laughingly replied, “Don’t do anything we do.”

Check out the slideshow below for more pictures of The Following Panel at New York Comic Con. Season 3 begins January 20th.


Created with flickr slideshow.

New York Comic Con 2014 “Adult Swim Panel Block”

Three shows were represented at this year’s Adult Swim Panel Block on Friday, October 10th at New York Comic Con. Starting things off was a panel for the upcoming The Jack and Triumph Show, which features Jack McBrayer and Triumph the Insult Comic Dog (voiced by Robert Smigel). The show will be a sitcom with a live studio audience that includes a combination of scripted comedy and improvisation. Audience members were treated to some clips from the show, featuring guest stars Joy Fatone from NSYNC and film critic Leonard Maltin. Also present on the panel was Blackwolf the Dragonmaster, who fans may recognize from a 2002 viral video shown on Late Night with Conan O’Brien. The panel ended on a sadder note with Smigel showing a SNL sketch in remembrance of Jan Hooks, a personal friend of his.

The next panel to take the stage was for the animated show Rick and Morty. Last year delegated to one of the smaller rooms, this year the panel was excited to take the main stage. The group, consisting of Dan Harmon, Justin Roiland, Chris Parnell, and Sarah Chalke, brought an animatic mashup full of Rick’s newest catchphrases from the upcoming Season 2. Panel members promoted the Season 1 DVD, available now, as well as the upcoming comic book spin-off, written by Zac Gorman and published by Oni Press. They then delighted audience members with an improvised family breakfast scene in character.

Finally, Robot Chicken, or the annual meeting of the silly hats club, took to the stage. This panel is always a favorite among fans, and this year did not disappoint. Moderated by Adult Swim Vice President Keith Crofford, the panel included co-creators Seth Green and Matthew Senreich, actors Clare Grant, Breckin Meyer, and Macaulay Culkin, and producer John Harvatine IV. Things started off with a segment from Season 7’s “Chipotle Miserables.” A few announcements followed including the release date of the Robot Chicken: Christmas Specials DVD on November 18th and the release of “The Lots of Holidays But Don’t Worry Christmas Is Still in there So Get The Stick Out of Your Ass Fox News Special” on December 7th, before the floor was opened up to the fan Q&A. This year’s fan portion of the panel produced the annual sexy pose request, as well as the return of Emmett, the fan with whom Meyer had a rivalry with at last year’s NYCC panel. A trailer for Clare Grant’s new pilot the Team Unicorn Saturday Action Fun Hour! was also shown.

Click through our slideshow below for more moments from The Adult Swim Panels at New York Comic Con 2014!


Created with flickr slideshow.

Convention Review “New York Comic Con 2014”

New York Comic Con 2014
Date: Thursday, October 9th – Sunday, October 12th
Venue: Jacob K. Javitz Center, New York, New York

Fall in New York City has a different meaning to the millions of people who scurry about the streets each day however for fans of Comics and Pop Culture fall means it’s time for Comic Con! The massive four day event which for the first time ever was preceded buy hero week set up shop at the Jacob K. Javitz center where over the course of the events four days more than 150,000 fans would walk the halls of the massive convention center. With those types of attendance numbers your probably wondering what makes this event so special. Well here is my account of what was going on throughout the day on Thursday of this year’s event.

After giving up on the non-existent free shuttle we hopped on the 2 train and then made our way on foot to the convention site. It seems as though the attendance for Thursday was a little underestimated as the convention staff all seemed a bit confused as to how things were supposed to be working for the coming weekend however after a brief security check we were finally able to make our way onto the event floor which even early on was bustling with activity and excitement. Thursdays in past years was always reserved for press and VIP ticket holders however this year single Thursday tickets were available. Cool if your fan, not as cool if you are trying to see everything and write a review. Though the added people certainly made getting around the venue a touch more difficult it wasn’t anything were weren’t prepared for.

Several big press conferences were scheduled for the day including those from toy creator Todd McFarlane and Marvel. McFarlane was on hand to announce the release of his newest brick building toy line. The line is based on AMC’s hit series “The Walking Dead” and feature several sets ranging in price from $9.99 for smaller sets and $64.99 for larger sets. Some of the display models on hand for viewing was “The Governor’s Room”, “The Prison Tower” and “Daryl Dixon and Chopper”. All of the sets we checked out lived up to the McFarlane name and you will certainly want to grab them when they become available in late October exclusively through Toys R Us. Next up we made our way through the never ending droves of cos-players to attend Marvel Comics announcement of their latest venture. Marvels Chief Creative Officer Joe Quesada was on hand to announce “The Marvel Experience” a hyper reality traveling tour which puts fans directly in to the action of their favorite comics/movies. The traveling tour produced by Hero Ventures will feature seven domes housing state of the art displays and 4-D motion rides which throw you into the middle of a full on Hollywood scripted adventure. The first run of shows will start on December 15th in Scottsdale, AZ. The tour will also be making stops in Texas and California throughout the months of January, February and March with more dates/cities set to be announced in the near future.

It wouldn’t be a Comic Con unless we made a stop to Artist Alley and checked out all the amazing talent assembled for this year’s event. Though not as busy as the conventions main floor it was a nice break to be able to walk amongst the isles and see a lot of great work not only on display but also being created right before your eyes. Some of the bigger draws for Thursday were “Batman” artist Greg Capullo, DC Comics Jim Lee and Spiderman artist Humberto Ramos all garnered lines that required quite a bit of waiting. Those looking for rare variant covers and other hard to find comic pieces were certainly in their glory on this day.

Before heading back to the main floor we made a quick journey to the basement of the complex which was playing host to the autograph area along with countless panel viewing rooms and creative workshops. Probably the biggest draw for the panels this day was for that of Rooster Teeth which featured series creators Monty Oum and Kerry Shawcross along with the voice of “Yang” Barbara Dunkleman. The three were on hand to show some new and behind the scenes footage of “RWBY” Volume 2. On hand for autographs this day was Karl Urban, Kevin Conroy and Giancarlo Esposito to name just a few.

With only a few hours left in the day we ventured back to the main exhibit floor to check out some of the vendors on hand selling everything from comic books and graphic novels to clothing and other collectable memorabilia. New York’s own Midtown Comics continues to impress me year after year with their massive set up that has pretty much everything you can think of comic related. With booths all trying to make the most of their spaces none seem to rival Midtown. As we made our way through the tight and poorly labeled booths it was easy to become frustrated as finding smaller booths in the sea of heavy hitters made traversing the landscape of vendors a bit tiresome.

After a busy/tiring day we left this year’s Comic Con with full backpacks and big wish lists as it was impossible to buy everything we saw and wanted. Sadly the shuttle situation still had yet to be ironed out as convention staff still was clueless as to when or even where you could pick up the shuttle that they provided. As we shook our heads in disbelief we knew that it was time for the day to be over. Minus a few small hiccups New York Comic was once again a great time. Whether you had never been or are a long time attendee of the convention there is always something for everyone and 2014 had that and then some.

New York Comic Con 2014 – Andrea Romano & Greg Cipes Panel


On Friday, October 10th, the voice directing legend Andrea Romano took to the stage at New York Comic Con to discuss her illustrious career and her advice to aspiring voice actors. The eight-time Emmy Award winning director was joined by Greg Cipes, the voice of Beast Boy in Teen Titans and Michelangelo in the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles tv series, who stopped by the panel to discuss working in the animation voice over industry.

Romano, herself once a struggling actress, got her start in the industry while working as an assistant to voice agent Don Pitts. From there she went on to work at the Hanna-Barbera, the studio known for Scooby-Doo and The Jetsons, while freelancing with Disney television animation on shows such as Bonkers, DuckTales, and Chip n’ Dale Rescue Rangers. She now works as a freelance voice director, and her filmography is extensive, including Avatar: The Last Airbender, The Legend of Korra, The Boondocks, Pinky and the Brain, Animaniacs, and Tiny Toon Adventures. In general, she is working on at least five projects at a time, once even juggling eleven projects all at the same time.

Nicknamed “Velvet Hammer” by the actors she works with, Romano calls making a comfortable environment for the talent to feel safe to create and work as one of her biggest goals when working on a show. She emphasized the importance of taking acting classes before trying to make a start in the realm of voice acting, saying that creating an emotional and believable character goes far beyond just being able to do a voice. Romano is generally regarded as one of the most iconic voice directors and voice casting directors working in the animation world today and is known for giving many actors’ their first big breaks. Greg Cipes, whose very first professional audition was in front of Romano for the role of Teen Titans’s Beast Boy, said “I was green…Andrea fought for me. I got the role.”

New York Comic Con 2014 – Broad City Panel


Appearing before a packed room at New York Comic Con on Friday, October 10, Ilana Glazer and Abbi Jacobson declined the use of a traditional introduction and danced their way on stage to Missy Elliot’s iconic song “Work It.” Fans of their Broad City show cheered and danced along with them as they took the stage. Once at the microphone, the women seemed shocked at the large crowd, some of whom had queued up an hour before the actual start of the panel, remarking that they had never imagined any of this when they had started their show, originally a web series, in 2009.

The Broad City web series began on YouTube in 2009 and achieved an almost cult-like status before being discovered by Amy Poehler, who transitioned the show into a 30-minute televised format. Poehler is now an executive producer on the Comedy Central show, which wrapped its first season in March. About the move to television, Jacobson said, “(Comedy Central) never made it feel corporate. It still feels like we’re making a web series. Not for the web, but it’s still so DIY and everyone is so collaborative.” Glazer and Jacobson both have strong comedy backgrounds; they met doing improv and are Upright Citizen Brigade alums. The first season of the show was nominated for Best Comedy Series at the 2014 Critics’ Choice Television Awards, and both Glazer and Jacobson were on the 2014 Variety’s Power of Women: New York Impact List.

The panel was moderated by fellow comedian Nicole Drespel, who also appears on the show. A sneak preview of Season 2 was shown, which further explored Abbi’s obsession with the store Bed, Bath, and Beyond. Jacobson and Glazer then did live commentary for the Season 1 episode “Fattest Asses,” before the floor was opened up to questions from the fans. Questions ranged from their ideal guest stars- living or dead (Lucille Ball and Clive Owen for Glazer; Richard Jenkins, Frances McDormand, and Idris Elba for Jacobson), to advice on how to break into the comedy world. When asked how much of their characters were actually based on themselves, Glazer replied, “It’s like 15% of ourselves, blown up to the full 100. It’s like my f—ing nuttiest and Abbi’s f—ing craziest.” One fan thanked Glazer on behalf of her friend for being the first tv character she felt comfortable identifying with, calling the women feminist heroes.

The panel wrapped up with a clip from the companion web series to the tv show, Hack Into Broad City, and audience members were treated to free tee-shirts and stickers from the Comedy Central staff.

The second season of Broad City will premiere this January.

New York Comic Con 2014 – Cosplay Favorites

New York Comic Con finished up this year with a bang, bringing in a record number of guests. The convention, taking place from October 9-12, was held once again at the Javits Center in New York City. The event was filled with its usual fare- panels, screenings, sneak peeks, vendors, exhibitors, artists, freebies, autographs, and special guests- but also included several new features this year, including a stricter harassment policy (“Cosplay is not Consent”), which allowed guests to report incidents through the NYCC app on their phones. Also, a new main stage clearing procedure seemed to work rather well, cutting back on line waiting times and seemingly spreading out the larger panels throughout the entire weekend. The addition of a NYCC Eastern Championship of Cosplay also brought in crowds, filling the main stage on Saturday night.

This is New York Comic Con’s ninth year and its largest yet. Run by the exhibitor Reed Pop, 151,000 tickets were sold, up from the 133,000 that it boasted last year, and out-topping San Diego’s attendance of 130,000. Thursday, originally reserved for press, VIP, and four-day pass holders only, was broadened into a full day of programming, which helped the increase in numbers. Perhaps the biggest surprise of the weekend was the appearance of George Clooney, who visited the main stage during Disney’s Tomorrowland panel, saying, “It is not lost on me that I’m spending my honeymoon at Comic Con.”

Here are some of our cosplay favorites from New York Comic Con 2014:


Created with flickr slideshow.

New York Comic Con 2014 – “Bob’s Burgers” Panel Coverage

The Bob’s Burgers panel, comprised of Loren Bouchard (show creator), Bobby Tisdale (voice of Zeke), Kristen Schaal (voice of Louise), John Roberts (voice of Linda), Larry Murphy (voice of Teddy), Eugene Mirman (voice of Gene), and H. Jon Benjamin (voice of Bob), took the main stage at New York Comic Con this past Thursday, October 9th. Although Dan Mintz (voice of Tina) was not among them, a larger-than-life Tina Belcher, joined the panel, sitting on the side during the discussion.

The audience was shown three clips of the new season. In one, Linda dyes her hair blonde, while in another Bob partakes in a life-drawing class, where he is forced to draw Edith, a character that was seen in the previous “Art Crawl” episode. The last clip had Gene, Tina, and Louise visiting an upscale grocer on a quest to buy black garlic. In addition to these sneak peeks, audience members were also treated to some key news announcements (tracks are being prepared for an upcoming show soundtrack and there will be a Christmas special where viewers will meet Bob’s father for the first time), before the panel continued with a fan Q&A, where many of the questioners came prepared in Bob’s Burger character costumes.

One fan asked, “As actors and performers who have very unique voices, how do you bring subtlety to your characters?” Kristen Schaal remarked, “Definitely the scenes. I took a college course on subtlety and it cost me $500,000. Totally worth it.” Loren Bouchard also shared some anecdotes with fans, saying that in his original meeting with the Fox network, he pitched the show as a “Family that runs a restaurant, and they’re cannibals,” believing that he needed to make the show edgy in some way-to which the Fox executive replied, “What if they’re not cannibals?”

The Emmy-awarded Bob’s Burgers entered its 5th season on October 5, 2014, and judging from the response at this year’s New York Comic Con, fans can’t wait to see what happens next.

Kansas City’s Planet Comicon Another Huge Success

Despite downtown Kansas City being overrun by Big 12 College Basketball fans, more than 40,000 people, many in costume, filled Bartle Hall to participate in this year’s best in the Midwest gathering, Planet Comicon.

Lured by an unprecedented reunion of cast members from “Star Trek: The Next Generation” and first time Planet Comicon appearances by genre’ royalty William Shatner and Lee Majors, fans were treated to an event unrivaled in the Midwest.

Every genre’ of fandom was represented, from celebrity guests to well-known comic artists Film and television fans had the opportunity to meet and greet many of their favorite stars. Besides the incredibly popular Shatner and Majors, such stars as Margot Kidder and John Ratzenberger were on hand. “ST:TNG” fans were in heaven as they had the opportunity to chat with many of the original cast members, including Brent Spiner, Jonathan Frakes, Marina Sirtis, Michael Dorn, Levar Burton and Wil Wheaton. Even more of a treat – an unannounced John DeLancy was also in attendance.

Comic fans had the opportunity to meet legendary artist Neal Adams as well as new-to-the-game Darryl McDaniel, best known for his time with the musical group Run DMC.
With nice weather for the weekend (a sincere rarity this year) many fans were encouraged to attend in costume. Characters from “Star Wars” and comic-book heroes seemed to be the most popular costumed characters, though pretty much every genre’ was well represented.

Photo credit: Dan Lybarger





New York Comic Con: Main Stage Highlights

Photography by Elizabeth Phillips

            Media Mikes had an awesome time at the Main Stage of the Javit’s Center throughout this year’s New York Comic, here’s some of the highlights of the panels we enjoyed. Click on any of the banners to take a look at additional photos from each.

            Same as last year, the Adult Swim panels on NYCC’s Friday evening, Venture Brothers followed immediately by Robot Chicken, were hilarious. Doc Hammer and Jackson Publick brought no clips but assured the crowd of a great premiere of the next season of the show–chiefly because it was originally intended for the fifth season’s finale!

            The Q&A session featured much discussion of David Bowie and was capped off by a fan in an amazing Venture-covered dress being too nervous to ask Doc a question, “ARE YOU TOO NERVOUS TO DANCE WITH ME?” he replied before launching off the stage and sharing a short dance to, oddly enough “Greased Lightning” from Grease.

            Robot Chicken’s panel, or the meeting of the silly hats club,  was moderated by Adult Swim VP Keith Crofford and included co-creators Matt Senreich and Seth Green and actors Clare Grant, Breckin Meyer and, in his “annual public appearance”, Macauley Culkin. Later, Doc Hammer emerged from back stage for a bit of light streaking and group hugging that ended with Seth Green licking Doc’s nipple (“He tastes like Dr. Girlfriend!”)

            The Q&A with fans produced their now-traditional sexy pose request and a sudden rivalry between Meyer and a ten-year old audience member named Emmett, who came to the mic with a beef against Green’s new sitcom “Dads.”

            On Saturday, The Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. panel was light on cast and crew—moderator/executive producer Jeph Loeb spoke with the duo of Iain De Caestecker and Elizabeth Henstridge who play techies Fitz & Simmons on the show. A short Q&A was followed by a screening of the “Eye Spy” episode of the show. In the pre-screening talk, De Caestecker discussed his desire for his character to gain a pet monkey while Henstridge offered supervillain Loki as her favorite Avengers character.

            Also making showings on NYCC’s Saturday were three tween hit shows with MTV’s Teen Wolf and the CW’s Beauty and the Beast and Reign. The latter two screening full episodes which, admittedly had some of the audience impatiently shifting in their seats anxiously for the Walking Dead that evening–fans seated in the Main Stage are not cleared between panels–making waiting it out a popular option. Meanwhile, the Teen Wolf panel of Dylan O’brien, Linden Ashby, and Jeff Davis was one of the loudest of the day with a hugely enthusiastic crowd.

        Finally the people behind The Walking Dead took the stage to a huge reception from the crowd. An awesome surprise was Dead fan and Community star Yvette Nicole Brown moderating the panel. For a show about a zombie apocalypse, there was quite a bit of arguing over coupling on the show. On relationships in the show, Brown yelled at the crew, “You don’t have to put love in the show, we’ll put love in…we’ll add it in our minds!” From the fan Q&A, a young boy decked out as Daryl Dixon threw down a challenge to actors [Lauren Cohan and Steven Yuen], “Since Maggie is such a bad ass, do you really think she needs Glen to protect her?” 

Event Review “New York Comic Con” October 10-13, 2013

New York Comic Con
Date: Thursday, October 10th – Sunday, October 13th
Venue: Jacob K. Javitz Center, New York, New York

Our Score: 4 out of 5 stars

The annual New York Comic Con kapowed its way into the Jacob K. Javitz center once again this year for 4 days of fandom and craziness. From 10/10-10/14 the massive multi level convention center played host to the annual event which showcases everything from comics and video games, to pop culture icons and informative workshops. With 2012 convention attendance being reported as over 100,000 attendees for the 4 days this year’s events would easily be able to match if not top that number.

This year’s con featured a slightly different layout than that of previous years which proved to be a plus as several high traffic areas which normally wreaked havoc on fans were redesigned allowing for smooth passage to the different areas of the venue. This also included the entrances of the venue which saw expansive security fencing and added staff to help keep fans from spilling over into the bustling streets surrounding the hall. These two changes right off the bat made my time at the convention a lot better and a lot less sweaty. (If you have ever experienced the con you know what I mean). Though the convention seemed smaller than that of previous year there was certainly still plenty to keep fans busy over the 4 days. On the main convention floor fans were treated to impressive booth displays by Nintendo, Ubisoft and New York’s own Midtown Comics which all played host to a number of cool merchandise. As my assistant and I made our through the packed isles we stumbled across a number of different media personalities. Charlie Adlard of “Walking Dead” fame was spotted working commission pieces, Claudio Sanchez of Coheed and Cambria/ Evil Ink was signing for fans as were a number of other guests though out the event. To the left of the main hall was “The Block” which like in previous years was home to a bevy of multi medium artists who were on hand showcasing their newest works and products. Once again you never know who you will run in to as this time around I was lucky enough to meet punk icon Jerry Only of the Misfits who was on hand for the unveiling of the new Misfits Records logo.

Artist Alley was a buzz of excitement as hardcore comic fans filed in to meet their favorite artists and have their most prized books signed. Some of the longest lines on Friday belonged to the likes of artists Aaron Kuder (Amory Wars, Amazing Spiderman), Humberto Ramos (Superior Spiderman, Uncanny X-Men) and David Finch of “The Dark Knight” and “JLA” fame. There was certainly lots of talent on hand in this area of the convention which in my opinion was like a whole other convention in its self.

The Autographing area which much like last year still seemed worlds away from the constant bustle and activity happening on the main floor however a break from the crowd noise is always nice. On this day the longest lines belong to “The Office” star BJ Novak, “Star Wars” Anthony Daniels and “Dr. Who’s” Colin Baker. It wouldn’t be until Saturday/Sunday that the Hollywood heavy weights would turn out as booths laid in waiting for the likes of Sigourney Weaver, Chloe Grace Moretz and Sylvester Stallone who after a bit of research I found out was charging $395 per autograph and an additional $445 for a photo! Yes you read that right.

Also in the same vicinity as the autograph area was the always popular panel viewing rooms. Everyone from AMC’s “Comic Book Men” to the 25th anniversary of “Child’s Play” had events going on in one of the various rooms. Probably two of the biggest events for this day would be the “Comic Book Men” panel hosted by none other than Kevin Smith himself and the 10th anniversary panel for “The Walking Dead” comic which featured creator Robert Kirkman. Featured panels for the weekend included talks with “Robot Chicken”, “The League” and AMC’s hit series “The Walking Dead” which featured a majority of the cast.

Though this year’s event seemed a bit scaled back in the way of big celebrity guests other than the above mentioned and the main floor seemed lacking in several big name companies many of which are on the verge of major releases (Sony PS4 and Xbox 720 where both nowhere to be found) NYCC 2013 was a great time. Both my assistant and I were left shell shocked by all in which we took in and will probably use the time between this year’s event and next year’s event just to re-cooperate we certainly can’t wait to do it all over again in 2014.

Meet Pat Carroll, the Voice of Ursula from “The Little Mermaid” at Spooky Empire’s May-Hem!

Who loves Ursula in Disney’s “The Little Mermaid”? Well now you can meet the woman behind the voice, Pat Carroll at Spooky Empire’s May-Hem this May in Orlando, FL! She is also known for playing Shirley Feeney’s mother on the TV series “Laverne & Shirley”. Personally Ursula was and still is one of the baddest baddies in animated films today.

Pat has given her voice in other medium’s such as the “Kingdom Hearts” video game series, the Fantasmic! show at two Disney theme parks, as well as various parades. Fun fact, she also voiced Ursula’s sister Morgana in “The Little Mermaid II: Return to the Sea”.

Besides “The Little Mermaid”, Pat has done a tons of voice-over work including “A Pup Named Scooby Doo”, “A Goofy Movie” and “Pound Puppies”. This is a rare appearance for Pat to get out and meet her fans. So be sure not to miss this opportunity to meet one of the great Disney villains.