“Star Trek: 50 Artists. 50 Years” Lands at New York’s Paley Center

September 16- “Star Trek: 50 Artists. 50 Years”,  which made its debut at this year’s San Diego Comic Con opens up to New York fans today at the Paley Center for Media in midtown. The exhibition, which celebrates the 50th anniversary of the original Star Trek television series, features fifty pieces from ten nations as well as tie-in fan screenings and whimsical photo ops sure to please the Trekkies of Manhattan. Noteworthy amongst the art on display is a piece of the famous Vulcan salute by none other than the late Leonard Nimoy himself.

Work by Leonard Nimoy

To my eyes, Spock looks to be favored character by the show’s artists, including a digital illustration from Stanley Chow whom I spoke with at the exhibition preview:

Where are you from?
Stanley Chow: I’m from Manchester England.

What Inspired you to choose Spock?

SC: I think like when I was growing up in the 70s and 80s and then watching reruns of Star Trek, the first person I kind of looked up to was Spock. He seemed like the more intelligent one and slightly different. I guess with me it was–when I was growing up, I was the only Chinese boy in the village, you always kind of–I felt you needed someone different to look up to and aspire to, you know? And Spock was always the one, with his cool, calm, collected demeanor. And his pointy ears.

Artist Stanley Chow with his work

Do you have a favorite Spock moment?
SC: There’s not been a favorite moment, but I’ve always liked the kind of relationship he had with Uhura. You know? It was never kind of like a fully fledged relationship. It was always kind of like an underlying thing…Which was sort of my life with lots of girls when I was growing up.

Do you enjoy Zachary Quinto’s take on the character?
SC: Oh, I think he’s amazing! When he was picked, obviously he was off of “Heroes”…And then once he puts the ears on and he does his thing [in the] movies, he’s the only actor–it’s sounds kind of cliché to say he’s the only actor who could do Spock but he’s done it so well but that’s why it’s become a cliché isn’t it?

Head of CBS consumer products, Liz Kalodner was also on hand to celebrate the opening.

Do you have a Star Trek favorite character?
Liz Kalodner: Well Captain Kirk is the classic, c’mon! Although I have to say, Captain Janeway [From Star Trek: Voyager], also pretty good.

Do you enjoy the new film franchise?
LK: Oh, absolutely. i think JJ Abrams has done a wonderful job. It’s brought in a new, younger audience, and really has given the franchise great energy.
As you’re from consumer products, I noticed you’ve got a fictional cereal here in the exhibit, is that a favorite item?

LK: Yeah! So that’s by an artist named Juan Ortiz who loved Star Trek from when he was a kid and actually had that idea when he was a child. And he always wanted to do it. And I don’t know if you saw the back but there are cutouts, trading cards, because cereal boxes always had you know, the free in-pack or on-pack, so he created that.

Since Star Trek is coming back to TV are you getting ready with your department for that?
LK: We are getting ready! We’re working with showrunner but it’s all in the development stage. But it’s a wonderful time to be in the Star Trek business.

“Star Trek: 50 Artists. 50 Years'” brief stop in NYC concludes on September 25th. Details on the Paley Center’s screenings to coincide with the exhibit can be found here.

The Paley Center for Media is located at 25 West 52nd Street.

Kansas City’s Planet Comicon Just Gets Better and Better

Written by Mike Smith
Photos by Dan Lybarger

Once again, Kansas City’s Planet Comicon has come to a close. And once again, over 70,000 people took part in celebrating all things fantastic.

The weekend kicked off Friday night with a performance of “An Evening With Kevin Smith.” Flight delays threatened to keep Smith away but he actually ensured his attendance by jumping on a Southwest Airline flight, the same airline that had deemed him “to fat to fly” in 2010. Smith had avoided the airline since but broke down to ensure his fans would not be disappointed.

Among the celebrity guests in attendance: “I Dream of Jeannie” star Barbara Eden, Draco Malfoy himself, Tom Felton, “American Horror Story” star Denis O’Hare and Edward James Olmos from “Battlestar Galactica.” But the most love was reserved for famed comic book creator Stan Lee, who always seemed to have no less then 200 people lined up at any one time to meet him.

MediaMikes would be remiss if we didn’t think Planet Comicon creator Chris Jackson and his amazing staff for not only their hard work but for the opportunity for some of our winners to win 3-day passes to the event. Can’t wait to do it again next year.

Event Coverage: New York Comic Con 2015

New York Comic Con 2015
Date: Thursday, October 8th – Sunday, October 11th
Venue: Jacob K. Javitz Center, New York, New York

As the leaves begin to fall and Halloween decorations begin to go up it marks the change in season for most but for pop-culture fans it acts as the tell tale sign that New York Comic Con is just around the corner. The ginormous four day event which marked its 10 anniversary this year and once again acted as the culmination of the week long “Hero Week”. Fans of all walks of filed into the vast Jacob K. Javitz center where over the course of the events four days more than 160,000 fans would walk the halls of the center making it easily the largest convention on the East Coast

Thursday of the convention was once reserved for press and special ticket holders however in the last two years the day has been opened up for single ticket holders and pretty much anyone else who wanted to traverse the ever expanding crowd. In comparison to previous year’s attendance was definitely up as several panels we planned to cover couldn’t even accommodate press due to the at times overwhelming numbers. Thursday’s panel highlights included those by HBO’s “Game of Thrones”, Tru TV’s “Impractical Jokers” a special panel appearance by “Walking Dead” creator Robert Kirkman along with appearances by the cast of AMC’s “Comic Book Men” with the panel being moderated by none other than Kevin Smith. Even though the entire cast of the show was present a majority if not all of the questions were directed towards Smith. Over the course of the hour long discussion Smith detailed his ideas behind the creation of the show and his thoughts on the series success which will celebrate the start of its 5th season on Oct. 18th. Prior to the panel’s conclusion Smith announced that he will begin filming the long awaited sequel to his film “Mallrats”. The sequel which will begin shooting this winter in Pennsylvania centers on Brody played by Jason Lee attempting to save his beloved mall from terrorists. Shooting for the film will begin shortly after Christmas and casting for extras for the film will be announced via Facebook. Smith noted that this is the first of two movies he has planned to shoot in 2016 however he did not say what the other film would be. My hopes would be “Clerks 3” which Smith has said in previous panels he does plan to shoot. We are keeping our fingers crossed.

In between attempting to squeeze into the several desirable panels we wanted to cover we ventured to Artist Alley which is always a hot spot for those wanting to meet their favorite comic artists. Atop the rooms upper tier on this day was Seth Myers who had brought his set to the con and was interviewing attendees for a segment of his show “Late Night with Seth Myers”. This certainly added traffic to an already bustling room which showcased booths by some of today’s top artists including “Amazing Spider Man” artist Humberto Ramos, “Deadpool” writer Gerry Duggan, “Wonder Woman” artist David Finch and former Good Charlotte guitarist Billy Martin who is currently drawing for IDW’s “Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles.

With time beginning to dwindle we made our way to the main convention floors which were packed not only with various vendors but every sort of cos-play character you could think of. We even managed to bump into a shoeless Thomas Jane who was attending the convention with his daughter. All the costumes and media personalities jamming the isles only added to the massive amounts of eye candy which were on display.

Everything from the latest in vinyl figures to endless amount of comic books both new and old was available for purchase or pre-order. Some of the bigger more impressive set ups included the always prevalent Midtown Comic’s and one by Pepsi who was on hand to promote the upcoming release of “Pepsi Perfect” the futuristic soda originally featured in the film “Back to the Future II”. The display was complete with sleek looking tables and counters which displayed the curvy bottles. To top it all off the display included its very own Delorian time machine flanked by none other than Marty and Doc Brown impersonators.

After an exhausting day of searching crowded aisles for numbered display booths, a thwarted attempt at getting a picture of the one and only Grumpy Cat and being shut out of several high profile panels we took account of all the positives we saw throughout the day despite the few negatives and made our way to the 7 train for our journey home. With final attendance be calculated at around 167,000 for the events four days it’s unsure if the Javitz Center will be able to handle the conventions continued growth. However with numbers which are rivaling San Diego Comic Con the future seems bright for the NY show and we couldn’t be happier to see it continue to grow.

The Cast of “Blindspot” Speaks at NYCC

One of the new tv hits of the season is NBC’s “Blindspot”. The mystery show created by Martin Gero focuses on a Jane Doe (Thor’s Jaimie Alexander) recovered from a duffel bag in Times Square. Jane didn’t know who she was or how she got there, but she was found covered head to toe in new tattoos that seem to offer some clues. The most obvious of all is the name ‘Kurt Weller’ on her back, a specific FBI agent. Kurt (played by Sullivan Stapleton) and his team are now working with Jane–whose knack for fighting skills and foreign languages is intact despite her identity crisis–to crack the codes all over her body. In recent episodes it’s becoming clearer that Jane may be more connected to Weller than originally thought. Fortunately for the creators and audiences, the show was just picked up by the network for a full season so there’s hope for solving Jane’s past after all.
Gero, along with series stars Stapleton, Audrey Esparza, Rob Browne, Mariana Jean-Baptiste and Ashley Johnson joined me in the press room of this year’s New York Comic Con. Though they were mum on spilling any spoilers, they were more than enthusiastic to talk about their characters and the making of the show.

Lauren Damon: How much research did you do into actual memory loss when creating Jane’s character?
Series Creator, Martin Gero I’ve been obsessed with this drug that this is kind of based on that’s being designed for you know people that have traumatic experiences which will basically gently erase memory. So if you’re–like let’s say you’re in the army and your car gets blown up, and you see your friends die, it’s literally this thing that you would administer immediately and you would–it would make it difficult for that memory [to be retained]. So you wouldn’t be traumatized by it. And then there’s another version where as you–memory is really interesting in how it gets unpacked and packed, and so there’s a lot of people working to erase trauma. Again, to ease kind of like traumatic memories. It’s to like kind of delude them. It’s hard to talk about in like sound bite sort of way…I’ve talked to a lot of neurologists and I mean, like listen that’s the kind of science fiction-y part about the show is the drug, but it is based on some very real research that is going on.

LD: The character of Patterson often has to deal with a ton of techno-jargon, do you ever look at your script and just go ‘Wow…’?
Ashley  Johnson (plays Forensic Scientist “Patterson”): Every time. [laughs] Every time whenever we you know, we get the scripts maybe a week in advance? I don’t know maybe sometimes a little bit more and every time I sort of read through it–it’s just panic sets in. Every time. And the episode that we’re doing now…just everytime I see the new stuff I just, I panic a little. But then, you know, we don’t have a choice. We have to do it. And it’s fun.

LD: Do you go out and research the same as Patterson does?
Johnson: Yeah. A lot of the time…with a character like this you have to do a lot of research, but it’s fun because I’ve learned so much. Just with all of the stuff I’ve had to talk about…I have to do a lot of research [laughs] it’s like I’m in school.

LD: When you have a major mystery at the center of the show and then you’ve wound up being picked up for additional episodes, are you constantly fighting bringing closure to that mystery too soon?
Gero: No, because I was a little arrogant and I designed the show to go a while…So like if we had only done 13, it would have been really not that exciting for fans to be honest, because there would have been no resolution…No but like I know what all the ‘tent pole’ episodes are for the first couple seasons and so like I know what [episode] twenty-two is already…And episode ten which is the last episode of the first half of the season, so it’s the mid season finale, like is a huge twist on the show that propels kind of like a new energy into the back half of the season.

For the actors, are you the type of people that prefers to know the secrets that are going to be revealed on the show to help with how you act or not? Do you ask Martin about it? 
Marianne Jean-Baptiste (plays FBI assistant director, “Mayfair”): In certain instances, there are certain things that will impact a character that I think you need to know. And you need to be alright with. And there are other things that–it’s like you’re picking up the script and you’re just really excited because you want to know what’s going on…Because you’re not going to play it regardless of whether you know about it or not. You’ve then gotta sort of act as if you don’t know it. So it really depends on what it is. For me anyway. It really depends on what the thing is.
Johnson: Right. I would agree. I think that there’s a lot of things that you need to know for the character’s sake–because your character would know–but I think for me, like I’ve had the option to sort of know sort of what the end goal is. Sort of who she really is, I don’t want to know. I want to sort of find out when everybody else finds out or as the show goes along. And I want to discover along with Paterson and it keeps it fun that way, yeah.
Audrey Esparza (Plays FBI Agent “Zapata”): I have a little ‘Martin chat’ before every episode and ask him dumb questions. So I do. But I actually don’t ask too far ahead unless I feel like it’s a question that needs to be answered for me in that episode. I kind of like working from scene to scene, moment to moment. So if it doesn’t affect that particular episode, I try not to grab to much. I think you can only play with the moment.
Rob Brown (Plays FBI Agent “Reade”): Same. We trust Martin. He gives us what we need to know to execute. As a fan of the show that I’m on though, every now and then I’ll kind of tug at him, ‘hey hey hey…’ and he’ll oblige, usually. And you know, sometimes we can snag a little more out of him…

Were there any training courses for you when you got the part?
Esparza: Oh my god we’ve been doing so–we did, we did, after. It was so much fun. First of all we have some incredible FBI and DEA men on the set helping us. And Sullivan Stapleton is an incredible asset. if I’m holding a gun wrong, he’ll definitely let me know. We went to the shooting range, we learned tactical skills. The boys came in knowing a little bit more than me, I’m getting better every day. It’s really important for me, from my dance background, to understand the physical vocabulary of somebody who’s trained that way and yeah, every episode try and get better.
Brown: Everybody in the cast is a really really good athlete, so we just pick shit up as we go along. Anything physical after this, we’ll probably be fine.
Esparza: And we’ll probably absolutely do it ourselves.

LD: Sullivan, do you have more gun experience?
Sullivan Stapleton (Plays FBI Agent “Kurt Weller”): [Laughs] Yeah. You’re in big trouble, Esparza! Yeah it’s just I think I’ve had years of working with weapons. So it is like funny seeing–sometimes they’ll tell people if you’re firing an M4, some people said to portray some of the kick-back of those weapons…they don’t do that. Unless you’re not holding it! [laughs]

LD: Jaimie and Sullivan get into a whole lot of action, do you guys ever get to do stunts?
Baptiste: Yes, stuff is coming up where you know, people who don’t necessarily go out of the office go out of the office and are involved in field stuff.
Johnson: Yeah we may go out into the field a little bit every once and a while. I know for me, I’ve found that I’m very bad at walking and talking and doing other activities [laughs] So you know, I’ll have the dialogue and then they’re like ‘Ok! So you’re gonna walk over here and then you’re gonna type some stuff on the computer and then you’re gonna point up to the screen!’ and I’m like ‘Okay, woah woah woah, I don’t know if I can do all of this at once!’ Which sounds ridiculous but I think with the dialogue that I have it can be a little rough. So those are my stunts. Basically just walking and talking [laughs] is a stunt for me!
Esparza: Yeah.
Brown: We can do more. I’m happy to run around with a gun, we’ve had plenty of that.
Esparza: Lots of running, lots of guns and helicopters.
Brown: There’s action and blowing stuff up, New York.
Esparza: I’ve got a fun fight thing that happens in [episode] 8.
Brown: You’re really showing off
Esparza: I am. I’m just gonna show off all day…
Brown: It’s been very fun. 

LD: When it comes to shooting, do you find you go in with any different mentality on the days you’re shooting the action sequences versus the dramatic days?
Stapleton: No. No, just going in there to do the action and the stunts, I’ve got to wipe the smile off my face and you know, pretend like that’s what we do every day being agents. Yeah, there’s no challenge, it’s just fun.

LD: Jaimie comes from a lot of action roles and how much of that helped like just with her walking onto set and having to function as this amazing fighter?
Gero: Oh yeah…I mean you couldn’t have done it with somebody that had no fighting experience before and Jaimie has an amazing stunt double, Ky Furneaux, who’s just like literally one of the best in the world–recognize game, internationally. So she brings so much to the show and we just take it really seriously. You know what’s exhausting I think for Jaimie and Sullivan is even though they’re done filming some days, they have to go immediately into fight rehearsal. Because these fights are like incredibly complicated and hard to do on television shows. Which is why most television shows don’t have a giant fight sequence every episode. They’re smart, they figured it out, it’s a lot of work. But it’s important to us…So her being able to do action was incredibly important.

Did you know from the beginning that you wanted Jaimie for the role?
Gero: I didn’t know from the beginning, but the second I met her like there could never be any other Jane. It was her or I was just gonna be terribly disappointed. And she kind of felt the same way. So it was like one of those really exciting meetings when we met. We were like ‘Okay this is gonna be great.’.

Being at Comic Con, do you guys have any favorite superheroes? Ashley are you partial to Captain America? [Johnson plays a waitress Cap rescued in the 2012’s Avengers]
Stapleton:Han Solo.
Johnson: [laughs] Um, oh man.
Baptiste: Oh my gosh, that’s a tough one man! I love Batman.
Johnson: Yeah you love Batman
Baptiste: I love Batman.
LD: Which Batman?
Baptiste: I like the Dark Knight stuff. That’s the stuff I love.
Johnson: Daredevil is awesome, I think
Baptiste: What’s his power?
Johnson: Have you never seen it?
Baptiste: I’m not sure. Red. Red outfit?
Johnson: Oh, Marianne…
Baptiste: Is it good? I’m gonna–you’ve got me watching X-Files again, so…
Johnson: I am also such a Deadpool fan. I wanted to see the Jessica Jones stuff because I love–I mean that is exciting. Oh god there’s just so many. I do love Captain America, he’s a little bit too straight laced for me. But he’s great…There’s just so many.
Baptiste: Batman.

Blindspot airs Monday nights at 10pm on NBC.

Event Coverage: The Americas Cake & Sugarcraft Fair, Hosted by Satin Ice

“An event to bring together hobbyists, teachers, bakers, cake artists and housewives, alike.”

Welcome to the Americas Cake & Sugarcraft Fair hosted by Satin Ice. The Orange County Convention Center hosted this lavish event and it was a great place for it. The layout was open and welcoming. It was a different type of tradeshow that welcomed all types of people connected to cake. Those of us who love to bake on the weekends with our kids could find some fun cookie cutters and edible glitter to make baking at home exciting. Those who bake wedding cakes for a living and are on the lookout for new ways to ship their wares or find a new stand to put there amazing cakes on, could find them here too. This one event managed to bring the Americas’ love of cake and meld it with some of the most talented cake makers from across the land.

On top of Kevin O’Reilly’s incredibly easy to navigate event, there were some of the most talented celebrity cake makers and chefs on hand to share their knowledge and talent with the crowd. The ‘Cake Maker to the Stars’ Mich Turner was on hand to share her passion for structure, refined opulence and detail. Roland Mesnier was there to share some of his incredible memories of his 25+ years of cooking and baking in the White House under 5 different Presidents of the United States. Food Network’s judge on the new series, “Cake Wars,” Ron Ben-Israel was on hand to share how his dance background helps him create incredible cakes with movement and beauty.

Friday night brought a completely different fashion show than we have ever been to before. CakeCentral presented the Sugar Arts Fashion Show and Cocktail party. The show included almost all edible fashions walking down the runway. There were incredible gowns, skirts, belly dancer costumes and more. The fashions were made from edible ingredients such as isomalt jewels, wafer paper, gum balls, dark and milk chocolate, gum paste and a new gelatin-based material known as Flexique. It was mind-blowing to see some of the edible items that really truly looked as if it was fabric and moved like typical clothing. The show favorite was by far the incredible Neo-Victorian fashion created by Cake-decorator, Joseph Cumm. It was a masterpiece dipped in a variety of chocolates. Sidney Galpern’s flower-inspired creation was a beautiful, glittery work of art. The amount of time that went into each unique piece was communicated throughout the show.

Here’s to having this incredible event come back to Orlando for years to come! Happy Baking!

Mich Turner and Ron Ben-Israel

Roland Mesnier

Kansas City Comic Con Debuts as Strong as Gates BBQ Sauce

Kansas City already has some established fan conventions with Naka-Kon (for anime and manga fans) in March, Planet Comicon in May and Crypticon for horror in August. With all of those events happening every year, it’s fair to ask if Kansas City, which has a population of roughly half a million could accommodate yet another con.

If the crowds and the events at this year’s inaugural Kansas City Comic Con two weeks ago are any indication, the area can indeed host more events like this without saturating the market. With lively panels, highly sought after guests, a good location and a seemingly endless amount of well-crafted, imaginative cosplay, it’s no wonder that organizers say that 10,000 people attended.

Kansas City Comic Con, which ran from August 7-9th at Bartle Hall had a daily admission price that was comparable to the daily rate Dragon Con in Atlanta and featured stars like blaxploitation and Quentin Tarantino leading lady Pam Grier, Highlander alumnus Adrian Paul, former Eddie Munster Butch Patrick and Hodor from Game of Thrones, Kristian Nairn.

The event even attracted gaming legend Billy Mitchell, who was unfairly maligned in last summer’s turkey Pixels. Normally it would be flattering if Peter Dinklage played you. There were even some vintage arcade games on hand should anyone wish to match or beat Mitchell’s records.

Billy Mitchell and Twin Galaxies head honcho Walter Day meet fans. The event also attracted The Walking Dead illustrator Tony Moore, Thor and Wolverine veteran Jason Aaron and James O’Barr, the creator of The Crow.

 

Mitchell and Day were on hand for a screening of The King of Kong: A Fistful of Quarters at Screenland, and Grier introduced Jackie Brown at the nearby Alamo Drafthouse Mainstreet. Grier and Astin each took part in panels and shared candid incidents when filmmaking proved the opposite of glamorous. Astin recalled frequently being in pain from the rigors of making The
Lord of the Rings, while Grier shared some delightfully NSFW moments from the making of Jackie Brown.

The lines for autographs moved with remarkable speed. You could still share a moment with a star, a writer or an artist, and you didn’t have to waste longer than the lifespans of some animalsto get there.

Bartle Hall had plenty of space and adequate lighting and wi-fi. Despite some stray birds who came to take part in the cosplay (even though they wren’t in disguise), it was still a far better venue than the decaying hotel that houses Crypticon in KC. Participants at Kansas City Comic Con didn’t have to scramble to find an adequate room the way they did at Crypticon.

While it was great to have real stars in our midst, the real delight for me was seeing how well people could pass as their favorite movie characters. This woman, for example, was a dead ringer for Charlize Theron in Mad Max: Fury Road.

It would be intriguing to see how Kansas City Comic Con might do in the future. The talent seemed happy there, so others are likely to follow in their footsteps. It’s safe to say that Scarlet Overkill won’t be alone at KCCC next year.

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.

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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.