Another Successful Outing for Kansas City Comic Con

A super reunion and the “Comic Book Men” helped fill the halls of Bartle Hall over the weekend. Kansas City Comic Con, now in it’s third year, saw thousands upon thousands of people pass through the entrance between November 10th-12th.

Fans from all walks of life showed up for the weekend gathering. The “Superman: The Movie” 40th anniversary, which featured a two-hour panel and guests like Margot Kidder, Sarah Douglas, and local Jeff East, was the big draw. The other big draw was a visit by Filmmaker/Podcaster Kevin Smith, Jason Mewes, and the men behind the AMC show “Comic Book Men.”

There was plenty to do, including lively panels, events on the main floor, and meeting celebrities, animators, creators, cosplayers and othersw. During the hustle and bustle, the MediaMikes crew met fans of the website and garnished new fans with a booth featuring “Superman” memorabilia and a few free promotional items.

In a city full of cons throughout the year, Kansas City Comic Con has sliced out it’s own piece of the year to entertain and reward those in attendance. MediaMikes looks forward to working with and joining Kansas City Comic Con in 2018.

Photos by Dan Lybarger

“Superman” display at the MediaMikes table Lee Meriwether is all-in for “Justice League” Ron Burgundy setting up for a live shot A couple of Supermen taking in the MediaMikes memorabilia display The “Comic Book Men” enjoying the latest issue of “Good Housekeeping” featuring Deadpool “It” cosplay is in this year A “Ghostbusters” and “TMNT” crossover

2017 New York Comic Con Review: Day 2

2017 New York Comic Con

Friday, October 6th 2017
Jacob K. Javits Center, New York, NY

Our Score: 3 out of 5 Stars

All things pop culture descended on New York City specifically The Jacob K. Javits Center as the sprawling complex once again played host to the annual New York Comic Con held on October 5th-8th. The event now in its 11th year was once again put on by the Connecticut based company Reed Pop a company who organizes some of the largest pop culture events around the country. 2017 proved to be no exception and despite having to deal with a smaller venue space due to construction the event still boasted an over whelming number of vendors and appearances by some of the biggest names in comics, film and television.

Day two of the four day convention this year seemed a bit lacking in the way of panels and events as compared to previous however that did not thwart our attempt to take in the massive show floors and numerous cos-players as the con is always one we look forward to attending each year. Right off the bat we noticed that the entry to the event was much easier than in previous years as there was now two different entries for single/multiple day pass holders. This dramatically cut down the once endless serpent like line which in previous years engulfed the outside areas of the center. Despite a quicker entry once inside you could instantly see that the construction taking place in several key areas of the center such as the section which normally houses artist alley was causing large bottle necks of immovable lines. For those wanting to meet their favorite artist or creator gone was the spacious, well lit corridor which was always a nice break from the hustle and bustle of the main show floors but instead this year creators and artist were relegated to one of the structures basement levels which caused for a less than pleasurable viewing experience complete with cramped/impassible walk ways and a heightened room temperature that at times almost took your breath away.

After a couple escalator rides we made our way on to the main show floors. This area also seemed to take on the brunt of less floor space in other areas as walk ways and vendor spaces seemed much smaller than in previous years. As always the Funko booth commanded a lot of attention as those fortunate enough to be selected in the lottery process waited in endless lines in hopes to purchase one of the sought after convention exclusives. During our time at the booth we had the chance to grab a quick autograph from WWE Superstar and Funko Enthusiast Zach Ryder who had stopped by to check out his NYCC exclusive Pop! figure. Other notable vendors were the Middle Earth “Shadow of War”  booth which featured a life size dragon which convention goers could have their pictures on and Marvel vs. Capcom’s replica Ultron and throne display both of which garnered long wait times just to get a glimpse of.

Before leaving for the day we made quick stop in the autographing area which as always is a popular stop for most attendees. Some of the big names this year included Michael Rooker, Peter Capaldi and Mark Hamill among a long list of others. With prices ranging from $40 to $300 per signature we did not spend a lot of time in this area but there were plenty of others anxiously awaiting to spend their hard earned cash to meet their favorite actors and actresses.

With more and more events/panels being held off site it makes me question just how much longer the Javits center will remain a viable location for the Con. With early attendance figures coming in at around 200,000 for the four days the event shows no signs slowing down. Hopefully the center will be back to full functionality for next year’s event as the lack of space definitely impacted all aspects of the event. Either way, we can not wait for next year.

Imaginext Designer Rob Hageman Discusses Exlcusive NY Comic Con Bat-Bot Xtreme

New York Comic Con has become the premier East-Coast destination for all things pop culture and 2017 was no different. New to the convention floor this year was Fisher Price’s Imaginext toy  line which features a wide variety of multi-faceted play sets, figures and vehicles taken from the pages of the DC universe. As an exclusive for this year’s convention Imaginext creators brought a special themed version of their DC Bat-Bot Xtreme for a lucky few to purchase. Media Mikes had the chance to speak with designer Rob Hageman about the piece as well as what the brand has in store for this year’s holiday season.

Ian Lawton: How did you come up with the original idea for the original DC Bat-Bot Xtreme?

Rob Hageman: We actually started off by making a smaller version of the toy. It had all the same workable features and everything but when we got it all done we realized it would be cooler if we made it a lot bigger. The smaller version was great but once kids got a hold of the larger version that’s the one that everyone really enjoyed.

IL: Can you tell us about some of the feature on the Bat-Bot Xtreme?

RH: I think the best feature is when you turn one of the action discs as it opens up the wings of the robot. Once you do that you have access to the punching power triggers on each hand. You can also fire discs out of the fists as you punch. Across the top are a number of buttons which shoot several rockets. On the opposite foot of the robot is another action disc which opens up the chest of the robot to reveal an elevator which takes figures up into the head of the robot. Also featured is a voice changer which allows you to talk into the back of the toy and transform your voice in to that of a robot. There is a hidden bat cycle in one foot of the robot which can be shot out while the other foot features a jail for locking up any bad guys.

IL: The Comic Con version of the Bat-Bot Xtreme is different from the one in stores. Can you tell us about that?

RH: There is a comic book version of this robot that is much more metallic than the retail one. The retail one is still super cool but it’s done in standard blue plastic where the 300 we did for Comic Con have a special blue metallic paint job that is closer to what is seen in the comic. With this special version I really was trying to make sure it looked as close to the one pictured in the book. The exclusive version also comes with in special packaging featuring some really great art work, magnetic switches and LED lights.

IL: How do you decide which characters you are going to make into a figure?

RH: Each year all the designers get together and draw a bunch of concepts. We will take them to the team and give them our best pitches for each one. From there we work as a team to finalize designs and figure out which look the best, are the most relevant and will help Imaginext flush out the DC Universe.

IL: What other characters/figures are you set to release?

RH: We have Mongul and Green Lantern set to come out along with Black Canary and Night Wing around Christmas time. Also set to come is Steppenwolf as well as Swamp Thing and Survivor Batman. I think that’s probably one of our best packs we have done so far.

IL: How would someone go about becoming a toy designer?

Designer Rob Hageman and Media Mikes Ian Lawton

RH: When I was a kid I loved to draw and it was something I always did. I would draw my toys along with other toys I may have wanted. I also drew a lot of robots as I love robots. When I got to high school a teacher of mine had a friend of his who worked for a toy company come to class. He brought in all the things he had worked on and told us it was his job to make toys. I knew then it was something I wanted to do. I kept drawing more and more and after high school I went to art school and focused on toy design. I am now doing what I wanted to do ever since high school.

IL: What has been your favorite toy that you have created/worked on?

RH: My favorite is the regular Bat-Bot which transforms from a tank to a robot. It was an uphill battle for me to sell that in as I wanted the transformation to be able to happen while the toy was still in the package. I wanted there to be two different forms while making things easy to maneuver and play with. The voice on it is really great as well.

2016 New York Comic Con Review: Day 2

2016 New York Comic Con

Friday, October 7th 2016
Jacob K. Javits Center, New York, NY

Our Score: 3 out of 5 Stars

The Jacob K. Javits Center in the heart of New York City once again played host to the annual New York Comic Con on October 6th-9th where for four days the sprawling complex became the epicenter for all things comics and pop culture. The event which is now in its 10th year was once again put on by the Connecticut based company Reed Pop a company who puts on some of the largest pop culture events around the country. This year’s Con was no exception boasted appearances by some of the biggest names in comics, film and television.

For our coverage this year we chose to check out the events taking place on day two of the convention. Friday’s schedule included panels with the casts of “Steven Universe”, “Resident Evil: The Final Chapter” and “Underworld: Blood Wars”. Autograph signings with “Game of Thrones” star Jack Gleeson, “Stanger Things” Millie Bobby Brown and David Harbour, comic creators Greg Capullo, former My Chemical Romance front man Gerard Way and making his final NY Comic Con appearance Stan Lee. Needless to say we were quite excited for the day’s events. Right off the bat the event seemed a bit different this year. Despite the entrances still being overly crowded causing extended wait times once you were inside the venue however, the normal wall to wall congestion seemed much lighter than in previous years. This could be related to the addition of several off site venues which were now hosting panels and screenings throughout the day and/or the newly introduced digitally monitored cue lines which were now required to attend a panel in hopes of alleviating chaotic line ups right before the start of an event. Though this alleviated some congestion it still created a number of new problems and a fair amount of confusion amongst attendees. The new offsite venues which included the Theater at Madison Square Garden and the Hammerstein Ballroom were welcome additions however they two weren’t without issue as once attendees left the main convention hall upon returning he or she would again need to wait in the entrance lines.

Despite the new changes and the fact that we probably weren’t going to be able to see as much as we had in years past we made our way to the main convention floor. As always it was like a bustling mini city packed to the rafters with everything from limited edition figures and books to unique clothing and tchachke’s. It also was the home to some of the pop industries biggest names including everyone from Marvel and DC to Funko and Lego. Displays ranged in sizes from the minute to the immense as each vendor uniquely showcased their latest and greatest products. The main floor is also a lot of fun because you never know who or what you are going to bump in to. This year we ran smack dab into WWE Hall of Famer Sting as he was shooting some segments for the WWE Network while showcasing some of the new WWE themed “Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles”. An area garnering a good share of attention but tucked back along the wall in an area known as “The Block” was promotion for the recently released “Shin Godzilla” film. The display which featured several posters for the film and lush red carpeting also included a chance to get your picture with the real life Godzilla! Ok maybe it was just a guy in a Godzilla suit standing in front of a backdrop but, it was still cool!

As we continued walking the endless isles and floors of the center we quickly realized that the day was quickly coming to an end and that our comic con adventure for 2016 was about over. Though we weren’t able to take in nearly as many panels as we had in previous years the added space to move around in between events was a welcome addition. The new digital cue system still could use some work however over time I think it will help make for a much more enjoyable con experience and one we will definitely being looking forward to for 2017.

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.

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.

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: 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.

Kevin Smith talks “Clerks III” and “Tusk” during 2013 New York Comic Con

Media Mikes had the pleasure of attending the AMC “Comic Book Men” panel held during this year’s Comic Con Convention in New York on Oct. 10-13. The panel featured show creator Kevin Smith along with cast members Brian Johnson, Walter Flanningan, Ming Chen and Michael Zapcic. Though the panel was originally meant to discuss season 2 of the hit AMC show the audience quickly turned it into their opportunity to grill Smith about a few of his other upcoming projects, namely “Clerks III” which Kevin had this to say.

Kevin Smith: “Clerks III” is currently going well enough to where the script is done and we are just waiting on finding our money. In an effort to keep my mind off of worrying about finding money for that movie I wrote this film titled “Tusk”. That is what I am going to be doing next. In a few weeks I will be heading to North Carolina to start filming. The film stars Justin Long and Michael Parks and it’s basically about a kid trying to turn another kid into a walrus. The film is based off of a UK add on a Gumtree website where there was actually a guy who made up this hoax about a person looking for someone to wear a walrus costume they made. The hoax was done by a guy named Chris Parkinson who we reached out to and actually made a producer on the film. Without his dopey idea I wouldn’t have come up with this. So while waiting on the money for “Clerks III” which I wanted to take to Sundance as it will be the 20th anniversary of the first “Clerks” films things were looking less and less likely so I wrote this stupid walrus movie. I wrote it in about 20 days under the mindset of not really wanting to make a movie but if I had to what would I want to see. I loved Michael Parks in “Red State” so I just built this around him with the idea that it would make it easy for me to sit on set for weeks and weeks as I would get to watch Michael work. When I got the script done it was like pornography and Michael Parks. (Laughs) We just pushed the ideas we had and thanks to some really good weed we said “fuck it” and tried pretty much everything. Over the next couple of months this film started to become more real than “Clerks III”. This is a much smaller scaled film that is easier to get in and out of. “Tusk” has now taken the place of “Clerks III” at Sundance this year as I thought fans would want to see something different rather than just more “Clerks”. We will still be doing “Clerks III” however not until March or April of 2014. I hope to have it done for the 20th anniversary as the original film came out in October of 1994. All of the crew from “Comic Book Men” will be in this film as could most of the people here in this room. “Clerks III” is going to be a massive fucking movie! I say that without a hint of irony.

Event Review: Hero Bot Con – Elmira, NY

Hero Bot Con
Date: Saturday, October 27th 2012
Venue: Chemung County FFC, Elmira, NY

The second annual Hero Bot Comic and Art Convention was held on Oct. 27th at the Chemung County FFC located in Elmira, NY. The event is ran an organized by Heroes Your Mom Threw Out Comic Shop located in Elmira Heights, NY and features a number of top industry comic book artists, writers and vendors.

Upon entering the venue I was quite surprised at the attendance for a relatively underground/grassroots convention. Various vendors and artists lined the gymnasium with countless collectibles, art and comics. Several big name artists/writers already had lines of fans waiting to have their at times stacks of items signed. Guest of Honor Mark Silvestri best known for his work on “Cyber Force”, “Wolverine” and “Incredible Hulk” had a line of fans patiently waiting just about all day long. Other notable guests that also were quite busy included Mark Hawkins (Cyber Force), Roger Stern (Superman, The Avengers, Amazing Spider-Man) and Jamal Ingle (Kiss, Supergirl). When not searching boxes of vintage comics for missing pieces to my collection I was able to attend a few of the Q/A panels which were quite fun as I was able to get some interesting pieces of behind the scenes info.

From the reactions of those in attendance myself included it seemed as though Hero Bot Con was a hit again this year. I do think the event organizers will have to look at bringing in more/higher profile guests and vendors in if it wants to keep fans coming back year after year however, for an independent con like this to be able to offer special VIP ticket/gift packages and Q/A Panels with the guests is pretty impressive as a lot of similar sized cons do not offer these opportunities. Next time Hero Bot Con comes around make sure to get your tickets and check it out as there is definitely something for everyone.

A big thank you to Jared Aiosa and Jesse Reib for all of their help and allowing us to attend the event.

For more info on Hero Bot Con you can visit the official website at www.herobotcon.com

Event Wrap-Up: New York Comic Con 2012

New York Comic Con 2012
Date: Thursday, October 11th – Sunday, October 14th
Venue: Jacob K. Javitz Center, New York, New York

The largest comic convention on the East Coast kicked off on Thursday, October 11th in New York City as thousands of rabid comic/pop culture fans made their way through the streets and subways to converge on the Jacob K. Javitz Center. The sprawling 4 level convention center has been the site of the event since its inception and seems to be a fitting home. With 2011 Convention attendance being reported as over 105,000 attendees for the three days this year’s events would be sure to top that number.

This year’s con featured several highly anticipated events and booths which were hot beds of action during all three days of the convention. Square Enix was on hand to promote their highly anticipated video game reboot of the popular “Tomb Raider” game. Lines stretched for what seemed like days as costume clad fans waited to get a glimpse of the new game. The new version of the game features an archery element and to capitalize on that feature fans were given the opportunity to test their archery skills on a real life archery range. This booth along with the mega sized “Just Dance 4” display featuring the newly moved Brooklyn Nets NBA cheerleaders were major highlights for gamers. Another notable mention was the crew from “Assassin’s Creed III”. The new game will be released in November and though their booth wasn’t as impressive as others the game looks amazing and really spoke for its self.

Artist Alley was a non-stop sea of comic fans waiting to meet their favorite artists and have their books signed. Several new titles were being showcased one of which titled “Gekido” written by Greg Weich and Brandon Wilson features celebrities Coco Austin and Adrianne Curry as you guessed it, super heroes! Also on hand to meet fans was the legendary Stan Lee, Claudio Sanchez owner of Evil Ink Comics and lead singer/guitarist for the music group Coheed and Cambria as well as Slipknot/Stone Sour vocalist Cory Taylor who was on hand promoting his 4 book mini series titled “House of Gold & Bones. The series being released via Dark Horse comics will coincide with Stone Sour’s next two albums “House of Gold & Bones Part 1 and 2”.

As we made our way down to the Autographing area which seemed worlds away from the constant bustle and activity happening on the main floor it was nice to get a breath of fresh air and be able to spread out a little bit as this floor of the show seemed a bit less crowed even though there were several big name stars going through sharpies like crazy. Carrie Fisher of “Star Wars” fame had impressive lines throughout the event despite the $60.00 charge which seemed to be the highest of the convention. Also signing throughout the weekend was “Harry Potter” star Tom Felton, Christopher Lloyd and Adam West. However the most impressive lines were for those of writer Anne Rice and Kirk Hammett guitarist of Metallica who was on hand promoting his new horror collection book titled “Too Much Horror Business”.

After returning from the subterranean depths of the autograph area I braved the main floor of the convention which at all points in time was shoulder to shoulder people many clad in their favorite comic/film character costumes. With this many people, exhibits and vendors crammed in to one space trying to look at the masses of comics and merchandise on hand was a bit difficult. Once here you could find everything from Lego’s and replica weaponry to the latest Marvel edition Vans sneakers. There really was something for everyone in this section of the hall. In fact there was just so much stuff to see it made my head spin and almost hurt from sensory overload.

Before making my way back home I checked out several of the impressively assembled panels which are always a highlight of these conventions. Right off the bat was the headliner of all headliners “The Walking Dead” panel. With a good number of the cast on hand to answer questions lines in to the IGN Theater stretched on for what seemed like eternity. Prior to the Q/A session fans were treated to a sneak peak of season 3’s first episode which premiered on 10/14 and only excited me and other fans even further for the shows return. Other notable panels throughout the weekend including those put on by Adult Swim, the Stephen King “Carrie” reboot featuring Chloe Grace Moretz which looks to be an interested revision and “The Following” a thriller featuring Kevin Bacon and James Purefoy.

After a long and tiring weekend I can now say that I survived the 2012 New York Comic Con. Though at times the lines were long and I needed to dodge several would be attacks from costume clad attendants a good time was had by all. The organizers of the event handled everyone like pro’s and were always courteous when you had a question. If you can only attend one convention on the east coast make sure it’s the New York Comic Con.

Regular Admission and VIP Tickets on Sale Now for Hero Bot Con 2012

Hero Bot Con is the biggest and best comic and pop culture convention in Upstate NY! This year’s guest of honor is Mark Silvestri who will be on hand all day signing copies of his new comic “Cyber Force” #1 which are being given away for FREE! The event will also feature dozen of top artists and vendors as well as several exclusive panels and Q & A sessions that you won’t find anywhere else.

Saturday, October 27, 2012
11:00am – 6:00pm
Chemung County FFC
425 Pennsylvania Ave
Elmira, NY 14904

Kids 14 and under get in FREE with a paid adult!

For more information on tickets and a full list of convention guests visit
http://www.herobotcon.com

Win Passes to Con X 2012 – Kansas City [ENDED]

Media Mikes has joined forces with Burnt Water Productions to offer readers the chance to attend the upcoming Con X 2012 convention in Kansas City as their guests.

Kansas City’s first and only pop-culture, horror and sci-fi convention and will be held September 14-16 at the Ramada Conference Center. Among the guests: Margot Kidder (“Superman the Movie”), Walter Koenig (“Star Trek”) and James Tolkan (“Back to the Future” trilogy). Also scheduled: reunions for the casts of “Paranormal Activity,” “Stargate SG-1” and “The Amityville Horror.” There will also be a fully restored DeLorean just like the one featured in the “Back to the Future” films.

Those attending the event will have the opportunity to meet the attending celebrities, get autographs and photographs and the chance to enjoy an intimate dinner in the hotel’s Fireside Room. There will also be a cocktail party and concert to benefity the Wounded Warrior Project. There will also be Q & A sessions with the celebrity guests and lots of goodies for sale in the dealer’s room.

(10) Media Mikes readers will be randomly chosen to receive a weekend pass to this event. All you need to do is comment below and tell us which chapter of the “Back to the Future” trilogy is your favorite and why. The contest will run until midnight, September 2. Winners will be notified by email.

Tickets for the weekend convention are available online now and those showing a military ID at the door will get 50% off. A limited amount of VIP Passes and Celebrity Dinner tickets are available onlinewhile supplies last. Vendor spots, sponsorship packages and discount rooms at the Ramada Conference Center are still available. Check the site for updates and a complete list of celebrity guests, events and vendors.

Marvel Studios to Present Exclusive Look at Marvel’s “The Avengers” at New York Comic Con

MARVEL STUDIOS TO PRESENT EXCLUSIVE LOOK AT MARVEL’S THE AVENGERS AT NEW YORK COMIC CON

Producer Kevin Feige and Select Cast Members to Appear Saturday, October 15th in the IGN Theater – Presented by Sprint!

Norwalk, CT, October 4, 2011: New York Comic Con (NYCC) is proud to announce Marvel Studios, for the first time ever, will participate in this October’s NYCC. Marvel Studios will present a special event in NYCC’s IGN Theater – Presented by Sprint on Saturday, October 15th from 6:30-7:30 PM, a high-profile panel focused on the upcoming feature film Marvel’s The Avengers. Marvel Studios will debut never-before-seen footage from The Avengers, and panelists will include Kevin Feige (Producer), Chris Evans (Captain America), Tom Hiddleston (Loki), Clark Gregg (Agent Coulson), and Cobie Smulders (Agent Hill). The Avengers is scheduled for release on May 4th, 2012.

The sixth annual New York Comic Con will take place October 13-16, 2011 at the Javits Center in Midtown Manhattan. NYCC, which attracted 96,000 attendees in 2010, celebrates comics, movies, television, toys, games, and the popular arts from around the planet. Tickets are now on sale via the website www.NewYorkComicCon.com, with limited 4-Day tickets remaining.

“I am incredibly honored Marvel Studios has decided to participate in New York Comic Con in such a significant way,” notes Lance Fensterman, Group Vice President for ReedPOP and Show Manager for NYCC. “The center of our show is creating exclusive opportunities for fans to meet their favorite stars and creators. The Avengers presentation is exactly this kind of once-in-a-lifetime event. We’re very excited to be able to host cast and crew from The Avengers and know our fans will be on the edges of their seats. As always, we want to present the very best that the pop culture world has to offer in art and entertainment, and The Avengers panel is at the head of that list!”

As previously announced, Marvel will also be bringing high profile comics guests to New York Comic Con including Joe Quesada, Chief Creative Officer of Marvel Entertainment, Axel Alonso, Marvel’s Editor-in-Chief, and notable Marvel creators Jason Aaron, Matt Fraction, Kieron Gillen, and Stuart Immonen.

“Marvel’s The Avengers” is the Super Hero team up of a lifetime, featuring iconic Marvel Super Heroes Iron Man, The Incredible Hulk, Thor, Captain America, Hawkeye and Black Widow. When an unexpected enemy emerges that threatens global safety and security, Nick Fury, Director of the international peacekeeping agency known as S.H.I.E.L.D., finds himself in need of a team to pull the world back from the brink of disaster. Spanning the globe, a daring recruitment effort begins.

 

Starring Robert Downey Jr., Chris Evans, Mark Ruffalo, Chris Hemsworth, Scarlett Johansson, Jeremy Renner and Samuel L. Jackson, and directed by Joss Whedon “Marvel’s The Avengers” is based on the ever-popular Marvel comic book series “The Avengers,” first published in 1963 and a comics institution ever since. Prepare yourself for an exciting event movie, packed with action and spectacular special effectswhen “Marvel’s The Avengers” assemble in summer 2012.

“Marvel’s The Avengers,” is presented by Marvel Studios in association with Paramount Pictures.  The film is being produced by Marvel Studios’ President, Kevin Feige, and executive produced by Alan Fine, Stan Lee, Jon Favreau, Patricia Whitcher and Louis D’Esposito. Marvel Studios’ Jeremy Latcham and Victoria Alonso will co-produce. The film will be released May 4, 2012.

For further information about all ReedPOP shows and activity, please visit Lance Fensterman’s blog, www.MediumAtLarge.net. Convention organizers note that many more guests will be announced over the next few weeks leading into the show and fans should keep their eyes on NYCC’s website and blog for additional comics, entertainment and anime announcements.

ABOUT MARVEL ENTERTAINMENT:  Marvel Entertainment, LLC, a wholly-owned subsidiary of The Walt Disney Company, is one of the world’s most prominent character-based entertainment companies, built on a proven library of over 8,000 characters featured in a variety of media over seventy years.  Marvel utilizes its character franchises in entertainment, licensing and publishing.  For more information visit www.marvel.com.  Super Hero(es) is a co-owned registered trademark.

ABOUT REEDPOP: ReedPOP is a boutique group within Reed Exhibitions which is exclusively devoted to organizing events, launching and acquiring new shows, and partnering with premium brands in the pop culture arena. ReedPOP is dedicated to producing celebrations of popular culture throughout the world that transcend ordinary events by providing unique access and dynamic personal experiences for consumers and fans. The ReedPOP portfolio includes: New York Comic Con (NYCC), Chicago Comic and Entertainment Expo (C2E2), Penny Arcade Expo (PAX) East & West, Star Wars Celebration V, New York Anime Festival (NYAF), and UFC Fan Expo. The staff at ReedPOP is a fan based group of professionals producing shows for other fans, thus making them uniquely qualified to service those with whom they share a common passion. ReedPOP is focused on bringing its expertise and knowledge to world communities in North America, South America, Asia and Europe.