It has always been said that our American cousins across the pond know how to do things properly, everything is bigger and better, brighter and more extravagant. And this certainly applies to their comic conventions!
I have been attending conventions now for roughly 5 years, and this was my first time heading to an international comic convention (most certainly not my last), and what an amazing experience it was too! 4 full days being surrounded by like minded people with a passion for all things geeky, just 10x what you are used to back home!
My weekend began on the Thursday where I attended the Ash vs Evil Dead panel. I am a huge Evil Dead fan. Both of the original films, and the awesome new show (which has most certainly managed to keep its classic Evil Dead qualities). Bruce Campbell seriously is the man! Despite the original film being released 35 years ago, he has still definitely got it!
It was really great to see how well the cast gel together. To see this awesome chemistry between them, which is also an obvious indication as to why the show is such a success. The main cast members, Bruce Campbell, Lucy Lawless, Ray Santiago & Dana Delorenzo were also joined by new cast members Lee Majors who plays ‘Ashy Slashys’ father, and Linda B Emery. Lastly but most certainly not least, Ted Raimi who will be playing Chet Kaminski, Ash’s childhood best friend.
There were some very funny moments, in particular Ted Raimi & Lee Majors doing impressions of one another. Ted talking about how many characters he has played in the movies (his first being a foot in the original Evil Dead at the age of 14). Dana Delorenzo who plays Kelly, (and is probably my favourite character. second to Ash obviously) goes onto talk about how much blood was involved in the first episode of season 2. All 26 gallons off it! (Just for her one take!)
Seeing Lucy Lawless in the flesh was pretty spectacular. This woman just gets better with age! Her character Ruby is quite a bitch in the show, but you can’t help but love her. I also got to witness the Xena war cry in person which was pretty awesome to see. She has also still got it!
Before they played the second episode for season 2 of Ash vs Evil Dead, there was a Q & A with the audience. There were some tears from fans who were extremely star struck to be talking to the man himself. Another who made the mistake of asking Bruce if Ash could choose between being a Jedi, Sith or Smuggler what would he be? This resulted in him being reminded that Ash does not give a shit about any other show.
Overall it was a fantastic panel. I was so stoked to be able to see the cast in the flesh, and to listen to them just having a general chat on stage. It ended with us being shown the second episode of Season 2, which has got to be the most hilarious and also most disgusting thing I have witnessed on TV before. I loved it, and I love everything about this show! If you have not yet checked it out, you need too!
You can catch the full panel here on YouTube...
The Javits Center itself it's quite a site to be seen; the place is huge! It was immensely overwhelming when you first walk through those doors to shear capacity of this venue and what it can hold. Inside were heaps of vendors for all your needs. It was quite refreshing to see stalls which offered more of a variety than the usual ‘Pop Vinyl’ you see on top of one another here at conventions.
There were plenty of cool stalls selling so many statues I wanted, but couldn’t fit them in my suitcase, or they were on pre-order only! There were also such stars as Manu Bennett (Arrow), Chad Coleman (The Walking Dead) and Ryan Hirst (Sons of Anarchy) with stalls where they were doing autographs and selfies with fans. I also couldn’t resist the opportunity with a selfie with the legend that is John DiMaggio, I adore Bender in Futurama, and loved him as Marcus in Gears of War. And who could resist little Jake from Adventure Time?!
Inside Stan Lee also had a Marvel podium where he was doing autographs. He was so swamped, I could only see the top of his head whilst he was sat behind his desk! He did however stand to talk on the microphone, to acknowledge his fans which was lovely.
If there was one thing I really loved about this place, it was the outside. It had its own little courtyard with some really cool stuff. First off there was a fully functional Evil Dead cabin with special effects inside, such as cockroaches on the floor, doors opening, and even a head popping out of a pan on the stove. Best of all you could get free loot from it to! Secondly, due to it being South Parks 20th anniversary they had a display of the characters with sets of infamous scenes. I never thought I would come away from New York Comic Con being able to say I had sat on testicles that resembled space hoppers (if you haven’t already, you need to watch the episode Medicinal Fried Chicken!)
One of the most incredible things to witness was the doors opening to the public. Saturday is the big day, which goes for us over here too. Everyone's best and biggest costumes come out on this day as the footfall is crazy. The entrance I was near was out by the courtyard under a underpass, and it was crammed! As soon as it hit 10am there were cheers and a stampede of people just flowing through, for what felt never ending.
The cosplay scene is definitely a lot bigger out there. There is costume shops on most street corners of New York City, which makes it a lot more obtainable for people. The UK is not far behind though, for sure. The community is still very close knit and welcoming, and I found everyone to be very approachable. I also was able to do shoots with some awesome cosplayers. One in particular who I really had to double take at as I really thought it was him!
I am so happy with my first experience of an international convention! It was everything I imagined it to be, and more! The whole weekend was mind blowing! I think from now on, I will definitely find our conventions over here a lot calmer in comparison. Bring on the next one!