10 Can't-Miss Comic Book Panels at New York Comic Con 2014
Comic Con has become something of a misnomer. When the fan convention began in 1970, its primary focus was actually comics, but over time it became popular sci-fi/fantasy culture in general, and in recent years it essentially includes anything with a cult fanbase. At this weekend's Comic Con in New York City, they have panels for everything from The Walking Dead to Game of Thrones to (somewhat bafflingly) The Following and The Americans.
But Comic Con's comic enthusiasm is alive and well, and there are still a multitude of exciting panels that are actually about comics. Here are the ten panels we're most excited about:
Doctor Who Comics Panel
Thu. October 9th 2:00 PM - 2:45 PM
[Credit: Titan Comics]
Doctor Who comic strips have existed for almost as long as the show itself, but the new series from Titan Comics will be the first ongoing comic book storylines for the long-running and much beloved BBC show. They will produce series called The Tenth Doctor, based on David Tennant's performance, The Eleventh Doctor, based on Matt Smith's interpretation, and The Twelfth Doctor, based on Peter Capaldi's new iteration.
The panel will include writers Nick Abadzis, Robbie Morrison, and Rob Williams, artist Simon Fraser, and editor Andrew James, who will supposedly reveal "exclusive secrets" from all three storylines.
Skybound's The Walking Dead
Thu. October 9| 4:00 PM - 5:00 PM
[Credit: Skybound Comics]
Creator Robert Kirkman and Skybound Editorial Director Sean Mackiewicz will discuss the Skybound graphic novel The Walking Dead in a panel moderated by Entertainment Weekly's Dalton Ross. The series has received critical acclaim, receiving the Eisner Award for Best Continuing Series in 2010. Eric Sunde of IGN went so far as to call it "one of the best monthly comics available." It also served as the inspiration for the wildly popular and similarly acclaimed AMC television show, which will hold a panel on Saturday featuring many of the stars, including Andrew Lincoln and Norman Reedus.
Twenty Years of "The Crow" with James O'Barr
Thu. October 9| 7:00 PM - 7:45 PM
[Credit: Caliber Press]
The Crow has garnered a cult following, and it's not hard to see why. The dark, gothic graphic novel follows a man who rises from the dead to punish those who raped his fiancee and then killed them both, originally written by James O'Barr as a way to cope with his girlfriend's death at the hands of a drunk driver. The film, which was released twenty years ago this year, saw the accidental death of its star, Brandon Lee, while filming the character's death scene, only two weeks before he was supposed to get married. O'Barr will be attending NYCC for the first time and will hold a Q&A about The Crow.
MARVEL 75th Anniversary Day
Fri. October 10| 11:00 AM - 3:45 PM
Marvel celebrates 75 years of comics and multimedia entertainment with nearly a full day of panels. The titles of the panels are unknown, but it is officially described as a "once-in-a-lifetime gathering of talent, as the architects of the Marvel Universe meet to discuss their work and the evolution of Marvel from a small publishing company to the multimedia giant it is today."
"Marry, Do or Kill?" What Will it Take to Shatter Female Stereotypes in Comics?
Fri. October 10| 11:15 AM - 12:00 PM
[Credit: DC Comics]
To say that comics and sci-fi are not entirely inclusive is an understatement, but on the bright side, New York Comic Con is absolutely killing it with their diversity panels. There are almost too many to count, exploring underserved narratives and egregious stereotypes involving women, the queer community, transgender, non-white races, and more. In this panel, pop culture experts from different types of media weigh in on sexist female stereotypes and efforts to combat them. The official description reads: "Female characters have historically been limited to sexy good girls or sexy bad girls, with little between. Readers are ready for change. A panel of Writers, Artists and Editors weigh in on "strong female characters," "fridged women," the Bechdel test and troubleshooting storytelling stereotypes." It will be moderated by Red Stylo Media editor Enrica Jang, with panelists such as Marvel editor Ellie Pyle, Dennis Calero (X-Men Noir), Erica Schultz (Revenge), Andy Schmidt (Comics Experience), Claire Connelly (Oculus) and Jennie Wood (Flutter).
Special mention also goes to The Mary Sue, who are holding not one, but three diversity panels. They include Fight What You Know on Friday at 2:15 pm, which encourages writers to represent characters from all different backgrounds, Strong Female Characters: The Women Shining in Geek Media on Saturday at 2:00 pm, and All on the Table on Sunday at 3:00 pm, which will discuss representations in video games.
Dark Horse and Sega Present: 35 Years of Alien
Fri. October 10| 6:15 PM - 7:00 PM
[Credit: Dark Horse Comics]
After 35 years, Alien (and the chestburster scene) are still iconic, and the legacy continues in the film franchise, the comics, and the newly released (and critically acclaimed) Alien: Isolation game. In this panel, guests such as Dark Horse Publicity Director Jeremy Atkins, along with Paul Tobin (Prometheus) and Joshua Williamson (Predator), as well as some promised "surprise guests," will discuss the film's cultural legacy, as well as the highly anticipated Fire and Stone series.
MARVEL: Death of Wolverine – The Logan Legacy
Sat. October 11| 11:15 AM - 12:00 PM
The death of the beloved mutant is one of the biggest events in comics in recent years, and several high-profile X-writers will be at NYCC to discuss the future (or lack thereof) of poor Logan and the ripple effect his death will have in the Marvel universe. Panelists include executive editor Mike Marts, Brian Michael Bendis (All-New X-Men), Gerry Duggan (Deadpool), Greg Pak (Storm), Charles Soule (Death of Wolverine), and more.
Max Brooks – Zombies vs. Vampires: The Extinction Parade Survival Panel
Sat. October 11| 1:00 PM - 1:45 PM
[Credit: Crown Publishing]
Anyone who's ever yelled at their TV screen during a horror movie should attend this panel. Max Brooks, author of The Zombie Survival Guide and World War Z, will discuss how to survive a Vampires vs Zombies apocalypse, the "rotting minds of the shambling dead," the "aristocratic self-entitled vampire race," and the politics of "zombie-phobia," because why not. All of this in service of discussing his new comic series, Extinction Parade: War.
DC Entertainment – Batman 75th Anniversary
Sat. October 11| 2:00 PM - 3:00 PM
[Credit: DC Comics]
Between Christopher Nolan's Dark Knight series, comic books, video games, Gotham, and the upcoming Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, Batman is absolutely everywhere. In a panel that celebrates 75 years of the Bat Signal, the Batmobile, Arkham Asylum, Wayne Manor, orphan hero tropes, self-seriousness, possibly hypocritical no-kill rules, and raspy voices, "industry titans and other surprise guests" will discuss the legacy of one of the most iconic characters in comics.
Garth Ennis – Crossed DOA & the Future of Crossed
Sat. October 11| 7:00 PM - 7:45 PM
[Credit: Avatar Press]
Crossed may not be exactly beloved, but there's no denying that it's made an impression. The horror comic, which depicts a world ravaged by a virus that makes sufferers enact their most evil impulses, is predictably either criticized or hailed as completely depraved. The official description of the panel reads: "Survival horror changed forever when Garth Ennis created the grueling world of Crossed. For over five years he has defined the genre with an unrelenting series which dares you to read and experience the horror." Panelists include Ennis, Simon Spurrier (Crossed: Wish You Were Here), Justin Jordan (Crossed: Badlands) and a "very special comics giant guest." We have our fingers crossed that it's Alan Moore, who recently signed on to write Crossed +100.