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Wednesday, March 14, 2007

New York Comic Con 2007 Report #3 : Programming Day One

Spidey and friends

In this third NYCC report, I will discuss the programs from my first day at Comic Con. Since I arrived in NY late on Friday night, my first day of programming was Saturday (i.e. day 2 of the Con).

I managed to get to my first session just minutes before it started. Since it was the session with actors from the Buffy TV show, I thought the room would be packed and I might not be able to get in. Boy, was I wrong!

I didn't have a camera with me that morning, but Elayne Riggs did (this photo is taken from ComicMix)
Come have a seat at the Buffy panel. PLEASE?!!!

Nicholas (Xander Harris) Brandon ended up being a no-show, but I doubt that was why so few showed up. One of the actors on the panel blamed it on having one of the worst time slots of the convention (i.e. 10-11 AM on a Saturday). So, what do I remember from the panel? One guy talked about the guilt he felt at being the young actor who took the part from elderly actors who don't get a lot of opportunity for decent TV roles like the one he got. The actors unanimously agreed that they would do a Buffy reunion show if Joss asked them. And there was free cake to celebrate the 10th anniversary of the show.

Nezt up, in the same room (and with a larger crowd), was the Battlestar Galactica panel moderated by Kevin Smith. I knew that Smith would be at the show (he was in the program), but he wasn't listed as the moderator ; it was a pleasant surprise and he did a decent job of it with his usual wit. I was a little disappointed, only because so many of the questions and remarks went over stuff that was already known (or should have been ; I mean, read your program, people) like how Tricia Helfer got her start in acting and how James Callis was in the Bridget Jones film.

I asked about whether other actors from the original series would be in future episodes (now that Richard Hatch has paved the way) and was told "anything's possible". After which Smith quipped, "Well, not anything. You can't use Lorne Greene. He's dead." Leave it to Degrassi-lover Kevin Smith to mention the late Canadian actor. Someone asked about how the show is perceived in Hollywood and James answered that it is, for the most part, ignored. Kevin shared an anecdote about how he was one of those who wouldn't give the show a chance but ended up catching some episodes and is now hooked. Someone else asked about how Callis is able to prepare himself for the scenes where Balthar seems to be insane ; James answered that he needs some quiet moments of concentration to get into the part. James also made reference to the old show, saying that he would have been reluctant to accept the part if he'd been required to wear a toga.

Much of the rest of the day was spent on the exhibition floor and in artists' alley.

However, I ended my day at the Javits by going to a late panel called Carousel with Sikoryak and Friends. It wasn't the first time that I've seen what can really only be described as "comix performance art". Better than the author readings that I've attended at Toronto's Harbourfront. This was an audio-visual treat using comic pages (projected onto a screen), music and the author's voice reading the captions and dialogue. I knew that Lauren Weinstein was Jewish, but had not expected her to read a story titled "Horse Camp" about a Jewish youth who attends a Christian summer camp. She gave me a copy of a pre-publication edition of Stuck iin the Middle (which contains the story) and signed it for me. Sikoryak's 2 performances were the funniest of the lot - a "Peanuts" adaptation of Franz Kafka's "The Metamorphosis" and a "Garfield" adaptation of the story of Faust. For the final story, we were given 3-D glasses.

After that session (and after being given easy-to-follow subway directions), I headed off to Brooklyn and spent an hour at a comic launch party that was held at a comic shop called The Rocketship, which seems similar (in some respects) to Toronto's The Beguiling. One of the differences : The Beguiling doesn't have a room in the back where they serve drinks.

I saw Lauren again there are we talked a bit about the fact that girls getting their period isn't something that we read about in comics --- or anywhere else, really (though I pointed out that male author Stephen King opened his novel Carrie with the title character getting hers). I also got to meet a guy named Mordechai who I showed a copy of Kramer's Ergot to (the store's ; I don't have a copy yet myself). I hadn't read Sammy Harkham's story "Lubavitch, Ukraine 1876" yet - and neither had he. So he read part of it, while I kind of read it over his shoulder. I also heard his (and a fellow comic fan's) views of Jewish-Muslim antagonism and how it didn't used to exist (something I was already aware of, but always enjoy discussing).


RAB said...

To avoid misleading any out of town visitors who may be lured to visit Rocketship, I'm pretty sure serving drinks is not a regular feature at the store but is restricted to late-night book launch parties. If I'm mistaken about that, maybe I need to start going there more often!

Lauren said...

Hi Steve,

You left a comment on a blog post that I made a little while ago about a comic I was doing for a class. So, um, here's the Finished Product. it's a re-telling of a Bible story with robots...but it'll take you a while to get through the backstory to where the Bible story actually begins.

This is my first time trying my hand at comics, so don't expect much. Remember as you wince through it that you brought this upon yourself by leaving that comment! =)


OU812 said...

Hey, people, new Jewish comic: