Well. Another NYC Super Week and NY Comic-Con are in the books and boy was this one wild! And I only actually got into the convention physically on the Friday! Didn't start me from having fun though. And I have to complement NYC just because I didn't hear of many "bad" situations that my geeky brothers and sisters had during the week. I'll take that as a plus...
I'm sore from the last day of my regular job, made the decision this year smartly to take vacation time to coincide with the convention. BEST. DECISION. EVER. Ended up talking to close to 200 people outside before pain set in.
Memory of day: A mixed race family has a baby in a stroller done up like the TARDIS, the dad was in an Amy Pond companion get up and his wife was the Matt Smith Doctor, complete with fez and bowtie! The family that cosplays together, stays together!
My day inside and also my day of relief. The day that I could be "just" a geek. Yeah. This lasted all of 45 secs. I tried to bounce everywhere and couldn't pull that off. Highlights included:
-Riding the 7 Train into Hudson Yards with an excited Deadpool, a classy Agent Carter, a family of Supers, and an awesome Silk.
-Stopping by the Anomaly booth and seeing the amazing computer, reader interactive books that the company is coming up with.
-My drop by the Stranger Comics booth found me meeting Sebastian A. Jones and Ashley Woods and picking up the book Niobe, which I'll have a description of later. I will say that their enthusiasm for the project is certainly addictive.
-CosPlayers were certainly on their game, both the pros and amateurs had some tight outfits. We all know about the Deadpools, Boba Fett and Hulkbuster but I didn't realize how big Spider-Gwen and the new Batgirl looks were over. And I'll just say that people are ready for the new Star Wars movie and leave it at that.
-My visit to the First Second table found my inner 10-year old going nuts over the kid related material. There's a lot of fun kid to teen projects that they have on deck and when they start releasing them, I will be sharing that info.
-Visiting Eric Dean Seaton at the Legend of the Mantimaji booth and meeting the man face to face for the first time. Finally completed my collection by getting the first volume of the project.
-I can safely say that we don't have to worry about comic book fans not knowing about Valiant Comics. That booth was packed everytime my friends and I crossed it.
-Caught 2 panels. The first was Felicia Day's and she was totally engaging. Adorable, intelligent, and a shining example of the strides gals have made in gaming, TV, and now literature. Made me want more The Guild and Eureka stuff....
The second, the Justice League Voice Actors/Actresses Reunion, is one that'll be talked about for years (or at least until the next one). Kevin Conroy (Batman) and Phil LaMarr (Green Lantern) controlled the panel like alpha males of humor. Andrea Romero was amazing with her memories about putting the cast together and thoughts about the JL/JLU's lasting effects. Susan Eisenberg (Wonder Woman) is a trooper, doing the panel while a lil under the weather but no denying the chemistry between her and Conroy. Maria Canals Barrera (Hawkgirl) has the same type of relationship with LaMarr and it obvious that they were the cut-ups. George Newbern (Superman) and Carl Lumbly (Martian Manhunter) were quiet and subdued by comparison BUT when they spoke, it was hilariously deadpan. Hard to believe that they aren't together on more projects...but I guess that is what made this moment special. Definitely check this out on YouTube when you get a chance.
-Daryll B.'s highlight place to be on Friday was the AfroFutureFest table. Seemingly, EVERYONE passed by there at least twice as it was a main hub for creators and fans to meet up and just BS. First time by, got to talk to Tony Puryear, co-creator of Concrete Park, for the first time as I picked up both hardcover editions. As I did that, Afua Richardson was literally dancing by. Already I knew that this was going to be an experience.
Second time through, met up with AfroNerd at the booth as he was talking with Chuck Collins, creator of Bounce! and as we were talking shop, who happens to join in? Shawn Pryor, creator of Cash and Carrie, and all around animation/comic book guru. Needless to say, my inner geek was doing a touchdown dance. No words man. Just no words.
Wasn't having a good day and wasn't feeling very social to say the least but I still made my way to Pioneers Bar NYC for the Black Girl Nerds meet and greet. Got to geek out over the great Orlando Jones cutting a rug during I Wanna Dance With Somebody. Saw Chuck Collins and Black Nerd Problems along with other creators. Met Jamie Broadnax in person for the first time along with members of her circle and that was cool. And that tempered my anger at watching the USA lose to Mexico. (Hey! This is me on a Saturday Night Folks... Sports will always be around in some form or fashion!)
I journeyed back to where "Daryll B." was born long ago, The Grand Victory in Brooklyn, to catch Sammus, SkyBlew, and Random rock out. Through them, I discovered Eye-Q, Marshall Art, DunceCap, and You Bred Raptors?. Not unlike my first time where I went for Adam WarRock and Mikal kHill and ended up discovering Schaffer The Darklord, Tribe-One and Jesse Dangerously. That's the thing about NerdCore and ChipTunes, you come in for one thing and all of a sudden you become fans of others.
Eye-Q led off with his Attack on Titan and education strengthened raps followed by youngling SkyBlew and his laid back style. Third up, Sammus was a ball of energy LITERALLY bouncing around the whole venue. She led the way for Marshall Art, who introduced me to the art of ChipTunes, 8-16 bit video game themes bolstered by guitars. DunceCap has a rapping style of a suburban Kool Keith while You Bred Raptors? could easily be the Apocalyptica for the NerdCore set. Which leaves me with Random a.k.a. MegaRan.
If you are new here, welcome to a Daryll gush session. Random along with the previously mentioned Adam WarRock ushered me into NerdCore. Literally reignited my love for hip-hop again. So to finally see him rock the stage live was pure awesomeness and yes, I totally over-gushed like a groupie after his set but f it! I had fun.
All of these acts have pages on Bandcamp, iTunes, soundcloud, . I urge y'all to check them out...
F IT! I HAD FUN! For one week, I had no anger issues. I had no feelings of inadequacy. I didn't feel like an outsider. I felt comfortable in my own skin and actually ENJOYED life and the people around me! Man just TYPING that feels like I have come a long way. There isn't enough time to thank individuals so I'm thanking EVERYONE. Next Year! October 6th - 9th! Let's do this again people!
SHIELD #10 by Mark Waid and Evan Shaner takes elements introduced in previous issues and combines them with a certain "fowl" dis-positioned detective recruited in and stirs. The result: hilarity, destruction, and zaniness. Plus we get the return of that Owl Headed SHIELD agent. See? Hilarity!
Archie #3 by Mark Waid and Fiona Staples actually has me wishing for Betty and Jughead to forget their plans/hopes for Archie and form a relationship together. They do work great together and if Archie wants to go "stuck up reality priss" with Veronica? Then...
The Cavalry SHIELD by Jody Houser and Luke Ross - I actually commented to Ms Houser that I was already going to pick up her upcoming Faith series at Valiant because of my love for the character. However, her writing/characterization of Agent May in a VERY unusual training session with some newish cadets sealed the deal. Continues the line of good to great 50th anniversary specials.
The Book of Death: Fall of Harbinger by Joshua Dysart and Kano sees the end LITERALLY for both Sting and Harada as their final "conflict" takes place FAR away from Earth. What I have liked about these is that there have been no stretches in the characterization as Valiant have made the time jumps. Time has passed and the toll has been taken on the main characters but there has not been no EXTREME changes in attitude or action. It feels natural.
Bloodshot Reborn #7 by Jeff Lemire and Butch Guice has the manhunt for Bloodshot continuing as the officers are now realizing how deep of a hole they have discovered. Meanwhile, 'Shot and Magic have grown closer, just in time for mortal jeopardy to find them as they were looking for him/it.
Cyborg #3 by David Walker and Ivan Reis Battleground Detroit! All out attacks! Cyborg's last stand? The enemy of my enemy is... And as all that is going on, it was the lil moments that had me going "ooo". Like have we found the first steps of TO Morrow turning into the baddie we know he'll eventually be? Cyborg gets Metal backup and just wait til you see who is the leader of the tech army that initially killed him?!?!?!?
Siege #4 by Kieron Gillen and Filipe Andrade shows what I love about Gillen's writing is that we all knew what was coming. He TOLD us from issue #1 what was going to happen! And I was STILL not ready for it. Thanos was Thanos here BUT I didn't see it coming! Kudos Gillen! You win this one AGAIN!
Star Wars Lando #5 by Charles Soule and Alex Maleev has all the elements that make Lando the scoundrel what we have known but Soule throws in a bit with a blaster that still managed to make me go Whoa! Yeah, this mini has instant classic written in all its future write ups.
Contest of Champions #1 by Al Ewing and Paco Medina (main story); Thomas Labourot (2nd Story) isn't fooling anyone. This is a cash grab tie in to the mobile/video game. However, putting Al Ewing in control of the direction was a great move. He is becoming Marvel's "it" guy in terms of characterization and he does the smart thing using "tweaked" versions of familar characters. That'll give the book 2-3 issues to establish all the characters and story.
Miles Morales Spider-Man Complete Collection Vol 2 by Brian Michael Bendis, David Marquez, Pepe Larraz, and Sara Pichelli continues the early trials and tribulations of Miles Morales as he attempts to join The Ultimates, encounters Hydra, faces Venom with VERY disasterous consequences, and, the highlight of the book to me, has the heart to heart with Peter Parker's family. Collects 13-28 of the series including the 16.1 issue.
Star Wars #10 by Jason Aaron and Stuart Immonen has Princess Leia and Sana Solo reach an settlement of common ground, much to Han's dismay and Luke shows gumption, yet stupidity while being a prisoner of the Hutts. I will say, I love the rebel rescue team just for the comedic potential!
Star Wars Shattered Empire #2 and 3 by Greg Rucka and Marco Checchetto shows that Palpatine has had a worst case scenario prepped in the eventuality of his death and boy will the universe tremble! We also have a return to the planet Naboo and some female aerial dogfighting. I am liking the viewpoint character a lot and I can see Rucka is having a bit of fun exploring here.
Secret Wars #6 by Jonathan Hickman and Esad Ribic sees the Doom-Dom starting to collapse all around him as forces on both sides are making their move. We find out how much the believe in Doom's biggest supporter is shaken. Reed Richards has a clash of the minds and most importantly, we find out that Miles Morales keeps food in his pockets! Good enough to ALMOST make me forgive the wait for the book.....
Spider-Island #5 by Christos Gage and Paco Diaz 1st Story; Tom DeFalco and Ron Frenz Spider-Girl 2nd Story - The final battle between the Queen and Flash's rebel forces for the fate of Manhattan has begun and there will be a major price to pay! Meanwhile, in the other story, May has to fight the enraptured Avengers. Fun. Complete Fun.
Avengers #0 by James Robinson, G.Willow WIlson, Al Ewing, Mark Waid, Gerry Duggan, Leonard Kirk, Victor Ibanez, Gerardo Sanoval, Kenneth Rocafort, Mahmud Asrar, and Ryan Stegman is a giant sampler issue introducing the 7 different Avengers team books framed around the Squadron Supreme's thoughts and plans. This issue is pricey at $5.99 but it is a good frame for what is upcoming for the Avengers Universe. I think the ones I will be getting are Mark Waid's Avengers, Al Ewing's The Ultimates, and G. Willow Wilson's take on Captain Marvel. However I won't lie, the A.I.M. book is appealing to my old New Mutants fanhood AND I FINALLY get Songbird as an Avenger!!!!! *Celebration Dance!!!!*
Jughead #1 by Chip Zdarsky and Erica Henderson is a near perfect coda to Archie #1 as we delve into the madcap world of the teen now known as Jughead. We see him learn how to make hamburgers and voila! A lifetime bond (to his taste buds) is formed. If you love Howard The Duck and Squirrel-Girl by Chip and Erica respectively, then you have no excuse. This almost perfectly combines their 2 chaotically funny natures and, poor Betty. LOL
Niobe #1 NYCC Exclusive by Amandla Stenberg, Sebastian A. Jones and Ashley A. Woods - Admittedly, this was one of my prime targets entering New York Comic Con because I had to see if it was worth the price. Met and talked to Mr. Jones and Ms. Woods and they are QUITE passionate about this. Hard to put this in a box but I will say Niobe is part Turok, part Ghost Rider, with a bunch of Storm from the X-Men story "Lifedeath" mixed in. Trading souls for immortality, tribal politics, bickering Gods/Goddesses, all circle around a teenage girl simply trying to do the right thing. I think I gave an ok description AND STILL I feel I haven't gotten to the crux of this. I think I got my companion piece to Kurt Busiek's Autumnlands here....
Axcend #1 by Shane Davis sees the third of my "Fall books to look for" come out and let me get this out of the way one time, Shane Davis' art has raised up a level. Some of the sequences in the dream/video game world are just WOW. As for the story, the bonds between twins are nothing to shrug at and I can imagine if one is lost, which is what the main character here is going through, you would try to find anything to plug that emptiness. He finds a measure of that with this Axcend game..and cue disaster....
Heroes Vengeance #1 by Seamus Kevin Fahey, Zach Craley, and Rubine follows the story of the Mexican Family seemingly right before episode #1 of Reborn. Gotta admit the writers do capture the allure and mythology of the luchadors well as many kids do look at them as real life superheroes. I wonder who else will get the flashback treatment in this 5 issue limited series?
Ms. Marvel #19 by G. Willow Wilson and Adrian Alphona has the first volume run end with lots of hugs, a heart to heart no less than 3 times and, of course, a dance party at the end of the world. I am not kidding. *raises glass* Here's to Volume 1. A fun, FUN book that gives volume 2 a hell of a bar to reach!
Star Trek/Green Lantern: The Spectrum War #4 by Mike Johnson and Angel Hernandez sees sides drawn along with the color wearers. Glad to see that the rings' deficiencies are not going to be glossed over, along with the individual wearers. And say hello to the big, bad threat! I guarantee Kirk and Spock are going to be no way ready for this one...
A-Force #5 by Marguerite Bennett, G. Willow Wilson, and Jorge Molina - An ending. A new beginning. A dead horde rumble. She-Hulk's fears and hopes all laid out here. It will be interesting to see the transition the book makes into the "new" Marvel Universe and how the new team is going to look.
Civil War #5 by Charles Soule and Leinil Francis Yu - A superhero fight/rumble/war is nothing significant without a few deaths and this doesn't disappoint. We see that the Secret Invasion truly never ended for some and for others, ideologies never truly died. Also after this book, everyone will have to question why someone would want to rule and their ulterior motives for doing so.
Marvel Zombies #4 by Simon Spurrier and Kev Walker succeeds in explaining most of the hanging questions since issue 1. We find out how much of a dick Elsa's Dad truly is. And we FINALLY find out what is up with the kid. I still maintain that Kev Walker was simply born to draw zombies. Lifelike and terrifying.....
Earth 2 Society #5 by Daniel H. Wilson and Jorge Jimenez finally reveals the enemy, which honestly wasn't a surprise. Shows how selfish and world weary The Flash is, which was a shock. And finally gives us a moment where these heroes actually act like heroes. I know. Shock above all Shocks!
The Flash Vol #4 Reverse by Brian Buccellato, Francis Manapul, Scott Hepburn, Chris Sprouse, Karl Story, and Keith Champagne contains 20-25 and the 23.2 issue and revolves around the mysterious "Reverse" Flash that has been going around killing off those with a link to the Speed Force. In addition, we get Barry's Zero Year issue along with his first meeting with Kid Flash.
Strange Fruit #2 by Mark Waid and J.G. Jones has the alien "Johnson" making an effort to learn the ways or Earth and mathematics as the people in power freak out and two quite different black men seek to use him for their own purposes. I am reminded of the Chris Rock joke about smart slaves here...
Whew! 12 days worth of books, and NYCC Madness! Are you not entertained?!?!?!?!?! LOL Thanks for reading all! Next Week, time to delve into the worlds of Flash, Arrow, SHIELD and TV! Until Then, Keep Fantasizing!