This was our third year in a row attending Rhode Island Comic Con, which is easily the largest comic and media convention in New England, and likely second in the northeast U.S. behind New York Comic Con. Two years ago they outgrew their venue at the Rhode Island Convention Center in Providence after scoring most of the surviving cast of the original Star Trek to headline the event. So they immediately planned to expand to to the Dunkin’ Donuts Center arena located next door and last year, but a new venue presented new challenges in how to organize all the dozens of celebrities, the hundreds of vendors and the thousands of fans, resulting in other issues with finding where some celebrities were and not enough space for the lines.
Now this year’s guest list – Stan Lee?!? You could probably fill a convention on just that. But add other hot guests like Jeffrey Dean Morgan, who had just proven himself as one of the meanest, craziest bat-wielding psychos on The Walking Dead, Millie Bobby Brown from Stranger Things, Gal Gadot who plays Wonder Woman…that’s filling up fast. And that’s just a few. How about Billy Dee Williams, Alice Cooper, Christian Slater, Summer Glau, Arthur Darvill, John Ratzenberger, Ric Flair…and I’m still only a fraction of the way through the list.
The convention opened on Friday, but due to other commitments we weren’t able to arrive until early Saturday. From all accounts, Friday went quite well. I was able to enter early and see the new setup, and the changes I saw made a lot of sense…more line space and corrals for guests in line for celebrity meets, better layout for vendors on the main floor, etc. The one gotcha – there is only one indoor path between the arena and convention center, via a narrow sky bridge, and due to crowd control and regulations they needed to make that a one-way corridor from the arena to the center. To get back to the arena for some of the headline guests and photo ops, you actually had to exit (and scan out your badge, so they had a better idea on the number of people inside) and walk back to the arena and enter via a special “re-entry” entrance.
I would never see the place that empty again. 🙂
Yet again I won’t be at San Diego Comic-Con (big surprise, but I will be in the Orlando area instead helping to raise money for Give Kids The World, so I have a reasonable excuse), but Syfy will be there with cameras, offering three nights of live coverage, hosted by Will Arnett (The LEGO Movie, The Millers).
The special will broadcast live from the heart of San Diego Comic-Con on the network Thursday, July 21 through Saturday, July 23 at 8/7c. The live broadcast will bring the biggest party of the summer with the biggest stars, action and excitement of the San Diego experience directly into fans’ homes.
“We’re so excited to have Will host our first-ever Syfy Presents Live From Comic-Con,” said Heather Olander, Senior Vice President, Alternative Series Development and Production, NBCUniversal Cable Entertainment, Entertainment Networks. “There is nobody more perfect to host this event than Will, who has created iconic roles for every part he plays, appealing to so many unique audiences. This year we’re thrilled to be able to give viewers at home a live, real-time Comic-Con experience with Will at the helm.”
Arnett, who most recently starred in the Paramount hit Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Out of the Shadows, will also be in town promoting the eagerly anticipated Lego Batman movie. Besides the Turtles and Lego Movie franchises, Arnett is an accomplished TV actor with five Emmy nominations from iconic shows such as Arrested Development, and 30 Rock. He also, created, wrote and starred in the Netflix’s original series Flaked and is the lead voice in Netflix’s acclaimed animated show BoJack Horseman.
Each night, Arnett will invite hundreds of fans at Syfy Presents Live From Comic-Con’s outdoor stage to discuss and engage in the Con’s breaking news, insider party coverage, and exclusive content and sneak peeks of the most anticipated films and TV series. Arnett will also conduct interviews with the biggest stars from the hottest franchises during this unprecedented three-night broadcast, bringing non-stop action and fan surprises directly to viewers across the country.
In addition, starting Sunday, July 17, Syfy will kick off a celebration of all things Comic-Con, on-air, online and across its social media platforms, offering fans exclusive content, “digital shorts” and exclusive trailer premieres to fuel their excitement throughout the entire week. SYFY’S 7 DAYS OF COMIC-CON will continue through July 23.
Is this another step back to its roots when it covered more of the world of sci-fi fans? Syfy will invade the world’s largest pop culture convention this summer with Syfy Presents Live From Comic-Con, a three-night telecast directly from the heart of San Diego Comic-Con. The special – Syfy’s first-ever live broadcast from Comic-Con – will air on the network Thursday, July 21 through Saturday, July 23 at 8/7c.
Each night, Syfy Presents Live From Comic-Con will bring the Con’s non-stop action directly to viewers across the country, featuring celebrity interviews, breaking news and behind-the-scenes reports. The hosted live broadcast will highlight the biggest stars, top franchise reveals, panel news, exclusive sneak peeks of the hottest films, as well as audience interaction, games, party coverage and much more.
“For nearly two decades, Syfy has been a mainstay at Comic-Con,” said Chris McCumber, President, Entertainment Networks, NBCUniversal Cable Entertainment. “Each and every year, we can’t wait to get to San Diego to share our mutual fandom and passion for all things pop culture with our viewers. And this year, we’re thrilled to extend that immediate, first-hand access to those at home as well.”
“Our goal with Syfy Presents Live From Comic-Con is to give everyone the experience of being on the convention floor, at the events, or just walking through the frenzied streets of the Gaslamp District … with hundreds of thousands of their closest friends,” said Heather Olander, Senior Vice President, Alternative Series, Development and Production, Syfy.
In addition, starting Sunday, July 17, Syfy will kick off a Comic-Con celebration on-air, online and across its social media platforms, offering fans customized, exclusive content to fuel their excitement throughout the entire week. Syfy’S 7 Days Of Comic-Con will start Sunday, July 17 and continue through the 23rd.
Syfy Presents Live From Comic-Con is produced by Wilshire Studios, with Corin Nelson serving as executive producer/showrunner.
Last year we attended Rhode Island Comic Con – “The Biggest Show in the Smallest State”, and there were a number of issues relating to its explosion in size, but aside from capacity related issues it was still a fun time. This year they expanded to make use of space at the connected Dunkin’ Donuts Center (a hockey arena) to hopefully spread things out, which would also come with more entrances, more concessions – but above all, more space for celebrities (and the lines of fans), vendors, photo ops and more. But they are still learning how to deal with their own size. Nothing as serious as last year, but more things that hopefully will be addressed for next year.
This is an article I should have written months ago…Rhode Island Comic Con, in Providence, RI took place in November. But various events got in my way (including a few medical issues), and just keeping caught up on the news was a challenge. But my wife mentioned who was coming to the con this year and booked us a room, I remembered – I never wrote anything! In fact, I thought I had at one point…To be honest, I’ve stayed out of the convention circuit for a long, long time. My original experiences were with the Creation conventions that came through every year back in the 80s. They’d have a few mid-level stars typically from Star Trek and Doctor Who (the best I remember was Jimmy Doohan, who came out and shook hands with everyone waiting in line in the morning, and Sarah Sutton who played Nyssa on Doctor Who, who was very gracious in signing something out of schedule for my sister due to a family emergency). Then I moved on the smaller and non-media focused cons for a while, and served on some panels – mostly revolving around Babylon 5, but then I stopped altogether. I was invited one year to moderate a panel on Babylon 5 at a major convention, but I actually couldn’t go…
Several years ago I had planned to go to San Diego ComicCon, but had to cancel. Now it just seems like it is too crazy to even think of attending. Last year we all planned a trip to New York ComicCon, and I even had my press credentials in hand, but had to cancel that as well.
Fashion Week may belong in New York City, but that doesn’t mean we can’t have our own version of it, and have it at the center of geekdom – San Diego Comic-Con!
Our dear friends at Her Universe, in conjunction with Hot Topic and Nerdist Industries, will bring the first-ever full-scale “Geek Couture” fashion show and design competition to SDCC this year, which runs July 24-27, 2014.
As part of the fashion show, Her Universe is offering a fashion design competition – amateur designers 18 years old and older can submit designs to HerUniverse.com inspired by anything that is celebrated at Comic-Con. 30 contestants will be chosen to participate at the show, modeling the fashions themselves or with their own model. Two winners will be chosen – one by a panel of judges (including fashion experts), and the other by the audience. The prize? An opportunity to co-design, with Ashley Eckstein, an exclusive Her Universe fashion collection for Hot Topic.
Check out the official release for more info! And my daughter is trying to figure out how to age five years in the next couple weeks 🙂
After the success of the first anti-bullying panel at San Diego Comic-Con, New York Comic-Con will host the panel this weekend, as well as the Pop Culture Anti-Bullying Coalition.
In a groundbreaking move, New York Comic-Con has invited Pop Culture Anti-Bullying Coalition (@AntiBullyingCo) to exhibit at its upcoming event, which draws 100,000 fans annually and will take place at the Javits Center on October 10 – 13, 2013.
Created by actress Chase Masterson (“Star Trek” / “Doctor Who Big Finish”) and award-winning author Carrie Goldman (Harper Collins’ “Bullied”), the Coalition will have experienced staff on-hand all weekend at Booth 630 to talk with teens, young adults, kids, parents, and educators on how to overcome bullying.
“We’re not just here to stand up against bullying. Everybody knows that needs to stop,” said Masterson. “NYCC’s invitation to Pop Culture Anti-Bullying Coalition marks the first time that the movement to overcome bullying is at the heart of a con experience. With the NYCC team, we’re making a safe, go-to place where kids and adults can find resources, healing and answers.”
If you still aren’t sure what the anti-bullying panel at Comic-Con was all about, check out this video from the Nerdist Channel highlighting the panel.
Anti-bullying efforts are important to me. Although I was not a victim of systematic bullying, I did experience it several times…oddly, they were kids who had previously been friends. In one case, when asked why he answered, “Because I have to.” No, you don’t.
Now I have two girls of my own, big science fiction fans…and I am determined that they will not face bullying.
Naveen Andrews, who played Sayid on ABC’s Lost, was a surprise panelist at Comic-Con for ABC’s upcoming Once Upon A Time In Wonderland (a spinoff of the hit ABC show), where it was announced that he is joining the show as the evil wizard Jafar. Andrews most recently appeared in the Sky1 series Sinbad, now currently playing on Syfy in the U.S.
Also on hand were cast members Sophie Lowe (Beautiful Kate, Alice), Michael Socha (Being Human, Knave of Hearts), Emma Rigby (Prisoners Wives, Red Queen) and Peter Gadiot (The Forbidden Girl , Cyrus) and co-creator and executive producer Edward Kitsis, who was a producer on Lost and is also an executive producer on Once Upon A Time.
AMC debuted the trailer for Season 4 of The Walking Dead at Comic-Con…but have no fear if you are like me and weren’t there…you can watch it right here!
Season 4 premieres October 13th, with 8 straight episodes…the remaining 8 will air starting in February.