Saturday, 18 October 2014

Of New York Comic Con 2014

This year marked the third time I have visited the great New York comic convention. As always it was well organised, easy to get around, and had a great roster of events (coincidently I spoke to several people who have done San Diego in the past, and stated they much prefer the New York con).

I had a great time, met some people I admire and grabbed a lot of swag (my wallet hurts). However, this time I have decided to write a summary of some of the news and announcements that broke at the con. It bulks out my blog and is good practice if I want to write more about this kind of stuff in the future.

So, in the name of amateur journalism, here is the scoop.

  • 2000ad Panel and Booth: Not much big news broke this year but it has been made clear that there is a lot of IDW stuff scheduled for future release. I also had a few words with the 2000ad staffers about the possibility of releasing the complete Friday era Rogue Trooper strips, since the first book, The War Machine, has just come out. They say there's no plans at the moment, but it's a possibility, and then I begged them. I have no shame. Also, I won a Judge Dredd badge from a Dredd off at the panel. I am the law.
  • Image Booth: For some reason the next volume of Mind the Gap isn't out until next year. Couldn't find out why though. Also, despite Nowhere Men volume 1 being a volume 1, there are no future releases of that title planned. Odd. At least we have Rat Queens next month though.

  • Ron Pearlman: Big Ron was there plugging his autobiography, Easy Street, which is a very personal work, and it was clear he put a lot of his heart into it. He talked at length about emotional struggles in his youth, working with Del Toro, The Name of the Rose, and Fallout. Looks like an interesting read, Ron asked that you pick it up retail full price so he gets more moolah out of it.
  • Dark Horse Comics: Dark Horse are planning an Aliens – Prometheus – Predator – AVP cross through series and by golly does it look fucking amazing. The creative team is pretty tight and want to emphasise a greater focus on horror than action. It certainly harkens back to Dark Horse's golden age of Alien comics. A particular highlight is the Predator series, following an Ahab like Predator in search of his white whale.

  • Star Wars Rebels - Episode 1 Screening: I've never really had a liking for the Star Wars animated series. Generally speaking the art style just rubs me up the wrong way and Rebels is no difference. That being said, it's a real thrill to see classic Stormtroopers and Tie Fighters in action again, and the villain, The Inquisitor, is spectacular. I'm not really warming to the main character though. The whole 'brash Jedi apprentice who needs to get over himself' is a story we've seen done to death over the years, and the rest of the main cast are far more interesting. We'll see how if pans out.
  • Constantine Pilot Screening: I was prepared to be disappointed but I can tell you now that I can't wait for this series in full. Matt Ryan absolutely nails is as John, and he really feels like the character has been lifted out of the comics. The show manages to incorporate the punky chaotic vibes of Hellblazer and it certainly gets off to a good start. It's far from perfect of course, and I was a tad annoyed that they've decided to make Chaz American in this adaptation, but overall the jobs a good un'. In the after show panel Goyer revealed that they'd be adapting several of the classic story arcs (Dangerous Habits, yessssss) as well as incorporating some of the supernatural stuff from the DCU proper, which should make for an interesting hybrid. I find Goyer can come across as a bit of a prick sometimes, but he certainly seems to understand what he needs to do here, so colour me optimistic.

  • Killing Floor 2 First Look – I never really played much of the original Killing Floor, it was an enjoyable but frustratingly amateurish romp through a bunch of maps. KF2 polishes the game up in places, and the Unreal engine has never looked so good. The new close combat system is really charming, little things like drawing your sword counting as an attack against enemies really help it stand out from the crowd. Beyond that, the team are adding more maps and more perks, so it looks as though there's not going to be too much change to the formula. Expect a business as usual wave shooter with some new toys to play through it with. Sometimes, that's all you need to do.

And that's about that. I may revisit some more areas in detail further down the line (particularly Constantine), but for now that's all the scoop I gathered in between buying t-shirts and prints. So, see you next year I guess?

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