Stewart R: Unlike last year where the lure of the NFL meant that the Saturday was my last day at the con, this year I was going the whole hog and spending all four days walking the halls of the Javits Center. I suspected the Sunday would see something of a mid-afternoon rush as the show closed its doors a couple of hours earlier than previous days at 5pm and so time was limited and precious to get everything done and everything seen.
Having breakfasted at the Tick Tock diner a few blocks away from the Center, and spied artist Robbi Rodriguez sat at another table, indoor sunglasses use suggesting that the networking the night before might possibly have been a bit heavy, we headed to our final day at New York Comic Con 2013. As per the norm, we were running a touch behind schedule and so I missed the start of 'Sunday Conversation with Dan Didio' and elected to not jump into that panel halfway through. I had been interested to see just what sort of audience the DC Co-Publisher would be facing with DC's handling of certain projects and its major properties under large amounts of scrutiny these days, but there was plenty of other things to see and do.
Whilst still buzzing and filled with people, the main exhibition hall did seem just slightly less busy than the Friday and Saturday in places - bottlenecks are still part and parcel of such a large convention - and it looked like some artists and exhibitors had called it quits after just a couple of days. I headed back over to Artist Alley and managed to catch a couple of words with Bounce artist David Messina, a lovely chap indeed who was also kind enough to sign the first issue of his and Joe Casey's Image book. Humberto Ramos was once again busy sketching and signing as he had been for the majority of the weekend and it was far too late in the day when I discovered a copy of his and Paul Jenkins' Spectacular Spider-Man #1 - arguably the comic that got me back into the medium many years ago - among the long boxes, so I sacked off the idea of seeking a signature there.
Before too long it was time to get down to room 1A14 in good time for 'Lazarus: Family, Wealth and Violence in the Near Future' with the enigmatic Greg Rucka and Michael Lark talking about their collaboration on the superb new Image title. I'll say right here that this panel is fighting to be one of my top three highlights of the show as the insight into their specific creative process was hugely entertaining as well as being informative as the two bantered back and forth about the decision making that takes place and just how they work together along with a dedicated team of assistants - something I'd not really heard about in other panels over the weekend - to collate and build each issue. Rucka clearly has some very interesting plot points and details planned with a handful of other families in this title still to be revealed properly, with other Lazari to meet who will differ to the likes of Forever and Joacquim. It was great to see Rucka go off topic to certain degrees speaking about how we are sold the idea of fear in every day life, spotlighting the rather strange security at NYCC as an example and going on to speak about how the US over the past 40 years has been coddled and safeguarded too much and taught and trained to not care in a very general sense. It was a really engaging hour spent listening two creators who have a lot to say and I'd have happily spent a day listening to other issues that influenced their work.
It was now getting to the short end of the day and with my final panel picked out for the last hour of the show I had just 60 minutes to set myself a little mission and try to pick up any comic books that I'd failed to locate during the previous three days and one that I made a spur of the moment decision to seek out. Sadly, my hunt for the more modern comics on the list was a failure - I was looking for Image and Oni Press comics in the main and they're greatly outnumbered by Marvel and DC as expected - but I did manage to track down a copy of G.I. Joe Yearbook #3 which contains the second 'Silent Issue' story 'Hush Job' involving Storm Shadow's risky rescue of Snake Eyes from a heavily fortified urban Cobra HQ. I actually found two copies, but seeing the first price tag of $8 I figured I could find a better deal and managed to pick up a copy of near equal condition for the bargain price of $3!
My freshly purchased prize stowed safely away it was now time to head down to the Empire Stage I-E for the 'Marvel: Superior Spider-Man & Friends' panel. The lure of seeing the William Shatner Q&A had been strong, but Dan Slott's enthusiastic attitude back at London Super Comic Con in February, and the potential of more Marvel title reveals was too much, and so I joined a mass of eager Spidey fans in the cavernous panel hall. There was indeed reveals aplenty - you can check out the PCG Twitter feed for the blow by blow details - and the highlights were the confirmation of Zeb Wells and Mike Del Mundo working on Elektra #1, Nathan Edmondson and Mitch Gerads bringing us Punisher #1 and Dan Slott constantly telling us that Superior Spider-Man issues #21 and #22 are going to blow our minds (and no doubt have small elements once again calling for blood!). Steve Wacker was in good form, occasionally ribbing fans for questions that had obvious answers, for wearing DC attire, and making sure that some of the younger audience members got to ask their encouragingly competent and interesting questions on Kids Day - some adult fans need to take note!
And like that the panel was over and the show was over. A fantastic four days of basking in comic book wonder had come to an end for another year. I'll be offering a summary of thoughts about NYCC 2013 later on this week and Dan H has a bountiful supply of video and pictures for us to share once we arrive back in the UK so you can expect a little more from us on what was a very successful and highly enjoyable convention soon. Right now we're going to head out into Manhattan and imagine what it'd be like to swing between skyscrapers on webs, where Avengers Tower and the Baxter Building would be located, and keep an eye over our shoulder for any sign of Attilan/Kree Warships or a Tesseract-infused portal in the skies above us. Thanks for reading!