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Ten Things to Look for at New York Comic Con

Don’t panic, New York Comic Con newcomers. We know there’s a lot to take in, and a long weekend might not cover it if you’re still busy dithering over choices. And while we won’t tell you what final decisions to make, here are some suggestions of what you may want to see while there:

1. Chris-tening Guillermo. Chris Hardwick will host a Legendary Comics panel Friday at 5:15 pm, with special guests Guillermo del Toro, Matt Wagner, Bob Schreck, and some surprise guests. Expect big new announcements and first-looks at upcoming projects – The Tower Chronicles was just the beginning of a much larger construction. Wagner will also be signing at the Legendary booth (#1620) Friday 12-1 pm, Saturday 12:30-1:30 pm and Sunday 12-1 pm, with del Toro Friday from noon to 3pm and Hardwick Saturday 3-4pm. Finally, Shadow Walk‘s Mark Waid and Shane Davis will also be signing Saturday from 12:30-1:30pm.

2. Dead, man – Walking! Not enough Nerdist for you? (The correct answer is “there is never enough!”) Come check out a live podcast at the Best Buy Theatre on 1515 Broadway on Friday. If for any reason that sells out before you get your chance, you can also find Chris talking to Barry Levinson at a panel for the acclaimed Wag the Dog director’s new found-footage flick The Bay, Saturday at 2:15 pm. And of course, Chris wouldn’t be Chris if he didn’t host The Walking Dead panel later that day at 5 pm, alongside panelists Andrew Lincoln, Chandler Riggs, Danai Gurira, David Morrissey, Gale Anne Hurd, Glen Mazzara, Michael Rooker, Norman Reedus, and Robert Kirkman.

3. Harley Would Land. Finding the right girl is no joke, even in the contemporary fandom world that has long since stopped being an exclusively male domain. But if a scar-faced clown can find amore, anybody can. Scratch that, modify it: anybody at New York Comic Con can find said clown’s lady love, Harley Quinn, in bishoujo style at the Kotobukiya booth (#1757). It’s the first time she’s made herself available to everyone, so pick up this piece quickly if you’re in the mood. Just beware of jealous boyfriends with white faces.

4. Get a Clu. No, we’re not talking about beloved character actor Mr. Gulager, but rather the creepy, evil, digitally de-aged Jeff Bridges from Tron Legacy. His rise to power in the Grid is chronicled in Disney XD’s animated series Tron: Uprising, which stars a rebellious young program named Beck (voice of Elijah Wood). Naturally the villainous clone sees the kid as a loser, baby, and tries to kill him, but to do that, he must get past his old friend and new enemy Tron (Bruce Boxleitner). Will we see the events that ultimately turned him into the Darth Maul-like Rinzler? Keep watching… and start with the two episodes that’ll be screening at NYCC.

Excited? You should be. We’ve even got a Nerdist Exclusive sneak peek at one of the episodes, Scars Part 1:

We got a chance to ask “TRON: Uprising” Executive Producer and Director Charlie Bean what we could expect from the episodes being screened and he said, “This story is the real connective tissue to TRON Legacy and is very much TRON’s story. In it, we flashback to before CLU took over and get a small glimpse into what life was like on the grid when TRON was head of security. We meet a new character named DYSON and see the integral role that he plays in both TRON’s personal history and the larger history of the TRON mythology. These episodes set up the events of the rest of the season and should not be missed by any TRON fans.”

5. The Soul of the Bat. Let’s face it – if someone told you that you could have any car from all of fiction, you’d probably say “the Batmobile,” right? Sorry, guy ironically saying “KITT from Knight Rider,” but we’re not buying it. And neither is Kia, which will unveil the first in its line of Justice League-inspired cars: a Batman-themed 2013 Kia Optima co-designed by Jim Lee. In addition to the Batman car, the initiative between Kia and DC, which goes to benefit the We Can Be Heroes campaign, will also roll out Superman, Wonder Woman, Green Lantern, The Flash, Aquaman, and Cyborg at major auto shows and comic conventions over the coming months. We’ve got to say, this is a lot better than GMC’s Galactus-themed Yukon, which devours gasoline and planets at an alarming rate.

6. He-Man and the Masters of Your Wallet. So yeah, Mattel wants to see if you’ll preorder a gigantic new Castle Grayskull toy for $200 (or more, maybe). But they’re not even going to make a prototype unless enough of you say yes. At NYCC, however, you’ll get the first look at the best they can and will do – a detailed drawing of the proposed toy. Will you wield your magic credit card and say, “By the power of Visa”? Or does this make you feel more like Prince Adam’s favorite cat, wanting to cringe away from the strggle?

7. ‘miX Masters. Revolutionizing the way we get digital comics wasn’t enough for ComiXology; no, they needed to go one step further and provide three of the coolest panels at the con. Interested in making your own comics? Don’t miss Thursday’s Creating Comics the ComiXology Way. Curious about the future of digital comics? Stop by Saturday’s ComiXology Open Discussion: Everything Digital! for an in-depth look at the future of our favorite medium. Last, but not least, Sunday’s Comicpreneurs: Secrets of Successful Pop Culture Startups will give you the tools necessary to start a ComiXology of your very own! Talk about a con exclusive…

8. Guest Who? It’s a pretty safe bet that if you’re at a major comic-book or pop-culture convention, Stan Lee and Lou Ferrigno will be around at some point, so we suggest looking out for the more unusual celebrity appearances by folks who don’t usually walk in these circles. Tattoo artist Paul Booth, for instance, or wrestler-turned-Magic Mike costar Kevin Nash. Even Metallica’s Kirk Hammett is going to be around. But if you’re a Nerdist fan, chances are you’re going to want to meet Peter Davison, a.k.a. the Fifth Doctor, who was walking in the Time Lord’s shoes during the ’80s, back when the culture didn’t fully embrace his two big beating hearts. He deserves his moment now.

9. Closet Cases. You may ask yourself what R. Kelly has to do with a comic convention. Fair question – the common factor here is Alamo Drafthouse, who, via Fantastic Fest and Drafthouse Releasing have single-handedly expanded the definition of “genre fare” to “anything Tim League thinks is awesome.” This includes the weird, the retro and the NYCC “Trapped in the Closet” singalong that involves spatulas, toy Berettas and rubbers. Saturday night, 8 pm.

10. Think Different. The Nerdist booth (#1851) will be teaming up with ThinkGeek to deliver some spiffy swag. Sign up for Nerdist News at the event, and you could win a Tauntaun sleeping bag, Wampa rug, Sonic Screwdriver universal remote or even a big bundle of Star Trek stuff. If you’re reading this, you may already be signed up – so persuade a buddy to do it too, and split the prizes if you win.

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