– I made panels I didn’t intend to and couldn’t get into panels with a ton of lead time. Underestimations of popularity of events led to small rooms being filled rather quickly. I normally have myself regulated to limited failure for Saturday night at New York Comic Con … but the difficulty of attending an event on Friday afternoon … I will admit I was not prepared for it.
– The Welcome To Nightvale Panel was not in a large enough space. I attempted to attend the panel with about an hour of lead time and the line was already capped. I heard differing statements of arriving just as the crowd did and also of the line being full for an hour at that point. Many fans were willing to wait to be told they would definitely not fit. I took pics of a Cecil cosplayer and I saw another great Cecil cosplayer on his way to the panel after I left and went to the …
– Child’s Play 25th Anniversary Panel. Featuring Brad Douriff, Jennifer Tilly, Don Mancini, and hosted by Aint-it-Cool News’ Harry Knowles. There was a great megamix of Chucky’s kills to open the panel and the crowd was full of hardcore Chucky fans. These people packed the Main Events Theatre and engaged in everything from Chucky look-a-like contests to attempting to mimic the iconic laugh created by Brad Douriff. There were handmade replica dolls of Chucky, Tiffany and even Glen. Interestingly enough even though the panel was filled with the cast of the current Blu-ray release Curse of Chucky the majority of the questions were to and answered by Don Mancini the creator of Chucky and writer of every script in the series.
Don enjoyed the evolution of Chucky over the years as has Brad Douriff. Brad began with one voice in mind for Chucky after many films but later when Jennifer Tilly was brought in to play Tiffany he changed the voice with the tenor of the film. They all love that the films started as serious but then went on to embrace the absurdity of a doll serial killer. When Don Mancini saw that fans wanted a serious film again he made the new Curse of Chucky so that the character could be scary again. This included bringing in the original actor who played Andy, Alex Vincent, in the first two Child’s Play films.
Jennifer Tilly and Don Mancini both love Tiffany’s Death in Bride of Chucky as their favorite Chucky kill. The image of Chucky raising his arms as the bubble rose up while she died was one he’d had in his head for years and when they filmed it he said it was the perfect moment. He loves the idea of Chucky sort of conducting the rise of the bubbles.
A fan asked about the original concept for the film which changed while Don was part of a Writer’s Strike during the filmmmaking process in the 80s and he explained that instead of having Chucky be a serial killer’s soul in the body of a doll that Chucky was originally the embodiment of Andy’s Id. The way Chucky came to life was that in the original script Good Guy dolls had blood and a latex skin. The idea was that if they got hurt they bled just like the boys who owned them, but because Andy was so lonely he made them blood brothers. Andy’s action set Chucky off to kill anyone that prevented Andy from being happy like his babysitter.
Harry Knowles implored the audience to buy Curse of Chucky because he wanted to see the next film in the series in a theatre.
Jennifer Tilly spent a significant amount of time after the panel signing anything and everything anyone wanted. This was not easy as there is now a barrier between the stage and the audience. Still she took the time to interact with the fans as much as was possible before the convention staff essentially made her leave.
– For those that think Nintendo is dead The Legend of Zelda: A Link Between Two Worlds was another panel I couldn’t get into an hour before the panel began.
– The second of the three panels I attended was for Robot Chicken. Seth Green, Clare Grant, Matt Seinreich, Breckin Meyer, and Macaulay Culkin were all in attendance and held the annual meeting of the Silly Hats Club. This was a highly entertaining panel and made up for missing out on some of the earlier events. The first thing they did was show a trailer for a new project put together by Matt Seinreich and Bryan Cranston of Breaking Bad & Malcolm in the Middle. The new project is called Ubermansion and it follows a Superman inspired character that has gotten old and decided to retire. He lives in a large mansion with the next group of superheroes who will step in for him but it turns out they’re all self-absorbed self-indulgent jerks. This show trailer was hilarious and Matt said he reached out to try and get Bryan Cranston as dream casting and he didn’t just want to voice the main character he wanted to produce the show. He helped them come up with the characters and the direction of the show as well as start in it.
The next thing they showed was an animatic from the next Robot Chicken DCU special subtitled Villains in Paradise (VIP) and it involved Batman and Green Lantern … I don’t want to spoil that joke for when its fully animated but it had the entire audience dying of laughter.
Breckin acted as sort of the anti-heckler heckler… a young man’s question was slightly backhanded and for the rest of the panel Breckin continually slammed him, but that wasn’t just focused on the fan that was pointed towards Macaulay, Seth, Seinreich and silly hats. A fan asked if there was ever animosity between Seth Macfarlane and Seth Green since they were so involved in one another’s lives and they create things with such similar interests and Seth said no, that he’s a great friend who’s a always helping him whenever possible. Breckin then jumped on Seth saying this is why we can never see you, you’re friends with Macfarlane now and you never answer the phone. Seth then called Breckin out on answering phone calls on the set of Franklin and Bash and saying things like, ‘Oh gotta go film with MPG I’ll call you back in 15 …’
At one point a fan asked if Seth could work full time on his Fox sitcom and still keep Robot Chicken a priority and he said that he’s always working on other stuff and that he’s never going to let Robot Chicken fall out of his priorities. When asked their favorite moments Claire said jokingly it was a dream come true to play a groupie to Alvin & the Chipmunks that hooked up with Alvin. Seth said his favorite moment was to hire Ahmed Best, the actor that actually played Jar Jar Binks, in the Star Wars prequels to do acting work on the Star Wars special. He said that there was a lot of hatred sent to Best after the prequels came out and Seth loved that on the day Ahmed became a father he won an Annie Award (The International Animated Film Society Awards) for his work as Jar Jar in the Robot Chicken special. Breckin said his greatest enjoyment of playing Lindsay Lohan was completely stupid after Seth’s story.
At one point Doc Hammer of The Venture Brothers came out on stage and started to strip for the panelists and the audience. He and Seth rubbed up against each other and Seth licked Doc’s nipple. Then after Hammer left the rest of the guys on stage had Sexy Man Pose time at the behest of an audience member and they did a sort of Conan style mountain pose with Macaulay on top.
Two other standout moments where when a fan of Mass Effect asked a question about Joker and EDI, Seth went on to thank Bioware and fans of the game series for being so supportive of him. Lastly, Seth said one of the things he most wants to do is have a second Robot Chicken on Wheels tour. He loved the tour they did in 2009 and wants more than anything to do it again. A fan shouted they should coordinate it with Roller Derby and the audience cheered. He said he had the best time hanging out with the fans and throwing a cool skating party concert and we wants to relive it. They then signed autographs, took pictures and praised a fan who created an incredible LED wired robot costume.
– The last panel I attended was for the Spike Lee directed remake of the film Oldboy. I will say that this panel was cool in that it featured a lot of excellent footage but the panel didn’t feel complete without Spike Lee or Josh Brolin in attendance. Attending the panel were actor Michael Imperioli, writer Mark Protosevich and actress Pom Klementieff. Mark implored the audience, many times and in many ways, to give the film a chance. In his mind what he and Spike Lee did was create a cover version of the original Oldboy. They want to hit the things that people love about the film but do their version of it.
Michael Imperioli was very loving to Spike Lee, Sharlto Copely, Pom and of course Josh Brolin. He said that since Spike insists on weeks of rehearsal before filming that he got to spend a lot of time building a friendship with Josh while they were in New Orleans and that really made making the film incredible. Pom told everyone that she loved the original film and saw it in a theatre when it first came out, so when she was given the chance to do the film it was her dream come true. She said martial arts are now a major part of her life and she’s gone from knowing nothing to being a purple belt in Tae Kwon Do since January of this year.
The film sequences shown featured Samuel L Jackson, Josh Brolin and Elizabeth Olsen along with the panelists and without spoiling the scenes the film looks very dark and just the right kind of over the top violent. Most of the audience questions were attempts to get the panel to assuage their fears that the film will somehow ruin their feelings for the original and they all promised that they made their own version but it was in tribute to Chan-wook Park’s 2003 classic.
– I went to The Block and saw a booth for a Kickstarter campaign for a Documentary called “Rocky Horror Saved My Life.” It would be produced by members of The NJ based Rocky Horror shadowcast, ‘The Home of Happiness.” They were over near 70% of their goal at the time and if you’re a fan of RHPS consider giving them a few dollars.
Now for a disappointment that I missed out on something cool. I was very disappointed when they had a number of young ladies with yellow Oldboy umbrellas come out and stand in the theatre during the panel. They stood the whole time doing nothing. At the end of the panel the moderator asked if the actors knew any good dumpling places. Michael Imperioli mentioned a great place off Mulberry street, without naming it. If the members of the audience went to that restaurant they would have taken part in the Oldboy Dumpling hunt. The young ladies from the theatre were actually at several different dumpling houses in the city and marked that they were an official dumpling house for the promotion called #eattheclues. If anyone takes pictures of themselves eating dumplings, tweets it and uses the hashtag before October 20th they get a chance to win the actual set used prop hammer featured in the film.
For Saturday I will attempt to somehow see Mob City, Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., The Walking Dead and Batman Arkham Origins. All of these panels are one right after the other… I may get lucky and see all of them or I may miss them all and only get to walk the show floor. We’ll see how lucky I get.