by Ed Sizemore
I can tell the New York Comic Con/New York Anime Fest is coming very soon, because I’m now getting daily emails from exhibitors and companies wanting me to come see what they have on display. The show takes place from October 13-16 this year.
The programming schedule and exhibitor list for NYCC/NYAF was posted about two weeks ago, and there’s a lot to offer. Unless you have narrow tastes and are determined not to experience something outside your comfort zone, you’re bound to have several conflicts when trying to plan out your schedule.
Speaking of being outside your comfort zone, I’ll be a volunteer at the Comic Book Legal Defense Fund booth. One of CBLDF’s goals at NYCC/NYAF will be making manga fans aware of threats to their First Amendment rights. I’m putting together a raffle to help encourage people to stop by the booth and to donate. Some exciting things are happening; look for more details soon. So stop by, say hi, and bring cash to donate. Lots of cash, trust me.
Here are the panels I plan to see at the show.
The Must Sees
It Gets Better (With Comics)
Friday 11:00 AM
The It Gets Better discussion about the impact comics can have and their potential to help people is something I’m deeply interested in. We forget that comics are art, and art can be a powerful influence in people’s lives.
Hiro Mashima and Kodansha Comics
Friday 6:30 PM
Hiro Mashima is the creator of Fairy Tail, but I’m not attending to meet him. I’m going to meet the staff at Kodansha. They have been a black hole of information, so getting to put a human face to the company will be a great help.
Friday 8:45 PM
My love of all things Vertical is well-documented. Ed Chavez, Marketing Director, has promised new license announcements. I believe one is even a Tezuka license. So yeah, I have to be there.
Comic Book Legal Defense Fund: Defending Manga
Saturday 7:30 PM
The CBLDF will be discussing the recent case where a man was arrested by Canadian Customs officials for the manga he had stored on the hard drive of his laptop. I’m a huge believer that a person should have the right to read whatever comic they want.
Comic Book Legal Defense Fund: Censorship Then & Now
Sunday 2:45 PM
This is just what the title says, a history of comic book censorship from the 1950s to today.
The Most Likely to See
Mythbusters: Anime Edition
Friday 2:00 PM
Two graduate students in physics talk about the physics of anime. I’m geek enough that I enjoy learning why things are physically impossible.
Food and Comics with Wylie Dufresne
Friday 2:45 PM
Even after reading the panel description, I’m not really sure what they’ll be talking about, but a chef and a Marvel VP (C.B. Cebulski) on a panel together promises to be interesting.
Comic Studies Conference 1: Super Inspirations
Saturday 10:30 AM
There will be a programming track of academic discussion of comics on Saturday, 8 panels in all. This one talks about the real-world and mythical inspirations behind some comic characters and the world they live in.
Comic Studies Conference 3: Requiem for Weisinger: The Life and Work of Superman Editor Mort Weisinger
Saturday 1:00 PM
Superman is my favorite superhero, and this is essentially a look at the first 30 years of the character.
Makoto Shinkai Spotlight
Saturday 2:45 PM
Since I missed his spotlight panel at Otakon, I’ll most likely make this one.
Comic Studies Conference 6: Understanding Comics and the Self
Saturday 4:00 PM
This is a look at what happens in the brain when we read comics, how shojo creators use manga to make social/political critiques, and how comics are used in Native American education. Wow, this might move up to the must-sees as the convention gets closer.
Archaia Entertainment & The Jim Henson Company
Sunday 3:45 PM
This is an advance look at the upcoming graphic novel, A Tale of Sand, a previously unpublished story by Jim Henson. I already have the book on pre-order.