Comic Con Gets Thumbs Up

As the fans sort through their collected free swag, putting their new shirts on and their posters on the wall, and as the most reclusive of fans crawl back into their holes, it is clear another New York Comic Con has passed. The lines at the Jacob Javits Center are cleared and the center no longer reeks of geek and sweaty beard. But after a long three-day weekend, NYCC has gone over pretty well.

Things technically kicked off Thursday February 5 with a preview event, but the real thing got going on Friday the 6. Fans poured into the Javits centered eager to get their hands on mainstream and indie comics. Others lined up to play preview demos of upcoming games such as Grand Theft Auto: Chinatown Wars, Prototype, Ghostbusters: The Video Game and the ultraviolent Wii game Mad World. In between booths on the floor, fans had the chance to go into the meeting halls and IGN Theater to check out the numerous panels the Con had to offer.

One of the premier panels happened on Saturday (Saturday is typically the busiest of Comic Con days, whether it be San Diego or New York) and presented a solid 18 minutes of the upcoming Watchmen film. As followers of the film might expect, the line to get into the theater was enormous, but fans were pleased.

Very pleased. One fan, a student from the Fashion Institute of Technology, said there is nothing moviegoers need to worry about. The graphic novel comes alive in all the right ways and does not feel the least bit cheesy.

Other panels included Terminator: Salvation, Friday the 13th, Seth Green’s Robot Chicken, Disney’s Surrogates (starring Bruce Willis) and plenty of material from Marvel and DC. One of the clearer things to see was that the focus is still very much on comics, surely to the delight of comic book fans. And with so much space in the back, there were plenty of chances to get some autographs from authors and artists.

But now to switch gears a little bit. On Saturday, we were able to be part of the 300 people in the lengthy preview screening of Disney/Pixar’s Up. With the film mostly done, the director and one of the producers showed off 46 minutes of the film, due out at the end of May. From what we were able to see, we were pleased. The film follows Carl Fredrickson (voiced by Ed Asner), an old man who has lost his wife and is on the verge of losing his home too. Both he and his wife had always dreamed of going on an adventure in South America, but were never able to make it. When pressured into moving into a retirement home, he ties thousands of balloons onto his home and attempts to make it to South America.

For a Pixar film, it is an oddity. There are a few things that are a little dark for being Pixar. But the most obvious potential problem is its randomness. The initial concept is good, but once Carl leaves on his journey, it seems they are throwing in as much random happenings as they can to fill the void. Perhaps the final film will bring everything together more cohesively, but for now, this will not hit the mark the way Wall-E and other previous projects have.

In all, New York Comic Con provided a lot of good content over the weekend. There is definitely some room to grow. Perhaps next year will provide some of that, but on the whole, it was a good show for those in attendance.