New York Comic-Con 2018 In Review: Celebrity Sightings, Absurd Game Shows, And Lessons In Cosplay

When you've attended enough cons, you get used to the hustle and bustle of the nerd world and the inescapable crowds and unnecessary purchases. However, even the biggest con downsides don't compare to the overall rush and fun of the experience.I had been to New York Comic-Con before, but this was my first time attending multiple days. I learned a lot about how to navigate the event and experience as much as possible. It is, of course, beyond impossible to do everything, but the more you go, the easier it becomes to create a fulfilling schedule.

SyFyโ€™s Live Stage

The smartest thing I did during my con visit was spend a couple hours at the Live Stage on Friday. In addition to wanting to learn about upcoming content, I'm a sucker for celebrity sightings. This was the perfect way to see a ton of cool people in a short amount of time.Without ever having to leave my seat, I was able to see 15-minute interviews with the cast and creators of Big Mouth, Bad Times at the El Royale, Alita: Battle Angel, Marvel's Runaways, Dark Phoenix, and The Boys. These were all topics I was interested in, but it would have been impossible to attend each individual panel, especially when you have to consider getting to them early to ensure a spot.If you don't get a seat at the Live Stage, you can at least stand nearby and listen in. Of course, I don't recommend sitting there all day just because you want to see 15 minutes of Sophie Turner. First of all, it's rude to people who genuinely want to see the other interviews. Second of all, if you're going to wait around for hours, you might as well do it for the full panel.

The Visionaries Panel

One event that I chose to wait two hours for was Entertainment Weekly's directors panel (I managed to be the second person in line!). It featured Drew Goddard (Cabin in the Woods, Bad Times at the El Royale), Taika Waititi (What We Do in the Shadows, Thor: Ragnarok), and Simon Kinberg (Dark Phoenix).The best part of the panel was how casual it was, with Waititi throwing out hilarious jokes left and right. Goddard would bust out laughing every single time Waititi cracked a joke and it was delightful to watch.We learned about the upcoming film Jojo Rabbit, which Waititi is adapting from the Christine Leunen's novel. In addition to writing and directing, the New Zealander will also be playing Hitler in the film. The film is about a Hitler Youth who discovers his own mother is hiding a Jewish boy in their home. While the premise seems incredibly heavy, it's sure to feature a ton of comedy considering who is at the helm.Kinberg talked about his long journey with the X-Men films, and even apologized for the outcome of X-Men: The Last Stand. Anyone who can admit their mistakes, especially such an epic one, is redeemable in my eyes.Despite having written and/or produced nearly every movie in the franchise, Kinberg seems like the smart choice to finally direct. It's also his chance to retell the Dark Phoenix story and he seems positive about the outcome (of course, the date push backs are still making us nervous).Goddard talked about creating content as a fan and shared stories from his early days of writing for Buffy the Vampire Slayer (my favorite show of all time). He said he was a huge fan of the show and couldn't believe it when Joss Whedon asked him to come work on it. It was definitely an inspirational panel and absolutely worth the long wait to get in.

Cosplaying & Fandom Friends

For the first time in my con career, I decided to cosplay. I love costumes so it wasn't a stretch for me to take this decision very seriously. I decided to go as the Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. version of Madame Hydra, because that's myย current favorite show.In a hilarious turn of events, everyone mistook me for Polaris from X-Men. Turns out, when your friend dresses as Havok and you're wearing all green, people are going to jump to that conclusion. However, Mallory Jansen, who played the character on S.H.I.E.L.D retweeted a picture of my costume, which is all the validation I needed.Speaking of Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., this con was the first time I met some of my Twitter friends in real life. The S.H.I.E.L.D. fandom is incredibly kind and welcoming so it's no surprise I hit it off with multiple people who share a love for the show.One online friend even stayed with me for the entirety of the con, which ended up being awesome. I'm usually a casual con-goer and these new friends taught me a ton of tips and tricks on how to make the most of your experience.I learned that cosplaying as a character from a show or movie that has a presence at the con is a smart move. My friend Sarah went as Squirrel Girl and was featured on the Marvel Rising social media accounts and was given a ticket to the cast signing.

SyFyโ€™s The Great Debate

I unexpectedly ended up at the SyFy Great Debate show, which was a panel/game that featured some awesome guests. Hosted by Aisha Tyler, the players included her Archer co-star Amber Nash, Orlando Jones, and more!Tyler would ask the participants to debate a topic and then the audience would vote on the winner. In a hilarious move, Orlando Jones managed to convince an entire building that Kate McCallister from Home Alone was a worse parent than Darth Vader, Tywin Lannister, Norma Bates, Sarah Connor, and Homer Simpson. He made the excellent point that her neglect led to a child having to interact with Donald Trump, which was all the audience needed to hear.

Overall Experience

NYCC 2018 was absolutely one of my favorite con experiences. I got to snap photos with some of my favorite directors, see one of my celeb crushes (Jason Mantzoukas is the funniest man alive), view the pilot episode ofย What We Do in The Shadows, reminisce with the Twilight fandom, and party at the LGBTQ SuperQueeroes after party.I've never been to San Diego Comic Con, but I absolutely feel like I'm prepared for it now. My only disappointment was not getting to meet Amy Acker (she was there repping The Gifted but my fangirl love cuts deep with Angel), but I'm the queen of meeting celebs at appropriate times (don't bother folks when they're eating!), so I know my time will come.Until next year, NYCC!