Channel-Surfing at Comic Con: The tvDownload Team Wades Into NY’s Pop-Culture Madness

Ever corner of hardcore fandom, represented.
Jennifer Lu for Observer
The sheer madness that is the Comic Con floor. (Kaitlyn Flannagan for Observer)
Cosplay: The Scarecrow from Batman. (Jennifer Lu for Observer)
Cosplay: Midna from The Legend of Zela: Twilight Princess(photo: Jennifer Lu for Observer)
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Cosplay: Um...something. (photo: Drew Grant)
Artist Alley. (photo: Kaitlyn Flannagan for Observer)
The Court of Owls from Scott Snyder and Greg Capullo's Batman run.(photo: Jennifer Lu for Observer)
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Pretty nice guy, actually. (photo: Jennifer Lu for Observer)
Comic Con attendee dressed as a member of the art collective The Residents. Or, just a member of the art collective The Residents. (photo: Jennifer Lu for Observer)
David Duchovny talks The X-Files. (Photo: Kaitlyn Flannagan for Observer)
“I don’t process [the hardcore X-Files fandom], I don’t think about it. It doesn’t affect me, it doesn’t occur to me,” Mr. Duchovny said. “The show has affected my life in that it started my career, it gave me opportunities, it gave me a lot of money, which are all great things. Most of all, it gave me the chance to go to work and act for 14 hours a day, for eight years. I got to create my own acting school for eight years.”
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Kumail Nanjiani, host of The X-Filespanel, and X-Filesstar David Duchovny. (photo: Kaitlyn Flannagan for Observer)
Bane is at the part of the movie where he realizes Gordon blocked all cell service. (photo: Drew Grant)
A winged cosplayer. (Photo: Jennifer Lu for Observer)
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An A+ Frankendoodle from Spongebob Squarepants. (photo: Kaitlyn Flannagan for Observer
The Stag Man from Hannibal, hopefully not hallucinated. (photo: Drew Grant)
ALL the Rick and Morty costumes. (photo: Drew Grant)
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Spoilers for the ending to Batman vs. Superman: Dawn of Justice. (photo: Vinnie Mancuso)
See you at the next Con.
Kaitlyn Flannagan for Observer

(Scroll through the slideshow to the left to see our best shots of cosplay costumes, celebrities, and the overall insanity that is New York Comic Con) 

Calling it “Comic” Con, at this point, is kind of a misnomer.

Sure, in the four days the Con descended on the Jacob K. Javits Center last week, many of the approximately 150,000 attendees were there to wander the labyrinthine bazaar of vendors hawking Golden Age-era memorabilia and comics, attend intimidatingly-progressive sounding panels like “Body Confidence and Positivity in Cosplay” and live-tweet with mounting horror the title of Frank Miller’s new Batman series for DC (“The Master Race,” oy vey).

But nerds of all sorts patron the East Coast equivalent of San Diego’s much larger convention: gaming nerds (Street Fighter 5 teased out Alex!), film nerds (Suicide Squad’s Jared Leto teased out his Joker!) and yes, TV nerds.

Especially the TV nerds. Our highlights:

— We saw the premiere of the new X-Files (the six-episode arc premieres January 24 on FOX), and realized we were more excited for the show’s return than star David Duchovny.

“I don’t process [the hardcore X-Files fandom], I don’t think about it. It doesn’t affect me, it doesn’t occur to me,” Mr. Duchovny said. “The show has affected my life in that it started my career, it gave me opportunities, it gave me a lot of money, which are all great things. Most of all, it gave me the chance to go to work and act for 14 hours a day, for eight years. I got to create my own acting school for eight years.”

“It’s such an interior thing to me. It’s like when you play a sport; at some point you stop thinking about hitting a tennis ball. You just hit the tennis ball. I just do The X-Files.”

— As part of the inaugural expansion into Super Week (with events extending outside the actual convention), on Friday night, AMC filled Madison Square Garden to capacity for a fan screening of The Walking Dead. The stage was tricked out with a tire barricade that sat smoldering like a set piece from an overeager MFA theater student’s post-apocalyptic adaptation of Les Miz. Robin Lord Taylor (a.k.a Oswald “Penguin” Cobblepot) was sitting right in front of us, which for us Gotham fans is an even more impressive name drop than had we been in hair-brushing distance of Robin Wright, Lorde and Taylor Swift.

— More Penguin news out of Comic Con: Gotham announced that none other than Pee-Wee Herman (Paul Ruebens) will play Cobblepot’s father.

— We were in the same room with both Christian Slater and Rami Malek, so we can confirm that Mr. Robot is not a documentary. “I was just driving over here with [creator Sam Esmail] trying to pick his brain, and he wouldn’t reveal much because that’s Sam,” said Rami Malek, who stars as perpetually-hoodied hacker Elliot Alderson. “He did say. ‘Get ready…It’s going to be rough.’ I’m thinking, how much rougher can it possibly get?  He just looked at me and said, ‘It’s going to get worse.’ ”

— We counted and found there to be a lot more Rick and Morty combo costumes this year than there were Batman and Robin.

— After a panel for Into the Badlands (premieres November 15), which AMC is hoping will do for martial arts what The Walking Dead did for zombies (read: a lot!), we spoke to fight director and executive-producer Stephen Fung about adapting Crouching Tiger-style stunts for the small screen. This involved actors attending weeklong “boot camps” for everything from stances to wire work. “At the end of the day, it’s not about which martial arts style is being used, it’s about what looks cool,” Mr. Fung told us about choreographing a show that takes place in a post-apocalyptic and gun-less future.

— We sat down with Marvel’s Jessica Jones (November 20, Netflix) showrunner Melissa Rosenberg to talk about her upcoming addition to the massive Marvel franchise. “Marvel wasn’t afraid as a studio to let Jessica Jones make some really stupid ass decisions,” Ms. Rosenberg said. “To be wrong, to be ugly. To go into these dark places. That’s defined the show. You can have a character that is really fucked up, but there is something at her core that keeps us with her.”

Krysten Ritter, who stars as the titular heroine, was more blunt in describing her character: “She’s basically a total asshole,” Ms. Ritter told us. “But I think at her core she’s a good person. It’s about finding those little moments of vulnerability.”

— Meanwhile, Lost co-creator Carlton Cuse, the Lex Luthor of sci-fi shows (both omnipresent dominators of worldwide corporate branding ), was a little more visionary about his new show, Colony: “The conception of the world as you saw it in the pilot reflected a lot of thinking about not just the big picture questions, but a lot of the smaller questions. When you’re world-building, you have to make a million decisions about everything from the grander issues, like the level of oppression, to whether there are cars…”

Sure, no guns, no cars, no zombie virus cure. Comic Con was pretty bleak; all things considered. And thanks the ever-growing tentacles of Marvel crowding out the competition, our choice of Jessica Jones and Daredevil meant skipping both the Ash vs. Evil Dead and Doctor Who events.

What can we tell you? Even in the relatively small slice of Comic Con that is television nerd-dom, the two of us weren’t able to catch it all. We’re just two mere mortals.

As far as you know, anyway…

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