• Convention Follow Up: My Little Pony at New York Comic Con!

    I finally remembered to take a picture of the Crystal Palace!

    Fine. I mean the Javits Center. It's hard to believe I've been to this building three times this year, with the amount of hours totaling over a 40 hour work week. So, what brought me to New York this past weekend?

    Why New York Comic Con of course! And I was hunting for My Little Pony news! Which was in drastically short supply, especially considering My Little Pony: The Movie premiered during the weekend of the convention.

    Though if its any consolation prize, Blade Running 2049 also didn't have much of a presence at the convention. So what sorts of Pony Goodness did I manage to find? Well, you'll have to check after the break to find out!

    …yes, one of the best things about NYCC (or any comic convention) are the amazingly creative cosplays. Group cosplays are even more impressive. And aside from being short two paladins, the fact Voltron was walking around NYCC on one of the days was astounding!

    Unfortunately it isn't pony, so now that this slight detour of "AWESOME" is over, I shall begin my quest to find the news of My Little Pony! And I think I shall start my quest from above!

    One really does not get the true scale of just how packed the show floor of the Javits Center really is during NYCC until one can look down upon it like a Pegasus in mid flight. At these events here, we really are like ants. Moving with uniform purpose towards a collective goal.

    Namely the acquisition of convention exclusive merchandise!

    Yes, acquiring the major NYCC exclusives was the first thing on my agenda. No, the MLP Exclusives, of which there were two from IDW Publishing were not the first things on my list. The very first thing on my list was at Hallmark. I had a Christmas ornament to buy.

    But from this vantage point, I could make out in the distance exactly where I needed to go. I think you can see it from here too. A nice big cylinder with the letters I. D. W…

    For those of you not in the know, IDW Publishing over the course of six years (2008 – 2013 to be exact) published one of the greatest comic book series to have been released in the last twenty years. The series is called Locke & Key, and it was brought to life by writer Joe Hill, artist Gabriel Rodriguez, letterer Robbie Robbins, and colorist Jay Fotos.

    And yes, I would place it on the same pedestal as Watchman, Sandman, Maus, and Batman: The Dark Knight Returns. It is just that freaking good!

    Anyways, the biggest push IDW Publishing was making at NYCC was for an upcoming series which will be written and illustrated by Gabriel Rodriguez. The series is called Sword of Ages, and will tell the origin story of Excalibur. And it is not at all what you think it is.

    What does that have to do with My Little Pony? Nothing, aside from the booth being incredibly busy at all hours of the convention. I swear, I had my arms smacked into more than once while walking about the convention hall, and IDW was no exception to this.

    Now here is something IDW Publishing was the exception to! Now, would you believe this side wall on IDW's booth was the only indication there was a My Little Pony Movie out this weekend at the convention?

    Even if you don't, it's true. I scoured the whole exhibition floor and this really was the only advertisement for the film at the convention. Even WeLoveFine—which because of corporate accounting split the company into two businesses called WeLoveFine (for corporations looking to license out designs) and For Fans by Fan (for fans designing their own designs to be placed on officially licensed shirts)—wasn't pushing the My Little Pony side of their business.

    There really wasn't much pony at the convention as there had been in years past.

    However, there were exclusives. Let's go take a look at them shall we?

    Not only did NYCC debut the first trade paperback collection of My Little Pony: Legends of Magic, but it also had an exclusive cover for the convention!

    And not only that, but NYCC also had the HASCON Exclusive Cover for the My Little Pony: The Movie Prequel Trade Papaerback! It really was the best of both worlds!

    For those who weren't able to make it to HASCON to pick up the HASCON exclusive. But here, you could pick up both and no one would bat an eye.

    Though I'm pretty sure Bobby Curnow chuckled at least once when he saw me purchase 4 copies of the NYCC Exclusive and one copy of the HASCON Exclusive I had already bought before. And before anyone judges, two of those NYCC exclusives are gifts. No I am not telling you for whom they are for. Though if they are reading this post, they can probably figure out who they are.

    So let's go get a closer look at the exclusive My Little Pony Trades!

    …right after I stop and snap a few dozen pictures of Bumblebee. I have no idea who was in this cosplay, but I can say beyond all doubt that Hasbro had best find out and hire them for the next HASCON!

    Easily a 10 foot tall Cosplay. And while 8 feet short of his official height in the films, I think having a cosplayer of this size at the convention would be a great addition for the fans of the property.

    Now if only this person could make cosplays for Optimus Prime and Megatron. That would be amazing.

    Now we look at the trade paperbacks! Aren't they gorgeous! I cannot wait to put them on to my book shelves at home.

    But of course the best part of NYCC for the My Little Pony fan is Artist Alley!

    There is a very good reason why this lobby is so empty. It is very simple. The picture was taken at 9:45 AM, and Press/Pro Badge Holders were let into the Javits Center first. So that way you can get great shots like this to put up on your blog! Or official news site. Believe it or not, CBS, NBC, and ABC news all had reporters covering the biggest Pop Culture event in NYC.

    So, what is the best part of NYCC's Artist Alley? Well, bar none, this convention has for the past five years had the largest number of IDW My Little Pony Comic Artists/Writers of any convention on the planet. This is including My Little Pony Convention, which have never been able to get 10 of these people for one show! With 8 of them actually tabling at the con!

    You've got Katie Cook, Andy Price, Tony Fleecs, Agnes Garbowska, Thom Zahler, Jay Fosgitt, Amy Mebberson, Jeremy Whitley, Sara Richard, Bobby Curnow, and a surprise first for NYCC who shall be revealed later all at the con! For the My Little Pony Comic Book fan, this is the convention to be!

    Also, if you were looking for Tara Strong coverage you're not going to find it. The NYCC autograph area has strict NO POTOGRAPS/VIDEO TAPING rules in place. I can say Tara's Autograph line was the one of the longest for the hall, and always had at least an hour wait time to be able to meet her in person.

    Thankfully I BABSCon already gave me an opportunity to meet Tara, so I did not have to wait in that line.

    So with that, let's go explore the wonders of NYCC's Artist Alley!

    Right after I go take a look inside the Danger Boat from Amazon's new hit comedy series The Tick!

    Did you seriously think I only had one interest in my life? Please. I am a geek like everyone else. There is more to my life than just ponies. Not much more, but still more.

    And the first My Little Pony Comic Artist I ran into was Agnes Garbowska! Who was channeling a whole bunch of different hair styles at the convention this year! Since the last time I saw her, which was NYCC last year—which only feels like yesterday—Agnes has been hard at work drawing for the My Little Pony Comics and DC's Sueperhero girl Comics! Which hasn't left her with a whole bunch of time to do anything else. Which includes coloring her own comics.

    However she has been digitally coloring the covers she creates for MLP, which has allowed her to sharpen a new skill. And what's more, this means Heather Breckel has been coloring her work consistently for about a year now! Way to go Agnes and Heather! You two make a great team on your comics!

    Now the best part of the My Little Pony artist location at NYCC this year was they were right next to a Javits Center food stop. And Agnes was right across from it. This little food stop was the best secret of the convention, for there were NO LINES at it for the duration of the con! Of course, the fact the flow of the Foot Traffic leading into Artist Alley always went straight in front of it was probably the main reason why there was never a line there. It would just get swept away as attendees made their way into the depths of Artist Alley!

    Either that or the smell of burnt popcorn drove them away. Cause dear lord that smell was strong in that location. And I wished every time I walked through there the bunt popcorn smell would go away so the artists chained to their tables wouldn't have to smell it all day.

    So, right across from Agnes  was the always busy Katie Cook. NYCC organizers intentionally placed her in the corner of the Alley to give her a corner to place her NYCC Commission Line. Which generally lasted for the entirety of the day. So I wasn't able to talk to her much about her new Star Wars children's books. However she was promoting her new webcomic "Nothing Special" which had premiered three days before the con!

    The comic updates every Tuesday with a new chapter, and this comic will be Katie's main project for the foreseeable future. I wish her all the luck with her new creative endeavor! And I hope Katie will return to Ponies one day if inspiration strikes her to tell a story.

    Of course it wouldn't be NYCC without Andy Price. And of course he was sitting right next to Katie. And of course he was busy with his own list of convention commissions. However, he did have a cover in his portfolio which was a work in progress for an upcoming issue of MLP.

    When I looked at it, and asked him why it was a work in progress, and not labeled as finished art, he mentioned the piece still needs to be colored. Absolutely incredible work.

    He's also looking forward to his appearance at Equestria LA the weekend of November 17th. So for everyone who will be attending the show, be sure to visit him!

    And right across from Andy Price was Veteran MLP comic writer Thom Zahler. Thom had mentioned he was working on a couple of pitches he was going to send to Bobby Curnow for the MLP Comics in the near future.

    Aside from his MLP writing work, Thom has over the last year produced not one but two creator owned comics. The first is his soon to wrap up four issue mini-series "Time & Vine," which is about a Winery which produces a wines which allows the drinker to time travel. There's quite a bit more to the story than the narrative device, and tugs on the heartstrings in all the right ways. Trust me, you will not leave the story without crying at least twice by the time it is over.

    His other project is an ongoing webcomic called "Warning Label." The series asks the question of what life would be like if you had an actual warning label about all your faults which appears when you meet someone new in your life. I'm pretty sure you can see the comedic potential in the series from the set up alone.

    And next to Thom Zahler was the truly outrageous Sara Richard! Who we last saw at Boston Comic Con back in August. So what has Sara been working on since we last checked in on her?

    Why finishing up her work on "The Ghost, The Owl," which is scheduled to make its debut at C2E2 next year! That's right, Sara completed all the interior pages for her creator owned collaboration with Franco. And aside from her work with owls, Sara has been creating new comic covers for IDWs My Little Pony comics.

    In fact, she had two to take care of after the NYCC wrapped. I for one am certainly looking forward to seeing what she comes up with for those covers.

    The man, the myth, the fleece blanket.

    Well I still get a chuckle out of Fleecs on a Fleece. Anyways, Tony has been working on nothing but ponies, and specifically issues 7 – 12 of Legends of Magic!

    You know, the story arc which ties into the season seven finale. Which of course we have all been good boys and girls and haven't watched leaked episodes and instead are waiting patiently for the episodes US Premieres on October 28th. Or at least I am. So no spoilers!

    Issues 7 & 8 were completely colored by Heather Breckel by NYCC, and Tony was going to get right back to work on the next few issues as soon as he got back from the convention. However, in an exclusive scoop, his editor from Little, Brown and Company stopped by to let him know he they were going to bring him back for some more work. The specific work was not something mentioned outloud, but considering Tony has been illustrating the covers for the Beyond Equestria series of MLP books, I think it wouldn't be hard to guess.

    In any case, I look forward to seeing Tony's work in the future!

    It was at this point I ran into a surprise My Little Pony guest! Namely MLP Comic writer Ted Anderson! This was the first time I had actually met Ted in person, I had interviewed him a couple of times before for Equestria Daily, so this was a real treat!

    He has a creator owned book coming out in 2018. Details are mum on it for the moment, but he is so looking forward to when it releases and he can talk all about it.

    And it turns out there was a bit of a goof in the Trade Paperback release of the My Little Pony: The Movie Prequel. Jeremy Whitley was miscredited as the writer for the series in the final print publication instead of Ted. Which while disappointing, Ted was a good sport about. Especially when I asked him to sign my copy, and requested he scratch out Jeremy's name and replace it with his own. Ted, Tony, and I got a good chuckle out of this little accident.

    Ted had to end off to meet up with a few more professionals in artist alley. Which was a good thing in my case, because another MLP Comic writer showed up shortly after he left.

    Jeremy Whitley has been an extremely busy boy since I last saw him at BronyCon 2016. He's written several comics for Marvel (including the critically acclaimed The Unstoppable Wasp, which everyone should buy right now), has scripted out to volume 12 of Princless (volume 6 will be available later this year), is about to launch the second year of Raven: the Pirate Princess (which had it's debut issue premiere at NYCC with an exclusive cover), has written twelve issues of Legends of Magic, and still has made the time to be an excellent father to his two little girls.

    Yes he really is a god of thunder. Which is appropriate since he has also written the six issue digital first mini-series Thor and Hulk: Champions of the Universe! And if you ever needed a reason to read Marvel comics, which I know has been hard because of a certain wide encompassing crossover event starring Captain Hydra, the fact Jeremy has peppered this mini-series featuring the Strongest There Is with The God of Thunder with non-stop jokes has made it one of the funniest comics being released today.

    Seriously he made the funniest direct reference to Scrooge McDuck that I have ever seen in issue 3 of the series. I wouldn't be surprised at all if by the end of this series he's made at least one if not two references to his My Little Pony comic work.

    And speaking of My Little Pony comic work, there's one more artist who has worked on the book which I needed to catch up with. Who for some reason didn't have their table with the rest of the MLP Comic crew.

    I am of course talking about Jay Fosgitt! Who has been keeping incredible busy at BOOM! with his new Bodie Troll graphic novel (scheduled for release on March 6th, 2018). Jay had to step away from working on My Little Pony so he could focus on telling the story of the most adorable troll who has ever lived. Which was a task he completed right before heading down to NYCC!

    Huh. Sara Richard completed her book before NYCC too. And Tony turned in a book before NYCC. Andy did the same. As did Agnes. It's almost as if completing a comic before NYCC is something every comic artist does to get ahead of the deadlines, and focus exclusively on their commission list for the con.

    Anyways, Jay was a busy beaver all weekend long with sketch commissions. There really wasn't a time I walked by when he didn't have someone at his table paying for a commission.

    And speaking of sketch commissions, I did happen to get a couple of them from the convention. For those of you who have been following me for the last few years, you'll know I've been keeping a sketch book in the size of a comic book where I've been asking each and every single IDW My Little Pony Comic Artist I've met in person if they could either draw themselves as a pony, or—if to the best of my knowledge the person cannot draw—ask the artist who has drawn their MLP comic issues the most of draw them as a pony.

    Which is exactly what I did with Amy Mebberson.

    For Amy, I commissioned her for two pencil sketches. The first one, one the left, of Heather Nuhfer as her OC pony, and the second, the one on the right, of Amy Mebberson as herself as a pony. I thanked Amy for taking this commission and helping me complete my quest to fill this book.

    Hopefully I'll be able to meet Heather in person soon so she can sign her page. From there, I only have two artists left who I want to meet to fill up this book. It's been one heck of a journey meeting everyone on the book. Perhaps once I have filled it, I'll share it.

    And for those wondering, Amy Mebberson has been keeping herself occupied by working on the Disney Princess comics at Joe Books! Way to go Amy!

    Now, in a first for New York Comic Con, there were a couple of movies premiering during the weekend which I'm certain a decent number of their attendees would be interested in seeing. The first, and the box office winner, was Blade Runner 2049. The second was My Little Pony: The Movie. Since I wasn't going to get a chance to see the movie opening weekend outside of New York City, I made sure to attend the nearest movie theater to both the Javits Center and Penn Station.

    Which was the AMC Loews 34th Street. Seriously, I walk by this movie theater every single time I walk to the Javits center from Penn Station. I knew exactly which movie theater I was going to see the movie at. So I made sure to leave the con a little early on Friday so I could see the film.

    My anticipation was growing when I saw the movie poster hanging above the ticket counter. Thankfully I had already bought the ticket using T-Mobile's $2.00 promotion, so I was good to go there. I just had to make my way to the theater to enjoy the show.

    Which is exactly what I did in theater 3 of the AMC.

    Overall spending a weekend at NYCC was a blast. And being able to see the movie on opening weekend there was icing on the cake. Hopefully there will be more MLP Stuff to cover at NYCC 2018. But until the next time, this has been The Illustrious Q.

    For archival purposes, you can find the IntenseDebate comments for this post (if any) archived over here