Have you ever had a feeling after a vacation that you have no interest in going home, or even leaving where you are? That you can’t accept that it’s over, and it’s crushing you that you have to now go back to the real world, to your job, or your school, and you’re just not ready yet? Every year, it’s an experience I have and that a lot of people have once New York Comic Con comes to a close on Sunday. There’s such a thing as post-con depression, and if you love these events, you’ll experience it.
NYCC goes by like a blur. Four days (or less, depending on the pass you buy), and so much happening at once that it’s easy to think back a day later and think it was a daydream or something. The memories that aren’t photographed or filmed feel like they didn’t happen, but you have bags of free stuff and stuff you bought, so they had to have happened. It goes by way too quickly and before you can really, totally, 100% savor the event and the atmosphere and all of it, the rug’s pulled out and you’re walking for your train.
That’s how I feel, at least. Don’t know about you.
Sunday was the final day of 2014’s edition of New York Comic Con. There wasn’t an enormous amount of stuff happening Sunday, but we were able to attend the Cartoon Network CN Anything panel this afternoon. It was a lot of fun, and there were some nice little highlights and cute stuff to enjoy.
The panel pretty much covered the entire current CN primetime comedy lineup. Represented were Adventure Time, Regular Show, Uncle Grandpa, Clarence, and the brilliant upcoming miniseries Over The Garden Wall. The panel took up the entire Empire Stage with multiple representatives for each show: Pete Browngardt and Tom Kenny repped Uncle Grandpa; Kent Osborne, Jessica DiCicco, and Jeremy Shada were there for Adventure Time; Rebecca Sugar, Estelle, and Zach Callison for Steven Universe; Paula Spence and Sam Marin for Regular Show; Spencer Rothbell (and also Tom Kenny again) for Clarence; and finally, Elijah Wood, Patrick McHale, and Collin Dean for Over The Garden Wall. It was a full table.
The Uncle Grandpa segment began the panel with a video from Adam Devine of Workaholics (and also Pizza Steve in the show) apologizing for not being there, but telling the room the big secret that he voices every character on every show. It was a pretty funny bit, and had Devine poorly do voices of various CN characters. Browngardt said that season 2 of the show is in development and that they have a Christmas episode on the way that’ll reveal a big secret about Uncle Grandpa. He said something about him meeting someone, and a relationship with them. No real details, so if you’re into the sure, be sure to watch.
Browngardt also said that he had contacted a variety of animators to create and direct Uncle Grandpa shorts in their own style and their own animation. We were treated to one from Michael M. Wartella. There should be a bunch on the way.
Next, Adventure Time‘s members talked about the upcoming season 7. “Ghost Fly,” an episode we were able to see during the network’s screening on Saturday, is the show’s Halloween episode and should be the first new episode back from the show’s break. Osborne showed off some images of drawings given to people working on the show that were used as a process the show’s staff has: a drawing is given to someone, who then uses that simple sketch to write out an entire episode pitch. Some never made it (like the one we saw with a huge cyborg Susan Strong, one where Princess Bubblegum has been turned into a horse and Marceline is simply ridiculing her instead of helping, and one that asks who the buffest man is, with a super-muscled Ice King and Finn), but some did, including the upcoming “Jake The Brick” which has a pretty self-explanatory name.
Another clip we saw from an upcoming episode has Finn’s ghost body floating around as he sleeps on the astral plane, and stumbling upon a party in the Cloud Kingdom:
Steven Universe wound up in focus next. Rebecca Sugar and Estelle had a song together on-stage with Sugar on the ukulele and Estelle singing. It was beautiful, and if you haven’t heard Estelle’s music, you should probably go give it a try. Sugar said that they’re finishing airing season 1 and season 2 is currently in development.
A lot of talk during this segment about music, and it only fit that the clip was a new song from the show. The episode is one that focuses on Lars and Sadie, the employees of the donut store in Beach City. They wind up stranded on an island with Steven, and have to fend for themselves. The two are fan favorites ever since the episode “Joking Victim” and the stuff that happens in the clip got some huge approval from the fans:
The Regular Show segment was up next and was pretty funny as Sam Marin had a skit prepared that starred Muscle Man, Pops, and Benson visiting New York City for the first time and interacting with moderator Eric Bauza. Benson is distraught at the shape of his park after seeing Central Park in the bit. We saw a little more of the upcoming Halloween special, pretty much confirming that what was shown at the screening on Saturday was only half of the episode. The clip includes part of a story that has something I’ve always loved about the show: ridiculous stories that incorporate mundane things from days past (mostly the 80’s and 90’s) in a story where Rigby decides to screen a supernatural tape that is supposed to be the scariest ever made:
Clarence‘s segment came next with head of story Spencer Rothbell. Rothbell will be taking over duties as Clarence’s voice actor from now on after show creator Skyler Page was fired from Cartoon Network. The show rolls on, though, and is one of the funniest shows the network has going. We saw a series of clips from episodes like “Neighborhood Grill” where Clarence sees his teacher outside of school for the first time, “Belson’s Sleepover,” in which Belson has a sleepover, and “The Forgotten” which has Clarence walk home for the first time with a friend after they were left behind at school. The “Neighborhood Grill” clip:
The other clips included one where Clarence was dressed in Belson’s mother’s clothing for a re-enactment of a horror movie scene, and one with an unnamed friend of Clarence’s and Clarence himself lost and in the sewer, which was a wonderful homage to classic sitcoms and even included a laugh track to make the gag just perfect.
Over The Garden Wall wrapped up the festivities. The creator, Patrick McHale, said that the show is a miniseries because “it makes sense.” There was a story they wanted to tell, and it only worked how they wanted it in a miniseries format. The show won’t be so much a comedy like most other current CN shows, but much more serious (and from everything I’ve seen so far, it does that and it is amazing at it). There’s still the comedy and comedic relief in younger brother Greg and some of the other things that happen, but it seems to be a bit creepy, a bit serious, and one amazing TV show (I can not stop praising this show).
We saw one clip, but Cartoon Network has uploaded two to YouTube. It’s possible we didn’t get to see one because the panel ran out of time, but it’s absolutely something to watch. The 6-minute clip is what we missed, and it’s wonderful and gives you a little taste of what this entire experience will be like come its premiere on November 3rd. The other is a short glimpse. Watch these.
I saw an episode of this show on Saturday and I can not stress enough how much people must see it. If you have any interest in animation and good story and good acting and beautiful art, you need to watch this show. It isn’t even going to be that long– 10 episodes across 5 nights– so you have zero excuse. November 3rd. Come on.
More than anything, this panel was a celebration of these shows and a little new-ness thrown in. That’s fine, too. They threw in some games in between segments, and one girl during the Q&A brought a ukulele and played a medley of songs from CN shows. It was a lot of fun.
But, again, the entire convention was a lot of fun. I had gripes, of course (rules need to be made for photos of people in costume. I understand the interest in taking group photos of cosplayers, I really do, but when you block an entire aisle to photograph that one pretty good Sailor Moon group cosplay, you make an already congested area a living hell), but they were few in comparison to the fun I had. Every year, I love these four days with a passion.
It’s expensive, sure, and getting dinner afterwards is an exercise in futility with local establishments from the center to Madison Square Garden, but nothing beats four days in a convention center with thousands of other people who enjoy the stuff you enjoy. Nothing beats sitting in panels with actors and artists you admire and enjoy. Nothing beats getting free stuff, or buying stuff you won’t find elsewhere. Nothing beats the cheer in the newly-christened Queue Hall that erupts when some idiot tries to run underneath the bars and knocks one down. Nothing beats the atmosphere of the convention. Nothing.
Nothing beats New York Comic Con.
ReedPOP put on another great show, like they’ve done each year I’ve been there. They make this thing work, and it’s a thing I love dearly, and so I love them just as much.
New York Comic Con returns in 2015 on October 8-11. If you were there this year, I hope to see you again next year. I also hope a bunch of you got my Mii via StreetPass. Maybe it sent you here! If you weren’t there, come! It’s great.
Goodnight, NYCC. See you in a year.