Saturday is a beast. This is the day everyone decides to attend, if they’re attending at least one day. The biggest panels end up on Saturdays, and the biggest crowds do too. Good luck walking through much of the show floor on a Saturday, the traffic jams are bound to infuriate you. We stuck to the panel halls this year on this Saturday. We hit the floor for about ten minutes to make a couple of purchases, and it was insane– I’m glad we pretty much explored the entire floor on Thursday and Friday.
The panels this year have been so good, and Saturday made sure the hits kept comin’. Cartoon Network showed off some upcoming Halloween themed episodes of Adventure Time, Regular Show, and Uncle Grandpa, plus, they premiered the second episode of the upcoming 10 part miniseries, Over The Garden Wall. Adult Swim followed that with a block of panels for Black Dynamite, The Heart, She Holler, and, the big, big one: Mike Tyson Mysteries. It was one hell of a day.
Cartoon Network’s Halloween screening and costume contest kicked off with the contest after a little delay because of some technical difficulties (an Uncle Grandpa cosplayer wound up winning the whole thing, beating out Ice King and Lemongrab). Once we began the shows, we saw Adventure Time‘s Halloween episode, in which Jake kills a fly that tries to eat some soup he made for himself to calm himself down. The fly then haunts Finn and Jake’s house in an attempt to finish the unfinished business he had.
Regular Show continues its tradition of Simpsons “Treehouse of Horror”-esque episodes with separate scary stories starring the cast. Everyone decides one Halloween that the scary stories are played out, and that they should do something else and land on making Muscle Man actually let everyone meet his mom for once. He concedes under the condition that they tell scary stories on the way. Pops tells a story of a hole with teeth in the park that every year, the group sacrifices someone to, because every year since a dense fog appeared, it has kept them alive. Benson tells a story that begins in the middle of Mordecai and Rigby’s funeral service, and continues when the duo haunt the house and the only way to stop it is to fire them once and for all. The episode ends sort of abruptly, so I think what we got to see was maybe not the entire episode– the Regular Show Halloween specials tend to be a half hour, and this was not.
Uncle Grandpa had an episode where some teens tell Uncle Grandpa that despite him being super weird, that he can’t scare them– they’ve seen all there is to see. So, he tries his best, and it’s a disaster that includes a giant brain that feeds on fear.
The Over The Garden Wall premiere was what really made me want to attend this panel. The 10-episode miniseries premieres on Cartoon Network November 3rd at 7PM and will run over five consecutive nights, and stars Elijah Wood. And, oh my god, is it gorgeous. I was stunned right away by how beautiful the show was. The backgrounds, the animation, character models, everything is visually amazing. The kicker there is: it isn’t just visually amazing, it’s just plain amazing. We saw an episode where the two main characters, Wirt and Greg, on their quest back home, stumbling upon a mysterious town in a search for civilization. The town is a dead zone. Nobody is around for miles, but they eventually stumble upon a barn where a group of beings with pumpkin heads and straw bodies are having a cult-like harvest ceremony. The two boys assume they’re all human, but they aren’t, and they refuse to let Wirt and Greg leave the town. This could be your new favorite show. It’s beautiful, it’s amazing musically, the story is great, the acting is brilliant. Over The Garden Wall is going to receive praise, and it deserves every ounce it gets and then some. This is a show you should absolutely not miss. Also, a comic is on its way from KaBOOM! on November 5th to coincide with the show. Watch out for that. We got a preview zine for the comic, and it looks to be as great as the show.
A couple of hours later, Black Dynamite kicked off the Adult Swim panel block. Comedian Hugh Moore moderated a panel of Carl Jones, Michael Jai White, Tommy Davidson, Kym Whitley, Byron Minns, and producer Scott Fuseler. We were treated to an episode from the upcoming second season. In it, on the first-ever first day of Black History Month, everyone in town gathers in Roscoe’s to celebrate and watch the premiere of the old miniseries Roots and they’re all shocked to find out about black slavery somehow for the first time. In response, led by Al Sharpton, they decide to start enslaving white people and selling them like they did to black men and women during the days of slavery. Black Dynamite spends a lot of time figuring out whether or not it’s a good idea or a bad one.
Carl Jones talked about what the show has coming in the second season, including some guest stars that include Samuel L. Jackson, and Melvin Van Peebles. Scott and Carl talked about the writers’ room process, and included that someone had pitched simply “black Jaws” and it wound up in the second season. Michael Jai White said that the cast is currently in development for a new live-action film. He said that Black Dynamite, the film, was part one of what is supposed to be a three part series of blaxploitation films, and that the next will be more in the horror genre. So look for that.
The show returns October 18th at 10:30 PM.
The Heart, She Holler also gave us the gift of a full episode before the panel. In it, Hambrosia and Meemaw have a ton of bizarre interaction about realities, and Hambrosia has a child via surrogate mother Hurshe, but Hurshe decides to keep what ends up being a bizarre giant maggot baby. Meanwhile, Hurlan hunts down some bubbles of crack he made that got away so he can have some confidence. It gets weird, but that isn’t new for this show.
The amazing Jon Glaser moderated the panel, and ushered in the cast by playing the America’s Funniest Home Videos theme song through his phone into the podium microphone. PFFR’s John Lee and Alyson Levy, Amy Sedaris, Scott Adsit, and Judith Roberts were on the panel to discuss season two. Adsit has taken over the role of Sheriff this season from Joseph Sikora, making him the second original cast member to leave. It was a hilarious panel thanks in big part to Jon Glaser, who joked and poked fun at fans, and had the entire panel audience compete with cheers from other panels next door with bigger cheers of their own– one of the cheers was literally “bigger cheer!” (he also had everyone yell “rock hard sweat” at one point because of something that was said during the panel, and told everyone to “shhh” the next panel that cheered loud enough to hear). It was a lot of fun, though a bit sparse with news, but the show will return December 1st through the 10th, with an episode each night at 12:30 AM.
Finally, Mike Tyson Mysteries took the room, and hoo boy, this panel was a madhouse. When Mike Tyson made it to the panel room, he made it with a massive entourage of security guards and more. When Q&A opened up, people literally sprinted to the microphones, doing a bit of shoving on the way. I’ve never seen anything like it at NYCC before. He was on the panel with Hugh Davidson, and Rachel Ramras, and he understandably stole the show. We saw a new trailer with new content, all of which just as amazing as the stuff in the first trailer Adult Swim released in August. Larry Whitmore of The Daily Show With Jon Stewart moderated the panel, and mentioned that it was an incredible experience for him (though he did have to tell the Q&A lines after three questions about photos with Mike that they couldn’t ask for that or an autograph).
Tyson did most of the talking during the panel, and he was hilarious and at sometimes a little serious. When asked if he liked Scooby-Doo as a younger person, he responded simply that he was “aware of Scooby,” and if you’ve seen the first trailer and remember the clip in which he talks about beating up a Chupacabra, please know: he can’t actually pronounce the word, just like in the clip. That’s all real. When asked to compare boxing to voice acting, he said he approaches it similarly, because with both, he has a fear of failing, and doesn’t want that to happen. A man that came from Palestine just for the opportunity to speak to Mike asked him what message he wanted to convey through entertainment, and it was simple: don’t give up, and find your purpose.
Hugh stated that Tyson is a great person to work with and direct, because in acting, he’s without ego and will pretty much do what he has to. How the show came about is apparently a mystery to everyone, as it was being worked on before it even existed, really. Mike did a record and then asked to redo it to add more enthusiasm.
The first season sounds like it’s going to be amazing. One episode finds Mike has become an accidental serial killer of astronauts. In another, Mike, Yung Hee, Pigeon, and the Marquess of Queensbury find a man murdered, and decide to solve it, bypassing the police. Hugh said it’s more than anything the mystery of why they haven’t just called the police. In some others, Mike helps a couple find their dream home (it’s a mystery!), and helps Cormac McCarthy finish a novel. The pilot episode will be the episode that has Mike fighting a Chupacabra.
Mike Tyson Mysteries will premiere October 27th at 10:30 PM and it will no doubt rule.
Saturday was a big day. The biggest, probably, and now that it’s over, we have one more day to go and our time at the Javits Center will be done with for 2014. It went quick! Cartoon Network will be holding a panel on Sunday about pretty much all of their shows, and then the entire convention will be over with by 5:00 PM. It’s sad, but it’ll be back in a year.
For now, if you’re there, savor that last day. Get those things from the floor and artist alley you said you’d come back to. Scavenge free stuff. See a panel. Take some photos of some cool cosplayers. Take it all in as best you possibly can. If you’re not, keep watching here for news and a wrap-up (and get yourself to the con next October, you’ll love it).