ComicCon 2021 Credit: Jasmine Armstrong photo

Oh my God, it’s New York Comic Con 2021 and I’m HERE! It’s back and it’s grand and glorious. It’s costumes galore, creativity off—the–chain from TV show Sci-Fi characters, animation characters, comic and cartoon characters and it’s FAMILY, it’s HOME! Walking around in the Javits Center on W 35th Street and 11th Avenue all one could see was excited, happy FAMILIES having a great time, countless numbers dressed in the elaborate costumes of their favorite characters—Spiderman, Batman, Zelda, Link, Tina from “Bob’s Burgers”, Rick, Morty, Doc Oct, Bakugo and Izuku from my hero academia, Isabelle, Garnet from Steven Universe, the Joker, the Riddler, Jessie and James from Pokémon, Sonic The Hedgehog, Harlequin, Hulk Hogan, Poison Ivy, Star Wars characters, and Attack on Titan characters. There were people dressed from head to toe as characters from comic books including Marvel and DC Comics, video games, cartoons, cable television shows, movies—Ironman, Black Panther, SpongeBob, Game of Thrones, The Mask, Chucky, Wanda from WandaVision, and a bunch of Lokis as well! Too many characters to name.

Comic Con 2021 was full of fantastic panels, interactive opportunities and more chances to play video games and compete against other Con participants than you could believe. There were screenings for new television series like “Chucky” and the world premiere of the first episode. You could go for the scary or the family, Sci-Fi realm with panels like the packed room that came to experience “Star Trek: Discovery Cast and Producer Panel.” The show, now in its 4th season on Paramount+ was held at the brand new and gigantic Empire Stage. I’ve never been in a room that size and what was amazing is that there wasn’t an empty seat in the house! What’s also astonishing is the fans got to be in the room and hear a Q&A with the cast from the show, amusingly moderated by Kara Horne, the “BlerdGurl”. By the way, the show stars a Black female as the Captain—you heard me right—Sonequa Martin-Green plays Captain Michael Burnham. Martin-Green shared that “I am the first Black female Captain on Star Trek. Being in the Captain’s chair and cemented in history—Oh, God is good!” Fans were treated to a trailer for the show and it was GREAT, EXCITING and EXPLOSIVE! The trailer showed the words “Her Time Is Now!” and those words were so appropriate! This new season of “Star Trek Discovery” continues to model the inclusivity of the show as there are gay and transgender characters represented! Other members of the cast included of “Rent” fame, Wilson Cruz who plays Dr. Hugh Culber, who in a certain way represents a Transgender character. A character who will definitely be a transgender character this season is Gray. Another from “Rent,” star Anthony Rapp, plays the Lieutenant Paul Stamets, the science officer. While the cast talked about the challenge they face this season, which threatens to destroy the universe–they also talked about how the show reflects the things happening in the world. Cruz said, “We’re going to be okay, but we have to first admit that we’re not. We never talk about post traumatic growth. If we’re going to talk about racism and a pandemic, we first have to admit the truth, before we can grow.” Other cast members in the panel included African American David Ajala, who plays Cleveland; Doug Jones who play Saru, Mary Wiseman will plays Captain Tilly, Blue Del Barrio who plays Adira; and showrunner Michelle Paradise. Talking about the transitions that her character has experienced, Martin-Green shared, “This woman falls forward, makes mistakes, matures–I love it!” She also shared that performing a character with honor makes you realize the people out there who do honorable work, like the essential workers!

At Comic Con panels were definitely in abundance for every pallet. There was the amazing panel for the new My Hero Academia Movie: World Heroes’ Mission that will be coming out in theaters. Not only were there some of the voice actors from the movie and the series, including voice actors Cristina Vee, and Lisa Ortiz (VA for Burnin), they also showed the fans a sneak peek of the movie! It was such an awesome panel filled with many exclusive goodies! For all My Hero Academia fans, grab your tickets and go see it in theatres starting October 29th!

There was also a marvelous panel on Demon Slayer: Mugen Train hosted by Cheyenne Ewulu. The panel featured the people who voice these beloved characters: Abby Trott as Nezuko; Aleks Le and Zenitsu; Landon McDonald as Enmu and Lucien Dodge as Akaza. Three of the stars responded with video messages—Zack Aguilar who plays Tanjiro; Bruce Papernbrak who play Inosuke; and Mark Whitten who plays Rengoku. The clips that were shown from the movie were absolutely tremendous! One of them was this incredible dream sequence that proved to be a thrill for the show’s fans and even those who were not familiar with the program. Though I must say that most of the people in the room were diehard fans who were dressed in cosplay—men, women, and children! The cast shared how they came to be with the show and how they developed their character’s voices. It was truly interesting. At the Funimation booth fans could grab a seat and relax while listening to a DJ play music from ole’ school and present day animes theme songs. Fans could be seen standing around and bouncing to the beats.

Even with four days, there are too many places to visit, be amazed by and too many vendors to see to truly experience all of Comic Con 2021. There were thousands of people who flew there to either experience all the many products, characters, attractions, panels and just to play video games with an enormous bunch of strangers, something we all haven’t had a chance to do for 18 months! Vendors were abundant with t-shirts, hoodies, jackets, rare comic books, character drawings, sketches, paintings, stuffed animals, statues, jewelry, posters, pins, light sabers, horns, crowns, full costumes, and Funko Pops for an enormous variety to characters from all genres. For those ready to scream there was a Chucky stolen Ice Cream Truck interactive experience that people lined up for and stood for hours, just to get a chance to go inside. At a “Chucky” television series panel, fans got to see a screening of the series which begins this week. The screening and panel had everyone “cut-up”—sorry! The panel was hosted by Jennifer Tilly, the VA for Tiffany, interviewing Don Mancini, the creator of the chucky tv series! The fans at comic con got a sweet surprise when Zackary Arthur, the actor playing Jack Webber, popped up in person with a question during the fan Q&A. It was absolutely mesmerizing and made everyone anticipate the upcoming series.

“Star Trek: Progidy,” a new animated feature also held a panel and had a screening of this new Paramount+ and Nickelodeon show. Dawnn Lewis, who is also a Starship Captain the Star Trek Lower Decks show moderated the panel. The show stars young Black actor Brett Gray as Dal and Kate Mulgrew is back with the franchise as the Hologram of Captain Janeway. The series looks absolutely adorable and again, has an inclusive demeanor with the diversity of its characters!

For 18 months we haven’t been able to gather together. Families have been cooped up in their homes and not been able to free safe, free and the sense of community that can only come from a major gathering like Comic Con is. Thank God things are better and it came back to bring that special JOY into all of our lives. Comic Con 2021, the only sad part was 5pm on Sunday, October 10, when it was over! Family, friends, fans–I CAN’T WAIT until next year! See you there!

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