New York Comic-Con 2018: ‘Gods,’ ‘Good,’ and Goldberg

by Adrienne McIlvaine (@mizocty)

It takes a lot to get me to drag myself to Midtown at 10am on a Saturday morning.

Specifically, it takes a New York Comic-Con panel on the upcoming Amazon series Good Omens, adapted from the Neil Gaiman and Terry Pratchett novel about an angel and a demon that team up to avert the Apocalypse. Once we were ushered into the Hulu Theater at Madison Square Garden, a few thousand fans and I sang Queen karaoke, gasped as the surprise moderator turned out to be Whoopi Goldberg, and eagerly hung onto every word from Neil and series stars Michael Sheen, David Tennant, Miranda Richardson, and Jon Hamm.

That’s NYCC in a nutshell — and one reason why the annual event keeps on growing.

(L-R) Patton Oswalt, Neil Gaiman, Crispin Glover, Ricky Whittle, Bruce Langley, Emily Browning, Mousa Kraish, Pablo Schreiber, Omid Abtahi, Yetide Badaki, Demore Barnes and Orlando Jones appear onstage as Starz brings American Gods to NYCC 2018 at Hammerstein Ballroom. (Photo by Michael Kovac/Getty Images for Starz Entertainment LLC. )

When it debuted in 2006, NYCC took place in one hall in the Jacob K. Javits Center and sold about 10,000 tickets before being shut down for overcrowding. This year, ReedPop, the convention’s organizer, sold an estimated 250,000 tickets for the four-day event (which generated almost $100 million for the city) and has expanded beyond the Javits Center to nearby locations like Madison Square Garden, where they hold marquee events for The Walking Dead and Dr. Who; and Hammerstein Ballroom, where I spent a delightful afternoon listening to Christopher Meloni explain why Happy!, his NC-17 Syfy show based on the comic about a cop with an imaginary friend (voiced by Patton Oswalt), is one of his favorite projects he’s ever worked on.

The heart and soul of Comic-Con is how it creates a space for fans and cosplayers to explore and interact with the comics and creators they love. I spent hours browsing through rows of independent publishers and artists, marveling at the diversity of voices and talent while reminding myself I still had bills to pay. There were detailed and engaging activations like a Harry Potter listening station, sponsored by Audible, and a fully-functioning diner modeled after American Gods. Good Omens had an incredibly immersive space that took visitors to either Heaven or Hell; it was inexplicably shut down while I was waiting in line (later I learned that Neil Gaiman himself made a surprise appearance). One of the most clever was The Good Place, which offered fans a photo with a giant fork (fork yeah!) and an exclusive pin.

And make no mistake, exclusive is the name of the game here. From limited edition Funko Pops to booth swag, half the fun of NYCC is knowing you’re seeing things no one else can. I caught the world premiere screening of the first episode of Deadly Class, a new Syfy series based on the comic series by Rick Remender that’s like an ‘80s Hogwarts for criminal teens set to The Cure; and the pilot episode of What We Do in the Shadows, the FX adaptation of Jemaine Clement and Taika Waititi’s cult 2014 vampire mockumentary.

There’s a feeling of camaraderie, of being surrounded by people who share your excitement, that simply can’t be beat. It’s what makes New York Comic-Con the most wonderful time of the year.

About The Author

Hiko Mitsuzuka
Entertainment Editor-at-Large

Hiko Mitsuzuka is a self-proclaimed pop culture connoisseur who resides in L.A. and obsesses over songs months before everyone else obsesses over them. He has worked in TV and commercial production ever since he left his native New York in the early 00s. He has worked at the world-renowned Anonymous Content and Carsey-Werner and freelanced as a treatment writer for award-winning directors as well as a contributing writer for 'Instinct.' In addition to writing about entertainment and travel for 'Bello,' Hiko can currently be seen in the roles of Manager of Creative Planning at Stun Creative (PromaxBDA's North America Agency of the Year, 2013, 2014, 2017), film critic for, and contributor for The Huffington Post. He's also currently working on the novel 'Slasher Movie Girl.' His obsessions include quoting old sitcom dialogue and stalking people on Instagram. His vices include chocolate chip cookies and movie theater popcorn. Tweet him @TheFirstEcho.

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