New York Comic Con 2017 – Sunday, October 8

Sunday, October 8

My sister decided to splurge for Mark Hamill’s autograph. (The price went up since he was last at NYCC in 2011). So in the morning she queued for his signing. Mark had the photo ops first, but the queues get really long real fast.

I left her briefly to go to Rob Reid’s signing at Random House’s booth.

I purchased After On. It was on sale and I got an ARC for Daughters of the Storm by Kim Wilkins with the purchase. Rob’s first book, Year Zero, was a giveaway. He signed both copies.

I was wearing my new Jurassic Park shirt and Rob was wearing a shirt with the Jurassic Park logo, only his said “Golden Gate Park”.

Rob remembered me from the Deleted Scenes panel on Friday. (I was sitting in the front row.) I said the David Hasselhoff scene was hysterical and that really sold the book for me, and too bad it wasn’t in the book (After On). But he said that the character who writes the reviews is in there and all the reviews are online.

I pointed out our sort-of matching shirts and asked for a photo.

Then he said that he hopes I like After On. I read the first page while waiting on the queue. It’s funny.

Then I went back to wait on Mark’s queue. It was a long wait. First he had his photo ops. Then he had a break and I assume had some lunch (it’s only fair). So of course the autograph session stared like more than an hour late. The first people on the queue were cosplaying as Beauty and the (human) Beast. They were spectacular. Wish I had asked for a photo. Hundreds of others were asking.

Finally we get up to talk to Mark. Since my sister was the one actually getting her photo with him signed I just observed.

Mark saw their photo and said, “Look how cute you are.” I think my sister was too nervous and I had to tell her afterward that he said this. She was concentrating on the whole speech she prepared.
She told him that we were at his conversation last night. Mark had said how when he got the script for “The Last Jedi” he was surprised/disappointed about how Luke had lost his optimism.
My sister said she agreed with that and added that Luke also lost his Original Trilogy persistence to save Ben/Kylo.
Mark responded that he “has to be careful” of what he says, but it’s not a long wait. It will be answered before we know it.
We said we’d be there opening weekend and thanked him.

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New York Comic Con 2017- Saturday, October 7

Saturday, October 7

I would have really liked to see this panel, even though it was $45 and a separate ticketed event. You didn’t have to have a NYCC badge to attend. However, I already had bought my photo op with Mark Hamill that morning.

From a Certain Point of View: A Star Wars 40th Anniversary Celebration
October 07, 2017, 11:00 AM – 12:30 PM
Hudson Mercantile – 500 W 36th St

In 1977 a princess, a farm boy, a scoundrel, a Wookiee, two droids, an old wizard, and a man in black set us off on a galaxy full of adventure. Forty years later, join an all-star panel of authors to celebrate the legacy of Star Wars with a new anthology that retells the story of Star Wars through the eyes of the background characters and creatures that bring the galaxy to life.

Moderated by Lucasfilm Story Group member Pablo Hidalgo, this unique panel promises fun new insights into the characters and scenes of the film that you think you know, and features a rotating cast of more than a dozen Star Wars authors and contributors, including but not limited to: Ben Acker, Pierce Brown, Adam Christopher, Zoraida Cordova, Delilah Dawson, Jason Fry, Kieron Gillen, Claudia Gray, EK Johnston, Mur Lafferty, John Jackson Miller, Daniel José Older, Mallory Ortberg, Beth Revis, Cavan Scott, Charles Soule, Marc Thompson, Elizabeth Wein, and Chuck Wendig.

A ticket to this not to be missed event includes a New York Comic Con exclusive edition of From a Certain Point of View: A Star Wars 40th Anniversary Celebration, pre-signed by over a dozen of the contributing authors. This edition is extremely limited with only 1,000 copies in print.

Yay for youtube though. The panel is up and it is so funny.

My photo with Mark Hamill came out really nice. My sister’s photo is so cute. Mark is touching her chin, like he’s lifting it up with the tip of his fingers. She was so giddy about it.

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New York Comic Con 2017 – Friday, October 6

Friday, October 6
I had to work in the early part of the day so I missed:

The World of Philip K. Dick – The Man in the High Castle and Philip K. Dick’s Electric Dreams
October 06, 2017, 10:30 AM – 11:30 AM, Hammerstein Ballroom – 311 W 34th St

Amazon Prime Video presents a journey into the works of legendary author and sci-fi visionary, Philip K. Dick. This engaging panel, moderated by Deadline Hollywood Senior Editor Dominic Patten, will focus on two Prime Exclusive series – The Man in the High Castle, and groundbreaking new anthology series, Philip K. Dick’s Electric Dreams – and feature cast and creator discussion, exclusive sneak peeks, content and audience Q&A. Panelists for The Man in the High Castle will include cast members Rufus Sewell (Dark City), Rupert Evans (Hellboy) and Jason O’Mara (Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.), along with Executive Producers Eric Overmyer (Bosch, The Affair)and Dan Percival (Strike Back). Philip K. Dick’s Electric Dreams panelists include actor Liam Cunningham (Game of Thrones) and Executive Producers Michael Dinner (Justified) and Ronald D. Moore (Battlestar Galactica). The panelists will also be joined by Isa Dick Hackett (The Adjustment Bureau), Executive Producer on both series. Panel moderated by Dominic Patten. Talent subject to change.

I am interested in Electric Dreams since Ronald D. Moore is involved.

And I also missed:

Her Universe and Ashley Eckstein Spotlight
October 06, 2017, 12:00 PM – 1:00 PM
Hudson Mercantile – 500 W 36th St

Hosted by Actress and Founder of Her Universe Ashley Eckstein, find out what’s new in the Universe!

Ashley will give advice to fans looking to get into the business of fashion, licensing or acting, share sneak peeks and give new information. Plus she’ll answer your questions!

Her Universe is Your Universe and we hope to see you there!

I got to the convention center a little after 3pm. I met up with my friend Nikki as I was waiting on the queue at the Random House booth for Pierce Brown’s signing.

I had my copy of Golden Son with me (Red Rising I had signed at NYCC in 2014 and Morning Star when it was released in 2016) and Star Wars: From a Certain Point of View. Pierce’s story is called “Desert Son.”

While waiting I saw some people I recognized from the Facebook group. One man had shared a photo of himself in RR cosplay. He was wearing a wolf head cloak. I wanted to introduce myself and say hello but I didn’t want to lose my place in line since Nikki had not come to meet me yet. I thought I’d see them later but I did not.

When it was my turn Nikki took some video but it got cut off so I won’t share it (at this time). I’ll just sum it up.

So a little background: I went to Greece last year and while in Olympia visiting the ruins of the site of the ancient Olympics I bought a gold charm of a laurel. I bought it because it also reminds me of the cover to Golden Son.

I told Pierce I went to Greece and showed him my necklace. He said I got my laurel and it’s not bloody. Haha!

I asked how he came to write from Biggs Darklighter’s point of view in From a Certain Point of View. He said they asked him what he wanted to contribute and Biggs has always been a favorite character of his.

I told him he knows Star Wars so well because his interpretation of the scene was just like the movie. Pierce was surprised I read it already and I said it was the first one I read. (I still have to read the rest but since Pierce signed this copy I want to keep it clean and will listen to the audiobook instead. I also intend to ask the other authors to sign it someday.)

Then I spoke about the Iron Gold sampler.

Minor SPOILERS!!

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Bellwether by Connie Willis

Pop culture, chaos theory and matters of the heart collide in this unique novella from the Hugo and Nebula winning author of Doomsday Book.

Sandra Foster studies fads and their meanings for the HiTek corporation. Bennet O’Reilly works with monkey group behavior and chaos theory for the same company. When the two are thrust together due to a misdelivered package and a run of seemingly bad luck, they find a joint project in a flock of sheep. But series of setbacks and disappointments arise before they are able to find answers to their questions.

I got Bellwether at a signing at NYCC 2016. It was a double author signing and I was really there for the other book, but this was a happy surprise.

I liked that it was a short and fast read (the only reason it took me so long to finish was because work was busy and NYCC 2017 had me put the book on the back burner. Otherwise I could have easily read this over a weekend. I sailed through it to finish this weekend.)

It was really funny. The satire had me really laughing out loud at a few moments. The actions and herd mentality of some of the characters was amusing and comical.

I liked how each chapter began with a bit of history of a fad or trend. It was like a mini encyclopedia.

I was unsure about the time period it took place in because I often wondered, “Why don’t they just order this on amazon?” It was published in 1996. Surly people ordered things online 20 years ago?

Anyway, the romance is minimal and predictable, but the plot is simple and if you’re looking for a fast read that will keep you amused and give you some chuckles., this is it.

3 out of 5 Sheep.

New York Comic Con 2017 – Thursday, October 5

Thursday, October 5

I didn’t get to the Javits super early because I didn’t want to wait in the queue hall. So it was a little after 10. Finally they had us go through metal detectors and looked through my bag thoroughly. (I think the shooting in Las Vegas prompted them to be more vigilant.)

I had no definite plan till the end of the day when I had my Doctor Who Team Up photo op with Peter Capaldi and Pearl Mackie.

So my first place to head to was the Penguin Random House/Del Rey booth.
I got the NYCC exclusive edition Star Wars book From a Certain Point of View. And it came with a tote bag.

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Gilded Cage (Dark Gifts #1) by Vic James

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Not all are free. Not all are equal. Not all will be saved.

Our world belongs to the Equals — aristocrats with magical gifts — and all commoners must serve them for ten years. But behind the gates of England’s grandest estate lies a power that could break the world.

A girl thirsts for love and knowledge.

Abi is a servant to England’s most powerful family, but her spirit is free. So when she falls for one of the noble-born sons, Abi faces a terrible choice. Uncovering the family’s secrets might win her liberty, but will her heart pay the price?

A boy dreams of revolution.

Abi’s brother, Luke, is enslaved in a brutal factory town. Far from his family and cruelly oppressed, he makes friends whose ideals could cost him everything. Now Luke has discovered there may be a power even greater than magic: revolution.

And an aristocrat will remake the world with his dark gifts.

He is a shadow in the glittering world of the Equals, with mysterious powers no one else understands. But will he liberate—or destroy?

I picked up and ARC at NYCC in October.

I really liked the set up of this alternate reality where those with magical powers (Skill) are the rulers (Equals). Usually the magical beings are in hiding and have their own world separate from those without magic. This turn around makes for an interesting story with power struggles, political maneuvering, and a rebellion that’s going to be a bitch of a time. Some reviewers on Goodreads said it was too political and they couldn’t keep the characters straight. I don’t get what they mean. It’s YA and easy enough to follow.

I was happy that it was told from different POVs in the third person. That really gave the world building a fuller picture and we got to understand both the Equals and the slaves. Some characters got more chapters than others and so their story was better developed, but I hope to see more from Silyen in the next book. He’s so conniving and the most mysterious.

A great starting point for a new trilogy. I’ll be awaiting the next book.

4 out 5 Years of Servitude.

The Untamed: A Sinner’s Prayer (Graphic Novel)

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The Untamed: A Sinner’s Prayer (Graphic Novel)
by Sebastian A. Jones, Joshua Cozine (Editor), Andrew Cosby (Foreword), Peter Bergting (Illustrator), Darrell May (Illustrator)

I was given a second chance in death.
Vengeance was offered and I was quick to accept.”

A cloaked Stranger slips into the rustic Town of Oasis changing things forever. Ten years it had been since he ran this town with malice and harshness. Even then there was hope for his soul. His wife and daughter were on the verge of turning him from wickedness. But they were murdered, and so was he. He is granted seven days to reap seven souls and gain a chance at revenge. Conflict arises as a young girl (Niobe Ayutami) reminds him of his murdered daughter. She acts as his conscience and become his only hope for salvation.

The Untamed: A Sinner’s Prayer is set in the dark fantasy world of Asunda. Asunda was created by Stranger Comics founder and president Sebastian A. Jones over a 20 year period. A true labor of love, Asunda is unlike any other fantasy setting in existence. Developed in coordination with Stranger’s art director, anthropologist Darrell May, Asunda features an honest and oftentimes beautifully violent and savage approach to the medieval sword and sorcery genre, one where the world is exactly that… an entire world, filled with a variety of races which have evolved to suit their environment, not a decades old preconception of what elves and dwarves should be or how they should appear. If you like your fantasy with a touch of Sergio Leone, The Untamed is for you. If you think Clint Eastwood, Toshiro Mifune, or Richard Roundtree would have made bad ass elves, The Untamed is for you. If you want to see a wicked man return from the dead to choose between revenge and redemption… then The Untamed is definitely for you.

I bought this graphic novel at New York Comic Con 2015.

There was also a deal going on where if you bought The Untamed you could get the prequel, Niobe #1 Convention Exclusive, for $10 more. By the time I went they sold out of that exclusive, but there was a signing going on with artist Ashley A. Woods and author Amandla Stenberg. (Amandla played Rue in The Hunger Games and also played Macey Irving on Sleepy Hollow. She is the co-author with Sebastian Jones of the comic book Niobe: She is Life)

Darrell May (the Illustrator), Ashely and Amandla signed my copy of The Untamed.

So, my procrastinating self finally got around to reading it.

I liked the content in the book and felt it was worth the price. The seven comic book issues are in color, which is a plus. The color pallet fit the mood of the story really well. Sometimes it was difficult to tell the hooded characters apart, but that became easier as the story progressed and they would show their faces.

There is also a “making of” feature in the appendix, an interview, and artwork of different characters from a few different artists. It’s a nice collection.

There is some world-building to the story, which actually took me a few rereads to get straight. I could have used a character/creature guide page. I did finally get who was who and what was going on.  I don’t like when a story is dumbed down, but I did feel a bit lost at times as I was reading. I also feel like I am missing some pieces of the puzzle and would have liked some more information about what happened 10 years ago.

I am glad that Niobe has her own comic book series (which I think is a prequel) because I wished there were more scenes with her. I have all four issues and will be reading Niobe’s story next.

All in all I did likeThe Untamed’s story of revenge with a twist of possible redemption and hope. I guess there will be a sequel since the end is left open for one, but so far I only know of prequel stories. I’ll look out for a sequel.

3.5 out 5 runes.