Day 2 of NYCC began with the help of Starbucks, providing me with the tea I needed to keep going. I arrived early expecting lines for the Bandai panel, and I was right, though it wasn’t as bad as later lines. Bandai themselves had no new announcements, though they’re clearly very revved up about Gundam UC. The highlight (lowlight?) of the panel was the Q&A, where I was once again reminded that fans think Bandai USA makes the shows, not Japan. They asked about new Geass, they asked about Star Driver Season 2. The moderator said “Go to the Sunrise panel to ask about that.”
The panel that did have a HUGE line was Archie, which was in a smaller room than last year, for some odd reason. Archie was one of the highlights of last year’s con for me, and this year was no different. Alex Segura moderated, and was excited about the reintroduction of the old Archie superheroes, who are returning – though not getting rebooted, the panel was quick to note. Unlike last year, CEO John Goldwater was a full participant, and his enthusiasm for everything Archie shone through. They announced a new Sabrina animated series, as well as one for Little Archie, both animated by Moonscoop, which should be out next fall.
As for titles already running, Kevin Keller appears in Life With Archie’s ongoing plot. He’s getting married, having met his partner – a doctor, every mother’s dream – after getting wounded in a battlefield. Kevin also has his own series, where he’s Class President and dealing with modern high school issues – dating, proms – and it was noted by Dan Parent that they hope to make Kevin as “flawed” as all the other Archie characters. Archie’s own comic has a 100% profits-to-charity issue, to benefit Ronald McDonald House, with an appropriate plotline. The following issue guest stars football player Michael Strahan, another big Archie fan.
Archie meets KISS sounds really dumb at first, but the trailer they showed and the followup Q&A made me far more interested. The plot of the 4-issue mini will involve Sabrina, Josie, a huge cast – and zombies. And I mentioned the old original Archie superheroes – they’re also bringing back Pureheart the Powerful and the Superteens, discussing making a more realistic take on the characters – why would Veronica restrict herself to just ONE superhero outfit, it was noted? They also discussed the huge success of Life With Archie, and Valerie returning from a Pussycats tour to reunite with Archie from their earlier storyline. I also asked about the Dark Horse and IDW Archive books, and John Goldwater noted they were doing “exceptionally well”, though my suggestion of Josie and Bob Bolling collections was met with a safe “anything’s possible” answer.
And yes, Android app soon.
Then I had a lot of time, so braved the show floor – I’m not claustrophobic, but that many people in one area makes me nervous. I spoke with Craig Yoe briefly at the Archie table, as he was promoting the Archie’s Mad House collection. He also showed me his new Barney Bear comic book collection, which looks fantastic. I did get the Archie the Married Life collection 1, as I had gotten a lot of old titles recently and wanted to support their newer stuff. I also got stopped by several My Little Pony fans. I had bought a “Pinkie Moon” T-shirt from Welovefine on Friday, and it apparently had sold out soon after, so I had many people admiring the hot item.
After dinner, it was time for the Comic Book Legal Defense Fund to discuss Defending Manga. This was an excellent panel, highlighting the fact that all of us read things every day that, if we showed them to a “non-fan”, they might not understand what we take for granted. It can be very easy to run afoul of the current attempts to “protect the children”. They discussed the Overfiend sting in Texas, Christopher Handley and the current Canadian Border Guard controversies, and of course Bill 156. It was noted that most “moe” character types look like children – it’s the design. Heck, I reviewed both Love Hina and Negima this week – both have nude girls, one 12 and one an ancient vampire in the body of a 10-year-old girl. Both have hit bestseller lists here in the States, too. It could be anything, because we forget that most folks think all manga is the same – it’s “that Japanese porn”.
One more day to go. What news will Viz have besides Shonen Jump Alpha? And how much will I love the Classic Cartoon panel?