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October 12, 2017

Teenreads at New York Comic Con 2017, Part 1: Overview


Teenreads kicked off October in one of the best ways imaginable: heading to New York Comic Con, a celebration of all things bookish, nerdy and just plain awesome. Between editorial coordinator Rebecca Munro, intern Dana, reviewers Katherine and Matthew, and reader Brian, we had a full team covering the panels, showroom floor and the whole atmosphere of the weekend. Read below for a quick overview of everyone's NYCC experience and come back soon for more in-depth coverage of the panels we all attended.


Question: How many times have you been to NYCC?

Brian: This was my first time at NYCC, hopefully not my last!

Dana: This was my second time attending with Teenreads and third in total!

Kat: I believe this was my fifth year.

Matt: This was my seventh year attending NYCC.

Rebecca: This was my third year attending.

Q: What panel or event were you looking forward to the most?

Brian: There were a few panels I was looking forward to. Mainly the panel titled “Is it Dark in Here or is it Just My Book?,” which discussed the fine line between horror and humor. I was also looking forward to seeing all the costumes and merch available for purchase!

Dana: I was most looking forward to “The Shannara Chronicles” panel, which was promoting the second season of the adaptation of the Terry Brooks series. I have always wanted to go to the TV show panels at NYCC so I was able to cross this off my NYCC bucket list. The first 15 minutes that they showed were epic!

Kat: I usually look forward to trying out video games and cruising the artist alley more than anything, and this year certainly did not disappoint! Three words: Manga in VR.

Matt: This year I wasn’t so much looking forward to the panel programming as I was the Artist Alley, like most other years. Although I did enjoy sneaking in some time to play Secret of Mana at the SquareEnix booth.

Rebecca: I was really looking forward to the YA panels “Pop-Culture Throwdown” and “Fashioning Fiction: The Aesthetic of Fantasy Worlds.” Both panels sounded like a lot of fun and differed from ones I usually see --- as a bonus, a few of my favorite authors were on them!


Q: What were your favorite panels? You can name up to three.

Brian: My favorite panel has to be the “Is it Dark in Here or is it Just My Book?.” They even referenced a podcast I’m currently obsessed with called “My Favorite Murder.” It was interesting to see so many people who understand the fact that humor and horror pretty much go hand in hand.

Dana: I went to several fantastic panels that featured incredible authors, whose books I now desperately want to read. The “Here Lie Dragons & Eternal Beasties” featured five fantasy authors who have all written about dragons or large beasts, “How Do I Put This On A Resume?” which was themed around fantasy/scifi characters with extraordinary skils, and “We Need Diverse Books Presents: Spring Awakening - Diversity in Coming-of-Age Comics & Graphic Novels” which was a great conversation on representation in illustration.

Kat: I really enjoyed the panel called “Fashioning Fiction: The Aesthetics of Fantasy Worlds” featuring some of my favorite authors like Melissa Grey (The Girl at Midnight series), Ashley Poston (GEEKERELLA), and V.E. Schwab (Shades of Magic series). These authors discussed the importance of fashion in YA fantasy literature and had a killer presentation to go along with it. I also had a lot of fun at the “Geeky YA: Stories of Cons, Cosplay and Crushes” panel.

Matt: I was able to get my eyes on the motion capture demo given by the actors and crew from War for the Planet of the Apes. Actors from the film wore motion capture suits and arm extenders that allowed them to recreate the walk, run and behaviors of certain ape species. Just like in the film series! It was delightful!

Rebecca: I had SO much fun watching the “Pop-Culture Throwdown” panel and watching the authors fight amongst each other about their various degrees of geekery and fandom. “Fashioning Fiction,” however, was a VERY close second --- who doesn’t want to watch authors talk about fashion??


Q: What was the best costume you saw? You can name up to three, and it could be your own!

Brian: I saw a few great costumes/groups. One was a group dressed as the gang from Guardians of the Galaxy. Another group I saw was two Mad Hatters and a Red Queen that looked insanely accurate to the films/book. Then there was a superman that looked like he snatched the suit right from the movie set. Looked awesome!

Dana: My favorite cosplay was of someone who dressed up as the Javits, the literal convention center, and it was massive. It was really funny and very meta!

Kat: Obviously, the person who showed up dressed as the Javits Center was the best. But I also saw an amazing cosplay of Garrus from the Mass Effect video game series.

Matt: My favorite costume was this really well-constructed gender-swapped Mercy from the video game Overwatch. It was an alternate costume, too, so instead of just being an angel with a ray-gun, it was this purple and black imp with translucent pink wings. Very cool.

Rebecca: There was one girl there in this crazy elaborate gown and I have NO idea what she was dressed as, but it was one of the most beautiful things I’ve ever seen in real life. I also love seeing all of the Elevens from "Stranger Things." Oh!!! I also saw an amazing Easter cosplay from the television show “American Gods.”


Q: What was your best unexpected encounter with an author or fan?

Brian: I think I have this notion of authors being super busy writing or promoting their books. In the one panel I went to, someone asked the five writers about their hobbies and one out right said “Wow, uh, I don’t have any.” It was just an incredibly real answer. She didn’t bother to lie for the fan’s sake, which I would say makes her fans feel a little more connected to her.

Dana: When I was on line for Tomi Adeyemi’s CHILDREN OF BLOOD AND BONE, I got the chance to talk with Tomi’s publicist who could not stop raving about this title. She said that it was the title that everyone in the imprint is excited for. Tomi’s publicist is also a big fan of Teenreads and Carol Fitzgerald, the president of The Book Report Network.

Kat: I happened to see another fan with the same tattoo as me --- the dove logo from the band Thursday! We high fived and it was great.

Matt: I met with a few old friends from college who were tabling in Artists Alley. It was here I met this really nice guy Mike. Mike was cool, my cool friends knew him, and he looked SO familiar. Turns out I had been reading an advance copy of his book BLACK STAR RENEGADES that had just been announced during the show from St Martin’s Press! Go pick up Michael Moreci’s BLACK STAR RENEGADES whenever you get a chance, it’s a lot of fun.

Rebecca: I bother one of my favorite authors, Zoraida Cordova, so much at these events that she has started to recognize me! I was waiting in line to talk to her when she leaned around the person in front of me and waved.  We were able to take a very shaky selfie together and catch up and it was so cool.


Q: And, of course, the books! Tell us some of the books that you came away wanting to read. You can name up to three.

Brian: I had to look back at my notes for this one, but THE DEVIL IN SILVER was one book where the title alone sparked my interest. Definitely picking that up soon.

Dana: I ended up with a massive book haul! There are so many exciting new fantasy and science fiction YA books coming out late this fall and early this winter. I was stoked to get RENEGADES by Marissa Meyer, CHILDREN OF BLOOD AND BONE by Tomi Adeyemi, and EVERLESS by Sara Holland.

Kat: After the “Geeky YA” panel I really wanted to read THE GEEK’S GUIDE TO UNREQUITED LOVE by Sarvenaz Tash. It takes place at NYCC!

Matt: Del Rey finally released A CERTAIN POINT OF VIEW, a collection of 40 short stories by 40 different writers collected in a wonderful anthology and set in the Star Wars universe. This was very exciting because they had a convention exclusive edition and signings with a number of the authors that appear in the anthology on and off all weekend.

Rebecca: My intern Dana and I attended a HarlequinTEEN party at the Jekyll & Hyde Club here in NYC, and lots of their authors were in attendance. I had some time to talk to Alisa Kwitney, author of CADAVER & QUEEN, which will hit shelves in February. She described her book as a "gothic Frankenstein meets 'The Walking Dead,'" so...'nuff said.


Q: What’s your wildest memory of this weekend?

Brian: Ahh, well with it being my first NYCC EVER!, I’d have to say the costumes. It was incredibly cool to see the passion and fandom! And the immense creativity people have and apply to a great costume. From the clothing and shoes to the elaborate makeup!

Dana: Rebecca and I attended a party thrown by HarlequinTeen at Jekyll and Hyde Club. The atmosphere and decor was so cool and creepy. We couldn’t help but stare at all of the unique pieces along the walls. It matched the dark fantasy and science fiction titles that they were promoting such as CADAVER & QUEEN by Alisa Kwitney, JEK/HYDE by Amy Ross, and ZENITH by Sasha Alsberg and Lindsay Cummings.

Kat: Trying to survive the show floor scouring for fun video game collectibles and demos.

Matt: I saw the comedian Michael Ian Black bringing his kids into the convention looking like the regular dad he is. It was really neat!

Rebecca: During the Pop-Culture Trivia panel, I was able to ask a question that actually stumped the authors and won a giant bag of books! It was so much fun to have such a fandom-related interaction with some outstanding authors and get to show off my "Game of Thrones" knowledge.


Q: Any additional thoughts?

Dana: Next year, I want to spend a day in either the Hammerstein or Madison Square Gardens going to all of the big panels. I feel like I missed out by staying in the Javits for everything.

Kat: Having the artist alley closer to the convention was a great change. I hope they keep it there next year.

Matt: If you went this year, look up social media posts and videos to see how much you didn’t catch going on. I was there all four days this year, and I can’t believe how much I missed.

Rebecca: This year, I took NYCC really easy --- I didn't set unrealistic goals for myself and took a lot of time to just walk around and people watch. It was so much more fun and way less overwhelming. But, like Dana, I definitely want to go to at least one big panel next year.