A surprise visit from a special guest kicks off the chicest Beverly Hills reunion yet. Dorit revisits trauma from her home invasion. Kyle, Lisa, and Erika challenge Crystal’s contradictory statements about Sutton’s “dark” comments. Garcelle admits to suspicions of bad deeds from some of the women, and tempers boil over when Kyle comes to Diana’s defense.
Part 2: Wednesday, October 19 at 8 p.m. ET/PT
As the reunion continues, Garcelle and Diana hit a point of no return in their already-frayed friendship. Sutton reflects on her ongoing tension with Lisa, who updates the women on her grieving process. Garcelle discovers the “trashy” truth behind Erika’s book review. Meanwhile, as Kyle anxiously anticipates her sister’s arrival, Kathy Hilton arrives with tequila in tow.
Part 3: Wednesday, October 26 at 8 p.m. ET/PT
The reunion concludes as Erika is tasked with answering for her questionable decisions, both legally and otherwise. Kathy finally comes face-to-face with Erika and Lisa to confront their allegations over what went down in Aspen. Kyle gets drawn into the middle of a battle between her friends and her sister. Ultimately, the dynamic between Kathy and Kyle takes centerstage as the fate of their relationship hangs in the balance.
Bravo is the premier lifestyle and entertainment brand that drives cultural conversation around its high-quality, interactive original content across all platforms. The network features a diverse slate of original programming, including Emmy Award-winning “Top Chef” and “Project Runway,” along with fan favorites “Vanderpump Rules,” “Below Deck,” “Southern Charm,” and the highly popular “Million Dollar Listing” and “The Real Housewives” franchises. Bravo also boasts the only live late-night talk show on television with the critically acclaimed “Watch What Happens Live with Andy Cohen,” which has become a nightly destination for A-list celebrities. Bravo is part of the NBCUniversal Television and Streaming portfolio, which includes NBCU’s broadcast, cable, and streaming platforms: NBC, Bravo, E!, Oxygen, SYFY, Universal Kids, USA Network, and Peacock. For more information, visit BravoTV.com.
Björgvin is an up-and-coming American television actor with a fraternal twin brother. In 2019, this biracial (Icelandic father and Floridian mother) boy wonder made his acting debut as a guest star on Family Time. When asked about his early acting experiences, Arnarson said, “I always liked performing. I used to do community theater back then, I also made short films with my brother… Then my mom asked, ‘Why don’t you start auditioning?’ I replied, ‘Sure!’… I did one commercial, a low-budget film, some horror movies, and a book trailer. I booked some small things and then booked CHUCKY.”
Subsequently, Arnarson broke into film with a supporting role in horror, starring Vadhir Derbez and Guy Pearce, The Seventh Day. Additionally, he solidified a bit part in Hulu’s hit comedy series, PEN15, earning numerous credits in a short span. When questioned about daily set life, he asserts, “I never know what scene we’re shooting until the day of, so I have to be prepared to be super dramatic or super not dramatic.” He further elaborates, “Shooting out of order is interesting to me …like we’re shooting episode 3 but it’s only the end scene, and we’ll shoot the beginning later.”
Björgvin portrays Devon Evans in the TV version of the cult classic, CHUCKY, premiering October 5. “I was on my computer playing games, my dad told me that I booked it. I was like ‘Oh Dang Okay!’” Arnarson recalled the day he got the role. “The first thing I did was watch all of the Chucky movies.”
Born into a family that is both artistic and supportive, it is not surprising that Björgvin Arnarson is an eclectic actor with enormous dedication. Arnarson mentioned that he has a twin brother who is a talented musician and ballet dancer, “We’re fraternal, not identical, but he is three minutes older, he always says that, but whatever.” When they were babies, his mother danced and sang for them, and they soon found out that his father was once in a band and performed in the theater.
While this tailspin continues to earn honors, Arnarson enjoys reading comics, playing the piano and being an active company in the local artistic scene. “I like photography, digital art… putting things together into one big piece… filmmaking, mixed media, Manga… and I’m a big music guy,” Arnarson said.
DEVON EVANS is a boy-next-door and true crime addict who runs a podcast called “Hackenslash,” which sheds light on local crime in his hometown of Hackensack. Evans is hell-bent on making sense of the mysterious Hackensack tragedies, not only from the past but also from the present. Devon is a student at Perry Middle School and is dating “Jack Wheeler” (Zachary Arthur).
CHUCKY is a continuation of the emblematic cinema franchise that retraces the murderous events of the famous killer doll. In the television series, Chucky encounters former allies, sworn enemies and new prey, as he tries to inspire fear, nervousness and chaos wherever he goes.
After his horrible plot to invade America’s children’s hospitals was thwarted in the first season, Chucky now seeks revenge on those he blames, surviving teens Jake (Zackary Arthur), Devon (Björgvin Arnarson) and Lexy (Alyvia Alyn Lind), along with his ex-Tiffany ( his sworn enemy).
The series averaged 11.6 million viewers in season 1. Season 2 will premiere on October 5 (trailer) on SYFY and USA Networks.
Just like the devious doll it’s inspired by, this pumpkin witbier with cranberry will be your friend ’til the very end. Saturated with blood-red cranberry juice and entangled with pumpkin mangled into a puree, the beer is light in color with spine-chilling flavors of chamomile and cinnamon – the perfect combination of everything you love about the season.
CHUCKY: A Killer Wit Beer is a limited release and collaborative beer between Elysian, USA Network and SYFY, brewed in celebration of all things Halloween, horror and Season 2 of “Chucky,” a continuation of the iconic film franchise chronicling the murderous escapades of the notorious killer doll.
Elysian Brewing opened its doors in 1996 when bold art and music defined Seattle. Over the past 25 years, the brewery team has carried this same spirit in the way they brew their beer – shaking up classic styles, using unusual ingredients, and learning from experimentation.
They push creativity beyond their brews. Each beer label is made by an in-house team who pull inspiration from design, photography, clay, paint, needlepoint, and even the occasional tattoo.
Have a beer at one of the brewery’s Seattle locations, or check out their site HERE / @elysianbrewing.
“Chucky” is a continuation of the iconic film franchise chronicling the murderous escapades of the notorious killer doll. In the TV series, Chucky crosses paths with archenemies, old allies and new prey, as he seeks to inspire fear and mayhem wherever he goes. After his diabolical plan to invade America’s children’s hospitals was foiled in season one, Chucky now seeks revenge on those he holds responsible: surviving teens Jake, Devon, and Lexy along with his ex Tiffany, now his sworn enemy.
Meanwhile, can “Jevon” make it as a couple in the face of adversity at their new Catholic school, not to mention a brand-new onslaught of terror from the demon doll?
The series is produced by UCP, a division of Universal Studio Group, and executive produced by Don Mancini, Nick Antosca, Alex Hedlund, David Kirschner and Jeff Renfroe.
Oxygen True Crime, the home of high-quality true crime programming, returns to Chagrin Valley Dispatch in Ohio for the second season of “911 Crisis Center.” The second season premieres Saturday, Sept. 3 at 9:30 p.m. ET/PT with new episodes airing at 9 p.m. beginning Sept. 10.
The compelling series offers fly-on-the-wall coverage of the community’s most intense moments as it takes viewers inside the call center and brings them along to experience the fast-paced action where dispatchers and supervisors skillfully navigate life-threatening situations.
In the back-to-back premiere episodes, the crisis center focuses on peril surrounding some of the youngest members of the Chagrin Valley community.
Season two begins with the episode “Mama Bear to Grizzly Bear.” Supervisor Charline Polk, the Mama Bear of Chagrin Valley Dispatch, takes a 911 call from a concerned grandfather looking for his missing 2-week-old grandchild. Charline and the team combine forces to unravel the mystery.
In the second episode that airs immediately after, “Matt on the Move,” Matt Reinke has learned the ins and outs of dispatching and is ready for the next step. Before he decides to apply for supervisor, however, he must help a young girl threatened with a knife and a panicked caller with a baby struggling to breathe.
Throughout the season, episodes will feature dispatchers and supervisors calmly taking charge, extracting information to relay to law enforcement and first responders, all the while helping confused and frightened callers on the other end of the line. Viewers will see the team tested as a couple is heard screaming over an open line; when a welfare check spirals into a pursuit; when a caller must be coached into performing CPR before it’s too late; and a neighbor who pulls a gun on a caller and her family. The season includes many impactful stories driven by the dispatchers and supervisors who are largely unseen in the community, yet make a huge impact.
Warner Bros. Unscripted Television is the leading unscripted studio in America, currently producing over 50 series and documentaries, totaling nearly 2,000 hours of programming annually across broadcast, cable, streaming, digital, first-run syndication and podcasts. Led by studio president Mike Darnell, the division is comprised of Warner Horizon, Shed Media and Telepictures and produces leading and award-winning series and franchises such as “The Bachelor,” “The Bachelorette,” “The Voice,” “Extra,” “Paris in Love,” “The Real Housewives of New York City,” “911 Crisis Center,” and “The Bradshaw Bunch,” as well as “Friends: The Reunion” and “Harry Potter 20th Anniversary: Return to Hogwarts,” among others. Upcoming projects include “The Wheel,” and “The Jennifer Hudson Show.”
BravoCon three-day tickets will go on sale on Friday, July 15 at 12PM ET/9AM PT, available at HERE. Experiences range from General Admission to VIP and SVIP.
BravoCon will return bigger than ever, with more than 100 Bravolebrities confirmed to attend the larger-than-life, three-day weekend. Featuring more than 60 live events, BravoCon will celebrate the network’s top series including the “Below Deck” franchise, “Family Karma,” “Married to Medicine,” “Million Dollar Listing,” “Southern Charm,” “Summer House,” “The Real Housewives” franchise, “Vanderpump Rules” and “Winter House.” Check out who’s confirmed to attend so far here, with more Bravolebrities to be announced soon.
BravoCon’s star-studded events, exclusive panels and interactive experiences will take place from Friday, October 14 – Sunday, October 16 at the Javits Center(429 11th Avenue) in New York City. Lay’s and State Farm® will return to BravoCon.
“Watch What Happens Live with Andy Cohen” will host five episodes during the packed three-day weekend, including the first-ever WWHL Presents: Andy’s Legends Ball – a night that honors the most iconic, jaw-dropping moments and talent throughout Bravo history! “Watch What Happens Live with Andy Cohen” shows will film at the Manhattan Center’s Hammerstein Ballroom(311 West 34th Street).
This year, Bravo will deliver even more exclusive iconic Bravolebrity celebrations including a massive Bravo Bazaar shopping experience – double in size to its predecessor, intimate VIP talent experiences, brand-new immersive activations, with more to be announced in the coming weeks. Back by popular demand, BravoCon will also feature various cast & executive producer panels from Bravo’s biggest shows, interactive photo opportunities, and exclusive sneak-peek screenings of upcoming highly anticipated series.
Bravo Insiders will receive special offers and perks. Sign up today for free to get in on the fabulous benefits plus access full event coverage.
Three-day passes for the first-ever BravoCon in 2019 sold out in 60 seconds. For a look back at the first BravoCon, visit HERE.
Bravo is the premier lifestyle and entertainment brand that drives cultural conversation around its high-quality, interactive original content across all platforms. The network features a diverse slate of original programming, including Emmy Award-winning “Top Chef” and “Project Runway,” fan-favorites “Vanderpump Rules,” “Below Deck,” “Southern Charm,” and the highly popular “Million Dollar Listing” and “The Real Housewives” franchises. Bravo also boasts the only live late-night talk show on television with the critically acclaimed “Watch What Happens Live with Andy Cohen,” which has become a nightly destination for A-list celebrities. Bravo is part of the NBCUniversal Television and Streaming portfolio, which includes NBCU’s broadcast, cable and streaming platforms: NBC, Bravo, E!, Oxygen, SYFY, Universal Kids, USA Network and Peacock. For more information, visit HERE.
Three years after Bravo fans had their Bravo dreams come true, BravoCon returns for an even bigger star-studded and unparalleled experience from October 14 to October 16. The super-fandom event will take place at the Javits Center in New York City, featuring an exciting weekend of tea-spilling panels, interactive experiences, live performances, immersive activations, never-before-seen content and more exclusive shopping opportunities than ever before. Fans will have front-row exclusive access to their favorite shows and Bravolebrities. Additional details coming soon.
“BravoCon emerged as a first-of-its-kind interactive event where ten thousand fans got to experience the massive Bravosphere come to life,” said Ellen Stone, EVP, Consumer Engagement & Brand Strategy, NBCUniversal. “After the last few years, we are especially excited to bring our biggest BravoCon ever to our loyal fans for an even more memorable year.”
One fan famously raved after attending: “My top three moments in life were marriage, babies and BravoCon—not necessarily in that order.”
Bravo is the premier lifestyle and entertainment brand that drives cultural conversation around its high-quality, interactive original content across all platforms. The network features a diverse slate of original programming, including Emmy Award-winning Top Chef and Project Runway, fan-favorites Vanderpump Rules, Below Deck, Southern Charm and the highly popular Million Dollar Listing and The Real Housewives franchises. Bravo also boasts the only live late-night talk show on television with the critically acclaimed Watch What Happens Live with Andy Cohen, which has become a nightly destination for A-list celebrities. Bravo is part of the NBCUniversal Television and Streaming portfolio, which includes NBCU’s broadcast, cable and streaming platforms: NBC, Bravo, E!, Oxygen, SYFY, Universal Kids, USA Network and Peacock.
As Dolores and Jennifer go head-to-head, Melissa’s feelings over not being asked to be Teresa’s bridesmaid creates an astonishing rift between the Gorga’s and the Giudice’s.
Margaret and Teresa face off while Jennifer reveals new information about the state of her marriage. On the other hand, Jackie sheds further light on her eating disorder. And a heated exchange between Melissa, Margaret and Jennifer causes even Andy to lose his patience.
As the house-husbands join the women, new secrets are revealed about Luis, Bill, Evan and the state of Dolores’ relationship with her new boyfriend. Meanwhile, Joe and Melissa spar with Jennifer as Teresa and Margaret reach a breaking point.
At a major crossroads in her life, the usually ambitious and determined Lindsay Hubbard is hesitant on what her next steps are. After being friend-zoned by Austen in Vermont, Lindsay continued to date Jason in the city until she experienced the biggest personal drama in her life yet. Unsure if she wants to continue things with Jason or date around this summer, Lindsay is confronted by some of her housemates that her “Hot Hubbs Summer” behavior might be getting a little too hot.
Paige DeSorbo is living her best life. Soon after leaving Vermont, her long-term crush Craig Conover became single and she doesn’t lose the opportunity to explore a potential relationship with him. However, upon entering the summer, Paige learns that her past-fling Andrea will also be joining the house and she is eager to see if their chemistry is still as hot as before. She is definitely smitten with both of these men… but after learning Craig might be hooking up with a well-known celebrity, she has no issues showing him that she has plenty of options of her own.
Last summer, Kyle Cooke and fiancé Amanda were doing better than ever, but living and working together for the past year has clearly taken its toll and the two hit their lowest point yet. Being that this is the last summer before he ties the knot, Kyle is determined to go big or go home. With many of the housemates already doubting their wedding will even happen, Kyle is forced to get his priorities in check or he could end up going home…alone.
Keeping busy by working and raising a litter of puppies, Amanda Batula has been doing everything and anything but wedding planning. With only a few weeks until the big day, her pre-wedding glow is dulled by her and Kyle’s continuous fighting and drama. Amanda is soon faced with the toughest decision of her life… either walk down the aisle or call off the engagement for good.
Carl Radke has become the best version of himself after a difficult summer last year. His career is thriving and he is focusing on his physical and mental health by working out and meditating daily. Excited to explore a whole new world of sober dating with hopes of settling down, Carl has multiple potential romantic connections throughout the summer. Will he fall in love or fall apart?
Feeling like she was working too much and not having much control over her life, Danielle Olivera quit her corporate job to take a big risk, not only financially but personally. Although she and boyfriend Robert are still going strong, they have been finding it hard to put their relationship first and this summer could be what makes or breaks them.
After living in Georgia her entire life, Ciara Miller has applied for her New York nursing license and found an apartment in the city, but soon finds herself homesick. She has been dating a few different guys in New York, but is faced with a difficult decision when a love interest from her past visits the house.
Finally moved on from Ciara, LukeGulbransonwants to have a summer filled with fun…and romance. No stranger to love-triangles, Luke finds himself getting pulled into different directions throughout the Summer and once again has his fair share of drama.
New to the Hamptons, but no stranger to this group of friends, Andrea Denver is excited to spend the summer with Paige. Soon after entering the house, he learns that she might have something romantically going on with someone he considered to be a close friend. And although his first instinct has always been to play the field, Andrea is determined more than ever to find the right girl to bring home to Italy.
Mya Allen, a restaurant consultant who runs a cookie business on the side, likes to keep things sweet. After breaking up with her long-term fiancé during quarantine, Mya joins her friend Paige for a summer she’ll never forget. She is taking her time to find her next man and wants to have fun and let loose…And what better place than in the Hamptons?
Born in Hong Kong, Alex Wach relocated to the United States as a child, and has lived in New York since he was 12. As a fitness instructor, Alex’s priorities include eating healthy, working out and looking good. Will he be able to keep up with this party crew?
“Summer House” is produced by Truly Original, with Steven Weinstock, Glenda Hersh, Lauren Eskelin, Jamie Jakimo, Trish Gold and Maggie Langtry serving as Executive Producers, and by Left Hook Media, with Matt Odgers and Scott Teti as Executive Producers. Sean Clifford also serves as Executive Producer.
About Bravo Media:
Bravo is the premier lifestyle and entertainment brand that drives cultural conversation around its high-quality, interactive original content across all platforms. The network features a diverse slate of original programming, including Emmy Award-winning “Top Chef” and “Project Runway,” along with fan favorites “Vanderpump Rules,” “Below Deck,” “Southern Charm,” and the highly popular “Million Dollar Listing” and “The Real Housewives” franchises. Bravo also boasts the only live late-night talk show on television with the critically acclaimed “Watch What Happens Live with Andy Cohen,” which has become a nightly destination for A-list celebrities. Bravo is part of the NBCUniversal Television and Streaming portfolio, which includes NBCU’s broadcast, cable, and streaming platforms: NBC, Bravo, E!, Oxygen, SYFY, Universal Kids, USA Network, and Peacock.
The future of fashion is the merging of two verses, the virtual world (metaverse) and the physical world. We explore this through the unity of traditional photography and animation—where humans and AI co-exist.
The NFT world is something that is growing and still confusing for many people not directly involved in the producing and purchasing of these new age art pieces. 360 MAGAZINE was able to interview several people directly involved in the production side of NFTs, including producer and model Bee Davies and photographer Jacques Burga.
Interview with Bee Davies
What made you become interested in NFTs?
I became interested in NFTs when I started doing virtual production and realized that there was no marketplace for digital art. More than that, there was no fan base. We know famous photographers and people who collect their photographs—but there’s not the same kind of hype surrounding animators. An NFT marketplace not only legitimizes their work, but provides a platform that opens up the door for a whole new kind of collector.
How do you respond to people suggesting NFTs are overly expensive and pointless?
Couldn’t you say that about all collectibles? Digital art, like any art, is meant to be enjoyed; the NFT marketplaces and wallets allow you to do that much more easily.
What is your favorite NFT?
The one I produced with Jacques for 360, because it exemplifies the merging of the real world and the metaverse.
Was it odd to see yourself become an NFT?
Not at all. Since the dawn of social media we have all had virtual versions of ourselves, this is just an overt way of expressing it.
What are your biggest artistic inspirations?
I would like to create and produce a completely virtual fashion show for the industry’s top fashion houses (this means AI talent, virtual runways, and digital clothing/accessories…as well as an audience attending in VR). And of course, mint every bit of the digital experience so it can be enjoyed in the metaverse for eternity.
What are some upcoming projects you’re looking forward to?
I have a bunch of NFTs that will be dropping soon that I’ve collaborated on with different animators—some of which feature the actors from the SciFi TV Pilot I created.
Interview w/ Jacques Burga
What made you become interested in NFTs?
It’s a whole new way of making business. I enjoy pushing boundaries when it comes to projects related to my field. It also makes me feel there’s always a next step to follow and to explore disciplines that I wasn’t precisely an expert in.
How do you respond to people suggesting NFTs are overly expensive and pointless?
To keep the mind open to new ways of mixing technology and creativity may be good advice.
What are your inspirations as a photographer?
I am inspired by People and Beauty
Why did you decide to blend photographic elements with virtual ones?
Our world has become very virtual. Photography gets elevated when it’s blend with other disciplines such as Art or Technology (virtuality.)
What is your relationship with digital artwork?
I’m working on digital projects related to Fashion and NFT. My relationship is continuously growing.
When did you become interested in photography?
When I left an internship at a high profile magazine in Paris and decided to become independent and nurture my desire to create fashion.
What, in your opinion, is your best piece of artwork/photography?
I cherish every project since it is composed of pieces that create a nice puzzle for me.
What projects can we expect to see from you in the future?
I will always want to explore and collaborate with new technologies and artists that share my vision of fashion and people.
New York City’s Comic Con is a key annual fan event dedicated to Western comics, graphic novels, anime, manga, video games, movies, television and more. First held in 2006, this classic event was canceled last year due to the Covid-19 pandemic, devastating fans who look forward to this mainstay of popular culture. Yet this year, Comic Con made its triumphant return, though it looked a little different in the attendance of both its exhibitors and fans. 360 MAGAZINE got the full scoop from well-versed fan Rodney Ramlochan on how this event has changed. He offers comments on the good, the bad, the Covid, and the in between for 360 readers. Read Ramlochan’s full testimony below:
To say that I love New York Comic Con is an understatement. For over a decade, as a pop-culture geek, I’ve enjoyed the fantastic guests, panels, original art, unique exhibitors, industry merchants, and one-of-kind exclusives. It has always been one of my favorite events to cover, and as a die-hard fan, I was deeply disappointed that the pandemic caused last year’s convention to go virtual. However, I was thrilled to hear that the event was coming back in person this year. Since much had changed over the past eighteen months, I thought it would be cool to experience the event as a fan rather than cover it as press. I also wanted to test-drive ReedPop’s Metaverse membership for ordering in-person tickets and focus on the overall fan experience, including Covid safety precautions and notable differences between this year and cons from yesteryear. Here are my post-Comic Con impressions.
I purchased tickets a few months ago in July using the MetaVerse presale process. Of course, this was before the uptick caused by the Delta variant strain. I didn’t expect any issues with purchasing online as I’ve never really had a problem buying 4-day or single-day passes in the past. Still, I was interested in trying out the new Metaverse Membership that gives you first access to NYCC badges, photo ops & autographing tickets. My mission this year was to get both an autograph and photograph with William Shatner, epic space captain of the Starship Enterprise and now a real-life astronaut. In addition to getting first dibs on NYCC in-person tickets, the Superfan membership allows you to buy MCM Comic Con, Emerald City Comic Con, and C2E2 tickets. You can also get paid digital experiences, exclusive access to video content and celebrity panels, access to exclusive NYCC merchandise online.
The Superfan Membership process was relatively seamless. I signed up at the end of June using the Metaverse Membership email and bought tickets using a dedicated link on my profile page within a few days. I purchased single day passes for each day of the convention, and I was contacted for the opportunity to purchase photo ops and autographs in addition at the end of September. Overall, I’d say the membership was worth it. It’s perfect for the fan who would rather have a more significant window of time to purchase tickets. Outside of remembering to click on the notification reminder emails and follow the presale, photo ops, and autographs links, ordering is straightforward. There are no worries about getting tickets for the exact days you want to attend. If you are good with the allotted time frame afforded by the standard ordering process, then paying for the Superfan membership may not be beneficial at this time. However, I do wonder what the future holds for purchasing tickets in the future. Suppose the Superfan method of buying in-person tickets becomes more popular. Will it impact the standard order process and make it more challenging to obtain single-day passes post-pandemic? Only time will tell.
As far as Covid safety protocols, enforcement, and logistics, the ReedPop and the Javitz Center team did a great job managing this. Before attending, I was uncertain why New York Comic Con needed a partnership with CLEAR Health Pass. Especially since vaccination proof was a requirement for attending and could be validated using vaccine cards and existing apps like the NY Excelsior Pass. In hindsight, standardizing the application that everyone uses for admission was a smart move. At the very least, it streamlined the process and expedited entry for most. I picked up my green ReedPop vaccine wristband at the Javitz Crystal Palace a few nights before opening. It took me less than 5 minutes to show the CLEAR app and retrieve the band, and in many ways, this process foreshadowed the overall feel and attendance for the convention. NYC began requiring proof of vaccinations in early September, and the event was following suit. The mandate may have impacted attendance, as I read many social media comments from individuals that stated they wanted to return or sell their tickets because they didn’t know the vaccine would be mandated before purchasing. But, as a whole, most people in attendance complied with the requirements. I was there all four days and only encountered two individuals not wearing masks on the main floor. I didn’t notice security enforcing the mask mandate, but I did hear that a vendor and few individuals had been removed from the showroom floor for not following the rules. At my William Shatner autograph and photo ops sessions, plexiglass partitions protected Shatner and the fans. Partitions were used at all reserved signings and photo op sessions. According to ReedPop, 150,000 paid in-person attendees were at the event this past weekend compared to 250,000 in previous years. Even with 100,00 fewer people, this was the largest indoor in-person event held in New York since 2019, showing a great evolution from where things were at the start of the pandemic. It was good to see that all of the proper safety protocols were in place.
One of the most significant differences between this year’s Comic Con and past shows was the notable absence of large exhibitors like Disney, Marvel, DC, Image, Sony, Amazon, SYFY, and distributors like Funko and Midtown Comics. Of course, it didn’t come as a surprise, as we had been receiving no-show notices practically every week leading up to the event. I’m sure it deterred some folks from attending, but I think it helped provide a unique experience for those who did. It minimized the crowd and offered other smaller exhibitors an opportunity to showcase their properties and spend more time with fans. As a result, I spent a lot more time than I would typically have at smaller booths. For example, I met the great folks at Plunderlings, a boutique toy line presenting a fresh take on fantasy universes from a Caribbean perspective. Although some of the major players weren’t present, there was an excellent turnout for anime fans from Toei Animation, Funimation, VIZ Media, and Tamashii Nations. Without having to compete for floor space, it seemed as if their exhibits doubled in size. If you were a fan of these companies, it was probably the first time in years that you could casually stroll through their exhibits without waiting in line. Although it was less crowded, the show floor did not feel empty. As expected, Saturday and Sunday saw an increase in volume of attendees, but nothing compared to the previous years.
One of the most extraordinary changes this year was the unveiling of the new Javits Center expansion project. It took a few minutes to figure out exactly where floors 4 and 5 were, but once you found them in the building adjacent to the old center, you were treated to the fantastic skyline and river views on the way up to the panel rooms and the new Empire Stage. There were a few blockbuster live panels, including Ghostbuster and The Boys; however, many panels like Sandman Act II and Wheel of Time were pre-recorded videos. I did sit in on the Sandman panel, but post-viewing, I felt a bit underwhelmed – watching a video of writer Neil Gaiman, audiobook director Dirk Maggs, actor James McCoy (who voices the title character), and actor/filmmaker Kevin Smith (who voices Merv Pumpkinhead) was not the same as seeing them in person. In addition, ReedPop introduced a new reservation system for the larger panels instead of the “badge tap-in” process used in the past. I have mixed feelings about this, as it didn’t appear that anyone’s reservations for the panels were being checked. It may have been because there was excess capacity remaining at the events I attended. However, I will note that the folks at the Tamashii Nations booth to purchase their exclusive Super Saiyan God Super Saiyan Son Goku figure did check for reservations.
Overall, expanding the panels to the new venue resulted in two significant outcomes. First, it allowed more space to return to smaller fan-focused panels, which featured creators interacting with their fandom instead of pitching major studio events. Second, moving the panels out of the main building allowed for Artist Alley to take back a prominent role I felt it had lost over the past few years. This year, the Alley was front and center, featuring principal mainstays like Fabian Nicieza, Chris Claremont, Rob Leifeld, and Scott Synder amongst many others. I especially enjoyed chatting with Ben Bishop, one of the key artists on TMNT’s The Last Ronin.
Undoubtedly, many of this year’s Comic Con changes resulted from how best to host an event during a pandemic, but many of the changes also focused on improving the fan experience. As a result, NYCC 2021 felt more like the NYCC of 2011, but with a few notable improvements. Creators were able to connect more with their fandoms, fans were able to stop and appreciate exhibitors and artists more, and ReedPop unveiled a few new processes to streamline crowd control and help fans maximize their time at the event. It wasn’t perfect, but as a fan, it exceeded my expectations, and I’m even more looking forward to a pandemic-free NYCC next year.
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