When Unbreakable was released, the movie had much to live up to… Fortunately, M Night Shyamalan’s sophomore effort turned out to be as good as his first film- The Sixth Sense. Comic book collectors especially, could completely appreciate and enjoy Unbreakable’s real-world, very serious take on the absurdity of humans with super abilities and powers.
There had been rumors that Unbreakable was part of a trilogy, but after YEARS without a sequel, most fans were completely taken by surprise when Split revealed itself as the next installment in the Unbreakable universe.
Now, almost 20 years later, Glass brings things full-circle!
To hype the long awaited film, this past October UniversalPictures set up an immersive activation on the floor of New York Comic Con(NYCC)- inviting attendees to enter the world of comic books, heroes and villains.
NYCC Attendees were encouraged to browse the shelves of a mock comic book store and marvel at the centerpiece comic book encased behind glass. From the plexiglass encasement, only the cover of the comic book- titled The Wisperman– could be seen. But it’s a safe bet its the same comic of which the interior pages are briefly shown in the Glass television trailer.
The Glass marketing team didn’t take advantage of the PERFECT opportunity to promote the movie by creating and distributing real-world copies of the comic to NYCC attendees as awesome SWAG items… But a fortunate few visitors to the Glass booth activation did walk away with a much more personal souvenir of his/her visit.
Visitors willing to endure the wait were invited to make an appointment to participate in a mock psychiatric session/evaluation, similar to the therapy session seen in the Glass trailer.
After being led to a back room of the comic book shop, taking a picture, and answering questions to determine one’s predisposition as hero or villain, participants walked away with an uniquely personalized mini-poster of his/her image on the Glass theatrical poster.
With a booth recreation of the comic book store set from Unbreakable and Glass, and a fun, scene re-enacting, interactive component, the Glass activation at NYCC was extremely successful at drawing participants into the fictional, Unbreakable/Split/Glass Universe. And best of all, the experience culminated with a satisfying, personalized SWAG item that almost guaranteed the recipients’ support at the box office on opening weekend!
Needless to say, by the end of the first day of SDCC, I’d become a huge fan of Deadly Class, and couldn’t wait for the panel and signing! But as is often the case at SDCC, a schedule conflict got in-the-way, and prevented me from attending the panel. However, I WAS fortunate to obtain a wristband to attend the signing!
At the Image Comics booth, wristband holders were provided a nice, live-action cover variant of Deadly Class issue 1 as an item to be signed. The comic book is a nice change from the typical poster that is usually given at cast signings. And from a marketing perspective, its a great promotional tool to entice those who are interested in the tv show to “delve-deeper” into the source material.
Cast members and creatives on-hand for the event included:
Rick Remender- creator /writer
Miles Orion Feldsott- showrunner
Mick Betancourt- showrunner
Benjamin Wadsworth- Marcus
Benedict Wong- Master Lin
Lana Condor- Saya Kuroki
María Gabriela De Faría- Maria Salazar
Luke Tennie- Willie Lewis
Writer Rick Remender and Artist Wes Craig couldn’t have seemed more proud, as they signed alongside the actors cast to bring their creations to life!
Thanks to Dr Strange and Infinity War, Actor Benedict Wong was the most well-known talent at the autograph table. Wong was very nice and gracious when signing, but his lesser-known, young costars seemed downright ecstatic and very happy to be at SDCCas part of the Deadly Class cast!
Actors Lana Condor & Luke Tennie were especially engaging and helped make for a fun signing event.
The first episode of Deadly Class dropped on YouTube in late December. Those who have already caught the episode know SYFYappears to have a hit on their hands!
The show can now be seen on the SYFYwebsite, and begins its run on the cable network on January 16.
If subsequent episodes are as good as the first episode, you’d be doing yourself a disservice if you didn’t give the show a try!
*Heads-up… Deadly Class Vol. 1: Reagan Youth is still currently available as part of the ComiXology Unlimited subscription service!
Not since Christopher Nolan’s Batman Trilogy have I left the theater so satisfied after watching a DCUniversemotion picture! Aquamanis a fun, visual spectacle that delivered exactly what’s promised! And after seeing the King of Atlantis defeat the weekend box office, I couldn’t help but reminisce about one of my favorite San Diego Comic Con (SDCC) SWAG events of 2018.
Every year at SDCC there’s a signing that’s considered the “Holy Grail” of all signings.
In 2018, there were two such signing events.
With creative talent full of big name stars, and high anticipation for the upcoming movies, Aquamanand Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald were fighting for first place in the hearts of autograph seekers.
The SWAGCollector family had a nice close-encounter with the Fantastic Beast cast but unfortunately didn’t get to attend the autograph signing.
However, we were lucky to be able to attend the amazing Aquamanautograph signing at the DCbooth!
Included in the signing was:
Director James Wan Jason Momoa- Aquaman Nicole Kidman- Atlanna Amber Heard- Mera Patrick Wilson- Ocean Master Yahya Abdul-Mateen II- Black Manta
The talent assembled were all gracious, but Nicole Kidman and James Wan were standouts for being especially friendly…
When I mentioned to Nicole that my son was a huge fan (after falling for Satine from Moulin Rouge), but couldn’t get into the signing, she asked, “Where is he?” I pointed to my son standing in the crowd behind her. The wonderful Nicole Kidman then abruptly stood, turned, and vigorously waived and blew a kiss directly to him!
…Such a sweetheart!
James Wan was also fun to talk to, as we had a brief exchange about the “Scare Diego” panel/offsite held during preview night of SDCC.
The autographed poster that resulted from the signing is an amazing piece of SWAG! …And if that wasn’t enough, DC also provided autograph wristband holders with a second poster and a SDCCExclusive t-shirt!
After such an amazing autograph signing experience, it’s great to hear all the positive word-of-mouth Aquaman, the movie, is getting from fans and press. The SWAGCollector family had been eagerly awaiting the December 21 release of Aquaman. And fortunately, the movie was well worth the wait!
If you haven’t seen Aquamanyet… What are you waiting for?!?!
…Hurry and get to the theater before the holidays are over!
The entire cast of six superheroes from the first two Titans episodes, plus two of the behind-the-scenes creatives, participated in the signing.
Brenton Thwaites- Robin Teagan Croft- Raven Ryan Potter- Beast Boy Anna Diop- Starfire Alan Ritchson- Hawk Minka Kelly- Dove Akiva Goldsman- Director/ Executive Producer/ Writer Greg Walker- Producer/ Writer
The interaction with the stars of Titans was great, but for me, it was especially nice having the behind-the-scenes creatives at the signing.
Let me explain… The Titans trailer that came out of San Diego Comic Con (SDCC) was so off-putting, that I had very low expectations for the series. When I saw the first two episodes at the NYCC premiere, I was relieved it was so well done, but I was still perplexed as to why Robin- Dick Grayson, was acting so out-of-character (based on years of comic book history).
Since when has Dick been so angsts-y and grim? He’s not Damion, for God’s sake!
Both Goldsman and Walker graciously listened then assured me that everything was very much “calculated”, and in service to Dick Grayson’s character-arc. It still bothered me but, with the assurance of the producers, the infamous, cringe-worth “F-Batman” scene from the SDCC trailer didn’t play quite as bad when watched in-context with the actual scene in episode one. And because the more gratuitous violence has toned down since the first episodes, Titans has been a thrill to watch.
If you’re not watching Titans, do yourself a favor… Get DCU, and check it out!
As the series heads into the final episode of season one, we still don’t have a reason for Dick Grayson’s seeming contempt for Batman, but it’s clear that it’s all leading to his transformation from Robin to Nightwing… Hopefully, once the transformation is complete, Dick Grayson will lighten-up as Nightwing, and his new attitude will have a trickle-down effect on his teammates.
I’m ready for this group to start having fun!
I Can’t wait for season two! And I look forward to a SDCC and/or NYCC signing including Conor Leslie- Donna Troy and Curran Walters- Robin/Jason Todd!
I mean, COME ON! The movie has already gone to home video…
And I’ve got the SWAG to prove it!
At San Diego Comic Con (SDCC), 20th Century Fox set-up shop to promote the home video release of Deadpool 2, and had one of the more popular booths on the showroom floor. The booth’s Chuck-E.-Cheese-like, life-size, singing, animatronic band was an attention grabber, but the booth’s main draw was its daily t-shirt SWAG giveaway!
On Thursday and Friday, attendees who made it to the booth within the first hour of the convention had no problem snagging a t-shirt, but by Saturday, it seemed more people became aware of the shirt giveaway, causing the SWAG lines for Saturday and Sunday to reach capacity almost immediately upon the opening of the convention doors!
As a result, much to my dismay, I wasn’t able to get a complete set of all four Deadpool 2SWAG t-shirts*. But getting two-of-four t-shits allowed me to walk away from SDCC feeling good about Deadpool 2, and agreeable to spending a few more bucks on the home video version…
…hence completing the gentleman’s agreement between Deadpool and I.
Or so I thought.
But now… this “Once Upon A Deadpool” nonsense comes along, trying to nab MORE moola from my wallet!
I’m not in the habit of going to the theater to see a movie more than once… But word on the street (Twitter) is that there’s enough new material in “Once Upon A Deadpool” that it’s essentially a different movie than Deadpool 2.
And considering the fact that Deadpool 2 was one of the best movies of the year… DANG IT! How can I resist?!?!?!
FINE Deadpool! Take my money!
*SIDE NOTE: Because the SWAGCollector usually travels in packs, sometimes I happen upon extra SWAG.
I have an extra of both the Thurs & Fri Deadpool 2 SDCC SWAG t-shirts. If anyone has the Sat or Sun shirts & are interested in trading, PLEASE contact me!!!
It was a good New York Comic Con (NYCC) for Neil Gaiman fans.
The highly-visible, STARZ booth put the Gaiman property, AmericanGods front and center, but the AmazonPrime, Gaiman property, Good Omens also had great buzz at the con.
Amazon seemed eager to share GoodOmens with NYCC attendees. And this was reflected thru the SWAGoffered during the four-day event.
On Saturday during NYCC, attendees of the GoodOmens panel could pick up an exclusive poster. Meanwhile, each day of the event, at the GoodOmens booth on the convention center mezzanine, attendees could participate in photo-ops mimicking scenes from the upcoming series. And as physical keepsakes, visitors exiting the booth were provided with SWAG pins and notebooks.
Amazon really brought it’s “A Game” with their booth SWAG! Each SWAG item seems to be tailor-made to hit specific marketing goals…
Photo-ops – With the two photo opportunities offered in-booth, the Good Omens marketing team created virtual SWAG that’s ideal for sharing across multimedia or via email or text.
Pins – Being “branded” SWAG (note the “New York Comic Con Exclusive” blurb along the bottom of the pin’s cardboard backing), interest in the pin is increased (especially among existing Good Omens fans) due to its exclusivity.
Notebooks- SWAG that has practical purpose can be great advertisement and can continue to provide promotional value well after the end of an event. Items such as notebooks have good potential usage “in the wild” (aka, outside the convention). Simply thru normal use, practical SWAG has an ability to keep a property in the mind of the user. And if the SWAG is eye-catching, it can also be good at making others aware of the property.
Clearly, Amazon Prime spent a lot of money on SWAG to hype Good Omens at NYCC. If the constant line around their booth is any indication, then it seems Amazon succeeded in creating strong interest in the upcoming series.
And fortunately, all indications is that Good Omens will “live-up-to-the-SWAG”!
The Harry Pottermachine is a juggernaut that can’t be stop!
The box office success of the recently released second installment of Fantastic Beasts is proof of this… But the franchise’s popularity was also evident early last month when the Broadway phenomenon, Harry Potter and the Cursed Child brought a panel and signing to New York Comic Con (NYCC)!
With Broadway tickets for The Cursed Child being quite expensive, I wouldn’t be surprised if before attending the panel and signing, many Harry Potter fans at NYCC had resigned themselves to the idea of sitting-out the play. However, it was obvious, from the boisterous audience reaction during the panel, and the gushing admiration during the signing, that fans were elated by such an intimate interaction with The Cursed Childcast. As a result, I wouldn’t be surprised if quite a few attendees changed their minds, and vowed to find the funds to make tickets to the play became a priority after-all!
The appearance was a great promotional push for the play. And I’m sure it had the exact intended effect on many in attendees who were on-the-fence about seeing the play. I know once October 2019 tickets are available, I’ll be queuing-up online to buy The Cursed Child seats to coincide with NYCC next year!
Cast members on hand for the signing included:
Jaime Parker- Harry Potter
Nora Dumezweni- Hermione Granger
Paul Thornley- Ron Weasley
Alex Price- Draco Malfoy
Because of the “no-up-close-pictures” rule that’s typically in place with these types of signings (and because I’m terrible at remembering to take pictures), I unfortunately wasn’t able to get photos of The Cursed Child cast during the signing.
Honestly, I think I was distracted by how “down-to-earth” they all were!
With in-your-face promo banners plastered both inside and outside the Javits Convention Center last month, The Boysmade their presence known at New York Comic Con (NYCC)!
In addition Amazon Prime pulled-out all the stops to promote the upcoming comic book adaptation, with a panel and an autograph signing featuring The Boys cast and creatives.
Talent participating in the signing included:
Karl Urban- Billy Butcher
Jack Quaid- Wee Hughie
Laz Alonso- Mother’s Milk
Karen Fukuhara- The Female
Simon Pegg- Hughie Senior (Dougie)
Erin Moriarty- Starlight
Antony Starr- The Homelander
Chace Crawford- The Deep
The autograph event was one of the larger signing gatherings at NYCC. As a result, Amazon employed an interesting tactic to avoid overcrowding the SWAG poster with too many image-obscuring signatures…
Instead of providing a single image for the signing, Amazon gave attendees a two-for-one SWAG poster featuring different images on both the front and back sides of the poster.
The front image is a live-action recreation of the classic first issue of The Boys comic book. While the back image is a posed picture of the series’ villains, The Seven.
Though front and back sides on a signature poster may seem like a clever idea, unfortunately its less than ideal for fans who like to frame or hang their signed posters for display.
Still, for most people attended the signing, the double-sided poster felt twice as nice!
In addition, getting autographs from Star Trek alumni, Urban and Pegg was a big treat for any Trekker lucky enough to attend the signing. Pegg- who was not listed in the official panel description, was a HUGE, pleasant surprise- especially for fans familiar with the fact that Artist/Co-creator Darick Robertson modeled The Boyscharacter, Wee-Hughie, after the actor.
The Boysbeing made into an Amazon Prime series is actually quite a shocker. When the comic book, by Robertson and Writer Garth Ennis, began publishing monthly in 2006, it immediately ran into controversy and was abruptly dropped by publisher, DC Comics due to concerns over graphic content.
The comic book is FILLED with over-the-top raunchy-ness, and it’ll be interesting to see if the Amazon series will closely follow the source material without creating its own controversy.
Thanks to promotional pushes from Nexflix and Dark Horse Comics, the indy superhero comic book property, The Umbrella Academy had a big presence at New York Comic Con (NYCC) this year.
Though Netflixhad the cast of TheUmbrella Academy live-action series on-hand for their excellent, Netflix and Chills panel, unfortunately the online content provider inexplicably didn’t take advantage of all that star-power by hosting an autograph signing.
Dark Horse Comics, on the other hand, took full advantage of creator, Gerard Way’s superstar status, and hosted a signing with Way and Artist Gabriel Bá, to promote the release of TheUmbrella Academy miniseries, Hotel Oblivion.
At the signing, Way and Bá autographed prints featuring the cover art of issue 2 of Hotel Oblivion. The signing was a nice SWAG event… But I can’t get over the fact that, with TheUmbrellaAcademy live-action cast also at NYCC, DarkHorse and Netflix REALLY missed-out on a perfect opportunity to generate a lot of HIGH-LEVEL buzz by including the cast in the creators’ signing, or hosting a separate signing for the cast- which includes entertainment heavy-hitters, Ellen Page and Mary J Blige.
Netflixhas been bringing properties to some of the larger comic book conventions (NYCC, San Diego Comic Con, WonderCon) for a while. However, only the Marvelproperties have held autograph signings to coincide with cast appearances. This leads me to believe the Marvelshow signings are done primarily at the benevolence of Marvel, NOT Netflix.
With The Umbrella Academy, The Haunting of Hill House, & The Chilling Adventures of Sabrina casts all at NYCC this year, I was extremely disappointed with the missed signing opportunities!
Autograph signings create a lot of positive buzz and are some of the most crowd-pleasing events at conventions. It’d be interesting to know why Netflix‘ marketing and promotions departments are not taking full advantage of having casts on-hand at these events?