Deadly Class on SYFY. Are U Dressed for the Occasion?

At New York Comic Con (NYCC) this past October, Deadly Class got a big promotional push from the SYFY Network.

SYFY made sure everyone knew about Deadly Class at NYCC!

This promotional push included a pretty nifty-looking t-shirt with fan-created art, depicting comic book incarnations of the Deadly Class main characters.

Awesome Deadly Class t-shirt SWAG- Front View.

NYCC Attendees had to endure a long line, in the middle of the day, to get a t-shirt. But for fans of the comic book, it was totally worth the wait!

And now… with the SYFY TV show creating a slew of new Deadly Class fans, I wonder how many NYCC Attendees are kicking themselves for not taking the time to snag this awesome t-shirt SWAG?

Awesome Deadly Class t-shirt SWAG- Back View.

Deadly Class, episode 2 airs on SYFY tonight.
…Fortunately, I’m gonna be dressed for the occasion!

Glass Activation At NYCC

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.

Glass movie, comic book store set recreated on the floor of NYCC.

Now, almost 20 years later, Glass brings things full-circle!

To hype the long awaited film, this past October Universal Pictures 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.

Missed opportunity: Copies of The Whisperman Comic as promotional SWAG

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.

Glass theatrical poster

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.

Participants walked away with an uniquely personalized version of the Glass theatrical poster.

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!

It certainly worked on me…

Glass… In theaters now!

Autograph Signing- Deadly Class at SDCC

At large pop culture conventions, it’s a given that you’re gonna spend a bit of time waiting in line. As a result, having something to read can be a godsend.

Last year at the start of San Diego Comic Con (SDCC), SYFY announced their convention plans included hosting an autograph signing and panel for their live-action adaptation of the comic book, Deadly Class.

I love seeing comic books adapted into other media (especially live-action tv or movies). It’s fun and interesting to compare the page to the screen.
…So when I noticed Deadly Class Vol. 1: Reagan Youth available on ComiXology Unlimited, I decided it would be a good book to help pass my “SDCC line-time”.

Signed copy of Deadly Class issue #1, provided to attendees of the SDCC Autograph Signing.

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
Wes Craig-creator/artist
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!

Benedict Wong and Benjamin Wadsworth signing at the SDCC Image Comics Booth.

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 SDCC as part of the Deadly Class cast!

Lana Condor and María Gabriela De Faría signing at the SDCC Image Comics Booth.

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 SYFY appears to have a hit on their hands!

The show can now be seen on the SYFY website, 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!

Autograph Signing- Aquaman at SDCC

Not since Christopher Nolan’s Batman Trilogy have I left the theater so satisfied after watching a DCUniverse motion picture!
Aquaman is 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, Aquaman and Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald were fighting for first place in the hearts of autograph seekers.

SWAGCollector family member with Eddie Redmayne of Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald

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 Aquaman autograph signing at the DC booth!

Aquaman, SDCC Autographed Poster

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!

Director James Wan at the SDCC ScareDiego panel

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 SDCC Exclusive t-shirt!

Aquaman t-shirt, Front
Aquaman t-shirt, Back

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 Aquaman yet… What are you waiting for?!?!

…Hurry and get to the theater before the holidays are over!

Autograph Signing- DCU’s Titans At NYCC

The SWAG promoting DC Entertainment’s new online content service, DC Universe (DCU) was a highlight of New York Comic Con (NYCC)!
With the Titans premiere, booth SWAG, and the surprise panel giveaway, it was truly an embarrassment of riches.
…And it all culminated with the awesome Titans cast and creatives signing!

Titans poster! Signed by cast of heroes appearing in episodes one and two!

The entire cast of six superheroes from the first two Titans episodes, plus two of the behind-the-scenes creatives, participated in the signing.

This included:

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

Titans cast assembled for signing at NYCC, DC Entertainment Booth.

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!

During the Titans screening, Producers Akiva Goldsman and Greg Walker provide insight into Robin’s character development.

Fortunately, with the creatives available at the signing, I was able to ask what the heck they were doing to my favorite boy-wonder, and why the show seemed a bit unnecessarily violent and grim.

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!

Once Upon A Deadpool- FINE! Take My Money!

Really…

Once Upon A Deadpool”???

What the heck is this all about?!?!

I mean, COME ON! The movie has already gone to home video…
And I’ve got the SWAG to prove it!

20th Century Fox, booth animatronics entertain on the SDCC exhibit floor to promote the home video release of Deadpool 2 (image courtesy @MarvelMorris.

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!

DeadPool 2 t-shirt SWAG: #ALittlePeterinAllofUs

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!

Deadpool 2 t-shirt SWAG: #DeadPoolsFamily

As a result, much to my dismay, I wasn’t able to get a complete set of all four Deadpool 2 SWAG 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!

And oooohhhh, how “convenient” that the re-release takes place the week before another blockbuster superhero film will be begging for my attention!

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!!!

Good Omens Creates Good Vibes With Great SWAG at NYCC

It was a good New York Comic Con (NYCC) for Neil Gaiman fans.
The highly-visible, STARZ booth put the Gaiman property, American Gods front and center, but the Amazon Prime, Gaiman property, Good Omens also had great buzz at the con.

Amazon seemed eager to share Good Omens with NYCC attendees. And this was reflected thru the SWAG offered during the four-day event.

Poster SWAG from the Good Omens panel

On Saturday during NYCC, attendees of the Good Omens panel could pick up an exclusive poster. Meanwhile, each day of the event, at the Good Omens 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.

    NYCC exclusive SWAG
  • 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.

    Good Omens notebook, front cover
  • 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.

Good Omens notebook, back cover

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”!

Autograph Signing- Harry Potter and the Cursed Child

Harry Potter and the Cursed Child at The Lyric Theater

The Harry Potter machine 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)!

The Cursed Child cast panel at 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 Child cast. 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!

The Cursed Child signed poster

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!

Autograph Signing- Amazon Prime, The Boys

The Boys promos plastered outside NYCC

With in-your-face promo banners plastered both inside and outside the Javits Convention Center last month, The Boys made 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.

Amazon Prime, The Boys cast signing.

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.

Signed The Boys live-action poster SWAG!

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.

Signed The Boys SWAG poster- B-Side, featuring 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 Boys character, Wee-Hughie, after the actor.

The Boys comic book

The Boys being 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.

Autograph Signing- Dark Horse’s The Umbrella Academy At NYCC

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 Netflix had the cast of The Umbrella 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.

Umbrella Academy NYCC Exclusive, signed print by Gabriel Ba!

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 The Umbrella Academy miniseries, Hotel Oblivion.

Gerard Way’s namecard at the Umbrella Academy signing. Courtesy of @marvelmorris

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 The Umbrella Academy live-action cast also at NYCC, Dark Horse 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.

Netflix has been bringing properties to some of the larger comic book conventions (NYCC, San Diego Comic Con, WonderCon) for a while. However, only the Marvel properties have held autograph signings to coincide with cast appearances. This leads me to believe the Marvel show signings are done primarily at the benevolence of Marvel, NOT Netflix.

With The Umbrella AcademyThe 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?