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- 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!

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?

Autograph Signing- Riverdale at NYCC

Since its debut on the CW Network, Riverdale has been a fan favorite at comic book conventions.

For the Riverdale signing at New York Comic Con (NYCC) in October, the CW provided attendees with a nice, exclusive poster featuring cast members posed as their signature, dramatic, angst-fill characters.

The Riverdale cast strike an angst-ridden pose for NYCC fans!

Pictured in the poster, and appearing at the signing were:
Luke PerryFred Andrews
KJ ApaArchie Andrews
Lili ReinhartBetty Cooper
Madchen AmickAlice Cooper
Also in attendance at the event was Riverdale Producers/Writer Robert Aguirre Sacasa.

Though Riverdale has a large ensemble cast, the character poster provided is composed only of images of the cast members who were on-hand at NYCC. As a result, each actor pictured was able to sign their own character image- making the poster a “clean” SWAG item- perfect for display.
This was a nice bit of attention to detail, and showed that the Marketing/Public Relations/Promotional team responsible for the Riverdale event were intentional in their attempts to create a cohesive experience for fans and potential fans.

Riverdale Signing Event.

To top it all off, the talent were extremely gracious and personable in their interactions during the signing- making the Riverdale signing one of the highlights of the last day of NYCC.

SWAG Collecting- Limited Autograph Signings

­­Company sponsored, limited autograph signings* are some of the most difficult SWAG to get. Unlike other SWAG– distributed by the thousands- signings are typically limited to 100 or fewer participants.

NYCC attendees try for a blind-bag pull to win the highly-coveted, Outlander Cast Signing! Picture courtesy @MarvelMorris

The low supply/high demand of limited signings has resulted in practices such as online lotteries to prevent unruly lines, and early morning line-ups to reward dedicated fans willing to take a chance with a random drawing.
Success with these signings vary depending on one’s luck, persistence, and determination.

It can be a great “high” when you receive a email confirming you’ve been selected in a lottery, or when you pull a winning ticket from a blind-bag drawing.

For an autograph seeking, SWAG Collector, this email is better than a gift on Christmas morning!

On the other-hand, it can be a gut-wrenching, soul-crushing downer when you realize a “winning” email isn’t coming, or when you pull a losing ticket after hours waiting in line for a drawing.

Company sponsored autograph signings have become much more difficult with the increased usage of online lotteries. For die-hard autograph seekers, the “high” of winning a random drawing is worth the potential of walking away empty-handed. And because the odds are much more in our favor, we’d prefer to stand in line (with hundreds of competitors), rather than enter an online lottery (with tens of thousands of competitors).

During New York Comic Con (NYCC) this year, between lotteries, early morning lineup and drawings, my fellow SWAG Collectors and I got pretty lucky with a few of the company sponsored, limited autograph signings.

Over the next few posts (starting tomorrow), I’ll be sharing some of our experiences, and some of the cool items we were able to get in our grubby little hands!

 

*Company sponsored, limited autograph signings aren’t to be confused with paid autograph signings and meet-&-greets arranged between a host company (ReedPop in the case of NYCC) and event guests.
As a function of marketing and promotion, company sponsored, limited autograph signings are free.
Paid autographs can be fun also, but for attendees with more less disposable income, company sponsored, limited autograph signings are a bit more accessible.
And anyways… Are paid items ACTUALLY SWAG?
…That’s a conversation for another day.

Outlander SWAG at NYCC Proves The Quality Doesn’t Stop With The Show

It never fails… the subscription content provider STARZ continues to be a SWAG powerhouse at New York Comic Con (NYCC)!

This year, STARZ welcomed fans with a promotional booth designed to resemble two of their popular series, American Gods and Outlander.

Visitors to the Outlander section of the booth walked away with some of the most functional and unique SWAG found at NYCC. Fans and potential fans were gifted with branded tote bags, Outlander inspired bottles of cologne/perfume, and leather luggage tags.

These items are the kind of usable, immersive SWAG items that fans go crazy for!

The handy, reusable, cloth tote bag features an image of main characters, Claire and Jaime enacting the season 4 tag-line, “Brave The New World”.

Functional/made-to-last items such as the Outlander tote are the best type of SWAG!

Visitors who walked through the booth where also gifted with a small bottle of Outlander inspired cologne/perfume.

Outlander inspired cologne/perfume bottles handed out by this dapper-dressed booth staff

Though the bottles were limited to one per person, many fans had no problem standing in line and walking through the display multiple times to complete the set of three unique scents.

Three different scents meant three separate visits through the STARZ Outlander booth

Cologne/perfume inspired by Outlander

Lastly, Outlander booth visitors were able to have a uniquely branded luggage tag created to memorialize their experience.

Gold-foil stamp machine. Image provided by @MarvelMorris

Visitors could choose up-to three letters to have gold-foil stamped on the back-side of a leather tag, embossed with the Outlander STARZ logo.

Gold-foil stamped, leather luggage tags

When this much thought is put into promotional material, it gives a really good impression of the quality of the property being promoted. And after three high quality, enjoyable seasons, Outlander continues to be one of the best shows currently produced.

With the fourth season of Outlander recently begun (Nov. 4)… everyone who visited the booth at NYCC should take the opportunity to secure a subscription to STARZ (if not already a subscriber), dab on some cologne/perfume and immerse themselves in the world of Outlander

Good job STARZ!!!