It’s Sadness Sunday… Back again for Day 4 of New York Comic Con, the final day of this year’s 2013 NYCC. Like yesterday’s opening, again today we ran into a friend on the NY Waterways ferry across the Hudson, this time it was none other than the Anti-Bullying Coalition’s champion, Chase Masterson.
It was going to be a great day, we started the day with seeing Ms. Masterson, and we would finish our day attending her panel, End Bullying! Responding to Cruelty in Our Culture.
There was no shortage of fandom, the crowds were out in force again today. As we get going with this report, please enjoy this video of the End Bullying! Responding to Cruelty in Our Culture panel and be sure to check out the rest of this article for out featured content below of the final day of NYCC 2013!
Our first stop this morning however was the Defiance: A New Earth – With New Rules panel. After learning from yesterday’s “introduction to panel luck” we headed right over to the Main Stage’s waiting hall, and got in our line! As we filed into the Main Stage auditorium and took our seats, we looked around and remarked on how full it was getting – A LOT OF DEFIANCE FANS!!
We would not be disappointed! For starters, being the marquis panel to close NYCC 2013, we were treated to none other than the creator of ParanormalPopCulture.com, Aaron Sagers. Mr. Sagers’ resume is a pretty cool one these days – a writer for MTV Geek and CNN, he is also the host and co-executive producer (with Zak Bagans) of Paranormal Paparazzi on the Travel Channel!!!
Mr. Sagers was a GREAT choice for the moderator of this panel – very at ease with the crowd and with the panel itself, it was as if all on stage had been friends for a long time!!
Speaking of the panel and the stage, all of the principles of the cast of Defiance were front and center – Grant Bowler, Julie Benz, Jaime Murray, and Stephanie Leonidas, as well as Michael Nankin, co-executive producer for the show.
Almost immediately, it was clear as to how much respect and admiration each and every one on the stage had for each other – all egos were checked at the door and we were introduced to their “family” in every sense of the word.
In the words of Grant Bowler, his take on Amanda in regard to going forward into season two, he described his mayor like this: “in season one, Amanda is Snow White, in season two, Amanda is a character from Sucker Punch”.
But the love didn’t stop there, we were told that Nolan’s Spirit Animal is the honey badger…
There was plenty of introspect on season one, however it was summed up as the laying of the groundwork so that we, as an audience, could be introduced to the town and the world of Defiance, whereas season two will be more personal, it will be flawed; “rather than use a comfort zone, season one will be seen as a challenge to raise the bar, not to fall back on heels, but to stay and move forward”, said Mr. Nankin.
The cast was wholly agreeable to the tagline for season two as “it gets really weird”, and letting us in on the fact that ALL Biomen ARE the same…
What I took away from this panel was a renewed excitement for Defiance, and I lay my excitement squarely on the back and shoulders of Mr. Bowler – it’s all his fault!! I have never been party to a panel where the lead actor has bought into his show hook, line, and sinker. Well, maybe that’s not entirely true, but Mr. Bowler’s enthusiasm was incredible!
There was not only a deep love of cast and character, the depth and breadth of Mr. Bowler’s passion was not limited to the show, but to the game as well. If you do any following of the cast on Twitter, and Mr. Bowler in particular, you know that he PLAYS the game too!
His knowledge of Defiance is truly incredible, he entertained all sorts of questions from the crowd, and EASILY answered all, leaving the questioner (and the crowd) with a sense of admiration – he is not merely a player or an actor, it could be argued that he lives Defiance.
That can be said of the entire cast, as for months out of the year, they DO live Defiance. The Women of Defiance did a GREAT job representing, they too were very well versed in their characters and Defiance. On one stage, assembled before us was (the once) Mayor Amanda Rosewater, the highly manipulative and headstrong Stahma Tarr, and the keeper of the peace Irisa.
They are all beautiful and gorgeous (yes, even you Mr. Bowler), but the Women of Defiance are even more stunning as they sat before us the stage, as themselves, there was something about them, something very real.
Unfortunately for all of us, before we knew it, our time was up! That hour had gone so quickly, it was a great hour really, we sat there and listened, interacted, watched, and conversed. As the panel was ending, we were treated to a good ole fashioned “live billboard advertisement”. It took a few moments for reality to sink in, but as it did, standing before us was Sir Patrick Stewart!! Captain Picard, Captain Ahab, “Mr. A Christmas Carol”!!!
Sir Patrick was there to entice the crowd to see his soon to open double billed play with X-Men alum and good friend, Ian McKellen. The double bill opens with Harold Pinter’s No Man’s Land, and is followed by Samuel Beckett’s Waiting for Godot. Both plays star the same quartet, Stewart, McKellen, Billy Crudup, and Shuler Hensley. Opening night is November 24, 2013, and tickets are currently on sale.
After our surprise advertisement, we wandered a bit more through the great hall…well, we tried to…being Sunday, it was still a packed locale…what’s more, Sunday is Kids’ Day at NYCC!! Unless you were planning on attending specific events and panels, much of Sunday’s activities were geared toward the children in attendance. From “Kidditch-Quidditch Training for Kids” to “The Magic of Storytelling” and everything in between, kids are put first on Sunday. As we wandered, we found ourselves headed to the food court for our final chicken fingers of NYCC 2013 – we needed to refuel before our next and final panel of the day.
After lunch we found a dancing Bumblebee from Transformers and looked on as a young man won himself a new car. Before we knew it though, it was time to head to our next and final panel for this NYCC 2013. As mentioned at the beginning of this Day 4 Report, it was now time to join Chase Masterson of the Anti-Bullying Coalition and her friends for the End Bullying!
Responding to Cruelty in Our Culture panel. The assembled panel was quite extensive in their knowledge and experience with the subject matter, from the moderator on down the line. Rather than just introduce the panelists, moderator Carrie Goldman (author of the award winning “Bullied: What Every Parent, Teacher, and Kid Needs to Know About Ending the Cycle of Fear”), read from a prepared card a factoid or two about each panelist and asked a few prepared questions of each as well.
The panelists included Bonnie Burton, author of “The Star Wars Craft Book” and “Girls Against Girls: Why We Are Mean to Each Other and How We Can Change”; Jenna Busch, co-host of “Cocktails With Stan (with Stan Lee), a writer for Fanhattan, Huffington Post, and Zap2It to mention a few; Ashley Eckstein, the voice of Ahsoka Tano on “Star Wars: The Clone Wars” and of Her Universe (her own start up that produces Sci-fi licensed merchandise that is specifically targeted toward girls and women); Chase Masterson, of “Star Trek: Deep Space Nine” and the founder of the Anti-Bullying Coalition; Brad Bell, writer, producer, and star of “Husbands”; Alice Cahn, VP at Cartoon Network and developer of the “Stop Bullying: Speak Up” campaign; NOH8 founders (in their first EVER NYCC appearance) Adam Bouska and Jeff Parshley; and Jason Sirois from the United Nations and Anti-Defamation League in their first appearance at a major comic convention as well.
Eye opening, enlightening, and entertaining, this panel highlighted the positives and how to maintain positivity, the panel touched on all types and aspects of bullying – from geek bulling, to cyber-bullying, and everything in between. It touched on how the attitudes and philosophies put forth by the media and entertainment shape our views and how we can change our outlooks and interpretations.
Most fascinating was listening to Ms. Cahn speak. As a VP at Cartoon Network, and in charge of the “Stop Bullying: Speak Up’ campaign, I was stunned to hear that not only is she the head of her department, she IS her department! I look at how much my kids watch Cartoon Network and how prevalent that message and campaign is across the network, to realize that this is the work of only one person, it is impressive, but the job is not done – the message needs to continue to be received and understood by its audience (I know it is in my house).
This is hopefully the first in many of a string of NYCC visits for this panel. After having had its debut at Comic Con International in San Diego this past summer, and receiving an invitation to NYCC, this program is vital to its community and a valiant and valuable campaign. I look forward to a return next year for this admired and appreciated crusade.
And that my friends concludes NYCC 2013! Thank you for taking the time to stop here at Convention Corners at Wormhole Riders News Agency, and to Kenn for the final staging and editing of this installment! Keep reading and wanting for more, and you never know, you may just get more! (Trust me, there is more!)
Thanks to Kenn for final audio, video embedding , and additional image staging, and many thanks to you for reading and visiting WormholeRiders News Agency.
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