Another year is getting ready to entire the history books. This year, however, was one for the record books, with major fandoms, conventions, and movies rocketing to the top of our cultural consciousness. All in all, 2016 was a great year to be a geek. Please click below and watch our final show of the year as we discuss our choices for the best conventions, panels, cosplay, movies, fandoms, and more! It’s a wrap-up of all things GEEK!
WOW! What a year. Here’s some of the BEST of the BEST from this past year.
STAR TREK, STAR TREK EVERYWHERE! CELEBRATING 50 YEARS
This definitely WAS the year of Star Trek at Comic-Con. Everyone — and I mean EVERYONE — was on-hand to celebrate, from William Shatner, to Brian Fuller (new Star Trek Series this fall), Jeri Ryan, Scott Bakula, Michael Dorn, Brent Spiner, writers, producers, fan film makers, and so much more. At San Diego Comic-Con, they even had the premier of Star Trek Beyond, the brand-new film staring Chris Pine, outside the convention center. It was the place to be this year!
THE WALKING DEAD
The Walking Dead is a giant among franchises, dominating TV with over 20 million viewers for its Season 7 premiere! Of course, most people turned in because of the season 6 cliffhanger finale (which really, really angered many fans). According to DEADLINE: “In Live+3 numbers, TWD hit it out of the park World Series-style with 20.8 million viewers and 13.2 million among adults 18-49, its second-best delayed viewing results ever. That’s a 22% jump in total audience from the near-record Live+Same Day results drawn by the 1-hour and 6-minute “The Day Will Come When You Won’t Be” episode. In the key demo, the premiere — which revealed the Season 6 finale cliffhanger of who villian Negan killed among the core survivors — was up 23% from the 10.7 million delivered by TWD’s Season 7 opener.” But the strength and influence of this fandom is seen in more than just sheer ratings numbers. At this year’s San Diego Comic Con, the crush of fans to get into Hall-H was massive, with over 6,000 cheering on their favorite survivors. New York Comic Con’s giant Walking Dead screening at Madison Square Garden also brought down the house. You can see the entire New York Comic Con panel here:
Entertainment Weekly recently announced Wonder Woman as the most powerful (and influential) super-hero. She’s the icon that an entire generation of girls (and adult women!) looks to. Not to mention that she emerged as the most popular character in this year’s “not-so-great” Batman vs. Superman film from Warner Bros. DC Comics celebrated Wonder Woman’s 75th anniversary all year, hitting the fan conventions from coast to coast, even pulling out her invisible jet for fans to take photos with.
BEST LARGE CONVENTION
It’s sometimes hard to decide which of the biggies is the best: San Diego; New York; Dragon Con; Megacon Orlando; Salt Lake Comic Con; even Stan Lee’s LA Comic Con topped out over 91,000 this year! But here, we all kinda agree – nothing beats San Diego Comic-Con. For sheer influence, size, and cultural impact – not to mention THE ENTIRE GEEK WORLD pays attention to what’s happening in San Diego – it’s hard to NOT give a nod to San Diego. However, with their size problems and the ongoing drama surrounding “will they stay in San Diego,” this crown may soon go to another.
BEST BIG PANELS
SDCC: MARVEL and WARNER BROS. IN HALL H
There’s no getting around the fact that Marvel and Warner Bros RULED the convention scene this year — from their TV shows to their collectibles to their offsites. But nothing even came close to their HALL H PANELS in San Diego. Warners pulled the curtains waaaaaay back and unleashed a torrent of trailers, secret footage, film directors and actors. Conan did hosting duties as the casts of Suicide Squad, Wonder Woman, Aquaman, Kong: Skull Island, and Fantastic Beasts took the stage. It was insane. Not to be outdone, Marvel brought EVERYTHING in the pipeline, including the cast and directors from Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2, Black Panther, Doctor Strange, and Captain Marvel (yay Brie Larson!!!). Chris Hemsworth and Mark Ruffalo even “called in” a special video (super funny).
NYCC: WORLD PREMIERE & ADAM WEST, TOO: BATMAN: RETURN OF THE CAPED CRUSADERS
The cheerful actors of the ’60s Batman series—including Adam West, Burt Ward and the divine Julie Newmar—reunite for a new animated romp in Batman: Return of the Caped Crusaders. This world premiere screening featured a panel with West and the film’s creators.
BEST MEDIUM-SIZED PANELS
SDCC: NETFLIX-MARVEL FINALLY SHOWS UP AT COMIC-CON!
Seems like there’s been some bad blood somewhere, because Marvel’s Netflix shows have never made an appearance in San Diego….. until this year. Yup, whatever feud brewed between the two seems to be done, and Luke Cage stormed Comic-Con this year, and brought with him clips from Iron Fist and the exciting upcoming event series, The Defenders. These trailers — and this panel — literally gave me chills. And John Bernthal “just so happened” to be in the neighborhood, so he stopped by to talk about the upcoming Punisher. Perfect panel.
NYCC: TALES FROM THE TARDIS WITH MATT SMITH, ALEX KINGSTON AND JENNA CLOLEMAN
Brought together the 13th Doctor Matt Smith (the best of his generation) and his two greatest companions, powerhouse Alex Kingston (River Song) and soufflé-queen Jenna Coleman (Clara Oswald). They discussed the time-traveling life and everything that comes after.
THIS YEAR, IT WAS ALL ABOUT DEADPOOL, HARLEY, AND NEGAN!It’s hard to argue this point—early in the year, it was all Deadpool, all the time. And the ever-popular Harley Quinn EXPLODED, counting every third female cosplayer (and some of the guys) as part of her posse. And then, late in the year, a new cosplay showed up: Negan. Our own Cheeseman cosplayed Abraham beginning in the summer and continuing up through the momentous (and disgusting) season premiere of The Walking Dead. Here are some photo galleries that highlight the top cosplays of 2016. We’ll have a more detailed review later.
BEST PARTIES AT SDCC: THERE WERE SOME COOL PARTIES — FOR EVERYONE!
We gotta give a shout-out to Tony Kim of Crazy4ComicCon for his awesome Game of Bloggers party on preview night. The party was free and open to the public, although the main guests of the night were Comic-Con bloggers and website managers. We had a blast! And we met so many folks who are as passionate about talking Comic-Con as we are. Heck, we even met a great “fan” of our show who came up from Mexico…. nice! But other than Game of Bloggers, folks could find TONS of parties, the biggest of which was Nerd HQ’s open-to-anyone parties on Thursday and Saturday nights. Talk about epic! We had some friends drive down from L.A. just to go to Zach Levi’s Saturday night shindig at the Children’s Museum. And Nerdist/Conival threw a great party too, rocking til the week hours. And, of course, we can’t forget our own AfterBuzz TV–PopcornTalk Network meetup on Thursday night. Glad to see some of you there!
BEST PERSONAL THING THAT HAPPENED
SDCC: OH, ON A PERSONAL NOTE — WE GOT TO MEET CHRIS PRATT
Yeah, yeah, this is kinda self-serving, kinda douche-baggy, kinda….whatever. We don’t care. Because it was pretty awesome!
— The Con Guy (@TheConGuyDotCom) August 4, 2016
THE SYFY NETWORK’S LIVE BROADCAST SHOW AT SDCC WAS SO GREAT!
Friday was almost a complete bust for us until we got to the Syfy Network’s live broadcast show. Thanks for our friend Craig, we were able to walk into — perhaps — one of the best things at the convention. Host Will Arnett kept things hopping, and guess what? Daryl and Glen (Norman Reedus and Steven Yeun) were guests, along with Will Forte and others. It was a GREAT way to end a hot, sticky, frustrating Friday!
My number one exclusive? It’s the Creature From the Black Lagoon figurine/bank that took me 3 different conventions to find. But other than that, here are the exclusives that had me and Cheeseman hoppin’!