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NYCC 2017 Day Three: Ash vs Evil Dead, Twisted Toonz, The Walking Dead

Ash vs Evil Dead New York Comic Con 2017

New York Comic Con 2017 Day Three Writeup. Day three of New York Comic Con brings us all over the map, with cult favorites and big-time hits galore. I was there, getting a chance to be there with some real icons, and getting into the biggest panel at the convention with relative ease.

The ease with which I got into The Walking Dead panel was surprising, considering I had to camp out all day to get into it last year. But with the sudden cancellation of Marvel’s The Punisher panel directly before (for understandable reasons), it seems many fans didn’t feel it was worth it to wait all day just for The Walking Dead. Marvel replaced The Punisher with a screening of an interview Joe Quesada conducted with Stan Lee earlier this year, which proved to be a fascinating and informative watch that any Marvel die-hard should seek out if it becomes available elsewhere.

But anyway, here’s what you really want to hear about. Panels! Lots and lots of panels!

Ash vs Evil Dead Panel

So I am a hardcore Evil Dead fan, and have attended their panel at New York Comic Con every year since Ash vs Evil Dead has been on the air (it is currently entering its third season). Their first panel two years ago may be my favorite panel of my entire New York Comic Con experience, with Bruce Campbell, Lucy Lawless, and Sam Raimi all in attendance for a surprise world premiere of the first episode of the series. The show isn’t coming back until February, so I wasn’t entirely sure what we would see this time around, but they surprised us yet again and screened entire first episode of the upcoming third season.

I won’t go too much into spoiler-filled details of the new episode, but I will say that it is as goofy and gory as the show at its best, and it continues to keep the spirit of Evil Dead alive. Much of the new season seems like it will take place at Ash’s old high school and the show introduces a long-lost daughter for Ash, which will provide new dimensions to the Ash Williams character.

The screening was followed by a Q&A with Bruce Campbell and the cast of the series, including Dana DeLorenzo and Ray Santiago. This was, as it is every year, a lot of fun. Campbell commands the stage at these events, getting up and giving fans money whenever they compliment him, eager to crack jokes, and ready to speak intelligently should the situation arise (he gave a great shout out to Joseph LoDuca, the music supervisor for Ash vs Evil Dead who has been working on the series since the original film).

When asked about the future of the show, Campbell seemed to believe that it was uncertain. Starz is in flux at the moment, having been acquired by Lionsgate, so once that gets sorted out they’ll find out whether the show will be back for a fourth season.

Twisted Toonz

This may have been the most straight-up fun panel all weekend. Six iconic voice actors all in a room together, doing a live reading of a classic movie script as their various characters from all sorts of media. There was a viral video a few years ago of voice actors reading Star Wars that I fell in love with, and I knew it would be tough to pass up the chance to see them reading the script for the original Ghostbusters.

Troy Baker, Nolan North, Jess Harnell, Rob Paulsen, Tress MacNielle, and Jim Cummings were our all-star voice acting cast, and boy, did they deliver big time. It started off with an Animaniacs reunion with Paulsen, Harnell and MacNielle reprising Yakko, Wakko and Dot as the three Ghostbusters, continued with Jim Cummings as Winnie the Pooh as Dana, delivered on Troy Baker’s kick-ass Joker, and allowed North to show off what a phenomenal impressionist he is (his Gary Busey is out of control).

I’m sure you can find at least some of this panel on YouTube, and I recommend checking it out, especially if you’re a voice acting geek. It’s a ton of fun, and helps to show off the talents of these actors who are very rarely in the spotlight.

The Walking Dead Panel

And finally, I did make it into The Walking Dead panel at Madison Square Garden, always the biggest panel at New York Comic Con. Some of the cast and key members of the crew were there, including comic writer Robert Kirkman, special effects wizard Greg Nicotero, Andrew Lincoln, Norman Reedus, Jeffrey Dean Morgan, Lennie James, and Melissa McBride. I’ll admit, I’ve been pretty down on The Walking Dead for the past season, but this panel did a lot to make me hopeful for the show’s future.

First off, the show is about to hit the 100th episode mark, which is kind of insane, and increasingly rare in a TV landscape of 10 or 13-episode seasons. They spent a lot of time thanking the fans and showed off a clip of the 100th episode, which does something pretty interesting – it’s a direct recreation of a scene from the show’s pilot episode (I won’t say which scene, for spoiler reasons). Nicotero mentioned that the 100th would be filled with recreations and homages to the show’s past, and should be a really interesting watch for hardcore Walking Dead fans.

On the news front, the panel was fairly light, outside of small teases for where a couple of characters may be headed this season. Lincoln said something that to me was very reassuring, which was that the show is more quickly paced this season (the show is always at its best when it’s burning through story, and it hasn’t really done that in a long time). Kirkman also revealed that there would be some kind of crossover between The Walking Dead and its sister show, Fear The Walking Dead, but he would not reveal who would be crossing over, how it would happen, or even which show is crossing over to the other.

And that’s it for my time at New York Comic Con! Thanks for reading along with my fourth year of coverage of the convention, and I look forward to Year Number Five.

I’ve been tweeting and live-streaming my Comic Con experience at FilmBook’s Twitter account, and you can follow me as well if you’re so inclined.

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About the author

Michael Smith

Mike Smith is an avid filmgoer from New York who loves to hear his own voice - luckily his work as a podcaster on FilmBook allows him to do just that. Mike graduated from The College of Saint Rose in Albany with a degree in communications, and is ready to dole out critical analysis of all your pop culture fixations. Mike is the host of FilmBookCast and can frequently be seen at his local movie theater, patiently explaining to his friends that Superman Returns is a misunderstood masterpiece.

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