It’s been one whole week since the New Jersey Comic Expo (NJCE) hit Edison, New Jersey on November 21 & 22, 2015. This, after producing their seventh and most successful Long Beach Comic Con in California in October 2015, is MAD Event Management‘s debut Comic Con on the East Coast. The results? Success! This was an exceptional edition to the ever-growing popularity of Con’s around the United States and the world for that matter. MAD Event Management put together a tremendous and unforgettable Comic Expo in Edison and the world should know about it.
The NJCE was small, but nothing short of amazing with a perfect blend of cosplayers, comic writers and artist, epic toy and classic game centers, rare comic shops, celebrities, and creators of all types of pop culture. The NJCE was a tremendous highlight for anyone who was apart of the experience and any fan looking to Up Their Geek Status in the company of current and future legends. Some fans may already be sold for next year’s event. For now, lets explore this year’s expo.
Who were the who’s who of this year’s expo? The list was ever growing and there were more than ever expected at NJCE. The guest list included, but was not limited to:
Chris Claremont (Legendary writer of Uncanny X-Men, The New Mutants, Fantastic Four)
Jim Lee (DC Comics Co-Publisher, Legendary Comic Book Artist – Batman: Hush, Justice League)
Drea de Matteo (Actress from “The Sopranos,” “Sons of Anarchy,” “Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.)
Mark Bagley (Artist – The Amazing Spider-Man, New Warriors, Justice League of America, Batman)
Garth Ennis (Creator of Preacher, The Boys; Writer for Punisher, Hellblazer)
Fabian Nicieza (Co-Creator of Deadpool and X-Force; Writer for X-Men, X-Force, Thunderbolts)
Erica Schultz (Writer for Swords of Sorrow, Rise)
Ivan Reis (Artist – Green Lantern, Justice League, Infinite Crisis, Blackest Night)
Amy Acker (Actress from Angel, Person of Interest, Agents of SHIELD)
Samantha Newark (Voice of Jem from Jem and the Holograms)
Rags Morales (Artist – Action Comics, Hawkman, Identity Crisis, Superman, Wonder Woman)
Dennis Calero (Artist – X Factor, Ash and the Army of Darkness, The Vampire Diaries)
Ethan Van Sciver (DC Artist: Green Lantern, The Flash, Batman: The Dark Knight)
Bob Schreck (Legendary Comics Senior Vice President/Editor-In-Chief)
Joe Harris (Comic book writer & filmmaker; IDW’s X-Files, Image’s Great Pacific, Bishop: The Last X-Man, Firestorm, Vampirella vs. Dracula)
Joseph Michael Linsner (Creator of Dawn, Artist – Dawn and Vampirella)
Tommy Walker (“Francis” from Marvel’s “Daredevil” series on Netflix)
Peter Shinkoda (“Nobu” from Marvel’s “Daredevil” series on Netflix, TNT’s Falling Skies)
Destiny Nickelsen (Cosplayer and costume designer)
YuffieBunny (Cosplayer and Alternative Fashion Model)
Vegas Power Girl (Notable Cosplayer)
The NJCE had incredible exhibitors both familiar and new, but one thing that stood out were the nostalgic icons of years past. With the 66 Batmobile; Back to the Future DeLorean (Doc and Marty impersonator included); Ghostbusters’ Ecto-1 with the Ghostbusters of New Jersey; the Jurassic Park jeep; a complete replica K.I.T.T. from Knight Rider; the Flintstones car; and the Scooby-Doo Mystery Machine. If you wanted a blast from the past, there was no doubt you could get it at the NJCE.
The NJCE also introduced the cosplay corner, where all of the event’s cosplayers converged and had there tables set up for all to see. From Supergirl Smiles and Ashley Uncanny, to Vegas Power Girl and Yuffie Bunny. The cosplay corner was a huge hit at the expo. Up Your Geek obtained a special interview and photo op with Yuffie Bunnie, which you can view on our YouTube page.
Along with all the amazing cosplayers at the even came, of course, the cosplay costume contest for for adults and children, which went great! The event also included a section named ‘Kids Loves Comics’ where there was a huge model Pirate ship complete with cosplaying Pirates, including a pair of Captain Jack Sparrows from Pirate of the Caribbean. The people were great and there were raffle giveaways for adults and children, who seemed to enjoy the hijinks of the pirates.
One of the most impressive parts of the NJCE was the writers alley where famed artist and writers from the world of comics were at the ready to sign autographs, take photos, and even create original artwork on the spot. Walter and Louise Simonson were so great, respectful, and humble that fans were there to see them. Together with Chris Claremont, the Simonsons’ participated in a Q & A panel that chronicled their greatest works. One writer who was incredibly kind and engaging was Erica Schultz (Swords of Sorrow: Black Sparrow & Lady Zorro Special, Swords of Sorrow: Masquerade & Kato, Rise, Marvel’s original graphic novel Revenge: The Secret Origin of Emily Thorne) who took the time to sign, take photos, and talk with fans about her work.
Let us not forget about the celebrity factor of the event. While the celebs were not huge A-list celebs, the actors and actresses available who did participate had a fanbase that will surely continue to grow, the more they are in action. Two of the actors at the event stood out, as they were just two of the most down-to-Earth and amazing people. Their names? Tommy Walker and Peter Shinkoda. Peter and Tommy were great and they seemed like great friends. Both actors took the time to talk with everyone who engaged them and more. The took photos, signed autographs, and just hung out. Peter and Tommy both allowed Up Your Geek to interview them and were even great about doing the Up Your Geek catch phase on camera.
Peter and Tommy mingled with the fans at the NJCE after party and Tommy even performed a rock song on stage. For Up Your Geek, the celebs were a worthwhile investment of time an energy, and money. In talking with the two actors, both were fans of comics especially Tommy, who provided Up Your Geek with a rundown of his favorite comic titles, stories, and characters. In fact, Tommy was star struck when he again met Jim Lee for the first time since he was 11 years old.
Overall, the New Jersey Comic Expo was new, but good. The show brought in many curious fans and the seemed to go off without any major issues or concerns. The draw back of being “new” to a place is less business right away, however, the silver lining is that now there is awareness and so next time around the stakes will be higher and players will be bigger. This show was just right, not too big in the realm of NY Comic Con, and not too small but somewhere in the middle, where fans felt comfortable and right at home.
Up Your Geek gives the seal of approval and will be attending the New Jersey Comic Expo next year in Edison on November 19 & 20, 2016. NJCE Definitely Upped Your Geek at this event! See photos of the event below: