Having covered New Orleans Comic-Con for The Crescent, I’ve firmly cemented the event as somewhat of a New Years’ tradition for the city. Set annually in the Morial Convention Center along the Mississippi River, Comic-Con has always been a captivating event that brings the biggest in Hollywood and popular culture into a city famous for its innovations in art and music. Every year I’m always interested in seeing how the event’s programming and highlights shift concurrently with the most recent trends in pop culture and entertainment itself. The 2020 edition of the convention offered great programming and events for a wide variety of movies, TV and streaming shows, video games, and more.
The programming for the event included a wide variety of topics regarding pop culture ranging from the broad and popular to the art-oriented and niche. Genre-based topics included a variety of interesting panels on the development and current state of science fiction, the psychological attachments people develop towards television shows and characters, and the production processes that go into cosplay costumes. In addition to the more general genre-based panels, the programming included panels discussing the evolution of small-screen Star Wars content (the Disney+ series, The Mandalorian, was really popular buzz throughout the convention in general) along with panels on series ranging from the DC television universe and its recent major crossover “Crisis on Infinite Earths,” to more niche topics like the Louisiana Ghostbusters fandom and the sci-fi novels of Philip Dick.
In addition to the fan-based panels, the event featured a trove of programming dedicated to meeting and talking with creators and actors. Saturday included two panel discussions with 90s classic Charmed’s Holly Marie Combs and Firefly’s Jewel Staite and Sean Maher, both moderated by Freaks and Geeks actor Samm Levine. Special ticketed events included meetings with the cast of 00s Superman mainstay Smallville as well as the cast of Starz’s hit drama Outlander. Returning from an informative panel at last year’s convention was an updated discussion for the documentary Ghost Empire, directed by recent Tulane grad Jonny Harvey, which debuted a new trailer with additional footage.
One really fascinating panel related to a specific franchise was a Q-and-A with Constantine star Matt Ryan. The NBC show star’s eclectic discussion ranged from the complex scheduling and traveling required for balancing his screen acting with theatrical performances (as well as the complex hair-wardrobe changes for each), before shifting towards other topics such as the making and wearing of Constantine’s iconic trenchcoat and the historical basis of the supernatural elements and themes in the show’s writing.
In addition to the multitude of programming was the convention’s namesake — a variety of comic retailers and collectible stands in the main hall of the convention center. The vendors included not only local retailers, but also online retailers coming in from locations as far as Florida, Detroit, Chicago, and New York for this convention. A common praise for the New Orleans convention was that its winter scheduling allows for good timing of the event when few other conventions around the country are occurring. On the artistic end, the event featured comics legend Neal Adams (writer of Batman’s Dark Knight Rises run, which was adapted into the hit 2012 Christopher Nolan film) as well as a setup from indie publisher Caliber Comics, which is known for being an early publishing outline for Marvel writer Brian Michael Bendis.
2019 was an interesting year both for pop culture in general and comic media in particular. Hosting a large array of content, this year’s comic con was a celebration of fandom and pop culture in one of America’s most unique cities.
New Orleans Comic Con occurred from January 3rd to January 5th at the Morial Convention Center. The Crescent would like to thank Wizard World for their accommodations.
Cover Photo: Scott Threlkeld