Y’know, we used to post these roundups of what to expect at New York Comic Con every year. But that pesky pandemic popped up a few years ago – maybe you’ve heard of it? – and we haven’t felt the need to do this since 2019. We’re pleased and excited to not only be returning to NYCC this year, but that it’s bound to be one of the most Muppet-centric in a long, long time.
If you plan to attend this year’s New York Comic Con, read on to learn about all the Muppet-related stuff you’ll be able to see, buy, and do at the Con!
Easily the most exciting part about this year’s Comic Con is the official representation of the Big Three. We’ve got panels about the Muppets, Sesame Street and Jim Henson!
Of course, we’re most excited about Jim Henson: The Early Years. Not just because it’ll be a celebration of Jim’s earliest work and the new “Sam and Friends” book, but because it’ll be hosted and moderated by me! ToughPigs’ own Joe Hennes! I’m excited to chat with “Sam and Friends” author Craig Shemin, puppeteer Ryan Dillon, archivist Susie Tofte, and artist Dave Hulteen about the new book and how their work has been influenced by Jim Henson’s earliest projects. It’s bound to be a fun one, and we hope to see you there!
Jim Henson: The Early Years
Saturday, October 8 – 4:45pm
Next up, we’ll be treated to a panel promoting the upcoming Disney+ series Muppets Mayhem, with the human stars of the show (Lilly Singh, Tahj Mowry and Saara Chaudry) and the Executive Producers (Adam F. Goldberg, Jeff Yorkes and Bill Barretta). The panel promises “exciting news, exclusive footage, and more”, so this may be our first actual tease showing what we can expect from the show! We don’t expect there to be any Muppets making appearances, but with Bill Barretta on the panel, we’re keeping our fingers crossed to see a certain gold-toothed keyboardist.
The Muppets Mayhem
Sunday, October 9 – 11:00am
Finally, the production company behind Sesame Street: The Musical will be hosting a panel. We don’t have much info on what – or who – will be there, but considering their panel last year featured appearances by the puppet cast of Winnie-the-Pooh, we’d be surprised if there wasn’t a puppet or two in this one.
Sesame Street: The Musical
Sunday, October 9 – 3:15pm
We always, always, always find fun Muppet merch at Comic Con. We haven’t heard of any Muppet-related Con exclusives, but that doesn’t mean we won’t be surprised. But the Con also features a huge vendor area with vintage toys and bootleg shirts. If you’re in the market for something with a Muppet on it, you’re guaranteed to walk away with something unique or culturally important (to our culture, at least).
No Comic Con visit would be complete without a visit to Artists Alley, where hundreds of talented artists are standing by to show off their talents, sell their work, and meet their fans. We always spot incredible (and unofficial) Muppet, Sesame, and Henson artwork, and often times we go the extra mile and buy some to decorate our walls. Plus, there are incredible artists who’ve worked on official Henson projects like Katie Cook and Jay Fosgitt who you can meet in the flesh (and spend a little money at their tables).
Cosplayers are intensely creative and dedicated folks. And when they dress as Muppets or incorporate them into their costumes, it’s jaw-dropping. It’s always a treat to run into one of these Muppet cosplayers, and I can’t wait to see what this year’s New York Comic Con will have in store.
If you like famous people (I mean, who doesn’t? That’s why they’re famous!), there are loads to meet at Comic Con. And like most celebrities worth their salt, many of them have worked with the Muppets! You can pay a little extra for a meet-and-greet to ask Drew Barrymore what it was like being on Elmo’s Not-Too-Late Show, ask James McAvoy why he agreed to such a brief cameo in Muppets Most Wanted, or ask John Leguizamo if his Captain Vegetable costume was uncomfortable. You can find a full list of NYCC guests here.
But here’s the big thing about Comic Con: No matter what you do, you’ll have a good time. And if there are Muppets involved, then that’s a pretty good bonus. Have a great Con, Muppet fans!
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by Joe Hennes – Joe@ToughPigs.com