In a sentence? This year it's looking like they're banking on their comic artists to draw in the crowd. But first...
Are There Going To Be Any Celebs There?
Going to be honest here, it's looking sparse.
In past years we saw Nathan Fillion, Billy Boyd and Mads Mikkelsen but this year... well, Matt Bomer (White Collar) was supposed to show up but cancelled. Instead, Brett Dalton. He's an American actor, best known for his role as Grant Ward on ABC’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., a show about the guys in the government who do the nitty-gritty while superheroes are off grand-standing. He’s also set to star in the upcoming thriller series A Bend in the Road which will air later this year.
Will there be more? Presumably! But with like 2 weeks to the main event and no further announcements on the "Entertainment Guest" portion, you're cutting it a bit close to the wire, guys. How hard can it be to fly Bill Murray out here?
But that's all cool because
Gundam Creator Yoshiyuki Tomino Will Be There
One area they're not skimping on seems to be artists. Some deep cuts. We've already written about Dexter Soy, Jacob Chabot, Hucong Misun and Jorge Molina. Step aside, scrubs, Yoshiyuki freaking Tomino's on the cards.
Veteran mecha anime director Yoshiyuki Tomino and creator of freaking Gundam, better known by his Guy Ritchie nickname "Kill 'Em All Tomino," has a bit of a reputation for mass cast murder. Ever seen Space Runaway Ideon? If (spoilers) Glenn's death in Walking Dead made you upset, maybe don't, because (spoilers) everyone, including the universe, dies. Existence itself is brutally smothered in its crib. It's hardcore, even for an 80's cartoon. Yoshiyuki's also well-known for, you know, creating Gundam, working on series like Zeta Gundam (where everyone dies), Gundam SEED (most everyone dies), and Mobile Suit Gundam: Iron-Blooded Orphans (only a bunch of people die).
Jesus Christ. Anyway, he'll be there!
You may have spotted a pair of sick prints floating around the internet of Optimus Prime and Megatron looking like wuxia characters. Zhang Wang drew those. He does a lot of tongue-in-cheek mash-ups between traditional Chinese ink painting and superhero comics. He's done a whole series of 20 superhero characters redone in Qin to Qing Dynasty styles.
Zhang Wang conflating a few influences...
You can also find Lin Chao, best known for for the Year Hare Affair webcomic, which is kind of like Maus in that it deals with serious issues by representing nations and peoples as differeny animals. The Communist Party is cutesy little rabbits with, in the episode about the Korean War at least, a lot of hand grenades. Shades of Apocalypse Meow, which incidentally also has rabbits as main characters. Anyway, the webcomic deals with issues like patriotism, history and politics, and was turned into an animation recently. You can watch the first episode here (VPN on).
Some classic Zeen Chin, from the artist's twitter
Others on the ticket include Zeen Chin, who does some breath-takingly atmospheric Japanese mythology-inspired work that would look as good as a desktop or a wall mural, returning British comic artist Yishan Li (Buffy: The High School Years), Phil Jimenez (New X-Men, Teen Titans, Wonder Woman), and Yu Su Lan (Melancholic Princess, The King of Blazer), and more.
How About The Cosplay
Without cosplayers, it wouldn't be Comic Con. Never mind the prints, never mind the toys, never mind the panels and the autographs, show up just to sit and watch people breathlessly live-streaming their Monster Hunter cosplay. Last year there was a dude dressed up as One-Punch Man and it was freaking uncanny.
Not that Shanghai's cosplay scene needs much help in the enthusiasm department, but professional Los Angeles cosplayer Ivy Doomkitty will be showing up to add a little variety to the inevitable sea of Deadpools, and maybe push back a little against the (distressingly still-not-dead) idea that cosplayers should look like Rob Liefeld drawings.
There's going to be a competition too, with finalists strutting their stuff on the main stage. The four categories are Needlework (Cosplay constructed primarily through sewing, stitching, embroidery, etc), Armor (cosplay created by molding and shaping plastics and the like), FX (cosplay that primarily features animatronics, optical effects, mechanical effects, special effects makeup, prosthetics, etc.) and finally, Larger Than Life, which is cosplay that encloses the maker and extends their limbs by at least one foot. So that sounds awesome.
The grand winner gets 5,000rmb and a return flight to Chicago for the C2E2 Crown Championship of Cosplay. Shanghai represent.
Location & Dates
It's taking place over three days, from Thursday, October 5 to Saturday, October 7. This year, they've moved out of their old digs and into the Shanghai World Expo Exhibition & Convention Center. Moving up in the world and south-east on the map!
Tickets. Tickets are on sale now at SmartTicket either by day or as a 3-day pass. Price break-down is as follows;
Thursday, Oct 5 - Day 1: Pre-show 98rmb, Onsite 120rmb
Friday, Oct 6 - Day 2: Pre-show 180rmb, Onsite 200rmb
Saturday, Oct 7 - Day 3: Pre-show 150rmb, Onsite 180rmb
3-Day Pass: 298rmb, only available online.
That's pretty much everything there is to know about Shanghai Comic Con 2017. Hell of a year for some cool local artists, bit short on the celebrity showings. Might have to wait until next year to shell out 600rmb for an autograph from a guy who touched Pete Jackson's beard.