Read The Book, Experience The Extravagance Live: The Illuminati Ball Held During NYCC 2019

by Hannah Means Shannon

Cynthia Von Buhler’s new graphic novel, The Illuminati Ball, is debuting at New York Comic Con from Titan Comics, following on from her Minky Woodcock: The Girl Who Handcuffed Houdini, a visual extravaganza from the same publisher. The book will mark its publication with a one-night-only live performance of The Illuminati Ball. You can read our review of Von Buhler’s Minky Woodcock immersive event right here, and take our advice to attend any of her events that you can. The level of detail and creativity that go into Von Buhler’s live events will leave anyone in awe of the creative vision that drives them.

As for The Illuminati Ball, the event promises to  “immerse hundreds of masked guests in a fantastical tale of power, cruelty, deceit, and the insatiable hunger for freedom”. Described as Eyes Wide Shut crossed with The Island of Dr. Moreau, von Buhler says her goal is to “entertain, excite, and enlighten guests while questioning the morality of modern science in creating a new animal species with human DNA.”

The graphic novel is based on von Buhler’s hit immersive theater experience which she has been producing over the past four years.

The event is…

Inspired by leaked photos from a legendary 1972 ball attended by elaborately masked guests including Audrey Hepburn, who wore a birdcage over her head, and the Baroness de Rothschild, who wore a stag head mask with a diamond tear, The Illuminati Ball merges elements of the iconic soiree with science to explore how the desires of humans impact the lives of animals.

On Friday, October 4th, guests will attend a gathering at a historic temple in New York City where they will find themselves “guests of the revolutionary Pig King and his ensemble of fellow gene-spliced hybrids who have escaped an experimental lab”. The evening features surreal hors d’oeuvres and unlimited specialty cocktails.

To attend, guests must apply at and be accepted before they are allowed to purchase tickets, after which they will be provided with the temple’s address. Attendees each receive a unique mask and a signed copy of von Buhler’s book

The production will also be staged this New Year’s Eve in the same secret location.

Here’s a little more info about the event and its sponsors:

The Illuminati Ball is sponsored by Hiatus Tequila, Glyph and Communal Brands. Hiatus Tequila set out to find a family-owned distillery in the place that gave tequila its name. In the town of Tequila, in Jalisco, Mexico, they found a family that makes award-winning tequila—traditionally, transparently, and passionately.  Hiatus Tequila is naturally clean yet complex, ideal for sipping neat, but also shines in a cocktail. Glyph is the first whiskey ever to be made at the molecular level without any barrel aging. The company uses analytical chemistry to identify the specific molecules responsible for the unique flavors, aromas, and characteristics of various spirits, sources them pure from more efficient sources in nature (like other plants, fruits, and yeasts), then uses these molecules — or ‘notes’ — as building blocks to create their own original profiles of whiskeys. Communal Brands create classic wine for modern people. They only work with small growers that farm sensibly and produce wine in a traditional manner. They collaborate with their wine makers to design artistic labels which offer a visual tasting.

What: The Illuminati Ball, an immersive play and graphic novel
Where: A secret temple in Manhattan
When: Friday, October 4, 8PM – 11PM
Tickets: $250 & $450pp includes unlimited specialty cocktails, a unique mask and The Illuminati Ball graphic novel (retail $29).
Contact: For information, interviews, or photos contact: or text 646-221-5239

Note: The evening contains some nudity and adult themes and is 21+

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