Saturday, April 19, 2014

WonderCon Man: First

*Pardon any typos, I'm posting on the fly and the Kindle Fire isn't great for this format*

WonderCon aka San Diego Comic-Con lite as badge pick up and getting into the exhibition hall was a breeze.  We did a bit of exploring before heading to our first panel, it was randomly hot on the floor but not too crowded.  Every show you seem to notice an abundance of one thing, last year's Comic-Con it was Arnold and Predator in the forms of new toys, statues, 3D Blu Ray, tee shirts and even a couple cosplayers.  This year it's all about another classic, influential and violent sci-fi masterpiece from 1987, Robocop!  No one in costume but statues, toys, magazines, posters and more are all over the floor this year.  We still have a lot of the floor to see like Artist Alley and I hear Nintendo has a big display for the new Mario Kart.

Panel wise we checked out 4:  The Art of the Pitch put on by Disney Creative, Drawing with Jim Lee, the 2nd half of Greatest Geek Movies of 1984 and finally Behind the Scenes of Scripted Television.  Disney's Pitch panel was a showcase for their writing program and featured guests who had segued from dance, crew and whatnot before becoming writers and directors.  It was a warm and inspiring hour as the panelists took pitches from the audience and offered notes, shared their stories of breaking in and encouraged all
to embrace who they are to help further their careers.  Jim Lee was fantastic as always and even asked the audience how many had seen his Spotlight panels in order to change it up while educating and entertaining us all.  This time he invited 3 amateur artists to the stage, gave them the script from an upcoming issue and then proceeded to shape the examples while discussing the elements of art as storytelling through frames, atmosphere, action and more.  It was a really funny and informative panel as Lee is such a talented artist but has served in so many roles in comics that he just has stories for days about Warner Brothers, D.C., Image Comics, movies, the new Batman VS Superman movie, etc.

GEEK Movies of 1984 is a better concept than actuality as a group of writers, producers and publisher types get together to discuss their favorite genre flicks of a particular year.  Titles ranged from The Terminator, Streets of Fire, Buckaroo Banzai to Purple Rain but without any visual cues during discussion, it basically turns into an overlapping quote and random factoid free for all.  Would make for great dinner conversation with friends but not so much awith an audience.  Our last panel of the night corralled various writers, directors, composers and assistant directors whose work includes Chuck, Arrow, Stan Lee media and more to discuss their various work behind the scenes on episodic programming for network, cable and digital.  It was a very educational hour with plenty of useful yet funny anecdotes about the logistics of production, working in the writers room, doing things yourself vs waiting for someone to recognize it and almost blowing up Air Force One because Renny Harlin likes to use lots of gasoline.

Bill Paxton sighting within the hour!

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