Saturday Program Highlights for WonderCon 2018

A preview of another seven panels you might find me at WonderCon.
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WonderCon 2018 gets underway on Friday March 23. The programming slate has been announced on their website, and these are the panels you will likely find me, though my schedule is not set in stone and there are no guarantees at a convention unless you are part of the panel.

World Premiere of Batman Ninja
10:15am - 12:15pm

Witness the Dark Knight as you've never seen him before at the first public screening of the highly anticipated anime film. Batman Ninja takes a journey across the ages as Gorilla Grodd's time displacement machine transports many of Batman's worst enemies to feudal Japan—along with the Dark Knight and a few of his allies. The villains take over the forms of the feudal lords that rule the divided land, with the Joker taking the lead among the warring factions. As his traditional high-tech weaponry is exhausted almost immediately, Batman must rely on his intellect and his allies—including Catwoman and the extended Bat-family—to restore order to the land, and return to present-day Gotham City.

The visually stunning Batman Ninja will be discussed afterward by the creative team of director Jumpei Mizusaki (opening animation of JoJo's Bizarre Adventure), original screenwriter Kazuki Nakashima (Gurren Lagann), and character designer Takashi Okazaki (Afro Samurai) and English-language screenwriters Leo Chu and Eric Garcia (Supah Ninjas, Afro Samurai), alongside several of the film's actors, led by the voice of Batman, Roger Craig Smith (Batman: Arkham Origins). The film also stars the voices of Tony Hale (Veep, Arrested Development) as the Joker, Grey Griffin (Scooby-Doo franchise) as Catwoman, Tara Strong (Batman: The Killing Joke) as Harley Quinn and Poison Ivy, Fred Tatasciore (Family Guy) as Gorilla Grodd and Deathstroke, Yuri Lowenthal (Ben 10: Omniverse) as Robin and Red Hood, Adam Croasdell (Reign) as Nightwing and Alfred, Will Friedle (Boy Meets World) as Red Robin, Tom Kenny (SpongeBob SquarePants) as Penguin, and Eric Bauza (The Adventures of Puss in Boots) as Two-Face. Warner Bros. Japan, DC Entertainment, and Warner Bros. Home Entertainment bring Batman Ninja to digital starting April 24 and Blu-ray Steelbook, Blu-ray Combo Pack, and DVD on May 8.

This Elseworlds Batman has an intriguing premise, so am curious how well they execute it.

Essential Deserted Island Comics
12:30pm - 1:30pm
Room 208

Bad news: You’re stranded on a deserted island. Good news: You can pick your favorite comics to get stuck with for the rest of your life! What essential comics will you be reading and rereading? You might know your own picks, but find out what some of comics’s hottest creators picked as their absolute top favorite deserted island comics they can’t live without! Hosted by the comiXology castaways, this is a party game discussion for every comics fan!

This panel might have some great suggestions for titles I have overlooked.

Marvel Animation: From Pencil To Screen
12:30pm - 1:30pm
Room 300D

Marvel Animation presents a behind-the-scenes journey through all aspects of production and development. You’ll get an exclusive look at how Marvel assembles acclaimed animated series and projects such as Marvel’s Avengers: Secret Wars, Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy: Mission Breakout, and the highly anticipated Marvel Rising, as well as an inside glimpse at the popular Marvel Funko animated shorts and Marvel LEGO Super Heroes—Black Panther: Trouble in Wakanda. Led by Cort Lane (SVP, Animation and Family Entertainment) and featuring several special guests, the Marvel Animation team will share insights into the writing process, voice direction, production, never-before-seen sneak peeks of upcoming projects, and tons of scoops on future storylines.

I have enjoyed the Avengers and Guardians series plus the previous Spider-man series, so am most curious about theor upcoming projects.

A First Look at Netflix's Lost In Space
1:50pm - 3:20pm

Lost in Space is a Netflix Original dramatic and modern reimagining of the classic 1960s science fiction series. See a screening of the first episode, followed by a discussion with Zack Estrin (showrunner) and cast members including Toby Stephens, Molly Parker, Parker Posey, and more.

Wasn't a fan of the original TV series because Mr. Smith was so annoying, but the premise has potential so am curious about the new show and the direction they intend to take it.

Tarzan and the Wild Adventures of Edgar Rice Burroughs
4:30pm - 5:30pm
Room 208

Jim Sullos (president, Edgar Rice Burroughs, Inc.), Cathy Wilbanks (VP of operations, Edgar Rice Burroughs, Inc.), and other panelists discuss upcoming releases featuring Burroughs’s famous literary heroes, including comics, novels, and role-playing games based on Tarzan of the Apes, John Carter of Mars, Carson of Venus, Pellucidar, and The Land That Time Forgot.

Am a fan of Tarzan, especially afterfter discovering Russ Manning's Tarzan newspaper strips published by the Library of American Comics, so am curious what's in store for the character and other Burroughs properties.

Warner Archive Meets Trailers from Hell
7:00pm - 8:00pm
Room 300B

The forces of film and fun reunite for another insightful examination of current and upcoming sci-fi, horror, and cult movie trailers from the Warner Archive Collection's recent and upcoming Blu-ray releases. Join legendary director Joe Dante (Gremlins, Innerspace, The Howling), Academy Award-nominated screenwriter Josh Olson, Warner Archive podcast hosts Matthew Patterson and D. W. Ferranti, and some potential surprise panelists delve into the stories behind a bevy of classics, including Black Scorpion, The Flight of the Dragons, Leatherface: Texas Chainsaw Massacre III, and quite a few surprises. Moderator Gary Miereanu will undoubtedly be bringing some fun giveaways for a few lucky fans.

The Warner Archive Collection is a very good film label so film fans should enjoy this preview of what's to come.

14th Annual WonderCon Masquerade
8:30pm - 11:00pm

This big onstage costume competition features amazing, beautiful, and imaginative re-created and original costumes crafted by talented attendees. Contestants compete for trophies, cash, and merchandise awards as bestowed by a panel of guest judges and representatives from various companies and organizations. The MCs are Phil Foglio and Kaja Foglio. Entertainment during judging intermission is provided by the Saber Guild performance group. Doors open for seating at 8:00, but the line for choice seating starts earlier!

Each year the imagination and execution of costumes seems to improve at conventions and the Masquerade offers a chance to see what cosplayers have created.

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