After a two-year hiatus, WonderCon is returning to the Anaheim Convention Center for an in-person event. Three-day and single day tickets still seem to be available according to their website. The program schedule has been revealed and listed below are what I am most interested in seeing, although whether I attend them is anyone’s guess at this point.
Friday, April 1, 2022
22nd Annual Animation Show of Shows
2:30 PM – 4:30 PM – North 200A
Ron Diamond (curator, producer) presents the WonderCon 2022 world premiere of this annual collection of incredible animated shorts. Diamond will moderate a postscreening Q&A with Jo Meuris (director, animator).
Diamond always assembles an intriguing collection of modern animation so I am curious about this latest show.
The Fun behind Funko!
4:00 PM – 5:00 PM – North 200B
Hear the ins and outs of Funko in this four-part panel. First up Ben Butcher and Sean Wilkinson will discuss all aspects of Funko creative. Second up will be Hilary Gray and Ashley Anderson to discuss all aspects of Funko’s social media. Penultimately, Dave Bere will discuss all aspects of Funko marketing. Lastly, fun maker Mike Becker will present one of his fan-favorite “Fred Talks.”
I have been a Funko! Pop collector for quite a few years, although as the Pops have grown in popularity so has the difficulty to obtaining them for a number of reasons. It’s grown pretty hard to get into their booth at their conventions to buy them but you can’t knock what a success the barnd has become so am curious to hear from the insiders.
Heavy Metal The Legend Continues
5:00 PM – 6:00 PM – Room 300B
Heavy Metal has been the premier home for science fiction, fantasy, and horror for 45 years, from the magazine to comics to the legendary animated film. Come and meet the team behind forging the future of Heavy Metal.
It’s been interesting to see the ebb and flow of the magazine’s popularity over the years. Hope they provide a little history before moving onto the future.
Saturday, April 2, 2022
Jack Kirby on the Pacific: Captain Victory, Silver Star and . . . Goozlebobber??
Saturday, April 2, 2022
11:30 AM – 12:30 PM – Room 213AB
Jack Kirby created many new worlds upon his arrival to the West Coast, and his later, less-known work with Pacific Comics is full of incredible creativity and imagination. Join some of Jack’s family and friends as they explore some of his last, great independent comic series: the cosmic world of Captain Victory, the genetically modified Silver Star . . . and of course the Goozlebobber!
I am a Kirby fan, particularly his Marvel Comics work, but know nothing of his Pacific Comics work, so I’ll definitely be seated for this history lesson.
Spotlight on Kevin Eastman
Saturday, April 2, 2022
1:00 PM – 2:00 PM – Room 207
Kevin Eastman talks TMNT, comics, and projects for 2022. Guest Appearance by Ciro Nieli (2012 TMNT animated series).
Having just recently started reading the original TMNT comics, I should take in my first panel featuring one of the co-creators.
30th Anniversary Celebration of X-Men: The Animated Series
2:30 PM – 3:30 PM – North 200B
Fans cannot forget the opening theme of the 1992 X-Men: The Animated Series and the excitement of watching their favorite Marvel team. Jessica Tseang (international comics historian/AMC Secret History of Comics) discusses with Eric Lewald and Julia Lewald (showrunners, X-Men: The Animated Series; authors, X-Men: The Art and Making of the Animated Series) why the show is so well-loved. Its legacy led to toys still being made to this day, and fandom forums always buzzing. They will take us into a deep dive into their critically acclaimed book, their time on the show, what made it a classic, and their appreciation of all things X-Men and how fans relate to them.
I imagine the turnout for this beloved series is going to be huge. It was definitely must-see TV on Saturday mornings around my house because the writing and acting are top notch.
Z2 Comics: Back in Smoke – 50 Years of Cheech & Chong
6:30 PM – 7:30 PM – North 200B
In celebration of the beloved comedy duo’s 50th year of performing together, Z2 Comics has worked with legendary comedians Cheech Marin and Tommy Chong on their first-ever graphic novel. The book teams these larger-than-life personas with the best of comics talent for a fun look back at how marijuana charted the course for the history we know, through the stories we didn’t. Cheech and Chong themselves for a look back through 50 years and beyond in a once-in-a-lifetime program, hosted by SiriusXM Liquid Metal host Jose Mangin!
I know a few folks who would have done better in history class if Cheech and Chong had been their guides. Am curious to see what the fellas are up to.
Sunday, April 3, 2022
The Bob’s Burgers Movie
10:00 AM – 11:00 AM – North 200A
Bob’s Burgers creators and cast come together for this first look at the Belcher family’s jump to the big screen. During the panel, they will share never-before-seen footage and answer fan questions.
Am not a morning person, but I’ll make an exception starting the day with this funny cast.
100 Years of Visual Effects
12:30 PM – 1:30 PM – North 200B
This title is a lie! Visual effects have actually been around for over 115 years! The very people who invented the visual language of film developed effects to tell the most fantastic stories. Geoffrey Mark (The Orville, Raised by Wolves) takes you through a historical journey from the beginning of film until today.
Saw this at least year’s San Diego Comic Con and cannot recommend this enough for those who love movies and how they are made. Mark knows his stuff and delivers an entertaining presentation.
Eight Decades of Archie at the Comic-Con Museum
2:30 PM – 3:30 PM – Room 213AB
For more than 80 years, the characters and stories of Archie Comics have resonated with readers, creating fans around the world and serving as the basis for hit pop songs, big-budget motion pictures, and top-rated TV shows (both animated and live-action). This past November, San Diego’s Comic-Con Museum opened a pop-up exhibit dedicated to Archie. Here, members of that show’s curatorial team join long-time fans and key creators to consider Archie’s impact on popular culture and give some behind-the-scenes looks into the Museum galleries.
If a property has been around over 80 years and across different media, they must be doing something right. The Filmation animated show is where I took in the world of Archie so am curious to learn more.
Not sure who is charge of programming the movies and I won’t be watching them at the convention but wanted to draw attention to a couple days. On Friday, the Extended Edition of The Lord of the Rings trilogy starts at 10 am. But one better have stamina as the schedule shows only a 12-minute break before The Two Towers and only five minutes before The Return on the King. On Saturday, they are showing five Akira Kurosawa movies. The director continues to have an influence on pop culture decades after his last movie was made.