WonderCon returns again to the Anaheim Convention Center. Single-day tickets are still 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. There’s no telling what factors will pull me in as of yet unforeseen directions once I am withing the convention grounds.
Friday, March 24
How Has Comic-Con Changed Your Life? – 2:30 PM – 4:30 PM – North 200A
An annual event since 1970, the San Diego Comic-Con is a big part of our lives. Presenting and discussing their love of pop culture are Greg Koudoulian (early SDCC film program contributor; manager of the Shel Dorf Archives), Sasha Achrem (George Clayton Johnson’s last apprentice), Anthony Keith (former SDCC committee member and El Cortez alumnus), Terry Stroud (dealer at every Comic-Con and co-founder of American Comic Book Company), and John Morrow (TwoMorrows Publishing and author).
I am a sucker for history and getting to hear from these folks about the early days of the biggest events in fandom sounds intriguing to me.
The Greatest Cartoons Ever! – 5:00pm – 6:00pm – Room 300E
Get your popcorn and get ready to see Bugs, Popeye, and other animated superstars on the big screen! Animation historian Jerry Beck will introduce the iconic and most notable theatrical shorts from Hollywood’s legendary Golden Age. Films include Max Fleisher’s Superman cartoon Magnetic Telescope, Tex Avery’s Little Rural Riding Hood, the Popeye classic Goonland, Chuck Jones’ Looney Tunes classic Duck Rabbit Duck, and more.
How can you go wrong spending an hour watching cartoons, especially some of the greatest? The answer is, you can’t.
Batman: The Doom That Came to Gotham – 6:00 PM – 8:00 PM – Arena
Warner Bros. Discovery Home Entertainment returns its fabled tradition of DC animated film world debuts at WonderCon with the World Premiere of Batman: The Doom That Came to Gotham. Inspired by the comic book series by Mike Mignola, Richard Pace and Troy Nixey, the 1920s-based Elseworlds tale finds explorer Bruce Wayne accidentally unleashing an ancient evil, expediting his return to Gotham City after a two-decade hiatus. The logic/science-driven Batman must battle Lovecraftian supernatural forces threatening the sheer existence of Gotham, along the way being aided and confronted by reimagined versions of his well-known allies and enemies, including Green Arrow, Ra’s al Ghul, Mr. Freeze, Killer Croc, Two-Face, James Gordon, and Bruce’s beloved wards. Prepare to be among the first to witness this mystical, often terrifying Batman adventure, then stay for an entertaining panel discussion among cast and filmmakers. Reprising his Batman: Soul of the Dragon role as the voice of the Dark Knight, David Giuntoli (Grimm, A Million Little Things) leads a star-studded cast that includes Tati Gabrielle (Kaleidoscope, Uncharted) as Kai Li Cain, Christopher Gorham (The Lincoln Lawyer, Insatiable) as Oliver Queen, David Dastmalchian (Dune, The Suicide Squad, Ant-Man) as Grendon, Patrick Fabian (Better Call Saul) as Harvey Dent, John DiMaggio (Futurama, Anne Rice’s Interview with the Vampire) as James Gordon, Jeffrey Combs (Re-Animator, The Frighteners) as Kirk Langstrom, Emily O’Brien (Days of Our Lives) as Talia al Ghul, and many more. Sam Liu (The Death and Return of Superman) fills the dual role of producer and co-director alongside co-director Christopher Berkeley (Young Justice) to bring to animated life the script from screenwriter Jase Ricci (Teen Titans Go! and DC Super Hero Girls: Mayhem in the Multiverse). Batman: The Doom That Came to Gotham, will be available to own on Digital, 4K Ultra HD, Blu-ray Combo Pack, and Blu-ray on March 28.
Warner Brothers continues their wonderful tradition of bringing their latest animated film to WonderCon. This year sees Batman, joined by friends and foes, take on a Lovecraftian horror in and Elseworlds tale set in the 1920s.
Saturday, March 25
Saturday Morning Cartoons with Animator/Director Tom Cook – 10:00 AM – 11:00 AM – Room 211
WonderCon Special Guest Tom Cook will take you through his early life and what inspired him to become an artist and then an animator/director on some of the classic cartoons from your childhood. He will also explain the steps it took to make a cartoon back in the good old days when you used a very rare item called . . . a pencil. He will conclude the panel with a Q&A session, so get those questions ready.
Looking forward to discover if the classic cartoons from his childhood and the classic cartoons overlap.
Star Trek: The Next Generation’s Greatest Guest Stars – 1:30pm – 2:30pm – Room 300C
Liz and Stephanie Thomovsky (Sisters of Star Trek:TNG). The guest stars of ST:TNG literally made the episode in many instances, creating conflict or highlighting existing crew members. They will use episode excerpts to help illustrate the greatest and most memorable guest stars and why they are so noteworthy.
Watched the first four or five seasons when it aired. Have been considering a run-through of the whole series and this might help me push to engage that mission. Hopefully, they run through their presentation chronologically so I can slip out and miss spoilers.
Twilight Zone: Behind the Scenes – 5:00pm – 6:00pm – Room 213CD
Jeffrey Ashkin (technical support, The Credits Movie) and Marc Scott Zicree (Mr. Sci-Fi YouTube Channel) discuss all the behind-the-scenes stories of the original anthology series, which Zicree detailed in his guidebook The Twilight Zone Companion.
Rod Serling’s The Twilight Zone is one of the best shows all time. Looking forward to learning more about.
The 70th Anniversary of the 3-D Craze of 1953 – 7:30pm – 8:30pm PDT – Room 208
1953 was a landmark year for 3-D movies and comic books. That year saw many major Hollywood feature films, shorts, and theatrical animated cartoons produced in 3-D, and most major comics companies published 3-D comic books, all to great popularity. But the fad burned out quickly—by the end of the year, there were no more 3-D comics, and only a few movies were still released in 3-D the following year. Eric Kurland (founder, 3-D SPACE), Lawrence Kaufman (historian, National Stereoscopic Association), and Mike Ballew (Close Enough to Touch: 3-D Comes to Hollywood) take a look at how the 3-D craze started, some if it’s highlights, and why it fizzled out. 3-D glasses will be provided to attendees.
I have seen quite a few 3-D movies so am very curious to learn about this fad.
Sunday, March 26
Animation Show of Shows’ Best! – 10:00am – 12:00pm – Arena
Ron Diamond (founder, curator, and producer) offers a special presentation of the best-animated shorts from the Animation Show’s first 21 years. Arrive early for a special pre-panel photo montage of directors and their colleagues at festivals and at Studio screenings.
Have enjoyed a few of the annual round-ups Mr. Diamond has put together. A best-of show should be amazing.
Freakazoid! How One Show Changed the World as We Know It – 1:00pm – 2:00pm – North 200A
The Freakazoid! series creative team gives a behind-the-scenes glimpse into the making of this Emmy Award-winning cult classic. Featuring series writer/producer/voice actor Paul Rugg, series senior producer and writer Tom Ruegger, producer and writer John McCann, series producer/designer/director Mitch Schauer, and composers Steve Bernstein and Julie Bernstein. Moderated by Joey Letson from The Animanicast.
I was a huge fan of this show, so am very much looking forward to this rembrance by those involved.
Marv Wolfman (New Teen Titans) started writing comics in 1967 and hasn’t stopped since. Writer/editor Barbara Kesel (Meridian) will conduct Marv’s Spotlight interview and Q&A, discussing his work, his many creations, and much more.
Mr. Wolfman served as a writer and editor when I became a regular Marvel Comics reader in the late ’70s. Am looking forward to hearing his stories from that time.