WonderCon 2024 Review: Day Two

It was raining Saturday morning so not sure how this affected attendance, but surely had to dissuade a few. More cosplayers than usual were inside the convention center, posing in the foyer and on the stairs, rather than outside the convention hall.

Buy Crisis On Infinite Earths book

Spotlight on Marv Wolfman: As a Gen X-er who read comic books, Wolfman’s name was a familiar one. He worked for both Marvel and DC, notably creating vampire-slayer Blade in the pages of The Tomb of Dracula with artist Gene Colan, and revamped the Teen Titans and the entire DC Universe (Crisis on Infinite Earth) with artist George Perez. At the panel, I learned he created fanzines as a teenager where he published one of Stephen King’s first stories. He would send the zines to DC editors and eventually started working on House of Mystery. He co-created Destiny with artist Bernie Wrightson, a character Neil Gaiman used in his Sandman comics. Wolfman talked about why he revised the Teen Titans roster to include an even number of young men and women.

The Greatest Cartoons: Apparently tech issues kept Jerry Beck from the panel he intended to present. Instead, he was able to offer a version of his animation history lecture he gives at CalArts. This was an unexpected but welcome surprise, getting a bit of history rather than just playing familiar cartoons. We got to see the first Fleischer Superman cartoon and a Private Snafu, which had been made just for the military,

Buy Bill Sienkiewicz: Revolution book

The Legendary Bill Sienkiewicz: A Career-Spanning Interview: Todd McFarlane, who earlier in the day had a panel showcasing McFarlane Toys, was a surprise guest. He offered a glowing introduction praising the talents and influence Sienkiewiczhad on him and his generation of artists. Sienkiewicz had started at Marvel following their format, but as time when on he began to illustrate in his style, which is why he has become such a notable name in the industry. He talked about working on The New Mutants rather than the company’s flagship title Uncanny X-Men, hoping the smaller title would mean less editorial oversight.

Sand Land: The Series Screening: Based on the Japanese manga series written and illustrated by the late Akira Toriyama, creator of Dragon Ball, the first two episodes were screened. I only stayed for one to make sure I got into my next panel, but that turned out not to be a concern this WonderCon like it is at San Diego Comic Con. After a video introduction that was in Japanese, “Departure” reveals a world that has turned into a desert. The king has taken control of the water and distributes it unfairly. Sheriff Rao has had enough and seeks the help of Lucifer. Instead, Rao gets help from Lucifer’s son Beelzebub and his friend Thief. They drive off in search of a new water supply. The king’s army chases after in a chase scene filled with action and humor. It got me intrigued in the rest of the series, which is on Hulu.

Buy Bruce Dickinson: The Mandrake Project CD

In Conversation with Bruce Dickinson: The Mandrake Project: The Iron Maiden lead singer was on hand to promote this multimedia project, which is available as a solo album as well as a a 12-episode graphic novel. He talked about how Silver Surfer and Doctor Strange appealed to him more than Superman. Z2 Comics editors Rantz A. Hoseley and Josh Bernstein were talked about meeting with Dickinson and developing the comic end, which they did with the help of artist Bill Sienkiewicz, who also appeared.

Ghostbusters: Law of the Afterlife: The Legal Geeks looked at the Ghostbusters franchise and examined questions relating to what the law said about trapping a ghost and whether or not they were still considered a person. What sort of laws were broken in animating the Statue of Liberty? For those playing at home: vandalism and second degree criminal mischief. Also some talk about whether Venkman could properly be fired. Judge Danna Nicholas was amusing as she seems invested on whether California is better than New York, and knocked the Big Apple every chance she got.

Buy Ghostbusters (1984) / Ghostbusters II / Ghostbusters: Afterlife Blu-ray

The 2024 WonderCon Masquerade: I saw entries #8 through 28, and a tip o’ the hat to all the cosplayers for the work they created and the courage it takes to stand before an audience and show it off, especially those in attendance this evening. Although they sounded increasingly raucous with each introduction, it’s clear they have admiration for all the participants. Not to say there weren’t favorites had by different sections of the audience.

So the judges could tabulate the winners, who were given trophies and/or cash prizes, an intermission occurred with three performances. A guy and two girls presented a fantasy play of some sort. If they said what it was based on, I missed it. The Saber Guild performed what appeared to be a segment of a long-running play, although where past of future segments can be accessed wasn’t revealed. The story involved a Jedi boy and Sith girl having feeling for each other amidst the fighting between the two groups. The actors lip-synched the prerecorded dialogue, which caused it too sound flat. The story had a great resolution, but there were too many saber battles. Closing out the intermission was a talented dance troupe dressed like various Disney characters dancing to a few songs.

Those curious about Day One, can read my review.

Gordon S. Miller

Publisher/Editor-in-Chief of this site. "I'm making this up as I go" - Indiana Jones

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