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WonderCon 2013

April 7, 2013

A little over a year ago I attended the Anaheim WonderCon for the first time, which is generally hosted in San Francisco, and had an excellent time.  After a hectic few days attending the San Diego Comic-Con last summer and being unable (as of yet) to get tickets for this coming summer, I was considering for a while to attend WonderCon again when it rolled around, despite it likely being moved up to San Francisco again.  As it turns out, the normal venue was unavailable and the event would once again be held at the Anaheim Convention Center.  Their loss, my gain.  While I covered each day individually last year, I spent more time hovering and will avoid getting too in-depth on the panels I did attend this year, so I’ll be doing a more brief overview of the event this time.  That said, let’s get started.

Although Friday was mostly uneventful (I didn’t attend any panels and spent most of the day in the exhibit hall), I did attend the one event that I was looking forward to more than anything else.  Last year, one of the panels I attended that I really enjoyed was the DC Nation panel, which covered the various DC Nation shorts, Green Lantern: The Animated Series, and Young Justice.  The last two shows, despite their excellent quality and their respective fanbases, both recently finished their seasons without renewal.  But despite it’s ending, Young Justice co-creator Greg Weisman (Gargoyles, Spectacular Spider-Man) met with a small group of fans (I numbered just under twenty) in the lobby outside the exhibit hall, and spent about an hour-and-a-half interacting with fans and answering questions about the various shows he’s worked on.  I did not ask any questions myself, but I enjoyed listening about the odds and ends of making the series and the many decisions that were made up to the second season finale.  It was a very fun experience being able to interact with one of my favorite writers in such an informal setting.

I returned to the center on Saturday, this time attending more panels, including one on Falling Skies featuring the cast and showrunner Remi Aubuchon, and a very interesting panel featuring the showrunners of multiple hit shows including Big Bang Theory, The Walking Dead, and the aforementioned Falling Skies.  The highlight of the night for me, though, was “The Writer’s Journey: Breaking into Comics and Hollywood Scriptwriting.”  I attended the same panel at last year’s WonderCon, and featured Thundercats writer Brandon Easton running the panel.  He returned this year to the panel, which also included writers Geoff Thorne (Ben Ten, Leverage), Johnathan Callan (Generator Rex, Ben Ten), and actor/writer Anthony Montgomery (Star Trek: Enterprise), who I should mention is currently working with Brandon Easton on his new comic, Miles Away.  Much like the previous year, the panel was a lively and entertaining hour, but also a very direct, no-BS discussion on the difficulties and the processes of attempting to break into the writing world.  While some might find that tone discouraging, I find these panels to be very reinvigorating when it comes to pushing me back into writing, and it’s far better to be truthful on the hardships of the writer’s world than to present a lighter, but false, view that can set aspiring writers for a fall.  The panelists discussed personal experiences and some very practical advice for writers, and the panel closed with a presentation for Lion Forge Comics, which I will be sure to keep an eye on for the future.

As for Sunday, I only attended the panel for the CW show Arrow, which I have been following since the pilot episode last fall.  The panel featured much of the principal cast, as well as executive producer Marc Guggenheim.  The whole panel proved to be quite a treat with some fun surprises (I had no idea Paul Blackthorne was British) and I’m looking forward to seeing how the rest of the season plays out.  Outside of that, I spent the rest of the event outside of panels browsing the floor, checking out the various shops and guests and seeing what books or trades I could grab on the cheap.  The massive Zelda fan in me also found it very difficult to avoid purchasing a copy of Hyrule Historia at the Dark Horse Comics booth but I can’t really afford to be too thrifty with spending at this time.  Well, after paying for tickets and parking in the first place, anyway.  Regardless, it would take hours to describe the entirety of my experience on the floor, which I just don’t have the patience or desire to do.

I’ll close with a plug for my good pal Alex Willging who traveled all the way from Simi Valley to hang with me at my home in San Juan Capistrano and attend the first to days of the event with me.  He was kind enough to plug my blog in his own far superior WonderCon wrap-up, so go check out his own blog to see it.  It’s got pictures, too!

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