So he rose on this day and descended upon the epicenter to join the masse. And I arrived at Wonder-Con… Who did you think I was referring to? Easter Sunday was the final day of the convention dedicated to all things nerdy. The transplant of San Francisco, and a breath of fresh air to the thousands of comic convention attendees who are tired of the massive crowds of the San Diego Comic-Con. Today was Family Day and quite frankly the calm after the storm. A lot less congested but with quite the punch. Heavy hitters like Warner Brothers and DC Comics had a terrific line up that still had fans riled with excitement.
First at bat was the Arrow panel which included a Q&A session with executive producer Marc Guggenheim, actors Stephen Amell, Paul Blackthorne, Colin Donnell, and Willa Holland. They laid a basis regarding the character dynamics and overtones of the show, but what was more interesting was details they discussed about the mythology of Green Arrows roots and upbringings as the vigilante superhero, on how and what they see in the formidable future. They talked a lot about the planning process of the episodes as it weaved into storyboards explaining the character developments, whether good or bad as well as family relationships and how it changes the character interactions like Oliver Queen and Thea Queen played by Stephen and Willa, and of course the father/son relationship of characters Tommy Merlyn played by Colin and Malcolm Merlyn played by Doctor Who alum John Barrowman. No Arrow panel would be complete without teases of the forthcoming plotlines and potential heroes/villain(s) appearances.
On a funny yet painful note Stephen Amell explained that in episode five he accidentally punched a stuntman in the nose and continued to film the episode while he was bleeding profusely, and ended up buying the stuntman a six pack of beer to apologize about the mishap. While many tidbits went to detailing the show, many highlights of the panel included actor Colin Donnell ended up singing a jingle about the Green Arrow that he sang during a cast Christmas party. We also saw repeated John Barrowman name drops to get the crowd cheering, spoilers of villain Deadshot returning with a pivotal role down the line and plans (if they permit) to try to continue to season 5! So expect big things to happen in the Arrow television show, Wednesdays on the CW network.
Next up was a mad dash for me to get to the west coast premiere of the animated feature LEGO Batman The Movie: DC Superheroes Unite, which was followed by Q&A session with director/executive producer Jon Burton and actors Troy Barker, Travis Willingham, Christopher Smith, Charlie Schlatter and Laura Bailey. First of all I must say go see this movie. I was really entertained by the animation and with it being revolved around LEGO’s; they really did a nice job centering it on the fundamentals of the iconic childhood toy. I didn’t expect to be pulled into this film. But I realized soon after watching it, well why not, they have a very successful video game franchise; they might as well make an animated movie!
The voice cast was great, despite the early criticism that neither Kevin Conroy nor Mark Hamil were reprising their roles as Batman and The Joker. They all did an amazing job, even committing to double duty voicing multiple characters such as Wonder Woman and Harley Quinn. The relationship between Batman and Superman was cute in a way that only LEGO’s can be. Between Batman’s stance with his cowl or how poised Superman was, the way they had the characters work with their limited LEGO movement was fun. What was as entertaining were the questions the fans asked during the Q&A session. A majority of the questions came from children under 6 years old. Believe it or not, a lot of sophistication came from each query that even the voice cast was astonished. A very entertaining segment to say the least.
Back to the convention floor, the vibe was all smiles and laughter from children and adults alike. Snapshots were taken of cosplayers and people who took Halloween to a whole new level as they dressed up like Doctor Who, Ghostbusters, Star Wars, and other various pop culture characters. While gamers took to the Capcom, Namco and DC booths to play demos of pre released video games like Duck Tales Remastered, Naruto Shippuden: Ultimate Ninja Storm 3, and the Justice League game Injustice, Gods Among Us.
Since Sunday wrapped up Wonder-Con, If you were here, you would have reaped the benefits of an easy go around of the convention floor, un-crowded panels and retail booths that were pretty much giving away items to lucky shoppers. I’m talking steep discounts of 70%, even 85% off products that retailers did not want to re-pack and ship. What was expensive for them was cheap and affordable for convention consumers.
But alas, that 5 o’clock announcement that all attendees were dreading came to be, and the realization that this epicenter of entertainment was over. The 26th annual Wonder-Con convention had ended and would return to the Moscone Center in San Francisco for 2014. The experiences I had were memorable and like me, thousands of people will have a long lasting impression of what a Con should be…
Check out my gallery of photos from WonderCon 2013:
For more information regarding Wonder-Con or if you want to know more about the other Cons, please visit their website site. http://www.comic-con.org/
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