WonderCon 2012 is now in full swing, and it holds nothing back in providing attendees with an unforgettable experience that brings them closer to important players in the comic book, movie, and television industries. I was only able to attend the first day of this exciting convention, but I learned and saw more in that one day than I could ever have imagined. When it kicked off this morning and I ascended the escalator into the Exhibit Hall, I went into sensory overload. The gigantic room was packed tight with bright T-shirts, comic book bling, and more Silver Age issues than I’ve ever seen in one place at one time. Add in thousands of fans and special guests, and you’ve got a recipe for insanity. I couldn’t hear myself think amidst all of the squeals and shrieks of excitement, and it wasn’t uncommon to be knocked aside by crazed fans charging to a booth to get their coveted comic goodies. But it was still loads of fun. I spent an hour or two in the Exhibit Hall before truly beginning my coverage. Read on for a breakdown of what I experienced the first day of this amazing event!
I got the privilege to learn about what’s coming up for DC from the people directly involved, and it was incredible. DC editors and a few writers and artists(most notably Scott Snyder) sat down to talk to a large group of excited fans about what to expect from DC Entertainment in the coming months. They discussed the challenges of making a story work well in digital format and print, as well as revealed covers for Batman: The Dark Knight #10(pictured at left), Green Arrow #10, and the covers for several titles in the Second Wave of the New 52. It was a great panel, and the creative minds present expressed confidence that their tremendous success would continue. And, to get fans even more excited, the panel ended with this statement from the speakers: “There is a master plan, a master vision at work here.”
21 Jump Street Clip And Panel Discussion with Jonah Hill and Channing Tatum!
Next on my agenda was the 21 Jump Street panel discussion in the spacious Anaheim Ballroom on the third floor of the convention center. Before the panel began, we were treated to a clip from the movie that lasted roughly five minutes. The sound of the audience roaring with laughter drowned out some parts of the clip, and most people were still chuckling to themselves as Jonah Hill and Channing Tatum strode on stage. Instead of thunderous applause, the crowd went silent, anxiously waiting for them to begin. Jonah spoke first, and it quickly became clear why he is such a good comedian. He kept the crowd laughing throughout the entire panel, and his interactions with Channing Tatum were priceless. The two have a special chemistry in reality as well as onscreen, and were a treat to watch. Hill did most of the talking, discussing high school, the long process behind filming 21 Jump Street, and tips on being funny. Tatum remarked, chuckling, “When I signed on to the film, I was so worried I would be one of those people who try too hard to be funny.” Hill responded seriously, “Don’t try. Just be honest with your performance.”
World Premiere of Superman Vs. The Elite!
On Friday evening, from 6:30 to 8:00, the new DC animated film, Superman Vs. The Elite, made its world premiere to a huge crowd of ecstatic fans, myself included. This event was also held in the Anaheim ballroom, which is so large that three screens had to be put in so everyone could see. Two screens were placed on either side of the stage up front, while a third screen was lowered over the sea of people so fans towards the back could enjoy themselves, too. When the film started, all chattering ceased immediately. So, how was the film, you may ask? I loved it, and a majority of the audience did, too. The voice acting was top notch, the animation was different but good, and the film as a whole was executed very well. Naturally, no recording or photography was allowed, but I can assure you this is a DC film not to be missed.
Special Guest Encounters!
As with every comic book/pop culture convention, one of the methods the people organizing them use to draw audiences in is to bring popular or well-known people in the industry to the event. WonderCon is no different. Top industry talents Jim Lee and Scott Snyder were present, which created quite a bit of buzz, as well the TV actor Lou Ferrigno(The Incredible Hulk) and movie actor Peter Mayhew, who played Chewbacca in the original Star Wars trilogy.I had the distinct privilege of meeting all of these remarkable people, my encounter with Scott Snyder being the most memorable. I was walking from Artist Alley to the crowded DC booth when I accidentally bumped into a man passing. I apologized, glanced down at his name tag, and my heart leaped. It was Scott Snyder, writer of Batman, Swamp Thing, and American Vampire! I asked him for a quick picture as I fumbled for my camera, and he kindly obliged. It was one of those instances when being in the right place at the right time is a beautiful thing!
Hope you all enjoyed my coverage of this year’s WonderCon: Day One! I’ll update soon with all of the pictures I took!