It’s that time again, time to figure out how I’m going to get to all the WonderCon panels I want to see and still find time to walk the sales floor and, I don’t know, eat and sleep at some point. Especially since several panels on my list are going on at the same time. Anybody with a spare Time Turner or TARDIS, please shout out in the comments.
See below for a rundown of the WonderCon 2017 panels that caught my eye.
Friday, March 31
Introduction to Whovian Cosplay
Whether you’re new to Doctor Who or new to cosplay entirely, this is a great place to start! The Order of Gallifrey will share tips for beginners and budget-conscious costumers on how to dress like your favorite Doctor Who characters. Panelists: Jennifer Bagosy, Dennis Patrick Hanon Jr., Danielle Beebe, James Johnson, Claire Berry Gardner, and Christina Silvoso.
Friday March 31, 2017 1:00pm – 2:00pm
Avalon Room, Anaheim Hilton
Having made an attempt at an 11th Doctor cosplay at NYCC (the fez, pants, and vest were great, the coat, not so much.) I need all the tips I can get.
TheStar Trek: The Next 50 Years
of the critically acclaimed bestselling two-volume series from St. Martin’s Press The Fifty-Year Mission, Mark A. Altman (Free Enterprise, The Librarians) and Edward Gross (Empire Magazine) along with Access Hollywood’s Scott Mantz look back at 50 years of Star Trek and speculate on where the franchise will boldly go over the next 50 years including the latest news from the set of Star Trek: Discovery as well as why we need Trek today more than ever.
Friday March 31, 2017 1:00pm – 2:00pm
Never can have too much Star Trek coverage (The Lost In Sci-Fi podcast should probably have been named “The Star Trek Podcast plus whatever random thing we felt like talking about this week.”)
DreamWorks Trollhunters, A Netflix Original Series
epic first season of the Netflix original series DreamWorks Trollhunters, executive producers Marc Guggenheim, Rodrigo Blaas, and Chad Hammes share their favorite moments from season 1 and take you behind the scenes of this critically acclaimed series from Guillermo del Toro. The panel will be moderated by Josh Macuga of Collider.
Friday March 31, 2017 1:15pm – 2:15pm
They had me at “Guillermo del Toro.”
Sisterhood of the Self-Sufficient
female protagonists provide inspiration in resistance and persistence to readers of all genders. Authors Mercedes Lackey (Hunter, Elite), Margaret Stohl (Black Widow: Red Vengeance), E.K. Johnston (Spindle), Sarah Kuhn (Heroine Complex), Connie Willis (Crosstalk), and C. B. Lee (Not Your Sidekick) discuss the ordinary and extraordinary accomplishments of fictional women with moderator Maryelizabeth Yturralde (Mysterious Galaxy).
Friday March 31, 2017 2:00pm – 3:00pm
I haven’t read any Mercedes Lackey in years, but hearing her name brought back a hell of a lot of nostalgia for her books. I should go see what she’s been up to.
The Psychology of Harry Potter: Houses of Hogwarts
J. K. Rowling’s popular series debuted, Potter fans clamored to find any evidence that they belonged in one of her imaginative Hogwarts houses: Gryffindor, Hufflepuff, Ravenclaw, and Slytherin. Each house had its unique personality and signature, and soon, readers argued among themselves on why their houses were the best. The Sorting Hat not only opened a question that delved into our personalities, but also provided a deeper look into how we view ourselves, and how others view us. Jessica Tseang (founder of Little Geek Girls, owner of Girl on Geek) leads a frank discussion with Harry Potter experts Erik Amaya (Comic Book Resources, host of Tread Perilously), Adrienne Alwag-Aipia (founder of Los Angeles Dumbledore’s Army), Jim Thompson (Esquire, Comic Book Historians Group), Dina Kampmeyer (Lady Steam cosplay), Dr. Janina Scarlet (Superhero Therapy), and Dr. Travis Langley (Captain America vs. Iron Man: Freedom, Security, Psychology) on why J. K. Rowling’s houses are secretly genius, and what we can learn about ourselves along the way.
Friday March 31, 2017 3:30pm – 4:30pm
I’m a big fan of Janina Scarlet and Dr. Travis Langley’s writing on superhero psychology, and the whole “which house do I belong in” question lends itself so well to understanding how we think, I’m definitely in for this one.
Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Two Decades with Feeling: A 20th Anniversary Celebration
Gross and Mark A. Altman (The Fifty-Year Mission), authors of the upcoming oral history Buffy The Vampire Slayer, Slayers & Vampires, re-open the Hellmouth and look back at the secret history of the slayer who saved the world a lot, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, for its 20th anniversary as well as what the future might hold for Slayage in the 21st century. Also, a look back at the underappreciated genius of Angel and the Buffy’s that never were.
Friday March 31, 2017 4:00pm – 5:00pm
I was re-watching Angel recently and they’re right, it IS underappreciated genius. I’m in.
Find Your Hero with IDW Publishing’s WonderCon Anaheim Panel!
On the lookout for your new favorite comic? Want to hear what’s next from the company that publishes everything from The Transformers to Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, Star Trek, and Back to the Future? Then don’t miss this panel, where Chris Ryall, David Hedgecock, Sarah Gaydos, Aubrey Sitterson, Scott Tipton, and some VERY special guests make you an insider.
Friday March 31, 2017 4:30pm – 5:30pm
They had me at “Transformers,” obviously. And I never give up hoping that the “special guests” could be Livio Ramondelli or Alex Milne.
Everyone’s a Critic: Being a Journalist in the Online Age
Watters (Bleeding Cool), Mary Anne Butler (Aggressive Comix), Jeff Bond (Geek Monthly), Bill Hunt (The Digital Bits), Alexandra August (Comic Book Resources), and Thomas Parham (APU) discuss the expansion of journalism over the past decade, from the rise of citizen journalism to blogging to vloggers, podcasters, and online-only news sources. This panel of nationally known writers and hosts will talk about the roles new media play between their readers and the industries and communities they serve, varying levels of informality versus classic ideas of professionalism, show-specific outlets versus general news sites, moving from hobbyist to being a professional, and more.
Friday March 31, 2017 5:00pm – 6:00pm
Seeing as how this website is 99% reviews, I reeeeeaaaaallly should go check this one out.
Spotlight on Jim Lee
DC Entertainment co-publisher Jim Lee (Batman, Justice League, Superman Unchained, Suicide Squad) talks about his 30+ years in the comics industry and sketches your favorite characters live on the big screen in this engaging panel. This is a great opportunity to watch the creative process firsthand and learn the tips of the trade that bring DC Entertainment’s characters to life.
Friday March 31, 2017 5:00pm – 6:00pm
I heard Jim Lee’s WonderCon panel last year, pre-Rebirth, was very interesting (he had a reporter rephrase a question to omit the word “reboot.”) Plus I do love seeing him draw.
Psychology of Cult TV Shows: Episode 4
Are you a fan of Supernatural, Westworld, Game of Thrones, or Sherlock? Do you love Daredevil, The Walking Dead, Jessica Jones, or Luke Cage? If so, come join a team of psychologists and TV writers as they discuss the psychology behind these shows. Psychologists Janina Scarlet (Superhero Therapy, Star Wars Psychology),Dr. Travis Langley (Doctor Who Psychology, Star Trek Psychology), Travis Adams (Department of Veterans Affairs), and TV writers Adam Glass (Supernatural, Criminal Minds: Beyond Borders),Jose Molina (Agent Carter, Firefly), Christine Boylan (Castle, Once Upon a Time), and host Jenna Busch (Legion of Leia,Star Wars Psychology) geek out and discuss your favorite TV shows.Dr. Billy San Juan (Doctor Who Psychology, The Walking Dead Psychology) moderates.
Friday March 31, 2017 6:00pm – 7:00pm
And if I don’t catch Janina Scarlet and Dr. Travis Langley at the Hogwarts panel, I’ll come see them at this one.
Saturday, April 1st
How to Get Press Coverage
Small press publishers: What makes the difference between an item that will get news coverage, previews, and interviews and one that doesn’t? A lot of publishers have no idea what to submit to the press, how to submit it, or why they are being overlooked for coverage. Comics journalist Rik Offenberger (First Comics News, Archie Comics) moderates this panel on just what it takes to get coverage, with the comics journalists themselves telling you what they are looking for in your submission. Panelists include Ed Catto (Captain Action, Bonfire Agency), Albert Ching (Comic Book Resources), Josh Henaman (Big Foot), Jez Ibelle (First Comics News, Geek-a-pedia), Alan Kistler (Polygon.com, Oodon.com), Francis Sky (First Comics News), and Josh Waldrop (Red Gorilla Comics).
Saturday April 1, 2017 10:00am – 11:00am
I know this one’s really for people looking to get press coverage for something they made, but as a small website I think we ought to have an idea of how the big boys do it.
WildStorm 25th Anniversary
It’s hard to believe that it has been 25 years since Jim Lee’s WildStorm first made its mark on the comics landscape with such memorable and innovative titles like WildC.A.T.S., Gen13, Stormwatch, and Deathblow, to name a few. Join Jim Lee and former WildStorm staffers and talented contributors including Ryan Benjamin, Carlos D’Anda, Richard Friend, Mark Irwin, Dustin Nguyen, Alex Sinclair, Scott Williams and others for a fun trip down memory lane!
Saturday April 1, 2017 11:30am – 12:30pm
I got such a kick out of WildC.A.Ts back in the day, now that they’re rebooting those characters again I need to check out what everybody’s been up to in the last 25 years.
The 18th Annual Animation Show of Shows
From nearly 1,000 films seen at festivals around the world, Ron Diamond (program curator and producer) has hand-picked an entertaining, inspiring, and empowering program of 17 top new internationally acclaimed animated shorts from Belgium, Canada, England, France, Israel, Korea, Latvia, Norway, Russia, Scotland, and the USA. Featuring all new works from Disney’s Leo Matsuda, This American Life’s host Ira Glass, New Yorker illustrator Chris Ware, and Oscar nominated shorts, Pixar’s Piper and Google’s Pearl by Academy Award winner Patrick Osborne (Disney’s Feast). Following the screening, Diamond will conduct a Q&A.
Saturday April 1, 2017 11:45am – 1:45pm
I have a hard time passing up animation in any form, and I’m a big fan of Disney, This American Life, and Pixar, so I’m definitely in.
Cosplay Makeup 101
This panel goes into what it takes to perfect your cosplay by having great makeup to go with it. Panelists will cover beauty makeup, appliance application, special FX makeup, sculpting, molding, casting, and wig styling. The panel includes Dawn Banks (plus size model, Batgirl: Spoiled lead makeup designer), Ashley Troub (Nerdist, winning look SDCC Her Universe Fashion Show 2015 and 2016), Keaghlan Ashley (Face Off season 7, Face Off All-Stars, Severus Snape and the Marauders key makeup artist), and Chrissy Lynn (Bat in The Sun’s Super Power Beat Down, Truly Outrageous: A Jem and the Holograms Fan Film). They will help you answer your questions about makeup to match your costuming and cosplay. They will also offer tips and tools of the trade to use. Having makeup that matches the effort put into your cosplay is important. Moderated by cosplayer Mac Beauvais (model in Monstrous Make-Up Manual books 1 and 2, actress in The Gloaming).
Saturday April 1, 2017 12:00pm – 1:00pm
Avalon Room, Anaheim Hilton
I’ve never been much of a makeup girl (mostly because I’m constantly running 15 minutes late every morning) but I always want to make that extra effort for cosplay, and my usual cosplay makeup technique is “wear what I usually wear just more of it.” I could use some actual techniques.
Comics Arts Conference #6: President B****: Gender and the Superhero Narrative
Just in time for the heated and hated 2016 presidential election, Kelly Sue DeConnick and Valentine De Landro’s Bitch Planet released its 9th issue, appropriately emblazoned with “VOTE” and “President Bitch.” In this panel, Tara Prescott (University of California, Los Angeles), David Hall (Old Dominion University), Philip Smith (College of the Bahamas), and Maite Urcaregui (University of California, Santa Barbara), contributors to the upcoming collection Gender and the Superhero Narrative, will examine the role of gender in the superhero narrative, starting a discussion for the audience to delve into the larger issues of comics in a post-Trump America and beyond.
Saturday April 1, 2017 12:30pm – 1:30pm
If you haven’t read Bitch Planet you really should, it’s over-the-top, slightly campy, and very fun, not to mention an interesting social commentary. Considering the current political environment, this panel’s probably going to attract both fans and haters, and promises to get….interesting.
Scoring the Future: Writing Music for Sci-Fi
How do you create music for something that doesn’t exist yet? Panelists answer this question and many others about creating soundtracks for movies and TV shows set in a future that may or may not come to pass. Featuring composers Greg Edmonson (Firefly), Andrew Lockington (The Space Between Us), Heather McIntosh (Z for Zachariah), and Tree Adams (The 100). Moderated by senior director of film, TV, and visual media at BMI Anne Cecere and Chandler Poling of White Bear PR. Followed by a Q&A with the audience and a chance to receive exciting giveaways.
Saturday April 1, 2017 12:30pm – 1:30pm
I got to interview Greg Edmonson a couple years ago, he’s one cool dude. And I’m always amazed by people who can create music on demand, under deadline.
ScreenJunkies Live! Honest Trailers/Movie Fights
Honest Trailers creator Andy Signore, writers Spencer Gilbert andJoe Starr, and editor/producer Dan Murrell present a special live Movie Fights and never-before-seen Honest Trailer with special guests.
Saturday April 1, 2017 2:00pm – 3:00pm
I can’t get enough of Honest Trailers, but I’m always watching them three or four months after they come out (I’m bad at TV. And Movies. And Internet.) So it’d be awesome to see a brand new one at the same time as everyone else.
CBLDF: State of Censorship 2017
Get a global look at comics censorship from CBLDF. See how the new political climate is affecting free speech in the U.S., with increased scrutiny at the border and an abundance of local challenges to comics addressing diversity and equality. Explore how cartoonists are being prosecuted, threatened, and intimidated by authorities around the globe for making art. Learn how you can participate with CBLDF in making a difference and standing up for free expression.
Saturday April 1, 2017 3:00pm – 4:00pm
Another politically relevant panel that I really need to see, though I’m prepared to have my blood pressure go through the roof.
Figure Drawing for Popular Media
Emilio Soltero, Ph.D. (John Buscema: A Life in Sketches, Draw the Line) presents a primer on drawing the figure for popular media, including drawing for comics and character design. The focus will be on anatomy and figure drawing. Emilio will lecture and demonstrate on figure drawing. There will be time to draw as well. Professionals and beginners are welcome. Bring your drawing supplies to draw models/cosplayers during this interactive presentation. Come ready to take notes and to draw.
Saturday April 1, 2017 3:00pm – 4:00pm
So if I chicken out of going to the politically relevant panel above, I’ll go relax and draw some folks instead. Note to self: pack my sketchbook and the good pencils.
Warner Bros. Pictures
Get a sneak peek at upcoming films from Warner Bros., New Line, and DC Entertainment Films, with special guests TBA.
Saturday April 1, 2017 4:30pm – 6:00pm
One of my favorite things to do at WonderCon after all the walking around and interviews and panels is to sit in a big dark room and watch a whole bunch of trailers.
U.S. Premiere Screening of Doctor Who Spin-Off Class
End your day with BBCA and Nerdist for the exclusive U.S. premiere screening of Doctor Who spinoff, Class. From award-winning writer and Class creator Patrick Ness (novel and film A Monster Calls, novel Chaos Walking) and executive produced by the team behind Doctor Who, Steven Moffat and Brian Minchin, Class is set in London’s Coal Hill School, where four students who have hidden secrets and desires navigate a life of friends, parents, schoolwork, sex, sorrow-and possibly the end of existence. Coal Hill School has been a part of the Doctor Who universe since the very beginning, but that has come at a price. Time traveling over the years has caused the very walls of space and time to become thin. There’s something pressing in on the other side, something waiting for its chance to kill everyone and everything, to bring us all into Shadow. Class is a BBC America co-production and premieres Saturday, April 15, 10:10/9:10c following the season premiere of Doctor Who at 9/8c.
Saturday April 1, 2017 7:30pm – 8:30pm
You had me at Doctor Who. Really, that’s all I needed to know.
Sunday, April 2
Princess Leia: A Special Star Wars Fan Tribute
This will be a very special West Coast tribute in honor of the extraordinary actress Carrie Fisher, best known for her role as Princess Leia Organa in the Star Wars universe. With her larger-than-life personality, both on- and off-screen, and incredible sense of humor, Carrie Fisher was destined to have a special place in the hearts of Star Wars fans of all ages. Costumes are encouraged, and all are welcome as panelists share personal stories of how she touched fans’ lives and will live in their hearts-always! Hosted by Star Wars fan clubs: Rebel Legion, Mandalorian Mercs, R2 Builders, and the 501st Legion.
Sunday April 2, 2017 11:30am – 12:30pm
This is going to be one of those panels that kicks you right in the feels and leaves you a weepy mess. I’m in, is what I’m saying.
Spotlight on Chip Zdarsky
This was originally going to be moderated by my dear chum Matt Fraction but he sadly had to cancel so instead it’s being moderated by … let’s see … Mark Waid? Is that right? Oh for f—
Sunday April 2, 2017 2:00pm – 3:00pm
Hee, I was going to go anyway because I’m a fan of Chip Zdarsky, but the description he wrote sealed the deal.
Dr. Horrible’s Sing-Along Blog: An Interactive Whedon Musical
WonderCon Anaheim is going out on a high note! The powers that be behind Whedonopolis, WhedonCon, and Fandom Charities present an interactive screening of Dr. Horrible’s Sing-Along Blog! Come and revel in the musical genius of the Whedons! But remember, the best part of the show is up to you! Cheer for Dr. Horrible! Cheer for Penny! Cheer for Moist! Cheer for the Freeze Ray! Cheer, or whatever, for “Captain Hammer, Corporate Tool!” Just have fun and be sure to make Bad Horse gleeful. There will be audience participation; it isn’t just for Rocky Horror and mob riots anymore.
Sunday April 2, 2017 3:00pm – 4:30pm
What better way to wrap up WonderCon than sitting in a room full of like-minded nerds all singing together about Nathan Fillion’s hammer.