Although WonderCon doesn’t have quite the star power of San Diego Comic-Con (SDCC), it is still easy to overlook some great panels when you’re distracted by the largest comic publishers and some of the biggest movie studios.
I’ve analyzed the schedule closely and found the panels that I think might be overlooked, but definitely shouldn’t be. So, if you want to stay away from the Hall H-like lines of some of the larger rooms, follow this schedule and enjoy some of the hidden jewels of the 2012 WonderCon.
Friday, March 16th:
12:30-1:30 CAC Session 1: Iron Man, Robopocalypse, and the Future of Humanity (ROOM 210): This looks to be a very fun panel where the geektastic fun of the likelihood of Stark Industries becoming a reality is discussed. What better way to prep for the upcoming Avengers film than investigating the possibilities that someday you could have your own Mark VII armor?
1:30-2:30 Indy Toymaker Roundtable (Room 203): What better way to celebrate the indie roots of WonderCon than by joining independent artists in a discussion of their craft. Pulling together some of the most provocative voices in independent toy making, this panel will bring up to speed on the art of the toy scene.
3:00-4:00 It Was 30 Years Ago Today: Celebrating 1982: Greatest Geek Year Ever! (Room 204): Do you remember 1982? If not, you might have heard of some of its highlights, such as Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan, Blade Runner, E.T., Tron, Poltergeist, Conan: The Barbarian, The Road Warrior, or The Thing. Join some of the biggest geeks in Anaheim for this stroll down memory lane and see how if is inspiring the summer of 2012.
5:00-6:00 Famous TV Theme Music (Room 213): We all know the importance of music in our favorite television shows, but do we know how it was inspired? Some of the most famous composers in television history will join together at this panel to take the stage and talk about their craft. . In attendance will be the brilliance behind such famous scores as Love Boat, Happy Days, Carnivale, Heroes and Avatar the Last Airbender.
Saturday, March 17th:
10:30-11:30 Spotlight on Richard Starkings (Room 211): While the Scott Snyder and Mark Waid spotlights are sure to be packed, the Richard Starkings panel will provide just as much comic-goodness with half of the wait in line. If you’re not familiar with his most famous work, Elephantmen this is a great time to become acquainted. Additionally, Starkings is being interviewed by DC’s very own I’ Vampire writer, Joshua Fialkov. This is a panel that packs major punch, so don’t miss out.
11:30-12:30 Digital Comics Price Fight (Room 208): Speaking of Mark Waid, if you need to see him at WonderCon (and I do), but want to avoid the crowds, this is your panel. When you add to it that rising star Sam “The Hammer” Humphries (Our Love is Real, Marvel’s The Ultimates) will also be in attendance, there isn’t much more that needs to be said.
5:00-6:00 The Myth of Nostalgia: Collecting and Memory (Room 203): I might be biased because I am such a big toy and comic collector, but this panel sounds like a real nostalgic must. The panel features a handful of collectors that reflect on the last 40 years of pop culture consumerism.
6:00-7:00 Archaia Entertainment Presents: How to Build a Better Story (Room 203): While I love comics from DC, Marvel, Image and several other publishers, there may be no better storyteller in comics right now than Archaia. Beyond the creativity of their stories, the presentation of their materials is second to none. Archaia books may be the single best answer to why comics should be available in non-digital format.
Sunday, March 18th:
2:30-3:30 Editing Comics the BOOM! Way (Room 211): If you’re not familiar with BOOM!, you should be. Many of their works make their way to the top of my stack each week. If you’re unfamiliar with works like Irredeemable, Incorruptible, or their Planet of the Apes titles, make sure to stop by and learn about this awesome publisher. If you are already familiar with BOOM!, then you’re already planning to be there.
4:00-5:00 Jane Espenson: Sci Fi and Beyond (Room 203): Are you a fan of a Star Trek: Deep Space Nine, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Angel, Firefly, Dollhouse, Battlestar Galactica, Caprica, Torchwood: Miracle Day, Game of Thrones, Once Upon a Time, Dinosaurs, Ellen, Jake in Progress, Andy Richter’s Andy Barker PI , Gilmore Girls or Husbands? If so, you need to hear one of the all-time great television writers share stories from the best that television has ever had to offer.
While there are some epic panels in the bigger rooms, I hope you’ll take the time to investigate some of these gems. Many of my favorite panels from past shows have been these lesser know productions.
If you can’t make WonderCon, make sure to look me up on Twitter for updates throughout the weekend: @The_Con_Fluence