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Wed, 14 Mar '12

Conning Attractions: A Guide to WonderCon 2012 [Full]

We take flight on WonderCon Air

We're late! We're late! For a very important date - with all the awesome panels, guests and screenings to be seen at this year's WonderCon in Anaheim, CA! Chances are that you're feeling a bit lost; luckily for you, we're as mad as a hatter when it comes to planning ahead, so we put together a programming guide to make you feel like Alice in WonderCon.


Science vs. Fiction - Admit it - you've found yourself wondering, on more than one occasion, about the science behind the comics, television and movies you consume. When will we our real life Tony Starks develop a working Iron Man suit? Is The Vision all that far off? Are we actually Cylons? If so, then the CAC Session 1: Iron Man, Robopocalypse, and the Future of Humanity (12:30-1:30PM, Room 210) has your name written all over it. Join the panel for an in-depth discussion on robotics and technological fusion using concepts from neuroscience, biomedical engineering, Iron Man comics, robotics and the dystopian novel.

Waid a Minute - WonderCon kicks off its Spotlight series with a real doozy: Daredevil/Kingdom Come/Irredeemable scribe Mark Waid. Come by the Spotlight on Mark Waid (1:30-2:30PM, Room 211) to hear Mark wax poetic and comical about his 25-year-long career, inside stories and his "biggest undertaking to date." What could that mean? Only Mark and the audience will know for sure!

Draw, Pardner - Like the X-Men in Arcade's death mazes, so shall three of the fastest cartoonists alive fall prey to the whims of taskmaster/moderator Mark Evanier in the standing-room only Quick Draw (2:00-3:00PM, Room 204)! Saddle up as Scott Shaw (The Simpsons), Floyd Norman (Disney), and a third mystery cartoonist take twenty paces, then draw like they've never drawn before.

Jump Around
- In what may be the shortest panel in WonderCon history, stars Channing Tatum and Jonah Hill will be at the fifteen minute 21 Jump Street panel (3:45-4:00, Third Floor Ballroom), then returning to fight cinematic crime or host SNL or whatever it is that movie stars do in their off-time. 

All of the Lights - In the artistic equivalent of dueling pianos, the cruel gods of WonderCon have given you the Sophie's choice of seeing either the Spotlight on Renae de Liz (The Last Unicorn, Womanthology) or Spotlight on Mike Mignola (Hellboy), which take place simultaneously at 4:30-5:30PM in Rooms 203 and 207 respectively. In reality, there is no wrong choice because they're both pretty awesome.

Calling All Nerds - Make sure to clear your schedule for Nerdist Industries Live! (5:30-6:30PM, Third Floor Ballroom) as The Nerdist himself, Chris Hardwick, takes you on a journey to the center of the nerd in his submersible of awesome (note: the submarine is sadly metaphorical). Alongside amazing guests from your favorite podcasts and stars from the upcoming Nerdist Channel on YouTube, you'll get the inside scoop on all the awesome programming coming your way. Alison Haislip? Steve Agee? Us? Yes, please! Make sure to stick around after to get a good seat for the world premiere of Warner Bros.' Superman vs. The Elite to double down on your daily dose of dopeness.

When you're strutting your stuff and saying hello to Slave Leias and Deadpools on the con floor, be sure to swing by our friends at Kotobukiya (booth #563) and QMX (booth #463) and tell them that "Nerdist sent you" for some exclusive swag and amazing discounts: QMX will give you 10% off all non-artisan goods, which will be more than welcome considering the awesome Dr. Who, Battlestar Galactica and Dr. Horrible stuff they'll be toting. Speaking the secret phrase to Kotobukiya will automatically enter you for a chance to win their unreleased Marvel Fine Arts Magneto statue and the first 40 people to do so will also receive an exclusive Mass Effect 3 Omni-Tool. Real-life DLC that you don't need to shell out for? Advantage: you.


Snyder Remarks - As one of the hottest writers in the game write now and the creative force behind one of our favorite New 52 books Swamp Thing, Scott Snyder definitely deserves his own panel. Early birds will get the worm for attending Spotlight on Scott Snyder (10:30-11:30, Room 207) and you can finally ask about a Batman/Swamp Thing/American Vampire crossover. C'mon, you know you were thinkin' about it.

DIY Droids - Have a broken iPod, a trash can and a knack for homebrewed electrical engineering projects? Then find out How to Build Your Own R2— (10:30-11:30, Room 208) with machinists extraordinaire like Chris Romine, Michael McMaster, William Miyamoto, moderator Victor Franco and the godfather of homebrew bots Mike Senna. We, for one, welcome our new robot overlords.

Dynamic Duo - The legendary duo behind Scooby-Doo, Wacky Racers, Jabberjaw, Plastic Man and scores of others are making a rare convention appearance this year. Meet Joe Ruby and Ken Spears at the aptly-titled Ruby & Spears (11:30-12:30, Room 211) as the most successful names in Saturday morning television are interviewed by animation writer (and former Ruby-Spears writer) Mark Evanier.

Trailblazers - Don't miss WonderCon staple Trailer Park (12:00-12:30, Third Floor Ballroom) to see the latest and greatest trailers for movies coming to a theater near you. Plus, we all know that everyone's favorite part of the movie is loudly saying whether or not you'd go see the film immediately after the trailer ends.

Pres-metheus - With both Damon Lindelof and Sir Ridley Scott in the house, this double feature of Prometheus and Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter goodness is not to be missed. Arrive early to 20th Century Fox: Prometheus and Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter...in 3D (1:15-2:15PM, Third Floor Ballroom) and get a good seat to see some exclusive footage from these red-hot properties. Bonus points if you cosplay as bloody Lincoln!

Go Figure - You may have read TOKYOPOP's preview of what the model mavens have in store, but every figure fan should see the Kotobukiya Spring Preview (4:00-5:00PM, Room 203). The sultans of statues will answer questions about what's in store for 2012 and beyond and a few surprise giveaways to boot.

Avast Ye! - We have a sinking feeling that you'll want to check out Universal Pictures: Battleship and Snow White and the Huntsman (2:30-3:30, Third Floor Ballroom) to see footage and special guests from the upcoming epic action-adventures: Battleship (May 18) and Snow White and the Huntsman (June 1). Battleship director/producer Peter Berg will be ignoring shouts of "Texas forever!" while he's joined by two of the star's from the film, Alexander Skarsgård and Brooklyn Decker. Plus, Snow White and the Huntsman director Rupert Sanders will be present to answer any questions you may have, dwarf-related or otherwise.

The Write Stuff - It's not every day that you get a masterclass in writing from someone like Babylon 5 creator and all-around industry legend J. Michael Straczynski, so if you're an aspiring writer, make a point of learning from the best at the JMS Writing Workshop (6:00-7:00PM, Room 210).

Thunderdome Redux - Join some of the funniest and nerdiest people alive as Maddox (The Alphabet of Manliness), Alex Fernie (Funny or Die, Reno 911), Chris Tallman (Reno 911, Crossballs) and more debate the most important questions of our time, like who would win in a fight, Professor X or Dumbledore? The Tournament of Nerds! (7:00-8:00PM, Room 204) pits two fans against each other to battle it out in a heated March Madness set of brackets in hopes of being crowned the One Nerd to Rule Them All.


Top Brass - Have a surplus of corsets, goggles and H.G. Wells novellas that you just don't know what to do with them? The fine folks behind Steampunk 101 (11:30-12:30, Room 213) are here to help. Experts like Donna Ricci (Clockwork Couture), Joe Benitez (Lady MechanikaThomas Willeford (Brute Force Studios), moderator Dina Kampmeyer (The Manticore Society) and more will answer your mechanical musings, brassy brainteasers and any other questions you might have about the thriving genre.

Are You Smarter Than a Comic Book Writer? - Watch as the dedicated readers of ComicBookResources.com try and Stump Mark Waid (2:00-3:00PM, Room 203). Moderated by CBR's Jonah Weiland, this contest of wits will throw all manner of comics trivia, universe minutiae and more in an effort to confound Mark. We're not sure on the specifics, but we're pretty sure that if you stump Mark Waid, you become Mark Waid, so have at him!

Ship-shape 3D - As something of a techie companion to Saturday's Tournament of Nerds, all your spacefaring supremacy suppositions will be solved in Starship Smackdown Anaheim: The Happiest Place in the Cosmos Edition (Now in 3D)— (3:00-5:00PM, Room 204). The Comic-Con and WonderCon fixture touches down in Anaheim to determine once and for all who would be space garbage and who will live to spool up the FTL drives another day.

Streets Ahead - There's little-to-no information about Sunday's Community panel (3:00-4:00PM, Third Floor Ballroom), but we're always eager to hear more about Cougarton Abbey and Inspector Spacetime's latest exploits! Cool, cool, cool cool cool.

Horribly Fun - Forget The Room and Rocky Horror; we're excited for an interactive screening of Dr. Horrible's Sing-Along Blog (4:00-5:00PM, Third Floor Ballroom)! End your weekend on a high note and whet your musical appetite with a welcome dose of Whedon-fueled goodness.

What events are you excited for? Did we miss anything? Let us know on Facebook and Twitter!

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