April 18, 2014 | 6:00 p.m.

WonderCon: Francis Manapul talks Batman and Harvey Bullock

Cover art for "Detective Comics" No. 30, out now. (DC Entertainment)
Batman has long been able to count on help from Gotham Police Commissioner Jim Gordon. But the same can’t be said for the hero’s relationship with Det. Harvey Bullock. The gruff homicide investigation veteran is as much a lead character in current and upcoming issues of “Detective Comics” as the Dark Knight, the DC series’ new writer-artist, Francis Manapul, told the crowd at the Batman comics panel Friday at WonderCon. “The great thing about Harvey Bullock is he ain’t giving him nothing,” Manapul said. The two will be tracking the same killer but getting in each other’s way, and Batman will ask Bullock, “What’s more important — you wanting to win, or solving this crime?” he added. He and his co-writer, Brian Buccellato, debuted on the series with this month’s No. 30 after a well-regarded run on “The Flash.” On […]
April 18, 2014 | 1:27 p.m.

WonderCon: Sergio Aragones, Mark Evanier talk new Groo

"Groo Vs. Conan" No. 1 is slated for July 23. Cover art by Sergio Aragones and Thomas Yeates. (Dark Horse)
Now Groo’s makers do what Groo’s makers do best. Following up on the recent announcement from publisher Dark Horse that the long-gestating “Groo vs. Conan” four-part miniseries will debut July 23, the fantasy warrior parody character’s multiple-Eisner-Award-winning creative team, creator-writer-artist Sergio Aragones and co-writer Mark Evanier had more welcome news for their WonderCon panel crowd. “For more than a year, you’re going to have monthly Groo again,” Evanier said. Following the four-parter with Conan, a new 12-issue series, “Friends and Foes,” will catch up with past Groo cast members including Captain Ahax, Granny Groo (no word on whether her grandson is in for another spanking), the witches Arba and Dakarba, and the handsome warrior Arcadio. “Groo vs. Conan,” which Evanier billed as “11 years in the making,” brings Aragones’ comedic creation with a pronounced proboscis, feared as much for his […]
April 18, 2014 | 12:48 p.m.

WonderCon 2014: ‘X-Men,’ ‘Batman’ and beyond — 11 can’t-miss events

WonderCon 2013 attendees show off their "Game of Thrones" costumes. (Noelene Clark / Los Angeles Times)
WonderCon 2014 opens its doors Friday at the Anaheim Convention Center. The little sister event to San Diego’s Comic-Con International is expected to draw crowds that include cosplayers, comic book enthusiasts and all manner of genre fans to check out a range of booths, panel presentations and special programming. For those headed to the weekend-long affair, here’s a selection of highlights you might not want to miss. FRIDAY 1. Celebrate the Bat: Batman marks his 75th anniversary this year, and Wondercon will feature several panels dedicated to the Caped Crusader. Tops on the list could be the world premiere of the “Son of Batman,” based on Grant Morrison’s heralded storyline and the latest entry in the ongoing series of DC Universe animated films. The cast and crew will be on hand for a Q&A following the screening. 6 p.m. 2. […]
Nov. 12, 2013 | 1:05 p.m.

WonderCon 2014: Comic convention returning to Anaheim April 18-20

WonderCon is returning to Anaheim for a third year in 2014. The pop culture expo is slated for April 18-20. WonderCon is run by the organizers of San Diego’s Comic-Con International, which announced the WonderCon dates on its blog Tuesday morning, and is in many ways a smaller version of that mega-convention. More than 56,000 sci-fi, fantasy, horror and comics fans and professionals descended on Anaheim for this year’s event, which offered panel discussions for blockbuster films, popular television shows and comics creators, not to mention portfolio reviews for aspiring professionals, book signings, a cosplay masquerade, video game demonstrations and geek-friendly shopping on the convention floor. Next year’s expo, to be held over Easter weekend, marks WonderCon’s third engagement at the Anaheim Convention Center after renovations and scheduling conflicts at San Francisco’s Moscone Center forced the convention from its Bay […]
April 01, 2013 | 9:04 a.m.

WonderCon 2013: A grand genre mashup with 40,000 characters

WonderCon Anaheim 2013 (featured image)
WonderCon attendees wielding camera phones flocked around Dawn Bright, a video game concept artist from the Inland Empire area who donned a head-turning Queen Amidala costume of her own creation. Her lavishly embellished gown, black feathered headdress and trademark white-and-red painted face stopped “Star Wars” fans in their tracks as they ambled through the lobby of the Anaheim Convention Center on Friday. “I made the entire dress from scratch,” Bright said, proudly pointing out the spiraled embroidery on her cloak before posing for more photos. “I just finished this costume last night at midnight, and I’ll actually be participating in the masquerade tomorrow.” A few feet away, more WonderCon-goers (some of whom wore costumes of their own) snapped pictures of Bright’s husband, Daniel, and their 3-year-old daughter, Victoria, dressed as the heroes from Disney’s “Wreck-it-Ralph,” with little Victoria’s stroller decked out […]
April 01, 2013 | 5:00 a.m.

WonderCon 2013: ‘Spider-Man’s’ Slott shares maybe more than he wanted

Dan Slott poses with a fan at Fan Expo 2012 in Toronto. (Marvel)
“Superior Spider-Man” writer Dan Slott may have shared more with the audience at his WonderCon spotlight panel Sunday than he’d intended. After a technical worker hooked up Slott’s laptop to the large display screens in the room at the Anaheim Convention Center, the writer’s desktop was visible, and it included a couple of items labeled with the name of a different Marvel hero: the Silver Surfer. “What in here should you not see?” he said as he began looking it over and rearranging items. “This is dangerous,” he said a few minutes later. Asked about the Surfer, Slott told the crowd that Marvel has “cosmic stuff” in the works and said, “It would be fun, and I’m, you know, toying around with it — I won’t lie, I am toying around with the idea. But let’s be serious — I’m […]
March 31, 2013 | 4:08 p.m.

WonderCon 2013: ‘Buffy’ Season 9 comic faces a magical ending

Buffy the Vampire Slayer #21. (Dark Horse)
The “Buffy the Vampire Slayer” Season 9 comic book panel at WonderCon did not yield any hints as to what will be the theme or arc of Season 10, but the assembled panelists gave accounts of working with Joss Whedon in constructing the story lines, what the experience and the world of “Buffy” have meant to them, and what the end of Season 9 will bring. The panelists in Anaheim on Saturday included Andrew Chambliss (onetime “Dollhouse” TV writer and “Buffy” comic writer), Georges Jeanty (artist on the “Buffy” comic), Jane Espenson (writer on the “Buffy” comic and TV show), and Christos Gage (writer on the “Angel & Faith” comic book). The panel was moderated by Dark Horse’s Jeremy Atkins. One of the first things addressed was that there continue to be so many fervent fans of the Buffyverse, even […]
March 30, 2013 | 3:19 p.m.

WonderCon 2013: Guillermo del Toro opens the big box that’s ‘Pacific Rim’

A scene from "Pacific Rim." (Warner Bros.)
Director Guillermo del Toro revealed previously unseen footage from his upcoming robots vs. kaiju film “Pacific Rim” during the film’s WonderCon panel Saturday. He also unveiled the Alex Ross-created cover art for a “Pacific Rim” graphic novel. The film, slated to hit theaters July 12, is set in the near future when a race of alien kaiju threaten our world. Humans pilot 25-story-tall robots called Jaegers to fight them off. Del Toro introduced a WonderCon-exclusive trailer during the panel Saturday, held in the Anaheim Convention Center’s 9,000-seat arena. PHOTOS: WonderCon 2013 cosplay The visually rich and action-packed trailer featured plenty of combat between the massive mechanical soldiers and the enormous alien monsters, who rise from the sea to destroy human cities. In one scene, a human-piloted robot drags a steamship through wet streets with one hand, lifts it, and uses […]
March 30, 2013 | 3:00 p.m.

WonderCon 2013: ‘Vikings’ invades, offers sneak peek of new episode

Ragnar (Travis Fimmel, center) leads his wife Lagertha (Katheryn Winnick) and his brother Rollo (Clive Standen) to loot new lands in History's "Vikings." (Jonathan Hession / History)
“Vikings” star Travis Fimmel had a simple message at the series’ WonderCon panel in Anaheim on Saturday when reminded that some members of the audience may have been under 18. To those, he said: “Get out!” The Australian model-turned-actor was joking, as he had been about “Viking foreplay” and, in referring to a scene in which his character and wife invite a monk taken as a slave to join them in bed, telling costar George Blagden, “The offer’s still on the table, George.” Amid audience cries of “Ragnar!” and laughs, Fimmel, Blagden, actress Katheryn Winnick and History channel executive Dirk Hoogstra discussed the characters, teased their futures, and took audience questions — including one about the network’s plans for any future seasons (the gist from Hoogstra, despite goading from the cast: Can’t say yet) — before showing a sneak peek […]
March 30, 2013 | 1:41 p.m.

WonderCon 2013: ‘Superman: Unbound’ is unveiled

Matt Bomer played Superman/Clark Kent in "Superman: Unbound." (DC / Warner Bros.)
“Superman: Unbound” is the title of the latest DC Universe animated original movie, but Lois Lane sure gives the Man of Steel a run for his money in the “unbound” department.  A rude gesture having to do with Lane and Brainiac was perhaps the most memorable moment of the film’s world premiere at WonderCon on Friday night. “I think she’s the best character in the movie,” said screenwriter Bob Goodman during a panel discussion after the screening at the Anaheim Convention Center’s Arena. The film, which features Superman and Supergirl taking on Brainiac, a being that collects cities and destroys worlds, was adapted from a comics storyline written by Geoff Johns and illustrated by Gary Frank. It is rated PG-13 and slated for release on May 7 on DVD/Blu-ray and digital download. The Q&A featured producer-director James Tucker (“Justice League,” […]
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