WonderCon

April 04, 2015 | 2:03 p.m.

WonderCon 2015: ‘Superman’ talk fondly remembers the Donner films

Christopher Reeve as Superman
There’s no particular anniversary to celebrate, but the cast of Richard Donner’s “Superman” and “Superman II: The Richard Donner Cut” was introduced to loud applause as the group sat down to reminisce on the second full day of Anaheim’s WonderCon. Moderated by Jim Bowers, founder of CapedWonder Superman Imagery, and Jay Towers, morning news anchor for WJBK-Fox 2 News Detroit, the room was filled to capacity to see a star-studded group that included Margot Kidder, Valerie Perrine, Diane Sherry, Marc McClure, Jack O’Halloran, Aaron Smolinski and Ilya Salkind. Memories were the order of the day:  Many of those moments shared, whether on-screen, behind the scenes or off-set, humanized a cast that at the time was thought of as superhuman. Top of mind for Kidder, who played Lois Lane, and O’Halloran, who played Kryptonian thug Non, was the flying. Specifically, how […]
April 04, 2015 | 11:58 a.m.

WonderCon 2015: Cosplay looks from the Anaheim expo

Carter Stednitz, 8, as Star-Lord from "Guardians of the Galaxy" at WonderCon Anaheim 2015. (Robert Gauthier / Los Angeles Times)
Legions of Links, citizens of the Land of Ooo and the various iterations of Batman descended upon Anaheim on Friday for the first day of WonderCon, the annual pop culture expo celebrating everything sci-fi, horror, fantasy and comics. Last year the convention drew nearly 60,000 attendees to the Anaheim Convention Center. Many of the most devoted attendees are fans who, via their costumes, display their creative talents and knowledge of even the most obscure characters, from TV franchises to web-comics. Some of the cosplayers spotted so far include new favorites such as StarLord to classics such as Batman and Joker. WonderCon, now in its 29th year, was born in Oakland and moved to Anaheim after renovations at San Francisco’s Moscone Center forced the convention to seek a new home in 2012. Produced and operated by San Diego’s Comic-Con International, WonderCon […]
April 04, 2015 | 9:14 a.m.

WonderCon 2015: ‘Wayward Pines’ actors tease mysterious twist

Juliette Lewis, left, Melisa Leo, Matt Dillon, Tim Griffin, Toby Jones, Terrence Howard, Shannyn Sossamon, Charlie Tahan, Reed Diamond and Carla Gugino in "Wayward Pines." (Frank Ockenfels/FOX)
“Wayward Pines,” a new show that combines the government conspiracy crime mystery of “X-Files” and the creepy, exclusive small-town community of “Stepford Wives,” screened at WonderCon on Friday to a large crowd that seemed to grow until people were standing along the walls as the screening continued. The 10-episode Fox show, starring Matt Dillon, Terrence Howard, Juliette Lewis, Reed Diamond, Tim Griffin, Carla Gugino and Melissa Leo, is based on the novel “Pines” by Blake Crouch and produced and directed by M. Night Shyamalan (“The Sixth Sense,” “Signs”). “Always answer the phone” is the creepy refrain that many in the crowd were repeating as the lights came up after the screening. A short panel discussion afterward included producer Donald De Line and actors Diamond and Griffin, with Entertainment Weekly’s “Sandra Gonzalez moderating. De Line talked about reading the book and […]
April 03, 2015 | 8:16 p.m.

WonderCon 2015: What lies in Batman’s future?

(DC Entertainment)
Batman versus Superman’s grandmother? Batgirl cavorting with a vigilante rock star? The many differing personalities of the comics in the Bat-world came into focus early Friday on the first day of Anaheim’s WonderCon. Let’s get this out of the way: There was no news regarding Convergence, a huge crossover storyline that promises big changes to the DC universe. Convergence, however, will be addressed in a Saturday panel. The Bat-discussion centered on new characters, as well as the upcoming portrayals of a couple of old favorites. The panelists — Tom King, Greg Pak, Babs Tarr and Brenden Fletcher — kept up a lively discussion in a room at the Anaheim Convention Center. Moderated by Tiffany Smith from DC All Access, each creator spoke enthusiastically about their projects, and where their books are heading in the immediate future. Pak started it all off talking […]
April 02, 2015 | 6:43 p.m.

WonderCon set for pop culture playtime in Anaheim

WonderCon feature trio
A legion of superheroes, zombies, Jedi Knights and more costumed fans will be descending upon the Anaheim Convention Center this weekend for WonderCon, an annual pop culture expo expected to draw some 60,000 sci-fi, fantasy, horror and comic book professionals and enthusiasts. The expo, which begins Friday and has its roots in the Bay Area but has been held in Disneyland’s backyard since 2012, serves as the unofficial kickoff for Southern California’s burgeoning convention season celebrating fandom and pop culture. This year’s lineup includes mid-April’s Star Wars Celebration, Disney’s D23 Expo in August, the gaming industry’s Electronic Entertainment Expo (E3) in June, July’s Anime Expo, Stan Lee’s Comikaze in fall and, of course, San Diego’s massive Comic-Con International, set for July 9-12. WonderCon is a sort of junior sibling to the San Diego mega-convention, which has drawn upward of 130,000 […]
April 29, 2014 | 4:26 p.m.

‘Black Tiger’ creator John Hervey on indie comic, short film trials

'Black Tiger' #1 cover (Beyond Time Comics)
“Black Tiger,” an independent comic book created by John Hervey II, has not been on any bestseller lists or received an Eisner nomination. Yet at WonderCon earlier this month, Hervey celebrated a milestone for his project — the premiere of the short film adaptation “Black Tiger: Hunter Hunted” at the UltraLuxe Anaheim Cinemas at GardenWalk represented the culmination of 10 years of effort. Angela Fong stars as Jenn Fong, a female vigilante known as the Black Tiger, who is investigating the murder of her father, the original Black Tiger. (Watch the trailer for the short above.) Hero Complex caught up with comics creator and co-screenwriter (with director Patricio Ginelsa) Hervey to discuss his indie comics-to-film journey. Hero Complex: When did you create “Black Tiger”? John Hervey: It all started back during Memorial Day weekend 2002. Priscilla and I had recently started […]
April 25, 2014 | 12:00 p.m.

Batman 75: Len Wein says Bruce Wayne isn’t psychotic — he’s neurotic

BatmanLenWeinfeaturedimage
Do you think the Batman is psycho? You’re wrong, Len Wein says. The accomplished longtime comic book writer and editor, co-creator of such popular characters as Wolverine and Swamp Thing, argues that Bruce Wayne is neurotic, not psychotic. It’s an idea he explored in his time writing “Batman” in the late 1970s and early 1980s — when he also had the billionaire dating Selina Kyle, aka Catwoman. Yes, it seems crazy that a man would don a bat costume to fight crime. But in 1980’s limited series “The Untold Legend of the Batman,” Wein went into why Bruce chose vigilantism over law enforcement — and had the nascent hero’s first costumed identity be Robin. That story, and many others he wrote, will be included in “Tales of the Batman: Len Wein,” a 560-page hardcover scheduled for release Dec. 30, the […]
April 24, 2014 | 12:00 p.m.

Batman 75: Jim Lee, Kevin Conroy, Ralph Garman’s days with Bruce Wayne

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Batman’s 75th anniversary celebration kicked into high gear at WonderCon in Anaheim last weekend with an all-star panel that included superstar artist and DC Comics co-publisher Jim Lee, definitive Dark Knight voice actor Kevin Conroy and voice actor/writer/Adam-West-“Batman” super-fan Ralph Garman. Before heading upstairs to entertain a capacity crowd in a Bat-cavernous room, Lee (“Batman: Hush,” “All-Star Batman and Robin, the Boy Wonder”), Conroy (“Batman: The Animated Series,” “Batman: Arkham” video games) and Garman (co-writer of the upcoming “Batman ’66 Meets the Green Hornet” comics miniseries) sat down with Hero Complex to talk about getting in Batman’s head, memorable adventures in their years with Bruce Wayne, and the powers of the artists drawing Caped Crusader comics now. Hero Complex: The three of you have worked or are working on quite different versions of Batman. For each of you – to […]
April 21, 2014 | 8:00 a.m.

WonderCon: IDW inks Gabriel Rodriguez; Buscema’s Silver Surfer, more

IDW WonderCon
Acclaimed “Locke & Key” artist Gabriel Rodriguez is now exclusive to IDW, formalizing a long relationship that later this year will bear “Little Nemo: Return to Slumberland” with Eisner Award-winning writer Eric Shanower. The announcement came on IDW’s “Greatest Panel in the Known Universe” on Saturday at WonderCon in Anaheim, where the two discussed the previously announced miniseries alongside a slew of creators with announcements, including Brian Lynch and his wild, hell-on-wheels one-shot “Monster Motors.” And, in a panel later that day on the publisher’s highly regarded Artist’s Editions, editor Scott Dunbier, recently nominated for an Eisner Award for his work on the oversize archival books, announced that a volume of Walt Simonson’s “Manhunter” will arrive in September and one of John Buscema’s work on “Silver Surfer” will be coming in October. Simonson is also the subject of a 22-page Portfolio Edition of his 1970s […]
April 20, 2014 | 8:19 p.m.

WonderCon: Zack Whedon, Christos Gage on ‘Serenity,’ ‘Buffy’ comics

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Before the “Dark Horse: Whedonversity” panel got started, there was an impromptu singalong among fans in line. A man with a guitar and a female singer performed the theme song from “Firefly,” and then fellow Browncoats joined in the singing of “The Hero of Canton,” the mistaken celebration of the man they call Jayne. Fans’ fervor for the short-lived Joss Whedon sci-fi western series, its follow-up “Serenity” film and the “Avengers” director’s “Buffy the Vampire Slayer” TV show endures, and in the pages of official canonical further seasons in Dark Horse comics, the characters’ adventures continue. Zack Whedon, who is writing the six-issue “Serenity: Leaves on the Wind,” which is set nine months after the events of the 2005 film, that series’ artist Georges Jeanty and “Buffy the Vampire Slayer Season 10″ writer Christos Gage talked with the crowded room, […]
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