Here is my tentative schedule for this year’s Wondercon in the lovely San Francisco. I should be able to make time for brunch, lunch, tea, cocktails, dinner, and interviews! Feel free to email me! Or if you see me wandering around, say “Hi!”
Friday, April 1
I can be in the City mid-morning if anyone wants to meet up! It also looks like I can be fairly flexible until at least 3:30.
Here are my Friday picks –
12:30-2:00 Comics Arts Conference 1: Gender: Queer Spaces—Schuyler Kerby (University of Central Florida) examines how “queer space” — space in which marginalized people find themselves as they negotiate between dominant spaces — underlies the narrative and page layout in Neil Gaiman’s The Sandman. Courtney Schneider (School of the Art Institute of Chicago) examines the treatment of homosexuality to promote tolerance and acceptance as well as the current state of gay characters in serialized media and their impact on the topic of sexuality. Kane Anderson (UC Santa Barbara) guides us into the annual Hard Heroes party in Los Angeles and the Heroes & Villains party in San Diego to explore how these festivals featuring queer revelers costumed in the guises of their favorite superheroes and villains appropriate superhero iconography to challenge mainstream ideology. Room 204/206
2:00-3:30 Comics Arts Conference 2: Adaptation: Hollywood, Survival, and Success— Shylah Hamilton (School of the Art Institute of Chicago) uses the philosophy of Jean-Paul Sartre, Georg Hegel, and Theodor W. Adorno to examine how the zombie tales of28 Days Later and 28 Weeks Later provide a template for the survival of the individual and community in periods of genocide and social unrest. Tanya Zuk (University of Arizona) pitsKick Ass against Scott Pilgrim to answer the question of why one film succeeded and the other failed — what leads a good comic astray in the heart of Hollywood? Kalani Largusa (School of the Art Institute of Chicago) examines the significance of Kato and the evolution of his role as the Green Hornet’s sidekick. Stanford Carpenter (School of the Art Institute) responds.Room 204/206
3:00-4:00 Dark Horse Fall Preview— Three years ago, Dark Horse made comics history with the launch of Buffy Season 8, which continued the canon storyline of the beloved cancelled show. Now, Dark Horse gives Wonder Con attendees exclusive news and insight into your favorite characters returning to comics this fall. Join Dark Horse director of public relationsJeremy Atkins, editors Scott Allie and Sierra Hahn, and a cast of surprise guests for the one panel you don’t wanna miss! Room 103
3:30-4:30 San Francisco Underground Indie Comic Spotlight — From the political to the artistic, this fabulous panel will spotlight the rich past, the thriving present, and the exciting future of the San Francisco underground indie comic book scene. Join Trina Robbins(Wimmen’s Comix, The Brinkley Girls), Lee Marrs (Pudge, Girl Blimp), Shaenon Garrity(Narbonic, Skin Horse), Ted Naifeh (Courtney Crumrin, Good Neighbors), Jon Macy (Fearful Hunter, Teleny and Camille), Rich Boutell (InterSections), and moderator Brian Andersen (So Super Duper, Friend of Dorothy) in what’s sure to be a lively discussion. Room 254/256
Trina and Lee Mars! Fabu!
4:30-5:30 The Evolution of Comics in the Transmedia Space— Double Barrel Motion Labs CEO Jeff Krelitz (Starz’s Spartacus: Upon the Sands of Vengeance, Tron Legacy, The Muppet Show) and producer Diana Williams (The Crazies, Conan the Barbarian: The Motion Comic) discuss the evolution of comics into other media with panelists writer Marc Andreyko(Manhunter, Ferryman), artist Dennis Calero (X-Men Noir, Cowboys & Aliens), editor Jeff Newelt (Harvey Pekar’s Cleveland), Darren Romanelli (Doctor Romanelli), director Kyle Newman (Fanboys), producer Adrian Askarieh (Hitman, Kane & Lynch), producer FJ Desanto (The Spirit, Shazam), and Paradox Entertainment (Conan The Barbarian). Double Barrel will be premiering footage from their original Fall Out Boy Motion Comic, Fall Out Toy Works, voiced by Anna Faris, along with exclusive clips of original Disney motion comics from their upcoming series. Room 254/256
Yeah. You had me at “transmedia.”
5:00-6:00 CBLDF: After the Code— Earlier this year, the Comics Code Authority was shut down. For more than 50 years the Code seal has served as a vivid reminder of the brutal government investigation and self-censorship that decimated the comics industry in the 1950s. It also stood as a standard that led to the censorship of a wide variety of comics. As the Code fades into history, the CBLDF moderates a discussion about how the Code affected comics and the threats that remain in its absence. The panel will include WonderCon special guests Sergio Aragonés, Mike Friedrich, Paul Levitz, Bill Sienkiewicz, and Marv Wolfman, and will be moderated by CBLDF Executive Director Charles Brownstein. Room 236
6:30-8:30 Back to Space-Con: The Story of the 1970s Sci-Fi Conventions— This panel discussion is a fascinating look back to the roots of today’s modern conventions and is followed by the 74-minute documentary film about the 1970s conventions called Space-Con. Told by the original organizers and fans, the film includes celebrity interviews by Bob Wilkins, dealers-room footage, costume contests, and over 40 minutes of rare convention footage. A short Q&A session follows the movie with panelists John Stanley (Creature Features), Mr. Lobo (Cinema Insomnia), Tom Wyrsch (writer/director), Strephon Taylor (producer/editor), and Ernie Fosselius (Hardware Wars). Room 104
I could be free for dinner – though I’m pretty intrigued by this panel and documentary. Plus, John Stanley is a doll. We’ll see what my energy level is though – one must remember to pace themselves at a con!
Saturday April 2
Again, I should have time in the morning to hang out!
Here are my programming picks for Saturday –
12:00-1:30 Comics Arts Conference 4: Politics of Oppression and Identity— The eternal struggle of art and freedom engages Fabio Luiz Carneiro Mourilhe Silva (Universidade Federal do Rio de Janeiro) and Jon Hogan (Syracuse University), who examine how the work of Brazilian cartoonist Henrique de Souza Filho, aka Henfil, served as an ideological and critical weapon against the military dictatorship of the 1960s through the 1980s. Jose Alaniz (University of Washington, Seattle) brings the discussion home with a focus on how the Mike Murdock storyline in Daredevil plays with identity politics through Matt Murdock’s status as blind, then sighted, then blind, then sighted. Confused? You and Karen Page both! Room 204/206
I would like to see my friend Jose’s presentation (listed above) but will likely need to attend the Super panel for workstuffs.
12:30-1:30 Super— Rainn Wilson (The Office) and director James Gunn (Slither) come to San Francisco for a conversation about their highly anticipated new film Super. Learn about how a short-order cook can take justice into his own hands with little more than a wrench and a sign from above. Don’t steal, don’t deal drugs, and don’t miss your chance to get a unique first look at this singular dark comedy, opening this spring! Room 103
1:30-3:00 Comics Arts Conference 5: Life After Trauma — To Be a Superhero or Supervillain?— Did you ever wonder why experiencing trauma led Batman to become a hero but Harvey Dent to become a villain? Why Superman hasn’t given up his Herculean task for good after being exposed to so much loss, stress, and destruction? What makes superheroes keep fighting without getting burnt out, disillusioned, or becoming villains? Join psychologists Andrea Letamendi (UC San Diego) and Robin Rosenberg (Psychology of Superheroes), psychology professor Travis Langley (Henderson State University), and WonderCon special guest Marv Wolfman as they address these questions, applying what we know about trauma in our world to the world of superheroes to better understand why the same types of events can lead some folks to heroism and others to villainy. Room 204/206
I really want to see my friend, Robin, in the session above – she’s brilliant – but I’m going to be reporting on HANNA so I’ll likely be at that session instead.
2:00-3:00 Focus Features: HANNA— Reunited for the first time since he directed her to an Oscar nomination in Atonement, Joe Wright and Saoirse Ronan are ready to shake you up with HANNA. A boldly original adventure thriller with elements of dark fairy tales,HANNA will cue lots of questions from you for the talented team at this panel — even before you’ve seen the movie. Esplanade Ballroom
3:00-4:00 Spotlight on Hope Larson— A retrospective on the career of WonderCon special guest Hope Larson, from art school minicomics to original graphic novels (Mercury, Chiggers, Gray Horses) and her upcoming adaptation of A Wrinkle in Time. Oni Press’s George Rohac moderates. Room 220
(At some point between 3-4:30, I’m attending the press interviews for HANNA.)
6:00-7:00 Anthropology of Firefly— Daryl G. Frazetti (anthropologist, CSU Channel Islands) and Larry Nemecek (MyStar Media and Trekland) examine how the Civil War inspired Joss Whedon to set out to create a show depicting similar conditions in the distant future. Fireflydocuments the tale of the birth of a subculture based on those marginalized from mainstream society following their losses in major conflict. Having gained cult status, Firefly is an ideal cultural mirror and cultural teacher. It truly can be classified as participatory myth. Firefly is an anthropological dream in how it utilizes the human past and present to tell the story of humanity in a futuristic setting. The discussion focuses on Firefly as both cultural mirror and teacher, as well as differentiating between morals and ethics and how each relates to localized and globalized cultural arenas as well as the larger, global political landscape. Also included is a brief discussion on the subculture of fandom. Room 204/206
6:30-7:30 Femme Fatales Revealed— Get a first look at Femme Fatales, the new television series, inspired by the bestselling magazine. Coming to Cinemax this May, the show is a sexy new crime thriller in the tradition of Pulp Fiction and The Twilight Zone. Be the first to see exclusive footage from the hot new show. Meet the cast and creators, including Mark A. Altman (Castle), Steve Kriozere (NCIS), and some of the mysterious femme fatales who are featured in this seductive new anthology television series. There will be surprise guests and free giveaways. Room 103
7 – 10pm: The Women of GeekGirlCon will be getting their drink on at the View Bar at the Marriott and hope you’ll come join us!
Sunday, April 3
I probably will be a mess of nerves in the morning – but could be available to get together.
Here are my picks for Sunday –
11:30-12:30 Kids’ Star Wars Craft Class— Join author and editor Bonnie Burton (The Star Wars Craft Book, StarWars.com) for a fun craft activity on how to make quick and easy Star Wars puppets! Room 204/206
12:30-1:30 Comics Arts Conference 7: A Brief Herstory of Gum Shoe Gals, Spy-Fi Sheroes, and Private Dick Chicks— Join comics herstorians, the legendary Trina Robbins and Jennifer K. Stuller (Ink-Stained Amazon), together on stage for the first time as they present an introduction to some of their favorite undercover women in comics. From Miss Fury and Senorita Rio to Honey West, Modesty Blaise, Ms. Tree, and more, come learn about the herstory of female detectives and spies in comics from the women who love them. Room 204/206
I’m thinking that this will be the best time for the annual Women Comics Scholars lunch. Will keep y’all posted!
3:00-4:00 Geek Slant: Pop Culture from an Asian American Perspective— From Far East Movement to Wong Fu Productions, Asian performers are breaking barriers — and challenging what it means to be an American star! Join us for a no-holds-barred discussion on APIs in American media, from comic books to Hollywood film. What is the state of Asian American pop, and what’s in store for the future? Featuring National Book Award winner Gene Yang (American Born Chinese), comics podcaster Eugene Ahn (aka Adam Warrock, War Rocket Ajax), journalists Diana Nguyen and Jen Wang (Disgrasian), and indie filmmaker and producerSteve Nguyen (Channel APA). Moderated by Racebending. Room 104
3:30-4:30 Dr. Horrible’s Sing-Along Blog— This year, WonderCon’s going out on a high note! Fandom Charities Inc. and Whedonopolis.com, the folks who’ve been bringing you the fantastically popular WonderCon/Comic-Con sing-alongs of “Once More With Feeling,” present a screening of Dr. Horrible’s Sing-Along Blog! This should be an event to remember, so come to the show 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. Esplanade Ballroom
Last chance to see me because we start heading home on Monday!