The Avatar’s Narrative: Writing for Video Games by Jared the Greek
One of the first panels of the morning featured a panel where you can learn the complexities of video game writing. It began with the stories from the panelists on the roundabout way they all entered the business. Then the discussion went into different aspects of the business such as dealing with programmers, working as a team, and making sure to expand writing ability. One of the more interesting discussions was about building story in a multiplayer game a subject that doesn’t come up too often. Overall, this wasn’t the best professional development panel, but it was a good way to start up a panel run.
The Forgotten Trio: Colorists, Inkers, & Letterers by Jared the Greek
This was a nice moment that put a spotlight on the secondary jobs that ensure that a comic book has a professional look. The panelists explained their jobs and talked about how those little touches they add make a book look ‘right’. They discussed the tight deadlines and the importance of keeping the flow on a book. It was a really interesting panel and an introduction to jobs that don’t get high praise, but allow people to be involved in the industry they love.
Mythology of Final Fantasy by Jared the Greek
This was my first run for this panel. It focused on the monsters, summons, and weapons of the Final Fantasy franchise. There was a big audience, a surprise for an event that doesn’t have too many video game panels. The panel began with an exploration of legendary weapons, especially those of Japan as the legends of their weapons are not well known in the US. Then the panel moved into some of the monsters and legends from around the world. When the presentation came to an end there was just enough time for a Q&A session with several questions that deviate from the topic of the panel. Overall, it was a fun panel and the audience enjoyed themselves. I hope I can bring back this panel with even more myths from everyone’s favorite JRPG series.
Gaming Creator Connection by Jared the Greek
This is easily the best networking panel at Wondercon. This panel required pre-show sign ups, but would also take walk ins. There were three tables set with artists, writers, and business staff members from the video game industry. Those who signed up went up in small groups every 15 minutes to talk with professionals. Once your round was over you could sign up for a second round if there were still slots open. There is so much you can learn from this panel and the connections you make could even lead to a future career.
Level Up! Composing for Video Games by Jared the Greek
This was one of the more unique panels that featured composers. It was interesting to learn how the composers work with developers to make the best music they can for a game. However, they also brought up how sometimes they aren’t given much to work with at all. The panel got a little derailed when it turned out that one of the composers was working on Star Wars 1313, the cancelled Boba Fett game. It was a great panel and it would be very helpful to those who are aspiring composers.
Writing and Illustrating Books for Kids by Jared the Greek
This panel focused on the changing market for kids books. While most of the panelists were working on picture books, but some of their lessons can be applied to other forms of publishing. They covered how the digital market is shifting things for writers and the importance of keeping a high quality. It was an interesting panel, there seemed to be a somber tone as they discussed the closing of bookstores and the tightening standards of publishers. Despite that, this was an informative panel and a realistic look at the market for those who want to enter the competitive world of publishing.
Henshin: The Tokusatsu Panel by Jared the Greek
This was our team’s second panel of the day and it was a follow up panel to last year’s ‘Rangers and More’. The panel discussd the origins of Super Sentai and how it got adapted for the US. One of the big surprises in the panel was that one of the costume designers from Power Ranger was in the audience and confirmed a story about how they had to recycle broken costumes for the show. Beyond that there were several enjoyable clips and even some time at the end for audience questions. It was great to see the panel expand and next year we plan to add even more to this robust panel.
007: Bond vs. Bond by Eri Kagami
This was one of the late night panels we managed to stay up for. By this time, the convention center is clear and it’s easy to find seating for a night time panel. The majority of us at Scarlet Rhapsody are fans of the 007 series. This panel consisted of cinema and pop culture journalists who were asked to name who their favorites were in the long running 007 franchise. We attended this panel because in our years of covering multi-genre conventions, this is our first time seeing a James Bond related panel present. While the panelists were not the typical behind the scenes creatives that would run a panel like this, it was very interesting to see people debate on who their favorite villains were, which actor played Bond the best, who was the best Bond leading lady, best Bond theme song, best Bond video game, etc. This was a debate among fandom superlatives that was entertaining for the audience!