[Wonder Con ’23] Midnight Rain

Let’s take a look at some programming highlights of Wonder Con 2023:


Knights of the Zodiac Live Action Film Panel

One of the panels that we were excited for was the panel dedicated to the live action adaptation of the very popular Saint Seiya (Knights of the Zodiac) anime series.  The panel featured several actors from the movie to discuss the movie.  Between the actors talking about their experiences there were clips of the movie showing off the martial arts and special effects.  The panel brought in a huge crowd and everyone was feeling the hype when the trailer was premiered.  It is hard to say how well the movie will do, but if the audience is any indication, the movie should be a crowd pleaser.


TTRPG content Creation Future

This was one of the biggest wastes of my time.  This was a panel dedicated to a handful of tabletop streamers, who spent the whole time self promoting.  While fans of these shows might have gotten a thrill from this panel, if you have no idea who these people are then you’d just think they are a gaggle of egomaniacs.  This could have been an interesting panel about creating stories, but instead we got the self promotion hour.


Creating Tales of Horror and Suspense with Storm King Comics

The comic book panels ranged through a variety of topics and one of the more interesting one was about telling horror stories for children.  The guests they had talked about their work from coming up with horrifying, but safe art, or developing stories that challenge children without pushing things too far.  One of the standouts of the panel was Marv Wolfman, who talked about his work on Tomb of Dracula and his philosophy when it comes to writing stories.  It is great to hear writers taking children’s story seriously and discuss how best to approach a young audience without coming off a insulting or condescending.  


Not So Strange Bedfellows: the Relationship Between Comics and Pro Wrestling

This was a simple panel where the moderator and the two panelists talked about their experiences with pro wrestling and their love of comics.  The connections between ongoing stories with big events as a finale were an interesting point of similarity.  The crowd got involved with their favorite wrestling moments and their thoughts on how the two media seem to have many connections.  The one thing they didn’t explore was the various comic books that are based on Pro Wrestling or feature Pro Wrestling themed stories.  Despite that, this was a fun panel that ideally will return next year.


Star Trek The Next Generation’s Greatest Guest Stars

This was one of the more surprising fan panels at the convention.  Instead of looking at favorite episodes or behind the scenes information this panel looked at the most memorable guest stars throughout the series.  This included various villains, allies, and interesting side characters.  This panel brought up several great episodes and brought back wonderful memories for those who are fans of the classic show.  These kind of panels are one of the best parts of Wondercon because it explores a series from a new perspective.  More than that, it brought back fond memories of a classic series and an excuse to rewatch episodes that had deep plots or interesting antagonists.  This was the kind of panel that could have gone on for hours and the audience would have remained just as enthralled as they had at the start.


Mythology of Final Fantasy: A Summoners Guide to Summons

This was our first panel of the convention.  This was an updated version of the previous Mythology of Final Fantasy panel.  This time we covered the mythology behind the various summons from the Final Fantasy games.  Despite being a later panel we still had a great audience.  The goal of the panel was to entertain as well as educate and it achieved that goal.  Moreover, it gave the audience an improved appreciation for the games they love so much.  The big takeaway from this panel was to add more information for an audience that wants to learn more about the mythology behind the monsters.


UFOs in Comics and Popular Media

This was a panel that seemed like it could be fun.  However, this was another panel where the panelists were more interested in self promotion than real information.  Granted, when dealing with UFO researchers their lack of information shouldn’t be a surprise.  The panel began with talks about the early Sci-Fi comics and 50s-60s Sci-FI movies and then the panel just wandered into talking about their podcasts, merchandise, and generally wasting time on a panel that wasn’t planned out well.  The panel topic was an interesting one, but how they went about it was terrible and made this panel one of the worst I went to at Wondercon.


Ultraverse 30th Anniversary Celebration

This is a panel that should interest anyone who cares about comic book history, but sadly it didn’t bring in that many people.  The Ultraverse, was the comic book line that was made by Malibu Comics in the mid 90s, it only lasted about two years before they were bought out and dismantled by Marvel Comics.  However, for those kids that did enter the Ultraverse, this was a big part of their childhood.  The Panel showed off the old commercials for the comics, discussed how the company came together, and the fun times they had making a brand new super hero universe.  The panel also discussed the Cartoon, which caused them to create the Ultra Force comics, the big team up book of the franchise.  Finally, they talked about the death of the company and where most of the staff went to afterward.  It was a great panel for those who remember and an informative panel for those who want to learn.


Make Mine Mocha: A History of Giant Robots

This was our second panel we ran at Wondercon.  This is always a fun panel as we go from the 1960s all the way to the 2000s talking about how anime giant robots evolved and grew as a genre.  In addition to discussing various series we also talked about where to find them via streaming or if they are available on home media.  Despite being one of the last panels of the day, we had a large audience, which is one of the reasons why we love presenting at Wondercon.  We also had discussions after the panel, which let me know that the Wondercon audience loves the panel as well.


Written by Jared the Greek Email: jaredjgriego@gmail.com Twitter: @JaredTheGreek Insta: @JaredTheGreek

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