Wondercon moved to Anaheim for 2012 while its regular venue in San Francisco undergoes renovation. Today was opening day and I took in as much as I could fit into one day!
Following the morning trek down to “the OC” – that’s “Orange County” for everyone outside of SoCal (Southern California), my first stop once the convention opened its doors was the panel titled Insight into Indy Publishing featuring creators Robert Roach, Dale Wilson, Vincent Moore, and Dani Dixon from The Antidote Trust, a collective of creative individuals. The panel was moderated by Comic Book Resources.com columnist Hannibal Tabu. The members of the trust each shared their own unique knowledge and experiences to an audience eager to learn how to produce and publish comic books independently. Tabu did an excellent job of keeping the discussion focused and insisted on providing the audience with both identifiable and measurable steps to take toward the dream of being published. The audience was attentive, asked meaningful questions, and overall seemed to both enjoy the witty banter between the participants and appreciate the tips provided by team on stage.
Following The Antidote Trust panel was Pitching Diversity sponsored by Widelantern.com. Panelists included Widelantern co-founder Adam Wolman, Frank Gonzalez (ABC/Disney’s Talent Development and Diversity), Charles Howard (Producer’s Guild Diversity Committee), author Brandon Easton (Thundercats, Shadowlaw), and actors Teresa Huang (Knight Rider) and Randall Park (Supah Ninjas). This panel sparked a round table discussion on Hollywood’s lack of diversity both in the stories told and in the talent hired to create and embody those stories. As is the case in almost all of these types of philosophical questions, there was no panacea to be found. Undoubtedly, this discussion will continue for many years to come until there is a real and lasting change in Hollywood.
My final panel of the day was The Writer’s Journey: Breaking into Comic Books and Hollywood Scripting. Brandon Easton (Thundercats, Shadowlaw), Keto Shimizu (Syfy’s Being Human), and Jonathan Callan (Generator Rex) all gave the audience solid steps and advice on how to break into the Hollywood system. Brandon’s very detailed research steps are simply a must do for anyone attempting to make it in Hollywood. I personally found usefulness from Keto’s explanation of “The note behind the note,” referring to taking notes from studio execs and divining what they are actually trying to tell you. This was an excellent panel and I hope to see it again both at Wondercon and at big brother San Diego Comic-con.
I ended the first day back on the exhibit floor. Other members of my party needed to run some errands, so we lazily made our way across the floor. There are always costumes at the comic book conventions I’ve attended – some very, very good – some…not. I did see a really nice original costume as we headed over to Brandon Easton and Anthony Montgomery’s booth 916. It was pleasure to see Brandon at a second convention and to meet actor Anthony Montgomery. Brandon was selling his original graphic novel Shadowlaw, which I had a difficult time trying to get from my local shop. Brandon also collaborated with Anthony on Miles Away, an exciting, new youth-oriented sci-fi adventure. Anthony was very personable and exhibited an uncommon excitement about his project, the convention, and life in general. It was especially awesome to see his exuberance with the young fans and their parents. It was a great way to end the day. I can’t wait for tomorrow!
DeWayne Copeland is Sr. Director, Film and Publishing for MYTHKEEPER Corporation. He was assistant editor for MG3 Inc’s Chaosis and Little Big Shot graphic novels. DeWayne also co-created and produced the upcoming super-hero web series CV Nation.