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Anaheim's Premiere Pop Culture Convention Returns!

Written By: Abel S. - "Honest Abe"

04/22/2011

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It’s the most wonderful time of the year (move over Christmas!) It’s convention season! To kick things off, I’m here to give you a sneak preview of Wizard World Anaheim, happening April 29th to May 1st at the Anaheim convention center. Last year was Anaheim’s first WW (Wizard World). It seems the format will be the same but the one major difference is that apparently there will be way more panels.

Friday is the short day, with the ‘con only open from 5-9pm. This is the perfect time to go and get your bearings.  Pick up you badge and get the layout down. Do a quick spin around the sales floor and locate certain vendors. Find out exactly where your favorite celebs will be stationed for those autographs you’ll want to get.

Okay, on to the big day…Saturday. The ‘con is open from 10am to 7pm so plan on a full day today. This is when the panels really kick in, too. Some highlights include the following:

-Saturday-

CLAUDIA CHRISTIAN Q&A - 11:00-11:45AM

“Babylon 5” beauty Claudia Christian shares the secrets to her multi-faceted success, and previews a sneak peek of her new Showtime series “Look.” (Room A)

GREASE CAST SING-A-LONG - 12:00-12:45AM

"Oh Those Summer Nights!" Join the director of the film, Randal Kleiser, along with cast members Jamie Donnelly (Jan), Annette Cardona (Cha Cha) and Jeff Conaway (Kenickie), as select musical scenes are screened and the cast leads the audience in a true sing-a-long. Now is your chance to not only sing-a-long fellow GREASE fans, but alongside cast members from the film. Be part of the magic, don't be shy! Cast Q&A to follow. (Room A)

BUFFYFEST Q&A WITH NICHOLAS BRENDON AND KELLY DONOVAN - 2:00-2:45PM

“Buffy The Vampire Slayer” star Nicholas Brendon (Xander Harris) sits down with his on and off-screen twin brother Kelly Donovan to take fan questions about life during and after the pop culture phenomenon. (Room A)

BREAKING INTO COMICS WITH PHIL JIMENEZ AND ALÉ GARZA - 2:00-2:45PM

Fan favorites Phil Jimenez (Wonder Woman; Astonishing X-Men) and Alé Garza (Superman/Batman) team up to give out their tips on refining your art, pitching to publishers, and any other sound advice they can think of about working in comics. (Room B)

SMALLVILLE Q&A W/ ALAINA HUFFMAN AND JOHN SCHNEIDER - 3:00-3:45PM

“Smallville” stars Alaina Huffman (Black Canary / Dinah Lance) and John Schneider (Jonathan Kent) answer fan questions about the popular TV series, and discuss their newest TV conquests. (Room B)

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BATMAN Q&A W/ ADAM WEST, BURT WARD, JULIE NEWMAR AND LEE MERIWETHER - 4:00-4:45PM

The ’60s Dynamic Duo reteams with their former first ladies for the 45th anniversary of the original hit show. Don’t miss this one-of-a-kind Q&A, where Batman and Robin drop their masks and talk about their lady co-stars, the villains they faced and the wild nights after the show! (Room A)

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TRICIA HELFER Q&A - 5:00-5:45PM

Tricia Helfer - also known as humanoid Cylon ‘Number Six’ on the critically acclaimed sci-fi series “Battlestar Galactica”- is making a rare appearance at the Anaheim Comic Con, so don’t miss your chance to chat with this multi-talented actress and model! (Room A)

KIDS COSTUME CONTEST - 6:00-6:45PM

Bring kids 10 and under for this special event with great prizes just for families and the youngsters. (Room A)

COSTUME CONTEST - 6:45-8:30PM

Get your best costume together and come on down to Wizard World’s Anaheim Comic Con costume contest for huge prizes and some of the craziest outfits you’ll see this weekend. (Room A)

-Sunday-

On Sunday, the hours are from 10am to 5pm.  Some of the Sunday panel highlights include:

SPECIAL PRESENTATION: STAN LEE, NEAL ADAMS AND DISNEY TAKE ON THE HOLOCAUST - 11:00-11:45AM

Comic book legends Stan Lee and Neal Adams have teamed up with Disney Educational Productions and Holocaust historian Dr. Rafael Medoff to create "They Spoke Out: American Voices of Protest Against the Holocaust," a series of motion comics that are changing the way the Holocaust is taught in the United States. On Sunday, May 1, we will commemorate international Holocaust Remembrance Day with Dr. Medoff presenting the first episode of this remarkable new series, narrated by Lee and illustrated by Adams. "Messenger from Hell" tells the amazing story of a Polish courier who smuggled himself into a Nazi death camp, and then made his way to the U.S. to alert Americans about the genocide. (Room A)

MUSIC IN GAMES - 12:00-12:45PM

Ever hear that epic score in a video game that made you feel as if you were there? Ever wondered where the music in the game comes from? “Music in Games” will introduce you to some of the greats in today’s game industry, and they will share the details on how they started and what they are working on. Composers attending include: Sean Murray – (Black Ops; “Buffy The Vampire Slayer”), Garry Schyman (Award-winning score for Bioshock), Inon Zur (Dragon Age; Crysis), Kevin Sherwood (Black Ops Zombie series) and Greg Edmonson (Naughty Dog’s Uncharted series; “Firefly”). The composers will be available for autographs and photo ops after the panel. (Room A)

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RAY PARK Q&A - 2:00-2:45PM

The “X-Men” and “Star Wars: Episode I—The Phantom Menace” star engages fans in this one-of-a-kind Q&A, where he discusses his extensive film biography and his evolution to genre icon. (Room A)

In Conclusion...

One important note, seating for panels is strictly limited and available on a first come, first serve basis. So get there early. Each room will be cleared between panels.

There will also be a ton of celebrities available for photo ops and autographs as well as many comic book writers and artists.  The full list is available on the main website (http://www.wizardworld.com/home-anaheim.html) but some of the highlights include Adam West, Burt Ward, Tricia Helfer, Ernie Hudson, Ray Park, John Schneider, Robert Picardo, and Kevin Sorbo. 

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Finally, there will be photo ops available with some of Hollywood’s most iconic vehicles:  Herbie from Herbie the Love Bug, K.I.T.T. from “Knight Rider”, the DeLorean from Back to the Future and the Ford Gran Torino from “Starsky and Hutch”.  The Batmobile from the Batman TV series will be there as well but photos will cost a small fee.

All other information is available on the website, including ticket details.  So, if you’re around, come on down.  It’s time for Wizard World!  Time to get your ‘con on!!!