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Preview All the Excitment of WonderCon 2016

Written by: Abel S. Pinedo

March 21st, 2016

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It's time to kick off another wonderful Con season with one of our favorite shows, WonderCon! Due to a large expansion project at the previous location, the Anaheim Convention Center, WonderCon is moving to the Los Angeles Convention Center. If you've been to the show in Anaheim the last few years, you know what to expect from this great convention. With that in mind, let's dive in and take a look at some of the highlights of what is sure to be a memorable show this year.

Friday:

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Friday kicks off with a behind the scenes look at two of Cartoon Network's biggest hit shows, Uncle Grandpa and Clarence.  Lucky fans will get the chance to view some never before seen episodes from both TV shows. Cartoon Network is also promising a bunch of other cool surprises, including a first look at the upcoming Powerpuff Girls reboot.

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Actual Story Board Image from James Cameron's Spider-Man Project.

Next up it's time for more movie and TV mania! As many of you know, James Cameron had written a screenplay for Amazing Spiderman that he was slated to direct. Of course, that never came to pass. Well, in a special presentation, members of Geek & Sundry will present a live reading of the script. It's a cool look at what might have been. Throughout the day, there will be panels on various TV shows such as Damien, Shadowhunters, iZombie, and the debut of Containment. A personal favorite panel of mine returns, this time with a look at the Classic Movies of 1986. Films to be discussed include Aliens, Top Gun, Big Trouble in Little China, Labyrinth, Howard the Duck and Ferris Bueller's Day Off.

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Speaking of movies, two upcoming films are spotlighted today, first up is a look at Gramercy Pictures animated feature Ratchet and Clank, based on the classic videogame franchise. You can check out the trailer for the movie HERE. Not to be outdone, Paramount Pictures will feature a look at the shell-rific sequel Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Out of the Shadows. Cowabunga indeed! If you've read a comic in the last two decades, you probably know who Jim Lee is. He'll be the focus of a spotlight panel, focusing on his career as he draws your favorite characters right in front of you and offers up a few trade secrets as well.

If you grew up in the 80's then surely you remember the name Voltron. Now you can be among the first to get a look at the upcoming Netflix exclusive animated series Voltron: Legendary Defender. Never before seen footage and artwork will be unveiled and all in attendance will receive a limited edition lithograph. This is a big year for all you Trekkies out there. So you are definitely not going to want to miss The 50 Year Mission: Star Trek Then Now and Beyond. Come get a sneak peak at two upcoming books about the history of all things Trek as well as a glance at where the future of Trek lies.

Friday ends on a 'darker' note. First up is a panel dedicated to the premiere of AMC's upcoming series Preacher. Dominic Cooper will be on hand to hopefully shed some light on this highly anticipated series. If literary is more your style, then you might want to check out the panel dedicated to Adapting the Works of H.P. Lovecraft. Various writers and artists will be present to discuss the process of giving new vision to the world of Lovecraft in various media formats.

Saturday:

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Saturday promises to be HUGE and it doesn't get any bigger than the DC Comics announcement regarding the upcoming Rebirth storyline. Full details will be released at this sure to be jam packed event, including writers and artists that are participating, as well as a more detailed story summary. DC Entertainment will live stream the event starting at 9am on their YouTube channel [Link].

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After that major announcement, how about a birthday party? Warner Archive is hosting a special panel/party to honor Robby the Robot and his sixty years of service! Coinciding with the 60th anniversary of Forbidden Planet, come take a look at Robby's extensive history along with some special 'robotic' guests.

Returning to the world of comics, there will be several spotlight panels on some of your favorite comics creators today including Terry Moore, Brian Michael Bendis and John Romita Jr. (making a rare west coast appearance). Also, Top Cow Productions founder Marc Silvestri will host a panel taking a look back at the early days of Top Cow and what the future holds for its comic titles.

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Yes, Brian Michael Bendis will even sign your dog!

New Line/Warner Brothers Pictures will present a one hour panel dedicated to their upcoming film slate. If that's too vague for you, it's because the details are shrouded in mystery! Calling all fans of Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., you won't want to miss this big panel Saturday afternoon as members of the cast and the creative team offer up a sneak peak at an upcoming episode. Everyone in attendance will receive a special mini poster and there will be a signing afterwards with select cast members. (Tickets for this event will be distributed early Saturday morning so plan accordingly.) Several other TV shows will also be the focus of panels today. These shows include Wayward Pines, The Last Ship, Sleepy Hollow, Orphan Black, and the debut of Wynonna Earp.

If animation is your thing then you'll definitely want to check out the world premiere of Justice League vs. Teen Titans. The latest DC animated feature from Warner Brothers Animation. Several members of the cast and creative team will be on hand to answer questions after the screening. Immediately following is the premiere of The Giant's Dream. This in depth behind the scenes documentary chronicles the making of the beloved animated film The Iron Giant. Director Brad Bird will be on hand after the film to offer insight into the making of this childrens classic. Saturday night ends as is tradition with the ever popular costume Masquerade.

Sunday:

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Finish that Easter Egg hunt already will ya? There's still one more day left! Sunday starts off with the Southern California R2 Builders hosting a panel on how to build your very own R2 astromech. Everything from first steps to final electronics will be discussed.

Now I ask you, what's a WonderCon without Chris Hardwick? Not to worry as Hardwick and his Nerdist team return to discuss, well, any and everything con related.

If you ever had a question for Jim Lee or Dan DiDio, whether it be about DC, MAD or Vertigo, then you won't want to miss the chance to ask the co-publishers of DC Entertainment. From publishers to artists, Joe Quinones and Ming Doyle will host their own Q&A while they draw suggestions from the crowd. Fans of the Kitty Norville series won't want to miss a spotlight panel on author Carrie Vaughn. An in depth Q&A about her writing as well as personal aspects of her career will be covered. Warner Brothers Home Entertainment will present the world premiere of the latest LEGO animated film, LEGO Scooby Doo!: Haunted Hollywood. Immediately following, members of the voice cast will be on hand to talk about their experience making the film. Continuing with animation, Warner Brothers will also host a panel dedicated to two of their most popular animated superhero series Justice League and Young Justice. Two popular TV shows will be profiled today, The 100 and DC's Legends of Tomorrow. Q&A's will immediately follow.

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Another Star Trek panel you won't want to miss is presented by Roddenberry Entertainment. Series creator Gene's son, Rod will partake in a lively Q&A panel moderated by a surprise guest. If sci-fi is more your speed, then another returning favorite is the Starship Smackdown panel. Focusing on Star Trek vs. Star Wars, this panel serves as the preliminary round with the wrap happening this summer at San Diego Comic Con. Come watch as a panel of 'spaceship specialists' argue and banter over which ships would rule supreme. As is tradition, there is also the promise of some surprise guests.

WonderCon is devoted to comic books and the creative forces behind them. The organizers share the passion that we all have for our favorite books and artists. Many of these talented folks will be hosting various panels about how they got their start. If you ever wanted to know how to break into comics, whether print or web or even just publishing in general, be sure to check the overall schedule. You just might a panel that you could have otherwise missed.

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One last thing, WonderCon will be holding a massive gaming event! 50 different games to available to play. This includes mega popular games like Magic: The Gathering, HeroClix, Pokemon, Yu Gi Oh, and many, many more! Players will also get the chance to compete with their fellow attendees in sanctioned gaming competitions. Finally, there will be live demonstrations from 11 different companies showing off all their great new games.

More information on the gaming events can be found here: http://www.comic-con.org/wca/games

About the Author: Abel S. Pinedo a.k.a. "Honest Abe" has written reviews for Dark Horizons, JoBlo and MusicTap.  He has worked in the entertainment industry for over a decade. He can usually be found at his keyboard ranting and rambling about the human condition or watching Beavis & Butthead.

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