From the ConNewRecaps, Reports & Reviews

WonderCon 2024- Come Rain or Shine  

By Miclpea

I and my fellow attendees braved Southern California storms to celebrate geekdom at the Anaheim Convention Center. One of the best aspects I particularly enjoy about WonderCon is the calmness that permeates the convention, which contrasts with the frenetic pace of San Diego Comic-Con. Members of the forum had time to meet for dinner and reconnect with friends we had not seen in almost a year. However, this did not mean that WonderCon lacked exciting panels, great guests, cosplayers, or exclusives. 

Paramount+ treated attendees to a special screening of a new episode of Ghosts and the premiere episode of Season 5 of Star Trek: Discovery. This season will be the final season of Star Trek: Discovery. If the episode they screened at WonderCon is indicative of the season ahead, then fans are in for an epic journey!

Collider sponsored a surprisingly good panel featuring directors David Leitch (Deadpool 2, Bullet Train, and The Fall Guy), Wes Ball (The Maze Runner franchise, Kingdom of the Planet of the Apes), and Matt Bettinelli-Olpin & Tyler Gillett (directors of Abigail, Scream, and Ready or Not). The panelists engaged in a fascinating discussion about the craft of directing and their projects past, present, and future. The panel featured exclusive footage from The Fall Guy, Kingdom of the Planet of the Apes, and Abigail. Steven Weintraub moderated expertly as he let the directors engage in a lively back-and-forth about their craft. It was like a master-level class at a film school.

One of my surprise panels featured David Mack, discussing his career thus far. Mack and Joe Quesada created the Echo character in comics and Mack worked on the television series. He also worked on Marvel’s Daredevil and created the film titles for Marvel’s Captain America: The Winter Soldier and the Jessica Jones TV series. Mack collaborated on Neil Gaiman’s American Gods and Anansi Boys. Apparently, these achievements were insufficient! He also worked for the U.S. State Department in North Africa, Asia, and the former Soviet Areas, teaching in refugee camps and The School for the Deaf!  Mack’s work overseas inspired his series Cover, which was nominated for three Eisner Awards. 

Mack discussed working on these projects and directing music videos for Amanda Palmer, Neil Gaiman, Dashboard Confessional, and Pen America. It was just exhausting listening to his phenomenal accomplishments! WonderCon made a major score in inviting this incredible talent to their convention. Why hasn’t Hollywood made Mack’s life story for the big screen? 

However, my favorite panel of the convention was the one for The Expanse collectible action figures. Wes Chatham (Amos “Timmy” Burton” from The Expanse), Brian Volk-Weiss (Netflix’s Toys/Movies That Made Us, Disney’s Behind the Attraction), and the Nacelle team hit the stage Sunday to discuss and display the first-ever line of collectible action figures for The Expanse. Nacelle Company, in collaboration with Alcon Television Group, recently hit their Kickstarter goal of $225,000 to develop and sell collectible action figures of James Holden, Naomi Nagata, Amos Burton, Chrisjen Avasarala, Carmina Drummer, Bobbie Draper, Detective Josephus Miller, and the Protomolecule Hybrid. Judging by how fans crowded the stage afterward to examine the figures and meet with Chatham, the magic of The Expanse lives on.

Another great year at WonderCon has come and gone. The inclement weather outside did not spoil the festive atmosphere inside. It was great seeing old friends and sampling new panels. The exhibit floor was large and easily accessible. It was a joy walking the aisles and seeing the many exhibitors. Of course, seeing my favorite character (Amos “Timmy” Burton) from my favorite series (The Expanse) did not hurt. WonderCon is back!

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I love going to conventions around the US and Canada. I'm an ardent fan of all things science fiction and especially The Expanse. I'm a senior writer for Friends of CC and I have co-written a science-fiction script called Punctuated Equilibrium.