Emily S. Whitten: Conventions Ahoy! NADWCon and SDCC
Guess what, ComicMix readers? Convention season is upon us! Hurrah!
“Aw, shucks,” you say. “I can’t make it to any conventions.”
Fear not, faithful friends! I am here to save the day by attending and reporting back for you. And I am psyched about it. Yes, I’ll probably need to hibernate my con exhaustion away afterwards, but man, I love the energy and excitement of a good con. And good thing, too, because this year, I’m planning to attend The North American Discworld Convention; San Diego Comic Con; Dragon*Con; Baltimore Comic Con; the Small Press Expo; New York Comic Con; and Capclave. Whew!
NADWCon and SDCC are right around the corner, so I’m extra excited about those! Here’s what I’m looking forward to:
The North American Discworld Convention
The NADWCon is taking place in Baltimore, MD from July 5th to 8th, and memberships are still available! I highly recommend this con for any Terry Pratchett enthusiast. Anyone who knows me even a little bit knows I’m a huge Discworld fan. You may or may not also know that I actually co-founded the NADWCon, and served as Vice Chair, Webmaster, Programming Coordinator, and Guest Liaison for the 2009 NADWCon, and as Chair and co-Guest Liaison Coordinator for the 2011 NADWCon. Good times!
This year, though, I’m super excited to be going to NADWCon as just a fan. I’ll get to go to all of the panels I never saw while I was running around like a chicken with my head cut off organizing things! I’ll get to sit down for more than five minutes with my Discworld friends! I’ll possibly make it to breakfast at least once! Woo!
I’ll also, all things permitting, be continuing what is by now the tradition of interviewing some Discworld luminaries at the con. I first interviewed author Terry Pratchett himself at the UK Discworld Con for two whole hours in 2008, and what a treat that was! I interviewed Terry again, along with agent Colin Smythe, artist Bernard Pearson, and audiobook reader Stephen Briggs in 2010 (Scroll down if you’d like to hear those interviews here). The nice thing about interviews with Terry or about Terry, though, is that he’s so prolific and interesting that there’s always new ground to cover; so I’m really looking forward to catching up with the Discworld crowd!
In other exciting things, the Program Guide for the con is now up, and it looks fantastic. On Friday I might chat with Ian Mitchell and Reb Voyce, make my own Octavo or coat of arms, or watch the new Sir Terry documentary about orangutans! On Saturday I’ll actually be speaking at a panel about costuming, but I might also try my hand at scriptwriting, learn how to commit the perfect murder (oh, Pat, what would we do without you?), or revisit my fencing days with a lesson in swordplay. Sunday I am most certainly attending the Gala Banquet, but might also learn the trade tricks of the Guild of Thieves! And on Monday, if I am not exhausted yet, I may watch what I am betting will be the craziest puppet show ever (and will, among other things, feature the Neil Gaiman puppet that took the stage at Neil’s DC signing on June 21). Seriously, this con is going to be so much fun! And less than two weeks after it, I will be going to…
San Diego Comic Con
This will be my first time at SDCC, and I am preemptively preparing to be totally overwhelmed. However, I’m also overjoyed, because so many of my awesome friends will be there, and there will be mega-tons of amazing events happening all the time. Here are some things I’m especially looking forward to:
1) The preview and Q&A panel for I Know That Voice, a documentary all about voice actors that’s coming out this fall. As readers may have noticed, I find voice acting pretty darned fascinating, so I can’t wait to see this film, which features over a hundred of the best voice actors in the business discussing their craft. In fact, I’ve already signed up for the VIP email list on the IKTV website; and you can too, if you want to get VIP-only updates about the film, reserve a spot to pre-order the DVD for purchase before the general public, and be entered in a poster contest where every 100th entry wins a poster signed by voice actor John DiMaggio. Pretty cool!
FYI, the IKTV team is also running a Cartoon Voice Imitation Contest via their Facebook page, encouraging anyone who does impressions of favorite television cartoon voices to post a short video of their impression(s) (1 minute or less) to the page by July 31, 2013, at 11:59 p.m. PST. John DiMaggio and the IKTV team will review each post and on August 5 will pick the top three, who will win an autographed poster signed by some of the star cast members and an I Know That Voice DVD autographed by John DiMaggio. What a great way to be heard by the folks in Hollywood! I’d enter myself, if I did any impressions!
I’ll definitely be checking out the IKTV SDCC panel. Here’s the panel information:
“John DiMaggio (Executive Producer of IKTV, also voices Bender from Futurama, Jake The Dog from Adventure Time, IFC’s Out There and many more!) brings the cast and crew of IKTV together for an exclusive sneak peak at the most anticipated film about voice over (in animation and video games) ever made! Included in the panel will be John DiMaggio, Billy West (Futurama, Ren and Stimpy), Rob Paulsen (TMNT, Pinky and the Brain), Dee Bradley Baker (Clone Wars, Ben 10, American Dad), Fred Tatasciore (Hulk, Ben 10, Mad), Tom Kenny (Spongebob Squarepants, Brickleberry), Andrea Romano (25-time Emmy nominated, 8-time Emmy winner for Animaniacs, Pinky and the Brain, and more!), Tommy Reid (producer, IKTV), and Lawrence Shapiro (director, IKTV). You won’t want to miss this panel, especially with this bunch! You never know what’s going to come out of their mouths! July 18, 4:45-5:45 p.m. (Room 6BCF)”
I’ll also be interviewing John DiMaggio and Tommy Reid while I’m there, and maybe a few other amazing voice actors (like Rob Paulsen!) so stay tuned for that! And while we’re here, don’t forget Rob Paulsen is coming to The National Press Club in Washington, D.C. on August 1. Get your tickets now!
2) Hannibal, Hannibal, Hannibal. Yes, folks, the cast and crew of the show about Hannibal the cannibal are going to be at SDCC, and I am hungry to hear from them (sorry, I couldn’t resist). The panel, entitled “Hannibal: Feed Your Fear,” will feature Emmy-Award-winning executive producer Bryan Fuller (Pushing Daisies), director David Slade (The Twilight Saga: Eclipse), Martha De Laurentiis (Red Dragon), and star Hugh Dancy (playing Agent Will Graham). It’s listed for Thursday, July 18th from 6:45pm – 7:45 p.m. in Room 6A.
As with many things, I (affectionately) blame my friend Cleolinda for getting me into Hannibal with her excellent recaps and discussions. But the show has done a great job of keeping me fascinated all on its own. I can’t wait for the panel, and am hoping to get a few minutes with the panelists, as well!
3) Psych! Oh, man, I just love this show. Somehow it’s cleverly managed to walk the line between heartfelt and meaningful and hilarious and totally goofy for seven seasons, and there’s another one to come! The Psych panel is set for July 18 and will be moderated by Cary Elwes, and include James Roday, Dulé Hill, Corbin Bernsen, Maggie Lawson and Timothy Omundson, along with Kirsten Nelson. Also joining the panel are creator and executive producer Steve Franks, and executive producers Chris Henze and Kelly Kulchak. I’m so there! I’ve also already got my ticket to the advance screening of Psych: The Musical (airing this winter), and you can get one too, at the link. I’m keeping my fingers crossed that there will be time to check in with the cast of the show as well!
4) So many other cool panels! Who knows what I’ll be able to fit in, but I’ve got my sights set on covering at least some of the events for author Neil Gaiman’s new Sandman work; ongoing TV shows Arrow, Bones, Futurama, Supernatural, Agents of SHIELD, Once Upon A Time, Dexter, The Legend of Korra, and Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles; new shows Almost Human, Sleepy Hollow, and The Tomorrow People; and upcoming movies Ender’s Game, The Hunger Games: Catching Fire, The Amazing Spider-Man 2, The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug, The World’s End, and (maybe) some Marvel movies. I’m also planning to cover The Black Panel and the Body Image & Women in Entertainment panel if I can (I’m ambitious!). And maybe more, since new events are being announced all the time. This site seems to be keeping up with them pretty well, and of course there’s the Unofficial SDCC Blog, which has tons of information.
5) A Gathering of Nerds! Although it’s not part of SDCC proper, I’m hoping to stop by at least one Nerd HQ event and see what they’re all about. Chuck actor Zachary Levi’s pet project raised $140,000 for Operation Smile last year with its Conversations for a Cause, and featured a slew of cool events and guests while doing it. I haven’t even attended yet and I’m already a fan – I like the mix of philanthropy with fun!
6) Exclusives! Oh so many exclusives! I’m going to try not to go tooooo crazy, but I must admit I’ve already pre-ordered the Marvel Minimates Deadpools Assemble set; of course I want the Deadpool Kills variant cover and the glow-in-the-dark Deadpool bobble-head; and I will elbow people out of the way with all of my elbowin’ strength for the Deadpool Corps set. I also think the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles #1 variant cover by Steve Conley is adorable, not to mention it comes from my friends at Awesome Conventions! And speaking of cute, I so want Batgirl from DC’s Super Best Friends Forever. I also have to admit the Game of Thrones throw pillow and poster set are pretty nifty.
7) And let us never forget the parties! I’m hearing about new ones every day, and who knows where I’ll end up, but at the very least I plan to be visiting with our very own ComicMix crowd at the Michael Davis World After-the-Eisner’s-Party – and what could be better than that?
So stay tuned in the next few weeks, when I’ll be sharing all of my convention adventures. And speaking of conventions, if you’re a D.C. local (or even if you’re not) please consider supporting the Awesome Con DC 2014 Kickstarter, which has just 4 days left to meet its goal (and through which you can get that cute TMNT variant cover I mentioned as a reward!). The Kickstarter needs less than $8,000 more in donations to succeed, and to allow the con organizers to make next year’s Awesome Con DC bigger and better than ever. This year’s con was awesome (heh), and I’d love to see them get funded.
Thanks; and until next time, Servo Lectio!
TUESDAY AFTERNOON: Michael Davis, Hell, and High Water
WEDNESDAY MORNING: Mike Gold