Emily S. Whitten: Continuous Convention Catch-Up

Goooooood evening, boys and girls! Before we get on with today’s column, let us have a moment of silence (because we’ve all fainted from excitement) to celebrate that a Deadpool movie is really, truly, finally in the works. For real this time. Like, totally.

(Obligatory NSFW test footage shot)


Aaaaaand, we’re back. Everyone have time to get up off the floor? Yes? Excellent. And don’t be ashamed of fainting. I’m that excited, too! Now, we just have to hope that they don’t screw it up.

And now on with the column. The convention season has been just flying by, it seems. Barely did I return from SDCC before it was time to start finalizing my costumes and setting my meet-up plans for Dragon Con; and of course after Dragon Con, Baltimore Comic Con was literally right around the corner, being the next weekend. And with all of the cool things going on at every single con, I feel like I’m weeks behind on everything I still have to share with you all out there in reader-land.

So this week, let’s have a little whirlwind catch-up/retrospective of the highlights.

Comic-Con International

No, I’m not even kidding, there’s still cool stuff that happened at SDCC that I haven’t shared yet. In particular, I didn’t really get to write about the panels yet, and man, there were some cool panels. For one thing, there was our very own Michael Davis’s The Black Panel, which focuses on black entertainment and creators who are doing notable work in the various entertainment industries. This year, the panel featured Orlando Jones (Sleepy Hollow, MAD TV), Ne-Yo (actor, artist, writer, singer, etc.), J. August Richards (Angel, Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.), Kevin Grevioux (I, Frankenstein; Underworld), Cree Summer (Batman Beyond, Rugrats, A Different World), and Erika Alexander (Living Single, “Concrete Park”). After the panel I got to catch up with J. August Richards (who, by the way, had a hilarious mic-drop moment), and he had this to say: “Michael Davis is a legend and a pioneer in the field. It was an honor to be a part of The Black Panel and hilarious to watch him do his thing in person. Clearly, he’s the star of the panel every year!”

I also checked in with my friend Sarah Goodwin, a scientist in the field of cell biology. She shared that, “this was my first Comic-Con and so my first time attending The Black Panel. First of all, this was one of the few panels I saw that featured women (yay!!!!). Secondly, all of the panelists were very open and honest about their experiences and how they see themselves positioned within the various cultures of their crafts. Throughout this panel came lessons in putting yourself out there, taking risks, and most importantly, persistence. I found the panel very informative and could relate to a lot of what they were saying since I am a woman in a male-dominated field (in science the field is male-dominated at the ’star’ level, at least). I left the panel with a sense of optimism that diversity in all aspects of Hollywood will continue to grow, and that Comic-Con can be a place where this is discussed and celebrated and/or criticized amongst a supportive and welcoming community. Also Kevin Grevioux has an incredible voice, and I think it is super cool that he used to be a scientist at the NIH!” Clearly, The Black Panel is not to be missed.

I also checked out the I Know That Voice panel, which was super fun since they were showing some of the cool extras that came along with the DVD of the awesome voice actor documentary that I’ve covered before. The panel featured some of my favorite people in the industry and the extras were well worth a watch, with discussions of “Andrea Romano’s First Time,” Billy West talking about the origins of Zapp Branigan, and Jim Cummings telling tales involving booth etiquette, among other things. Check out a few pics here, and then go get the DVD.

And that’s all for me this week, folks, so until next time when I continue my convention catch-up, Servo Lectio!