WonderCon@Home: Bob’s Saturday 3/27/2021 Panels reviewed

This is part 2 of my Blog about WonderCon@Home 2021 video panels (you can find part 1 here), which will cover panels that originally aired on Saturday, March 27th.  WAY overdue… I wrote this back in early April and neglected to post it!  Better late than never, I’m watching my first San Diego ComicCon@Home panel as I upload this… On the plus side, these panels are still available for streaming at the links indicated below.

As I mentioned in the last Blog, one of the best things about the @Home format is being able to see both panels when there are 2 at the same time I’m interested in instead of having to pick one or the other, plus being able to see them at any later time. 

You can find the entire panel schedule here:
https://comic-con.org/wca/2021/athome/complete-programming
(You may need to use the arrows directly under the word ‘Schedule’ to set focus to March 26-27, 2021)
The full list shows the tremendous variety of selections available. Even if there is nothing I talk about here that interests you, there should be something on the full schedule that will interest every fan of pop culture/movies/comics.

Bob’s Recommended “Must See” Panel from Saturday 3/27/2021:

Only the one…. Saturday didn’t really knock my socks off!
More detailed information/reviews/links can be found below.

Saturday 10am: Stan Lee Goes to College: Remembering Stan’s ‘60s Campus Talks

Panel Description: Early in the 1960s’ “Marvel Revolution,” Stan Lee became an in-demand speaker at college campuses. Today, former students who were behind Stan’s earliest campus appearances recall those groundbreaking events. Panelists include Michael Uslan (Indiana University; executive producer of the Batman movies); Tom & Tim Tulenko (twin brothers and founding members of Princeton’s Merry Marvel Marching Society chapter, who brought Stan there in 1966); and Scott Saternye (Virginia Commonwealth University). Danny Fingeroth (A Marvelous Life: The Amazing Story of Stan Lee) moderates.

Pretty amazing hearing stories from these guys about the early days of the “Marvel Age of Comics” (which actually wasn’t only focused on Marvel, covering comics in general in the 60s/70s ).   Michael Uslan was amazing, in particular his story of how he came to be the teacher of the 1st college accredited course on comic books at Indiana University and how he went about getting it National publicity at the time, which led to him getting a call from Stan Lee.  Beyond that it was very entertaining to hear the guys who had invited Stan to speak at Virginia Commonwealth University & Princeton talk about their interactions with Stan that set him off on a long path of speaking at colleges for  more than a decade.

RECOMMENDED?  9/10.  Highly recommended.

Saturday 10am: Dispatches from Middle-earth: Amazon Chronicles the 2nd Age

Panel Description: TheOneRing.net serves up the latest news of Amazon’s Lord of the Rings TV Series with staffers Clifford Broadway (host of TORn Tuesday) and Cathy Udovch (TORn special events coordinator) joined by esteemed Tolkien scholars Dr. Dimitra Fimi (senior lecturer in Fantasy and Children’s Literature, University of Glasgow), Luke Shelton Ph.D. (Tolkien Experience podcast), and Mariana Rios Maldonado (equality and diversity officer for the Centre for Fantasy and the Fantastic, University of Glasgow). From an ever-expanding cast list to the official story synopsis, the panel will analyze and educate on just what to expect (and NOT to expect) from the show while walking through the power of Sauron in Tolkien’s Second Age. Bring your passion for all things Tolkien and get ready for a multi-season adventure through Middle-earth.

I was kind of hoping for some “behind the scenes” insights into the upcoming Amazon series, but there was no actual inside information forthcoming from these Tolkien mega-fans other than actors have been seen reading copies of The Silmarillion.  I’m a big fan of Tolkien’s LotR, but several orders of magnitude less so than the uber hardcore folks on this panel.  If you’re not familiar with Númenor, the Valar, and Valinor (at a minimum) this is probably not going to be your cup of tea.

RECOMMENDED?  5/10.  Great if you want to hear uber-Tolkien geeks talk about stuff from The Silmarillion, not so great if you want tangible info about the Amazon series.

Saturday 4pm: AMC’s Fear the Walking Dead

Panel Description: The second half of Fear’s sixth season, premiering on Sunday, April 11 reveals the impact of what living under Virginia’s control has done to each person in this group who once saw themselves as a family while Virginia grows increasingly desperate to find her sister. Showrunners Ian Goldberg and Andrew Chambliss, along with Lennie James (“Morgan Jones”), Colman Domingo (“Victor Strand”), and Jenna Elfman (“June Dorie”) dicess the fun behind-the-scenes anecdotes, the art of crafting this season’s anthology-style format and watch two sneak peek clips of the interwoven webs of new alliances, tested relationships and loyalties forever changed in the remaining episodes of the season. Discover the meaning of, “The End is the Beginning.” Moderated by SyFy Wire’s senior producer Tara Bennett.

This was a great panel for fans of the show.  At first I thought I might miss Chris Hardwick who does “Talking Dead” on AMC, but I didn’t.  Rara Bennett from SyFy Wire did a great job moderating.  Good insights from the show runners and actors present, and some cool clips from upcoming shows.

RECOMMENDED?  7/10.

Saturday 5pm: Amazon Prime Video: Invincible

Panel Description: Fandoms collide when Amazon Prime Video presents their WonderCon panel for the hour-long, adult animated series Invincible, fresh off its March 26th world premiere. Series creator Robert Kirkman and Invincible cast members Lauren Cohan, Lennie James, and Ross Marquand come together for The Walking Dead reunion fans never saw coming, as well as a spoiler-filled breakdown of the Invincible series premiere. Tune-in to watch this group of friends reminisce over how they came together, yet again, to work on a new project and tease what fans can look forward to in the coming weeks.

Fun to listen to Kirkman chat with a few of the Walking Dead actors playing some of the doomed members of the Guardians of the Globe, but none of the major voice actors from the series made it to this short (~30 min) panel.

RECOMMENDED?  6/10.

Saturday 5pm: Last Gasp and Slow Death Zero: New Ecological Horror Comix

Panel Description: A discussion of the new Slow Death anthology of ecological horror comics, edited by Jon B. Cooke (Comic Book Creator magazine). Joining him to discuss the collection will be Ron Turner (Slow Death creator and Last Gasp founder) and artists William Stout (Fantastic Worlds: The Art of William Stout), Peter Kuper (Kafkaesque and World War III magazine), and Skinner (Don’t Have Feelings, Don’t Make a Scene). Moderated by Colin Turner (associate publisher at Last Gasp).

Another “great if you like this sort of thing” panel.  Slow Death, which was always an environmental/ecological activism/horror comic is returning, so you can probably figure that there will be a certain mindset to the creators involved (e.g., gee it would be nice if people stopped destroying the planet).  There’s a bit of preachiness, so be prepared for that.

The highlight of the podcast for me was Bill Stout talking about the time he spent in Antarctica.

RECOMMENDED?  7/10.

Opinion piece by: Bob Bretall
(bob@comicspectrum.com)
http://comicspectrum.com/ By Fans who Love Comics For Fans who Love Comics