Friday, April 1, 2011

WonderCon day one roundup

So much to say, so little time! It's late, and I have a ton of material to cover, so let's get right to it.

After getting my badge and visiting some booths and tables, the first event was an interview with the energetic Brea Grant, known for her roles as Jean on Friday Night Lights, and speedster Daphne on Heroes, and her brother Zane Grant. The pair have several projects in the works, including We Will Bury You from IDW, and a couple of other interesting urban fantasy tales involving the use of magic. Good stuff, and the complete transcript of the interview with photos will be up ASAP.

Then it was on to the Falling Skies panel. This is a new show produced by Dreamworks and written by Mark Verheiden (of Heroes, also co-executive producer) and Melinda Hsu (of Lost), and co-executive produced and directed by Greg Beeman (also of Heroes) who was scheduled to appear but didn't make it. I was very impressed by it, and can see some of the vibe of season one Heroes amongst the extremely dark and gritty (and, in some ways, horrific) tale that we saw the footage for. In talking to Hsu at the Dark Horse booth after the panel, she assured me that the show does have hope and brighter moments. Falling Skies focuses on the humanity of the situation less than the CG eye candy of the aliens themselves, much as Heroes focused on the people, not the powers. Again, more on that panel and what I saw there as I'm able to post it. Definitely a show to put on your watch list.

Opposite the Green Lantern panel, and poorly attended as a result, was The Evolution of Comics in the Transmedia Space. It's a shame, because it was an excellent panel featuring producers, artists, writers and other top talents in the comics industry discussing how old-fashioned print comics are spiraling down fast, and how to save the genre by exploring how comics can work in the digital age. We were treated to footage of the Fall Out Boy (Double Barrel) and Tron (Disney) motion comics, as well as a spirited, thought-provoking discussion. More on that coming soon!

Capping off the night was an exclusive screening of footage and the "sizzle reel" from Priest, the upcoming film starring Paul Bettany as one of a supernatural "priest" caste of vampire hunters. But these vampires are like none we've ever seen before, and will creep you the eff out when you finally see them on screen. I'm still getting shivers over the sounds they make. They are very alien, and very much do not sparkle in any way, shape or form whatsoever. This is Legion's super badass big brother who will knock you around the block, and you'll want to take pictures of the cool bruises.

Speaking of Priest and Paul Bettany, I'm going to be interviewing director Scott Stewart, Paul Bettany, Cam Gigandet, Lily Collins and Min-Woo Hyung tomorrow, and I couldn't be more excited. The footage I saw went far beyond my expectations, and I think this will do well at the box office when it opens in a few weeks.

I've already hooked up with a lot of people and made some new friends, so beyond the articles outlined above, there are articles and interviews galore coming soon, including information about a new Jim Henson project from Archaia Comics, and some independent comics you've never heard of (but should, and will after I spotlight them in the near future). And this is only day one! Stay tuned, tons more coming tomorrow!

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