I’m not going to sugarcoat it, we were really disappointed with the lack of creator panels this year. There were only a few comic book panels and only one writing panel. There were many anime, manga, and cosplay panels going on. Also, celebrity panels, which we usually don’t go to because our job at these events is to cover the creators.
Last year we had about 15 panels each throughout the weekend. This year we maybe covered 12. Not 12 a piece, 12 together. Luckily, most of those panels were excellent. Let’s get right into those now.
How To Promote Yourself In Comics:
This was our first panel of the weekend and it was hosted by our good friend Michael Watson from Freestyle Komics. The panel was all about how to promote yourself in comics. It was very informative and a good way to start off the weekend. Downside, the crowd was small because they had a YouTube panel going on at the same time right across the hall.
Cinemas Best Of The Worst:
This panel was hosted by pop culture historian Joe Wos and was a lot of fun. He talked about his favorite awful, bad, good movies. Those movies so bad they are good. He followed up his hilarious introduction with a trailer viewing for each of his favorite bad movies: The Room, Tiptoes, Troll 2, and a whole lot more. They were fucking awful and wonderful!
Marvel Vs DC: The Great Debate:
Unfortunately, we were a little late to this one because we were having so much fun at the bad cinema panel. This debate was hosted (I believe he was the host, unless he was just there having fun) by our buddy Victor Dandridge. The room was really packed—and this was the second biggest event room—and audience members got to volunteer to go up and debate random comic topics.
Spencer went up at one point and was schooling them on Wonder Woman. There was another older guy who went up later on and he absolutely crushed it. That guy knew everything about the history of Marvel comics. Of course, he left out their recent slump of shitty books. But that’s a debate for another day.
Saturday AM Presents: Diversity In Manga:
This panel was hosted by a lady. In the program it said it was hosted by Fredrick Jones. I’m not sure what happened. Either way, I don’t think I listened to a word the lady was saying. I like manga, I like the idea of diversity in manga—which is what Saturday AM is about—but I just couldn’t pay attention to this. It wasn’t the host’s fault; I just didn’t care for the presentation.
NASA And The Science Of Superman:
We covered this one last year so I won’t go over it again in detail. Essentially a group of scientists from NASA talk about space, technology, physics, and how it all relates to Superman. Very fun and very informative. The crowd was also huge this year.
John Barrowman’s One Man Show:
Now, we were going to cover the Justice League panel with Ezra Miller and Ray Fisher, but they moved them to a different time so we accidentally walked in on John Barrowman’s panel. I assumed they moved him up to their previous time spot.
The room was full and he eventually, in a very sassy way, told us to close the doors. I never been to a John Barrowman panel, but I will go every damn time from now on. He came out in a blue dress, was dancin’ and prancin’ in heels, sang, had people come up for questions, and was one of the funniest people I’ve ever watched. One man show indeed! I’m soooooo happy we got to witness such and awesome extravaganza of joy. You fucking rock, John Barrowman!
Words Create Worlds: A Lesson From A Storyteller:
This was the only writing panel of the weekend; a fact that greatly saddens me. This was hosted by author and musician James Morris. It was in the smallest event room and didn’t even have a panel stage, just a bunch of chairs facing a round table.
I guess Wizard World figured this would be a dud panel. Well, guess what? Fucking wrong Wizard World! This panel was packed and people were even standing in the back. People are interested in writing and good storytelling!
James did an excellent job. He was fun, engaging, and gave out a lot of helpful information. He had the audience ask questions and he responded with perfect answers. He even stayed long after the panel was supposed to be over and kept talking to aspiring writers. Unfortunately we had to leave to get to another panel, but we did stay longer than we planned listening to him.
Unite The League: A Conversation With Ezra Miller And Ray Fisher:
We planned to cover the Nerd Off panel, but they rescheduled things. Victor hosted this as well and he did a fantastic job. So did Ray and Ezra. Ezra even did some singing and was a lot wittier than I anticipated. Him and Ray were both hilarious and I recommend meeting them both if you ever get the chance.
An Evening With James O’Barr:
Time: who gives a shit
Man, was this poorly planned. I was actually looking forward to this panel. I talked with James earlier in the day and asked him how to get a ticket for this panel. Yes, ticket. For some reason you needed to buy a five dollar ticket to go to this Q&A followed by a screening of The Crow. I had no problem paying the five bucks, I just wanted to know how and where! *Editor’s Note: I found out later it said in the back of the program you can buy them at the con or online*
James had no clue. He told me they didn’t tell him shit. We just sat down in the panel room and a WW employee asked to see our tickets. We said we didn’t know where to get one. He told us the admission area. A random guy cut him off and said they didn’t know about the tickets and you had to go online to purchase. We couldn’t get an internet connection in the building to pay the five fucking dollars! And they charged an extra fee online. We were so annoyed we bailed on the whole thing and went to the cosplay contest instead. Sorry James.
Wizard World Costume Contest:
We weren’t planning to cover this but since we had nothing else to do, we took a seat. Again, the ball room was packed. I must say, though, even though I’m not a cosplay fan, this show was off the hook! Victor hosted because he’s damn near everywhere at these shows.
First up was Cinderella who was dressed like a scrub. She went up on stage and did a little spin, and all of a sudden she was in a beautiful blue evening gown! Shit was incredible. I was amazed. Also, there was a Link battle and some Game of Thrones guy tried to say the c-word onstage. Then he walked through the audience cussing. And there was an awkward proposal of some sort that may or may not have been fake. It was a lot fun and those cosplayers definitely earned my respect.
The Real Deal With Indie Comics:
This had a group of creators including Mike Watson who discussed the process of indie publishing. This panel gave out a lot of great information and all the panel members are very successful in the indie scene. Overall, it was a solid panel.
Superman In Cleveland:
The Siegel and Shuster Society hosts this panel every year. I didn’t catch this year’s moderator’s name, but he did an excellent job. This goes over Superman—who was created in Cleveland—and what he means to Cleveland, as well as his history in Cleveland. This panel can be a little dry at times, but it was done very well.
Comic Creator Quiz Show:
This was hosted by, you guessed it, Victor Dandridge! It was a simple premise: you have two creators and two audience members answering comic book quiz questions. It was about as fun as these things go. It was also our last panel of the weekend. Not a bad way to end a solid show.