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WonderCon Begins

SAN FRANCISCO- WonderCon begins today and in case you don't know what that is it is a pop culture convention put on by the organizers of San Diego's ComicCon International -- think of it as a sister convention, a baby sister. If you are a fan of Comic-Con then what you'll appreciate about WonderCon is that it's like the San Diego convention was ten years ago. That means WonderCon is smaller, less crowded but packed with just as much fun stuff. As my son pointed out, you can cover the whole dealer's room in a day, something you can no longer do at the quarter-mile long Comic-Con dealer's room. WonderCon just has a more intimate feel so it's like traveling back in time for Comic-Con fans like myself. This year WonderCon boasts a particularly exciting array of panels about Hollywood comic book and action blockbusters along with panels about comics, gaming (big news -- from my son's point of view -- being Capcom's Street Fighter IV ), TV and even Godzilla!

This year Watchmen (Saturday 11:30am) has a panel with Zack Snyder and cast members (similar to what happened at last summer's Comic-Con in San Diego). Watchmen also had a panel at the recent New York Comic-Con where eighteen minutes of the film were screened for ravenous fans. But a small select group of WonderCon attendees will have the opportunity to see the entire film tonight at midnight (okay technically 11:55 pm) courtesy of Warner Brothers. What's impressive about that is that a group of fans will have ssen the film before the Saturday panel and if they are disappointed then they will have an opportunity to rake Zack Snyder over the coals for not bringing their beloved graphic novel to the screen properly. So the fact that Warners is willing to screen it in advance of the panel signals to me they have confidence the film will please Watchmen fans. That's good news.

There will also be panels on Terminator Salvation (Saturday 4:30 pm) but Christian Bale will not be on hand to discuss his recent on set blow up (that guy just needs to get on SNL and spoof the whole incident so it can be properly put behind him) but director McG will be on hand to discuss the film and maybe someone will take him to task over not having control of his set. And the final big Hollywood panel is for the new J.J. Abrams reboot, prequel, re-imagining whatever you want to call it of Star Trek (Saturday 2:00 pm). The only thing about that film that intrigues at the moment is that Simon Pegg is playing the young Scotty. Yeah!

Other panels of note include Godzilla and the Master of Monsters (Sunday at 4:00 pm), a visual tribute to Eiji Tsuburaya, the man who created kaiju eiga (giant monster movie) and specifically the special effects for my beloved Big G. There's also the intriguingly named The Real Archeology of Indiana Jones panel (Friday 2:30pm); The Image Comics Show where Erik Larsen will discuss his revamp of Savage Dragon featuring Barack Obama as a character; Dante's Inferno (Saturday 2:00 pm), a panel on adapting classic literature to games; and WonderCon also has its own masquerade and Buffy the Musical singalong. So enjoy!

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