Hollywood joins the comic convention WonderCon

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The Independent Culture

One of the popular comics and pop culture conventions, WonderCon, happening April 2-4 at the Moscone Center in San Francisco, gets bigger this year with the multitude of film offerings in the genre. Special guests from the worlds of comics and science fiction/fantasy will be joined by television and film stars who are sure to draw an even wider range of fans.

A precursor to the hugely popular ComicCon show in San Diego in July and produced by the same organization, the show includes major comic publishers, such as DC Comics, Dark Horse, and IDW. The conference includes dealers selling comic books, original art, movie memorabilia, and action figures in the exhibition hall, attracting an estimated 34,000 fans.

Three days of seminars will include Q&As with comic artists and authors, including artist Adam Hughes ( Wonder Woman, Catwoman), writerGeoff Johns (the hot new Blackest Night, Green Lantern) andartist Adam Kubert ( Amazing Spider-Man: The List), writer Jimmy Palmiotti ( Jonah Hex, Power Girl). There are also workshops, games, anime, and masquerades.

Highlights of the three days include:

  • Producer/Director Kevin Smith ( Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back, Clerks, Mallrats, Chasing Amy) will be spotlighted for an evening event to be interviewed.
  • Preview screenings include Activision unveiling the new Marvel video game: Spider-Man Shattered Dimensions, presented by Marvel writer Dan Slott.
  • BBC America will present the US premiere of the new Doctor Who.
  • Warner Bros. Television will screen: V, Fringe, and Human Target, a new series, based on the popular DC Comics title.
  • Actor Michael Chiklis of television drama The Shield is entering the world of comic books by launching Pantheon, a stylized story of ancient Greek gods returning to a ravaged near-future Earth.

Also on Saturday, Disney Studios stages events for film fans and media with presentations and panels including filmmakers and actors of the summer's films. Sneak peaks of footage will also be screened. The schedule follows: 

  • Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time - the mythical epic adventure will be presented by producer Jerry Bruckheimer, director Mike Newell, and star Jake Gyllenhaal, and writer Jordan Mechner.
  • The Sorcerer's Apprentice - this panel on the magical comical adventure will include producer Jerry Bruckheimer, actors Nicolas Cage, Jay Baruchel and Teresa Palmer, and director Jon Turteltaub.
  • Toy Story 3 director Lee Unkrich of Disney Pixar will share stories, footage and tales about the new toys, such as Barbie's friend Ken, portrayed by Michael Keaton, and a hedgehog named Mr. Pricklepants, voiced by Timothy Dalton.

The weekend event closes with Buffy the Musical - as in the Vampire Slayer.

Ticket prices range from $10 for Sunday to $40 for all three days.