SDCC@Home - Day 3

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SDCC@Home continues online today. Every day of the Comic-con, Susan Omand will share her pick of events she's looking forward to, before they happen. Here's Day 3...

With the global pandemic still being a thing, San Diego Comic-con has had to go online this year, same as everything else. So that means we mere mortals who never get to go to it usually, get a chance to access some of the online panels, Q&A's and other exciting stuff without having to wait in line for ages and ages and ages and ages and [yes, we get it - Ed] or, ya know, going to San Diego or anything. 

There's a lot to get through again today, with Star Wars, DC and comics taking centre stage, culminating in the Eisner Awards later on. Here's what took my eye on Friday's schedule:

"Crazy" Talk: Mental Health, Pop Culture, and the Pandemic

Can pop culture help promote mental wellness during the COVID-19 pandemic, or is that just "crazy" talk? Heather Antos (senior editor, Valiant and Image), Bryan Edward Hill (DC Comics' Batman and The Outsiders, Netflix/DC Universe's Titans), Joseph Illidge (executive editor, Heavy Metal, Humanoids' MPLS Sound), and Patrick Tatopoulos (production designer, Batman v Superman, Zack Snyder's Justice League) join forensic psychiatrists Vasilis K. Pozios, M.D., and Praveen Kambam, M.D., (Broadcast Thought, freelance contributors to The New York Times, Wired, The Hollywood Reporter) to discuss how pop culture fandom communities can help stave off social isolation and despair during this unprecedented public health crisis. The "'Crazy' Talk" crew will also discuss the state of mental health media representation and how a mental health/pop culture partnership can be a "win-win" for both the entertainment industry and people with mental illnesses. 

Mental wellbeing is a big thing for us here at The DreamCage so it will be interesting to see how it is represented by pop culture and, conversely, how pop culture can influence it in return.


Pixel Stories - Reimagining Video Game Narrative

Ever wanted to go behind-the-scenes on storytelling for games? Meet the industry's most innovative writers working on today's fan-favorite video games in this exclusive virtual Comic-Con panel! Take a closer look into their creative writing process, character development, world-creation, and production to hear how it's all done. 

I do play a few video games and, personally, the story is a lot more important to the kind of games I enjoy than the gameplay so this one piqued my interest, primarily to see if storyboarding a game is similar at all to other media and where the differences might be.


The Mandalorian and His Many Gadgets

Daniel J. Glenn (podcast producer), Dr. Michael Dennin (science expert: ancient aliens, Star Wars tech), and Ben Siepser (bio-engineer) of the podcast Fascinating Gadgets, Gizmos, and Gear-Based Technologies explore the science behind the various tools Mando uses to secure his bounties. From tracking fobs and jetpacks, to wrist rockets and flamethrowers, they will examine the most well-equipped bounty hunter in the galaxy.

I really enjoyed the series on Disney+ and the tech did look varied and interesting so it would be good to see if any of it could really work in the real world. 


DC@Home Day One

Whether its Batman's final showdown with The Joker, Wonder Woman taking on new adventures, or the Man of Steel taking facing threats from Metropolis and across the cosmos, DC is the place to be for the best storytellers lending their talents to the World's Greatest Super Heroes! Don't miss your chance to hear first-hand from these comic book legends in the making as they give you the inside scoop on what's in store for Batman, Superman, Wonder Woman and other DC heroes and villains!

Ahead of their own Fandome online celebration in August, there should at least be some comics and character news in this panel from DC.


Thought Bubble & Comic-Con@Home: Tula Lotay in Conversation

Comic-Con International's Laura Jones (operations and programming coordinator) interviews Lisa Wood aka artist Tula Lotay (Supreme Blue Rose, The Wicked + The Divine, All Star Batman) and founder of Thought Bubble, a comic convention in the UK. Lisa will talk about how she got started in the industry, how and why she created Thought Bubble, and how Thought Bubble and Comic-Con International are teaming up on their educational and outreach programs to bring comics to a new and diverse audience.

We support a lot of British independent comics creators at The DreamCage and Thought Bubble, or TBubs as it seems to be known, is a very important event in the annual calendar for them. With their own event going digital this year, it will be interesting to hear about the history and future of this important comic-con. 


Harryhausen100: Into the Ray Harryhausen Archive

2020 marks what would have been legendary animator Ray Harryhausen's 100th birthday. To mark this occasion, the Ray and Diana Harryhausen Foundation present an exclusive look into the incredible collection which was gathered over a lifetime of creativity. Join Ray's daughter Vanessa Harryhausen (foundation trustee), John Walsh (foundation trustee), and Connor Heaney (collections manager) for a chance to get close to some of Ray's most iconic creations, as the three share memories and secrets from the archive, celebrating a century of cinema magic.

For practical film effects Harryhausen was way ahead of his time, creating movies' mythical monsters and stop-motion skeleton armies that still haunt my dreams today. A delve into the archives, as well as stories from behind the scenes, will make for a very interesting and entertaining hour.


LMGI - Hollywood Location Scouts

They found Winterfell in Ireland, Skull Island in Vietnam, Hogwarts in England, and Wakanda in South Africa. Working alongside directors and production designers, location scouts are the visual artists who bring forth every place that you see on the screen. Six location scouts, members of the Location Managers Guild International will discuss the creative and logistical aspects of their jobs and relate some exciting anecdotes. 


What a fantastic job this must be! Even with green screens being so prevalent in films there are some things that just can't (and shouldn't) be CGI'd. Looking forward to some good stories and a fascinating insight into what's involved.


The Psychology of Star Trek vs. Star Wars

Back by popular demand, the Trek vs Wars discussion returns to Comic-Con in Episode VI, with examinations of Discovery, Picard, and, of course, Rise of Skywalker! Designed to engage the audience in a healthy--but fun--debate, this panel explores meaningful topics of psychology prominent in Star Trek & Star Wars. Who's more emotionally intelligent, Picard or Luke? How do hero characters Rey and Burnham show us healthy coping and self-care? And what's the importance of legacy when it comes to saving the universe? 

Yes back to brain-stuff again but this sounds like the fun while accidentally learning stuff debates that I enjoy at science festivals rather than anything too heavy, so I'm looking forward to this.


UnMasked: Rhapsody PR's Behind-the-Music panel

Music creatives Sean Callery (Homeland), Jeff Russo (Star Trek: Picard), Maggie Phillips (Fargo), Torin Borrowdale (Locke & Key), Amanda Jones (Twenties), and Nathaniel Blume (Prodigal Son) reveal the secrets behind creating music for TV's most groundbreaking and thrilling programs. 

Soundtracks are important for setting a scene, telegraphing emotions, and can make or break a film. Get a great looking film with a rubbish soundtrack and, no matter who is in it, you won't be able to watch it. Likewise a great soundtrack can lift even the worst film into something almost watchable.


Remote Real-Time: The Age of Virtual Production

Meet the pioneering team from Halon Entertainment (The Mandalorian, The Batman, Logan, Ford v Ferrari, Borderlands 3, God of War, and the soon to be released, Free Guy) as their executive and creatives discuss virtual production, the impact of COVID-19, and the challenges of transitioning to a completely remote workforce, as well as how Hollywood can proceed with production during the pandemic utilizing real-time workflows.

Some version of remote or virtual production is going to be the norm for the foreseeable future in many cases on film and TC so this will be an interesting discussion to see how much logistically would be involved and whether it will be practical in the long term.


How to Make a Comic From Start to Finish

Wanna learn how to make a comic? Where to start? How panels work? What does one letter with? Does it need to be in color? And much, much more! Acclaimed industry pro Brian Haberlin (Spawn, Witchblade, Sonata, The Marked) will take you through the process using his Image Comics creations as examples and will touch on the whole process from soup to nuts!

I am in awe of comics creators. Not just the stunning creativity of story and artwork but how they get the whole thing look good on a page, be easy to read [much kudos given to pro letterers - Ed] and flow so successfully but never boring in format. Could I do it myself? No. But it's still really interesting.


TV Guide Magazine Fan Favorites

The magazine entirely devoted to TV, hosts its 11th annual gathering of stars we adore from across the television galaxy to trade stories of fan encounters, backstage tales and the importance of representation for fans of every walk of life. This year's don't-miss lineup, moderated by TVGM senior writer Damian Holbrook, includes Hale Appleman (The Magicians), Lindsey Morgan and Richard Harmon (The 100), Robbie Amell (Upload), Kennedy McMann (Nancy Drew), Alex Newell (Zoey's Extraordinary Playlist), Jeri Ryan (Star Trek: Picard), Harvey Guillen (What We Do in the Shadows), Chris Chalk (Perry Mason), and Ashleigh Murray (Riverdale, Katy Keene).

Just look at that line-up! (Note to self - I need to wax lyrical about The Magicians and Perry Mason soon)


32nd Annual Will Eisner Comic Industry Awards

The "Oscars" of the comics industry honor comics creators and their works in 32 categories. This virtual ceremony is hosted by Phil LaMarr, the actor/voice actor/comedian known for roles in animated series including Green Lantern/John Stewart and Ed Reiss in Justice League and Justice League Unlimited, Hermes Conrad in Futurama, and the title characters on both Samurai Jack and Static Shock. Sergio Aragonés will announce this year's Eisner Hall of Fame inductees, and Ruth Clampett will present the 2020 Bob Clampett Humanitarian Award recipients.

One of the must watch things at SDCC every year is the Eisners. We'll have a report up with all the winners next week but you can find the full list of nominations here.


These are just my choices though, and merely scratch the surface of a busy day. You'll find a lot more on offer as Comic-Con@Home 2020 will feature over 350 separate panels spread out over all five days of the event. There will be something for everyone! You can find the schedule for all of SDCC@Home here or here. Also remember to Print off your badge here (for you AND your pets!) and download your FREE souvenir book here. Oh, and remember to visit the virtual Exhibitors' Hall too where you’ll find company listings, exclusive products for sale, promotional links, and a whole lot more. The Exhibit Hall will be available for all five days of the convention.


Here’s how SDCC@HOME works:

The majority of our panels will also be available AFTER the July 22-26 dates, although there are some that may have a limited time period attached to them. Each panel will contain a link; when you click on that link, you’ll launch another page that has the panel video embedded on it … that video will be available on the date and time listed. When it’s available, simply push play and watch! It’s that simple.

All the panels will also be available on the Comic-Con YouTube channel, so you can also access them there. Subscribe on YouTube.com at https://www.youtube.com/user/ComicCon