Sunday, July 31, 2016

SDCC 2016: Panels Part 1: Teen Titans Go and Jim Lee

My first priority at San Diego Comic Con was to see panels and I went to quite a few.

* Teen Titans Go!

Teen Titans Go! is an adorable, comedy based cartoon show on Cartoon Network. Tara Strong (Raven), Greg Cipes (Beast Boy), Scott Menville (Robin), and Khary Payton (Cyborg) with producers Aaron Horvath and Pete Michail were on the panel to discuss the show. I personally enjoy the show. I never watched the original unfortunately because I didn't even hear of it until after it was over. This show is very light, over the top, and enjoyable.Each episode pretty much starts fresh because the characters can die or get into crazy situations. They mentioned their new season is starting tomorrow (August 1st) with a new episode every day for 5 WHOLE DAYS on their island adventure. We saw the first episode including the new theme song to go with the event.

The panel talked about the organic, crazy way they make the show. They talked about the easter eggs in the art may not be seen by anyone else until the show is out. The actors can brings improvised material that makes it into the show. It was fun to see each of the actors going in and out of their character's voices. Tara Strong also performed her Bubbles voice to allay awkwardness about discussion of the crossover with the new Powerpuff girls TV show. Most of the actors talked about how much they love the show, how much they love working with their Teen Titans family for so long, and how they came up with their characters' voices. Tara, Khary, and Greg came up with their voices in the studio during their auditions.

The one thing that annoyed me about the panel was that the children asking questions never paid attention and always asked the same questions. Someone should have been screening them and maybe prompting them to think of a different question since it was already answered. This sucked up a lot of time and made the vibe a bit awkward. Other than that, I enjoyed the panel.

* Jim Lee

I stumbled on to a Jim Lee panel the last time I was at Comic Con waiting for a Neil Gaiman panel after his. He charmed me and my fiance with his hilarious commentary, beautiful art, and crazy talent. Now, we try to see his panels whenever we can. This panel was a little different than usual. He didn't complete as many drawings this time, but he was also demonstrating his technique and answering many fan questions. The main piece he drew was of Harley Quinn with hair buns. The minor piece he completed was to demonstrate how he draws mountainsides and then later added Batman throwing tons of pokeballs at a Pikachu (based on his own experience playing Pokemon Go).

Jim is hilarious to listen to and he can poke fun at his fans a bit, but it's all in good fun. He shows his drawing process, but admits he doesn't usually do the undersketching. He just didn't want to intimidate people away from drawing. He talked about moving to the US as a child and not knowing the language. He cited his experience to being more attentive to visual communication cues like the way people stand and their expressions among other things that helped him become a better artist. He mused over the new Alfred from Batman vs. Superman who not only works as a butler by day, but also helping Batman at night with weapons and backup. The conclusion was he must be on meth and it totally sucks for him since Batman can sleep during the day. Jim Lee is always a joy to watch and it's interesting to see his artistic process as he draws.

More tomorrow!

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