Executive producer and analytical mastermind Daniel J. Glenn welcomed San Diego Comic-Con’s virtual Comic-Con@Home audience to the Friday, July 24, panel, The Mandalorian and His Many Gadgets.  Joining Glenn as subject matter experts were Dr. Michael Dennin from Science of Superman, Star Wars Tech, and the speculative television series Ancient Aliens, and bio-engineer Ben Siepser.  

San Diego Comic-Con International’s virtual Comic-Con@Home program of panel streams on their YouTube Channel included a fan favorite back for another year: “The Psychology of Star Trek vs. Star Wars”  Brian Ward (The Arkham Sessions) starts the panel by holding up a Star Trek tricorder and a Star Wars blaster, proving he was qualified to be an objective moderator.  Two clinical psychologists will discuss Star Trek and Star Wars through a psychological lens, and two special guests who have worked on these powerhouse IPs will bring subject matter experience and knowledge to the discussion.  The objective: to provide a venue for the audience to observe a healthy and fun debate regarding two beloved franchises.

Before there was CGI, there was Ray Harryhausen. Before dinosaurs roamed Jurassic Park, they were battling it out in the Valley of Gwangi. Before Bruce Campbell fought a battalion of medieval skeletons in Army of Darkness, Jason and the Argonauts were fighting off sword-wielding skeletons of their own. Stop-motion animation may seem primitive by today’s standards, but the movies Ray Harryhausen made, and the creatures he brought to life, are some of the most iconic in cinema history.

Upload is a rather silly comedy, but underneath the surface, it tackles some deep and complex issues and puts a unique perspective on a lot of things. Therefore, as you might expect, the Comic-Con @ Home panel, which premiered Thursday, July 23rd, also dealt with some deep and complex subjects in a unique way. And, of course, it also had a fair amount of that weird silliness that makes the show so much fun.

Few things fascinate me more than the intersection of real science with science fiction. I have little formal training in science, but it’s a subject that’s always fascinated me. That’s why I was so excited to see this panel, which premiered Thursday, July 23rd.

Star Trek has been a cultural institution for over 50 years. When my parents were dating, one of the hallmarks of their courtship was that my mother would come over to my father’s apartment to watch The Original Series. I myself grew up watching TNG from the time I was three years old. Now, thanks to streaming services, we have shows like Discovery and Picard to carry on the tradition and reach a whole new generation of fans. The Star Trek Universe Virtual Panel at Comic-Con @ Home, which premiered on Thursday, July 23rd, was a celebration of that legacy: what Star Trek has become and where it’s going. It’s also a perfect illustration of why #StoriesMatter.

As a comics scholar and an instructor who often teaches comics, I was delighted to digitally attend this year's Teaching and Learning with Comics panel at the San Diego Comic-Con@Home event. (Big ups to the SDCC for facilitating such an engaging set of panels so seamlessly during this pandemic!) This panel's lovely and lively moderators include Peter Carlson (of Green Dot Public Schools), Susan Kirtley (of Portland State University), and Antero Garcia (of Stanford University). The panelists include Nick Sousanis (Unflattening), Ebony Flowers (Hot Comb), David F. Walker (Naomi), and Brian Michael Bendis (Naomi). Due to the pandemic, this panel takes place in three distinct "conversations" between two panel moderators and each respective creator (Walker and Bendis appear together, having both worked on Naomi.), rather than in standard "panel" format. Though I do think that these four creators might have had a lively, engaging conversation were they able to be in the same space together, I commend all involved for putting together a great panel despite those challenges.

Here at Fanbase Press, we strive to provide an outlet for up-and-coming creators to promote and showcase their incredible works. With thousands of creators utilizing crowdfunding platforms like Kickstarter and Indiegogo to make those works a reality, we will highlight these talented creators and their noteworthy campaigns through #CrowfundingFridays! We hope that you will join us in giving these projects a moment of your time (and possibly your support)!

As I plow through the list of the 2020 Nebula Winners, I was very happy to see that Cat Rambo had won for Carpe Glitter.  I hadn’t read it yet, but I had met her at the Nebula Conference last year and had taken a couple of her online courses, which I recommend.  Carpe Glitter was the winner of the novelette category, and now that I’ve read it, I understand why.

As part of San Diego Comic-Con's virtual Comic-Con@Home experience this year, I watched the GeekEd: College and the Nerd Mind panel which aired on Wednesday, July 22, at 5 p.m./PST via the convention's YouTube channel.  For those unfamiliar, GeekEd is a group of education professionals who want to explore the intersection of education and popular culture. The panel featured educators and mental health professionals sharing how they have applied their passion for fandom and the lessons they've learned from superhero stories to develop new best practices in their service to students, especially during these challenging times with the impact of COVID-19.

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