This week, a little-known convention, Eagle-Con 2020, has been booking some big name talents. With collaborations between California State University Los Angeles and the Art Directors Guild, this annual event has developed into quite a fete.
For example on Thursday, lauded author Steven Barnes was the recipient of the Octavia Butler Memorial Award, named after the famous CSULA alumna whose name has become lionized in the field of science fiction.
As for Eagle-Con panels, James Lien (character designer, Camp WWE and The Adventures of Kid Danger; storyboard revisionist, Kipo and the Age of Wonderbeasts) and Robby Cook (character design assistant, Star Trek: Lower Decks, Castlevania, Bless the Harts) did a panel with CSULA faculty on Accuracy and Representation in Character Design. There was a requisite "getting into the industry" panel with Sara Escamilla (graphic designer, It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia, Mythic Quest: Raven's Banquet, Vida) and Michael Allen Glover (art director, Ghosted and Dirty John, assistant art director, Supergirl).
Friday saw science fiction writer Brandon Easton (Transformers: War for Cybertron – Siege, Star Trek: Year Five, Marvel Action Spider-Man, Marvel's Agent Carter) receive the Prism Award for outstanding contributions to diversity in science fiction and fantasy across media.
Easton also led a workshopping panel that covered screenwriting, writing for comics and his knowledge of getting work. Casey Bernay, Director of Education at the Art Directors Guild also spoke breaking into the different careers working behind the camera on television shows, movies, news, and entertainment.
Saturday will be a big day including an early morning Careers in Animation panel hosted by Anne M. Agnew (DC's Superhero Girls, Thunderbirds Are Go, Nine Twilights) featuring Geoffrey Thorne (producer and writer, Avengers Assemble: Black Panther's Quest and writer, Justice League Action and Ultimate Spider-Man), Drew Graziano (production manager, Unikitty! and animation department, American Dad), Dou Hong (character designer, Young Justice, Ben 10: Omniverse, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles), Revati Dhomse (The Death of Colm Carter, Zulu Six: Origins) and Brianne Drouhard (Amethyst: Princess of Gemworld, Avengers: Earth's Mightiest Heroes). This panel takes place at 10:30 AM in room 308C.
The "Making Aliens and Heroes in Hollywood" panel, moderated by Mimi Gramatky (Past President, Art Directors Guild) features Wynn Thomas, production designer (Mars Attacks!, Hidden Figures, Get Smart, Malcolm X, Do The Right Thing and current Governor of the Motion Picture Academy), Michael L. Fink, visual effects (Mars Attacks!, Star Trek: The Motion Picture, X-Men, Batman Returns), Timothy Burgard, storyboard artist (Mars Attacks!, Justice League, Jurassic World, Thor), and James Hegedus (supervising art director, Mars Attacks!, illustrator / concept artist, Captain America: The First Avenger, Forrest Gump, The Rocketeer).
The Voice Actor Forum will focus on Isaac Singleton Jr. (Pirates of the Caribbean, Anger Management, Transformers: Fall of Cybertron) and be moderated by Bleeding Cool's own Hannibal Tabu.
A Star Trek panel on "aliens throughout the years" will have as panelists Karen Westerfield (makeup artist, Star Trek: Deep Space Nine, Voyager, and Enterprise, Spider-Man, Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's End), Dan Curry (visual effects supervisor, Star Trek: The Next Generation, Deep Space Nine, Voyager, and Enterprise), and Geoffrey Mandel (scenic artist, Star Trek: Voyager and Enterprise, graphic designer, X-Men: First Class and Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.).
Tabu will return to moderate VERSUS, a courtroom-styled "who'd win" contest of champions with Michael Young the 2nd of NERDSoul and Tyler McPhail of The Grand Geek Gathering arguing their cases.
Letterer and graphic designer Zen will be the focus of the Graphic and Logo Design for Comics panel, again moderated by Tabu.
Legendary production artist Rick Carter will close out the day receiving the Imagination Award after a panel examines the impact his work had on the industry.