Team Voltron Speaks at Emerald City Comic Con 2018

One of the biggest highlights of Emerald City Comic Con this year had to be the premiere of Voltron: Legendary Defender’s fifth season. The convention center was adorned with a giant banner featuring the Paladins of Voltron as well as the fan favorite villain/anti-hero Prince Lotor and volunteers’ shirts were branded with show’s logo. Convention Scene was fortunate enough to be invited to a roundtable discussion with Executive Produce Joaquim Dos Santos, Co-Executive Producer Lauren Montgomery, designer Christine Bian, and actor Josh Keaton who provides the voice of Shiro. Bian, a Seattle native, also produced the exclusive ECCC poster which was given away to fans attending the premiere.

Naturally, as Legendary Defender is a reboot of the original Voltron series, Defender of the Universe, which in turn was an English-language adaptation of a Japanese anime GoLion, the first questions asked had to do with the challenge of updating a 35 year property and how to keep it fresh while still recognizable to fans. “Initially we had these pillars of the original show we wanted to make sure that we adhere to and we had these meetings where they, for lack of a better term, wanted to “HALO-ify” Voltron and make it very gritty and serious and we’re like, we need it to be fun,” said Dos Santos, “We need to be campy but also dramatic. We need to have comedy, and then beyond that we want them to have a life of its own and become its own thing. And we’ve been lucky to have that.”

From a design aspect Bian noted, “Joaquim had this thing he called the squint test, which means like when you look at the original Voltron, even if you’re squinting, he has such an iconic silhouette, that it’s unmistakable that it’s him. And so that was the key element that we wanted to make sure our Voltron also had.”

Montgomery continued, “The thing that we loved about the old Voltron was he was kind of boxy. He had like these edges on it and so we want to update the lines and make them feel really cool, but we don’t want to lose that element. So you’ll notice they have kind of like a boxier muzzle and then the Yellow and the Blue Lions will have a slightly chunkier look because they’re legs. But then the Green and the Red Lions will be a little softer and sleeker and rounder because they’re arms.”

One aspect of the show which the crew cited in need of updating was the overtly evil archness of its villains. “The quality with the villains being kind of a little goofier here in the older series, like Haggar was very much just like the witchy witch and Zarkon was kind of like “I’ll get you next time, Voltron!” sort of a villain. We knew we had to raise the stakes a little bit with those guys and make them a little more serious,” said Montgomery, “And probably the biggest thing was that Lotor was a little on the pervy side and that’s just, it’s a trope that was really big when I was young, it was in a lot of content and it’s something that we can’t keep doing. I don’t even think an audience today would accept it if you tried to put that out there.” Bian also mentioned the original series’ Galra ships as another update that needed to happen. “I actually love this design because it was so outrageous,” she said “But the Galra and flew around in ships that were literally a coffin flying off into space and had a skull and crossbones and like spider webs on it.”

A huge character shift from the original Voltron was changing Pidge is to be biologically female but originally presenting as a male character, which has been interpreted from some fans to be representative of the transgender or gender fluid community. “Immediately I wanted to bring in more of a female presence so it wasn’t necessarily like we gotta make one of these characters a girl, but I think if none of the characters had really lent themselves to it and we may have thought differently, but Pidge was a character that when watching it as a kid was always a little confusing because he had a very feminine hairdo and he had some fringe and like I was never quite sure what was the deal with Pidge and so it just seemed kind of like a natural transition and in a way that we can just include more females,” said Montgomery, “changing Pidge to a girl really doesn’t change dynamic of the team, doesn’t change who Pidge is as a person and it’s a little bit of a statement of it’s not that hard to just put a female character in the show.”

But more than anything else, the team emphasized that the characters and their development as a team is the single most important aspect of the show. Season 5 will see the Paladins’ growth continue as they wrestle with the issue of whether or not trust new ally Prince Lotor. Dos Santos mentioned that the bayards, the weapons the Paladins carry and use in conjunction with their Lions, originally came from a very marketing-driven place of establishing the Voltron version of a lightsaber, but ended up being an extension of each character, saying “It’s their personal growth sort of representative manifested in this weapon.”

In addressing physical changes to the characters themselves over time, Montgomery noted that subtle differences rarely happen in 2D animation because with several artists working on project the models need to remain consistent. “You think that happens design wise, that would be a thing, but it actually ends up being more of an animation, storyboard thing where our directors and our storyboard artists are staging these characters in the scene, how do they react? And so we try to instill that a little bit in the script from script phase. But luckily a lot of our artists have been with us through like the whole run of the show,” said Montgomery, “They get it and they’ve seen their whole arc.”

Josh Keaton has become a fan-favorite as Shiro, to the point that Dos Santos joked Dreamworks would ask for “30% more Shiro” for episodes in which they felt his presence was lacking. The majority of cosplayers in Voltron outfits during the convention were dressed as Shiro. “It’s been crazy. I knew the show just from reading your early scripts, just at the very beginning. I knew the show was something special, but the extent to which it’s taken off, just the size of the fandom and creativity of the fandom just continues to blow me away,” said Keaton “Every time I go to a con and I’ll see, I’ll see huge cosplay and these are people in full on armor, that lights up and then they’ll even have more obscure cosplays. I saw Galaxy Garrison trio with Lance and Hunk and Pidge they were all in their Garrison stuff. It’s amazing.”

In speaking about his influences, Keaton spoke about how he prepares for voice roles the same as he would a role in a play or movie or live action television show by trying to put himself in the mindset of the character and finding a relatable memory or experience from his own life. He also said that he draws on previous roles such as Spider-Man or Green Lantern. “Some of that found its way into Shiro as well, not the cocky aspect of Hal Jordan, but a lot of the military bearing. I’d say a lot of the parts that I play end up pulling from those in some way in future doesn’t really because that’s just, it adds to my frame of reference.”

Voltron: Legendary Defender Season 5 is now streaming on Netflix.

 

Voltron’s Shiro & Allura Appear at MomoCon 2018

Excited about the Voltron Season 5 premiere on Netflix last week? Join us at MomoCon 2018 to meet Josh Keaton and Kimberly Brooks, the voices of Shiro and Allura!

Kimberly Brooks is an industry proven voiceover dynamo, gaining recognition for her performances on many respected animated shows and interactive video games, and has been performing since she was eight years old. She got her start in animation voiceover on Nickelodeon’s, Rugrats. She can also be heard on Netflix’s reboot of Voltron voicing Princess Allura, on Nickelodeon’s Winx Club voicing Stormy, on Cartoon Network’s Steven Universe as Jasper, on Comedy Central’s South Park as Classi, as well as many other animated shows. Kimberly’s work in interactive video games includes Ashley Williams on the Mass Effect Series. She can also be heard on the Batman: Arkham game series as the ORACLE, as well as the notable roles as Daisy Fitzroy in BioShock Infinite: Burial at Sea and BAD JUJU in the more recent Skylanders: Imaginators. Kimberly will provide the first autograph free at MomoCon.

Josh Keaton was blessed by the gods (well, except Hades) not too long after he won the role of Young Hercules in Disney’s Hercules animated film. But that wasn’t enough to satiate his thirst for being awesome, and thus Josh proceeded to work his way up the ladder of being as many superhero voices as he could. He ended up lending his vocal performances to such iconic heroes as Peter Parker/Spider-Man in The Spectacular Spider-Man, and Hal Jordan in Green Lantern: The Animated Series. He sped his way into things such as Justice League: Crisis on Two Earths and DC Superhero Girls as The Flash, and voiced human Jack Darby, in Transformers: Prime. Recently, Josh decided all that still wasn’t enough for him, he had to have his own giant robot to bring justice to the entire galaxy! And so he stepped into the role of Shiro in the hit Dreamworks series Voltron: Legendary Defender, out now on Netflix. He has also started taking on smaller roles, such as Ant-Man in Avengers: Secret Wars. Yet, despite all of these previous voice over accomplishments and more (Like Revolver Ocelot in Metal Gear Solid 3, King Graham in the King’s Quest revival, Spyro in Skylanders, Valerian Mengsk in Starcraft II, King Anduin Wrynn in World of Warcraft, and Lann in World of Final Fantasy), he just had to give it all up and be the bad guy; namely Norman Osborn in the new animated series Marvel’s Spider-Man.  Josh will provide the first autograph free at MomoCon.

RSVP on Facebook!

Have you registered for MomoCon 2018 yet?  Register as soon as possible to get the best rate on your 4-day membership for MomoCon 2018. Register today for a 4-day membership for $60, a $15 savings versus at the door! Also don’t forget to get your hotel room. Rooms are selling out!

About MomoCon   

Founded in 2004 by Jessica Merriman and Chris Stuckey, then students at Georgia Tech, MomoCon has grown from a 700 person on campus event to the largest event in the southeast United States for fans of video games, animation, cosplay, comics and tabletop games.

With 28,300 unique and over 71,000 turnstile attendance in 2016, MomoCon is one of the fastest growing all ages conventions in the country. Fans of Japanese Anime, American Animation, Comics, Video Games, and Tabletop Games come together to celebrate their passion by costuming / cosplay, browsing the huge exhibitors hall, meeting celebrity voice talent, designers, and writers behind their favorite shows, games, and comics and much much more over this 4 day event.

Team Voltron Assembles at Emerald City Comic Con 2018

Join executive producer Joaquim Dos Santos, co-executive producer Lauren Montgomery, design supervisor Christine Bian, and actor Josh Keaton (voice of Shiro) appear at Emerald City Comic Con on Thursday, March 1, 2018 at 6:15 PM on the Main Stage for a sneak peek into an all-new season of the Netflix original series DreamWorks Voltron: Legendary Defender.

Shocked by Prince Lotor coming to their rescue in the fight against the evil witch Haggar, the Paladins struggle with whether or not they can really trust him. All attendees will receive an Emerald City Comic Con exclusive poster designed by Seattle native Bian.

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Voltron: Legendary Defender Panel at New York Comic Con 2017

Join executive producer Joaquim Dos Santos, co-executive producer Lauren Montgomery, Josh Keaton (Shiro), and AJ LoCascio (Prince Lotor) at New York Comic Con’s Main Stage on Saturday October 7, 2017 at 11:00 AM to offer a sneak peek into the highly-anticipated fourth season of Voltron: Legendary Defender.

With Shiro back at the Castleship, Keith makes a choice that causes a rift between him and Team Voltron. As Allura and team focus on building the Voltron Coalition, Prince Lotor’s plans start to take shape. All attendees will receive a New York Comic Con exclusive poster created by Montgomery.

The Main Stage 1-D Presented by AT&T is cleared between Panels. For full details on how to reserve a seat in a panel on the Main Stage, click here…

 

Voltron Team Roars Into WonderCon 2017

Join Kyle Anderson of Nerdist as he leads a conversation on April 1st at 5:30 PM at WonderCon with DreamWorks Voltron: Legendary Defender Executive Producer Joaquim Dos Santos, Co-Executive Producer Lauren Montgomery, Story Editor Tim Hedrick, cast members Jeremy Shada (Lance), Josh Keaton (Shiro), Bex Taylor-Klaus (Pidge), Tyler Labine (Hunk), and Kimberly Brooks (Allura) who will be highlighting their favorite season 2 moments and will take part in an extended Q&A! Fans in attendance will each receive a limited edition lithograph (pictured).

Details here…

 

AC Boardwalk Con (May 2015)

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ACBC

Convention Name
AC Boardwalk Con
Convention Website Address
http://www.DoACBC.com
This convention will take place:
  • over multiple days.
Start Date (Format mm/dd/yyyy)
05/14/2015
End Date (Format mm/dd/yyyy)
05/17/2015
About This Convention
AC BOARDWALK CON: CREATED BY FANS FOR FANS.

AC Boardwalk Con has put together a truly unique show that puts the fans center stage. At every turn, there’s an experience that has been designed to capture your attention Some highlights include:

An expansive array of Publishers who are exhibiting with full booths, including: Marvel, Boom! Studios, Aspen, Zenescope more!

Special Guest Panels including Stan Lee and Kevin Smith

Special Musical Guests including Make Out Monday, September Mourning and More!

Creators! Creators! Creators!

Celebrity Guest Signings and Photo Opportunities

Cosplay Ballroom (open 10 AM – 7 PM and 8 PM – 2 AM Thurs, Fri, Sat and 10 – 5 Sunday)

Venue Name and Address
Atlantic City Convention Center
1 Convention Boulevard
Atlantic City, NJ 08401
United States
Map It
Please select the Category that best describes the convention
Comic Books
Additional Categories
  • Anime
  • Gaming
  • Horror
  • Science Fiction and Fantasy
  • Collectibles
Guests
Stan Lee, Adam West, Alex Minsky, Bernrd Chang, Bob Layton, Brett Dalton, Brian Tee, Bryan Johnson, Bryan Tillman, Burt Ward, Camilla D’Errico, Charles Fleischer, Charles Soule, CJ Draden, Clayton Henry, Dawn McTeigue, Dexter Vines, Drew Johnson, Edgar Delgado, Elias Chatzoudis, Elizabeth Lail, Elvin Hernandez, Frank Tieri, Georges Jeanty, Georgina Haig, Gigi Edgley, Grant Imahara, Gregg Henry, Greg Horn, Henry Simmons, Humberto Ramos, Jamie Tyndall, Jason Mewes, Jay Leisten, Jeff Dekal, J. Scott Campbell, Jeffery Shultz, Jeremy Shada, Jess Harnell, Jim Cummings, Joe Delbeato, Joe Rubinstein, John Tyler Christopher, Josh Keaton, Julie Newmar, Kevin Smith, Manu Bennett, Mark Brooks, Mark Morales, Matt BATT Banning, Maurice LaMarche, Michael Rooker, Mike Zapcic, Ming Chen, Nei Ruffino, Peter David, Phil Jimenez, Reilly Brown, Rebecca Mader, Rich Arons, Rob Paulsen, Sea n Chen, Sean Gunn, Sean Maguire, Steve Cardenas, Tate Steinsiek, Terry Naughton, Tress MacNeille, Tyler Kirkham, Verne Troyer, The Warriors, Willa Holland

CA – Massive DC Comics Signing

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Emerald Knights Comics hosts a massive DC Comics signing on Sunday October 21st at 1:00 PM.

Comic book contributors:
Joshua Fialkov (writer) – I, Vampire
Adam Glass (writer) – Suicide Squad
Kyle Higgins (writer) – Nightwing
J.T. Krul (writer) – Captain Atom, Batman Beyond Unlimited
Brian Buccellato (writer) – Flash
Alé Garza (artist) – Teen Titans 
Mike Johnson (writer) – Supergirl

Composers:
Lotita Ritmanis, Michael McCuistion, Kristopher Carter
They all worked on Batman: Animated, Teen Titans, Batman: Brave & the Bold, Young Justice, Superman: Animated and Justice League.
Frederik WeidmannGreen Lantern: Animated

Voice Talent:
Josh Keaton (Green Lantern: Animated, Young Justice, Batman: The Animated Series)

Emerald Knights Comics and Games 
4116 W. Burbank Blvd, Burbank, CA 91505

CA – Green Lantern DVD Signing

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Josh Keaton (voice of Hal Jordan), Giancarlo Volpe (producer),  Frederik Weidmann (composer), Kevin Michael Richardson (voice of Kilowog, tentative), and Jim Krieg (writer, tentative) sign at Emerald Knights Comics on Sunday September 2nd at 1:00PM.

Emerald Knights Comics and Games 
4116 W. Burbank Blvd, Burbank, CA 91505

CA – Transformers Signing

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Emerald Knights Comics and Games hosts a meet & greet with the cast and crew of Transformers Prime on Saturday December 10th at 1PM!

Transformers Prime: Dark Rising DVD

David Hartman – Supervising Director / Art Director
Jose Lopez – Character Designer / Supervisor
Vince Toyama – BG Designer/ Supervisor
Christophe Vacher – Color Design Supervisor
Shaunt Nigoghossian – Director /SB Artist
Todd Waterman – Director / SB Artist
Walter Gatus – Character Designer
Andy Pessoa – Voice Actor (Raf)
Tania Gunadi – Voice Actor (Miko)
Sumalee Montano – Voice Actor (Arcee)
Josh Keaton – Voice Actor (Jack)

Transformers Timelines #6
Allspark Almanac Addendum

Jim Sorenson – Writer
Bill Forster – Writer
Marty Isenberg – Writer

Transformers #30

Mike Costa – Writer
Livio Ramondelli – Artist

Emerald Knights Comics and Games
4116 W. Burbank Blvd, Burbank, CA