Pop Culture & Entertainment

2:00 PM | Location: Sooner B

Anti-Heroes and Why We Love Them

Killmonger, Homelander, Deadpool—the entire Doom Patrol and Suicide Squad. What makes one a villain and another an antihero? While superheroes dominate the landscape, there’s a growing trend of fan affection for the not-so-straight shooters of the super squad. Why are antiheroic characters so popular, and how is this shaping pop-culture storytelling?

Moderator: ET Wardwell

Panelists: ET Wardwell, Sherri Dean, John Eads, Tim Frayser

Tracks: Film & TV, Comics, Cosplay, Writing & Publishing, Pop Culture & Entertainment, Gaming

1:00 PM | Location: Sooner B

Cafeteria Monsters

Are classic monsters like mummies or vampires being diluted by their many fictional riffs? Or do basic archetypes provide endless springboards for variation?

Moderator: ET Wardwell

Panelists: ET Wardwell, James Hollaman, Ted Pennella, A C Smart, B J Thrower

Tracks: Film & TV, Pop Culture & Entertainment, Writing & Publishing, Horror, Gaming, Supernatural & Paranormal

4:00 PM | Location: Boomer A

Character-Building Exercises

Some characters spring forth, fully realized as Athena. Others might be throwaways, or that guy who annoyed you in high school. Panelists share tips and techniques for keeping characters real and memorable.

Moderator: Julia S. Mandala

Panelists: Julia S. Mandala, David Carrico, Rosemary Clement-Moore, Ethan Nahté, Selina Rosen, Steven E. Wedel

Tracks: Science Fiction, Fantasy, Gaming, Writing & Publishing, Pop Culture & Entertainment

1:00 PM | Location: University C

Dr. Trek's Between the Cracks: The Anniversaries!

CON OF WRATH is 40! ST VI is 30! NEMESIS is 20! Join "Dr. Trek" Larry Nemecek for some lost facts, in-jokes, and behind-the-scenes insights from his Trekland archives — including his Star Trek Stellar Cartography maps/book set.

Moderator: Larry Nemecek

Panelists: Larry Nemecek

Tracks: Pop Culture & Entertainment, Science Fiction, Fandoms

4:00 PM | Location: Sooner B

I Can See a Trope from My Backyard!

Tropes are comfortable standbys for storytelling. But sometimes the cringe factor outweighs the narrative need. When's a trope welcome, and what do we really need to start leaving behind?

Moderator: A. Lee Martinez

Panelists: A. Lee Martinez, Aaron Bossig, Mark Finn, Sally Hamilton, Rook Riley, Tommy B. Smith

Tracks: Pop Culture & Entertainment, Film & TV, Gaming, Writing & Publishing, Comics

8:00 PM | Location: Sooner B

Karaoke

Join Elijah Farmer for late-night karaoke. (3 hours)

Moderator: Elijah Farmer

Panelists: Elijah Farmer

Tracks: Pop Culture & Entertainment, Music, Performing Arts

10:00 PM | Location: University C

Killjoy's Drag Cosplay Spectacular

The Cosplay Spectacular is a revue of drag and cosplay artists from all over Oklahoma (and maybe beyond!). Join us for a fun show featuring hosts L.L.Killjoy and Mica Membrane!

Moderator: L.L.Killjoy

Panelists: L.L.Killjoy, GatorDunn, Mica Membrane, Phoenix Noire, Yakisoba Michaels

Tracks: Music, Pop Culture & Entertainment, Performing Arts, Cosplay

Noon | Location: Sooner B

Philosophy of Fear

Delve into what makes chilling tales so delicious. Purgation? Vicarious punishment? Just a sick psyche? Exactly why do we want to be frightened for entertainment?

Moderator: Tommy B. Smith

Panelists: Tommy B. Smith, Mark Alfred, Daniel Erickson, Pigeon, A C Smart

Tracks: Supernatural & Paranormal, Gaming, Writing & Publishing, Pop Culture & Entertainment, Film & TV, Horror

4:00 PM | Location: University C

Q&A with Jamie Marchi and J. Michael Tatum

Meet voice actors Jamie Marchi and J. Michael Tatum in this all-ages Q&A session.

Moderator: Jamie Marchi

Panelists: Jamie Marchi, J. Michael Tatum

Tracks: Film & TV, Performing Arts, Anime, Pop Culture & Entertainment

3:00 PM | Location: Oklahoma HIJ

Q&A with Johnny Yong Bosch

Join Johnny Yong Bosch for this audience Q&A. (45 minutes. Seating begins at 3 PM.)

Moderator: Brett Parker

Panelists: Brett Parker, Johnny Yong Bosch

Tracks: Pop Culture & Entertainment, Performing Arts, Anime, Film & TV

4:00 PM | Location: Boomer B

Retrofuture: Visions of the Future from the Past

From robots that clean and tablet computers, to jetpacks and flying cars. Join the fun as our panelists discuss how the past saw the future! What did they get right, what did they get laughably wrong?

Moderator: Mel. White

Panelists: Mel. White, Mark Alfred, Tim Frayser, Sheila Hartney, Chaz Kemp, Kathleen M O'Brien

Tracks: STEM, History, Culture & World Affairs, Science Fiction, Pop Culture & Entertainment

9:30 PM | Location: Embassy Hotel: Suite 204 (Upstairs)

SoonerCon @ Midnight: Worst Book Ever

Join us with your beverage(s) of choice in hand as intrepid writers lay on their best purple prose to create titles and openings for the Worst Book Ever, hosted by Larry "Dr. Trek" Nemecek! (Max occupancy 30 at one time.)

Moderator: Larry Nemecek

Panelists: Larry Nemecek, Phillip Drayer Duncan, Daniel Erickson, Mark Finn, Tim Frayser, vickey malone kennedy, Tracy S. Morris

Tracks: Pop Culture & Entertainment, Writing & Publishing, General Interest

Noon | Location: Boomer A

Star Wars: Start Here

With such an expanded canon, the Star Wars franchise can be intimidating to newcomers interested in joining in and geeking out. Punch it on into the Star Wars universe.

Moderator: Stevo the Gutter Nerd

Panelists: Stevo the Gutter Nerd, La Blanke, James Dock, John Eads, TattedSith Cosplay

Tracks: Pop Culture & Entertainment, Fandoms, Film & TV

5:00 PM | Location: Oklahoma HIJ

Take One Improv Comedy Show

Take One puts on a short-form improv comedy show, similar to Whose Line Is It Anyway, that is suitable for all ages. A tried-and-true comedy show performed across the nation for the last 10 years and has left a trail of laughter in its wake. This show involves audience participation and guarantees a once-in-a-lifetime experience.

Moderator: Cory J. Phillips

Panelists: Cory J. Phillips, Take One Improv

Tracks: Performing Arts, Fandoms, Pop Culture & Entertainment

Noon | Location: Boomer B

70s Sci-Fi and Fantasy

The 70s brought lasting franchises to the big screen and small, some still going strong! Alien, Superman, Star Wars, Wonder Woman, Westworld, Battlestar Galactica, the list goes on! Can you define the 70s’ “certain something”?

Moderator: Matthew Price

Panelists: Matthew Price, Mark Alfred, James Hollaman, Ethan Nahté, Sue Sinor, ET Wardwell

Tracks: Fantasy, Pop Culture & Entertainment, Science Fiction, Fandoms, Comics

5:00 PM | Location: Boomer B

Art Imitating Life, Imitating…

Since the earliest times, we have experienced the world and shared that experience by creating works of art. New ideas emerge from creative expression. Examine this symbiotic journey, as how art eventually becomes reality and vice versa.

Moderator: Jan S. Gephardt

Panelists: Jan S. Gephardt, Daniel Erickson, Dara Fogel, PhD, Chaz Kemp, Tracy S. Morris, Steven E. Wedel

Tracks: Art, Anime, Cosplay, Film & TV, Internet Life, Pop Culture & Entertainment, Writing & Publishing

8:00 AM | Location: Embassy Hotel: Suite 204 (Upstairs)

Cartoons & Cereal

Wake up conventioneers, it's time for vintage cartoons and cereal to get your con day started (with prizes)! Open to all ages, first come, first served while supplies last. (2 hours)

Moderator: Joshua Coughlin

Panelists: Joshua Coughlin

Tracks: Food & Drink, Film & TV, Meetup, Fandoms, Pop Culture & Entertainment

5:00 PM | Location: Oklahoma HIJ

Extended Q&A with Jamie Marchi and J. Michael Tatum

Join Michael and Jamie for this SoonerCon exclusive Q&A session as they talk more about their VA roles, share about expanding their current projects, and spill all the hot tea with fans.

Moderator: Jamie Marchi

Panelists: Jamie Marchi, J. Michael Tatum

Tracks: Film & TV, Anime, Pop Culture & Entertainment, Performing Arts

11:00 AM | Location: Boomer B

Fandom Past, Present, and Future

Conventions have been happening, officially, since 1939's Worldcon. But...why? Panelists share nerdkind's lore about con traditions, the history of sf fandom, and how congoers today are defining pop-culture trends and building new media markets.

Moderator: Larry Nemecek

Panelists: Larry Nemecek, Aaron Bossig, Sara Felix, Tim Frayser, Kimber, Paula Helm Murray

Tracks: History, Pop Culture & Entertainment, Culture & World Affairs, General Interest

Noon | Location: Sooner A

Fantastic Connections

Stories explore the human condition in ways that help us think. Allegories analyze us and society. How does this work? Why are we so connected with fantastical people/places/stories? Can escaping into speculative fiction help us heal in the real world?

Moderator: Rhonda Eudaly

Panelists: Rhonda Eudaly, J.H. Fleming, Melinda LaFevers, Bradley H Sinor, Tommy B. Smith, Craig Wolf

Tracks: Science Fiction, Fantasy, Writing & Publishing, Film & TV, Pop Culture & Entertainment

4:00 PM | Location: Boomer B

Folk and Fantasy, Kith and Kin

Modern fantasy and urban fantasy often draw from oral and academic histories of folktales worldwide. How are these best incorporated into today's sf stories? And what's the line between appreciation and appropriation of these cultural myths in making new media mythologies?

Moderator: Rhonda Eudaly

Panelists: Rhonda Eudaly, David Carrico, Shai Fenwick, A. Lee Martinez, Ted Pennella, Steven E. Wedel

Tracks: History, Pop Culture & Entertainment, Supernatural & Paranormal, Writing & Publishing, Fantasy

3:00 PM | Location: Sooner B

Fursuiting 101

A crash course in everything fursuiting related! From building the suit, suiting up for the first time, and how to move and perform in your suit! This panel is an all-ages panel focused on fursuit performing and fursuit building.

Moderator: Cal Custard

Panelists: Cal Custard, Kekkuda, Moe

Tracks: Anime, Pop Culture & Entertainment, Costuming & Fashion, Maker, Cosplay

9:00 PM | Location: Sooner B

Karaoke

Join Elijah Farmer for late-night karaoke. (2.5 hours)

Moderator: Elijah Farmer

Panelists: Elijah Farmer

Tracks: Music, Performing Arts, Pop Culture & Entertainment

10:00 AM | Location: Noble

King Arthur's Knights and the Search for the Holy Grail

Anthropologist Mel. White shares the fascinating history and mythology of the legendary search for the Holy Grail.

Moderator: Mel. White

Panelists: Mel. White

Tracks: Pop Culture & Entertainment, History, General Interest

1:00 PM | Location: University C

Larry’s State of the Trek: Fan Forum 2022

“Dr. Trek” Larry Nemecek will intro and referee – YOU vent or share your thoughts with fellow fans about current Trekland: the changing face of media, fandom, culture – and what it all means for Star Trek. Comic Lower Decks, kid-centric Prodigy, Picard’s familiar faces, the evolution of Discovery, old-school Strange New Worlds, elusive “Star Trek 4.” All opinions welcome – as long as the emphasis stays on listening and reflecting.

Moderator: Larry Nemecek

Panelists: Larry Nemecek

Tracks: Film & TV, Pop Culture & Entertainment, Science Fiction, Fandoms

4:00 PM | Location: Oklahoma HIJ

My Hero Academia VAs Q&A

Join voice actors Johnny Yong Bosch, Jamie Marchi, Cory J. Phillips, and J. Michael Tatum as they share their experiences and answer your fan questions about all things My Hero Academia! (45 minutes. Seating begins 4 PM.)

Moderator: Johnny Yong Bosch

Panelists: Johnny Yong Bosch, Jamie Marchi, Cory J. Phillips, J. Michael Tatum

Tracks: Pop Culture & Entertainment, Film & TV, Anime, Performing Arts

5:00 PM | Location: Boomer A

Popped Culture

When crunch is the norm and everyone's disposable, how does this affect pop culture and media? Examine burnout and its effects on our society. What's the spec-fic take?

Moderator: Aoi Kitsu

Panelists: Aoi Kitsu, Alice-of-Hearts, Buck Berlin, Charles Dane Clark, Rook Riley, Martha Steele

Tracks: Health & Wellness, Pop Culture & Entertainment, Culture & World Affairs, Business & Marketing

Noon | Location: Oklahoma HIJ

Q&A with Johnny Yong Bosch

Join Johnny Yong Bosch for this audience Q&A. (45 minutes. Seating begins at noon.)

Moderator: Brett Parker

Panelists: Brett Parker, Johnny Yong Bosch

Tracks: Anime, Film & TV, Performing Arts, Pop Culture & Entertainment

1:00 PM | Location: Oklahoma G

Return of the Seminar: How to Become an Evil Overlord

Expert overlords coach newcomers on many topics, such as lair construction, the ever-important costume, the best weapons, and the care and feeding of minions. (And disposing of those who mess up.)

Moderator: Phillip Drayer Duncan

Panelists: Phillip Drayer Duncan, Sherri Dean, John Ferguson aka Count Gregore, Jovial Juggernaut, Kimber, Julia S. Mandala

Tracks: Writing & Publishing, Pop Culture & Entertainment, Fandoms, Cosplay, Anime

10:00 AM | Location: University C

Shortcake + Me: Q&A with Muriel Fahrion

Meet artist Muriel Fahrion, creator of beloved characters like Strawberry Shortcake, the Care Bears, and more in this interactive Q&A session.

Moderator: Muriel Fahrion

Panelists: Muriel Fahrion

Tracks: Fandoms, General Interest, Art, Pop Culture & Entertainment

11:00 AM | Location: University C

STEM Keynote: Breaking Bad Science Storytelling Habits in Media

Chemist and OU professor Dr. Donna J. Nelson shares about her experiences as Science Advisor for AMC's Breaking Bad, and why promoting the understanding and public perception of science and scientists in pop-culture media matters. Presentation with brief Q&A.

Moderator: Dr. Donna J. Nelson, FRSC, FACS

Panelists: Dr. Donna J. Nelson, FRSC, FACS

Tracks: STEM, Pop Culture & Entertainment, General Interest

1:00 PM | Location: Sooner A

The B-Movie Panel

Bad sci-fi movies are a guilty pleasure for so many of us! Why do we love movies that love to be bad?

Moderator: Caleb Masters

Panelists: Caleb Masters, Buck Berlin, Mark Finn, James Hollaman, Bekah June

Tracks: Pop Culture & Entertainment, Film & TV, Fandoms

4:00 PM | Location: Sooner A

The Hero's New Reality

The Hero's Journey, one of the most appealing narrative structures, takes a person from the ordinary to extraordinary then back again. How do these steps define a hero? How do our encounters with fictional heroes shape our worldviews when we face similar challenges IRL?

Moderator: Dara Fogel, PhD

Panelists: Dara Fogel, PhD, Pigeon, Alan J Porter, Selina Rosen, Bradley H Sinor

Tracks: Cosplay, Writing & Publishing, Gaming, Comics, Pop Culture & Entertainment, Film & TV

5:00 PM | Location: Embassy Hotel: Interior Courtyard - Atrium

Welcome to Larry's Trekland Briefing Party!

Come sample Portal 47 and hear about Larry's Trekland Treks location-site tours—visit with P47ers, try for door prizes, get sign-up gifts! Perfect time to vent or ply Dr. Trek with your questions, too.

Moderator: Larry Nemecek

Panelists: Larry Nemecek

Tracks: Science Fiction, Fandoms, Meetup, Film & TV, Pop Culture & Entertainment

2:00 PM | Location: University C

Be a Karaoke Rock Star

Karaoke isn't just about hitting the correct notes. Let our experts on stage presence teach you how to harness your inner rock star.

Moderator: John Eads

Panelists: John Eads, Elijah Farmer, Madi

Tracks: Music, Performing Arts, Fandoms, Pop Culture & Entertainment

3:00 PM | Location: Sooner B

Biodiversity in ST: Discovery: Why It STILL Matters in Trek

How does “Infinite Diversity in Infinite Combinations” play out? Whales working alongside the crew? Humans with multiple lifetimes of experiences? Discuss inclusion near and far in various Star Trek properties.

Moderator: Gwenna Laithland

Panelists: Aaron Bossig, Tim Frayser, Rebecca Jackson, Ted Pennella, ET Wardwell

Tracks: STEM, Pop Culture & Entertainment, Film & TV, Fandoms

9:00 AM | Location: Embassy Hotel: Suite 204 (Upstairs)

Cartoons & Cereal

Wake up conventioneers, it's time for vintage cartoons and cereal to get your con day started (with prizes)! Open to all ages, first come, first served while supplies last. (2 hours)

Moderator: Joshua Coughlin

Panelists: Joshua Coughlin

Tracks: Food & Drink, Pop Culture & Entertainment, Film & TV, Meetup, Fandoms

1:00 PM | Location: University C

Cutthroat Iron Cosplay

Four cosplayers have 30 minutes to quick-construct the best costume using provided materials. A theme or required material is included, and basic cosplay materials are provided along with some not-so basic options to use. The audience is the judge of this creative contest. May the best cosplay win!

Moderator: Buck Berlin

Panelists: Buck Berlin, Chaotic Neutral Cosplay, Cal Custard, Lollalotus, the Lo-Fi Ky

Tracks: Gaming, Pop Culture & Entertainment, Contest, Costuming & Fashion, Art, Anime, Cosplay, Maker

Noon | Location: Sooner B

Entertaining the Climate Crisis

According to the 2022 World Economic Forum's Global Risks Report, climate change is THE greatest global threat today. Speculative fiction is uniquely suited to explore these issues. From the wry satirical allegory of Don't Look Up, to Solarpunk futures, to biodiversity and ecosystem loss, natural disasters, survivalism, and what hope the future holds, how can we explore climate change in our specific media?

Moderator: Tyrell Gephardt

Panelists: Tyrell Gephardt, Tim Frayser, Brian A. Hopkins, Carolyn Kay, Caleb Masters, Selina Rosen

Tracks: Pop Culture & Entertainment, STEM, Culture & World Affairs, Film & TV, General Interest, Science Fiction, Writing & Publishing

10:00 AM | Location: University C

Kitchen Dancing and Morning Meditations with Muriel Fahrion

Let's dance on it! Join artist, poet, creator and Instagram dance sensation Muriel Fahrion to bust some moves and clear your head space in this judgment-free joy zone.

Moderator: Muriel Fahrion

Panelists: Muriel Fahrion

Tracks: Pop Culture & Entertainment, Health & Wellness, Music

10:00 AM | Location: Boomer A

Reimagining the Hero's Journey for SF

What does a good hero story look like today in spec fic? High tech, low tech, otherworldly and fantastic settings aside, how has the hero's journey changed in 2022? What stories need telling now? What's it mean to be a hero, anyway?

Moderator: Rhonda Eudaly

Panelists: Rhonda Eudaly, Brook Bullock, David Carrico, Rosemary Clement-Moore, Daniel Erickson, A C Smart

Tracks: Writing & Publishing, Pop Culture & Entertainment, Anime, Film & TV, Gaming, Fandoms, Cosplay

10:00 AM | Location: Sooner A

Serial Star Wars

Perhaps Star Wars was always destined for TV. In such an expansive universe of media tie-ins, why not? First The Mandalorian, then, uh, The Book of Boba Fett, then Obi-Wan Kenobi, then Andor. Are the possibilities truly endless, or will we need more feature films to sate our cravings for the onscreen stories from a galaxy far, far away?

Moderator: Tracy S. Morris

Panelists: Tracy S. Morris, Michael Cross, James Dock, Carolyn Kay, Matthew Price, Karen Thrower

Tracks: Writing & Publishing, Pop Culture & Entertainment, Film & TV, Fandoms

2:00 PM | Location: Sooner A

Start Your Own Podcast

You want your own podcast, but where do you start? Learn from established indie podcasters about gear, episode planning, hosting, recording, editing, and building a regular listening audience. Let's begin!

Moderator: Martha Steele

Panelists: Martha Steele, Aaron Bossig, Michael Cross, Caleb Masters, Michael Mosley, Seth Skorkowsky

Tracks: Podcasting, Internet Life, Pop Culture & Entertainment

11:00 AM | Location: Boomer B

You Mean Star Trek Star Maps Are Kinda Real?

Join “Dr. Trek” Larry Nemecek, the author of Star Trek: Stellar Cartography (2013/2018) and a Trek star-mapper since 1976, for more than you ever realized: How much of Star Trek’s stellar layout is based on real science? Where does everything go? And does anyone working or playing on Star Trek really pay attention?

Moderator: Larry Nemecek

Panelists: Larry Nemecek

Tracks: Fandoms, Science Fiction, Pop Culture & Entertainment, Film & TV, General Interest, STEM

2:00 PM | Location: Sooner B

Your Own Away Mission: Star Trek Location Sites

We love the stages and the sets of Star Trek – but those are under lock and key ... or even long gone. But hey, away-team wannabe – did you know there’s plenty of Star Trek out there you can visit on your own? Let “Dr. Trek” Larry Nemecek, host of Trekland Treks, take you on a virtual tour of just a few of the iconic L.A.-area locations used across the generations of Treks – and even how some sites have shifted, like Starfleet Academy and Chateau Picard.

Moderator: Larry Nemecek

Panelists: Larry Nemecek

Tracks: Fandoms, Pop Culture & Entertainment, General Interest, Film & TV, Science Fiction