Behind the Scenes of Supernatural with Robbie Thompson

One of the absolute highlights of this year’s Comic Con for me was sitting down to chat with Robbie Thompson, gifted comic writer and screenwriter who wrote some of my very favorite episodes of my very favorite show. That would be Supernatural, in case you didn’t know. Which is pretty much impossible unless you’ve just stumbled over this blog for the first time.

I attended Robbie’s panel on Intersectional Feminism in Comics, which was awesome and entirely inspiring, so we were all in a good mood afterwards. We decided to try to find a room where there weren’t a million people around, and took a bunch of friends with us – Laurena, Candice, Anne and Kamila – who were down with listening in to our epic interview. They will henceforth be referred to as the Peanut Gallery (‘PG’). For the most part, they were PG. The most part. Just sayin.

After several false starts traversing the ginormous convention center, including being barred from using the press room for our interview, we found an empty room with lots of empty round tables. Robbie, ever the intrepid one, shrugged and said, ‘how about this one?’

Occasionally a Comic Con staffer would come in, take a look at our oh-so-professional interview in progress, and quietly back out. Score!

I start the interview by tossing my handwritten notes about what I’m dying to ask and my little vintage audio recorder on the table.

R: (points to Lois Lane like tape recorder) Look at this, so professional..

L: Hey, it’s ancient, it’s done a million Supernatural interviews.

R: Uh oh, look at this, guys…(points to what appears to be a big stack of questions, a la Inside the Actor’s Studio)  There’s going to be some Bernard Pivot in there. There may be some things I say off the record…

L: Of course, you know I’m good with that. (but honestly? There weren’t many!)

R: Okay let’s do this!

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The Magicians’ Sera Gamble on What She Learned from Supernatural and What’s Next!

Once you’re part of the SPNFamily, you’re always part of the SPNFamily – so my recent trip to Comic Con included lots of catching up with some of the people who have shaped the show in important ways. Sera Gamble started as a writer on Supernatural, working closely with Eric Kripke, and later took over as showrunner when Eric left after Season 5. I first met Sera when I was writing Fandom At The Crossroads and Fangasm Supernatural Fangirls – in fact, she was one of the very first people to grant us an interview, and her insights were instrumental in encouraging us to keep writing. There’s an amusing scene in Fangasm (okay, there are LOTS of amusing scenes in Fangasm, whatever…) – anyway, there’s an amusing scene in Fangasm where Kathy and I arrive at the WB booth at Comic Con to interview Eric Kripke and find that he’s brought Sera with him.

Eric: Oh! These are the two who sent me the porn!

Sera: (cocks eyebrow)

It’s a long story, but let’s just say that was an interesting interview.

Sera is now writer and showrunner on The Magicians, which just began filming its third season on SyFy. For those who aren’t familiar, The Magicians is based on the books of the same name by Lev Grossman, and airs on SyFy in the US. The magical Brakebills University in the series is a mash up of “Hogwarts and Harry Potter for adults” and Narnia with a little Supernatural mixed in, darker and more adult oriented than the first two and more consistently magical than the last. The main characters include Quentin, who discovers that the books he has always loved are in fact not fantasy or fiction after all; Julia, his childhood friend who isn’t allowed into the magical world and whose life is marked by significant trauma; Alice, who is overcome by too much magic in Season 2 with dire consequences; Eliot, the reluctant king and Margo, the queen trying to find her way and her identity. The cast also includes Penny, the traveler, a villainous character known as The Beast, and the Dean of Brakebills, played by Rick Worthy (known to Supernatural fans as the Alpha Vamp).

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Genevieve Padalecki Joins Some Real Life Superheroes at Comic Con

The Winchesters and Cas are most definitely Superheroes onscreen – those characters have inspired countless Supernatural fans to keep on fighting even against odds that sometimes seem insurmountable. But in the real world, it’s the actors who bring those characters to life who are the real world superheroes – through the Represent tee shirt campaigns, the messages that You Are Not Alone and Always Keep Fighting, the Crisis Support Network, and Random Acts global change initiatives. One of the most exciting new projects is a partnership between Random Acts and the Pop Culture Hero Coalition to combat bullying. Supernatural’s Genevieve Padalecki is one of the contributors to the partnership, and joined some other crusaders for change on a Comic Con panel to talk about their important work.

The Superheroes In Real Life panel takes the prize for being my most inspiring hour of Comic Con this year – and that’s saying a lot considering all the incredible panels! Of course Comic Con is all about the fantastical and the imaginative and the fictional and how all of those things are healthy and positive and beneficial – something for us to celebrate! But Comic Con has a history of also hosting panels that are anchored in real life challenges and problems, and bringing to light social change that’s needed. This year was no exception, and I attended several panels that inspired everyone in attendance to be a part of that change.

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Supernatural Meme Star Michael Adamthwaite Talks War for the Planet of the Apes

20th Century Fox

I’m rather fond of saying that everything leads back to Supernatural, but honestly, it’s just true! I had the pleasure of chatting with Michael Adamthwaite, who is currently playing Caesar’s lieutenant Luca in the new film War For the Planet of the Apes. The film had a presence at Comic Con with a panel showing off the artistic and visual effects of the film. As a long time fan of the entire Planet of the Apes series of films (I even read the book by Pierre Boule and loved it), I was excited about the last in the sequel trilogy. The film focuses on Caesar and the war between his quest for revenge and his innate empathy, as well as on the actual fight between humans and apes. It also introduces the de-evolved young human girl Nova, a familiar name from the original series of films and first group of sequels. The movie tackles deeper themes than might be expected, which makes it even more intriguing to me. So having an opportunity to chat with Michael Adamthwaite, who played Caesar’s lieutenant, Luca, was a real treat.

As soon as I did a little IMDb research on the film, I realized its Supernatural connection – Michael, as well as Ty Olsson and Aleks Paunovic, had all been on SPN too! Here’s my chat with Michael, which I thoroughly enjoyed.

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Supernatural at Comic Con 2017!

For the past decade, there’s been one show that has inspired me to brave the insanity that is San Diego Comic Con again and again. Pretty sure you can all guess which show that is.

In 2007, it was the prospect of seeing Jensen Ackles and Jared Padalecki in person that made me throw caution (and possibly good judgment) to the wind and fly all the way across the country with almost no notice just to hopefully sit at the feet of the two actors who brought to life the characters that had entirely captured my heart. My friend Kathy and I slept on the sidewalk to get in early and raced through the hallways to the room where the Supernatural panel was, breathless but triumphant. This was long before SPN had proven itself able to fill the gigantic Hall H, so they were relegated to the much smaller Room 6CDE. Little did Comic Con know, Supernatural was already a fan favorite, with the line of SPN fans wrapped around and around the building and many disappointed fans unable to get into the room. Jared wasn’t able to come that year, but Kathy and I made it in and sat there beaming at Jensen Ackles and Eric Kripke sitting right in front of us. I managed to snag an autograph ticket through all sorts of machinations, and thus had my first actual conversation with Mr. Ackles, after which I found Kathy and immediately burst into tears. Fangirl problems, what can I say?

I’ve been back to Comic Con almost every year since, in the audience for the Supernatural panel as others began to notice the show’s passionate fan base and move the panels into ever larger rooms, until finally we were in Hall H itself.  If you’ve never experienced Hall H, it’s something to behold. The first time I walked in, my jaw dropped – the sheer size of it is overwhelming. I felt a swell of pride the first time Supernatural was deemed worthy of Hall H, and that feeling has never gone away. This year was no exception.

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