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Futurama made an appearance at Comic-Con last year after being resurrected by Comedy Central and, after the great start to the seventh season, it doesn't seem to be going anywhere anytime soon. Good news everybody. On top of the incredibly talented voice cast that includes Billy West (Fry, Zoidberg, Professor Farnsworth, Zapp Brannigan), Katey Sagal (Leela), John DiMaggio (Bender), and Maurice LaMarche (Kif Kroker, Calculon, Morbo), the panel also includes creator/executive producer Matt Groening and executive producer David X. Cohen.
12:00 p.m. Okay. So maybe a few minutes after 12? No one's hit the stage yet, but an amazing cosplay Bender is walking the aisles. Bite my shiny metal...
12:05 "Attention Bob's Burgers fans! You're in the wrong room! Futurama fans! Prepare to watch 8 minutes of never before seen footage! It opens with the handmade title-sequence and a visit to Oktoberfest which is much different in the future. Be back after the screening.
12:14 Bill Morrison is our Roboterator and he gets to including the panel. An unexpected change, no Leela but Amy is here! Lauren Tom! The voice cast induces the upcoming episodes airing this summer. Amy Wong introduces next week. Bender is going fox hunting with Patrick Stewart! The Don Bot introduces a ep where he's going after Zoidberg for stealing his hard stolen money! Farnsworth comes to tell us that his parents are still alive, Bender... "Oh, your God."
12:18 They throw right to fan questions! Was Fry's journey always planned? Verrone (a writer) says no, they make it up as they go along. Groening interrupts saying we have a plan! Cohen corrects, 'had' a plan. Groening apologizes to Verrone. No plans.
12:20 A 'stoner' fan asks how long the characters take to draw and one of the series' directors, Steven Sandoval, says that it depends on the character and that Amy is the hardest. They then tell the questioner to enjoy the drugs.
12:22 A true Comic-Con question is asked next. A 'nerd' wonders about a time-travel inconsistency in the third episode of the season and Cohen says Verrone must explain his mistake. Verrone tries to explain the time travel paradox. Then adds 'deal with it.'
12:25 Zoidberg cosplayer asks if Zoid is ever going to get some action. DiMaggio turns it on the fan and asked if he's going to get any action with that outfit. In a episode coming next year (the second half of the season) Zoidberg will meet a woman who cannot smell anything which is the perfect mate for our smelly crustacean. The cast is answering the questions in many different voices. It's awesome.
12:27 They don't get much hate-mail. Mostly just fan art. Some great and some kind of sad. Futurama fans are 'not haters.' Speaking of the fans, Cohen asks any people dressed as characters to line up at the side for a contest. While they line up, Cohen brings up the 'Not Sure If' meme and has Billy West read a few in person. He's got a bunch of giant cards to actually look like the memes.
12:30 Another drawing competition! Last year Groening went up against one of the staff artists and won (unfairly if you ask me) and this year he's going head to head with Sandoval. 3 minutes of drawing commentated by West and DiMaggio. Groening grabs a head start.
12:33 Sandoval draws at a snail's pace (too much time on Leela's boobs) while the creator is on drawing number four (adding price tags to all). DiMaggio pulls out a Tracy Morgan impression. Groening turns from Futurama to some classic Disney cartoons like Mickey. Sandoval does a great drawing of Leela and Groening reveals a polished drawing at the back of the flip board at the last second for the win! Nope! Bender calls him out as a cheater and strips his title.
12:36 They take a brief moment of bring up Groening's amazing first comic strip Love is Hell and then he is awarded the 2012 Icon Award from SDCC! Well. Deserved! Of course, he goes and shakes it in Sandoval's face.
12:39 Time for the cosplay fashion show! Tons of great outfits. The voice actors compliment the effort in their character's voices. There's a Sal! A bunch of Brain Slugs. The aforementioned Bender and Zoidberg. And the winner is... Zoidberg! The cosplayer does a great physical impersonation with West chiming in with "why not Zoidberg?"
12:41 The prizes are fan-made (illegal merchandise) and all the cosplayers get a small token. The grand prize are the drawings that were done in competition. I want one! It turns out the final polished Leela was actually drawn by Bill Morrison.
12:44 They might have run out of prizes, Cohen says that Groening should give them his Icon Award. Closing out the panel, more footage! A sizzle reel from the upcoming season! A lot to look forward to, Robot Devil!