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WonderCon recap Part 1: YouTube banks on geek, '21 Jump Street' stars hit Anaheim and Marvel Comics hearts digital

Jonah Hill and Channing Tatum Jonah Hill speaking at the 2012 WonderCon in Anaheim, California.
Jonah Hill and Channing Tatum Jonah Hill speaking at the 2012 WonderCon in Anaheim, California.
Gage Skidmore/Flickr (Creative Commons-licensed)

The second biggest pop culture event of the year (next to San Diego Comic-Con), with tens of thousands of fans in attendance, is in the books, so let's take our first look back at some of the new and notable to come out of the convention:

"21 Jump Street" stars hit on married woman

In one of the convention's shortest panels, "21 Jump Street" stars Jonah Hill and Channing Tatum showed footage from the film on its opening day, as well as appearing live and answering fan questions. Oh, and they appeared in their movie police outfits.

The fan-friendly marketing looks to have worked, helping the movie hit a number one opening weekend with $36 million.

In one of the panel's funniest moments, a woman asking a question referenced her husband, leading Tatum to say that her husband deserved "major points" and Hill declaring her the hottest wife at WonderCon.

New YouTube channels bank on geek

YouTube is providing funding to launch a wide variety of YouTube channels. Felicia Day's Geek & Sundry and Chris Hardwick's Nerdist channels both had big coming out parties at WonderCon.

Day's channel features a smaller slate, with shows including "The Flog," where Day video blogs her attempts to learn and try new things, as well as "Tabletop," where geek celeb Wil Wheaton (aka "Star Trek: The Next Generation"'s Wesley Crusher) plays tabletop games like Settlers of Katan and other not-quite-Dungeons & Dragons adventures with various comedians, celebrities, etc.

While Day and Hardwick seem to be friendly, there also seems to be a natural sense of competition given that YouTube may not be providing further funding for all of these channels, and they're both hitting a similar audience. Hardwick's Nerdist channel has a wider, more celebrity-packed lineup, with shows featuring Neil Patrick Harris, Weird Al, astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson and a wide variety of other programming, doing shows on all sorts of geek topics — including puppets.

Marvel Comics says yes to digital

Digital is the big question for most traditional media right now, and Marvel seems to be leading the way as far as being one of the big two publishers and doing significant things in this space. They showed off new comics designed for digital at their "House of Ideas" panel, playing off an old company nickname, as well as apps designed to provide augmented reality experiences when held over comics and other efforts to avoid comics becoming the newspaper business.