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toonzone at MCM London Comic Con October 2013 - Mega Ultimate Voice Talent Panel

Taking to the stage in the spacious Theatre A of the convention, guests Richard Epcar, Ellyn Stern, Yuri Lowenthal, Tara Platt, Elias Toufexis, Troy Baker and Roger Craig Smith began things by jovially introducing themselves and select highlights of their voice acting careers.

Asked for favourite role they’ve played, Tara enthusiastically offered Wonder Woman to which Yuri followed up with Superman.  Ellyn commented she likes all her roles but supplemented her initial introduction with Martha Vist from Gundam Unicorn, whilst Richard listed Batou from Ghost in the Shell and the Joker.

Following this the microphone was handed to an eager young lady who asked Troy and Yuri if she could have an item of clothing from them, to everyone’s amusement.  Yuri attempted to bargain with pocket lint while Troy searched his jacket pockets for the recently removed tags. While he did so another fan asked the panel if they could have any other voice actor’s voice who would they choose; each of the guests cheerily named another member of the panel. Immediately after Troy revealed he had located one of the tags, much to the beaming fangirl’s delight. Yuri revealed he was unable to find anything removable from his ensemble which led to joking threats from the rest of the panel that they’d simply remove one of his fingers (“you’ve got nine more!”).

Roger and Troy were asked about voicing the characters of Batman and the Joker in Arkham Origins, both in terms of matching up as younger versions of the portrayals established by Kevin Conroy and Mark Hamill and of living up to their legends in general. They both stated it was a massive honour to be seen as worthy to do so and are well aware that for many fans Conroy and Hamill defined both roles in a way that extends even to the mind’s eye when reading the comics, as they feel the same way. Richard added that his own recent interpretation of the Joker was of course likewise compared to Mark’s, but appreciated he had it easier as he was being asked to portray simply a general incarnation of the character as opposed to the younger form of Hamill’s Joker from the first two Arkham games. He prefers it this way as it allows him more freedom to define his own take on the character.

In turn, Roger was asked about landing the role as the latest voice of Sonic the Hedgehog.  He compared it as being similar to his casting in Arkham Origins, being permitted to join a shortlist of people that have voiced an iconic character. He enjoys playing Sonic as the snarky persona is a great way to relieve stress. The panel swifly followed this up by asking him what it was like to be in a country ‘where your name is also a verb’. Snarkyness did indeed follow.

A fan asked Troy if he’d be willing to perform the same Killing Joke monologue he performed at the recent New York Comic Con and also record a message for some friends. He declined the former out of a wish to keep the NYCC moment special but the Clown Prince of Crime did slip out to acknowledge the latter and reveal “They’re all going to die! HA HA HA HA HAH!!”

Roger was questioned about the voice he used for Ezio in Assassin’s Creed.  He confirmed it was an attempt at an Italian accent and apologised to the people of Italy for butchering it. In turn a fan asked him to record a custom message for his brother in character as Ezio.

The next question asked the entire panel if they found much time to watch anime themselves and if they could highlight a single anime they’ve worked on or watched which would it be and why. The general consensus was that their busy work schedule doesn’t allow much time to watch anime series, though acting and directing in various series does give them a familiarity. Titles they would highlight include the Ghost in the Shell franchise, Gurren Lagann, Robotech, Soul Eater and Trinity Blood.

The final question was for Troy, asking if his performance of Bioshock Infinite protagonist Booker required anything different for the upcoming ‘Burial of Sea’ DLC. He confirmed that it did but as the specifics were storyline spoilers he couldn’t discuss further.

The panel ended there and slightly earlier than planned due to unforeseen overlap of the previous presentation, though Richard jokingly urged the entire audience to return to his hotel room and the panel would continue there.

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