As I made my way through the large crowd of cosplayers, exhibitors and artists alike at this year’s 2019 Los Angeles Comic Con, I saw on the main stage — DeeDee Magno Hall, voice of Pearl, Michaela Dietz, voice of Amethyst, Shelby Rabara, voice of Peridot, Jennifer Paz, voice of Lapis and Grace Rolek, voice of Connie. Talk about females taking over the universe! Better yet, the Crewniverse!
L.A. Comic Con celebrates its ninth and best-yet year with an expected 130,000 guests who include over 10,000 kids, which tops last year’s 106,000 guests.
A good chunk of those in attendance huddled near the main stage Saturday morning to listen in on the Steven Universe panel. Steven Universe, a Cartoon Network animated television series created by Rebecca Sugar, premiered in 2013 and Steven Universe: The Movie just premiered this September.
The murmur in the crowd was constant, and the second the cast spoke, cheering filled the space. The excitement throughout the group transpired on stage, and you can feel each of the character’s energy elevate as the crowd gets louder.
“It’s so beautifully inclusive. It’s been amazing for representation,” Michaela expressed to the fans. Shelby nods in agreement and says, “I second that Michaela, the representation, the inclusion. What other cartoon has ube?! (ube is purple yam that is commonly used in Filipino desserts) For the Filipinos out there! I think everyone can find themselves in the show, in a vast array of characters.”
The voice actors present were nothing short of spectacular. Even on stage, they bring on this light that they put forth in each of their characters. Deedee elaborates on how she’s able to perform the way she does.
“I really can’t take any credit. It’s really Rebecca and the Crewniverse. They write such wonderful words and beautiful music and draw beautiful backgrounds and characters. All of that is just there for me to dive into, you know. So I really rely on the material and the voice direction from Rebecca and her team. That’s really how I get to any of the places I do in the show.”
Once the panel concluded, Shelby announced that signings with the cast would continue, and immediately you hear the commotion and excitement from the crowd. The wave of people who tuned into the panel followed suit and lined up for autographs and pictures. It is evident that the Steven Universe fans have been long-time viewers — most of them dressed up as their favorite characters from the show. The best part — there is not one type of Steven Universe fan. The fan base consists of all ages, all genders, and all sorts of folks. Every one of them, a gem in their own way.