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GeekHeeb’s top Comic-Con picks

by Adam Wills

July 11, 2011 | 1:35 pm

Comic-Con’s full schedule is up and the Tribe will be well represented at the San Diego Convention Center (July 20-24): “Big Bang Theory” co-creators Chuck Lorre and Bill Prady as well as actors Simon Helberg and Mayim Bialik, zombie writer Max Brooks, “Cowboys & Aliens” director Jon Favreau, “Spider-Man” star Andrew Garfield, “Buffy’s” Sarah Michelle Gellar, Seth Green, Stan Lee, Lost’s” Damon Lindelof, Jeph Loeb, Ron Perlman and the original captain himself … William Shatner. Also, be sure to save some time on Sunday for Arlen Schumer’s presentation on Jews ‘n’ Comics.

The following are some don’t-miss events. Feel free to add your own Comic-Con recommendations in the comments section at the end.

THURSDAY, JULY 21

10:30-11:30
Spotlight on Joyce Brabner
Is she the glacial, humorless activist as portrayed in the film American Splendor or just the person who published the first comic on the Internet? Come hear Comic-Con special guest Joyce Brabner talk about her latest projects, including finishing the work of her late husband Harvey Pekar and dealing with his legacy. Room 8

12:30-1:30
Dumbrella
Artists from Dumbrella, one of the most popular online comic collectives, discuss webcomics, independent publishing, and subverting popular culture. Feel free to quiz Andrew Bell (The Creatures in My Head), Meredith Gran (Octopus Pie), Jon Rosenberg (Goats), and Chris Yates (Chris Yates Studios) about anything your Internet heart desires. Room 4

1:45-2:45
Ringer
Sarah Michelle Gellar makes her highly anticipated television return in the gripping new thriller Ringer, as a woman who, after witnessing a murder, goes on the run, hiding out by assuming the life of her wealthy identical twin—only to learn that her sister’s seemingly idyllic life is just as complicated and dangerous as the one she’s trying to leave behind. Be the first to see an exclusive sneak peek at the new series about family secrets and stolen identities, followed by a panel discussion with series stars Sarah Michelle Gellar (Buffy The Vampire Slayer), Ioan Gruffudd (Fantastic Four), Nestor Carbonell (Lost, The Dark Knight), Kristoffer Polaha (Life Unexpected), executive producer Pam Veasey (CSI:NY), and co-executive producers Nicole Snyder (Supernatural) and Eric Charmelo (Supernatural). Ballroom 20

5:30-6:30
Spotlight on Paul Levitz
Marv Wolfman (Teen Titans, Superman) and Mark Evanier (Kirby: King of Comics) interview fellow comics fan, writer, and editor—and Comic-Con special guest—Paul Levitz about his life, from The Comic Reader to DC Comics president & publisher, and now beyond as he returns to writing Legion of Super-Heroes and makes his debut as a historian with the Eisner-nominated 75 Years Of DC Comics: The Art of Modern Myth-Making. Room 8

6:00-7:00
The Visionaries: A discussion with Jon Favreau and Guillermo del Toro on the Future of Pop Culture
Entertainment Weekly moderates an in-depth conversation with Jon Favreau (Cowboys & Aliens) and Guillermo del Toro (Don’t Be Afraid of the Dark), two filmmakers at the forefront of bringing geek culture to the masses and making blockbuster art out of pulp fiction. They will discuss their inspirations, their current work, and how they strive to put a personal stamp on blockbuster entertainment. Plus: How is new technology changing the way stories are produced and viewed? And what do they think the pop culture universe will look like a decade from now? Moderated by Jeff “Doc” Jensen. Hall H

7:00-8:00
History of the Modern Zombie
Experts discuss the history and evolution of the modern zombie, from its first appearance in George Romero’s 1968 classic Night of the Living Dead to the most recent work being done in zombie science, survival, and pop culture today. Panelists include Max Brooks, bestselling author of World War Z and Zombie Survival Guide; Matt Mogk, head of the Zombie Research Society and author of Everything You Ever Wanted to Know About Zombies; Steven Schlozman, M.D., Harvard Medical School psychiatrist and author of The Zombie Autopsies; Scott Kenemore, bestselling author of Zen of Zombie, Z.E.O., and Zombie, Ohio; and Bradley Voytek, Ph.D., University of California, Berkeley neuroscientist and author of Scanning the Zombie Brain. Room 7AB

FRIDAY, JULY 22

10:15-11:15
Star Trek: The Captains
William Shatner is joined by fellow Star Trek captain Avery Brooks to present a preview of the EPIX Pictures original documentary produced and directed by Shatner, in which he travels the world to interview all the actors who’ve played Starfleet captains. This lively discussion and Q&A session is moderated by Comic-Con fave Kevin Smith. Room 6BCF

12:30-1:30
The Big Bang Theory Screening and Q&A
Dr., Dr., Dr., Dr., Dr., Mr., Miss… See everyone’s favorite scientists (and engineer and waitress) from The Big Bang Theory as the show’s producers and stars return to San Diego with a special screening and Q&A. Executive producers Chuck Lorre (Two and a Half Men), Bill Prady (Dharma & Greg), and Steve Molaro (iCarly) join stars Johnny Galecki (Roseanne), Jim Parsons (Garden State), Kaley Cuoco (Charmed), Simon Helberg (Dr. Horrible’s Sing-Along Blog), Kunal Nayyar (NCIS), Mayim Bialik (Blossom), and Melissa Rauch (True Blood) for a fun and lively discussion. From Chuck Lorre Productions, Inc. in association with Warner Bros. Television, The Big Bang Theory airs Thursdays at 8/7c on CBS, and The Big Bang Theory: The Complete Fourth Season will be released on Blu-ray and DVD on September 13. Ballroom 20

2:00-3:00
Writing Seminar with Marv Wolfman and Neo Edmund
Marv Wolfman (God of War, Teen Titans, Crisis on Infinite Earths) and Neo Edmund (Solitary—The Movie, Windy Hollows, Discovery Channel’s Dinosaurs & Prehistoric Predators), return to basics in this annual writing seminar as they discuss the building blocks of putting together a story, creating tension, and what the “three act structure” really means. There will also be time for a Q&A session. Room 30CDE

2:45-3:45
DreamWorks: Fright Night
Colin Farrell (The Way Back), Anton Yelchin (Star Trek), Christopher Mintz-Plasse (Superbad), Imogen Poots (Jane Eyre), Dave Franco (Charlie St. Cloud), director Craig Gillespie (Lars and the Real Girl), and screenwriter Marti Noxon (I Am Number Four) take the dais to give fans a taste of the horrific fun to come in DreamWorks Pictures’ 3D reimagining of the classic horror film. Hall H

3:30-4:15
Adult Swim: Robot Chicken
Seth Green (co-creator, Robot Chicken), Matthew Senreich (co-creator, Robot Chicken), and Tom Root (head writer, Robot Chicken) discuss the popular Adult Swim series. The series uses stop-motion animation to bring pop culture parodies to life in a modern take on the variety/sketch show format. In Robot Chicken, no pop culture target is safe. Legions of action figures are used to spoof everything from reality television and Star Wars to past presidents. Moderated by Keith Crofford, vice president of production, Adult Swim. Indigo Ballroom, Hilton San Diego Bayfront

4:00-6:30
Sony returns to Hall H with a stellar lineup of films and talent, including:

The Amazing Spider-Man
The Amazing Spider-Man is back on the big screen, shot in 3D for the first time, and will be swinging into your neighborhood on July 3, 2012. Starring Andrew Garfield, Emma Stone, Rhys Ifans, Denis Leary, and Martin Sheen, as well as Sally Field, and directed by Marc Webb, The Amazing Spider-Man’s new creative team will be taking a whole new direction in the unfolding saga of everyone’s favorite web-slinger. Appearing in person are producers Avi Arad and Matt Tolmach, director Marc Webb, and our own Peter Parker and Gwen Stacy—Andrew Garfield and Emma Stone.

SATURDAY, JULY 23

10:00-11:00
Spotlight on Jerry Robinson
Comic-Con special guest Jerry Robinson, creator of the Joker, will discuss his legendary career from Batman to Broadway and beyond with the publisher of Dark Horse Comics and Emmy Award winner Mike Richardson in this one-on-one interview and Q&A session. Room 9

10:30-11:30
Marvel Television
Marvel’s head of TV Jeph Loeb brings the inside scoop on Marvel’s latest series that take your favorite heroes from page to screen. Get a first look at the premiere of The Avengers: Earth’s Mightiest Heroes season two, a sneak peek at a certain ultimate webslinger, and a few other surprises from Marvel Television. Room 6BCF

11:00-12:00
MTV Comics
Join executive editor Tom Akel to hear about new and ongoing titles with MTV creators. Marc Silvestri will discuss the new MTV/Top Cow collaboration September Mourning, a multiplatform project blending comics and music through video, comic books, and live events. And the legendary Stan Lee will reveal the story behind MTV Comics’ upcoming digital book The Seekers and let artists and writers know when to start sending submissions to collaborate with Stan on the comic! Room 7AB

11:00-12:00
Will Eisner: Visionary
Will Eisner —artist, storyteller, entrepreneur—played a central role in comics from the Golden Age to the Computer Age. During his career, Eisner reinvented sequential art and himself to overcome obstacles and create new media. A combination of idealist and realist, he led the way and helped create the comics and graphic novels that we know today. Learn about Will Eisner from those who personally knew and worked with him. Join moderator Charles Brownstein (executive director of the CBLDF, author of Eisner/Miller), Denis Kitchen (artist, author, publisher, Eisner’s agent and longtime friend), Paul Levitz (writer, former president/publisher of DC Comics), Scott McCloud (artist, author, theoretician about comics and sequential art), Diana Schutz (executive editor, Dark Horse Comics), and Jeff Smith (writer/cartoonist, Bone, Rasl) to learn more about the “Father of the Graphic Novel.” Room 9

12:00-1:00
Comics Arts Conference Session No. 10: The Wit, Whimsy, & Wisdom of Weisinger
Comic book historian and illustrator Arlen Schumer (The Silver Age of Comic Book Art) presents the work of Mort Weisinger, editor of the Superman line for 30 years (1940-1970), told in Weisinger’s own words and artist Curt Swan’s images. Room 26AB

12:15-1:00
Futurama
Futurama is back! Again! On stage will be creator/executive producer Matt Groening, executive producer David X. Cohen, and stars Billy West (Fry, Professor Farnsworth, Dr. Zoidberg), Katey Sagal (Leela), John DiMaggio (Bender), and Maurice LaMarche (Kif Kroker, Calculon, Morbo). Get a sneak peek at never-before-seen footage of Futurama reincarnated as Japanese anime, along with a thrilling preview of this summer’s new season on Comedy Central. Moderated by Bill Morrison. Ballroom 20

1:00-2:00
Remembering Harvey Pekar
The legendary Harvey Pekar died in July 2010, leaving behind a huge legacy of work with a veritable who’s who list of comics collaborators on his American Splendor and graphic novels. Joyce Brabner and Danielle Batone join editor Charles Kochman and moderator Jeff Newelt to talk about Harvey’s life and comics career. This is an open invitation to anyone whoever worked with Harvey or cared about him to come and share their memories. Room 7AB

1:30-2:30
Spotlight on Peter Kuper
From MAD to World War 3 Illustrated, Comic-Con special guest Peter Kuper (Spy vs. Spy) has for three decades been blowing up spies and politicians and creating graphic novels ranging from Franz Kafka adaptations to autobiographies that would scare Kafka. Get an inside look at how he comes up with Spy vs. Spy ideas and his other idiotic projects! Room 8

2:00-2:35
Family Guy
Alex Borstein, Seth Green, Adam West (Batman), and executive producers Mark Hentemann, Steve Callaghan, and Kara Vallow present a sneak peek at the new episode Stewie Goes for a Drive, featuring voice guest star Ryan Reynolds, followed by a Q&A session. Ballroom 20

3:15-4:15
Calling all Lost Fans: Once Upon a Time
Moderator Damon Lindelof (co-creator, Lost) introduces you to the magical story of two parallel worlds: one in a distant fairytale land, the other in a present-day reality. Following the exclusive screening of Once Upon a Time, join co-creators and executive producers Edward Kitsis (Lost, Tron: Legacy) and Adam Horowitz (Lost, Tron: Legacy) along with Ginnifer Goodwin (Big Love), Jennifer Morrison (House), Robert Carlyle (SGU: Stargate Universe), Lana Parrilla (24), and Josh Dallas (Thor), for a Q&A about this modern fairytale turned on its head. All attendees will get a limited-edition Comic-Con giveaway! Room 6DE

SUNDAY JULY 24

10:00-11:15
The Annual Jack Kirby Tribute Panel
As always, we gather to remember the man some still hail as The King of the Comics, Jack Kirby. If you don’t know who that is, you have no business being at this convention. Moderator Mark Evanier discusses the life and times of Kirby with Walt Simonson (Thor), Erik Larsen (Savage Dragon), Richard Kyle (Graphic Story World), and Mike Royer (inker of lots of Kirby comics). Room 5AB

10:00-11:00
Glee
Creator/executive producer Ryan Murphy, creator/executive producer Brad Falchuk, and stars of Glee present a sneak peek at Glee The 3D Concert Movie featuring never-before-seen footage, behind-the-scenes secrets, and Q&A session. Hall H

12:00-1:00
Jews ‘n’ Comics: A Past & Present History
From Ben Grimm to The Golem and more, comic book historian and illustrator Arlen Schumer (The Silver Age of Comic Book Art) surveys the specifically Jewish creation of the American superhero and its antecedents in older, ancient myths, as well as the significant contributions Jews have made to the evolution of comic book art in the 20th and 21st centuries—including his own superhero creation, Captain Israel! Room 24ABC

2:00-3:00
Max Brooks: Zombie Survival 101
Max Brooks, screenwriter and author of bestselling books The Zombie Survival Guide, World War Z, and The Zombie Survival Guide: Recorded Attacks, is the world’s leading authority on the defense against a ghoulish uprising! Renowned for his campus and convention lectures nationwide, Brooks comes to Comic-Con to share his insight into the rotting minds of the undead, reveal how the Zombie Survival Guide came into existence, and field questions from zombie-phobic fans. You dare not miss this lecture—your very life may depend on it! Room 7AB

2:15-3:15
Cartoon Network Action: Ben 10/Generator Rex
Two of action animation’s biggest stars collide in one explosive panel! The voice talent and creators behind Ben 10 and Generator Rex give fans a sneak peak into the future of these two series, including an exclusive first look at the upcoming Ben 10/Generator Rex: Heroes United crossover special event. Yuri Lowenthal (Ben) is on hand for some fun surprises, as well as series creators and writers for the inside scoop on two of Cartoon Network’s biggest Friday Night Action hits. And Ben 10 fans won’t want to miss the exclusive world premiere unveiling of footage from the new Ben 10 CGI movie!  Room 6BCF

3:30-4:00
Sons of Anarchy
Get an inside look into the world of FX’s highest-rated series ever, Sons of Anarchy, with creator Kurt Sutter (The Shield) and stars Charlie Hunnam (Children of Men), Katey Sagal (Married…With Children), and Ron Perlman (Hellboy). Hall H

 

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