The following are our picks for panels, screenings, workshops, discussions, etc. for Comic-Con in San Diego (July 22-25).
Feel free to post your own picks—or reviews of events—under comments!
From Pee-Wee’s Big Adventure to Alice in Wonderland, composer Danny Elfman discusses his 25-year collaboration with director Tim Burton. Their legendary partnership includes such films as Beetle Juice, Batman, Edward Scissorhands, Nightmare Before Christmas, and Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. Joining Mr. Elfman will be Warner Brothers Records executives to announce their plans to celebrate this quarter-century milestone. Room 6BCF
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), Richard Stevens III (Diesel Sweeties), and Chris Yates (Chris Yates Studios) about anything your Internet heart desires. Room 3
New Fun About Siegel and Shuster—Comics Arts Conference Session No. 3
Gerard Jones (Networked: Carabella on the Run) leads Nicky Wheeler-Nicholson Brown (grand-daughter of Major Malcolm Wheeler-Nicholson), Brad Ricca (Last Son), and copyright expert Lauren Agostino in a discussion about the creative influences and legal issues surrounding Siegel and Shuster’s early characters. Mel Gordon (California State University East Bay) shares insights about Jewish superheroes from his forthcoming book Siegel and Shuster’s Funnyman: The First Jewish Superhero, co-authored by Thomas Andrae. Room 26AB
Spotlight on Jenette Kahn
For 27 years Comic-Con special guest Jenette Kahn steered the course for DC Comics as its president and publisher, the youngest female executive in Warner Brothers history. Her time at DC resulted in a renaissance of publishing for fans and creators alike. Former DC president and publisher—and fellow Comic-Con special guest—Paul Levitz interviews Jenette about her years at the company and her new career in the movie industry as a producer of such hits as Gran Torino. Room 5AB
Marvel: Mondo Marvel
It’s the panel about all things Marvel! We’ve got top talent on hand to talk about all of your favorite heroes and villains as well as make a few surprise announcements! Panelists include Jeph Loeb (Hulk), Brian Michael Bendis (Avengers), Marvel’s talent liaison C. B. Cebulski, Dan Abnett and Andy Lanning (The Thanos Imperative), Jim McCann (Hawkeye & Mockingbird), senior editor Mark Paniccia, and more as they take on all questions! Room 6DE
Spotlight on James Sturm
Comic-Con special guest James Sturm has created award-winning graphic novels for early readers (Adventures in Cartooning), young adults (Satchel Paige: Striking Out Jim Crow, Fantastic Four: Unstable Molecules), and grownups (The Golem’s Mighty Swing, Market Day) and co-founded the country’s finest cartooning school (The Center for Cartoon Studies). Come join James during this rare Comic-Con appearance! Room 26AB
Entertainment Weekly: The Visionaries
A discussion with geek gods J. J. Abrams (Star Trek) and Joss Whedon (Buffy the Vampire Slayer) on the future of pop culture. EW presents an in-depth conversation with these two creative geniuses about how technology, gaming, and global culture are reshaping how we tell and consume stories on television, film and the web. Plus: Is the superhero movie waning, or is it on the cusp of reinvention? And what do they think the pop culture universe will look like a decade from now? Moderated by Jeff “Doc” Jensen. Hall H
DC Comics’ 75th Anniversary
75 years ago Major Malcolm Wheeler-Nicholson started a comic book company (National Allied Publications) that pioneered the use of new material (as opposed to comic strip reprints) in its books. In 1938, Action Comics #1, featuring Superman, came along, and the rest—as they say—is history. And what a history it is! DC Comics celebrates its 75th anniversary this year. Moderator Paul Levitz (writer, editor, and former president and publisher of DC) starts the Comic-Con celebration with panelists Dan DiDio and Jim Lee (co-publishers, DC Comics), Geoff Johns (chief creative officer), and Comic-Con special guests Jenette Kahn (former president and publisher), Dennis O’Neil (writer/editor, Batman), and comics legend Jerry Robinson (Batman). Room 6DE
Our Heroes Have More Fun: the Anti-Heroes of Showtime
The 21st century anti-hero has become one of the driving forces in recent pop culture. When it comes to the television anti-hero, Showtime has the winning formula. Hear firsthand from the showrunners, creators, and actors who have helped define this phenomenon. Dexter’s Michael C. Hall and showrunner Chip Johannessen (24) delve into the phenomenon of Dexter Morgan, the serial killer you can’t help rooting for; David Duchovny and Tom Kapinos of Californication discuss why Hank Moody is the “bad boy” we love despite his obvious shortcomings; and Mary-Louise Parker and Jenji Kohan of Weeds interpret pot-dealing soccer mom Nancy Botwin’s moral decisions, as the line between right and wrong is not always as simple as black or white. Plus: Nurse Jackie—despite a little pill-popping along the way—is a smart no-nonsense nurse, who if you’re ever taken to the hospital, you had better hope she’s the first person you see. With heroes like these, who needs villains? Breaking the occasional promise, law, or commandment is all in a day’s work, and one thing’s for sure - Showtime heroes never let doing the right thing get in the way of having a good time. Ballroom 20
Neal Adams and Stan Lee: They Spoke Out—American Voices Against the Holocaust
Neal Adams (Batman, Green Lantern/Green Arrow) and Holocaust historian Dr. Rafael Medoff unveil the new series of educational “motion comics” they are creating with ABC News about Americans who spoke out for the rescue of Jews from the Holocaust. They will be joined on the panel by Stan Lee (co-creator of Spider-Man, X-Men) and will screen an episode from the upcoming series, illustrated by Neal Adams and narrated by Stan Lee. Room 9
Spotlight on Vanessa Davis
One of the brightest new cartoonists of her generation, who has been featured in Tablet, Vice, Bust, and Bitch Magazines, Comic-Con special guest Vanessa Davis will be debuting her new book Make Me a Woman and discussing the book and its process with a charming and funny slide show about being young, Jewish and single. Room 4
Spotlight on Paul Levitz
Paul Levitz has been a comics fan (The Comic Reader fanzine, NY Comic Art Convention committee), editor (Batman), writer (Legion of Super-Heroes), and executive (DC Comics, including publisher from 1989 to 2010). Now he’s interviewed by favorite writer and DC chief creative officer Geoff Johns about his varied career and his return to writing Legion and other DC projects, including a coffeetable book history of the company. Room 5AB
12:45-1:45 The Big Bang Theory
It’s “Anything Can Happen Friday” at Comic-Con as The Big Bang Theory—which kicks off a new night of comedy on Thursdays for CBS this fall—returns to Comic-Con with a special screening and Q&A featuring the show’s creators and stars. Resident Big Bang alum Wil Wheaton (Star Trek: The Next Generation) moderates a lively discussion featuring executive producers Chuck Lorre (Two and a Half Men) and Bill Prady (Dharma & Greg), as well as series stars Johnny Galecki (Roseanne), Jim Parsons (Garden State), Kaley Cuoco (Charmed), Simon Helberg (Walk Hard: The Dewey Cox Story), and Kunal Nayyar (NCIS). From Chuck Lorre Productions, Inc. in association with Warner Bros. Television, The Big Bang Theory will air Thursdays at 8 pm ET/PT this fall on the CBS Television Network, and The Big Bang Theory: The Complete Third Season will be released on Blu-ray and DVD on September 14. Ballroom 20
Spotlight on Jerry Robinson
One of the true legends of comics, Comic-Con special guest Jerry Robinson is a writer, artist, historian, curator and creator rights activist. Jerry discusses his 70 years in comics—from his contributions to the Batman mythos to the creation of the Joker and development of Robin, Alfred, Penguin, Scarecrow and Two-Face. Jerry is interviewed by Michael Uslan, the executive producer of the Batman movies, comics historian, and author of the upcoming Archie Marries… (Abrams). In their discussion, Robinson and Uslan will take the audience from behind the scenes of the Golden Age of comics to the filming of The Dark Knight and Jerry’s latest book projects. Room 9
Spotlight on Stan Lee
Comics legend and Comic-Con special guest Stan Lee discusses some of his latest projects at POW! Entertainment and the future of comics and new media distribution, including challenges today’s writers and artists face. Join Stan and company, including Gill Champion (COO POW! Entertainment) for this special panel, which includes a Q&A with “The Man” himself. Room 6BCF
4:00-6:00 Sony Pictures Entertainment: The Other Guys and The Green Hornet
Confirmed to appear in person to unveil this early look at The Green Hornet in 3D are the Hornet himself, Seth Rogen, director Michel Gondry, writer Evan Goldberg, producer Neal Moritz, and actor Christoph Waltz. Hall H
4:30-5:30 Adult Swim Panel Featuring Robot Chicken, Venture Bros, and Metalocalypse
Show creators Seth Green, Matt Senreich, and Tom Root (Robot Chicken), Jackson Publick and Doc Hammer (Venture Bros), and Brendon Small (Metalocalypse) discuss their original series, screen sneak peeks, and answer questions. Keith Crofford, VP of production at Adult Swim, will moderate. Room 6BCF
Chuck Screening and Q&A
Chuck executive producers and co-creators Josh Schwartz (Gossip Girl) and Chris Fedak appear along with series stars Zachary Levi (Alvin and the Chipmunks), Yvonne Strahovski (upcoming The Killer Elite), Joshua Gomez (Without a Trace), Ryan McPartlin, Mark Christopher Lawrence (The Pursuit of Happyness), Vik Sahay (Good Will Hunting), Scott Krinsky (The O.C.), Sarah Lancaster (upcoming The Good Doctor) and Adam Baldwin (Serenity) for their usual hijinks—a Q&A to discuss the upcoming season four (made possible by the devoted fanbase) and a special video presentation. Produced by Fake Empire, Wonderland Sound and Vision in association with Warner Bros. Television, Chuck airs Mondays at 8pm ET/PT on NBC, and Chuck: The Complete Third Season will be released on Blu-ray and DVD on September 7. Ballroom 20
A freakin’ sweet discussion on all things Family Guy with Seth MacFarlane, Alex Borstein, Seth Green, and others. And don’t miss never-before-seen clips of the third Star Wars parody. Ballroom 20
Will Eisner, The Dreamer
Will Eisner played a central role in the first seven decades of comics history. Many times during his career, he reinvented sequential art and himself to overcome new challenges. He was a true dreamer, and these panelists hope to show you that side of him: Denis Kitchen (artist, author, publisher, and Will Eisner’s agent and longtime friend), Scott McCloud (artist, author, and theoretician about comics and sequential art), Dennis O’Neil (comic book writer and editor for Marvel Comics and DC Comics), Paul Levitz (writer, former president/publisher, DC Comics), and Michael Schumacher (bestselling author and Biographer with a new biography of Will Eisner due out this fall). This is your chance to learn more about the “Father of the Graphic Novel.” Room 4
11:45-1:15 Warner Bros.: Green Lantern, Sucker Punch, and Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows
Warner Bros. showcases three eagerly awaited upcoming new films in this Hall H presentation.
Spotlight on Brian Michael Bendis
The controversial Marvel writer and Comic-Con special guest Brian Michael Bendis turns his spotlight panel into a live taping of the popular Word Balloon Bendis tapes. Word Balloon podcast host John Suitress will moderate the panel and take questions from the audience, with nothing off limits. Bendis will also be giving away limited-edition variant covers of his new creator-owned series Scarlet. Room 6DE
Celebrate Futurama’s triumphant re-return to the airwaves! World-premiere footage will offer an exciting and informative glimpse of Comic-Con in the year 3010. Panelists include executive producers Matt Groening and David X. Cohen, cast members Billy West, John DiMaggio, Katey Sagal, and Maurice LaMarche, director Crystal Chesney-Thompson, writers Ken Keeler and Patric M. Verrone, and animation producer Claudia Katz. Ballroom 20
Writing Seminar with Marv Wolfman
Marv Wolfman (God of War, Teen Titans, Crisis on Infinite Earths), in this annual writing seminar, returns to basics as he discusses 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
Warehouse 13 and Eureka
Don’t miss two of Syfy’s biggest hit series in one exclusive event. Catch back-to-back Warehouse 13 and Eureka panels, featuring Warehouse 13’s Eddie McClintock (Pete Lattimer), Joanne Kelly (Myka Bering), Saul Rubinek (Artie Nielsen), Allison Scagliotti (Claudia Donovan), and Jack Kenny (showrunner/executive producer) and Eureka’s Colin Ferguson (Jack Carter), Salli Richardson-Whitfield (Allison Blake), Neil Grayston (Douglas Fargo), James Callis (Grant), Jaime Paglia (co-creator/executive producer/writer), and Bruce Miller (executive producer/writer). Room 6BCF
Writing for Comics
Top comics writers Brian Michael Bendis (New Avengers, Powers, Secret Invasion), Marc Guggenheim (Wolverine, Resurrection), and Peter David (Incredible Hulk, X-Factor) offer a discussion and instructive tips on the art of writing for comics. Writers and editors speak about the process of writing and how the game is played. Want to know how stories come about and learn how to do it yourself. This is the place to start! Moderated by Comics Experience’s Andy Schmidt (X-Men, Annihilation). Room 30CDE
Welcome to The Future: Are You Sure You Want to Stay?
Speculative fiction authors discuss visions of the future, dystopian and otherwise. Authors include Samuel R. Delany (Dhalgren), Alan Dean Foster (Flinx Transcendent), Cody Goodfellow (Perfect Union), Kirsten Imani Kasai (Ice Song), Dani Kollin and Eytan Kollin (The Unincorporated War), Nnedi Okorafor (Who Fears Death), David Weber (Honor Harrington novels), David J. Williams (The Machinery Of Light), and Charles Yu (How To Live Safely in a Science Fictional Universe). Moderated by Maryelizabeth Hart of Mysterious Galaxy. Room 4
With Great Power: The Stan Lee Story
With Great Power: The Stan Lee Story is a feature length documentary on Marvel Comics icon Stan Lee, the co-creator of Spider-Man, Iron Man, X-Men, Hulk and over 500 other comic book characters. Learn how Stan rose from his humble Brooklyn beginnings to co-creating many of the world’s most well known characters! Following the screening will be a brief panel with Stan “The Man” Lee himself, executive producers Michael Uslan (The Dark Knight) and Tom DeSanto (X-Men, Transformers), actor Lou Ferrigno (The Incredible Hulk TV Show), illustrator Jim Lee (Marvel, DC), writer Paul Levitz (former president and publisher of DC Comics), Jack Kirby biographer Mark Evanier, and the With Great Power producing team of Terry Dougas, Nikki Frakes, and Will Hess. You won’t want to miss this one! Room 6BCF
Jack Kirby Tribute
It’s time once again to pay tribute to Jack “King” Kirby, the prolific writer/artist who co-created some of the world’s most famous superheroes, including the Fantastic Four, the Hulk, Thor, Captain America, the New Gods, and many more. Kirby biographer and friend Mark Evanier (Kirby: King of Comics) hosts this annual Comic-Con tradition and is joined this year by writers Marv Wolfman (Tomb of Dracula, New Teen Titans), and Kurt Busiek (Astro City, JLA/Avengers) and other Kirby fanatics to discuss the King. Room 4
Kids Draw with James Sturm
Create your own cartooning adventure in this fun, interactive drawing session with Eisner Award–winning cartoon adventurer James Sturm (Adventures in Cartooning)! Using simple building blocks, you’ll learn how to put together an adventure of your own—and have fun along the way! Room 30CDE
Spotlight on Al Wiesner
This writer/artist has been doing it his way for 25 years! Comic-Con special guest Al Wiesner created his own superhero, Shaloman, after many years of searching for a Jewish superhero. Some 38 issues later the “Kosher Crusader” is still thrilling readers around the world! Al talks about his series in this special Spotlight panel. Room 4
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