Comic-Con Preview 2011: What to Do Friday
Between the panels, signings, booths, events, screenings and overwhelming crowds, there will be a lot to do at Comic-Con International in San Diego this week -- almost too much, at times. But fear not, we're here to help you make the most of your pending adventure into the biggest comics and pop culture event of the year. After running down the the best events of Thursday, the first official day of the convention, we're back with a look at Comic-Con's schedule for Friday, July 22, and all the places you'll want to be.
10:00 - 11:30 a.m. The Black Panel: Room 5AB
Every year, the Black Panel ends up being the most entertaining panel in San Diego. This year, Michael Davis and the gang are saying goodbye to Dwayne McDuffie, who passed away earlier this year. McDuffie had an incredible career over the course of his life, co-creating fantastic comic books and cartoons, and it's nice to see a Comic-Con institution honoring him and his career. Drop by for some sad reminisces and good jokes in tribute to an industry legend.
11:15 a.m. - 12:15 p.m. DC Comics: The New 52: Room 6DE
Have you heard about this DC relaunch? It's sort of obscure, maybe you haven't heard of it. Anyway, apparently, they're restarting almost everything over from zero, with just Batman and Green Lantern making it through the relaunch intact. Crazy, right? Never would've seen it coming. This panel will shed some light on their plans, I hope, and give you a chance to ask all those questions that are really burning you up inside like, "Where's Red Tornado?" and "I am the only Donna Troy fan in the universe -- why doesn't she have an ongoing series?"
11:15 a.m. - 12:15 p.m. AMC's The Walking Dead: Ballroom 20
ZOMBIES. If you hate them, stay away. If you love them, hit up this panel to see what the stars, producers, and co-creator Robert Kirkman have to see about their hit television show and get a sneak preview of the next season.
11:30 a.m. - 12:30 p.m. Locke & Key Panel: Room 8
The pilot for Joe Hill and Gabriel Rodriguez's Locke & Key didn't get picked up, but that doesn't mean you can't watch it! This panel will feature the debut of the pilot, a Q&A session with the creators of the comic, and a discussion of where the series is going next. If you miss this one -- or it fills up, head to Room 6DE later this evening from 9:15-10:15 for the encore.
11:45 a.m. - 12:30 p.m. Adult Swim: The Venture Bros.- Indigo Ballroom, Hilton San Diego Bayfront
GO (to the) TEAM VENTURE (bros panel at San Diego Comic-Con)! Show creators Jackson Publick and Doc Hammer will be in attendance for a screening of their 15-minute animated special and pseudo-documentary, The Venture Bros. Special -- From the Ladle to the Grave: The Story of Shallow Gravy.
12:30 - 1:30 p.m. Marvel: Year of the X-Men: Room 6DE
The X-Men's latest big crossover just kicked off last week, and it's promising the destruction of the friendship between Cyclops and Wolverine, plus the splintering of the X-Men as a team. Who'll end up on Wolverine's personal X-Men squad? Who'll stick around with Cyclops? Who knows? Probably the people on this panel, I'd bet: Writers Marjorie Liu (X-23), Rick Remender (Uncanny X-Force), Chris Yost (X-Men: First to Last) and editor-in-chief Axel Alonso.
1:00 - 2:00 p.m. Oni Press Panelmonium 2011: Room 32AB
Oni Press puts on the best panels. They're laid back, casual, and other words that are synonyms for "laid back" and "casual," too. While other companies put on panels solely to pimp their new work and maybe pay some lip service to the idea of fan interaction, Oni's crew cracks jokes, interrupts the panel for announcements or to shout out notable faces in the audience, and most of all, show off some great comics with a minimum of hype. Speaking of hype: You need Phil Gelatt and Tyler Crook's Petrograd and Raw Fawkes's One Soul in your life. Hit up this panel to get the low down on the books, and then proceed directly to Oni's booth to buy them.
1:45 - 2:45 p.m. Marvel: Amazing Spider-Man and His Avenging Friends: Room 6DE
Spider-Man can't catch a break, and his friends aren't much better off. This summer, Spider-Man has to deal with everyone in New York getting spider powers. Steve Wacker, Axel Alonso, and an all-star line-up of creators are going to break down (or tease) what's going to happen during and after Spider-Island, in addition to pimping Greg Rucka's Punisher series and Mark Waid's Daredevil, which features art by Marcos Martin and Paolo Rivera. Sounds like a good time to me.
2:00 - 3:00 p.m. Green Lantern: The Animated Series Video Presentation and Q&A: Room 6BCF
Q&As are cool and all, particularly if the people giving As to your Qs can answer questions instead of teasing future developments, but screenings can be just as good. Later this year, Warner Bros. is releasing a CG-animated Green Lantern cartoon for Cartoon Network. Hit up this panel to get your first look at the series.
2:00 - 3:00 p.m. Dark Horse Presents: Room 25ABC
Dark Horse Presents has a killer line-up of talent. Let me throw some names at you: Eric Powell, Carla Speed McNeil, Sanford Greene, Howard Chaykin, Richard Corben, and Geof Darrow. The first three people in that list will be present with Dark Horse publisher Mike Richardson, ready and raring to talk about the return of Dark Horse's classic anthology. Dark Horse has a habit of publishing consistently good comics, and if you're looking for a way to get into their line, start here.
3:00 - 4:00 p.m. DC: Superman: Room 6DE
Superman getting a do-over is a pretty amazing development, the sort of thing that no one would have expected to see. And yet, here we are, and DC is doing it. Grant Morrison and J Michael Straczynski discuss the quintessential superhero with DC editor Matt Idelson and talk about what's next.
3:00 - 4:00 p.m. Image Comics Show: Room 25ABC
Image has carved out a pretty solid niche as a publisher of high quality creator-owned books over the past fistful of years. We're all in favor of this development, and this panel would be a pretty good chance to hear the latest from a handful of Image's hottest creators like David Baxter (Marksmen), John Layman (Chew), Scott Snyder (Severed), Nick Spencer (Morning Glories), Ben McCool (Pigs), and Tim Seeley (Hack/Slash).
3:30 - 4:30 p.m. ThunderCats Premiere Episode Screening and Q&A: Room 6A
The Thundercats have crawled their way out of the '80s and back onto television! Thundercats premieres the week after San Diego Comic-Con, but you can get in on the ground floor at this panel, which includes a Q&A with the producers, art director, and members of the voice cast.
3:30 - 4:15 p.m. Adult Swim: Robot Chicken: Indigo Ballroom, Hilton San Diego Bayfront
Robot Chicken is still going strong, cracking jokes at everything you love and making you laugh despite yourself. It's a pretty impressive affair at this point, if only for the sheer number of toys they have in the library for their show. Sometimes the best laughs are mean ones, and Robot Chicken is proof of that. Co-creators Seth Green and Matthew Senreich will be in attendance, along with Head Writer Tom Root.
4:00 - 6:30 p.m. Sony returns to Hall H with a stellar lineup of films and talent, including: The Amazing Spider-Man and Ghost Rider-Spirit of Vengeance
This time next year, we'll all be talking about The Amazing Spider-Man, Sony's upcoming reboot of a solid superhero franchise. Later this week, you can beat everyone else to the punch by checking out the Amazing Spider-Man panel, featuring Andrew Garfield and Emma Stone, soon to be known as Peter Parker and Gwen Stacy.
4:15 - 5:15 p.m. DC Comics: Justice League: Room 6DE
Everything you know is gone, and now's your chance to get familiar with the future. Geoff Johns, Jim Lee, Dan Jurgens, J.T. Krul, Eric Wallace, Francis Manapul, Brian Buccellato, and Philip Tan are here to give you the straight dope on the future of the DC Universe. It's the new DC: are you ready?
4:30 - 5:30 p.m. Marvel Television Presents: Anime on G4: Room 6BCF
Madhouse is probably one of the best anime studios of all time, with dozens of features and TV series under their belt. Now, they're adding a few Marvel classics to their list of works: Iron Man, Wolverine, X-Men, and Blade, all of which will air on G4. This panel will feature the debut of X-Men's first episode, too.
5:30 - 6:30 p.m. CBLDF: Can Comics Send You To Jail?: Room 26AB
You know what sucks? Thought police. I am, as the son of a former social worker, 2011% in favor of protecting children from scumbags. I am not in favor of policing the thoughts of others, however, just the actions. Lines on a piece of paper are not real, and you shouldn't be punished for having them, no matter how much I personally think that you're gross for liking it. Check out this panel with CBLDF Executive Director Charles Brownstein to understand why free speech is so important in comics art, and then go on ahead and donate some money to the cause, if you feel led to do so.
6:00 - 7:00 p.m. A Strange Tale of a Panel: Room 9
Just about everybody likes superheroes, even people who are indie comix darlings. It's a hidden secret for some, but obvious for others. The fact is that superheroes are a huge portion of the comic book industry, so it's reasonable to think that a whole lot of people will have either grown up with or gotten into comics via that method. And here, at the Strange Tales panel, you can hear the indie creators you love talk about how much they like Spider-Man. Comics are pretty fun, sometimes.
6:00 - 7:00 p.m. The Hub: Batman: 45th Anniversary of the Original Series: Room 23ABC
Visit this panel, which features Adam West, Burt Ward, and Julie Newmar, to see ComicsAlliance's professional Batmanologist Chris Sims melt into a bat-shaped puddle. (Don't tell him I said that, but it will totally happen.)
8:00 - 10:00 p.m. World Premiere: Batman: Year One - Ballroom 20
Batman: Year One is Warner's latest straight-to-DVD video release, and is based on Frank Miller and David Mazzucchelli's classic story. It's going to include a special short film dedicated to Catwoman, too. San Diego Comic-Con is the time for premieres, and this one here may well be the cream of the crop. There's an encore in the same room from 10:15 to midnight as well, so you can either wait in line now or wait until 10/18/11. Your choice.
8:30 - 11:30 p.m. Advanced Micro Devices Presents the Will Eisner Comic Industry Awards- Indigo Ballroom, Hilton San Diego Bayfront
It's the Eisner Awards! You can read all of the nominations here. ComicsAlliance has been nominated for an Eisner Award in Best Comics-Related Periodical/Journalism for the second year in a row. Come see the biggest names in comics come out for the Oscars of sequential art, and how it all turns out!
6:00 - 9:00 p.m. iFanboy/Graphicly Happy Hour: The roofdeck of the Andaz Hotel - 600 F Street
The team from iFanboy and its parent company Graphicly host a rooftop shindig that's open to all. This party is taking "the more, the merrier" approach that should appeal to casual fans wanting to take in a nighttime view of the San Diego.
To see our preview of Thursday at Comic-Con, click here.