I love standing firm on a promise, having kept our San Diego Comic-Con news leading up to the July 20th event to an absolute minimum. But reader beware: Bloody Disgusting’s front page is going to be a gooey explosion, an absolute onslaught of coverage come that Wednesday.
Speaking of Wednesday, July 20, the Con has revealed the official lineup for both “Preview Night” and Thursday, July 21. So instead of filling up the front page with an individual story on EACH announcement, we’ve jam-packed it all into this one tidy post (ok, I’m OCD about organization, what the hell do you want from me?)
PREVIEW NIGHT: WEDNESDAY, JULY 20
6:00-9:00 Special Sneak Peek Pilot Screenings: Alcatraz, Person of Interest, The Secret Circle, and Supernatural: The Anime Series — Comic-Con and Warner Bros. Television proudly continue their annual Preview Night tradition with exclusive world premiere screenings of the pilot episodes of three of the most highly anticipated TV series pilots of the 2011-12 television season — Alcatraz, Person of Interest, and The Secret Circle — as well as Supernatural: The Anime Series, the first-ever anime adaptation of a U.S. television series. Ballroom 20
DAY 1: THURSDAY, JULY 21
10:00-11:00 Planet of the Apes in Comics Present and Past — Planet of the Apes has come back to comics this year, thanks to BOOM! Studios. Current Planet of the Apes comics editor Ian Brill and writer Daryl Gregory talk about the new series, along with Tom Mason, who served as Malibu Comics’ creative director and oversaw the last big Apes explosion. Learn what’s next for Planet of the Apes and secrets behind the past of this comic franchise. Room 5A
10:00-11:00 Deadliest Warrior: Vampires vs. Zombies — Vampires and zombies have terrorized and tantalized their way through pop culture for decades, from Dracula to the Twilight Saga to Walking Dead. SPIKE TV and its Deadliest Warrior franchise are going to finally answer the question: Which of these mythical creatures would come out on top in a fight to the finish? Deadliest Warrior steps outside the confines of history for this groundbreaking fantasy episode destined to rouse heated debates amongst fans in the blogosphere for months. The special episode features an array of icons of film and fiction who are authorities on the topic. Through these expert interviews, scientific tests, and careful analysis, They will determine who would win in a battle to the death between these two iconic groups, zombies and vampires. The Deadliest Warrior team of Richard “Mack” Machowicz, Dr. Armand Dorian, and Robert Daly, guests Steve Niles, Max Brooks, and horror legend Wes Craven, and executive producer of Deadliest Warrior and president of 44 Blue Productions Rasha Drachkovitch make their case for who is, indeed, the fiercest. Los Angeles Times writer and HeroComplex.com founder Geoff Boucher will serve as moderator. Room 25ABC
10:45-11:45 Oh, You Sexy Geek! — Does displaying the sexiness of fangirls benefit or demean them? When geek girls show off, are they liberating themselves or pandering to men? Do some “fake fangirls” blend sex appeal with nerdiness just to appeal to the growing geek/nerd market, or is that question itself unfair? And what’s up with all the Slave Leias? Action flick chick Katrina Hill (ActionFlickChick.com) asks Bonnie Burton (Grrl.com), Adrianne Curry (America’s Next Top Model), Clare Grant (Team Unicorn, “G33k & G4m3r Girls”), Kiala Kazebee (Nerdist.com), Clare Kramer (Buffy the Vampire Slayer), Nerdy Bird Jill Pantozzi (“Has Boobs, Reads Comics”), Jennifer K. Stuller (Ink-Stained Amazons, GeekGirlCon) and Chris Gore (G4TV’s Attack of the Show!) to discuss whether fans can be sexy and geeky at the same time — and if they should! Room 6A
11:15-12:15 The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn Part 1 — Summit Entertainment presents a sneak peek at the highly anticipated next chapter of The Twilight Saga. This is a must see for fans interested in the story’s final chapters. You’ll see exclusive footage from The Twilight Saga Breaking Dawn Part 1 and be treated to a filmmaker and cast Q&A session providing details on the first half of the epic two-part finale. Hall H
12:00-1:00 Spreading The Darkness: From Comic Book to Video Games and Entertainment — In a world of comic book icons, The Darkness has not only stood the test of time but flourished in various forms of media. Celebrate the upcoming 15th anniversary of The Darkness with the creators that know Jackie Estacado and his world the best. The Darkness creator Marc Silvestri (X-Men/Dark Avengers: Utopia) and team members from Digital Extremes and 2K Games discuss not only the comic but the upcoming video game, The Darkness II, arriving in October. Plus special surprise guests! And be the first to hear about an exciting announcement regarding The Darkness in other media. Room 9
12:00-1:00 Dark Horse: Fall Publishing Highlights — Three supersecret surprise megastars from the entertainment and publishing worlds (revealed on Preview Night at the Dark Horse booth) discuss their thrilling new comics at this special panel. Discover their spine-tingling new projects coming in fall 2011 and get an exclusive San Diego Comic-Con print, which you’ll be able to see larger than life at the Dark Horse booth! Room 32AB
12:15-1:00 Focus on Rick Baker — The multi-Oscar winning master of makeup effects will take us on an overview of his remarkable career with a special emphasis on his work with director Barry Sonnenfeld on Men In Black 1 & 2, as well as a first look at some of his creatures and makeup for the upcoming Men In Black 3. Appearing on stage: Rick Baker in conversation with Geoff Boucher of the Los Angeles Times’ Hero Complex. Indigo Ballroom, Hilton San Diego Bayfront
1:00-2:00 SKYBOUND Panel — It’s been an amazing year for SKYBOUND, Image COO Robert Kirkman’s imprint at Image Comics. The premiere original Witch Doctor has sold out nationwide, the all-ages hit Super Dinosaur continues to soar, and Kirkman’s team-up with Rob Liefeld, The Infinite, is about to rock fans to their core. So what’s next? Robert Kirkman discusses the future of the imprint with his stable of creators, including Thief of Thieves writer Nick Spencer, Witch Doctor creators Brandon Seifert and Lukas Ketner, and others. Expect loads of surprises, announcements, and most important: AWESOMENESS. Room 25ABC
1:00-2:00 Archaia Entertainment: Immortals, the Graphic Novel — Before you watch Relativity Media’s epic 3D film Immortals when it opens on November 11, dive into Archaia’s prelude graphic novel, Immortals: Gods and Heroes, coming in September! Featuring original tales that expand on the movie’s characters and written and illustrated by some of the top names in comics, Immortals: Gods and Heroes promises to prepare you for the visionary film directed by Tarsem Singh (The Cell, The Fall). Editor Nate Cosby (Jim Henson’s The Storyteller) and contributors Dennis Calero (X-Factor), F. J. DeSanto (The Spirit), David Mack (Kabuki), Ron Marz (Witchblade), Jim McCann (Return of the Dapper Men), Ben McCool (Captain America), and some surprise guests give you a sneak peek at the graphic novel, plus provide some cool behind-the-scenes info of its production. Meet the two winners of the “Become Immortal” contest, whose likenesses will be drawn into the book. Plus, everyone in attendance will receive a voucher for a cool Immortals: Gods and Heroes giveaway at the Archaia booth! Moderated by Archaia editor-in-chief Stephen Christy. Room 32AB
1:30-2:30 AICN Comics: Horror on the Paneled Page — Mark L. Miller (Ain’t It Cool News) hosts a panel focusing on horror with some of comic books’ darkest writers and artists. The discussion will breach such topics as how to create successful horror comics, what causes chills, and what doesn’t. Steve Niles (30 Days of Night), Joshua Hale Fialkov (DC’s upcoming I, Vampire), David Quinn (Faust), Tim Seeley (Hack/Slash), Brandon Seifert (Witch Doctor), Matt Pizzolo (Godkiller), Brea and Zane Grant (We Will Bury You), and a few surprise guests will show you what makes them the best of the best in comic book horror. Room 24ABC
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
2:00-3:00 FilmDistrict Studio Panel — FilmDistrict, the new studio that brought you Insidious, celebrates two upcoming features: Don’t Be Afraid of the Dark, a Guillermo Del Toro production starring Katie Holmes and Guy Pearce, and Drive, directed by Nicolas Winding Refn, starring Ryan Gosling, Carey Mulligan, Ron Perlman, and Christina Hendricks. Exclusive footage will be presented and a Q&A will be held for both films. Hall H
2:00-3:00 Warner Premiere: H+ and Mortal Kombat: Legacy — From producer Bryan Singer (X-Men, X2, X-Men: First Class, Superman Returns) comes a Comic-Con exclusive first look at H+, the forthcoming Warner Premiere/Dolphin Entertainment web series directed by Stewart Hendler (Sorority Row) and written and created by John Cabrera and Cosimo De Tommaso. H+ takes place in a near-future world where a tiny and stunning new piece of technology lies at the center of a dark and epic mystery. Then, Mortal Kombat: Legacy, a hit web series with over 35 million views, takes the stage for a panel discussion with director Kevin Tancharoen (Mortal Kombat: Rebirth), Jeri Ryan (Star Trek: Voyager), Michael Jai White (The Dark Knight), Darren Shahlavi (Sanctuary), Peter Shinkoda (Falling Skies), and Matt Mullins (Kamen Rider: Dragon Knight). Fans will see — for the first time — the long-awaited final Mortal Kombat: Legacy episode! Indigo Ballroom, Hilton San Diego Bayfront
3:00-4:00 State of the Geek Report: From Avatar to Zardoz — The world’s foremost geeksperts once again converge at Comic-Con to discuss the state of contemporary sci-fi, fantasy, and horror cinema and television, ranging from the superhero smackdown of the summer of 2011 to the future of 3D films to why we’ll never have a summer as good as 1982 again. Screenwriter Ashley E. Miller (Thor, X-Men: First Class), director Robert Meyer Burnett (Free Enterprise, The Hills Run Red), writer Steve Melching (Star Wars: The Clone Wars, Transformers: The Series), Mark A. Altman (Free Enterprise, DOA: Dead Or Alive), and Bill Hunt (The Digital Bits), along with guests, discuss the past, present, and future state of the genre, brought to you by the new Geek Monthly. Room 5AB
3:00-4:00 WTF, Dude? Spotlight on Charlie Huston — Comic-Con special guest Charlie Huston (Wolverine The Best There Is) has written comics, crime, horror, and SF novels and pilots for HBO and FOX. Now he brutally interrogates himself to answer the question “WFT, Dude?” Included in your admission: Ask Charlie a stoopid question! Trivia and prizes! A one-man interpretation of A. R. Gurney’s Love Letters! Surprise guests! And more! Room 7AB
3:00-4:00 IDW Publishing Presents: The Greatest Panel of All Time — New creator-owned books? Ever-larger licensed titles? All-new creators, and even some major crossover events? How about prizes just for attending? Yep, you’ll find all that and more, in The Greatest Panel of All Time. CCO Chris Ryall, editor Scott Dunbier, and creators Chris Roberson, Eric Powell, and Steve Niles, along with MC Dirk Wood, present a gamelike atmosphere as they spin the wheel on projects coming in 2011 and 2012. Come on down! Room 9
3:00-4:00 Game of Thrones Panel and Q&A Session — Based on the bestselling fantasy book series A Song of Ice and Fire by George R. R. Martin, HBO’s Game of Thrones concluded its 10-episode debut season on June 19. The series, executive produced and written by David Benioff and D.B. Weiss, follows kings and queens, knights and renegades, liars and noblemen as they vie for power in a land where summers span decades and winters can last a lifetime. Some of the cast featured in the first season and appearing on this panel are (in alphabetical order) Emilia Clarke as Daenerys Targaryen, Nikolaj Coster-Waldau as Ser Jaime Lannister, Peter Dinklage as Tyrion Lannister, Kit Harington as Jon Snow, and Jason Momoa as Khal Drogo. Moderated by George R. R. Martin, who also serves as a co-executive producer and writer on the series. Ballroom 20
3:00-4:00 Magic & Monsters — Adult and young adult science fiction and fantasy authors discuss the costs and consequences of “magic” in their novels and the scary, hairy, and dangerous creatures that lurk in the worlds they have created. Visit the worlds of Kim Harrison (The Hollows series), Andrea Cremer (The Nightshade series), Anton Strout (The Simon Canderous series), Lev Grossman (The Magicians), Ben Loory (Stories for Nighttime and Some for the Day), J. F. Lewis (The Void City novels), and Diana Rowland (The White Trash Zombie series), guided by moderator Maryelizabeth Hart of Mysterious Galaxy. Room 25ABC
3:15-4:30 20th Century Fox — At past Comic-Cons, 20th Century Fox has previewed Independence Day, X2, Avatar, and X-Men Origins: Wolverine. You won’t want to miss the excitement this year, as Fox presents first-looks at some of its most anticipated pictures of 2011 and 2012. Hall H
4:00-5:00 No Damsels in Distress Here — Female voices in sci-fi and fantasy create kick-ass heroines. Danger just might be these girls’ middle name. But no amount of bad guys can keep these ladies from doing what’s right. Whether standing up for friends and family, or just plain kicking some ass, these girls don’t shy away from a fight. Damsels on the panel include Marie Lu (Legend), Kathy Reichs (Bones & Virals series), Chloe Neill (Chicagoland Vampires series), Jeanne Stein (The Anna Strong Chronicles), Merrie deStefano (Feast: Harvest of Dreams), Carrie Vaughn (Kitty Norville series), Seanan McGuire (The October Daye series), and Sherrilyn Kenyon (Dark Hunter novels). Moderated by Maryelizabeth Hart of Mysterious Galaxy. Room 25ABC
4:15-5:15 TV Guide Magazine: Fan Favorites — TV Guide is back with an all-star panel for the fans! Moderated by editor-in-chief Debra Birnbaum, Fan Favorites features your favorite talent from your favorite shows — in front of the camera and behind the scenes. Panelists include Nestor Carbonell (Ringer), Johnny Galecki (The Big Bang Theory), Jorge Garcia (Alcatraz), Leslie Hope (The River), Zachary Levi (Chuck), Joe Manganiello (True Blood), Julie Plec (The Vampire Diaries), Matt Smith (Doctor Who), Kevin Williamson (The Vampire Diaries), Deborah Ann Woll (True Blood), and others. Ballroom 20
4:45-5:45 Robert Rodriguez’s Quick Draw Productions — Be the first to get a sneak peek at Robert Rodriguez’s upcoming films. Robert presents Quick Draw’s new slate featuring special guest collaborators. He will also show exclusive material from his latest top-secret project. Hall H
5:00-6:00 Resistance 3: Exploring a 1950s Altered America: The Continuing Creation of the Resistance Universe — Critically acclaimed developer Insomniac Games presents a journey through the evolution of the universe surrounding PlayStation 3’s bestselling Resistance franchise. Discover the secrets behind Insomniac’s vision of a postapocalyptic ’50s-era America, ravaged by the merciless Chimera, and explore the human experience of struggling to survive an alien invasion when nearly all hope is lost. Learn how the team is continuing to build the Resistance canon through books and social media integration. Attendees will be treated to an first look at new game content and other surprises, with special guest appearances by members of the Insomniac team, including Marcus Smith (creative director), Kevin Grow (animation director), and Grant Hollis (art director), as well as actors from the Resistance 3 cast, including Robin Atkin Downes (Joseph Capelli) and Crispin Freeman (Charlie Tent). A Q&A with the team will follow the presentation. Room 7AB
5:00-6:00 Buffy The Vampire Slayer and LGBT Comics Fandom — LGBT fans hailed the revelation in the long-running television hit that one of its main characters, Willow, had fallen in love with another female character, Tara. This groundbreaking depiction of queer love in the TV show has been built upon in the Buffy comic books published by Dark Horse Comics, and Buffy remains one of the most queer-friendly properties in pop culture. Moderator Charles “Zan” Christensen (Prism Comics president) discusses the special relationship between the Buffyverse and LGBT comic book fans with Buffy creators and actors, including Scott Allie, Andrew Chambliss, Jane Espenson, Drew Greenberg, Tom Lenk, and a special guest! Room 32AB
5:30-7:30 Showtime: Tired of Ordinary Television? — This year at Comic-Con, Showtime saves! The casts and creative forces behind Dexter and Shameless give sneak peeks into the new seasons. And be the first to see an exclusive look at the new Showtime original series Homeland. Ballroom 20
5:30-6:30 Creepy and Eerie: Comics That Can Still Scare You! — Discuss the new Dark Horse Creepy series, the classic age of the Warren Creepy and Eerie magazines, and all the exciting things coming up in the Creepy universe with a bone-chilling panel including Jason Shawn Alexander (Abe Sapien), Overstreet’s J. C. Vaughn (Doctor Solar), artist Nathan Fox (Haunt), and classic Creepy and Eerie cover artist Ken Kelly and writer Bruce Jones (Checkmate). Moderated by New Comic Company’s twin engines Dan Braun (Creepy) and Josh Braun (A History of Violence). Plus, there will be Creepy trivia questions with extraordinary swag and prizes! Room 24ABC
5:45-6:45 Vertigo Editorial — They come from the cutting edge of comics…and Vertigo has never been edgier, with thought-provoking titles from some of comics’ most acclaimed creators. Don’t miss this panel featuring Scott Snyder (American Vampire), Jeff Lemire (Sweet Tooth), Michael Allred (iZombie), Mark Buckingham (Fables), Les Klinger (Annotated Sandman), Rebecca Guay (A Flight of Angels), Colleen Doran (Gone to Amerika), Bill Willingham (Fables), and many others. This is your opportunity to learn more about the entire Vertigo line. Hosted by Vertigo executive editor Karen Berger. Room 6DE
6:00-7:00 Gears of War 3 — Epic Games design director Cliff Bleszinski, executive producer Rod Fergusson, and special guest contributors to the Gears universe offer a look ahead at the most-anticipated game of 2011. Includes a live game demo and key announcements. Moderated by X-Play (G4) co-host Adam Sessler. Room 6BCF
6:00-7:00 Entertainment Weekly: The Visionaries: A discussion with Jon Favreau and Guillermo del Toro on the Future of Pop Culture — EW 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
6:30-7:30 Shocker Toys: The Real Scoop — Geoff Beckett and crew discuss the past 10 years of accomplishments by Shocker Toys, going from a small block figure sold at local shows in New Jersey to five toylines and a worldwide fanbase with retail chain store support. They’ll talk of some of the pitfalls, bumps in the road, and challenges as well. They’ll announce new series and licenses and future toylines, engage in a Q&A with fans, and offer toy and comic book giveaways. You can expect many great guests from the comics, toy, and entertainment industries, answering your questions and listening to your suggestions. Room 24ABC
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
8:00-9:00 H. P. Lovecraft in Comics and Film — “That is not dead which can eternal lie, and with strange aeons, even death may die.” Famous words penned by H. P. Lovecraft, regarded by critics and fans alike as “Master of the Weird Tale.” A horror writer from the early days of pulp magazines, his work inspired thousands of writers, artists, musicians, game designers, and filmmakers. Explore a few of the works influenced by the Great Old Ones and get a sanity-smashing peek into the latest Lovecraftian comics and movies. With Adam Byrne (The Strange Adventures of H. P. Lovecraft), Andrew Leman (co-founder of the H. P. Lovecraft Historical Society), Michael Alan Nelson (Fall of Cthulhu), and Frank H. Woodward (Lovecraft: Fear of the Unknown). Moderated by Aaron Vanek (The H.P. Lovecraft Film Festival). Room 9
8:15-9:15 Garth Ennis’ Stitched Movie World Premiere — Legendary comic book writer Garth Ennis (Preacher, Crossed) has written and directed his first-ever short film, Stitched, a visceral tale of terror. Meet the film’s cast, monsters, producers, and Mr. Ennis himself. Learn behind-the-scenes secrets during the Q&A. See a sneak peak at the Ennis-penned ongoing Stitched comic book series. And thrill to the horror of Stitched in its one-night only Comic-Con viewing! Room 6DE
8:30-10:00 Dr. Horrible’s Sing-Along Blog — Sing along with your fellow fans at this screening of the original three acts of Dr. Horrible’s Sing-Along Blog hosted by the California Browncoats, complete with callbacks! Dr. Horrible stars Neil Patrick Harris (How I Met Your Mother), Nathan Fillion (Castle, Firefly), and Felicia Day (The Guild) and was written by Joss Whedon, Jed Whedon (Dollhouse), Zack Whedon (Fringe), and Maurissa Tancharoen (Dollhouse). Room 6BCF
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