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Thursday, July 26, 2007

Comic-Con 2007

Very sorry to say I'm not in San Diego this week for Comic-Con. But some of my best friends are.

I'm told the people do hold comics and sequential art confabs on this side of the Atlantic - both here in the UK as well as in the countries that can't speak English - and I'll be getting to as many of those as I can. But there is, as we well know, only one Comic-Con.

Actually, there are two Comic-Cons now, aren't there? There is a spring-time New York Comic-Con. But this is not the real Comic-Con, no. It is a pale and wretched East Coast imitation, concocted purely as a money-making venture.
Of course, I really want to go some time.

But being thousands of miles away still isn't going to stop me from trying to push you around. Of course, Comic-Con's got endless panoplies of stuff to see, do, learns, but if you're an artist or writer looking for some enlightenment, I recommend:

Thursday, July 26

11:30-12:30 Too Much Coffee Man Opera— The Too Much Coffee Man Opera is laid bare as Shannon Wheeler details his experience with the high art of opera. Is this the first opera to be based on a comic book? What does the opera community think of it? How did it come about? Is it in English or Italian? How did it get performed at one of the most respectable performance spaces in Portland? Will there be a sequel? Will it be go "on the road"? Does Shannon sing in it? Is there nudity? These questions and more will be answered by a whiskey-drinking Shannon Wheeler

1:30-2:30 Blade Runner and More— Syd Mead will be on hand in person to recall his experiences while working on the motion picture Blade Runner and to introduce his newest DVD release: Visual Futurist: The Art & Life of Syd Mead. The DVD takes the viewer behind the scenes and beyond the images he created for this film as well as Tron, Star Trek: The Motion Picture, private 747s, games, yachts, cars, and a seemingly endless list of major design projects around the world. Syd looks forward to entertaining questions and providing his unique perspective on topics of design for the film industry. Joining him will be Paul M. Sammon, author of Future Noir: The making of Blade Runner, the definitive book on its subject. Paul will add his own anecdotes about BR's creation while divulging new details about his brand-new Second Edition Future Noir, due for publication in late 2007. Room 6B

3:00-4:00 DC: Crossing Over— These days it seems like all roads lead to comics, whether they’re a stop on the road to other media or a final destination. The incredible media talent crossing into the comic book world has had an enormous impact. On hand to discuss their paths are Cecil Castellucci (The Plain Janes), Paul Dini (Countdown, Detective Comics), Christos N. Gage (Stormwatch PHD), Greg Rucka (52, Checkmate), Steve Niles (Batman: County Line), Mark Verheiden (Superman/Batman), and Gregory Noveck, DC’s Senior VP of Creative Affairs! Room 5AB

Friday, July 27

11:00-12:00 She/He Who Understands History Gets to Rewrite It— Authors discuss how an appreciation of world history and modern events as well as mythology influences and colors their worlds of fantasy, science fiction, and alternate realities. Panelists Jacqueline Carey (Kushiel's Legacy series), David Anthony Durham (Acacia: Book One: The War with the Mein ), David Keck (In the Eye of Heaven), Harry Turtledove ( Settling Accounts: In at the Death), Peter David (Darkness of the Light), R.A. Salvatore (The Ancient), and Mel Odom (Quest for the Trilogy) adapt and build on world events for their own purposes. Maryelizabeth Hart of Mysterious Galaxy moderates. Room 8

2:30-4:00 Dimension Films: Halloween and The Mist— Join acclaimed musician and filmmaker Rob Zombie (The Devil's Rejects, House of 1000 Corpses) and several cast members in a special preview of Zombie’s entirely new take on the highly successful and terrifying Halloween legacy that began in 1978. While revealing a new chapter in the established Michael Myers saga, the film will surprise both classic and modern horror fans with a departure from prior films in the Halloween franchise. Brace yourself for unprecedented fear as Zombie turns back time to uncover the making of a pathologically disturbed, even cursed child named Michael Myers. Halloween comes early this year—opening everywhere on August 31, 2007.

4:00-5:00 Lessons from Masters in Visual Storytelling - Marshall Vandruff will show how such masters of comic art as Winsor McCay (Little Nemo in Slumberland) and Harvey Kurtzman (MAD) brought images and story structure together that form a foundation for all visual storytelling, including children's books, animation, and film. This session is part of the Crash-Course in Sequential Art being offered next weekend at The Art Institute of California, San Diego. Room 30CDE

(I highly recommend Marshall's seminar. If you're a visual artist of any kind seeking to perfect your skills, Marshall Vandruff is the man for you! Ask Bernie Wrightson if I lie!)

Saturday, July 28

10:30-11:30 Meet the Press: Writing About Comics— From blogs to books to magazines, the public conversation about comics is livelier—and faster—than it's ever been. Heidi MacDonald (Publishers Weekly), Nisha Gopalan (Entertainment Weekly), Tom Spurgeon (The Comics Reporter), Tom McLean (Variety), Graeme McMillan (The Savage Critics), and moderator Douglas Wolk (Reading Comics) discuss the state of the art of comics criticism. Room 3

12:00-1:00 Minx: Evocative and Fearless— Learn more about DC’s newest imprint Minx, with Cecil Castellucci and Jim Rugg, the creators of the very first Minx book, The Plain Janes! They are joined by Mike Carey (Re-Gifters, Confessions of a Blabbermouth), Sonny Liew (Re-Gifters), Aaron Alexovich (Confessions of a Blabbermouth, Kimmie66), Minx group editor Shelly Bond, and some surprise new faces! Room 8 2:30-4:00 Remembering Caniff and Canyon: 100/60— Panelists Harry Guyton (Milton Caniff Estate), R. C. Harvey (Meanwhile...A Biography of Milton Caniff), Denis Kitchen (Steve Canyon Magazine), Russ Maheras (Steve Canyon 50th Anniversary comic strip), Diana Doalson (Milton Caniff's grandniece), and John Ellis (Steve Canyon DVD producer) will offer a rollicking remembrance of all things Caniff! Includes the first public screening of the restored 1959 NBC Steve Canyon episode “Operation Intercept”

4:00-5:00 Two Rays: Bradbury and Harryhausen— Two of the living legends of science fiction and fantasy reunite in this Comic- Con exclusive event! Author Ray Bradbury and filmmaker Ray Harryhausen share a life-long friendship and passionate interest in all things fantastic. Joining them are Bradbury biographer Sam Weller and Harryhausen producer Arnold Kunert. Room 6CDEF

Sunday, July 29

10:30-11:45 Jack Kirby Tribute— Let’s face it: when it comes to comics, it’s Kirby’s World and we just live in it. 2007 has seen a bumper crop of Kirby projects, including the first volume of DC’s deluxe chronological reprinting of all the Fourth World stories, a major documentary about Jack on the Fantastic Four DVD, and Mark Evanier’s upcoming art book Kirby, King of Comics. Join Evanier as he talks to Neil Gaiman, Erik Larsen, Darwyn Cooke, Mike Royer, and members of the Kirby family about the lasting influence of the undisputed King of comics. Room 1AB


11:30-1:00 Comics Are Not Literature— For years, comics have presented themselves as a new kind of literature—but cartooning isn't prose, and graphic novels aren't novels. What if conflating comics with "literary" storytelling is a terrible mistake? Douglas Wolk (Reading Comics) moderates what should be a contentious discussion with Cecil Castellucci (The PLAIN Janes), Dan Nadel (PictureBox Inc.), Austin Grossman (Soon I Will Be Invincible), Paul Tobin (Spider-Man Family), and Sara Ryan (The Rules for Hearts). Room 8

2:30-4:00 Starship Smackdown Ultimate Episode 4: The Final Showdown— A Comic-Con favorite returns with ships, aliens, computers, and robots, oh my! The original Starship Smackdown is back in San Diego and it's never been smackier (or snarkier). Watch as the Enterprise battles Gort, Robby the Robot goes mano e mano with Hal 9000, and Death Star does the Klingon Empire. It's the ultimate conflagration for the supreme winner of Starship Smackdown. This time it's war, with an expert panel of spaceship-ologists, including Robert Meyer Burnett (director, Free Enterprise), Chris Gossett (creator, The Red Star), Steve Melching (writer, Star Wars: Clone Wars, X-Men Animated, The Batman), Daren Dochterman (Hollywood conceptual designer on Get Smart, X2, Master & Commander), Jeff Bond (editor, Geek Monthly), and the Richard Dawson of the stars, moderator Mark A. Altman (producer, DOA: Dead Or Alive). It's Starship Smackdown, Robot Rumble, Alien Armageddon, and Computer Crashdown all in one 90-minute panel! Our prediction for the fight: pain! Room 2



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Comic Con is on TV!

I have it here - broadcast live on a cable channel way up the dial called G4. It's got cool comic-savvy hosts and comic-world celebrity guest interviews and shit. Kind of like Live Aid, only with comics. And guys walking around in Galactic Stormtrooper outfits.

- By Anonymous Anonymous, at Sat Jul 28, 06:51:00 PM BST  

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