Tuesday, July 18, 2006

Six Impossible Things Before Breakfast

Walking through the Friday schedule of this year's Comic-Con. (I know some folks are sick of this stuff, but this is only my second trip to San Diego's big show, and my first since 1998. I'm getting excited, yo.)
11:00-12:30 Warner Bros. Pictures Presents— In person, stars Hilary Swank and Anna Sophia Robb, director Stephen Hopkins, and producer Joel Silver of The Reaping, a supernatural thriller in which Hilary plays a world-renowned expert in disproving religious phenomena. But when she investigates a small Louisiana town that is suffering from what appear to be the Biblical plagues, she realizes that science cannot explain what is happening. Plus: Bryan Singer Returns! Please welcome long-time friend of Comic-Con, director Bryan Singer, to answer your questions about Superman Returns and give you an idea of what's next. Plus: more news and special promo items will be given to all who attend. Hall H
Not really my thing, but the bff is more interested in the Hollywood/media panels than anything else, so we'll put this down as a maybe.

Here are two conflicts:
12:00-1:00 Scott McCloud's Making Comics— Scott McCloud (Zot!, Understanding Comics) unveils his new book, Making Comics, in this fast-paced visual presentation. Scott and his whole family will be on hand to discuss one of the most ambitious promotional tours in comics history, the year-long Making Comics 50 State Tour beginning in September! Room 8
I'd be more interested if Scott's new book were already published, but that's just because I'm dying to get my hands on it.
12:00-1:00 Snoop Dogg’s Hood of Horror— It's ghouls gone wild as EC Comics gets the urban treatment in this hip hop horror anthology hosted by the Hound of Hell, Snoop Dogg. Join Snoop for an exclusive sneak peek and Q&A along with co-writer/producer Tim Sullivan (2001 Maniacs, Driftwood), producer Martin Shore, and cast members Billy Dee Williams (Star Wars), Ernie Hudson (Ghostbusters), Danny Trejo (Devil's Rejects), Daniella Alonso (One Tree Hill, Wrong Turn 2) and Brande Roderick (Baywatch, Starsky & Hutch). Room 20
Looks like a trainwreck of a film, but could make for a good panel if they start telling stories.
12:30-2:00 Spotlight on George R. R. Martin— With a career that covers fantasy writing (his popular "A Song of Fire and Ice" series of books), television (Twilight Zone and the beloved Beauty and the Beast), and comics, George R. R. Martin has pleased fans for many years. He and his works are featured in this special spotlight presentation. Room 6B
I've read all of the books in "A Song of Fire and Ice" a number of times, and even ordered the latest one from Amazon UK because it was published a month before the US version. But I'm slightly more interested in...
12:30-1:30 Hey, Kids! Blogs About Comics!— It seems like everybody has a blog these days, but here's a group of dedicated bloggers devoted to writing about comics and news about the comics industry. Moderator Heidi MacDonald (pwbeat.publishersweekly.com/blog/) talks to Tom Spurgeon (comicsreporter.com), Ron Hogan (mediabistro.com/galleycat), Graeme McMillan (blog.newsarama.com), Chris Butcher (comics.212.net/) and Tom McLean (weblogs.variety.com/bags_and_boards/) about the daily business of blogging, breaking news, and the comics world. Room 24A
I read all of these guys every day, and obviously I keep a blog of my own. Can't wait.
2:00-3:00 DC: JLA/JSA: Justice for All— Join an important panel featuring the two teams that define heroism in the DC universe. Writer Brad Meltzer (Identity Crisis, upcoming Justice League of America), writer Geoff Johns (52, Teen Titans, upcoming Justice Society of America), and artist Mike Turner (Supergirl, Identity Crisis) will be joined by senior VP/executive editor DCU Dan DiDio, senior editor Peter Tomasi, and group editor Eddie Berganza to bring you the details of two amazing teams’ past, present, and future. Room 6A
I confess: I love the DC promo panels. I don't know that I'll go to all of them though.
2:30-3:30 Paramount Pictures— Paramount Pictures is proud to present an early look at footage from the upcoming fantasy adventure film Stardust from director Matthew Vaughn (Layer Cake) and producer Lorenzo di Bonaventura (Constantine, Four Brothers and the upcoming Transformers). After captivating audiences in both novel and graphic novel formats, Neil Gaiman's Stardust makes its big-screen adaptation debut next March starring Claire Danes, Robert DeNiro, Michelle Pfeiffer, Sienna Miller, Ricky Gervais, Peter O'Toole, Rupert Everett, and Charlie Cox. Neil Gaiman (The Eternals and co-writer with Roger Avery of the screenplay for the upcoming Beowulf), illustrator Charles Vess, co-screenwriter (with director Vaughn) Jane Goldman, and producer Lorenzo di Bonaventura will discuss the film, which is currently in production. (Credits not contractual.) Hall H
I'm a big Gaiman fanboy from way back, but I have very little interest in Stardust, unfortunately.
3:00-4:00 The Black Panel— Featuring Reggie Hudlin (president, BET), RZA (Wu Tang Clan), Jeffery Wright (CEO, Urban Ministries), Denys Cowan (senior VP, BET Animation), Mike Davis and Mark Davis (Blokhedz), and Axel Alonso (editor, Marvel Comics). This is the definitive panel for what’s up in black content, and black content is hip content. Moderated by Michael Davis. Room 6A
"The Black Panel" -- note the definite article -- has perhaps the goofiest title of SDCC. Still: OMG, the RZA will be there! I'm a fan of Denys Cowan's artwork, and I think I still have every issue of his "Hardware" comic (currently rumored to be announced as an upcoming BET Animation project). Definitely something to consider. After all, black content is hip content!
3:00-4:00 Fox: Bones— David Boreanaz is one of television's biggest stars. Boreanaz and Bones creator/executive producer Hart Hanson will dish up all the fun behind-the-scenes stories on the show and answer your questions! Lisa Chambers, TV Guide, will moderate the panel Room 20
He's a hottie, but I don't care about the show.
3:30-4:30 WildStorm: Crossroads— The West Coast is about to unleash a Worldstorm! Find out what’s on the horizon from WildStorm Productions in this slide-show presentation. Panelists will include Scott Dunbier, executive editor, WildStorm; Bob Wayne, VP, sales, DC Comics; Ben Abernathy, editor, WildStorm; Jim Lee, editorial director, WildStorm and in-demand artist (WildCats, All Star Batman and Robin); writer Grant Morrison (52, Batman, All Star Superman); writer Gail Simone, (Gen13, Secret Six); artist Talent Caldwell (Gen13); and artist Darick Robertson (The Boys). Also joining the panel will be Danny Bilson (The Flash: Fastest Man Alive) and Paul DeMeo (The Flash: Fastest Man Alive), and special guest star, The OC’s Adam Brody! Room 5AB
The upcoming Wildstorm push, with talent like Morrison, Jim Lee, Simone, Gene Ha and others is intriguing, but the comics themselves are so borrring. Still, my students would KILL ME if I let drop that I saw Adam Brody. Wonder if I could get a photo with him?
3:30-4:00 Universal: Children of Men— Academy Award–nominated writer/director Alfonso Cuarón (Y tu mamá también, Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban) will present scenes from his upcoming futuristic thriller Children of Men, starring Clive Owen, Julianne Moore and Michael Caine. The new trailer from Children of Men and never-before-seen clips from the film will be shown, along with a discussion of the filmmakers's work. Hall H
Very intrigued.
4:00-5:00 D.O.A.: Dead or Alive— Jaime Pressly (My Name Is Earl), Holly Valance (Prison Break and international music sensation), Sarah Carter (new CBS show, Shark), and Natassia Malthe (Elektra) star in this new movie from Dimension Films, based on the hit video game series, D.O.A. Join the stars and some special guests for the premiere of exclusive footage from the new movie and a Q&A with the sizzling hot cast. Room 6CDEF
I love Jaime Pressly on My Name is Earl, and I'd love a photo with her, but I don't really care about her upcoming videogame movie.
4:00-5:30 Bruce Timm Retrospective/Legion of Super Heroes— Warner Bros. Animation president Sander Schwartz introduces a retrospective on the creativity of animation legend Bruce Timm (Batman Beyond, Superman: The Animated Series). Bruce will talk about his 20-year career, screen selected scenes from his body of work, and take part in a Q&A. Immediately following the Timm retrospective, Warner Bros. Animation presents a sneak peek at Legion of Super Heroes, a new Superman-themed half-hour adventure series inspired by the DC Comics series and set to air Saturdays this fall at 11:00 AM ET/PT in the Kids' WB! programming block on the new CW. Producers Linda M. Steiner (Teen Titans) and James Tucker (Justice League Unlimited), story editor Rob Hoegee (Teen Titans), and others from the show's creative team will join several of the Legion cast members, including Yuri Lowenthal (voice of Superman), Andy Milder (Lightning Lad), Shawn Harrison (Timber Wolf), and Michael Cornaccia (Bouncing Boy) for a Q&A session and debut of scenes from the upcoming show. Room 20
Now THIS is what San Diego is all about. I've read Legion since I was a tater tot, and I've dreamed about a WB! Legion series forever.
5:45-7:00 New Line Cinema Presents Snakes on a Plane— Sit back. Relax. Enjoy the fright. New Line Cinema will show exclusive footage from Snakes on a Plane. Samuel L. Jackson makes his first San Diego Comic-Con appearance, along with director David R. Ellis, to discuss his new film! And, watch out—snake wrangler Jules Sylvester will also be on hand with live snakes from the movie. Also included in the presentation will be a special preview of New Line Cinema's upcoming The Texas Chainsaw Massacre: The Beginning, while Final Destination 3 director James Wong and star Ryan Merriman demonstrate the unique "Change-Their-Fate" interactive feature on the upcoming DVD, available from New Line Home Entertainment on July 25. Hall H
The one thing that the BFF and I want to see. Unfortunately, it's also the one thing that every single other geek in San Diego wants to see. And I know it's stupid, but I HATE that they're going to make us sit through the Texas Chainsaw and Final Destination crap first. I'm expecting an hour of New Line Promo before the Snakes on a Panel finally kicks in. Grrr.

Meanwhile, in alternative programming...
6:00-7:00 DC: 52: A Year in the Life of the DCU— The DC Universe skipped a year and left everyone wondering what happened in those missing 52 weeks. This can’t-miss panel looks at the ramifications of the Crisis, the absence of the world’s greatest heroes, and those left to pick up the pieces in an event that is unprecedented in comics history! Hosted by senior VP/executive editor DCU Dan DiDio and editor Steve Wacker, with Geoff Johns (52, Teen Titans), Greg Rucka (52, Checkmate), Mark Waid (52, Supergirl and the Legion of Super-heroes), Grant Morrison (52, Batman), J. G. Jones (52), and more. Room 6B

6:00-7:00 The Jim Henson Company: Power of the Dark Crystal and Sneak Peeks— Lisa Henson (Power of the Dark Crystal), and Michael Polis (MirrorMask) from The Jim Henson Company will discuss current and upcoming productions. Panelists include Brian Froud (Labyrinth), Genndy Tartakofsky (Star Wars: The Clone Wars), and Scott Stewart (Superman Returns) will be on hand to talk about the much-anticipated sequel feature Power of the Dark Crystal. Other topics include the new puppet television shows for grown-ups as well as new DVD releases, manga books, and exciting new products from Jim Henson Designs. Room 6CDEF
Two great line-ups on two completely different panels. How to choose?

Finally, we're discussing attending the Big Gay Cocktail Hour Immediately Preceding The Big Gay Dinner (which Christopher Butcher blogged):
6:30-11:00 Attack of The Big Gay Dinner (Year 4!) Offsite It's the biggest, gayest dinner around. Join gay comic creators and their friends for an evening of cocktails, dining and discourse at San Diego ComiCon's most fabulous get-together. Cocktail hour starts at 6:30, dinner starts at 8:30. Please, RSVP if you're going to attend...
If you're counting, that's 16 events. No way to do it all, but it helps me if I narrow it down to a manageable list.