It’s Saturday. Yeah, that’s all I’ve got. I’m saving my energy for tonight’s Saturday Night Showcase entry. On the other hand, I could have been at Comic-Con today. If I had money and could take the time off. Had that taken place, here’s what would have been looking for my attention.
10:00-11:00 Marvel: “Hero Up” with The Super Hero Squad Show!— Marvel’s first action-comedy series is a manic, mind-blowing, all-ages romp through the Marvel Universe. Coming to Cartoon Network in September, the animated show is loaded with superstar voice talent. Several of the actors will preview their characters in a live performance:…a world premiere clip and a preview of THQ’s epic Super Hero Squad video game.
I haven’t seen a good kid-targeted super hero cartoon (in other words, an actual “kiddie show”, you haters!) since Krypto the Superdog. (Well, maybe Nanoboy, but that was on either Starz or Encore, and one of their higher number channels, so who knows if anyone has seen it besides me.) So while I’m hoping that clip shows up post-Comic-Con.
10:30-12:00 Comics Arts Conference Session #9: Is the Joker a Psychopath: You Decide!— Psychology professors Robin Rosenberg (The Psychology of Superheroes) and Travis Langley (Henderson State University) discuss the technical definition of a psychopath and review the criteria for antisocial personality disorder — does the Joker fit the clinical definition? Is he more than just crazy? They are joined by Joker experts…
I’m not sure how fascinating I’d find this. I do like the “super hero science” shows, but I’m not much into psychobabble. Still, I’m posting these pretty much as I read down the list, so who knows what else would be around at that time, and I’d at least be curious.
11:00-12:00 Spirituality in Comics— Panelists discuss the influence of spiritual themes in comics and popular culture, and the importance of spirituality to readers, creators, and the stories they tell. Moderated by Scott Shuford of the Christian Comic Arts Society, with panelists including Holly Golightly (School Bites), Buzz Dixon (Serenity, Goofyfoot Gurl), Leo Partible (Behind the Screen: Insiders on Faith), and others.
As a Christian and would-be comics maker, this would probably be of utmost importance to me. Not that I plan on making many “Christian” comics, since I’m more an all-inclusive type of writer, but I do have a few ideas in that vein outside my “main universe” concepts.
11:00-1:00 How-To Session: Adam Hughes— Adam Hughes is most commonly known for his stylized renderings of women: superheroines, damsels in distress, and figures in fantasy. Adam is considered by many to be one of a new generation of Good Girl artists inspired by Petty, Vargas, and Elvgren. He has worked on many DC titles, most notably Justice League and Wonder Woman, and has just finished a long run as the monthly cover artist on Catwoman.
Thus far I’ve only been working on my male figures, but since I do have female characters in my concepts, this could be beneficial.
11:15-12:30 Quick Draw!— We say it each and every year, but it’s true: Quick Draw is the most fun panel you can visit at Comic-Con. Mark Evanier puts Sergio Aragonés, Scott Shaw!, and this year’s guest artist, Disney Legend Floyd Norman, through their paces as they draw on the big screen. If you haven’t seen this amazing display of cartooning magic, this is the year for you: join the fun!
Forget my aspirations. This would be fun to see just on a fan level.
11:30-12:30 The Stories of DC Universe Online featuring Jim Lee and Marv Wolfman— Jim Lee (Batman: Hush) and Marv Wolfman (The New Teen Titans) have joined forces to help create DC Universe Online. Jim, Marv, and key members of the development team from Sony Online Entertainment talk about how storylines are being built into this upcoming online action game at every level.
Honestly, although I consider myself a DC fanboy (or would be if the current stories were something I could be a fan of), I’m actually more interested in Champions Online because it’s a universe from scratch. However, I don’t really have time to play an MMO. On the other hand, I am curious to see how they plan to pull this off. I know very little about how storylines work in an MMORPG.
There are two Marvel panels around this point, one about the current “Dark Reign” arc, and one about the Ultimate Alliance game sequel that’s supposed to take place during “Civil War”, the politically motivated first case of Eventitis from the Marvel Bullpen. Pass on both counts.
11:45-12:45 Ben 10— It’s all about Ben 10 at this panel featuring director Alex Winter and cast members from the upcoming live-action movie Ben 10: Alien Swarm coming this fall to Cartoon Network. Also appearing are Ben 10 Alien Force producer Glenn Murakami, story editor Dwayne McDuffie, and Yuri Lowenthal (voice of Ben). Make sure not to miss an exclusive look at what’s coming next with a sneak peek at Generator Rex and the first images from the upcoming series, Sym-Bionic Titan, by creator Genndy Tartakovsky.
So much to love at this panel.
12:00-1:00 Comic Strip Syndication Is Dead: Long Live Syndication!— This Q&A session with Stephan Pastis (Pearls Before Swine), Richard Thompson (Cul De Sac) and Keith Knight (The K Chronicles) looks at the pros and cons of comic strip syndication and the challenges and options for aspiring comic strip creators in this era of declining newspaper readership.
Moderate curiosity here. I have a rather short lunch break, and I usually just read the comics and whatever editorials I have time to read before I have to get back to the life of a wage slave. Plus, The Phantom and Peanuts are two of my favorite comics in any format.
12:00-1:00 Comics Arts Conference Session #10: Becoming Batman and Batman Becoming— E. Paul Zehr (University of Victoria) in Becoming Batman—Is There Science Behind the Superhero? answers the question of whether it is scientifically possible to train to become Batman—it is, but for how long? Gearoid O’Brien (National University of Ireland Galway) contends that Grant Morrison’s Batman: RIP is indicative of the way contemporary culture rejects conventional modes of resolution and ushers mainstream comic books headfirst into an age of uncertainty and cultural nihility.
Ummm, yeah, WHAT? The only thing I’ve seen fans reject is the part about Batman’s actual “death” happening in a completely different comic (the misnamed “Final“ Crisis main comic) and the fact that we all know he ain’t staying dead, or trapped in the past or part of the Omega Sanction or the Lost island or wherever the slag he is. Still: Batman science.
1:00-2:00 SteamPunk Meet-Up!— Do you hunger for a past that never was? If your gears are turned by the speculative future of Jules Verne and H. G. Wells, Neo-Victorian, steam, and clockwork then you’ll want to check out this meetup. The group will be discussing the Steampunk aesthetic, meet others, share projects and ideas, and discuss this exciting and beautiful culture!
I admit to enjoying this as a reader/viewer, but some people actually live a “steampunk” life. If you want to call making things look like they were designed Victorian style but are still powered by the usual Ni-Cad batteries and filled with the same circuitry as everything else on the inside. I understand this about as well as I understand being a Jedi or learning Klingon…no, the Klingon part can be a bit fun but I’d rather learn Italian or Japanese. Maybe Spanish.
2:00-3:00 Webcomics Bootcamp— Four of the web’s top comics artists—Scott Kurtz (PvP), Brad Guigar (Evil Inc), Kris Straub (Starslip), and Dave Kellett (Sheldon)—teach you how to use the web to publish, market, and monetize your comics. Much like their popular podcast, this session promises to be equal parts information and raucous fun.
If I have to say why, you haven’t been reading my comments in these postings.
2:15-3:15 Warehouse 13— This summer, the unknown has an address in the new Syfy Original Series, Warehouse 13. Stars Eddie McClintock (Pete Lattimer), Joanne Kelly (Myka Bering), Saul Rubinek (Artie Nielsen), Allison Scagliotti (Claudia Donovan), Jack Kenny (executive producer/showrunner) and David Simkins (executive producer) reveal confidential information.
I’ve only seen a couple episodes, and I really like this show.
2:30-3:30 Spotlight on June Foray— She’s the first lady of cartoon voices! Comic-Con special guest June Foray, known for her memorable work with a certain moose and squirrel (Bullwinkle and Rocky, the Flying Squirrel, that is), returns to Comic-Con for the 40th show. Mark Evanier and Earl Kress interview June about her career as a voice actress, author, and Hollywood legend.
The lady’s responsible for major parts of my early childhood. Have to show some love here.
2:45-3:45 V Pilot Screening and Q&A— Already one of the most talked-about new series of the upcoming television season, catch a special screening of the pilot episode of V, a re-imagining of the groundbreaking miniseries, followed by a Q&A with stars…
Based on previous experience, someone is going to have to convince me another re-imagining is a good idea. I’m expecting a Prime-Time friendly but still gorier/scarier version. V shouldn’t be Aliens, in my opinion.
There’s like two or three Lost panels in one day. Why? Weren’t there enough the past two days?
4:00-5:00 Spotlight on Leonard Starr— Batton Lash and Joe Jusko (and perhaps a mystery guest or two) interview Comic-Con special guest Leonard Starr (Mary Perkins On Stage, Annie, Kelly Green, Thundercats, and Golden/Silver Age comics artist) about his career spanning over 50 years in comic books, comic strips, and television. This Starr-filled panel promises to be both insightful and engaging.
I was going to post the opening theme which many of us know and love already anyway, but I didn’t remember this intro before. Looked cool. Also, Batton Lash from Bongo, responsible for Radioactive Man. Yay!
4:00-5:00 We Control The Vertical: Writing and Producing For Television— Some of TV’s most talented writers and show runners discuss the writing and production of your favorite television shows, past and present, and share amusing anecdotes from the television trenches.
Partly to diversify, and partly because the guest list includes writers for some of my favorite shows. And NCIS, which I could like if I had a stronger stomach. The autopsy scenes alone disturb me.
4:00-5:00 Paramount Pictures and Marvel Entertainment: Iron Man 2— Paramount Pictures and Marvel Entertainment present the sequel to the blockbuster film based on the legendary Marvel superhero Iron Man.
The movie I went to see, even though I was still recovering from the hospital! Please don’t disappoint me the way Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen did. (It’s not as bad as some have said, but boy did it suffer from Bay filling in during part of the Writer’s Strike.) Iron Man 1 was awesome+5.6!
4:30-5:30 Introducing the World’s First Digi-Novel: Level 26: Dark Origins— With his first major project since CSI, visionary creator and director Anthony E. Zuiker (creator, CSI), introduces the Digi-Novel, an industry redefining multiplatform media property that will revolutionize modern storytelling by allowing readers to move seamlessly from books to film to the web—an unprecedented undertaking in the publishing industry.
OK, I’m intrigued.
4:45-5:45 Spotlight on J. Michael Straczynski— Triple Eisner-nominated and Comic-Con special guest J. Michael Straczynski presents a freewheeling discussion about his work in comics (Brave and the Bold, Thor, Amazing Spider-Man), television (Babylon 5), movies (Changeling, Ninja Assassin, Forbidden Planet, Lensman and more) and anything else that comes to mind. Every year JMS’s talks are a focus of heated conversation, and that’s just between us and law enforcement when they show up midway through…
If I missed the first panel, I would work to see at least part of this one.
5:00-6:00 What Is an Animated Film?— Many people view animation as a genre. Like “westerns” and “science fiction,” animation has come to follow a few tightly defined sets of conventions—anime, funny animal, and fairy tales form the basis of most animated cartoons. But animation is much more than just that. It is a medium capable of expressing a wide range of styles and stories.
I’ve been saying that for years!
5:30-6:30 American Original: Birth of an Original— Jeff Katz (Booster Gold, Freddy vs. Jason vs. Ash), president and founder of American Original, Marc Silvestri (Dark Avengers/Uncanny X-Men: Utopia), and Matt Hawkins (president of Top Cow) give you the 411 on the genesis of their “Nerd Machine”! Find out what’s coming from American Original first, and get introduced to their mix of talent from a spectrum of comics, film, television, sports entertainment, and animation! Plus enough surprise guests to fill a three-ring circus!
I really want to see if this works. I’m still on the fence, but he seems to at least be trying on the comics end. I’m hoping for more all-ages titles besides one and maybe a super hero or two.
6:30-7:30 Bridging Cultures Through Popular Media— While movies, games, and comic books are a great source of entertainment, the transformational power of story can also be used to break down misunderstandings between cultures, races, and genders. Learn how the panelists are using popular forms of media to provide a new form of diplomatic dialogue and open up channels of communication that have yet to be fully explored.
I’m all for people getting along, and since so much media is international (like the internet, although it does change some key aspects of G.I. Joe and Superman’s “truth, justice and the American way” routine), entertainment can do some positive things. Odd that there’s no mention of music, an underrated form of storytelling and don’t we still say music is the universal language?
7:15-8:15 Myth Busters Q&A and Sneak Peeks— The series called “the best science program on television” by the New York Times returns for its second year at Comic-Con. Jamie Hyneman and Adam Savage are joined by Tory Belleci and Grant Imahara to discuss their offbeat series that uses science to determine the truth behind urban legends. Adam, Jamie, Grant and Tory will answer questions and share behind-the-scenes stories and showcase world premiere sneak peeks of upcoming myths.
LOVE this show, and Tory’s my favorite on the show. (Sorry, Adam.) But aren’t they a Mythbuster short? Where’s Kari?
There’s also a Doctor Who screening for “Planet of the Dead”, the first of the mini-series. Already saw it online because I don’t know when or even if Sci-Fi Channel Syfy is going to carry it. I don’t have BBC America, so for once I had to go the online route outside of a Christmas special (which by rights they should be airing here on Christmas!). Also, they’re screening Torchwood, the soft core porn/bloodspray loosely based in the Whoniverse. Pass.
And that’s Saturday. Now for tonight’s Showcase. Tomorrow is Kid’s Day at the Comic-Con, so it’s rather fitting that tonight’s entry is kid friendly. I’m also hoping for a Johnny DC and a Marvel Adventures panel. With the latter down to two titles and the former all but ignored, I’m not keeping my hopes up. But if there is a Johnny DC panel, push for a new Supergirl: Cosmic Adventures on my behalf, would you?