It just keeps coming! Friday is always a busy day for programming at Comic-Con International in San Diego (hint: they’re all busy days), with the Eisner Awards at night, and a bunch of stuff during the day. The schedule for July 23 is right here in full — including all of the juicy, announcement-laden comic book panels we’ll be covering live — and some highlights of especially unique and/or noteworthy panels follow. Two weeks away!
10:30-11:30 Neal Adams and Stan Lee: They Spoke Out—Against the Holocaust— Neal Adams (Batman, Green Lantern/Green Arrow) and Holocaust historian Dr. Rafael Medoff unveil the new series of educational “motion comics” they are creating with ABC News about Americans who spoke out for the rescue of Jews from the Holocaust. They will be joined on the panel by Stan Lee (co-creator of Spider-Man, X-Men) and will screen an episode from the upcoming series, illustrated by Neal Adams and narrated by Stan Lee. Room 9
Sometimes Comic-Con panels get pretty serious — I remember covering a panel about a graphic adaptation of the 9/11 report a few years ago. This certainly sounds like the type of project that showcases the power and flexibility of the medium, and the involvement of two industry legends certainly doesn’t hurt.
11:00-11:45 Dimension Films: Piranha 3D— Dimension Films presents never-before-seen footage of Piranha 3D, which hits theatres August 20. Director/producer Alex Aja (The Hills Have Eyes), producer Mark Canton (300), producer Gregory Levasseur, and executive producer Alix Taylor are joined by cast members Elisabeth Shue, Jerry O’Connell, Jessica Szohr (Gossip Girl), Steven R. McQueen (Vampire Diaries), Kelly Brook, and Adam Scott for a sneak peek at Piranha 3D and a Q&A! Hall H
Highlighted for one major reason: the presence of Adam Scott, new cast member of Parks and Recreation, and star of the hilarious, sadly-now-canceled Party Down. He’s sort of dreamy a great actor!
1:00-2:00 ComicsPRO Update and Cookie Break!— Hey, comic retailers, creators, and publishers! Find out all the latest news about your trade and advocacy group from board members Joe Field, Carr D’Angelo, and Amanda Emmert. They’ll fill you in on what plans are in store for ComicsPRO members, what benefits you can reap by becoming a Member or an Industry Partner, and what a difference everyone can make when they pitch in to improve the state of comics retail. All that and cookies, too! Room 13
Depending on how you look at it, promising cookies is either a nice little treat, or a form of bribery to get people to come to their panel. Who cares? Either way, you get cookies.
2:00-3:00 Yo Gabba Gabba! – Panel, Q&A, and Prize Giveaway— For the first time ever, Christian Jacobs and Scott Schultz, co-creators of Yo Gabba Gabba!, will appear at Comic Con to discuss the pop culture phenomenon, which began as a breakout hit series on Nickelodeon produced by The Magic Store and W!LDBRAIN Entertainment, and has since become a hit on stage and screen with preschoolers, their indie-rock-loving parents, teens and young adults. Get the behind-the-scenes scoop on the recently announced 60-city North American tour, Yo Gabba Gabba! Live!: There’s a Party in My City. Enter for a chance to win Yo Gabba Gabba! prizes. Get a first look at scenes from upcoming episodes, and be the first to hear about the highly anticipated Yo Gabba Gabba! comic book from Oni Press. Michael Polis, executive producer of Yo Gabba Gabba! and CEO of W!LDBRAIN Entertainment, moderates the panel, which includes Lance Robertson (DJ Lance Rock), Kevin Sukho Lee (animation producer, songwriter), J. Torres, (comic book writer/co-editor), and Matthew Lou (comic book artist). The panel will be followed by a Q&A session. Room 8
There’s always a lot of big-name celebrities at Comic-Con, but are any cooler than DJ Lance Rock?
2:00-3:00 Marvel Vs. Capcom 3: Fate of Two Worlds— The wait is over! After a decade of demand, Capcom delivers with Marvel Vs. Capcom 3: Fate of Two Worlds! Learn all you need to know about the characters, levels, storyline, fight moves, and combos from producer Ryota Niitsuma and special advisor Seth Killian of Capcom, along with TQ Jefferson, director of games at Marvel Entertainment, and Frank Tieri, storywriter for Marvel Comics. Then show off your fighting game skills as audience members are chosen for some spontaneous challenge matches to win exclusive MVC3 prizes, followed by a Q&A session. Room 24ABC
There’s always a lot of questions about when/if the next Marvel vs. Capcom game will be out at Marvel Comics panels, and the answer is always “we have no idea, that’s not our department.” So here you go: the game is coming out, and here’s a chance to ask about it in an actually appropriate venue, so get those questions out of your system.
4:00-6:00 Sony Pictures Entertainment: The Other Guys and The Green Hornet— Two more sneak peeks at upcoming films from Sony Pictures Entertainment!
The Other Guys–NYPD Detectives Christopher Danson and P.K. Highsmith (Dwayne Johnson and Samuel L. Jackson) are the baddest and most beloved cops in New York City. Two desks over and one back, sit Detectives Allen Gamble (Will Ferrell) and Terry Hoitz (Mark Wahlberg). You’ve seen them in the background of photos of Danson and Highsmith, out of focus and eyes closed. They’re not heroes — they’re “the Other Guys.” But every cop has his day and soon Gamble and Hoitz stumble into a seemingly innocuous case no other detective wants to touch that could turn into New York City’s biggest crime. It’s the opportunity of their lives, but do these guys have the right stuff? Will Ferrell, Mark Wahlberg, Eva Mendes, and co-writer/director Adam McKay will be appearing in person.
The Green Hornet–Director Michel Gondry, who makes movies with a special, personal signature, is taking on The Green Hornet—and he’s doing it in 3D. Comic-Con audiences, prepare yourselves. In The Green Hornet, Britt Reid (Seth Rogen) is the son of L.A.’s most prominent and respected media magnate and perfectly happy to maintain a directionless existence on the party scene—until his father (Tom Wilkinson) mysteriously dies, leaving Britt his vast media empire. Striking an unlikely friendship with one of his father’s more industrious and inventive employees, Kato (Jay Chou), they see their chance to do something meaningful for the first time in their lives: fight crime. To get close to the criminals, they come up with the perfect cover: they’ll pose as criminals themselves. Protecting the law by breaking it, Britt becomes the vigilante The Green Hornet as he and Kato hit the streets. Confirmed to appear in person to unveil this early look at The Green Hornet in 3D are the Hornet himself, Seth Rogen, director Michel Gondry, writer Evan Goldberg, producer Neal Moritz, and actor Christoph Waltz.
Well, that’s a lot of famous people.
5:15-6:15 True Blood Panel and Q&A session— Mixing romance, suspense, mystery, and humor, True Blood kicked off its 12-episode third season June 13 on HBO. The series, which has earned two Golden Globe nominations for Best Television Series—Drama, follows the romance between waitress Sookie Stackhouse (Anna Paquin, Golden Globe winner for True Blood season one; Oscar-winner for The Piano), who can hear people’s thoughts, and her soulmate, 173-year-old vampire Bill Compton (Stephen Moyer). Alan Ball (creator of the Emmy-winning HBO series Six Feet Under) created and serves as executive producer of the series, which is based on the best-selling Sookie Stackhouse novels by Charlaine Harris. The series also features Nelsan Ellis as Lafayette Reynolds, Sam Trammell as Sam Merlotte, Rutina Wesley as Tara Thornton, Deborah Ann Woll as Jessica Hamby, Kristin Bauer van Straten as Pam, Denis O’Hare as Russell Edgington, the Vampire King of Mississippi, and Joe Manganiello as Alcide Herveaux. (Note: names in bold will be appearing on the panel.) Moderated by Tim Stack of Entertainment Weekly. Ballroom 20
True Blood is big enough with the Comic-Con crowd that it probably could have been in Hall H, the largest room. This panel will do nothing to quell all the people who keep telling me I need to start watching this show.
6:00-7:00 Archer— Creator and executive producer Adam Reed (Sealab 2021, Frisky Dingo) screens selected scenes from the FX animated series Archer, which recently won a NowNewNext Award for “Best Television Show You’re Not Watching” from cable’s Logo network. He will take questions from the audience along with Aisha Tyler, who provides the voice of Agent Lana Kane, the strong, voluptuous, and often exasperated secret agent. Adam and Aisha will discuss the evolution of the series as well as the voice-over process. Room 7AB
Funny show, but where’s newly minted Emmy nominee H. Jon Benjamin?
7:00-8:00 RiffTrax Live— Michael J. Nelson, Kevin Murphy, and Bill Corbett (RiffTrax.com, Mystery Science Theater 3000) return to Comic-Con to perform another live, hilarious riff to a classic short! The panel is moderated by Veronica Belmont (host of Tekzilla on Revision3 and Qore on the PlayStation Network). Join the riffers for fun, laughs, and the latest news from RiffTrax.com, the site where MST3K-style humor meets mainstream movies, TV shows, and vintage shorts. Room 6DE
Sure to be hilarious — if you can get in.
7:30-8:30 Discovery Channel’s Reign of the Dinosaurs— Immerse yourself in next spring’s TV blockbuster, as an all-star crew reveal the secrets behind Discovery Channel’s genre-busting journey back to the Prehistoric. Confirmed panelists include Iain McCaig (Star Wars), David Krentz (Disney’s Dinosaur), and Ricardo Delgado (Dark Horse Comics’ Age of Reptiles), all of whom will be pitching their stories live! Hosted by producer Erik Nelson (Grizzly Man), the panel goes deep behind the scenes for an in-depth look at how this landmark production is creating stories, characters, and digital models for the new standard in realistic dinosaur storytelling. A once-in-a-decade opportunity to be present at the creation of an epic miniseries. Room 6BCF
Intriguing for sure, though slightly disappointing that no actual dinosaurs will be on the panel.
7:30-8:30 Grant Morrison: Talking with Gods— Get a first look at the upcoming feature-length documentary chronicling the life and work of one of comics’ greatest writers, Grant Morrison. Featuring extensive interviews with Morrison himself as well as key collaborators, the film takes you inside Morrison’s creative process and explores how his life and work have become inextricably intertwined. Moderated by FJ De Santo (producer, The Spirit), the panel features Patrick Meaney (director), Jordan Rennert (DP/producer), and a special guest! Room 9
Morrison will also be present at a couple daytime panels on Friday, a “DC Focus” spotlight at 12:30 p.m. to 1:30 p.m. and “Batman: The Return” at 1:45 p.m. to 2:45 p.m.
8:00-10:00 World Premiere: Batman: Under the Red Hood— Warner Home Video, Warner Premiere, DC Entertainment, and Warner Bros. Animation proudly present the World Premiere of Batman: Under the Red Hood, the eighth entry in the ongoing series of DC Universe Animated Original PG-13 movies. In the film, Batman faces his ultimate challenge as the mysterious Red Hood takes Gotham City by firestorm. One part vigilante, one part criminal kingpin, Red Hood begins cleaning up Gotham with the efficiency of Batman, but without following the same ethical code. Killing is an option. And when The Joker falls in the balance between the two, hard truths are revealed and old wounds are reopened. The stellar voice cast is led by Bruce Greenwood (Star Trek), Jensen Ackles (Supernatural), Neil Patrick Harris (How I Met Your Mother), John DiMaggio (Futurama), Jason Issacs (the Harry Potter films), and Vincent Martella (Phineas & Ferb). Executive producer Bruce Timm (DCU films), director Brandon Vietti (Superman: Doomsday), award-winning comics writer Judd Winick, casting/dialogue director Andrea Romano (DCU films) and members of the voice cast will be around for a postscreening panel that will reveal details behind the making of the film, a glimpse of the 2011 DC Universe Animated Original Movies slate, and a first look at the next DCU film, Superman/Batman: Apocalypse. Warner Home Video will distribute Batman: Under the Red Hood on Blu-Ray and DVD, OnDemand and For Download on July 27, 2010. Note: a second encore screening will take place in the same room beginning at 10:15. Ballroom 20
They’re doing a couple of showings of this during the con, which is a good thing, because the lines for these DC animation screenings are always bananas.
11:00-12:30 Syfy Original Movies and Chiller: Mega Piranha— Feast your eyes on a late-night screening of this terrifyingly fun Syfy thriller, with a special live introduction from Mega Piranha star and ’80s pop music icon Tiffany. Plus, stick around for bonus looks at scary good entertainment from Chiller. Room 6A
Are you going to say you have something better to do at 11 p.m. on Friday night than hang out with Tiffany? Didn’t think so.