Now it’s time for the big day – the day of movies from Marvel, DC and Harry Potter. Vampires, a mad scientist, and the Nerd Herd take over Ballroom 20. Joss Whedon has gone home and left the building to Stan Lee. And of course there are always the comics, so many comics. Onward to what I think are some of the most interesting panels across the pop culture spectrum for Saturday.
Marvel Comics Writers Unite – As part of the “Year of the Writer” theme, three of the most well-known Marvel writers will discuss comics and writing for one of the big two. Features Brian Michael Bendis (Avengers, Spiderman), Chris Claremont (X-Men), and Matt Fraction (Iron Man, Thor).
Marvel: Cup O’ Joe – The annual “State of Marvel” address from Joe Quesada that will include announcements of future projects, answers to fan questions and random guests.
Spotlight on Gerard Way – The Umbrella Academy is a strange collection of comics filled with strange characters doing strange things, but in the end, it all ties up to be a fascinating take on the superhero squad. Hopefully he’ll discuss what the future is for his group of crazy superheroes.
Spotlight on Peter Bagge – The BBC recently announced turning Bagge’s Apocalypse Nerd into a six episode series, so expect talk of that as well as his other works.
IDW Publishing: Infestation 2011 – If just to find out what they’re going to be infesting us with, if for nothing else. Announcements of all their 2011 plans.
Spotlight on Brian Michael Bendis – He of the Avengers, Alias, Powers and X-Men series discusses his works and plans for the future.
Stan Lee @ BOOM! – Stan Lee announces his new series and about the partnership with BOOM!
Comics Across All Media – A group including one of the creators of Freaks & Geeks (no, not Judd Apatow) and Whitney Matheson of the USA Today Pop Candy blog will discuss comics coverage in the context of television, the graphic arts, journalism, films and novels, and other geek topics.
Archie: Stan Lee Comics Debut – More Stan Lee comic announcements! Does this guy sleep?
Scott Pilgrim Vol. 6: Scott Pilgrim’s Finest Hour vs. The Fans – Bryan Lee O’Malley faces his fans days after the release of Volume 6 and weeks before the release of the Scott Pilgrim movie.
Spotlight on J. Michael Straczynski – Superman, Wonder Woman, Forbidden Planet, and so much more to discuss in this up-close and personal discussion, including special announcements.
Fables Forum 2010 – Aww, Fables, how much chaos was your panel last year with all the squatting Venture Brothers fans? Hopefully this year with it being the last of the day, you’ll get the respect you so very much deserve.
Chuck – Jeffster! Adam Baldwin! Zach Levi and Joshua Gomez! Chuck is a show about a geek made by a bunch of geeks, who also happen to be hilarious. This was one of the most enthusiastic crowds I had the pleasure of being a part of last year, and I doubt this year will be any less exciting.
The Event – This is one of the more interesting prospects for a new fall television show. Just about the entire cast will be there to discuss conspiracy thrillers and the mythology behind the show. Get in before everyone else to find what the hype is about.
The Write Stuff: Creating Genre Television – A look into how genre television is created and why it often fails.
Fringe – The entire cast, including Lance Reddick and Blair Brown, will talk about one of the best sci-fi shows on television right now that no one seems to be watching and present new footage from the third season.
The Vampire Diaries – I’ve only ever watched five episodes, but this melodramatic vampire teen drama seems to have a legion of fans devoted to it. Perhaps footage of season two will be shared.
Nikita – Despite screening the pilot during preview night, CW will be screening it again during the panel before a q&a with the cast. Could be interesting, could be a disaster.
Green Lantern, Sucker Punch, and Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows – What a combination! Green Lantern alone would be packed, but combine it with the latest Harry Potter (and the rumor of the cast attending) and this will be an exciting panel. Personally, I’m most interesting in Zach Snyder’s trippy action fantasy Sucker Punch, but I might be in the minority.
Let Me In – The cast of the Americanized remake of the Swedish hit indie Let the Right One In will try to convince us that they aren’t ruining the original. With Hit Girl Chloe Moretz as the odd new girl who befriends an awkward young boy and the claim that elements of the book left out of the original will be included, they might have a chance to win us over.
Paul and Cowboys & Aliens – Simon Pegg’s movie about a road trip to Comic Con where he and Nick Frost pick up an alien along the way actually filmed at the con last year, and now they’ll show footage and discuss the concept. Jon Favreau will be on hand to discuss what happens when aliens attack a bunch of cowboys in New Mexico.
Thor and Captain American: The First Avenger – The panel descriptions give this one a tiny blurb that I almost missed in my first look through. Producer Kevin Feige and “special guests” show off their 2011 slate of films. Since Thor has finished principal photography, there could be footage, but don’t expect much other than a shot of Cap’s costume for the other movie.
SHIFTing Gears: Tim Kring and Zach Quinto – Despite finding Heroes increasingly more difficult to watch, I think Zach Quinto is a fascinating actor. He’s interviewing the show’s creator, Tim Kring, regarding a new series of novels he’s writing and the multiplatform elements he’s using to promote the books.
Bite Me: Evolving Urban Fantasy Beyond the Vampire Phenomenon – I would also add into the title “and Cover Art Involving Tattooed Women in Leather”, but that’s just me. A number of popular urban fantasy authors discuss how to get past the Twilight phenomenon.
Spotlight on China Mieville – Not a comic writer, but an award-winning novelist that covers very comic-like topics, including his most recent novel Kraken (guess what it’s about).
Spotlight on Ray Bradbury – A classic novelist discusses his hundreds of published works, the potential for a new movie adaptation of Fahrenheit 451, and what it was like to be at the first Comic Con.
Welcome to the Future: Are You Sure You Want to Stay? – I’m not familiar with any of the authors included in the panel, but with a name like that, I would love to sit in on their dystopian discussion.
What’s Hot @ Harper: A Special Sneak Preview of Upcoming SF, Fantasy, Urban Noir, Horror and More – Authors and HarperCollins’ executive editor will discuss upcoming releases including The Fall, the sequel to Guillermo del Toro and Chuck Hogan’s The Strain novel.
Reading with Brains: The Rise and Unrelenting Stamina of Zombie Fiction – Finally a panel full of authors discussing zombies, not vampires! The usual suspects are here – Max Brooks, Seth Grahame-Smith – along with some other authors I’m less familiar with to discuss the rise of zombie fic and if it can take down the might vampires.
Fang Girls and Fang Boys: The Popularity of Vampire Lit – I give up. Someone just tell me where the good vampire lit is and I’ll let you have the other stuff.
Disney Epic Mickey – Get the behind the scenes information regarding one of the most interesting and anticipated video games coming out, including concept art, the comic adaptation, and where the story came from.
Kevin Smith – Definitely not my cup of tea, but a lot of people find his annual panels hysterical and they do a lot of traffic post-con. Followed up by a screening of his new movie Cop Out.
CBLDF Benefit Auction – A lot of brilliant original art from some incredible artists all going towards a very good cause – supporting free speech and the First Amendment.
And the Ultimate Nighttime Entertainment
The San Diego Comic-Con International Masquerade – Skits, costumes, songs, dances, and everything else get a little outrageous as this annual event.
And then of course, we have the “um, really?!” panel – Twilight Fanfiction Author Fangroup. I’m the last person to argue against fan fiction, but the panel is filled with people whose names are (most likely) their Livejournal screen names. And Twilight isn’t even going to be there this year. It just seems a little out of place as an official panel.
There is a ridiculous amount of things going on Saturday, including additional panels highlighting Wildstorm Comics, Avatar press and Dark Shadows; video games like God of War and Dead Rising 2; Resident Evil: Afterlife; Attack of the Show, Eureka and Warehouse 13; webseries like The Guild and ---; and the contributions of the late Shel Dorf and Robert E. Howard.
Tomorrow finishes out the schedule for 2010’s Comic Con International. I expect there will be a lighter schedule that will feature the panel I’m most looking forward to – Supernatural!