Comic  Con International is truly the mecca for all things pop culture, and a quick look at the programming schedule for Thursday finds everything from television and movies to gaming and comics.  Saturday used to be the really big day, but a Kick-Ass panel, and creator spotlights are going to make every day of the show an exciting one.

Thursday, July 23

10:00-11:00 Fan’s Guide to Comic-Con— For the third consecutive year Wesley Strawther, Matthew Jeffrey, and gaming expert Jesse Lopez host a hilarious guide to the San Diego Comic-Con. First timers will find just a little more information than veteran attendees! Room 2

10:00-11:00 Heroes, Villains, and Dramatica Archetypes— Stories are populated with heroes, villains, sidekicks and more. Story development expert Chris Huntley (Dramatica Story Theory) discusses what makes them tick and how to use them in your stories. We’ll explore the basics then go beyond simple character archetypes and create far more interesting, complex characters! Room 5AB
10:00-11:00 Escapist Fantasy— What are the pluses and perils of adding magic and monsters to our world? Panelists Juliet Blackwell (Second Hand Spirits), Marjorie Liu (Darkness Calls), Jackie Kessler & Caitlin Kittredge (co-authors, Black & White), Diana Rowland (Mark of the Demon), Sina Grace (Cedric Hollows In Dial “M” For Magic), Seanan McGuire (Rosemary & Rue), and Harry Connolly (Child of Fire) weigh in on the options. Moderator: Maryelizabeth Hart, Mysterious Galaxy. Room 10
10:00-11:00 How-To Session:Howard Simpson— Howard Simpson of Abba Studios is a storyteller. Simpson started drawing comics while he was in college and has continued to do so for various publishers and clients. He has done children’s books for Nickelodeon, Random House, Simon & Schuster, Bantam, Doubleday, and Dell. He has done storyboards for commercials and movies. Howard will present storytelling for children. Room 18
10:00-11:00 LongBox Digital Comics— Rantz Hoseley (CEO LongBox, Inc., editor of Comic Book Tattoo) hosts this presentation of the LongBox Platform for Digital Comics. Rantz, along with special guests—including Jeff Katz (American Original Productions)—demonstrates LongBox, talks about the impending launch, and discusses some of the exciting partnerships and plans for what some are calling the future of digital comics. Room 32AB
10:15-11:15 Summit Entertainment: Astro Boy— A superhero origin story set in a futuristic world, Astro Boy is an all-new CG-animated feature film based on the classic manga about a young robot with incredible powers and his adventure-filled journey in search of his identity and destiny. Director David Bowers, producer Maryanne Grager, and stars Freddie Highmore (Astro) and Kristen Bell (Cora) debut footage exclusive to Comic-Con 2009 and answer your questions about bringing this beloved hero to the big screen. Room 6BCF
10:30-11:30 Tripwire Magazine— The staff of Tripwire, Britain’s premiere comics culture magazine, discuss genre fiction, comics, movies and more. Join Joel Meadows (editor-in-chief), Andy Grossberg (U.S. editor), and Pat McGreal for a rousing chat. Room 3
10:30-11:30 DC Talent Search 1— Learn what DC Comics looks for in artists and how to improve your chances of becoming a working professional! DC Representatives discuss the different needs of the DC Universe, Vertigo, WildStorm, MAD magazine, and Zuda. This informative orientation session explains how DC’s Talent Search works and provides numerous tips and tricks on how to improve your work and explore opportunities. To have your work reviewed, attendance at this orientation session is mandatory. (Please note: Not all attendees are guaranteed a one-on-one review.) Room 4
10:30-11:30 Motion Comics: Graphic Novels in The Digital Age— Warner Premiere is one of the pioneers in the production of Motion Comics, which include Watchmen, Peanuts, Batman: Black and White, and many others. Motion Comics are short-form videos that use subtle movements, voice-overs, sweeping music scores, and stunning comic book artwork to bring an engaging visual experience to life. Moderated by Gregory Noveck (DC Comics), with panelists Paul Levitz, (DC Comics, Batman: Black and White), Dave Gibbons (Watchmen, Batman: Black and White), Paul Dini (Batman: Black and White, Mad Love), Lydia Antonini (Warner Premiere), Dylan Coburn (Karactaz, Superman: Red Son), and Stephen Fedasz (Perpetual Notions), who discuss graphic novel storytelling and production in the digital age. Attendees will also see the debut of two DC Motion Comic series during this panel. Room 6DE
10:30-11:30 The Hobbit— With Middle-earth returning to the big screen in December 2011, will take you behind the scenes of the latest news, announcements, and rumors pertaining to the Peter Jackson and Guillermo del Toro production of The Hobbit. Chris Pirrotta, Larry Curtis, Cliff Broadway, and others from crew offer this early look at making The Hobbit happen! Room 7AB
10:30-11:30 Science Fiction That Will Change Your Life— The staff of, Eisner Award–winning author Douglas Wolk (Reading Comics), and others talk about science fiction from the last year that does more than blow things up. It might also blow your mind. What science fiction should you be reading and watching if you want your brain to grow so big it pops out of the top of your skull and starts throbbing and shooting lasers? The panelists have some tips. Room 8
10:30-11:30 Comics Arts Conference Session #1: Comics, Courts, and Controversy— Marc Greenberg (Golden Gate University School of Law) examines contemporary legal cases dealing with comics and copyright. First are two cases in which the Comic Book Legal Defense Fund defended comic artists and comic book storeowners against charges of obscenity, then a case in which the CBLDF fought an effort by the California Franchise Tax Board to tax penciled comic book pages sent to publishers. Greenberg closes his overview with a detailed analysis of the 70-year battle by the Siegel family to terminate the grant of copyright in the character, art and story of Superman, culminating in a landmark decision issued last year. Room 30AB
10:30-12:00 Comic Book Law School 101: Let’s Get It Started— The popular Comic Book Law School series, which provides a basic foundation for understanding copyright and trademark law through an interactive lecture, is brought to you by noted attorney Michael Lovitz, author of The Trademark and Copyright Book comic book. This first workshop covers the basics of protection and ownership of ideas, works of authorship, characters, names, and logos, from conception through publication and beyond. Attendees will participate in an interactive discussion about basic rights provided under U.S. copyright and trademark laws, as well as new decisions and changes in the law and how they could affect those rights. Along the way, there is plenty to learn about the protections available, as well as the numerous potential pitfalls, under the U.S. trademark and copyright systems. (Please Note: The Comic Book Law School seminars are designed to provide relevant information and practice tips to practicing attorneys, as well as practical tips to creators and other professionals who may wish to attend. This program is approved for one (1) credit of California MCLE.) Room 30CDE
11:00-12:30 Secret Origins of Comic-Con — How did it all begin? Those who were there in 1969 (most of them teenagers at the time!) have the behind-the-scenes story of the very first meetings, the first mini-con, and the first Golden State Comic-Con at the U.S. Grant in 1970. Panelist include Richard Alf, Barry Alfonso, Greg Bear, Dave Clark, Roger Freedman, Ken Krueger, Scott Shaw!, and Mike Towry, with William R. Lund as moderator. Room 2
11:00-12:00 The State of MMOs: A Discussion with the Developers— Join Craig Alexander (Turbine), Gordon Walton (BioWare), Bob Ferrari (Sanrio Digital), and Dave Brevik (Gazillion) for a panel discussion and Q&A moderated by George Chronis (DFC Intelligence) about the current state of the massively multiplayer online games market. Panelists will discuss topics such as MMO pricing models and free-to-play games, design innovations, the future of console MMOs, and much more! Room 5AB
11:00-12:00 IDW Publishing: The Evolution of Comics— Through the lens of IDW’s tenth anniversary, founder Ted Adams and IDW editors and creators, including Ashley Wood (Zombies vs. Robots), and Steve Niles (30 Days of Night), discuss the evolution of the company and look ahead at the future of comics, complete with special announcements of upcoming IDW projects. Room 10
11:00-12:00 How-To Session: Randy Martinez— See the Onsite Newsletter for more information on Randy’s How-To Session. Room 18
11:00-12:00 Toymaker Q&A— Ever wanted to know why one character was chosen for production over another? Why your favorite character was limited or just what toy companies are thinking? Here’s your chance to ask the manufacturers about their favorite figures and statues. Panelists include David Scroggy (Dark Horse), Chuck Ticera (Diamond Select Toys), Eric “Cornboy” Mayes (4 Horsemen), Kevin Winnick (president of Toy2R USA), Joe Petrollese (Tonner Doll), Clayborne Moore (CS Moore), Corrine Robinson (McFarlane Toys), and Scott Neitlich (Mattel). Room 32AB
11:00-12:30 Disney: 3D Panel— Walt Disney Pictures presents key filmmakers, select cast members and previously unseen footage from its upcoming slate, including Disney’s A Christmas Carol, Alice In Wonderland and Tron. Special guests include Robert Zemeckis, Tim Burton, Sean Bailey, Steve Lisberger, and moderator Patton Oswalt. Hall H

11:15-12:15 The Middleman Cast Reunion and Lost Episode Table Read— Creator Javier Grillo-Marxuach (Lost) and the complete cast—including Matt Keeslar, Natalie Morales, Brit Morgan, Mary Pat Gleason, Jake Smollett, Mark Sheppard, Brendan Hines, Sarah Watson, Jordan Rosenberg, Margaret Dunlap, and Andy Reaser—reunite to celebrate the DVD release of The Middleman: The Complete Series from Shout! Factory, with an exclusive table read of the lost 13th episode, The Doomsday Armageddon Apocalypse, which was never produced for television but is now available as a graphic novel from Viper Comics. Room 6A
11:30-12:30 Spotlight on Brom— Marvel at this multimedia presentation by dark fantasy artist—and Comic-Con special guest—Brom (Dungeons and Dragons, Magic the Gathering, WOW, The Plucker), chronicling his earliest artistic endeavors up to his latest projects, featuring many never-before-seen images and lots of behind-the-scenes material, followed by a Q&A with the audience. Room 3

11:30-12:30 Archie Comics: Archie Marries Veronica— It’s the wedding of the century, but that is just the start, with plenty of surprise announcements about the future of Archie Comics, including the latest news about Archie on television and in feature films! Panelists include legendary The Dark Knight movie producer and Archie writer Michael Uslan, new Archie Comics CEO Jon Goldwater, iVerse CEO Michael Murphy, IDW Publishing COO Greg Goldstein, Archie Comics president/director of circulation Fred Mausser, and Archie Comics vice president/managing editor Mike Pellerito. The panel is moderated by Archie’s public relations coordinator Rik Offenberger and features a Q&A session. An “Archie Marries Veronica” poster will be given to everyone attending the panel. Room 4
11:30-12:30 World of Warcraft: Epic Loot— Get your game on outside of Azeroth! Join a panel of Blizzard Entertainment decision makers along with their proud licensed partners for an all-out discussion/unveiling of World of Warcraft–inspired product awesomeness. Moderated by Cory Jones, Blizzard Entertainment’s director of global business development & licensing. In attendance: Chris Metzen (Blizzard Entertainment sr. VP of creative development), Nick Carpenter (Blizzard Entertainment cinematic creative director), Hank Kanalz (VP/GM of WildStorm and World of Warcraft monthly editor), Troy Lewter (Tokyopop editor on the Warcraft manga), Scott Gaeta (Upper Deck director of new product development and organized play), Margeaux Doremus Sullivan (Upper Deck brand manager on World of Warcraft minis), and Sean Gailey (J!nx creative director). Room 6BCF
11:30-12:30 Hasbro: G.I. Joe— The Hasbro design and marketing teams—Aaron Archer and Michelino Paolino (Hasbro Design), and Jeff Labovitz (Hasbro Marketing), discuss the upcoming release of the G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra movie, the new toy line hitting shelves, the new video game, and much more! This panel will include special guests that you won’t want to miss, plus Q&A time. Room 7AB

11:30-12:30 Spotlight on Leinil Francis Yu— Join Comic-Con special guest Leinil Francis Yu for this free-for-all discussion with fans and aspiring artists about global warming, the Swine flu pandemic, and of course, comics. A quick drawing demonstration, Q&A with fans, and tips on how to make a killer portfolio and break in to comics—all in one hour! Room 8

11:30-1:00 Comics Arts Conference Session #2: Comics Theory— Dru H. Jeffries (Concordia University) argues that Zack Snyder’s film 300 mimics the form of comics by manipulating film styles, particularly slow motion. Neil Cohn (Emaki Productions) presents the results of psychology experiments investigating how our minds make sense of the sequence of images in comics. David B. Olsen (St. Louis University) uses examples that include Winsor McCay, Paul Pope, and Alan Moore to demonstrate how we negotiate the rhythm of comics reading. Room 30AB
11:45-12:45 DC: Superman: Two Worlds— Torn between New Krypton and Earth, the Man of Steel has only just begun his latest adventure. You’ve seen the stories: a new planet of Kryptonians; scores of super-powered beings. The people behind Superman’s future are here to face the most trying times in his life. Meet the talented folks behind Superman as they give you a glimpse of what is in store for our favorite Super-family. Featuring Superman group editor Matt Idelson, writers Geoff Johns (Adventure Comics, Superman: Secret Origins), Greg Rucka (Action Comics), James Robinson (Superman), Sterling Gates (Supergirl), Renato Guedes (Superman), and more! Room 6DE
12:00-1:00 Spotlight on Bryan Lee O’Malley— Comic-Con special guest Bryan Lee O’Malley (winner of the Doug Wright, Joe Shuster, and Harvey Awards) talks with legendary comics scholar Scott McCloud (Understanding Comics, Zot!) about Bryan’s groundbreaking slice-of-life graphic novel series Scott Pilgrim. From its genesis to the production of the upcoming film version, O’Malley speaks frankly about where Scott Pilgrim came from and where the series is going from here. With a fan Q&A to close the discussion, this is the must attend event of Comic-Con 2009! Room 5AB

12:00-1:00 Bongo Comics Sneak Peek— Bongo Comics offers a mouth-watering preview of upcoming projects featuring The Simpsons and Futurama. Managing editor Terry Delegeane and creative director Bill Morrison host this panel featuring the writers and artists who create the comics and books based on Matt Groening’s phenomenal TV shows. Find out what’s in the future for Futurama Comics and what to expect in Simpsons Comics. Plus, Sammy Harkham (Kramer’s Ergot) and Ben Jones (Paper Rad) will be on hand to talk about their wholly unique approach to The Simpsons Treehouse of Horror! And special guest and world famous cartoonist Sergio Aragonés will explain to all just what he’s doing on the Bongo panel. This is a “must-attend” panel for all fans of The Simpsons and Futurama and anyone looking for a place to sit down! Room 10

12:00-1:00 Quantum Quest: A Cassini Space Odyssey— Key production personnel and cast members discuss the making of Quantum Quest: A Cassini Space Odyssey, the 3D, CGI Large Format film that combines beautiful animated sequences with actual space imagery captured during seven ongoing NASA and NASA/ESA space missions. Featuring a stellar voice cast that includes Neil Armstrong, Chris Pine, Samuel L. Jackson, Hayden Christensen, Amanda Peet, Robert Picardo, Jason Alexander, Tom Kenny, Sandra Oh, Brent Spiner, James Earl Jones, Williams Shatner, Mark Hamill, Doug Jones, Abigail Breslin and Gary Graham, Quantum Quest has been endorsed by the X Prize Organization, the International Space University, Challenge Center for Space Science Education, and the Young Astronauts Council. Producer, screenwriter, and co-director Dr. Harry Kloor, whose writing credits include Star Trek: Voyager, the animated series Godzilla, and Earth: Final Conflict, is joined by co-director Daniel St. Pierre (co-director, Everyone’s Hero, production designer, A Shark’s Tale, art director, Tarzan), space scientists, and key cast members. The panel will offer new work-in-progress clips and an in-depth exploration of the science behind the film. Ballroom 20

12:00-2:00 CBLDF Master Session: The Painter’s Process with Jill Thompson and Charles Vess— Bring your sketchbook and your questions to this first-hand view of the creative process of two of comics’ greatest painters! Jill Thompson (Magic Trixie) and Charles Vess (Sandman) take you step by step through the painting process at this live art demonstration. Witness how each artist brings a painting to life on the big screen. The original art from this session will be auctioned off on Saturday night in the CBLDF’s auction! Room 30CDE

12:00-1:00 Drawn to Life: 20 Golden Years of Disney Master Classes— Join legendary Disney Animation producer Don Hahn, famed Disney animator Glen Keane, creator of Aladdin‘s Genie Eric Goldberg, director/teacher/animator Tom Sito, and Masked Avenger Studios owner and sculptor Ruben Procopio for a discussion of the life and influence of Disney mentor, trainer, and artist Walt Stanchfield. Room 32AB

12:30-2:00 Comic-Con in the ’70s— In its first decade Comic-Con was put on by a dedicated group of volunteers who managed to build a national reputation for the show. How did they get those great guests? Are those stories about the shark repellant in the El Cortez pool really true? Hear from the committee members who have all the inside info on what those early years were like: Wendy All, Maeheah Alzmann,  Richard Butner, Vicky Kelso-Goulart, Gene Henderson, and Charlene Brinke Stevens, with Jackie Estrada as moderator. Room 2

12:30-1:30 Crime: Usual and Unusual— The heart of crime fiction is a crime committed against people or institutions—but the range of subgenres is diverse and fascinating. Panelists: Max Allan Collins (The Goliath Bone), Jeffrey J. Mariotte (Cold Black Hearts), Alexander Irvine (Buyout), Gregg Hurwitz (Trust No One), Thomas Greanias (The Atlantis Revelation), and Kat Richardson (Vanished) cover traditional mysteries, espionage, paranormal mystery, and more. Moderator: Maryelizabeth Hart, Mysterious Galaxy. Room 3
12:30-1:30 Indie Comics Marketing 101— Too Much Coffee Man‘s Shannon Wheeler has gone from minicomics to self-publishing to Dark Horse and now to The New Yorker. Heidi MacDonald runs the taste-making comic industry must-read blog The Beat for Publisher’s Weekly. Marketing director Chip Mosher is part of the team that has helped rocket BOOM! into the Top 10. All of them know a thing or two about marketing indie comics, and they join forces on this wide-ranging panel where they reveal their secrets! Moderated by former manager of development and content at MySpace and architect of MySpace Comic Books, Sam Humphries. Room 4

12:30-1:30 Richard Hatch: Battlestar Retrospective— Moderated by actor/author Richard Hatch (Tom Zarek, Capt Apollo, author: So Say We All), with Bear McCreary (Battlestar, Eureka, Caprica composer), Michael Tayler (Battlestar, Caprica, Star Trek writer/producer), Kevin Grazier (Battlestar, Eureka, science consultant) and special guests, this panel provides a review, discussion and Q&A of Battlestar‘s past four seasons and dramatic ending. Includes the new BG 30th trailer. Room 6A

12:30-1:30 Hasbro: Transformers 2— Want to see what’s new with Transformers? Hasbro’s design and marketing teams—Aaron Archer (Hasbro Brand IP Development), Jared Wade and Eric Siebenaler (Hasbro Design), and Michael Ballog and Matt Proulx (Hasbro Marketing)— present all the latest toys from the new Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen line. And get a sneak peek into what Hasbro is doing to celebrate the 25th Anniversary of Transformers in 2010! Room 7AB

12:30-1:30 Dante’s Inferno— Jonathan Knight (executive producer, EA), Ash Huang (art director), Brandon Auman (writer), Christos Gage (writer), and Diego Latorre (artist) talk about the adaptation of this literary classic into pop culture. They will discuss how they translated the various aspects of The Divine Comedy into a video game, an animated feature, and a comic series, where they were faithful and where they invented, and how each of the mediums differs. Also get a peak at EA’s game in development, and also watch the world premiere trailer for the animated feature Dante’s Inferno co-produced by EA and Starz Media. Room 8

12:45-1:45 Disney: Stan Lee’s Time Jumper— Don’t miss Stan Lee and Walt Disney Studios Home Entertainment as they present a special sneak peek of their new digital motion comic series Time Jumper. Comic book legend Stan Lee is joined by Natasha Henstridge (one of the character voices in Time Jumper), Omar Ponce (writer), and Anthony Diecidue (artist) for a Q&A session. Room 6BCF

12:45-2:00 20th Century Fox and James Cameron present Avatar— In this first public screening of footage in 3D from his much-anticipated action/adventure/fantasy, James Cameron, producer Jon Landau, and cast members take you to a spectacular new world beyond imagination. Conceived 14 years ago and over four years in the making, Avatar breaks new ground in delivering a fully immersive, emotional story and reinvents the movie-going experience. Hall H

1:00-2:00 Spotlight on Kevin Eastman— TMNJ co-creator Kevin Eastman not only reflects on his Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle years (with a preview his Comic-Con exclusive 25th Anniversary hardcover collection of favorite TMNT stories!), but also shares sneak peeks and behind-the-scenes teasers or trailers for his upcoming animated film projects—War of The Worlds: Goliath! and Underwhere—and introduces the new Tor Books Novel line Heavy Metal Pulp and the in-development Biz and Buzz animated series. Last but not least, Kevin will give you an update on the new David Fincher/James Cameron–produced Heavy Metal film! Room 5AB

1:00-2:00 Mondo Marvel— From the Marvel U to the Ultimate U and everything in between, the top talent is on hand to talk about all of your favorite heroes and villains, as well as make a few surprise announcements! Panelists include Jason Aaron (Wolverine: Weapon X), Dennis Calero (X Men Noir), Matt Fraction (Invincible Iron Man), Paul Tobin (Models, INC), Frank Tieri (Dark Reign: Lethal Legion), Steve Wacker (Spider-Man editor), and Jim McCann (New Avengers: The Reunion). Room 6DE

1:00-2:00 Spotlight on Jimmy Gownley— How did Comic-Con special guest Jimmy Gownley (Amelia Rules!) go from creating comics in his basement to landing an eight-book deal with Simon & Schuster? Find out how he and his marketing-director wife, Karen Gownley, turned a pipedream into reality, and how you can do it, too! Session will include Q&A. Room 10

1:00-2:00 How-To Session: Denise Vasquez— See the Onsite Newsletter for more information on Denise’s How-To Session. Room 18

1:00-2:00 Comics Arts Conference Session #3: Nell Brinkley and the Brinkley Girls— Trina Robbins, comics creator, historian, and author of the recent book The Brinkley Girls, presents insights into the work and personal history of Nell Brinkley. Brinkley was once one of the most well known cartoonists in America, and her creations—the beautiful Brinkley Girls—appeared everywhere from the Sunday comics to the Ziegfeld Follies. Room 30AB
1:00-2:00 Tetsuo for the 21st Century— The maverick filmmaker Shinya Tsukamoto (Tetsuo), will have a premiere talk on his secret plans for the movie tentatively called Tetsuo Project. Tsukamoto will reveal the details of this first English language installment of Tetsuo, the third legendary cyberpunk action thriller from Tokyo. Be among the first to witness the official title announcement as well as an exclusive sneak peek at the movie—only for the Comic-Con audience! Room 32AB

1:15-2:15 USA Network’s Psych— James Roday (Shawn Spencer), Dulé Hill (Burton “Gus” Guster), Maggie Lawson (Juliet O’Hara), Tim Omundson (Carlton Lassiter), Corbin Bernsen (Henry Spencer), Steve Franks (creator and executive producer), and the entire creative team give you an all-access behind-the-scenes pass to the USA Network hit original series Psych. Stars and producers will share personal stories and answer questions about the show’s genesis, episodic development, and production process. Video presentations created exclusively for Comic-Con will feature never-before-seen outtakes, a Season 4 exclusive preview, and a special video-diary segment that will take panel attendees inside the daily production process via the perspective of a staff writer, the Vancouver production team, and series star James Roday as he prepares to shoot a scene for the upcoming season. Plus, two lucky fans will find fame and fortune when they win the honor of having a guest character in a future episode named after them! You can also expect giveaways, exclusive merchandise, and a first-run preview copy of the upcoming Psych graphic novel from Oni Press! Ballroom 20

1:30-2:30 Dumbrella— Artists from Dumbrella, one of the most popular online comic collectives, discuss webcomics, independent publishing and subverting popular culture. Feel free to quiz Andrew Bell (The Creatures in My Head), Sam Brown (explodingdog), Jon Rosenberg (Goats), and Richard Stevens III (Diesel Sweeties), along with Meredith Gran (Octopus Pie), and Chris Yates (Reprographics) about anything your Internet heart desires. Room 3

1:30-2:30 Spotlight on Jerry Robinson— One of the true legends of comics, Comic-Con special guest Jerry Robinson is a writer, artist, comics historian, museum show curator, and creator rights activist. Noted comics writer and editor Mark Waid (BOOM! Studios editor-in-chief) interviews Jerry about his life in comics, from his early days on Batman to his founding of the Bill Finger Excellence in Comic Writing Award. Room 4

1:30-2:30 Avatars, Icons, and Antiheroes— The new hero is the anti-hero: twisted fairy tale icons, magicians turned hitmen, and avatars of both Good and Evil are cold-blooded killers and worse in the pages of these writers’ imaginations. Moderator Diana Gill (executive editor of Eos Books) leads a discussion on this phenomenon with Kevin J. Anderson (Enemies & Allies), Brom (The Child Thief), Richard Kadrey (Sandman Slim), Vicki Pettersson (City of Souls), S. J. Day (Eve of Chaos), and Holly Black (Ironside). Room 7AB

1:30-2:30 LEGO Star Wars Visual Dictionary— Ten years ago in a galaxy not far away LEGO and Star Wars came together! Find out how such an amazing partnership was formed from Jonathan Rinzler (executive editor, Lucasfilm) and Rob Johnson (art director, The LEGO Group), while Simon Beecroft (author and publishing manager, DK Publishing) doles out all sorts of information on the upcoming LEGO Star Wars: The Visual Dictionary. Collectors and fans won’t want to miss the unveiling of the exclusive LEGO Star Wars minifigure that will be released with the book on October 10. The first 50 attendees will receive DK swag and be entered to win a LEGO Star Wars set and a free copy of LEGO Star Wars: The Visual Dictionary upon its release. Room 8
1:45-2:45 Assassin’s Creed II: Video Games and Hollywood Converge— Yannis Mallat (CEO, Ubisoft Montreal), Pierre Raymond (president & head of operations, HYBRIDE Technologies, a VFX studio involved on 300, Sin City), and key team members discuss the convergence between Hollywood and video games, featuring the fastest-selling new franchise in video game history: Assassin’s Creed. This session touches on the evolution of creating and distributing content while highlighting the bridge between two different spheres—gaming and entertainment—to create the Assassins Creed II universe. Plus, panelists reveal new information on the new Assassin’s Creed II series coming out this fall. Room 6A
2:00-3:00 Spotlight on Bill Sienkiewicz— The Eisner Award–winning writer/artist is a Comic-Con special guest. Bill Sienkiewicz is best known for his comics work such as Elektra: Assassin and Stray Toasters, but he’s also a film designer and writer/director. Bill talks about his career in this special Spotlight panel. Room 2

2:00-3:00 A Darker Shade of Ink: Crime and Noir in Comics— Crime comics are back with a bang! Darwyn Cooke (Parker: The Hunter), Greg Rucka (Gotham Central), and Steve Lieber (Whiteout) join moderator/noted mystery and comics writer Max Allan Collins (The Road to Perdition) to talk about the new incarnations of crime and noir in comics. Room 5AB
2:00-3:00 Sony Pictures Animation: Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs— In 2009, Columbia Pictures’ and Sony Pictures Animation’s Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs will be the most delicious event since macaroni met cheese. Inspired by the classic children’s book, the film focuses on a town where food begins to fall from the sky like rain. Bill Hader (Saturday Night Live, Night at the Museum: Battle of the Smithsonian) is the voice of Flint Lockwood, a young inventor who dreams of creating something that will improve everyone’s life. Anna Faris (The House Bunny) takes on the role of Sam Sparks, a weathergirl covering the phenomenon who hides her intelligence behind a perky exterior. James Caan plays Tim Lockwood, Flint’s technophobic father. SNL‘s Andy Samberg plays Brent, the town bully who has plagued Flint since childhood. Bruce Campbell plays Mayor Shelbourne, who figures out that Flint’s invention can put the town, and more importantly himself, on the map, and Mr. T plays the by-the-rules town cop, Earl Devereaux. Bobb’e J. Thompson (Role Models) is Carl Devereaux, Earl’s son. Appearing in person: Anna Faris, Bill Hader, Andy Samberg, Bobb’e J. Thompson, and directors Chris Miller and Phil Lord. Room 6BCF
2:00-3:00 ComicBase— Don’t miss out on this once-a-year opportunity to hear creator Pete Bickford chat about ComicBase’s special program features, offer tips and tricks, and give you all the inside dirt on the making of the program. Be prepared for the cutting edge of collection software as Pete unveils the secrets of the latest version of ComicBase. And stay for the latest developments for Atomic Avenue—the world’s best place for buying and selling comics online—powered by ComicBase! With exciting limited-edition prizes for lucky attendees, drop by and get your ComicBase questions personally answered by Programmin’ Pete Bickford. Room 10
2:00-3:00 How-To Session: Jason Cruse— Jason T. Kruse is not only a veteran of the prestigious CalArts in sunny Southern California, he is also a maker of fine comic books, including The World of Quest. Jason has worked in animation on such films as The Barnyard, Stuart Little, and Cats and Dogs, as well as animating and storyboarding various pilots for companies such as Disney and Nickelodeon. At Quicksilver he was the character animator on four games, including the recently released Master of Orion 3 and Cashflow 101 and 202, as well as numerous games for the U.S. Army. He works at Helixe Studio outside of Boston on the handheld Nintendo adaptations of Pixar’s next films. Jason will cover the creative process for making comic books for young readers. Room 18
2:00-3:30 Comics Arts Conference Session #4: Myth and the Superhero— With examples drawn from the superman mythos and the Crisis of Infinite Earths, Angela Ndalianis (University of Melbourne) explores the intertextuality that has transformed superhero narratives into multiple myths. W. Stephen Combs (Wittenberg University) debunks the idea of superheroes as modern mythology, and suggests instead they should be viewed as a part of America’s folklore. Richard Harrison (Mount Royal College) traces the way Bill Finger’s origins of Superman transformed the mythos and mythology of Krypton and the Man of Steel. Room 30AB

2:00-3:30 Animation on a Shoestring— Learn the down and dirty tricks on how to create your own animation studio on a low budget, from the author of Animation on a Shoestring. Find out how to assemble the equipment you will need, how to build or buy equipment, and what software to use to edit and composite your project. Featuring Larry Loc,  animation educator. Room 30CDE

2:00-3:00 Costume Designers: Designing for Television Production— Characters created by writers and comic book illustrators are made real for the screen via the artistry of costume designers. Meet the women and men who are the costume designers on this year’s most popular television productions. Panel moderator Phillip Boutte Jr. (costume illustrator and member of the Costume Designers Guild, Local 892) hosts costume designers Shawna Trpcic (Dollhouse), Roland Sanchez (Lost), Amanda Friedland (Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles), and Audrey Fisher (True Blood). Room 32AB
2:15-3:15 Spotlight on Geoff Johns— He is the mastermind behind the smash-hit, critically acclaimed Flash: Rebirth and DC’s most anticipated book of the year, Green Lantern: Blackest Night. Wondering what makes Geoff Johns tick? Don’t miss this panel hosted by Eddie Berganza, group edito–DCU, interviewing one of the most exciting talents in comics. Room 6DE

2:15-3:15 Summit Entertainment— Summit Entertainment presents a sneak peek of exclusive footage of some of its upcoming major film releases!Astro boy—A classic superhero origin story set in a futuristic world, Astro Boy is an all-new CG-animated feature film about a young robot with incredible powers and his adventure-filled journey in search of his identity and destiny. Join Freddie Highmore and Kristen Bell as they premiere the final trailer for Astro Boy before it’s in theaters.

Sorority Row—When five sorority girls inadvertently cause the murder of one of their sisters in a prank gone wrong, they agree to keep the matter to themselves and never speak of it again, so they can get on with their lives. This proves easier said than done, when after graduation a mysterious killer goes after the five of them and anyone who knows their secret. Join the cast of Sorority Row as they debut footage from the film exclusive to Comic-Con 2009.

The Twilight Saga: New Moon—Summit Entertainment is proud to present the panel for The Twilight Saga: New Moon, the highly anticipated sequel to last year’s box office smash Twilight. Surprise members of the cast will answer your questions about the second film in the series and debut never-before-seen footage from the new film. Hall H

2:30-3:30 Archaia/Roddenberry Productions: Days Missing— Archaia Studios Press is now simply known as Archaia! Learn about the sci-fi titles the publisher has in store, such as Titanium Rain (with creators Josh Finney and Kat Rocha), Robotika (with creator Alex Sheikman), and Starkweather (with writer David Rodriguez and artist Patrick McEvoy). Then meet the creative dream team behind Days Missing, the new sci-fi comic miniseries from Archaia and Roddenberry Productions, the legendary company that brought you Star Trek. Get a sneak peek of exclusive covers and art, and learn more about storylines for upcoming issues. Panelists include Rod Roddenberry and Trevor Roth from Roddenberry Productions; Archaia’s Stephen Christy, Mark Smylie and Rob Levin; Chris Burnham (X-Men: Divided We Stand); Ian Edginton (Stormwatch); Phil Hester (The Darkness); David Hine (Batman: Battle for the Cowl); Frazer Irving (Batman and Robin); and Matz(The Killer). All attendees will receive a free copy of Days Missing#1! Room 3

2:30-3:30 Spotlight on Gene Yang— Only three years ago, Comic-Con special guest Gene Yang (American Born Chinese) was making his reputation on minicomics. Now he’s an award-winning graphic novelist. Hear him in conversation with fellow comic artist and collaborator Derek Kirk Kim (The Eternal Smile). Room 4

2:30-3:30 DVD/Blu-ray Producers 2009: Now in Glorious High-Definition!— Bill Hunt, Adam Jahnke, and Todd Doogan (of The Digital, talk about the latest DVD and Blu-ray developments with some of the leading special-edition producers in Hollywood! Panelists include Robert Meyer Burnett (The Hills Run Red, Free Enterprise: The Wrath of Shatner), Laura Gross (Coraline, 9), Charles de Lauzirika (Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen, Ridley Scott’s Robin Hood), David Naylor (Fringe, Bad Lieutenant), and Cliff Stephenson (Crank 2: High Voltage, Gamer). You can expect inside talk, a Q&A, and a sneak peek at great upcoming discs! Room 7AB

2:30-3:30 Sergio and Mark— They’re back! Sergio Aragonés and Mark Evanier reunite for their yearly discussion on all things Groo and beyond. Joining them are their Groo-horts Stan Sakai and Tom Luth. Room 8

2:30-3:30 USA Network’s Burn Notice— Bruce Campbell (Sam Axe), Matt Nix (creator and executive producer) and Alfredo Barrios, Jr. (co-executive producer) host a panel discussion and answer questions about the creative process of evolving an embryonic idea into a finished episode of cable’s #1 hit show. Fans will gain an intimate look inside the world of Burn Notice, complete with war stories from the writer’s room and filming on location in Miami. Exclusive video content will include tips on how to survive Comic-Con from your favorite burned spy, Michael Westen (played by Jeffrey Donovan), highlights from the previous two seasons, and an exclusive sneak peek at future season 3 episodes, including the half-season finale and beyond. Ballroom 20

3:00-4:00 Spotlight on Brian Herbert— The famed science fiction author (and son of Dune creator Frank Herbert) talks about his career and what’s next. Brian Herbert is a Comic-Con special guest. Room 2

3:00-4:00 Bill Plympton: King of Indie Animation— Animator Bill Plympton (Idiots and Angels) presents Horn Dog, the fourth smash installment in his famed, Oscar-nominated “Dog” series. Bill will screen some of his new animated shorts, including Mexican Standoff and Santa: The Fascist Years and present some early scenes from his work-in-progress feature film Hanky Panky. Bill will also be available for Q&A after the screening, and all attendees will get a free Bill Plympton drawing. Room 5AB

3:00-4:00 Robot Chicken with Titan Maximum— Seth Green (co-creator, Robot Chicken and Titan Maximum), Matthew Senreich (co-creator, Robot Chicken and Titan Maximum), Tom Root (head writer, Robot Chicken/co-creator, Titan Maximum) and Doug Goldstein (head writer, Robot Chicken) with Chris McKay, Breckin Meyer, Kevin Shinick, Mike Fasolo, and Dan Milano discuss the popular Adult Swim series Robot Chicken. They will also discuss the upcoming new stop-motion animated series Titan Maximum, slated to premiere on Adult Swim this fall. Join this meet-up of show creators, writers and voice actors for a Q&A, moderated by Keith Crofford, vice president of Adult Swim production. Room 6A

3:00-4:00 Oni Press: Panelmonium 2009— Get up close and personal with trend setting indie comic powerhouse Oni Press. Join in the Q&A with your favorite Oni creators, including Ross Campbell (Wet Moon), Jamie S. Rich (You Have Killed Me), Greg Rucka (Whiteout), Bryan Lee O’Malley (Scott Pilgrim), and Chris Schweizer (The Crogan Adventures). Get sneak peeks at upcoming Oni projects, news on Oni Press fan initiatives, free Oni comics, prizes, and more! Guaranteed by Oni Press’s totally biased employees to be “the most fun you’ll ever have at a panel.” Room 10

3:00-4:00 How-To Session: Tom T. Nguyen— Tom T. Nguyen is a full-time professional artist and author. He works mostly for DC Comics and does pin-up art. Tom has created a series of how-to videos on YouTube covering the comic book art creation process. He will be covering the basics of how to ink a comic book page. Room 18

3:00-4:00 Masters of the Web— For the third year in a row the most popular genre and movie websites are coming together to discuss how new media have affected moviemaking, what it takes to run a popular site, and much more in a panel discussion and Q&A session. Participants include Robert Sanchez (, Ryan Rotten (, Mike Sampson (, Jeremy Smith (, Brad Miska (, Drew McWeeny (, Devin Faraci (, Paul Christensen (, Wilson Morales ( Black Voices), Vic Holtreman (, and George Roush ( Director Kevin Munroe (TMNT, Dead of Night) moderates, with Brandon Routh and Sam Huntington on hand to preview an exclusive sneak peek of their new film Dead of Night, based on the Dylan Dog comic books. Room 32AB

3:15-4:15 Capcom 2009 Lineup— Capcom’s premiere producers present sneak peeks at the most anticipated games of the year. Featuring Jun Takeuchi (Lost Planet 2), Morgan Gray (Dark Void), Daryl Allison (Spyborgs), Motohide Eshiro (Ace Attorney Investigations: Miles Edgeworth), and Masachika Kawata (Resident Evil: The Darkside Chronicles) and moderated by’s Seth Killian. See exclusive gameplay footage and behind-the-scenes making-of features, followed by a Q&A session! Room 6BCF

3:30-4:30 Evolution of Fantasy— Harry Potter, His Dark Materials, Twilight—the great mega-selling series of recent years have all ended. What will the next one look like? Or is it already here? How is fantasy evolving? Panelists Jacqueline Carey (Naamah’s Kiss), Lynn Flewelling (Shadows Return), Patrick Rothfuss (The Name Of The Wind), Thomas Sniegoski (The Fallen), Greg Van Eekhout (Norse Code), and Cindy Pon (Silver Phoenix : Beyond the Kingdom of Xia) answer questions posed by moderator Lev Grossman (The Magicians). Room 3

3:30-4:30 Digital Comics Now!— Digital comics are happening right now. Not tomorrow, but right now. Join a panel of the best and brightest in the new wave of digital comics in a wide-ranging discussion of everything from comics on the iPhone to new digital comic platforms, motion comics, webcomics, and day-and-date-releases. Big announcements will be made! Panelists include Michael Murphey (CEO iVerse), David Steinberger (CEO of comiXology), Rantz Hosely (CEO LongBox), Chris Folino (VP, Catastrophic Comics), and Chip Mosher (marketing director, BOOM! Studios). Room 4

3:30-4:30 Marvel: Breaking into the House of Ideas— Are you a writer or artist? Ever dream of working for Marvel? Do you find yourself thinking “I could do that…if I knew how!” Well, here’s your chance! Join C. B. Cebulski, Marvel’s talent liaison, and panelists writer Jeph Loeb (Ultimatum), Marvel editor Charlie Beckerman, artist Mike Choi (X-Force), colorist Christina Strain (Runaways), and more to find out the answers on how to get your foot in the door at every level in the creative process and how to make your job Marvel! Room 6DE

3:30-4:30 J. Michael Straczynski: Professional Writing— Ideas are a dime a dozen. Executing those ideas (instead of assassinating them) is what separates pro from wannabe. But only you know what steps you need to take to get there, so if you show up for this talk, bring questions to ask J. Michael Straczynski, who has created a massively successful cross-platform writing career in movies, television, comics, and print. Room 7AB

3:30-5:00 Golden and Silver Age of Comics— A Comic-Con tradition: the yearly gathering and discussion of the clan of some of the finest comic book creators ever to put pen or typewriter to paper! This year’s panel—moderated by Mark Evanier—includes Comic-Con special guests Murphy Anderson (Hawkman), Gene Colan (Tomb of Dracula), Ramona Fradon (Aquaman), Russ Heath (The Haunted Tank), Jack Katz (The First Kingdom), Jerry Robinson (Batman), and Leonard Starr (Mary Perkins On Stage). Both Katz and Starr, known best for their underground comix and comic strip work, respectively, also worked in comics in the Golden and Silver Ages. The stories these people can tell are the stuff of legend…be a part of the yearly magic of this panel. Room 8

3:30-4:30 Seduction of the Innocent— No, it’s not the risen corpse of Dr. Fredric Wertham, it’s the superstar San Diego combo that rocked Comic-Con in the ’80s and ’90s. Together reminiscing, debuting their new con-exclusive CD, and taking questions on their comics, show biz, and musical careers are Bill Mumy (Babylon 5), Max Allan Collins (Road to Perdition), Steve Leialoha (Fables), and John “Chris” Christensen Songs from the Xenozoic Age). [We regret to announce that Miguel Ferrer, a founding member of SOTI, is unable to appear because of a filming commitment.] Room 30AB

3:30-4:30 Andrew Pepoy’s Professional Networking Seminar— Get set for a weekend of pressing the flesh and selling yourself with this popular Comic-Con seminar! Being talented isn’t enough—getting work and continuing to work in the comic book and comic strip publishing worlds often means knowing the right people as well. Inker and writer/artist Andrew Pepoy (Fables, The Simpsons)— celebrating his 20th anniversary in the business—brings back his popular seminar to help teach you how to get out there and use Comic-Con to its fullest networking potential. Take advantage of this early time slot to put some of Andrew’s good advice to work over the next few days! Room 30CDE

3:30-4:30 Joe Dante: The Hole— Legendary director Joe Dante (Gremlins 1 & 2, Innerspace, Explorers, The Howling) makes his return to the genre he knows best with the 3D thriller The Hole. Three kids come face to face with their darkest fears after they unlock a bottomless hole in the basement that makes their nightmares come to life. Join Dante—along with actress Haley Bennett (The Haunting of Molly Hartley)—as he discusses his return to thrillers, working in 3D, and The Hole. Hall H
3:45-4:45 Entertainment Weekly: Wonder Women: Female Power Icons in Pop Culture— EW will moderate a conversation with Sigourney Weaver (Avatar), Elizabeth Mitchell (Lost), Kristen Bell (Veronica Mars), and other stars about the actresses who have redefined the rules and the female characters that have shattered the glass ceiling for all women. Basically: a discussion with women who kick ass. Ballroom 20
4:00-5:00 Spotlight on Richard Thompson— Comic-Con special guest Richard Thompson (Cul de Sac, Richard’s Poor Almanac) has been doing the syndicated daily comic strip Cul de Sac for less than two years and it’s already gotten raves from Bill Watterson, Art Spiegelman, and comics fans just about everywhere. Join him as he shows his work, answers questions and proves he never sang with Fairport Convention. Room 2

4:00-5:00 Spotlight on Gail Simone— One of the most popular writers working in comics today, Gail Simone is a Comic-Con special guest. Mark Waid interviews Gail about her work in comics, including Wonder Woman, Secret Six, and her much beloved run on Birds of Prey. Room 5AB

4:00-5:00 Top Shelf in 2009— With League of Extraordinary Gentlemen (Vol. III) and the new edition of Lost Girls, plus The Surrogates movie starring Bruce Willis hitting theaters on September 25, and literary titles such as Essex County, Alec, and Far Arden being released, it’s going to be an amazing year at Top Shelf. Come talk with publisher Chris Staros and creators Robert Venditti (The Surrogates), Jeff Lemire (Essex County), Kevin Cannon (Far Arden), and Nate Powell (Swallow Me Whole) to find out all the details. Room 10

4:00-5:00 How-To Session: Zander Cannon— Zander Cannon has been working in comics since 1993 and has done both writing and art duties on comics about knights, robots, spacemen, cops, superheroes, ghosts, and mythical creatures. His presentation will cover how to produce comics and other books as an independent publisher. With Kevin Cannon (no relation) he runs the studio Big Time Attic, which focuses on educational comics for book publishers. Room 18

4:00-5:00 Tipping Point for LGBT Portrayals in Comics— LGBT issues have taken a central place in the cultural zeitgeist. How has this issue been illustrated in comics? This year, two lesbian characters—Batwoman and The Question—became co-leads of DC Comics’ namesake title, Detective Comics. What is the long-term significance of this? Does it reflect greater acceptance of LGBT characters in comics, or is this an isolated event? Have we reached a tipping point? Patty Jeres (Prism co-president) moderates this intriguing discussion with panelists Greg Rucka (Detective Comics), Marc Andreyko (Manhunter), Judd Winick (Pedro and Me), Jose Villarrubia (The Mirror of Love), Scott Allie (Buffy Season 8), Mimi Cruz (retailer, Night Flight Comics, Salt Lake City, UT), and Matt Wagner (The Aerialist). Room 32AB

4:15-5:15 Cartoon Network: Chowder! The Marvelous Misadventures of Flapjack! Adventure Time with Finn and Jake!— This panel celebrates three of the best comedies from Cartoon Network Studios. First up is a sweet treat with Chowder, including special guests C. H. Greenblatt (creator) and Tara Strong (voice of Truffles). Then set sail with The Marvelous Misadventures of Flapjack and creator Thurop Van Orman (voice of Flapjack) and Steve Little (writer, voice of fan favorite Dr. Barber). Finally, hold onto your seats for a sneak peek of the new series Adventure Time with Finn and Jake with creator Pendelton Ward. It’s algebraic! Room 6A

4:30-5:30 The Best and Worst Manga of 2008–2009— What was the best, worst and weirdest manga published in the last year? Sparks will fly as manga critics Deb Aoki (, Kai-Ming Cha (Publishers Weekly), Ed Chavez (marketing director, Vertical Inc.), Gia Manry (Anime Vice), Tom Spurgeon (The Comics Reporter), Jason Thompson (Manga: The Complete Guide), and Eva Volin (chair, Great Graphic Novels for Teens) give the thumbs up and thumbs down in this “Manga State of the Union Address.” It’s Siskel & Ebert, Overlooked Manga Festival, and a manga celebrity roast all in one! Room 3

4:30-5:30 Imagination in Illustration: a Brief History of Fantastic Art— Catch Comic-Con special guest Charles Vess‘s intriguing visual presentation on the history of Fantastic Art (1850 to present day). Featuring his favorite English fairy tale artists, American pulp masters and visionary painters, many not found in textbooks. Prepare to be swept away. Room 4

4:30-5:30 The Halo Franchise: What’s Next— Frank O’Connor (franchise development director for Halo) will be joined by a number of special guests to discuss how Halo is evolving into a robust entertainment franchise and what’s coming in the future. Room 6BCF

4:30-5:30 Workshop: Creating Creator-Owned Comics the Image Comics Way— Want to bring your own vision to comics? Learn how from the people who do it best! Image founder Jim Valentino (Shadowhawk) and Image luminaries Joe Kelly (I Kill Giants), John Layman (Chew), Jimmie Robinson (Bomb Queen), Steve Seagle (Soul Kiss), and Richard Starkings (Elephantmen) present an unprecedented workshop with an insider look at the creative process and tips on perfecting your pitch. This program will also include a Q&A session giving you the chance to directly talk to many pros who have made their dreams a reality! Room 7AB

4:30-5:30 TwoMorrows Publishing Today— Join the crew from TwoMorrows Publishing for a behind-the-scenes look at what goes into creating all their fan-favorite books and magazines on the art and history of comics (and now, LEGO too!) Publisher John Morrow and a bevy of authors and editors will take part in a video presentation, unveiling new products and offering exclusive previews of upcoming items! Room 30AB

4:30-5:30 Drawing Upon Reference— Ron Lemen (ImagineFX magazine) and Studio 2nd Street Group will cover the subject of photo reference and how to use it when you have to use it. This lecture will briefly cover the do’s and dont’s of copying photos for your illustration work and some basic guidelines for drawing an effective image. Room 30CDE

4:45-5:45 Legend of the Seeker— A sneak peek at the highly anticipated second season of the action-adventure series Legend of the Seeker from executive producers Ken Biller (Star Trek: Voyager), Sam Raimi (Spider-Man), Rob Tapert (Xena), Ned Nalle (Hercules), and Josh Donen (Drag Me to Hell) and starring Craig Horner, Bridget Regan and Bruce Spence. Inspired by Terry Goodkind’s bestselling epic fantasy series The Sword of Truth, Richard, Kahlan and Zedd will soon discover that after defeating Darken Rahl, they inadvertently opened a rift into the underworld. Premiering in November, join a few of the executive producers, cast members, and Terry Goodkind for this moderated interview and audience Q&A session! Room 6DE

4:45-5:15 Terry Gilliam’s The Imaginarium of Dr Parnassus— Celebrating the 40th Anniversary of both Comic-Con and Monty Python, we welcome the sole American Python, the great animator and director Terry Gilliam (Time Bandits, Brazil, 12 Monkeys) to introduce you to his new film starring Christopher Plummer, Johnny Depp, Heath Ledger, Colin Farrell, Jude Law, Verne Troyer, Tom Waits, and Lily Cole. Dr. Parnassus is a fabulous anachronism, touring the streets of modern-day London in a horse-drawn carnival wagon accompanied by his beautiful daughter, devoted dwarf, and neophyte barker. On stage Parnassus plays a holy man whose Imaginarium can realize the innermost fantasies of all who dare to enter. Backstage, he is a drunkard, a gambler who centuries ago lost a wager with the Devil and must now pony up with his daughter once she turns sixteen. Tomorrow. Yet, there may still be hope for the Doctor and Valentina in the person of Tony, a well-dressed amnesic they rescue from a perilous fate and invite into their world of unrelenting magic and possibility. Hall H

5:00-6:00 The Pitching Hour— Michael Polis (CEO, WildBrain Ent, Yo Gabba Gabba), Jermaine Turner (director, Disney/ABC Cable Networks Group), Derek Hoffman (Donner Company, X-Men), Ford Gilmore (president, Illuminati Ent.), Paula Gould (PEG PR), and moderator Dan Evans (writer/development executive) take an idea from conception through production for various media. This process will include creating a pitch document, obtaining agents, and getting a pitch meeting. The panelists will explain, through hypothetical example and humorous stories, the process that new creators should adapt to make their way into the Hollywood creative battleground. Knowing that each project is unique, there will be a Q&A to allow the audience to really hone in on the solutions to obstacles they may encounter. Also on hand is Brendan McFeely (Kane Kessler, IP lawyer) to give creators insight on protecting their ideas as they navigate Hollywood! Room 2

5:00-6:00 DC JSA: The Great Society— DC’s legendary super-team enters a new era with top talent and explosive storylines in the second half of 2009! Get the inside scoop on everything JSA right here, including info on the exciting spin-off title Magog and the main series Justice Society of America from the creative minds behind the franchise. Hosted by DC’s senior group editor, Mike Carlin, with top talents Bill Willingham (JSA), Matt Sturges (JSA), Freddie Williams (Final Crisis Aftermath: Run), Amanda Conner (Power Girl), Jimmy Palmiotti (Power Girl), and more! Room 5AB

5:00-6:00 Spotlight on Lew Sayre Schwartz— One of the fan-favorite artists of Batman in the ’40s and ’50s, Lew Sayre Schwartz is a Comic-Con special guest. Schwartz left comics to forge an incredible career in animation, filmmaking, and advertising, for which he won numerous awards. Cartoonist and Bat-fan Batton Lash (Supernatural Law) interviews Lew about his life and times in comics and beyond. Room 8

5:00-6:00 Indie Cartoonist Survival Guide— With the dismal economic forecast not letting up, how does your average indie cartoonist manage to thrive? Join moderator Keith Knight (the Knight Life, the K Chronicles, (th)ink), as he and his peers share experiences of how they’ve managed to navigate the economic downturn. A must for all struggling cartoonists (and the folks who love them)! Featuring Shannon Wheeler (New Yorker, The Onion, Too Much Coffee Man), Lark Pien (Long Tail Kitty, colorist: American Born Chinese), Dave Kellett (Sheldon, How to Make Webcomics), Jim Mahfood (GRRL Scouts, 40 oz. Comics, Colt 45), Paul Friedrich (Onion Head Monster), and Miriam Libicki (Jobnik). Room 10

5:00-6:00 Showtime: Dexter— Calling all Dexter fans! If you’re a Dexter fanatic and can’t wait for the new season, you don’t want to miss this killer panel! Moderator Ralph Garman (KROQ Entertainment Reporter) presides over a revealing interview and Q&A session with the stars and executive producers of Dexter. Plus, get an exclusive first look at clips from the new season! Featured panelists include series star/executive producer Michael C. Hall (Dexter), Julie Benz (Rita), Jennifer Carpenter (Deb), and executive producers John Goldwyn, Sara Colleton, Clyde Phillips, and Melissa Rosenberg. The new season premieres September 27 at 9:00 PM EST/PST only on Showtime! Ballroom 20

5:15-5:45 Overture Pictures: Pandorum— Don’t fear the end of the world. Fear what happens next. From the producers of the Resident Evil film franchise comes a terrifying thriller in which two crewmembers wake up on an abandoned spacecraft with no idea who they are, how long they’ve been asleep, or what their mission is. The two soon discover they’re actually not alone—and the reality of their situation is more horrifying than they could have imagined. Appearing in person to give you a taste of Pandorum are stars Ben Foster (X-Men: The Last Stand, 3:10 to Yuma, 30 Days of Night), Cung Le (The Ultimate Fighter), and Antje Traue. Pandorum is in theaters September 18. Hall H

5:30-6:30 Manga: Lost in Translation— Computer translation programs may be all the rage of board rooms and the Internet, but it still takes a human translator and editor to get readers the kind of quality of translation that they demand of their comics, novels, and animation. A panel of distinguished translators, editors, and industry specialists tell how it’s done! William Flanagan (xxxHOLiC), Jonathan Tarbox (Black Cat), Jason Thompson (Manga: The Complete Guide), Mari Morimoto (Naruto), Stephen Paul (Beck: Mongolian Chop Squad), Mark Simmons (Consultant for Bandai Entertainment) and Julie Davis (former editor-in-chief of Animerica Magazine) offer industry stories and Q&A. Room 3

5:30-6:30 Writing for the Computer Gaming Industry— Great storytelling forms the foundation for immersive games that emotionally draw players into a gaming universe. Veteran game writers Neal Hallford (Betrayal at Krondor, Dungeon Siege), Chris Avellone (Knights of the Old Republic, Neverwinter Nights II), Anne Toole (The Witcher), Wynne McLaughlin (Star Wars: The Old Republic, Command & Conquer: Renegade), Haris Orkin (Call of Juarez 2: Bound In Blood), and John Zuur Platten (F.E.A.R 2: Project Origin, Ghostbusters) engage in a lively discussion of their art. Moderated by Jana Hallford (co-author of Swords & Circuitry: A Designer’s Guide to Computer Role-Playing Games). Room 4

5:30-6:30 Uncharted 2: Among Thieves: The First Active Cinematic Videogame— Representatives from Naughty Dog, the premiere Playstation 3 developer, discuss how they utilize the Naughty Dog 2.0 engine to hit a turning point in technology innovation by recreating reality and capturing human emotion. Creative director Amy Hennig and various cast members of Uncharted 2: Among Thieves discuss how for the first time, through high-quality cinematic presentation of scenes, characters, and dialogue, players become an active participant in the cinematic experience. Room 6A

5:30-6:30 Cartoon Books & Abstract Studios Happy Hour with Jeff Smith and Terry Moore— The perfect way to spend your first happy hour at Comic-Con! Don’t miss your chance to chat with indie icons Jeff Smith and Terry Moore as they talk about new projects, upcoming appearances, and sharing a booth at this year’s Comic-Con. Plus, Jeff will be making a special announcement! Room 7AB

5:30-6:30 Graphic Novel Programming in Libraries— Words of wisdom from Librarian Fanboys and Fangirls on ways to make your collection rock the house! It’s life in the dork lane when librarian nerds become comic book geeks. How can a fan transcend life-long Universe loyalties to build a balanced collection? How do you fight back when your cataloging department thinks all superhero titles are for teens? Is it really possible to have a graphic novel book club? Get tips on starting graphic novel clubs, running workshops on cartooning, hosting author visits and much more. Moderated by Snow Wildsmith with Robin Brenner, Hillary Chang, Mike Pawuk, Jill Patterson, and Nick Smith. Room 30AB

5:30-6:30 The Physics of Hollywood Movies— Join physics instructor Adam Weiner (author of Don’t Try This at Home! The Physics of Hollywood Movies) for an interactive presentation employing basic physical principles and a sense of humor in analyzing scenes from favorite Hollywood science fiction, superhero, and action movies, from Iron Man to 2001: A Space Odyssey, and actually learn the physics behind them—both good and bad! Room 30CDE

5:30-6:30 All-Stars of Comics Podcasting— Comics podcasting has grown from a novelty to a force within the industry, providing an outlet for reviews, interviews, news and general entertainment for comic book fans. Comic book podcasting veterans Jimmy Aquino (Comics News Insider), Brian “Pants” Christman (Comic Geek Speak), and Ron Richards (iFanboy) discuss the future of comics podcasting. You never know what may happen in podcasting—some special surprise guests may be making appearances! Plus, this is your chance to meet and talk to your favorite podcasters! Room 32AB

5:45-6:45 Spotlight on John Kricfalusi— He’s the wild man of animation, the groundbreaking genius behind Ren & Stimpy and The Ripping Friends, whose creations have become inspiration for practically every animated show on TV today. John Kricfalusi (AKA John K) is a Comic-Con special guest and in this Spotlight event he’ll talk about his career in animation and what’s coming next. Room 6BCF

5:45-6:45 Kick-Ass— World premiere footage from Kick-Ass, based on Mark Millar’s bestselling comic, is presented by director Matthew Vaughn (Stardust, Layercake). Joining him on the panel are Nicolas Cage, Christopher Mintz-Plasse (Superbad), and comic co-creator John Romita Jr., among others, including a surprise guest. You don’t want to miss the chance to be the first to experience this gritty, brash, and funny actioner. Hall H

6:00-7:00 Del Rey: Terry Brooks— Bestselling author Terry Brooks (The Sword of Shannara) discusses his return to the Magic Kingdom of Landover series with the August release of A Princess of Landover, as well as what’s next in the Shannara series. Plus highlights from the upcoming Del Rey and Spectra lists. Moderated by Betsy Mitchell (editor-in-chief, Del Rey). Room 2

6:00-7:00 Vertigo New Ongoing Series/Crime Line— It’s a new beginning for Vertigo with the launch of such ongoing titles as The Unwritten, Greek Street, and Sweet Tooth. In addition to these titles DC will be launching the highly anticipated Vertigo Crime Line with some of the top talents in the industry. Moderated by senior VP/executive editor, Vertigo, Karen Berger and senior editor Will Dennis, this panel is not to be missed, especially considering the talent present: Peter Gross (Unwritten), Jeff Lemire (Sweet Tooth, The Nobody), Jason Starr, Chris Gage, Gabriel Bá, Fábio Moon, and others! Room 5AB

6:00-7:00 Mad Science: The Science Behind Science Fiction— Discover magazine and the National Academy of Sciences’ Science and Entertainment Exchange explore science as a double-edged sword—it’s ethically and morally neutral in and of itself, but science depends on who wields it and how. Join moderator Phil Plait (Discover magazine contributing editor and blogger), Jaime Paglia (co-creator and executive producer of Eureka), Kevin Grazier (science consultant, Eureka, Virtuality), Jane Espenson (executive producer, Dollhouse, Battlestar Galactica, Buffy the Vampire Slayer), Rob Chiappetta and Glenn Whitman (staff writers, Fringe), and Ricardo Gil da Costa (neuroscientist and consultant on Fringe) for a lively and fun discussion on science used for good vs. evil. Followed by Q&A. Room 6DE

6:00-7:00 Devil’s Due Publishing— Company president Josh Blaylock (Mercy Sparx) details what’s to come in the ’09–’10 Devil’s Due lineup! Find out about Blaylock’s new Mercy Sparx series, and get a preview from Tim Seeley on what’s in store for Cassie Hack in the fan-favorite Hack/Slash. Members of Suicide Girls offer a sneak peek at an upcoming DDP project, and special guest Murs discusses his new comic collaboration with Josh Blaylock! Room 8

6:00-7:00 Neko Press 10th Anniversary Panel— Billy Martinez, publisher and creator for Neko Press, will discuss what it takes to keep an independent company going with the changing times. Billy will discuss the many books and stories that came out of his 10-year-old company. A great panel for aspiring artists and anyone interested in moving into the field of comics and art. Room 10

6:30-7:30 Bandai Entertainment— Code Geass R2, Gundam 00, Akira Blu-ray, Lucky Star OVA: these are just some of the exciting anime coming from Bandai Entertainment in 2009! Bandai Entertainment’s president Ken Iyadomi and director of marketing Robert Napton highlight current and upcoming releases, with news and a few giveaways! Room 3

6:30-7:30 Unlocking Arkham: Forensic Psychiatry and Batman’s Rogues’ Gallery— Arkham Asylum holds some of Gotham City’s most disturbed criminals. But do they truly belong there? From the vantage point of a forensic psychiatrist utilizing real-world psychiatric diagnostic criteria, panelists explore the mental disorders of the Dark Knight’s Rogues’ Gallery, with in-depth analyses of The Joker, Two-Face, Riddler, The Ventriloquist, Mad Hatter, and Mr. Zsasz, among others. Learn as three psychiatrists explain the meaning of such terms as “psychotic,” “not guilty by reason of insanity,” and “psychopathy.” Bring your questions, and join the fun as experts unlock Arkham Asylum and possibly set free some of its “inmates”! Panelists include H. Eric Bender, M.D., University of California, Los Angeles; Praveen Kambam, M.D., University Hospitals/Case Medical Center, Cleveland, Ohio; and Vasilis K. Pozios, M.D., University of Michigan, Ann Arbor. Room 4

6:30-7:30 The Clockwork Girl: From Concept to Comic and Beyond— Sean O’Reilly (Kade) and Kevin Hanna (16 Miles to Merricks) released The Clockwork Girl back in 2007, and the comic book series has gone on to be collected as a hardcover winning The Moonbeam Award for Top Children’s Graphic Novel and Foreword magazine’s Top Graphic Novel of the Year; it’s also received funding for feature film development. Sean and Kevin discuss how they came up with the concept, describe the risks and rewards of self-publishing, and showcase a short teaser of The Clockwork Girl animated film. Room 7AB

6:30-7:30 The Anthropology of Star Trek— Daryl Frazetti (Department of Anthropology, Lake Tahoe Community College), Ian Morris (UCSB student), John Stivers, Jacob Hurd, and Kanan Miller (Lake Tahoe Community College students) discuss the anthropological themes in the Star Trek universe. Select themes include such topics as politics, religion, identity, technology, the cultural role of the individual, and the anthropological concept of “race.” A brief discussion on the subculture of fandom is also included, along with the cultural impact of Trek. Audience participation is encouraged. This presentation spans the franchise and explores the relationship between Star Trek and society throughout the past four decades. Room 30AB

6:30-7:30 10 Other Ways to Break in as a Comic Creator— “Come back when you have a published credit.” Sound familiar? How do you get your first professional break as a comic creator when all the studios are looking for “experience”? Creative director Jessica Leigh Clark-Bojin (Zeros 2 Heroes Media) offers some new options. Room 30CDE

6:30-7:30 The Wonderful World of Computer Games in Japan— An overview of computer gaming as seen from Japan, with a focus on Japan’s amateur “doujin” games, dating-sims and games that explore themes of love, and an overview of recent trends in computer gaming in Japan, including “otome” games (games made specifically for girls) and other areas in which gaming in Japan differs from those in the West. Room 32AB

6:30-7:00 Focus Features: Thirst— Focus Features and Comic-Con present a rare U.S. appearance by acclaimed Korean filmmaker Park Chan-wook, whose “scandalous vampire melodrama” Thirst just won the Prix du Jury (Jury Prize) at the 2009 Cannes International Film Festival. Sang-hyun (played by top Korean star Song Kang-ho, of The Host) is a priest who cherishes life; so much so, that he selflessly volunteers for a secret vaccine development project meant to eradicate a deadly virus. But the virus takes the priest, and a blood transfusion is urgently ordered for him. The blood he receives is infected, so he lives—but now exists as a vampire. Sang-hyun soon plunges into a world of sensual pleasures, finding himself on intimate terms with the Seven Deadly Sins. Park will show clips from the movie— which opens in select cities on July 31—and discuss his career. Hall H

6:45-7:45 Robotech Industry Panel— Tommy Yune, director of Robotech: The Shadow Chronicles, and Steve Yun, writer of Robotech: The Shadow Chronicles, discuss upcoming Robotech releases in the wake of the announcement of the live-action feature film. Room 6A

Nighttime Programs

7:00-8:00 The Antidote Trust— The Antidote Trust (TAT), America’s premiere indie collective, share more input on how they continue to produce comics that rival “the big boys” in quality, marketing, and distribution. Determined to do your own thing with the highest levels of professionalism? TAT can help you realize this goal. All members of TAT are strictly independent companies, producing comics, apparel, action figures—nearly everything in the industry. Panelists include B. Paul Husband, Esq. (general counsel for ASIFA-Hollywood), Lance Stahlberg (director, Haven Distributors), Richard Hamilton (Miserable Dastards), Andre Owens (Force Galaxia), Dani Dixon (13), Dale Wilson (Magnificent Creatures), Robert Roach (Menthu), and Paul Fusco (Soldiers of the Dead). Moderated by Geoffrey Thorne (Star Trek: Titan, Sword of Damocles). Room 5AB

7:00-8:00 Comedy Central’s Drawn Together Movie Roundtable— Join co-creators Matt Silverstein and Dave Jeser and stars Foxxy Love, Cree Summer (Transformers: Animated) and Wooldoor Sockbat/The Jew Producer, James Arnold Taylor (Star Wars: The Clone Wars), as they discuss The Drawn Together Movie and host a roundtable discussion on the politics of religion in the workplace and where to get a decent sandwich. Room 6BCF

7:15-9:15 Captain Cosmos and the Gray Ghosts— Comic-Con special guest Nicola Cuti—best known for his comics work at Charlton, including co-creating the fondly remembered E-Man—wrote and stars in this fun “old-time space opera.” Featuring the adventures of Captain Nick Cosmos (Nic Cuti) and his daughter, the volatile alien called Zen-Ya, along with the crew of his ship, The Bedevere. In this series of episodes the Bedevere is being haunted by two mysterious ghosts who leave clues of their identities. The exciting stories entertain, educate, and include clips from the space operas and cartoons of the 1950s. A treat for the entire family. Room 2

7:30-8:30 Geek Roundtable— Come join the funniest and most racially diverse group of geeks on the Internet in a discussion covering the World of Geek! Put in your two cents as a de facto member of the group. There will be special guests and prizes, and stories you’ll just have to take to your grave. Featuring Geekroundtable creator and moderator Ned Cato Jr., with panelists Chris and Mary Sturhann, producer Jesse Lopez, Patrick Roach, Matt Jeffery, Wesley Strawther, and Johann Joseph. Oh, and you, too! Room 10

8:00-10:00 Dr. Horrible’s Sing-along Blog— The California Browncoats host a screening of the original three acts, followed immediately by Commentary! The Musical. See why Joss Whedon’s (Dollhouse, Buffy the Vampire Slayer) first foray into webisodic “television” was the talk of the town with critics and fans alike in 2008. Be prepared for a night of singing and surprises hosted by the fans who know what you like best. Dr. Horrible stars Neil Patrick Harris (How I Met Your Mother), Nathan Fillion (Castle, Firefly), and Felicia Day (The Guild) and is written by Joss Whedon, Jed Whedon (Dollhouse), Zack Whedon (Fringe), and Maurissa Tancharoen (Dollhouse). Room 6A
8:00-9:30 Green Lantern: First Flight World Premiere— Warner Home Video, Warner Premiere, DC Comics and Warner Bros. Animation proudly present the World Premiere of Green Lantern: First Flight, the fifth DC Universe animated original PG-13 movie. Green Lantern: First Flight finds Hal Jordan recruited to join the Green Lantern Corps and placed under the supervision of respected senior Lantern Sinestro. The earthling soon discovers his mentor is actually the central figure in a secret conspiracy that threatens the philosophies, traditions and hierarchy of the entire Green Lantern Corps. Hal must quickly hone his newfound powers and combat the treasonous Lanterns within the ranks to maintain order in the universe. Christopher Meloni (Law & Order: Special Victims Unit) leads the cast as the voice of Hal Jordan aka Green Lantern. The cast includes Emmy Award nominee Victor Garber (Milk, Titanic), Tricia Helfer (Battlestar Galactica), Michael Madsen (Reservoir Dogs), Juliet Landau (Buffy the Vampire Slayer), and John Larroquette (Night Court). Produced by animation legend Bruce Timm, Green Lantern: First Flight is directed by Lauren Montgomery (Wonder Woman) and scripted by four-time Emmy Award–winning writer Alan Burnett (The Batman). Warner Home Video will release Green Lantern: First Flight on Blu-ray Hi-Def and DVD on July 28, 2009. Ballroom 20

8:15-11:15 Superhero Kung-Fu Extravaganza— Back by popular demand for a record 11th year! Martial art movie master Ric Meyers (Inside Kung-Fu) brings you eye-popping, jaw-dropping, all-new film fight action. You never know who might drop by, but even if only you do, it’ll be unforgettable. Room 6BCF

9:30-12:00 Halloween Comes Early: Trick ‘r Treat Screening— Be among the first to see writer/director Michael Dougherty’s (Superman Returns, X2) creepy, darkly comic celebration of the scariest night of the year. Trick ‘r Treat takes the Creepshow/Tales from the Crypt approach to nefarious new depths with four interwoven tales set on Halloween night: a high school principal who moonlights as a vicious serial killer; a young virgin whose quest for that special someone takes a gruesome turn; a group of teens who carry out a cruel prank with disastrous consequences; and a cantankerous old man who battles a mischievous trick-or-treating demon. Prior to the screening, Ain’t It Cool News mogul Harry Knowles will moderate a panel featuring Michael Dougherty and members of the cast, including Anna Paquin (True Blood, X-Men), Tahmoh Penikett (Battlestar Galactica, Dollhouse), and Brian Cox (The Bourne Identity, X2). A collection of creepy stories that mixes fun with fear, candy with poison, and laughter with screams, the critically acclaimed Trick ‘r Treat will be released on Blu-ray Hi-Def and DVD and On Demand by Warner Home Video in October. Ballroom 20
If this schedule is too much for you to handle, be sure to head over to the Comic Con website where all of this information is categorized and searchable!

The Author

Stephen Schleicher

Stephen Schleicher

Stephen Schleicher began his career writing for the Digital Media Online community of sites, including Digital Producer and Creative Mac covering all aspects of the digital content creation industry. He then moved on to consumer technology, and began the Coolness Roundup podcast. A writing fool, Stephen has freelanced for Sci-Fi Channel's Technology Blog, and Gizmodo. Still longing for the good ol' days, Stephen launched Major Spoilers in July 2006, because he is a glutton for punishment.

You can follow him on Twitter @MajorSpoilers and tell him your darkest secrets...

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