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Comic-Con International announces Thursday programming

Comic-Con International

Comic-Con International has released a jam-packed programming schedule for Thursday, July 21, that includes the first of DC’s aforementioned “New 52″ panels, presentations from IDW Publishing and BOOM! Studios on some of their licensed titles — Transformers, G.I. Joe, Dungeons & Dragons and Planet of the Apes — spotlights on Grant Morrison, Joyce Brabner, Paul Levitz, Jo Chen, Roy Thomas and Alex Nino, and a look at Dark Horse’s fall releases.

But that barely scratches the surface. There’s also a panel for Robert Kirkman’s new Skybound imprint, Comic Book Legal Defense Fund master classes, a Q&A with Stan Lee, Todd McFarlane and Yoshiki, an examination of the X-Men’s gay characters, themes and fans, and the screening of a documentary about the late Jeffrey Catherine Jones.

To help you with your Comic-Con planning, we’ve highlighted the comics-specific programming below. To see the full Thursday schedule, complete with television, film and video game content, visit the convention website.

THURSDAY, JULY 21

10:00-11:00 Planet of the Apes in Comics Present and Past— Planet of the Apes has come back to comics this year, thanks to BOOM! Studios. Current Planet of the Apes comics editor Ian Brill and writer Daryl Gregory talk about the new series, along with Tom Mason, who served as Malibu Comics’ creative director and oversaw the last big Apes explosion. Learn what’s next for Planet of the Apes and secrets behind the past of this comic franchise. Room 5AB

10:00-11:00 IDW and Hasbro: 2012 Transformations— What’s coming up in IDW’s Transformers, G.I. Joe, and Dungeons & Dragons titles? More important, who’s taking over stewardship of Transformers and G.I. Joe? Find out as IDW’s newest editor makes his presence known, alongside IDW’s editorial team and creators such as Mike Costa, Livio Ramondelli, and more surprise guests! Also, get word of a new license being announced today! Room 9

10:15-11:15 Marvel: Breaking into Comics the Marvel Way— You have the talent. You have the imagination. You have the “Go get ‘em Tiger” determination that would make the Bullpen proud. But where do you go from there? Discover the next step in your budding comics career with world-renowned talent scout C. B. Cebulski, artists Skottie Young (Ozma of Oz) and Humberto Ramos (Amazing Spider-Man), and Marvel SVP of brand planning & communications Mike Pasciullo, as they give you all the right pointers toward getting a foot in the door at Marvel Comics. Discussing all entry points across every department, this panel is must for all Marvel hopefuls! Room 6DE

10:30-11:30 DC: Talent Search— DC’s editorial art director, Mark Chiarello, presents an informative orientation session to explain how DC’s Talent Search works and discuss the different needs of DC Comics, Vertigo, and MAD magazine. If you want to learn what DC Comics looks for in artists and how to improve your chances of becoming a working professional, this is the panel for you. If you want 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 Spotlight on Joyce Brabner— Is she the glacial, humorless activist as portrayed in the film American Splendor or just the person who published the first comic on the Internet? Come hear Comic-Con special guest Joyce Brabner talk about her latest projects, including finishing the work of her late husband Harvey Pekar and dealing with his legacy. Room 8

10:45-11:45 Oh, You Sexy Geek!— Does displaying the sexiness of fangirls benefit or demean them? When geek girls show off, are they liberating themselves or pandering to men? Do some “fake fangirls” blend sex appeal with nerdiness just to appeal to the growing geek/nerd market, or is that question itself unfair? And what’s up with all the Slave Leias? Action flick chick Katrina Hill (ActionFlickChick.com) asks Bonnie Burton (Grrl.com), Adrianne Curry (America’s Next Top Model), Clare Grant (Team Unicorn, “G33k & G4m3r Girls”), Kiala Kazebee (Nerdist.com), Clare Kramer (Buffy the Vampire Slayer), Nerdy Bird Jill Pantozzi (“Has Boobs, Reads Comics”), Jennifer K. Stuller (Ink-Stained Amazons, GeekGirlCon) and Chris Gore (G4TV’s Attack of the Show!) to discuss whether fans can be sexy and geeky at the same time — and if they should! Room 6A

11:00-12:00 Bongo Comics Sneak Peek— Bongo Comics offers a mouthwatering preview of upcoming projects featuring The Simpsons and Futurama and a few other surprises. Managing editor Terry Delegeane and creative director Bill Morrison host 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, what to surmise about Simpsons Comics, and how to get more connected than ever before. And join Sergio Aragonés as he presents his new humor monthly Sergio Aragonés Funnies. This is a must-attend panel for all fans of The Simpsons and Futurama, and anyone looking for a place to sit down! Room 9

11:30-12:30 Spotlight on Alex Niño— Widely regarded as one of the world’s greatest Filipino comics artists, Comic-Con special guest Alex Niño has had an amazing career in American comics, too. Niño will talk about his past, present, and future projects in this spotlight panel. Room 4

11:30-12:30 DC: Flashpoint Everything you know will change in a Flash! Flashpoint, the blockbuster comics event of the summer, has turned the DC Universe inside out! Join DCU executive editor Eddie Berganza and some of the amazing talent behind Flashpoint for a panel that’s sure to pose new questions about this explosive event even as it answers others! Room 6DE

11:30-12:30 Spotlight on Dick DeBartolo— Comic-Con special guest Dick DeBartolo talks about the bizarre way MAD bought his first piece and the mad way William M. Gaines, founder and publisher, ran MAD (such as white wine in the water cooler and free trips to foreign countries for members of the Usual Gang of Idiots!). He also talks about how, while working at Mark Goodson–Bill Todman Productions, his MAD background saved The Match Game from being canceled. In the Q&A Dick will answer questions about MAD, TV game shows, and his (and Gaines’s) love of gadgets. He will not entertain any history, math, or geography questions. In a desperate attempt to get people to attend, Dick will give some MAD stuff away at his presentation. Room 8

12:00-1:00 Spotlight on Jo Chen — Comic book artist and Comic-Con special guest Jo Chen has gathered a huge fan base with her highly detailed and painted covers for such titles as Buffy the Vampire Slayer, New Avengers, Runaways, Street Fighter, and more. Be a part of this special spotlight panel devoted to Jo’s history, artistic skills, and a review of her body of work. Moderated by Dark Horse Comics editor Scott Allie (Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Hellboy, The Goon). Room 7AB

12:00-1:00 Spreading The Darkness: From Comic Book to Video Games and Entertainment— In a world of comic book icons, The Darkness has not only stood the test of time but flourished in various forms of media. Celebrate the upcoming 15th anniversary of The Darkness with the creators that know Jackie Estacado and his world the best. The Darkness creator Marc Silvestri (X-Men/Dark Avengers: Utopia) and team members from Digital Extremes and 2K Games discuss not only the comic but the upcoming video game, The Darkness II, arriving in October. Plus special surprise guests! And be the first to hear about an exciting announcement regarding The Darkness in other media. Room 9

12:00-1:00 CBLDF Master Session 1: David Petersen— Mouse Guard is a triumph of world-building that couples a fiercely imaginative story with the illustrative mastery of its creator’s pen. Witness David Petersen’s singular approach to image making and learn how he creates his work at this CBLDF Master Session. The pieces created during this event will be available for bidding in Saturday’s CBLDF Benefit Auction! Room 30CDE

12:00-1:00 Dark Horse: Fall Publishing Highlights— Three supersecret surprise megastars from the entertainment and publishing worlds (revealed on Preview Night at the Dark Horse booth) discuss their thrilling new comics at this special panel. Discover their spine-tingling new projects coming in fall 2011 and get an exclusive San Diego Comic-Con print, which you’ll be able to see larger than life at the Dark Horse booth! Room 32AB

12:30-1:30 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), Meredith Gran (Octopus Pie), Jon Rosenberg (Goats), and Chris Yates (Chris Yates Studios) about anything your Internet heart desires. Room 4

12:30-1:30 Spotlight on Bill Schelly— Comic-Con special guest Bill Schelly (The Golden Age of Comic Fandom, The DC Archives) is a leading fandom and comics historian. Moderator Gary Brown interviews Bill about his work, with special emphasis on his latest books The Art of Joe Kubert (debuting at Comic-Con 2011) and Founders of Comic Fandom, followed by a Q&A session. Room 8

12:45-1:45 DC Comics: Grant Morrison— Comic-Con special guest Grant Morrison, one of the most inventive writers in comics today, discusses his work in and out of comics, including the highly anticipated Action Comics #1, coming in September from DC Comics, his new nonfiction book, Supergods: What Masked Vigilantes, Miraculous Mutants, and a Sun God from Smallville Can Teach Us About Being Human, and recent acclaimed titles like Joe the Barbarian. Don’t miss this chance to hear one of comics’ most distinctive voices as he talks about his work from superheroes to the cutting edge of comics. Room 6DE

1:00-2:00 DC Direct— DC Direct has long been known as one of the most creative companies that produce collectibles for the direct market, producing your favorite action figures, statues, and busts for over ten years now. DC Direct director of product development Jim Fletcher along with artist Adam Hughes, DC exclusive sculptors, and others discuss their line of current projects, as well as future plans revolving around the new DC Universe. Room 5AB

1:00-2:00 Marvel Digital: What’s Next?! Comics…and Beyond!— Members of the Marvel Digital Media Group give you the first word on Marvel digital comics, casual games, original streaming video productions, social media outreach, and the future of Marvel’s ever-expanding digital endeavors. Room 7AB

1:00-2:00 Abrams ComicArts— For over 60 years Abrams has been the premiere art book publisher. With the launch of Abrams ComicArts in 2009, the tradition of excellence continues with award-winning original graphic novels by Brian Fies, Jason Shiga, and Barry Deutsch, as well as monographs on such seminal creators as Jack Kirby, Harvey Kurtzman, and Jaime Hernandez. Charles Kochman (editorial director), Sheila Keenan (senior editor), and Neil Egan (designer) talk with celebrated graphic designer Chip Kidd (Shazam! The Golden Age of the World’s Mightiest Mortal) about their current titles and reveal details and images from their upcoming collaborations with Dan Clowes, Derf Backderf, Kazu Kibuishi, and Dave McKean, as well as other projects and surprises. Room 9

1:00-2:00 SKYBOUND Panel— It’s been an amazing year for SKYBOUND, Image COO Robert Kirkman’s imprint at Image Comics. The premiere original Witch Doctor has sold out nationwide, the all-ages hit Super Dinosaur continues to soar, and Kirkman’s team-up with Rob Liefeld, The Infinite, is about to rock fans to their core. So what’s next? Robert Kirkman discusses the future of the imprint with his stable of creators, including Thief of Thieves writer Nick Spencer, Witch Doctor creators Brandon Seifert and Lukas Ketner, and others. Expect loads of surprises, announcements, and most important: AWESOMENESS. Room 25ABC

1:00-2:00 CBLDF Master Session 2: Shannon Wheeler— From DIY zine making to the pages of the New Yorker and every flavor of independent press in between, Shannon Wheeler has distinguished himself for an ability to craft humor strips that are equal parts sardonic and existential. Take a close-up look at his approach to creating cartoons and gain insight into the nuts and bolts of making cartoons that connect with editors and readers at this CBLDF Master Session! The pieces created during this event will be available for bidding in Saturday’s CBLDF Benefit Auction! Room 30CDE

1:00-2:00 Archaia Entertainment: Immortals, the Graphic Novel— Before you watch Relativity Media’s epic 3D film Immortals when it opens on November 11, dive into Archaia’s prelude graphic novel, Immortals: Gods and Heroes, coming in September! Featuring original tales that expand on the movie’s characters and written and illustrated by some of the top names in comics, Immortals: Gods and Heroes promises to prepare you for the visionary film directed by Tarsem Singh (The Cell, The Fall). Editor Nate Cosby (Jim Henson’s The Storyteller) and contributors Dennis Calero (X-Factor), F. J. DeSanto (The Spirit), David Mack (Kabuki), Ron Marz (Witchblade), Jim McCann (Return of the Dapper Men), Ben McCool (Captain America), and some surprise guests give you a sneak peek at the graphic novel, plus provide some cool behind-the-scenes info of its production. Meet the two winners of the “Become Immortal” contest, whose likenesses will be drawn into the book. Plus, everyone in attendance will receive a voucher for a cool Immortals: Gods and Heroes giveaway at the Archaia booth! Moderated by Archaia editor-in-chief Stephen Christy. Room 32AB

1:00-2:00 Stan Lee, Yoshiki, and Todd McFarlane— The worlds of music and comics collide, as legendary creators Stan Lee (POW! Entertainment) and Todd McFarlane (Spawn) join forces with rock superstar, Yoshiki (X Japan) to create a bold new hero, Blood Red Dragon. Lee, Yoshiki, and McFarlane are joined by renowned writer Jon Goff (Halo Evolutions) for a captivating panel and Q&A session. Indigo Ballroom, Hilton San Diego Bayfront

1:15-2:15 Books vs. Graphic Novels and Comics— Writers often dabble with various forms of art as an outlet for their creativity. In this panel, authors discuss the process and collaboration involved in publishing a graphic novel versus a novel, as well as the role comic books play in the creation of their characters and story arcs. Panelists Christopher Moore and Ian Corson (The Griff), Jim Butcher (The Harry Dresden series), Tom Sniegoski (The Fallen series), Amber Benson (The Calliope Reaper Jones novels), and Matthew Holms (Babymouse, Squish) talk about the differences and similarities with moderator David Mariotte of Mysterious Galaxy. Room 6A

1:30-2:30 Spotlight on John Higgins— Comic-Con special guest John Higgins was part of the team that brought the revolutionary comics series and graphic novel Watchmen to the comics world. Higgins added vibrant, story-enhancing color to Dave Gibbons’s wonderful art. Beyond his role as a colorist, Higgins has worked as an artist and writer on characters as diverse as Batman, Judge Dredd, and Jonah Hex. He’ll talk about his career in comics and beyond and what’s up next. Room 4

1:30-2:30 Spotlight on Maggie Thompson— Maggie Thompson (Comics Buyer’s Guide senior editor) and Valerie Thompson (The Ruder Finn Group) open a window to the past. Comic-Con, after all, provides an annual opportunity to revel in the wisdom of the elderly. While a few con diehards might take a peek at the occasional film premiere or TV-star meet-and-greet, most are here to throng breathlessly around oldsters’ withered husks to hear endless stories about what comics fandom was like in the good old days. With the aid of medications and the unrelenting patience of her daughter, Maggie will provide insights from her half-century of comics fandom. (When Maggie started out in this business, you could buy a comic book, a box of Jujubes, and a matinee ticket for less than 50 cents.) Room 8

1:30-2:30 AICN Comics: Horror on the Paneled Page— Mark L. Miller (Ain’t It Cool News) hosts a panel focusing on horror with some of comic books’ darkest writers and artists. The discussion will breach such topics as how to create successful horror comics, what causes chills, and what doesn’t. Steve Niles (30 Days of Night), Joshua Hale Fialkov (DC’s upcoming I, Vampire), David Quinn (Faust), Tim Seeley (Hack/Slash), Brandon Seifert (Witch Doctor), Matt Pizzolo (Godkiller), Brea and Zane Grant (We Will Bury You), and a few surprise guests will show you what makes them the best of the best in comic book horror. Room 24ABC

2:00-3:00 DC Comics: The New 52— The DC Universe explodes in September with 52 new number-one issues, and one panel is not enough to cover it, With a “DC Comics: The New 52′” panel each day, there’s sure to be something for everyone. Bob Harras, DC’s editor-in-chief, and DCU executive editor Eddie Berganza present an up-close look at this unprecedented wave of new series, from the first-ever relaunches of Action Comics and Batman titles to the latest thrills from comics’ cutting edge! Room 6DE

2:00-3:00 Love and Rockets Gilbert, Jaime, and Mario Hernandez converse with Gary Groth about 30 years of creating their landmark comic book series, Love & Rockets. Since 1982, Love & Rockets has virtually defined alternative comics and culture, launching from the punk rock scene in Los Angeles and growing into one of the most mature bodies of work ever produced in the medium. Room 9

2:00-3:00 Join the 2D Animation Revolution— Dave Gibbons (Watchmen), Skottie Young (Marvel Comics), Ethan Nicolle (SLG’s Chumble Spuzz, Axe Cop), Doug TenNapel (Earthworm Jim), Steve Yatson, and Fahim Niaz (Smith Micro Software Productivity & Graphics Group) will discuss the trends leading to the explosive growth in the animation industry. This all-star cast will offer tips and tricks available to any animator for getting and building a global fanbase. Room 30CDE

2:30-3:30 Joyce Farmer: Special Exits, A Memoir Can graphic work become serious literature through excellent artwork, writing ,and subject matter? Where does graphic work belong in bookstores and libraries? This Q&A with Comic-Con special guest Joyce Farmer examines her Eisner Award–nominated book Special Exits, A Memoir (Fantagraphics) in this spotlight panel. Room 4

2:30-3:30 Sergio and Mark Show— It’s that time again: The Eisner Award–winning folks who bring you Groo the Wanderer and other silly comics tell you what they’re working on and why it isn’t out yet. Sergio Aragonés and Mark Evanier, along with Stan Sakai and Tom Luth, answer your questions, tell strange stories, and reveal the dread secret of Sergio’s mustache. Room 8

3:00-4:00 WTF, Dude? Spotlight on Charlie Huston— Comic-Con special guest Charlie Huston (Wolverine The Best There Is) has written comics, crime, horror, and SF novels and pilots for HBO and FOX. Now he brutally interrogates himself to answer the question “WFT, Dude?” Included in your admission: Ask Charlie a stoopid question! Trivia and prizes! A one-man interpretation of A. R. Gurney’s Love Letters! Surprise guests! And more! Room 7AB

3:00-4:00 IDW Publishing Presents: The Greatest Panel of All Time— New creator-owned books? Ever-larger licensed titles? All-new creators, and even some major crossover events? How about prizes just for attending? Yep, you’ll find all that and more, in The Greatest Panel of All Time. CCO Chris Ryall, editor Scott Dunbier, and creators Chris Roberson, Eric Powell, and Steve Niles, along with MC Dirk Wood, present a gamelike atmosphere as they spin the wheel on projects coming in 2011 and 2012. Come on down! Room 9

3:15-4:15 DC: Batman— Batman, Robin, Nightwing, Batwoman, and the rest of Gotham City’s greatest crimefighters take things to the next level in September with new battles and new titles. Get to know the writers and artists behind these exciting new comics, including Batman group editor Mike Marts, Grant Morrison (Batman Incorporated), David Finch (Batman: The Dark Knight), Scott Snyder (Detective Comics), Peter Tomasi (Batman & Robin), Patrick Gleason (Batman & Robin), Gail Simone (Batgirl), Judd Winick (Batwing, Catwoman), and others answer your questions at this exclusive Bat-panel. Moderated by John Cunningham. Room 6DE

3:30-4:30 Spotlight on Frank Stack— Comic-Con special guest Frank Stack, pioneer of underground comix in the 1960s with such titles as New Adventures of Jesus, Feelgood Funnies, Amazons, and Dorman’s Doggie, remains active as a fine artist and cartoonist. His Jesus stories were recently reprinted as The Second Coming by Fantagraphics. Frank will present a visual presentation and Q&A. Room 4

3:30-4:30 Spotlight on Roy Thomas— Legendary comics writer/editor — and Comic-Con special guest — Roy Thomas sits down with interviewer Mark Evanier to talk about Thomas’s life in comics, from the early days of comics fandom and Alter Ego to his memorable run of comics at Marvel and DC, and now at Dark Horse and beyond. Room 8

3:30-4:30 True Stories— Chester Brown (Paying for It), Tom Devlin (art director of D&Q), Peter Kuper (Stop Forgetting to Remember), Leland Myrick (Feynman), and Thomas LeBien (publisher of Hill & Wang’s Novel Graphics line) discuss the ins and outs of nonfiction graphic novel stories. What are the lines between truth and fiction when images are involved in a story? Moderated by Scott McCloud (Understanding Comics). Room 26AB

4:00-5:00 Avatar Press: Special News and Q&A— Here’s your chance to meet the creative minds behind Avatar Press, the industry’s most groundbreaking, risk-taking publisher! Hosted by editor-in-chief William Christensen, this panel includes Jacen Burrows, whose atmospheric artwork terrified readers of Garth Ennis’s Crossed and Alan Moore’s Neonomicon, and Brian Pulido, whose cult favorite Lady Death series provides the backbone to the sexy and action-packed Boundless Comics line. Find out what new terrors this rogue publisher will unleash in the months ahead, and get your questions answered. Room 7AB

4:00-5:00 The 6th Annual Comics Podcasting All-Stars— Join the titans of comics media, the comics podcasters, for the 6th annual gathering at the San Diego Comic-Con. Get a front row seat to see some of your favorite comics podcasters discuss everything from the latest in comics industry news to behind-the-scenes stories. Podcasters appearing on the panel include Cameron Hatheway (Cammy’s Comic Corner), John Mayo (The Comic Book Page), Brian “Pants” Christman (Comic Geek Speak), Jimmy Aquino (Comics News Insider), Conor Kilpatrick (iFanboy), John Siuntres (Word Balloon), and Pat Loika (Loikamania!). Room 9

4:00-5:00 Kodansha Comics— Representatives from the largest publisher in Japan discuss the exciting manga they’ll be releasing in the coming months. Kumi Shimizu of Kodansha USA talks with Dallas Middaugh about the imprint’s upcoming books, such as Bloody Monday, Cage of Eden, Love Hina, and, of course, Sailor Moon! Room 23ABC

4:00-5:00 Breaking and Staying In— It’s well known that breaking into comics as a creator — be it writer or artist or colorist — is not easy. Learn how it’s done from Andy Schmidt (X-Men, Five Days to Die, Comics Experience founder), who’s broken in as an editor, a writer, and a teacher. Not enough? He’s also going to talk about how to stay in comics once you catch that first break — and you’ll hear from writer Mike Costa (G.I. Joe: Cobra) and artist Zander Cannon (Top 10) for their tips too! Room 30CDE

4:00-5:00 BOOM! Irredeemable/Incorruptible Panel— Mark Waid’s bestselling, multiple sell-out Irredeemable has taken comic fans by storm, becoming one of the top-selling independent comics of the last several years. Mark Waid discusses Irredeemable’s beginnings, the future of the series, and its sister series, Incorruptible. Big announcements will be made at this not-to-be-missed panel for any fan of these books! Room 32AB

4:30-5:30 MAD Men— What’s up with America ‘s most famous humor magazine (that is, if you don’t count Newsweek)? Your genial moderator Mark Evanier quizzes the Usual Gang of Idiots: editor John Ficarra, art director Sam Viviano, writer Dick DeBartolo and artists Sergio Aragonés, Peter Kuper, Tom Richmond, and Keith Knight. Room 8

4:30-5:30 Comics for Teens— Comics creators Cecil Castelluci (Plain Janes), Hope Larson (Mercury), Nate Powell (Swallow Me Whole), and Gene Luen Yang (Level Up) come together for a discussion of what makes a comic fit a teen audience. Do books for teens have something special that books for kids and adults don’t have? Moderated by Scott Westerfeld (New York Times bestselling teen author). Room 26AB

5:00-6:00 Epic Literary Adventures— Jeff Smith (RASL, Bone), Anders Nilsen (Big Questions), Brian Ralph (Daybreak & SCAD professor), and moderator Tom Spurgeon (comicsreporter.com) discuss the overlap between literary and fantasy, the science and art of creating an imaginary world, building a story that is serialized over several years, and carving a unique fantastical niche in an industry mostly known for either autobio or superhero. Room 9

5:00-6:00 First Comics: The First of the Great Independents Is Back with a Fury!— Legendary ’80s independent publishing powerhouse First Comics is returning when the world needs it most, not unlike the promised return of King Arthur. And the assembled Round Table of extraordinary comics creators are here to tell you how they will once again be rocking your world with comics entertainment from the cutting edge. Panelists include Ken F. Levin (Wanted, The Boys, First Comics co-founder and director), Joe Staton and Nick Cuti (E-Man), Bill Willingham (Fables), Max Allan Collins (Road to Perdition), Brian Mullens (founder of DaQRi; QR director), Alex Wald (art director then and again), Susannah Carson (A Truth Universally Acknowledged; First Comics YA editor), and Daniel Merlin Goodbrey (The Tarquin Engine, The Last Sane Cowboy). Moderated by Larry Young (The Black Diamond; First Comics director of production). Room 23ABC<

5:00-6:00 Buffy The Vampire Slayer and LGBT Comics Fandom— LGBT fans hailed the revelation in the long-running television hit that one of its main characters, Willow, had fallen in love with another female character, Tara. This groundbreaking depiction of queer love in the TV show has been built upon in the Buffy comic books published by Dark Horse Comics, and Buffy remains one of the most queer-friendly properties in pop culture. Moderator Charles “Zan” Christensen (Prism Comics president) discusses the special relationship between the Buffyverse and LGBT comic book fans with Buffy creators and actors, including Scott Allie, Andrew Chambliss, Jane Espenson, Drew Greenberg, Tom Lenk, and a special guest! Room 32AB

5:00-6:00 Batman: Arkham City Get the inside scoop on Batman: Arkham City, the highly anticipated follow-up to Batman: Arkham Asylum, one of the top-selling games of 2009 and the Guinness World Record holder for the Most Critically Acclaimed Superhero Game Ever. Be among the first to see and hear new details about the next chapter in Batman’s gritty, immersive world — including some surprise game and character reveals—from panelists Mark Hamill (Star Wars), Kevin Conroy (Batman: The Animated Series), DC Comics co-publisher Jim Lee, writer Paul Dini (Lost, Tower Prep), and game director Sefton Hill (Batman: Arkham Asylum, Batman: Arkham City). Indigo Ballroom, Hilton San Diego Bayfront

5:30-6:30 New Publisher Kickstart Comics!— An in-depth look at new and upcoming releases from Kickstart Comics, a discussion of TV and feature film plans with sister company Kickstart Productions, and Q&A with Kickstart Comic creators Jimmy Palmiotti (Jonah Hex), Mark Sable (Grounded, Unthinkable), Adam Freeman band Marc Bernardin (Monster Attack Network, Genius), Josh Williamson (Endangered, Mirror, Mirror), Phil Eisner (Event Horizon, Bad Guys), Matt Maiellaro (creator, Aqua Teen Hunger Force, Knowbodys) and Jack Monaco (Pushing Daisies, Book of Lilah). Great giveaways, too! Room 4

5:30-6:30 Spotlight on Paul Levitz— Marv Wolfman (Teen Titans, Superman) and Mark Evanier (Kirby: King of Comics) interview fellow comics fan, writer, and editor — and Comic-Con special guest — Paul Levitz about his life, from The Comic Reader to DC Comics president & publisher, and now beyond as he returns to writing Legion of Super-Heroes and makes his debut as a historian with the Eisner-nominated 75 Years Of DC Comics: The Art of Modern Myth-Making. Room 8

5:30-6:30 Creepy and Eerie: Comics That Can Still Scare You!— Discuss the new Dark Horse Creepy series, the classic age of the Warren Creepy and Eerie magazines, and all the exciting things coming up in the Creepy universe with a bone-chilling panel including Jason Shawn Alexander (Abe Sapien), Overstreet’s J. C. Vaughn (Doctor Solar), artist Nathan Fox (Haunt), and classic Creepy and Eerie cover artist Ken Kelly and writer Bruce Jones (Checkmate). Moderated by New Comic Company’s twin engines Dan Braun (Creepy) and Josh Braun (A History of Violence). Plus, there will be Creepy trivia questions with extraordinary swag and prizes! Room 24ABC

5:30-6:30 Comics Mobile— Comics Academy exists to foster an appreciation of comic books and graphic novels in academia, promote the use of comic books to spark investigation into academic subject areas and teach abstract concepts in K-12 education, and nurture the path to literacy through the study and production of comic books and graphic novels. David Rojas (founder of Comics Academy) and guest Nancy Silberkleit (co-CEO of Archie Comics) will discuss how to investigate the merits of comic books in academia. Room 26AB

5:45-6:45 Vertigo Editorial— They come from the cutting edge of comics…and Vertigo has never been edgier, with thought-provoking titles from some of comics’ most acclaimed creators. Don’t miss this panel featuring Scott Snyder (American Vampire), Jeff Lemire (Sweet Tooth), Michael Allred (iZombie), Mark Buckingham (Fables), Les Klinger (Annotated Sandman), Rebecca Guay (A Flight of Angels), Colleen Doran (Gone to Amerika), Bill Willingham (Fables), and many others. This is your opportunity to learn more about the entire Vertigo line. Hosted by Vertigo executive editor Karen Berger. Room 6DE

6:00-7:00 Road to Stumptown Meet Greg Rucka (Gotham Central) and Matthew Southworth (Spider-Man: The Grim Hunt), the Eisner-nominated creative team behind the innovative new crime title Stumptown. Moderated by comics scholar Professor Ben Saunders. Room 7AB

6:00-7:00 Comics for Social Justice: The Making of Oil and Water Oil and Water is a book-length comic (Fantagraphics, Summer 2011) that is a partly fictionalized account of a 10-day trip that 22 Oregonians (activists, teachers, business owners, scientists, and artists) took last summer to “bear witness” to the BP oil spill on the Gulf Coast. Shannon Wheeler will briefly present the historic impact of comics on issues of contemporary social relevance and give a quick overview of why this project was conceived and what it hopes to accomplish. He’ll then present his sketches from the Gulf Coast and show how he and collaborator Steve Duin transformed them into a compelling portrait of what hope and challenges remain along a ravaged coastline, one awash in both seafood and oil, that will be changed as irrevocably as those Oregonians that chose to bear witness to the tragedy. Q&A session to follow. Room 9

6:00-7:00 Arcana Comics: A Look at One of the World’s Largest Graphic Novel Publishers— Sean Patrick O’Reilly (Clockwork Girl), Josh Blaylock (Devil’s Due), Erik Hendrix (SideShows), Mike Kalvoda (Banshee), Brooke Burgess (Becoming), Matt Wilson (Scrooge & Santa), and Ryan Colucci (Harbor Moon) take you through some of the amazing talent coming out of one of the world’s largest graphic novel producers. With over 150 graphic novels released, find out what the publisher currently has coming in the near future and get a sneak peak at the 3D animated feature film Clockwork Girl, Arcana’s slate of interactive apps, and more. See how independent publishers make their mark in the comic book industry and blur the lines between mediums, Arcana style. Attendees will get free comics and the first in a series of Arcana Universe posters. Room 23ABC

6:00-7:00 Her Universe: What Women Want in Their Female Sci-Fi Heroes— In the early days of sci-fi, female characters were the designated damsels in distress. Thankfully, today a new generation of creative minds are molding the strong, intelligent, and powerful female roles we see in some sci-fi films, TV shows, comics and other media. What are the differences between past sci-fi adventures with female characters and today’s feminine heroes that women can really connect with? How do you create truly interesting and unique female characters in the sci-fi universe? How are they different from their male counterparts? As the voice of a strong female role model, host Ashley Eckstein (voice of Ahsoka Tano, Star Wars: The Clone Wars) wants to bring this conversation to the forefront. Join Ashley for a dynamic panel of creative minds from television, film, and comics to explore this timely topic, featuring Dave Filoni (supervising director, Star Wars: The Clone Wars), Chris Sanagustin (SVP development and current programming for Universal Cable Productions), Bryan Q. Miller (executive story editor, Smallville; writer, DC’s Batgirl), Betsy Mitchell (editor-in-chief, Del Rey Books), Melinda Hsu Taylor (writer/producer, Lost, Medium; supervising producer, Touch), and Gail Simone (writer, DC’s Birds of Prey, Secret Six, Wonder Woman, and the new Batgirl comic). Room 25ABC

6:00-7:00 LGBTX: The X-Men’s Queer Characters, Themes, and Fans— The X-Men and their universe have always been popular with LGBT comics fans. The idea of mutants is seen as an allegory for the reality of difference and persecution, as well as community and power, experienced by lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender people. The X-Men have also included compelling queer characters in their roster, including the first gay superhero, Northstar. How have these themes and characters been handled? What are the plans for the future? Moderator Chance Whitmire (Fanboys of the Universe) tries to make sense of it all with panelists Peter David (X-Factor), Phil Jimenez (Astonishing X-Men), Chuck Kim (Age of X), Marjorie Liu (Daken: Dark Wolverine), Scott Lobdell (Uncanny X-Men), and Zack Stentz (X-Men First Class). Room 32AB

6:30-7:30 Indie Comics Marketing 101— Need tips on how to market your comic? This is the panel for you! Join some of the best and brightest in comics today in a roundtable discussion, revealing all the secrets of success in marketing your comics. Panelists include Sam Humphries (writer, Our Love Is Real, CBGB, Fraggle Rock; creator, MySpace Comic Books), Laura Hudson (editor-in-chief, Comics Alliance), J.K. Parkin (managing editor, Robot 6 at ComicBookResources.com), Ben McCool (writer, Choker, Memoir, Captain America , Fear Itself: The Home Front), and Chip Mosher (marketing and sales director of BOOM! Studios). Room 8

6:30-7:30 Manga: Lost in Translation— After a slump during the great recession, the manga business seems to be coming back, with the older companies leaner and new companies focusing on both digital and print. But “leaner companies” is not usually good news for freelancers. Find out how the downturn has changed the industry from panelists William Flanagan (Kobato), Jonathan Tarbox (Fist of the Northstar), Mari Morimoto (Naruto), Stephen Paul (Yotsuba&!), and maybe some surprise guests. Room 26AB

7:30-8:30 Jeffrey Catherine Jones: The Documentary— Filmmaker Maria Cabardo is joined by artists Bill Sienkiewicz (Elektra: Assassin), Mark Bodé (Cobalt 60), Rick Berry (Sparrow #6, Double Memory), Robert Wiener (Donald M. Grant Publisher), George Pratt (Batman: Harvest Breed), and Louise Simonson (Superman, X-Factor) for a preview and discussion of her upcoming documentary feature Better Things: The Life and Choices of Jeffrey Catherine Jones. Using interviews with Jones and a wide range of family, friends, and colleagues, the film explores the late artist’s fascinating, challenging life and unique journey through the worlds of comics, illustration, and fine art. Moderated by John Butler. Room 4

7:30-9:00 Detecting Deviants in the Dark Night: Profiling Gotham City’s Serial Killers— From the dark corners of Crime Alley to the bleak cell blocks of Blackgate Penitentiary, Gotham City has been plagued by murderous villains who stalk the night. Mr. Zsasz, Abbattoir, and even Commissioner Gordon’s son, James Jr., have preyed on Gothamites for reasons that seemingly defy logic. Now the citizens of Gotham face a new threat: the Gotham Ripper. How should Batman, the world’s greatest detective, apprehend these and other notorious serial killers? The forensic psychiatrists of Broadcast Thought — H. Eric Bender, M.D., Praveen R. Kambam, M.D., and Vasilis K. Pozios, M.D. –  team up with Mark E. Safarik, M.S., V.S.M., FBI retired supervisory special agent, Behavioral Analysis Unit (Killer Instinct), to explore the dark world of Gotham City’s serial killers. Are serial killers psychotic, psychopathic, or neither? Do Gotham City ‘s serial killers have real-world counterparts? Are common traits shared among serial killers, and can “profiling” lead to their successful apprehension? Learn how real FBI agents profile and arrest serial murderers. With that knowledge, don the Mantle of the Bat, profile the Dark Knight’s deadliest villains, and plan their capture. Bring your questions and your curiosity, and discover once again that real life is, in fact, stranger than fiction! Room 8

7:30-9:30 Open Meeting of the Christian Comic Arts Society— Fans and creators alike are invited to an informal after-hours time of Christian fellowship, networking, laughter prayer, and shop talk about the Christian comics movement. Special giveaways will be on hand for those in attendance. (Think of it as the fellowship hour after church…just with comic books instead of cookies and punch.) Hosted by CCAS members Kevin Yong (Ragged Capes) and Ralph Miley (New Visions Anthology) of NewCreationNow.com. Room 24ABC

8:00-9:30 Comics on Comics Live!— ComicsOnComics.com, the innovative web series that matches comedians against comic book creators in geek debates, returns to Comic-Con for its second year! Host Jonathan London (Greekscape.net) and comics journalist Rich Johnston (BleedingCool.com) engage the greatest comic minds and the greatest minds in comics! Room 5AB

8:00-9:00 H. P. Lovecraft in Comics and Film— “That is not dead which can eternal lie, and with strange aeons, even death may die.” Famous words penned by H. P. Lovecraft, regarded by critics and fans alike as “Master of the Weird Tale.” A horror writer from the early days of pulp magazines, his work inspired thousands of writers, artists, musicians, game designers, and filmmakers. Explore a few of the works influenced by the Great Old Ones and get a sanity-smashing peek into the latest Lovecraftian comics and movies. With Adam Byrne (The Strange Adventures of H. P. Lovecraft), Andrew Leman (co-founder of the H. P. Lovecraft Historical Society), Michael Alan Nelson (Fall of Cthulhu), and Frank H. Woodward (Lovecraft: Fear of the Unknown). Moderated by Aaron Vanek (The H.P. Lovecraft Film Festival). Room 9

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