Sure, movies have taken a back-seat at this year’s Comic-Con, and TV is ascendant; but that doesn’t mean actual comic books will lose focus... Particularly with the triple-hit of DC’s still hot New 52, the just announced Marvel NOW! initiative, and the massive take-over of Image’s Walking Dead. No need to shamble around like a zombie - sorry, Walker - this year, looking for the next hot comic book panel, though: we’ve got your complete schedule right here:
11:00-12:00 Spotlight on Becky Cloonan— Comic-Con special guest Becky Cloonan, one of the most versatile artists in comics today, talks to Jimmy Aquino (Comics News Insider podcast host) about her career in comics and illustration, collaborating with writers, artists, and musicians, and the dark secrets she learned through 15 years of self-publishing. Room 32AB
Start things off with a one on one with one of the best artists currently working in comics. Cloonan has a ton of work going on right now, including the excellent Conan series with writer Brian Wood; so we imagine she’ll have alot to talk about.
1:00-2:00 Marvel: House of Ideas— Love having the best comics in the industry on your mobile devices? Want to know how Marvel stays on the cutting edge of technology while bringing you what you've come to love? Well, this panel is for you, True Believer! Get exciting news from chief creative officer Joe Quesada on what's happening on the Marvel Comics App, Marvel Dot Com, and Marvel's vast social media presence in this don't-miss panel. Room 7AB
Given that Marvel NOW! is almost completely focused on digital, including AR recaps of the new #1 issues, this should be your first chance to find out more about how, exactly, it will work.
2:00-3:00 DC Comics: Batman: Beyond the Night of Owls— Gotham City's Night of the Owls may be over-but the fallout will affect Batman's hometown for years to come! Find out what's on the horizon for the Dark Knight and his crimefighting cohorts in this panel featuring Batman group editor Mike Marts, with Chris Burnham (Batman, Incorporated), Tony Daniel (Detective Comics), David Finch (Batman: The Dark Knight), Kyle Higgins (Nightwing), Gregg Hurwitz (Batman: The Dark Knight), Gail Simone (Batgirl), Scott Snyder (Batman), J. H. Williams III (Batwoman), and others. Room 6DE
The best comic book event in recent memory? Probably. It might be over, but let’s fondly look back at, oh, last month, when Owls attacked Gotham, and Batman used a dinosaur to fight back. That’s good comics.
3:45-4:45 Image: The Walking Dead— The bestselling, award-winning comic The Walking Dead has been a critical and commercial success-and its TV adaptation on AMC holds its own weight as a record-setting juggernaut. Join creator/writer Robert Kirkman and series artist Charlie Adlard for a rare sit-down, where they will discuss the past, present, and future of the decade's most talked about zombie phenomenon. A Q&A will follow the conversation between the visionary collaborators. Moderated by Sina Grace. Room 6A
With Walking Dead #100 hitting the previous day, and the TV show maybe having a small impact on the Con, this is one of your best chances to find out what’s next from Kirkman and company - and in particular, to ask questions focused on the comics. Yeah, right.
5:00-6:00 MTV Geek: Creator Pitch LIVE!— MTV Comics executive editor Tom Akel hosts a live pitch competition between three of the top creators in the business. Just three weeks prior to Comic-Con, creators were each given the same topic, something that's been a hot button issue in the industry in the past year, from which they will draw their inspiration to develop a new comic series. Creators have 10 minutes to present their pitch to the fans. They're be some time for questions, and then the pitches will be put it to a vote that's determined by you! Room 25ABC
Even if we weren’t writing for the site this is focused on, this would still be a fun, only at Comic-Con panel. It’s like The Voice, but for comics, and far less Cee-Lo!
12:00-1:00 Oni Press: RevolutiONIze Comics— Often imitated but never duplicated! Get up close and personal with trend-setting indie comic powerhouse Oni Press. Join in the Q&A with your favorite Oni creators Brian Hurtt, Cullen Bunn, Rich Stevens, Scott C., Matt Dembicki, and Brahm Revel and get a sneak peek at upcoming Oni projects with news on Oni Press fan initiatives. There'll be free Oni comics, prizes, and more. Guaranteed by Oni Press's totally biased employees to be "the most fun you've ever had at a panel." Room 32AB
Oni has been having a great year, with excellent books like Sixth Gun and an ongoing Courtney Crumrin getting plenty of press and fan attention. For a little bit at least, skip the big Marvel and DC panels, and take a look at what the little(r) guy with big ideas is doing.
1:30-2:30 Spotlight on Kate Beaton— Comic-Con special guest Kate Beaton, the cartoonist behind the wildly popular webcomic Hark! A Vagrant and the New York Times bestseller of the same name, presents an overview of her work. Room 5AB
We love us some Kate Beaton, and given that she’s moved over from parody to more personal (and still funny) comics, it’s an interesting time to hear just what’s she’s up to next.
1:45-2:45 DC Comics: Justice League and Green Lantern— Comics' top talent-writer Geoff Johns and artist Jim Lee-continue their historic team-up on DC Comics' bestselling Justice League, while Geoff continues his epic run on Green Lantern. Johns, Lee, Tony Bedard (Green Lantern: New Guardians), Brian Buccellato (Flash), Jeff Lemire (Animal Man, Justice League Dark), Francis Manapul (Flash), James Robinson (Earth 2), and Nicola Scott (Earth 2) explore some of DC Comics' spectacular titles. Room 6DE
We did say we were going to try to avoid overlap, but there’s probably not a bigger DC panel than this one - particularly with the just announced “Rise of the Third Army” crossover in Green Lantern, and the upcoming Trinity War event. So what do you like better: Green Lantern’s or Kate Beaton? That’s Comic-Con in a nutshell for ya.
3:15-4:15 Marvel: Cup O' Joe— This is it, Mighty Marvel fans-the no-holds-barred, anything goes, full-of-surprises panel you wait all year for! Marvel's chief creative officer Joe Quesada takes on all questions, shocks the audience with jaw-dropping announcements, and keeps you guessing, along with guests including Marvel's head of television Jeph Loeb, SVP of creator and content development C. B. Cebulski, and editor-in-chief Axel Alonso. You never know who will show up, but you'd better be here, because this is the panel that everyone will be talking about! Room 6BCF
If you’re looking for Marvel’s big announcements, this is usually the place to go. You won’t hear much about the movies or TV, but Quesada usually saves the best - and biggest - comic book news for this hour.
4:15-5:15 DC Comics-The New 52— DC Comics-The New 52 and The New 52 Wave 2 are the industry's most talked about industry-shattering events. Although the landscape has changed, we're not done making news! Be a part of history as panelists discuss what's coming next in this exciting time for DC Entertainment. Featuring Chris Burnham (Batman, Incorporated), David Finch (Batman: The Dark Knight), Adam Glass (Suicide Squad), Geoff Johns (Justice League, Green Lantern, Aquaman), Dan Jurgens (Superman, Justice League International), Paul Levitz (Legion of Super-Heroes), Rob Liefeld (Deathstroke, Grifter, Savage Hawkman), Scott Lobdell (Teen Titans, Superboy, Red Hood and the Outlaws), Jimmy Palmiotti (All-Star Western), Gail Simone (Batgirl), Scott Snyder (Batman, Swamp Thing), and others. Room 6DE
These panels usually just involve running down what’s currently going on in the DCU, but hey: there’s a lot of stuff going on in the DCU. Plus, Palmiotti and Simone on a panel means there’s no chance it won’t be hilarious.
5:30-6:30 Dark Horse: Joss Whedon— Long before directing the biggest superhero film in history, Joss Whedon rewarded fans the world over with some of the most compelling characters and plotlines in the history of comics, television, and movies. Here's your chance to find out what he has in store for us next, and hear exclusive insight into Buffy the Vampire Slayer and the ever-expanding number of titles in Dark Horse's line of Season 9 comics. Ballroom 20
Kneel before your master... Seriously, though, Whedon’s one on one with fans is always awesome, and we’re excited to see how many minutes go by before someone asks about Avengers 2. Or Serenity 2. Or Dr. Horrible 2. Bonus points if someone asks if he’s returning to Golden Girls.
7:00-8:00 MonkeyBrain Comics— Co-publishers Chris Roberson (Memorial) and Allison Baker reveal all about MonkeyBrain Comics, a creator-owned digital comics imprint. Joining them are moderator Bill Willingham (Fables) and creators Chris Schweitzer (Crogan's Adventures), D. J. Kirkbride (Popgun), Brandon Seifert (Witch Doctor), Joe Keatinge (Hell Yeah!), Colleen Coover (Small Favors), and Paul Tobin (Gingerbread Girl). Room 4
Monkeybrain Comics ended up trending world-wide on Twitter after their launch titles were announced, forcing them to release their comics two days early. Check out what instantly became the hottest new digital publisher around.
10:00-11:00 DC: The New Wave— With DC Comics-The New 52, Before Watchmen, and The New 52, Wave 2, DC Entertainment is running on all cylinders! But you haven't seen anything yet-find out about the next exciting event from DC Comics with DC Entertainment co-publisher Dan DiDio (Phantom Stranger) and creators Brent Anderson (Phantom Stranger), Tony Bedard (Sword of Sorcery), Scott Snyder (Talon), and James Tynion IV (Talon). Room 6DE
Here’s your chance to check out the new titles coming from DC... And while we’re bummed Christie Marx won’t be on the panel to talk about Anethyst, Princess of Gemworld, there still should be enough here to let you know whether these new titles are ones you want to invest time and money in.
11:00-12:00 Shifty Look— Namco Bandai Games has excavated the darkest corners of its vaults, and now the decrepit husks of games you've always loved (or never knew you did) have been brought back to life! Find out what's next for ShiftyLook from Rob Pereyda (editor-in-chief), then join a spotlight on hit webcomic Bravoman from writer Matt Moylan (Lilformers) and artist Dax "D-Gee" Gordine (Mega Man Tribute). Next, webcomic superstars and Dig Dug 30th Anniversary contributors Scott Kurtz (PvP Online) and Kris Straub (chainsawsuit) make a big announcement fans with any sense of anything won't want to miss! Finally, legendary voice actor Rob Paulsen (Animaniacs) makes a special appearance with an amazing ShiftyLook announcement that will blow everyone away. This will be the most fun you've ever had with ‘80s video games!
Namco/Bandai’s comic book arm has been rapidly snapping up all the hot talent in the industry, and releasing some cool new books. Here’s your chance to find out what it’s all about, and be cool before your friends.
12:45-1:45 DC Comics: Before Watchmen— It's not the end of the world. It's the beginning! You don't want to miss this panel about the most talked about comic book series of 2012! DC Entertainment co-publisher Dan DiDio, VP/art direction and design Mark Chiarello, senior editor Will Dennis, and creators Amanda Conner (Before Watchmen: Silk Spectre), Darwyn Cooke (Before Watchmen: Minute Men), Adam Hughes (Before Watchmen: Dr Manhattan), J. Michael Straczynski (Before Watchmen: Nite Owl), Len Wein (Before Watchmen: Ozymandias, Curse of the Crimson Corsair), and others talk about this game-changing event! Hurm! Room 6DE
Either this will be the angriest, or the calmest panel at SDCC. No in between.
2:45-3:45 Marvel: Avengers vs. X-Men— The battle between the Avengers and the X-Men rages on in this cosmos-shattering event! All your favorite superheroes enter-and only one team will emerge victorious. You've got questions, and these people have the answers! Editor-in-chief Axel Alonso, chief creative officer Joe Quesada, X-Men editor Nick Lowe, SVP of creator and content development C.B. Cebulski, and others are on hand to lay out what's going on with the epic battle surrounding the X-Men's Phoenix Five and the Avengers. Room 6BCF
Another biggie for Marvel, we expect a lot of unanswered questions about how AvX feeds into Marvel NOW! Drink every time someone says, “Keep reading,” and you will be very, very drunk by 2:55pm.
4:00-5:00 BOOM! Studios/KaBOOM!/BOOM! Town Panel— Learn what's next from BOOM! as editor-in-chief Matt Gagnon, managing editor Bryce Carlson, and creatprs Dan Abnett and Andy Lanning (The Hypernaturals), Sam Humphries (Fanboys vs. Zombies, Higher Earth), Shannon Wheeler (I Thought You Would Be Funnier), and Grace Randolph (Supurbia) run down the most exciting new projects and reveal upcoming titles from BOOM! Studios, KaBOOM!, and BOOM! Town. This is a panel you won't want to miss! Room 9
Another smaller Publisher with some great content, we’re excited to find out just what BOOM! and company have cooking, particularly for their excellent All Ages line of books.
5:00-6:00 Locke & Key— The Locke family has been through a lot so far in the acclaimed series, but the worst is yet to come in Omega, the concluding Locke & Key storyline coming this winter. IDW editor-in-chief and L&K editor Chris Ryall hosts a sit-down with the Locke & Key creators, writer Joe Hill and artist Gabriel Rodriguez, as they tell you what is coming in Omega, what else they have planned once that wraps, and a few surprises as well. Room 9
The best comic book currently being published gets its own panel? We’re there.
7:00-8:00 Vertigo: Fables— The annual Fables Comic-Con panel is back and better than ever! With the launch of Vertigo's critically acclaimed Fairest, there's no better time to hear what Bill Willingham, creator of the multi-Eisner Award-winning series Fables and Fairest, has to say. Join Bill, artists Mark Buckingham, Lauren Beukes, Adam Hughes, Steve Leialoha, group editor Shelly Bond, and others for a panel that is truly legendary. Room 6DE
With Willingham just announcing FablesCon a few weeks ago, we’re excited to find out just what’s next for the franchise.
12:30-1:30 Marvel: Amazing Spider-Man— There's no turning back for Spider-Man! The Lizard is back, and only Spider-Man has a chance of curing him! Find out all the details on what's going on with your favorite wall-crawler on the eve of his 50th Anniversary in August. That's right, Marvel's editor-in-chief Axel Alonso and others will be taking any and all questions from you, the fans! With earth-shattering announcements that will change the life of Peter Parker for another 50 years, this is one panel that no Spidey fan can miss! Room 6DE
With a great comic book, and the movie dominant at theaters, this should be a good time to check out just what’s going on with Spidey. And I’ll answer this one in advance: no, Peter and Mary Jane aren’t getting back together. Let it go.
3:00-4:00 Axe Cop— Ethan Nicolle (Bearmageddon, Chumble Spuzz) discusses the growing world of Axe Cop, including the new President of the World miniseries from Dark Horse comics and his involvement the TV show in production at FOX. With a possible appearance in person or digitally from his brother/co-creator Malachai Nicolle plus possible surprise guests. Room 6DE
One of the best web-comics around (and an excellent print comic, too), gets its own panel. As it says in the blurb, this is a great chance to find out what’s going with their FOX animated show!