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Previewing San Diego Comic-Con 2016: Thursday

Written by Shawn Bourdo

First day of Comic-Con is such a roller coaster.  It’s usually the sweetest day of the whole Con.  You are still full of energy, you’ve forgotten how the Convention smells and the pain of waiting in lines, and it’s a day that is usually the least crowded of the four.  Looking ahead, here’s what is catching my interest for this magical day.

1.  TEEN TITANS GO! (10:15am – 11:15am, Room 6DE) – The cast and a preview of DVD releases and the upcoming season.  This is a great start to the convention because it’s actually a comic based animated show.  It also happens to be one of the funniest shows on TV.  All ages shows are invaluable.  This is a show that I can bond with my son.  I can’t watch Archer or Children’s Hospital with him but we watch this show and both get all the references.  I love that they are featuring this on the first morning because it’s an important bridge show for adults and children.

2.  1986: THERE CAN ONLY BE ONE (3:00pm – 4:00pm, Room 5AB) – I’ve attended the past few years of these looks back at 30 years ago in movies.  They are the highlights of my trip each year.  I’m anxious for 1986 because you get discussion of Aliens and Blue Velvet and Ferris Bueller among others.  This is a frantic discussion for sixty minutes that I always wish was a two-hour, time-travel trip. It’s the best year to talk about until we get to 1989 and I’m excited to make this a destination panel.

3.  SNOOPY FOR PRESIDENT: POLITICS IN PEANUTS – (3:00pm – 4:00pm, Room 32AB) – I hate when two of the things I want to see the most are happening at the same time.  This is a subject that’s been needing a panel.  Charles Schulz was a political thinker.  He didn’t really support a specific candidate but he lampooned the process. I remember clearly the time when Snoopy was declared the Head Beagle and how it reflected the early 1970s political environment.  Done correctly this could be one of the most informative panels at this convention.

4.  GEEK’S MORE GREATEST MOVIES & TV NEVER MADE: THE THREEQUEL (4:00pm – 5:00pm, Room 23ABC) – I’ve attended the previous two episodes of this panel.  Are you seeing a pattern here?  Some of the best panels just can’t be completed in an hour.  This one is working into the third edition.  I’ve always been interested in films that were almost or never released.  This year I’m most interested about James Cameron’s Spider-Man and the sequel to Buckaroo Banzai.

5.  CAPTAIN AMERICA 75th ANNIVERSARY (5:00pm – 6:00pm, Room 9) – Jim Simon the son of Joe Simon, one of the co-creators will be here.  I think you need to have at least one comic related panel each day.  It’s a comic book convention.  I like to hear talk about the original written material that attracted us to these stories.  I’m less knowledgeable about the origins of the Captain America book than I am of other titles.  For Thursday, this looks like the best of the comic bunch.

SKIP: SNOWDEN (redacted) – Oliver Stone directs a film that plays out well in trailers but is probably not anything interesting for a feature-length film.  I can’t tell you enough how uninteresting talk about Snowden will be here for an hour.  I don’t even want to know how uniformed the average attendee might be here.  If you want to see Joseph Gordon-Levitt that bad, I’m sure he’s got another panel this weekend.

Written by Gordon S. Miller

1.  SILICON VALLEY PANEL Q&A (4:00pm – 5:00pm, Indigo Ballroom) – Although Game of Thrones and Veep get most of the buzz, this sitcom sandwiched in-between is just as deserving of attention because it is one of the smartest and funniest shows on TV.  Hope they offer some hints about the next season.

2.  MAD ABOUT MAD (6:00pm – 7:00pm, Room 5AB) – It is amazing that this brand is still out there.  Can’t wait to see how it compares to the material from my youth.

3.  SPIKE & MIKE’S FESTIVAL OF ANIMATION (7:15pm – 8:15pm, Room 6BCF) – This a great opportunity to see the current state of animated shorts by filmmakers who may go to become leaders in the industry.

4.  THE 19TH ANNUAL SUPERHERO KUNG FU EXTRAVAGANZA (8:00pm – 10:30pm, Room 6A) – There is comfort in institutions and it’s good to see Ric Meyers return with clips filled with madness and mayhem.  I won’t be there for the whole show, but it’s nice to know I can pop in for a few moments to be stunned and amused.

5.  GEORGE CLAYTON JOHNSON MEMORIAL GATHERING (9:00pm – 10:30pm, Room 9) – Friends and fans will celebrate the life of George Clayton Johnson (writer for Twilight Zone and Star Trek, co-writer of the novel Logan’s Run), who died on Christmas Day 2015 at the age of 86.  Commemorations of art and artists are what I love about conventions.  The selling of products I have little interest in.

SKIP: It was hard for me to narrow down to just one.  There are a number of bad panels this day where people without much in the way of accomplishment have gotten themselves a Comic-Con pass by creating a panel devoted to themselves, like internet writers (and no, I hadn’t wish I’d thought of it first).  But the absolute oddest one is:

NERD TRIVIA CHALLENGE :AUTHOR EDITION (redacted) – Attendees get to leave the Convention Center area for the opportunity to watch a group of authors answer trivia questions.  No, thanks.  I can just as easily do that with my friends or strangers at a bar.

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Formerly known as The Masked Movie Snobs, the gang has unmasked, reformed as Cinema Sentries, and added to their ranks as they continue to deliver quality movie and entertainment coverage on the Internet.

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