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Thursday Program Highlights for Comic-Con International 2013

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Although WB TV will be offering a a sneak peek of four television programs on Preview Night (Wednesday, July 17), the festivities will officially be kicking off the following day on Thursday, July 18.  There will be a little something for everyone as the day’s Programming Schedule reveals, but here are what I considered the highlights, presented in chronological order.  Whether or not I’ll be attending them is another matter.

Hanna-Barbera
After a pair of droids set the world on fire in a galaxy far, far away, Hanna-Barbera reconvened their super-terrific Sixties space superheroes for a second round of intergalactic adventures. Joining the already iconic masterpieces of Alex Toth design Space Ghost and the Herculoids were newcomers Teen Force and Astro and the Space Mutts (yes, THAT Astro) – and best of all, the heroes would frequently unite in fantastic team-up finales. Warner Archive Collection presents a look at the legacy of Space Ghost and the Herculoids, preview the upcoming release of Space Stars, take a detour to examine everyone’s favorite pre-historic superhero Captain Caveman, and discuss a very special upcoming Blu-ray release. Join WAC Podcast hosts Matthew Patterson and DW Ferranti and notable guests James Tucker (Justice League: The Flashpoint Paradox) and Steven Melching (Batman: The Brave and the Bold) for this entertaining survey of some truly super-toons.
12:45pm – 1:30pm – Room 6A

As a longtime fan of the cartoons the Hanna-Barbera gang, I am curious to learn what new releases of their work are on the horizon for consumers.

Superman: The Julie Schwartz Era
In celebration of Superman’s 75th Birthday, we look back at the Man of Steel in comics’ Bronze Age. In 1970, veteran editor Julius Schwartz assumed command of the primal hero and charted a course for a new generation. On hand to discuss it are many of the writers who worked with Julie in keeping Superman flying high: Gerry Conway, Martin Pasko, Marv Wolfman, Elliot S! Maggin, and moderator Mark Evanier.
1:00pm – 2:00pm – Room 5AB

While many people attending Comic-Con are excited to learn about the new movies, TV shows, comics, etc.,  I am much more interested to learn about the creators who came before and their stories.

Europa Report
At the movies, it seems there’s so much science fiction, but so little science. Sebastian Cordero’s Europa Report seeks to change that. The film depicts a near-future crewed mission to Jupiter’s moon Europa, seeking evidence for life in an ocean beneath the moon’s icy surface. The movie uses current science to tell a story of discovery and danger. This panel features the film’s crew and cast, alongside scientists involved with a NASA concept for a real robotic spacecraft, the Europa Clipper, designed to investigate the mysteries of Europa, including whether it has the elements to support life. Participants include Sebastian Cordero (director, Rage and Chronicles), Bear McCreary (composer, Battlestar Galactica, The Walking Dead), producer Ben Browning, and actress Karolina Wydra, alongside JPL scientists Steve Vance and Kevin Hand. The panel will be moderated by astronomer Dr. Phil Plait (Slate magazine, Phil Plait’s Bad Universe). Space.com called the film “One of the most thrilling and realistic depictions of deep-space exploration since Moon and 2001: A Space Odyssey
1:10pm – 2:20pm – Hall H

I have heard good things about this film, which seems like a throwback to the serious science fiction films of the ’60s and 70s.

Entertainment Weekly’s The Visionaries
From art house cinema to studio blockbuster, these uncompromising directors have electrified audiences with their virtuoso storytelling and breathtaking imagery. Marc Webb (The Amazing Spider-Man 2, 500 Days of Summer), Alfonso Cuarón (Gravity, Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban), and Edgar Wright (The World’s End, Shaun of the Dead) lead this master class on the art of filmmaking and a wide-ranging discussion about the future of film.
2:30pm – 3:30pm – Hall H

As a fan of the work of all three directors, and being curious about their next features, this roundtable discussion about the art and business of making movies, should deliver some interesting food for thought.

We Still Love the ’80s: 1983
Our 1982 panel was such a success, it’s only apropos that it get a sequel. Welcome to 1983, now in 3D. If you thought nothing can compare to the greatest geek year ever, 1982, you’re only half right. Get ready as GEEK magazine takes you back to the future; the year of such films as Return of the Jedi, War Games, The Right Stuff, Risky Business, Vacation, Scarface, Zelig, A Christmas Story, Blue Thunder, Krull, Psycho II, the 3D triptych of Spacehunter, Jaws 3-D, and Parasite and, of course, the ultimate 007 showdown, Octopussy vs. Never Say Never Again. GEEK founding publisher and moderator Mark A. Altman (Castle, Necessary Roughness) he promises a San Diego “all-time high” with Ashley E. Miller (Thor, X-Men: First Class), Robert Meyer Burnett (Free Enterprise, ST: TNG Blu-Rays), Steve Melching (Transformers Prime, Star Wars: The Clone Wars), Steve Kriozere (N.C.I.S., Femme Fatales), and David E. Williams (editor-in-chief, GEEKMagazine).
3:00pm – 4:00pm – Room 5AB

As a Gen-Xer, I have vivid memories of seeing these movies in theaters with my friends and wouldn’t mind revisiting them.

DC Comics 101: Essentials
DC Entertainment’s backlist is full of the most exciting stories ever told. New fans and veteran fans alike are welcome for an in-depth tutorial on the essential titles that make up DC Entertainment’s rich history. With DC Comics SVP/editor-in-chief Bob Harras, editorial director Bobbie Chase, and others.
3:15pm – 4:15pm – Room 6DE

I am curious what these DC executives consider the essentials of their company and how that compares with my list.

TV Guide Magazine Celebrates The X-Files’ 20th Anniversary
It’s been two decades since FBI Special Agents Mulder (David Duchovny) and Scully (Gillian Anderson) first partnered to investigate unsolved paranormal cases. The X-Files made primetime safe for sci-fi, and spawned a generation of hugely successful writer/producers. Somewhere, the truth is still out there. TV Guide Magazine Los Angeles bureau chief Michael Schneider leads a panel scheduled to include series creator Chris Carter, plus writers/producers David Amann, Vince Gilligan, Howard Gordon, Darin Morgan, Glen Morgan, John Shiban, Jim Wong, and more guests to come.
3:30pm – 4:30pm – Ballroom 20

While this reunion sounds great, I imagine it being the most popular event of the day, leading folks to begin lining up Wednesday night for it.  I hope some kind attendee will record and upload it.

I Can’t Believe It’s Over: The Best and Worst Series Finales Ever
It’s time to put the great debates to rest as GEEK Magazine answers the most important question of our time: What are the best and worst TV season finales of all time? A panel of geeksperts dissect the end of Galactica‘s lonely quest in Battlestar Galactica, the purgatory of the Lost finale, the Sopranos sign-off, the all good things come to an end for Star Trek: The Next Generation, Special Agent Dale Cooper getting piqued in Twin Peaks, and many more. Moderator Mark A. Altman (Free Enterprise, Femme Fatales) turns up the volume for GEEK panelists Kathryn Reindl (Twisted, Millennium), Nikki Griffin (GEEK magazine editor-at-large), Ashley E. Miller (Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles, Thor, Fringe), and Steve Melching (Batman: The Brave and The Bold, Starship Troopers).
4:00pm – 5:00pm – Room 23ABC

This panel looks like a discussion I’ve had with my friends, so I will likely peek in after getting shut out of The X-Files’ 20th Anniversary.

I Know That Voice: The Documentary: Special Preview and Q&A
John DiMaggio (executive producer of IKTV, also voice of Bender from Futurama, Jake The Dog from Adventure Time, IFC’s Out There, and many more) brings the cast and crew of IKTV together for an exclusive sneak peek at the most anticipated film about voice-over (in animation and video games) ever made! Included in the panel are Billy West (Futurama, Ren and Stimpy), Rob Paulsen (TMNT, Pinky and the Brain), Dee Bradley Baker (Clone Wars, Ben 10, American Dad), Fred Tatasciore (Hulk, Ben 10, Mad), Tom Kenny (Spongebob Squarepants, Brickleberry), Andrea Romano (25-time Emmy nominee, 8-time Emmy winner for Animaniacs, Pinky and the Brain, and more), Tommy Reid (producer, IKTV), and Lawrence Shapiro (director, IKTV). You won’t want to miss this panel, especially with this bunch! You never what’s going to come out of their mouths!
4:45pm – 5:45pm – Room 6BCF

As a huge fan of voice actors since first discovering the name Mel Blanc as a kid, I am fascinated by the folks who do this kind of work and am intrigued by this movie.

Superhero Kung Fu Extravaganza
Ric Meyers (Films of Fury: The Kung Fu Movie Book and Movie) is back with another spectacular showing of the greatest action scenes the world has ever seen. Get ready to laugh, gasp, and cheer at the most incredible fights sequences of the year, sneak peaks of upcoming mind-blowers, and even a world premiere. Come celebrate with comedy film nerds Chris Mancini (Asylum) and Graham Elwood (Palm Strike Dance Party), Stunt People leader Eric Jacobus (Mortal Kombat: Legacy), martial art movie legend James Lew (G.I. Joe: Retaliation), Hong Kong film fighter Ho-Sung Pak (Legend of Drunken Master), and more! See why the Extravaganza just keeps getting better in this, its 16th anniversary year!
8:00pm – 10:30pm – Room 6A

I stopped in last year and had quite a few laughs.  I will return this year after sneaking away for dinner and drinks.

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About Gordon S. Miller

Gordon S. Miller is the artist formerly known as El Bicho, the nom de plume he used when he first began reviewing movies online for The Masked Movie Snobs in 2003. Before the year was out, he became that site's publisher. Over the years, he has also contributed to a number of other sites as a writer and editor, such as FilmRadar, Film School Rejects, High Def Digest, and Blogcritics. He is the Publisher of Cinema Sentries. Some of his random thoughts can be found at twitter.com/ElBicho_CS