Written by Shawn Bourdo
Friday is the day that everything really gets started. The morning always has more energy as a majority of the weekend folks arrive with renewed excitement. It’s also the day that the “real” stars start to show off. I hit the Convention Center still excited and full of hope that I’ll get into all the panels I want to see.
GEEK GIRLS & CATBIRDS (10:00am – 11:00am, Room 25ABC) – Other than having a really great title (which I will always give a second look), this panel has one attraction. A few years ago at a Ray Bradbury memorial panel I was lucky enough to hear Margaret Atwood speak. I’ve always respected her writing but I found her spoken stories just as riveting. Atwood, Joelle Jones, and Hope Nicholson talk about creating characters, cartooning, and book deals. I have found these free-form panels to lend themselves to very interesting stories. And learning from some of the accomplished women working on the fringes of the industry should be informative.
THE GIANT’S DREAM: DOCUMENTARY SCREENING & CHAT WITH BRAD BIRD (10:00am – 11:30am, Room 24 ABC) This is probably me real first destination on Friday morning. I have loved Iron Giant since it debuted in 1999. Brad Bird is bringing a new documentary about the making of this film to the Con. This was his start that led to some great work at Pixar. But this movie has that same heart. I love documentaries about older films when we have the time and perspective. This chat about a 17-year-old movie is right in my wheelhouse.
AMC’S FEAR THE WALKING DEAD (Noon – 1:00pm, Hall H) – I would go to this panel to see if I can save myself quite a bit of time this next year. I’m at a crossroads with this show, which I have written about. I need to go to this panel to see if they give away any clues as to where we are going next season. Also my Kim Dickens will be there! I know that most of these panels don’t do anything but tease the next season and celebrate the past season. I can hold out hope that they can get me excited about a show that has left me cold more than enthused recently.
ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY: BRAVE NEW WARRIORS (1:45pm – 2:45pm, Ballroom 20) – I will have to fight everyone interested in hot, spicy men to get into this. But it might be worth it. These are some of the most iconic male heroes on TV currently including Dominic Cooper from Preacher, Theo Rossi from Luke Cage and Clive Standen from Vikings. These panels that don’t just focus on one show are great because it becomes a love fest among the actors who all express love for the other shows on the panel and try to top each other with funny stories.
STARZ ORIGINAL SERIES AMERICAN GODS (3:15pm – 4:15pm, Room 6BCF) – I haven’t read this Neil Gaiman title but I’m hoping this is one of the next big genre titles on TV. The cast looks really great. I only really know Ian McShane and that’s perfect for a genre series. I want to get a feel for the tone of the show because the adaptations of Gaiman’s work has been all over the place. I don’t mind with what they’ve done with Lucifer but it’s not true to Neil’s original work. I think we might be talking about a show in a much bigger room next year.
SKIP: THE EXORCIST (redacted) – This is the new show based on the movie coming to Fox this Fall. Need I even tell you why you should stay way away? If I do, stop reading me now and forever.
Written by Gordon S. Miller
WALT KELLY AND POGO (12:30pm – 1:30pm, Room 8) – I am a sucker for the classics and Kelly’s Pogo is held in such reverence by artists like Bill Watterson that I need to learn more about it and fill that void in my comic-strip knowledge. I hope I can a collection of the start of its run on the show floor.
SPOTLIGHT ON BERKELEY BREATHED (1:30pm – 2:30pm, Room 5AB) – Publishing on his Facebook page, Breathed returned to Bloom County last year after a seven-year break since Opus. I am curious to hear him talk about the reasons why and the what he has planned moving forward.
THE TICK: THE FIRST 30 YEARS (2:30pm – 3:30pm, Horton Grand Theatre) – Dammit! I am a huge fan of the comic and the cartoon (never got into the live-action show) but why is this panel offsite?! Am going to scope out travel time on Preview Night, but the location is a huge negative. Hope someone records it.
ARCHER: SCREENING AND Q& A (5:00pm – 6:00pm, Indigo Ballroom) – One of the funniest casts around from one of the funniest shows always makes for a delightful panel and since I am missing out on the exclusive Archer Live! event, I’ve got to take them in. (Phrasing!)
KLINGON LIFESTYLES (8:30pm – 9:30pm, Room 6A) – The scope of fandom is Comic-Con fascinating to me because there is only so much entertainment a person can ingest in the finite time one has. This is why each year I always try to attend a long-running panel that I’ve never been to, like the Little Lulu and John Stanley Fan Group. This year it is Klingon Lifestyles, which is holding its 23rd annual stage play about the adventures of the IKV Stranglehold crew. Their long-running devotion to theater and Star Trek I find fascinating, so I am going to give it a shot. Plus, there’s a Trek costume contest.
SKIP: There are a lot of panels I wouldn’t recommend because I have no interest in them like improv groups and those that appeal to a niche I am not into but that’s not really fair to those panels since I don’t even know what goes on beyond the program synopses. One I have attended before and feel comfortable telling people to take a pass on is:
YOUR OPINION SUCKS! ROTTEN TOMATOES CRITICS VS. FANS (redacted) – This is a comment thread come to life as fans voice their opinion or troll the critics and crowd about why they think a certain popular movie sucks. Some people make good points about why a movie didn’t work for them; others don’t. Skip it and go argue with your friends.