Written by Shawn Bourdo
Saturday. The peak. The day when you never have less that three panels at any given time that you want to attend. There’s a definite pinnacle to Saturday with the most popular and interesting panels. The lines start early and go into the night. It’s the day that I’m most tired and more likely to consider the whole schedule and spend hours or the whole day in one room. I’m looking at the panels independently for this list. This is the “I have a Fast Pass to the front of every line” list where I can just roam the halls and go from panel to panel. You know, like 1998.
EISNER, KURTZMAN, SCHULZ AND FEIFFER: VISUALIZING A LEGACY (10:00am – 11:00am, Room 4) – Yes it’s all about older artists that can’t be there mostly because they’re dead. Why this group of artists other than that they are groundbreaking? They are all nominated for Eisners this year. Also I’m still discovering the work of each. As I get older, I’m more interested in the history of graphic storytelling. These are part of the Rushmore of that group. Each of the four artists is represented by someone who is an “expert” on them. I’m most anxious to hear Chip Kidd speak on Schulz.
CREATING UNIVERSES (11:30am – 12:30pm, Horton Grand Theatre) – I wondered initially if this was Universe or if it was universes. Turns out that it’s both! I want to be front row for Neil deGrasse Tyson talking about real Universes and Len Wein (“Swamp Thing”) talking about comic universes. If you know me, you know that this is right up my alley. I couldn’t create a panel that does a better job of combining science and imagination. I’m tempted to call this the panel of the whole Con.
SPOTLIGHT ON JEFF SMITH (12:30pm – 1:30pm, Room 8) – I’ve seen the Bone creator on multiple occasions. He’s the resident expert on Pogo and I love hearing him talk about Walt Kelly. But he’s also the creator of maybe my favorite comic of all-time in Bone. He’s responsible for the entry-level comic for so many folks. I like to just check in with the man. He’s inspiring to me because we share a vision for how a story should unfold outside of genre expectations but still respecting the genre. I hope this has news of a new project.
NASA & ANGRY BIRDS ON A JOURNEY TO MARS (1:30pm – 2:30pm, Room 5AB) – Maybe I’m at the wrong type of convention? I think it’s more of the evolution of my convention experience. I’m a geek. I have deep interest in all of the fringe elements of culture. For me, Space was one of my first. It developed into an interest in actual space exploration. To understand the brilliance of some of the best science fiction I needed to know the actual science behind it. This panel is in one obvious way about a video game. But look at the panel – it’s all folks, and some pretty important folks, from the NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory. I’m excited to be in a room with some of the most brilliant engineers on our planet. It’s all about creativity and knowledge. My geek is strong with this one.
SID & MARTY KROFFT (2:00pm – 3:00pm, Room 23ABC) – I’ve seen these brothers the past four years or so. I think they tell one new story per panel. But there will be a day when I can’t see them. I feel like I just want to be in a room with the men that brought so much pleasure to my Saturday mornings as a kid. I can’t hug them or hold their hands but I feel that love among these people there. David Arquette will be there this year because he’s starring in the Amazon Prime version of Sigmund and the Sea Monster and we are getting closer to the Electra Woman and Dyna Girl film. I won’t learn much here but for sixty minutes I feel among my tribe.
SKIP: SCOOBY-DOO AND WWE: CURSE OF THE SPEED DEMON (redacted) Normally I’d say that mixing two things I like into one would be a good thing. But you can only combine the franchises so many times. Was it great when Scooby-Doo met Batman and Robin? Yes. It was fabulous. How about when he met KISS? Well, that was a stretch. Now there’s some wrestlers solving a mystery with a talking dog. I know that we like to flippantly say the wrestlers are like superheroes but seriously. I am as big a fan of Scooby as you get but even I reach my limits.
Written by Gordon S. Miller
WHAT HAPPENED (10:00am – 11:00am, Room 6A) – Wish this wasn’t so early, but it is what it is. I am such a big fan of movies that I am just as intrigued by some of the ones that didn’t get as I am the ones that did. The discussion will include films such as Superman Lives to Jodorowsky’s Dune, which both had documentaries made about their plight.
STAR TREK: THE RODDENBERRY VAULT (12:30pm – 1:30pm, Room 5AB) – With “never-before-seen clips and photos from some of Star Trek‘s most beloved episodes,” I am compelled to check it out. Don’t think the room is going to be big enough.
ALIENS: 30TH ANNIVERSARY (3:15pm – 4:15pm, Hall H) – Not that I think I’ll get in, but to bring together director James Cameron, producer Gale Anne Hurd, and cast members that include Sigourney Weaver, Bill Paxton, and Lance Henriksen is a must-see.
TIME AFTER TIME PILOT SCREENING AND Q&A (8:20pm – 9:15pm, Room 6BCF) – I enjoyed Nichols Meyer’s 1979 movie about H.G. Wells chasing Jack the Ripper to modern-day America. As a TV series it has great potential, like Dr. Richard Kimble chasing the one-armed man in The Fugitive. Although the executive producers give me pause because I haven’t been a big fan of their work.
SEASON 2 WORLD PREMIERE SCREENING OF ASH VS EVIL DEAD (10:00pm – 11:00pm, Room 6DE) – Was astounded how well they pulled off the return to this universe and can’t wait for next season. This is in much to small of a room.
SKIP: THE RICHARD HATCH BREAKTHROUGH ACTORS LAB AND FILMING WORKSHOP (redacted) – There were many contenders, but the title gave it the winning edge. I am willing to concede that Richard Hatch may be a great teacher, but is anyone coming to Comic-Con in order to spend less than an hour learning “the art, craft, and business of how to ignite and level up their abilities, as well as how to take [their] career to lasting success in today’s rapidly changing entertainment industry.”