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The top 11 panels two attendees are hoping to see on Thursday.

San Diego Comic-Con 2015: A Preview of Thursday’s Programming

BC correspondents Shawn Bourdo and Gordon S. Miller highlight the panels they are most looking forward to attending at this year’s San Diego Comic-Con.

Written by Shawn Bourdo

It’s been a year and I’ve had just enough rest to be really excited about that first day of Comic-Con.  There’s still the fresh Comic-Con smell in the Convention Center and my legs and back aren’t tired from walking and standing in lines.  I’ve still got hopes at this point for getting into all the panels that I’d like to see.  If you have followed any of my previous adventures you know that I’m a seasoned Conventioneer.  I seek out the dark, dusty corners of the Con rooms.  I look for the stories told by the old veterans.  And I want to find some time to be intellectually stimulated.

On the surface what am I looking forward to?  A revival of X-Files cosplayers, kids dressed as Avengers, some excessive Walking Dead and Game of Thrones fandom and even more over the top displays on the Con floor.  As much as there is amazing people watching and energy on the Convention floor, I haunt the panels to really make it a memorable experience.  Here’s a quick take on what I’m looking forward to on Thursday, July 9th

1.  PEANUTS 65th ANNIVERSARY PANEL (Room 5AB) (11:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.)

I’m consistent on a few fronts at these Conventions over the years.  One thing that has not changed is that I will seek out even the most random Peanuts panels.  This year my very first panel will likely be a celebration of the anniversary and the two years of the current BOOM! Studios book.  My favorite current contributors, Art Baltazar and Terry Moore, are my highlights here.

2.  CBLDF:  SPINNER RACK REVOLUTION: THE SECRET HISTORY OF FREE SPEECH IN MAGAZINE COMICS (Room 30CDE) (12:00 p.m. – 1:00 p.m.)

I try to attend the panel with the longest title each year . . . I kid.  Kinda.  We are all here amongst our tribe members because creators fought the good fight in the 1950s and 1960s.  We like to think that the fight is over but the people at the Comic Book Legal Defense Fund are faced with cases of censorship and even criminal prosecutions over comic content even today.  I feel it’s all of our responsibilities to know our history so we don’t repeat it. I’m anxious to hear this talk about the rise of magazine comics from Warren, Marvel, National Lampoon, and Heavy Metal that pushed the boundaries of the genre just as comic books were being reined in.  These are ones like Epic Illustrated and Creepy that attracted me as an early teen.

3.  CLASS OF 1985: THE GREATEST GEEK MOVIES OF: DON’T FORGET ABOUT US (Room 5AB) (2:00 p.m. – 3:00 p.m.)

There are panels that pay off for attending year after year.  Like any good sequel there’s a reward in knowing the characters and having heard everything the previous years.  I started back with the films of 1982 and I’ve been awaiting talk of best geek films of 1985.  This is a no holds barred relatively unstructured gabfest that darts all over the movie spectrum and I’m hoping for a little Gymkata talk mixed in with some Real Genius, Brazil, and Weird Science.

4.  NASA: JOURNEY TO MARS (Room 6BCF) (6:00 p.m. – 7:00 p.m.)

When TV shows like The Big Bang Theory made their way into the Con halls, it was hailed as against all that Comic Con stood for.  It supposedly signaled the end of the Con as we knew it.  But each year the transformation of the convention to all things Geekdom has opened up the diversity of attendees.  There will be people who will claim that this panel is another sign of the end times.  I’m excited though.  My fandom of books and movies doesn’t stop at fiction.  I love real science just as much.  This talk about the status of our journeys to Mars is a highlight of the weekend.  And I’m sure there’s some interesting things from Andy Weir author of The Martian too.

5.  SURVIVING THE WALKING DEAD: UNDERSTANDING BEHAVIOR IN A WORLD WITHOUT RULE (Room 6DE) (7:00 p.m. – 8:00 p.m.)

This isn’t your “typical fanboy” panel.  If you are interested in zombies and zombie-related shows, then this is not your panel.  If you watch TV shows or movie or read books and wonder about the complex levels of motivation then this is for you.  I love watching The Walking Dead and wondering about what keeps driving each group.  How does the relentlessness of Walkers affect the daily moods of the characters.  And I think there’s an examination needed of the fine line of hero/villain in this universe.  My geek brain lives for this stuff.

Written by Gordon S. Miller

1.  THE AUTOBIOGRAPHY OF JAMES T. KIRK (Ballroom 20) (10:45 a.m. – 11:45 a.m.)

To be honest, I question whether I’ll be able to attend this as William Shatner is a huge draw and I have no desire to spend the night outside the Convention Center, but I am intrigued to hear him read excerpts from this fictional memoir by David Goodman.  If the publisher is smart, the audiobook will be on sale on the show floor

2.  SCIENCE CHANNEL: RAIDERS, RAPTORS, AND REBELS: BEHIND THE MAGIC OF ILM (Room 25ABC) (1:00 p.m. – 2:00 p.m.)

While some exhibit their film fandom by sleeping overnight for the opportunity to see a trailer, I am much more intrigued by how films are made and by the people who make them, so getting to attend a 40th anniversary celebration of Industrial Light and Magic is a no-brainer.

3. DOCTOR WHO: BBC AMERICA’S OFFICIAL PANEL (Hall H) (2:15 p.m. – 3:15 p.m.)

I don’t know who I am kidding.  I don’t expect to get into the Hall for this, but this is the one I will try for because I am a huge fan of Peter Capaldi’s version of the Doctor.  I really hope there’s breaking news about Clara’s departure.  It’s past time for her to go.

4.  MAD ABOUT MAD (Room 4) (5:30 p.m. – 6:30 p.m.)

It’s impressive that with all that the Internet offers, there’s still a place in this world for Mad magazine.  Before dinner, I’ll stop in and pay my respects.  I hope there’s some reference to “Spy vs Spy.”

5.  CARTOON NETWORK: ADVENTURE TIME ROYAL BALL (Room 7AB) (8:00 p.m. – 9:00 p.m.)

It sounds so silly it just may be entertaining, and no doubt many a good costume to be seen.  Plus, there’s a  first-look Adventure Time episode, and the world premiere of the newest Cartoon Network series We Bare Bears!

6.  18TH ANNUAL SUPERHERO KUNG FU EXTRAVAGANZA (Room 6A) (8:00 p.m. – 10:30 p.m.)

After what will assuredly be a long day of running around, standing around, and varying levels of pleasure and pain, it’s nice to be able to sit down in a cool room and what fools trying to beat the heck out of each other.

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