Thursday saw quite a bit of hubbub on the Internet. Oh sure, there were a few people talking about the Supreme Court, but for a certain group of folks Christmas came early as Comic-Con International began to announce their schedule of programming for 2012. The full day's schedule for Thursday can be found at their website. Below are selected highlights of panels and the reasons why you just may find me in them:
11:00-12:00 Filmation and Lou Scheimer: Celebrating a Generation of Animation and TV Heroes-- One of the most successful and groundbreaking television animation studios was Filmation, whose productions shaped Saturday mornings and daytime syndication from the 1960s to the 1980s. From Superman, Batman, and Aquaman to The Archies, from Fat Albert and the Groovie Goolies to the live-action Shazam! and Isis series, up to the groundbreaking He-Man and the Masters of the Universe, She-Ra Princess of Power, Ghostbusters, and Bravestarr, Filmation created the shows that entertained and educated a generation. Making his final convention appearance is Filmation founder Lou Scheimer, who will reminisce about nearly 30 years of animation magic. Appearing with him are author/animator Darrell McNeil (Hero High, Shazam, Tarzan and the Super 7) director/writer/animator Tom Tataranowicz (He-Man, She-Ra, Bravestarr), and other guests. Bestselling author and documentary director Andy Mangels moderates this celebration of the studio that saved American animation in the 1970s and 1980s and show exclusive clips of never-before-seen Filmation footage. Plus, you can get a sneak peek at the September 2012 book release from TwoMorrows, Lou Scheimer: Creating the Filmation Generation, co-written by Scheimer and Mangels. Room 23ABC
As a Gen-X-er, I grew up enjoying many Filmation projects during the 1970s. I have vivid memories and DVD shelves filled with DC superheroes, The Groovie Goolies, and the live-action Ghost Busters. While many of the young attendees at Comic-Con are fascinated by what's new and current, I enjoy spending time with the veterans.
12:00-1:00 Spotlight on Bill Amend-- Comic-Con special guest and FoxTrot cartoonist Bill Amend reports on his mission to inject as much geekiness as possible into the nation's comics pages. He'll share examples and stories from his 24-year career, discuss how he's adapting to a more digital world, and answer as many audience questions as possible. Room 32AB
The '80s were a great decade for comic strips as four classics made their debut. Gary Larson's The Far Side, Berkeley Breathed's Bloom County, Bill Watterson's Calvin and Hobbes and Amend's FoxTrot made the comics page an essential daily read and the first section to turn to. The amusing antics of the Fox family debuted in 1988 and is the only one of the four that continues, albeit on Sundays only.
2:05-3:05 Walt Disney Studios: Frankenweenie, Oz The Great and Powerful, and Wreck-it Ralph-- Walt Disney Studios hosts a Q&A panel featuring the imaginative director of Frankenweenie, Tim Burton (Alice in Wonderland); a special look at the world of Oz The Great and Powerful with director Sam Raimi (Spider-Man trilogy); and the illustrious voice cast of Walt Disney Animation Studios' Wreck-It Ralph, including John C. Reilly (Step Brothers) and Sarah Silverman (The Sarah Silverman Program), and director Rich Moore (Futurama). Hall H
I caught a preview of Wreck-it Ralph WonderCon last February and became intrigued by the adventure of the 8-bit villain wanting to see if life has more to offer than the role he's been assigned. Sam Raimi taking audiences to the Land of Oz has potential, but being an original story and prequel to the classic film does raise some reservations. When Burton brought Alice in Wonderland to Comic-Con, he said so little that they showed the trailer three times. I don't expect much during the Q&A.
5:00-6:00 Archer: Screening and Q&A-- This animated half-hour comedy revolves around the spy agency known as the International Secret Intelligence Service (ISIS) and the lives of its self-involved employees. Series creator Adam Reed (Sealab 2021) and the show's voice actors discuss their daunting and enigmatic work of espionage, reconnaissance missions, wiretapping, and undercover surveillances-which are all actually unmitigated occasions for the ISIS staff to undermine, sabotage, and betray each other for personal gain. Panelists include H. Jon Benjamin (Bob's Burgers) as the highly skilled yet incredibly vain master spy "Sterling Archer," Aisha Tyler (The Talk) as Archer's fellow agent and ex-girlfriend "Lana Kane," Chris Parnell (Saturday Night Live) as the easily intimidated comptroller-turned-ISIS-agent "Cyril Figgis," Judy Greer (Arrested Development) as the loquacious secretary "Cheryl Tunt," and Amber Nash (Frisky Dingo) as the discordant director of human resources for ISIS "Pam Poovey." Indigo Ballroom, Hilton San Diego Bayfront
Archer is currently my favorite comedy on television, and every year they are one of the funniest panels. Combined with a screening of a new episode, this is the panel I am most looking forward to on Thursday.
8:30-10:00 Dr. Horrible's Sing-Along Blog Sing-Along-- Join the fun as the California Browncoats screen Internet sensation Dr. Horrible's Sing-Along Blog-coming back with call back sheets so you can play along during the screening. Enter our costume contest: horrible prizes awarded to the best version of each character from the show. DO NOT BOUNCE. Room 6BCF
I have not seen Dr. Horrible and this might be the year I change that so I can pick-up on in-jokes and costumes I have not previously recognized. With Joss Whedon attending the Firefly 10th Anniversary on Friday, might there be a surprise appearance?