Today really is an embarrassment of riches. I've heard people pronounce Thursday "dull" and Friday "decent" - but if you can't get excited over Saturday, your badge is wasted on you.
Saturday is a day of many things - TV past, present and future; famous authors and comic book news; and the future in general, including ROBOTS. Michio Kaku really needs to have his own panel at Comic-Con next year, I'm sure he could fill 6BCF if not Ballroom 20.
Oh, and there's lots of swag today. I didn't spot this the previous two days, but plenty of Saturday panels promise giveaways, shirts, free samples of this and that, and prizes. If you've been coming to SDCC for years, you remember when this was more common. It's nice to see it return.
Ballroom 20 has: The Simpsons at 10, Once Upon a Time at 11, Fan Favorites at 12, Family Guy at 1, American Dad at 2, Grimm at 3, Vampire Diaries at 4, True Blood at 5.
To clarify "Fan Favorites," this will have Colin O'Donogue, Sam Heughan, Misha Collins and Aisha Tyler. As for True Blood: first-timers, this line is always one of the worst at the Con. Like overnight-and-still-not-getting-in bad. Think hard on whether you're willing to sacrifice that much time to see this panel, even if you love TB with all your heart and soul.
Hall H kicks off at 10 with Hobbit/Mad Max/Jupiter Ascending, then has Legendary Pictures and then the Boxtrolls at 1:30, then Sin City 2 at 2:50. Then we have EW's "Women who Kick Ass" at 4:10 and Marvel at 5:30. Finally we conclude with DC 's Gotham premiere, The Flash pilot, Constantine & Arrow blowout from 8-11 pm.
Plenty of people will camp for this. (If you're wondering where Kevin Smith is, he'll appear in Hall H on Friday evening.) As for the Women Who Kick Ass," they would be Natalie Dormer, Katey Sagal, Maisie Williams and Tatiana Maslany. Only at SDCC can you get that line-up.
The Indigo Ballroom starts out with Steven Universe and Regular Show from Cartoon Network at 10 and 11; then it goes to Syfy with Helix at noon and Defiance at 1; then we have the Awesomes at 2, the Nerdist panel at 3, John Barrowman at 4, Digital Revolution at 5 and Felicia Day at 6.
It occurs to me that Indigo is becoming camp-worthy in its own right, and I'm not really sure where that line will happen.
Onto panels for Creatives.
It seems like Thursday was more for writers, Friday for painters/illustrators and Saturday for digital artists.
"Comic Book Law School 303: Muy Caliente! Hot Topics 2014" is also approved for 1.5 credits of California MCLE and is at 10:30 in 30CDE.
"Establishing Shot" is at 10, "Digital Character Sketching & Painting" is at 11, with "Advanced 3D/CG Comic Art" at 12:15, "Draw Your Imagination" at 1:45, all in Room 2."Writers Unite: Writing and Pitching Comic Stories" is at 10:00 in 25AB.
"Spark Your Creativity: A Call to Action! Ladies Unite to Create More Female-Driven Content!" is at 1 in Room 23ABC."Creative Careers in Entertainment" in at 2:30 in 5AB.
"Adobe Photoshop: Enabling the Artist in the 3D Print Revolution." 3:00 in 30CDE.
"ComiXology Submit: The Future of Self-Publishing." is also at 3 in 23ABC.
"Creative Dynamic: The Freelancer's Guide to Building Great Business Relationships" is for creatives in all fields and focuses on “building your freelance business while still maintaining your artistic integrity.” I would have titled this "The Inverse Relationship Between Money and Creative Integrity" but that's why I shouldn't sit on panels. 4:00 in 30CDE."Ways to Increase Success on Your Self-Published Kickstarter Project." I think a lot of people are using Indiegogo now, but I'm sure the same principles apply. 4:00 in 23ABC.
"The Ultimate Pitch: The Step-by-Step Process of Turning Your Comic into a Global Property." So many pitching workshops! 4:30 in Room 8.
"Publishing 360°: Building a Bestseller" promises to explain "navigating the path from story idea to bestseller." 6 in 25ABC."Internet Marketing Secrets for Authors" is at 8 in 30CDE.
Comics/Toys/Games/Publishing is just overwhelming today.
"Diversity in Genre Lit" is at 10:00 in Room 7AB."Drawn & Quarterly Jeopardy" hands out free books to all winning answers. 10:00 in room 4.
"IDW: Summer Blockbusters!" is at 10:00 in 28DE.
"Avatar the Last Airbender: Legend and Legacy." 10:30 in 24ABC."Fantastic Females: Heroines in Paranormal Fantasy: has Deborah Harkness, Marjorie Liu, S. J. Harper, Christina Lauren, Tonya Hurley. 10:30 in Room 8.
"Marvel Animation Presents!" says it has a special surprise for attendees "that you will all be talking about for the rest of the convention!" 10:30am in 6BCF.
I was surprised to learn that Snoopy not only has 5 siblings/littermates but that they're prominent enough to merit a panel. "Snoopy, His Sister Belle, and Other Sibling Relationships in Peanuts" is at 10:30 in room 5AB.
"Temple of Art" is a 2-year art and photography project that explores “art as a battleground between ego, alchemy, and discipline.” Dave McKean, Barron Storey, Kent Williams, Jason Shawn Alexander, David Mack, Bill Sienkiewicz, Grant Morrison, Jim Mahfood, Stephanie Inagaki, and Ryan Graff. A video presentation of original works and preview of the documentary will be played as well, with giveaways and t-shirts on hand. I want to go to this and have it last forever. 11:00 in 25ABC."Top Cow: 2015 Brings a New Talent Hunt, New Projects, and More" says all attendees will receive a special limited-edition lithograph. 11:00 in Room 9.
"DC Comics-Superman: The Man of Tomorrow" is at 11:15 in 6DE, followed by "The Weeklies" at 12:45.
"Mattel: Monster High 2014" is at 11:30am in room 5AB.
CBLDF has "Tales from the Code-True Stories of Censorship" at noon and "Banned Comics!" at 1, both in 30CDE."Meet Some of Magic" is at noon in 25ABC. Magic as in MTG, if you couldn't guess.
"Kodansha Comics" talks manga at 12:30 in room 8."Marvel Video Games" will have "the coolest giveaway this panel has ever handed out!" Obviously the same person wrote this panel description and the above for Marvel Animation. 12:30 in 6A.
"We Are BOOM!" 12:30 in 24ABC."Future Landscapes" explores YA novels and their visions of the future, "whether it's a dystopian society, the aftermath of an apocalypse, or an unknown intergalactic landing point." 1 in 28DE.
Saga “series creators Brian K. Vaughan and Fiona Staples are ready, rested, and eager to talk to you about Saga.” I'm not sure I believe the "rested" part but this will obviously be a crazy popular panel. 1:00 at 7AB.
"Charting a Course: Developing the Next Mass Effect" talks about “what it's like to expand on a well-established and beloved video game franchise.” Moderated by Nerdist.com. 2:00 in 25ABC."The Oni Press Comicstravaganza: All Cats Go to Purgatory!" will share "news and announcements about future Oni Press comics!” 2:00 in room 9.
"IDW: Joe Hill & Gabriel Rodriguez" is at 2:30pm in 24ABC. Then we have "IDW Pop Culture Mix-Tape" at 4:00 in room 4."The Art of Fear" has horror authors Mira Grant, G. Michael Hopf, Katherine Howe, April Genevieve Tucholke, Brenna Yovanoff, and James Rollins talking about their techniques for scaring the crap out of you. 2:30 in Room 8.
"Marvel: Cup O' Joe" is at 2:45 6BCF. Joe Quesada reveals all, again.
"30 Years of Usagi Yojimbo!" 3:00 in 28DE."Doctor Who Comics Panel" probably won't make up for the absence in Hall H this year but it's something. 3:00 in 25ABC.
Robert Kirkman and Norman Reedus will allow you to bask in their magnificence in 6A at 3:00.
"Fantagraphics Forward" is at 3:30 in 26AB.
"Cosplaying 102: Intermediate and Advanced Costuming" is at 4 in 29A.
"Hasbro: Marvel" is at 4 in 25ABC."Rulers of the Realm" has Joe Abercrombie, Diana Gabaldon, Lev Grossman, George R. R. Martin, and Patrick Rothfuss. Oh, the line for this. I can't even contemplate it. 4:15 in 6A.
"Creepy & Eerie: 21st-Century Horror" promises to have "awesome Creepy swag" on hand. 4:30 in 24ABC."Image Comics: I Is for...Ideas" has people like Scott Snyder and Brian K. Vaughan explaining how to get into comics. 4:30 in 6DE.
"Velocity: The Pursuit of the Southern Hemisphere Comic Industry" shares international comic books at 5:30 in 24ABC.
"Gays in Comics XXVII: It's a Queer, Queer World!" 5:30- 7:00, followed by a mixer and auction in 6A."Video Games and Our Future: We're All Gamers." 6:30 in 24ABC.
Hollywood is mostly about TV today, but then it has been for a while.
Phineas and Ferb is at 10:00 in 6A. (And don't forget their Star Wars special airs this night.)"Pop Culture and the Robot Reality" prepares us all for the inevitable at 11:00 in 7AB. Then it's time to discuss "Sci-Fi, Robots and AI" at noon in the same room.
"Nickelodeon: Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles-Booyakasha!" is at 11:15 in 6A.
"Inside The Writers' Room: Earth's Mightiest Writers Re-Assemble" at 11:30 in 24ABC.
"Hercules All-Stars" has your favorite Hercules actors including Lou Ferrigno, John Hennigan and Paul Teller all gathering at noon in the Horton Grand Theatre."The Whedonverse" lives on at 1:30 in 24ABC.
"Nerdist Podcast Network Super Panel." 1:45pm in the Horton Grand Theatre."The Blacklist" is at 1:45 in 6A.
"Lost Podcast and Beyond" is at 2 in 29A. Yes, it is yet another Lost panel, but this one won’t just dwell on the past - it’ll “address rumors of a remake” and talk about how our new obsessions have helped ease the pain in the form of GOT, True Detective, etc."Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles 30th Anniversary" is at 2:00 in 23ABC.
"Inside the Making of Twin Peaks-The Entire Mystery Blu-ray" will not have David Lynch but will showcase a few deleted and extended scenes. 3:30 in 5AB.
"Ascension" with Tricia Helfer will be at 3:15 in 6DE. This is a Syfy miniseries that they're hoping will be the next BSG. "In 1963, the U.S. government launched a covert space mission sending hundreds of people on a century-long voyage to find a new home for humanity.” It's safe to say that Indigo is going to draw off a lot of Syfy fans but I bet a fair number will come here instead, partly for Tricia and partly because of the following 2 panels in this room.Which are "Salem" and "American Horror Story." They're both in 6DE, Salem at 5:45 and AHS at 7. It's not the biggest room (seats just under 900) and the only reason I can think AHS would be in here is because it was a last-minute addition. While all of the other outside events and competing panels will help draw off some of the crowd, you can bet the line for this will be colossal. So if AHS is your Holy Grail of the day, I'd check on the line situation first thing in the morning and monitor it throughout the day, jumping in as soon as you need to.
And if that doesn't work out for you, you can go to Constantine at 5:15 in 6BCF, followed by Person of Interest at 6:15.
Let's talk about Saturday Night panels. If you decided to sit out all the events raging through San Diego tonight, you've got plenty to do right at the convention center.
"Fight Club: From Page to Screen and Beyond" has Chuck Palahniuk, David Fincher. I initially thought this would be a huge draw and I’m sure it will still be popular – but compared to everything else, I don’t see it dominating its time slot. 7:00 in 25ABC.
"Best and Worst Manga of 2014" is also at 7 in 23ABC."Onwards, Voyager! Epic Reads Await You!" will share previews of new and upcoming YA fiction from Harper Voyager. 7:00 in Room 9.
"Rich Johnston's Bleeding Cool Magazine Top 100 Power List Forum" is 7:00 in Room 4.
"The Secrets and Art of Great Acting and Performing" has world-famous thespian Richard Hatch sharing his secrets and art with you. 7:00 in 30CDE.
"Machinima & Friends Happy Hour: After Hours Animation" is at 7:30pm in 7AB.
"Superheroes Are Saving Millions of Lives-for REAL!" If you can get past the hyperbolic title, there's an interesting story here of efforts to improve sanitation for people all over the world. 7:30 in 26AB.
"Toy Collecting In the Modern Age: The High Price of Having Fun" is at 7:30 in room 8.The annual CBLDF Art Auction is at 7:30 in the Sapphire Ballroom at Hilton Bayfront.
"Science in the Stories of HP Lovecraft" is at 8:00 in room 4.
"Star Wars Trivia Panel" is at 8 in 23ABC - but you can also go to "The Psychology of Star Trek vs Star Wars" at 8:30 in 26AB.
Then finally we have "Cartoon Network: The Regular Show Rock-a-Thon" at 8 in 7AB and "Spike and Mike" at 8:30 in 6BCF.
So there you have it - something for everyone. I do want to note one major change - the Hall H/Ballroom 20 nightly panel playbacks we used to get in 25ABC are now over at the Omni. These show you the actual panels you couldn't get into in the big rooms, though without any trailers or footage.
Also, I noticed the absence of a few annual treasured panels, like the io9 science-fiction one. Maybe it'll be on Sunday or maybe it just isn't happening this year. That said, I can't really complain about missing anything with all of the great content provided.
Hope everyone finds a way to get into their top picks. It's going to be a crazy and exciting day.