It’s two weeks away from Comic-Con, and CCI is releasing the programming schedule for Comic-Con 2013 in its annual fashion. We’ll be bringing you the highlights of each day as they’re announced.
We’ll also be discussing our thoughts on this year’s lineup, including our top picks, in a special series of live podcasts this weekend. The first of which will cover Preview Night, Thursday’s and Friday’s lineup, and will be tonight – Friday July 11 at 9pm ET/6pm PT. [UPDATE: The podcast is now live – click on the link above to subscribe/stream/download the audio and video]
You’ve got some tough decisions to make on Friday. Do you head to Ballroom 20 for back-to-back TV, the Indigo Ballroom for non-stop animation, or Hall H for a little of both movies and TV? Having said that, bring on Friday:
If you’re choosing the latter option, Hall H will kick off at 10:15AM with some animated shorts and a “sneak peek”, which may or may not be the new Trailer Park. Then things really get moving with two of television’s biggest hits — The Walking Dead and Game of Thrones, which is bringing tons of cast members this year, including Gwendoline Christie, Nikolaj Coster-Waldau, Natalie Dormer, Kit Harrington, Rose Leslie, Rory McCann, Pedro Pascal, Sophie Turner, and Maisie Williams. Expect both of those panels to be packed, and with a line stretching outside past the tents. Then, it’s time for movies, with RADiUS-TWC bringing Horns and Everly, along with actor Daniel Radcliffe for his first-ever San Diego Comic-Con appearance. Twentieth Century Fox gets a two hour programming block, in which it announced yesterday it will be featuring The Maze Runner, Book of Life, Hitman: Agent 47, Let’s Be Cops, and Kingsman: The Secret Service. The studio is bringing out talent like Guillermo del Toro, Channing Tatum, Colin Firth, Samuel L. Jackson, and… Damon Wayans Jr.? Just go with it. The studio could also be revealing some information about upcoming release The Fantastic Four.
If you’ve chosen Ballroom 20 as your Friday scheduling adventure, you’ll find The Big Bang Theory (sans cast members again, though last year’s panel included some surprise guests), Legend of Korra, Bones, a split panel for Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. and Marvel’s Agent Carter, Arrow, and more. You can also catch the world premiere of Batman: Assault on Arkham, at 7PM.
There’s too much television to fit into just Ballroom 20 though, so for Outlander, Bates Motel, Vikings, Orphan Black, and Banshee, just look to Room 6A, and for Sleepy Hollow, iZombie, The 100, and Falling Skies, turn to Room 6BCF. Fans of Cartoon Network and adult swim need only to head to the Indigo Ballroom, as the two networks rule that room all day, until the Eisner Awards at night. Swing by the Hilton Bayfront for your chance to catch Adventure Time, The Venture Bros., Rick and Morty, Mike Tyson Mysteries, Robot Chicken, Bob’s Burgers, Archer, and more. Plus Disney’s Gravity Falls in 6A.
The big two comic companies are continuing their slate of panels, with two for Marvel and six for DC Comics for the day. Among those for DC is a “Batman in the ’80s and ’90s” panel which probably means we’ll see another decade panel on Saturday. While the DC panels range from trivia to Batman to the Multiverse, Marvel is concentrating on Spider-Man and The Avengers. Other properties/publishers with panels include Archaia/Boom (Henson archives, Adventure Time), Image Comics, Aspen Comics, Milestone, Top Shelf, Archie, IDW, and more.
Once again the spotlight panels bring you a “who’s who” of creators in the comic and book worlds. Friday’s line-up is full of names even the casual comics fan will recognize, such as Neal Adams, Brian K Vaughan, Jae Lee, Fiona Staples, Mike Mignola, and Batton Lash. Rounding out the list are Sara Mayhew, Rina Piccolo, Veronica Roth, Mark Brooks, and Francesco Francavilla. The only drawback is they are scheduling two spotlights at the same time most of the day, so you’ll have some tough choices to make. We’ve only managed to scratch the surface of the comic panels- good luck narrowing down your list!
Video game fans can get a preview of Halo: The Master Chief Collection at 10:15am in 6BCF; or listen to Katsuhiro Harada, director of the Tekken series, discuss his new titles at the Bandai Namco Fighting Games panel at noon in 25ABC. If fighting games aren’t your thing, overlapping at 12:30pm is Middle-Earth: Shadow of Mordor in room 8. At 3:30pm, If there’s one video game panel we’ll be at on Friday, though, it’s at “Digging E.T.: Behind the Scenes of the Xbox Originals Documentary, Atari: Game Over” (3:30pm, room 5AB), which documents the excavation of the famed burial of millions of Atari 2600 cartridges. It also has Atari founder Nolan Bushnell and Howard Scott Warshaw, the original developer on the E.T. game, among panel guests.
The Aquabats! return to the Convention Center at 9pm in Room 25ABC in a can’t-miss panel. We’ll tell you upfront — if you’ve never been to an Aquabats! panel, it’s nothing like you’ve ever seen before. Think Kaiju Big Battle meets Jerry Springer. From the panel’s description: “Join them for a frank conversation about the ongoing saga of the world’s greatest underdog champions of nerd-core and superhero rock band! Never-before-seen scenes and video clips from the TV show and an open Q&A session to be moderated by a very special surprise guest!” Yup, we’re so there.
There’s also an entire day of Star Wars programming in 7AB, with panels on everything from Hasbro’s Star Wars line to a look at the storyboards from The Original Trilogy, to… Star Wars Origami? Again, just go with it.
Which of Friday’s panels are you looking forward to most? Let us know in the comments.