—10:00-11:00 The Spark of Imagination—
Peek inside the minds of leading authors and filmmakers to explore how imagination informs the creative process. New York Times bestselling children’s author Tony DiTerlizzi (The Spiderwick Chronicles) details the precedent-setting augmented reality used in his new Simon & Schuster novel The Search for Wondla; LAIKA president/CEO Travis Knight (lead animator, Coraline) explains his studio’s commitment to bold subject matter; artist/writer Mike Mignola (creator of Hellboy) pinpoints how and where inspiration strikes; director John Stevenson (Kung Fu Panda) explores how creativity is enhanced by artistic collaboration in moviemaking; and graphic novelist and Comic-Con special guest Doug TenNapel (Earthworm Jim) describes exactly how a blank page comes to be inhabited with his compelling imagery. Join moderator Geoff Boucher, reporter and HeroComplex.com blogger with The Los Angeles Times, for this fascinating panel discussion and Q&A. Room 25ABC
—Though with Denny O’Neil on the DC Comics Writers panel at 10:15, I’m tempted to attend that one instead. Denny was Scott’s first boss in the business, and hearing him talk about writing is a major treat. There’s also the Power of Myth panel with fantasy authors at 10:30. Decisions, decisions.
—I’m sure I would enjoy the Caprica, Battlestar, and Beyond panel at noon. Or the Sci-Fi That Will Change Your Life panel at noon-thirty. But lunchtime panels are usually a no-go for. Because of, you know, lunch.
—1:30-2:30 Once Upon a Time
Fantasy authors discuss whether Epic Fantasy requires bigger-than-life heroes and heroines. Authors include Lynn Flewelling (The White Road), Christopher Paolini (the Inheritance cycle), Patrick Rothfuss (The Name of the Wind), Brandon Sanderson (The Way of Kings, Book 1 of The Stormlight Archive), Megan Whalen Turner (the Queen’s Thief series), and Brent Weeks (the Night Angel Trilogy). Moderated by Maryelizabeth Hart of Mysterious Galaxy. Room 24ABC
Will be sure to return from lunch in time for that one!
—This one sounds fun: 2:30-3:30 State of the Geek Report: From Avatar to Zardoz
A panel of experts examine the state of science fiction, fantasy, and horror in film and TV, from the living-ever-longer-and-prospering Star Trek franchise to the future of Star Wars to what the success of Avatar means for the future of movies. Some of geekdom’s biggest luminaries, including Steve Melching (The Clone Wars), Ashley E. Miller (Thor, X-Men: First Class), Steve Kriozere (Elvis Van Helsing), Jeff Bond (former Geek Monthly editor), and Bill Hunt and Todd Doogan (Digital Bits), talk about the lackluster state of sci-fi film and television, the rise, fall and rise of Star Trek, and the hits and misses of 2010 that made their midicholorian (and cholesterol) counts rise to dangerous levels this summer. Room 4
—No doubt I would enjoy the JJ Abrams/Joss Whedon panel at 3:30, but the line will probably start forming at dawn. Sorry, fellas.
—4:00-5:00 Twisting Genres
Fantastic fiction authors talk about pushing the envelope on genre, not confining it to one definition. Participants include China Miéville (Kraken), Justin Cronin (The Passage), Naomi Novik (Tongues of Serpents), Daryl Gregory (The Devil’s Alphabet), Jeffrey J. Mariotte (Cold Black Hearts), Robert Masello (Blood And Ice), Keith Thompson (The Leviathan trilogy), and Scott Westerfeld (The Leviathan trilogy). Moderated by Maryelizabeth Hart of Mysterious Galaxy. Room 25ABC
Sounds interesting, no? As does the Digital Comics panel at 4:30. Like the comics it celebrates, SDCC is nothing if not a series of conflicts. In a good way.
Help me decide. Which ones would you like to hear about?
Comic Books for Children
Principles of Design…as Revealed in “Nancy”
San Diego Comic-Con: Thursday
San Diego Comic-Con: Saturday & Sunday