SDCC 2011: Your Comic Panel Round-Up

Comics are still a thing at SDCC, right?

With Comic Con bearing down on us like an 80-ton gorilla,* we’ve got a pretty complete list of the comic-focused panels that’ll be happening next week. Jokes in the intro aside, Comic Con is the prime place to feel the crush of thousands of fellow comic fans from around the country. All of the toy, animation, video game, TV, and film coverage aside, Comic Con remains an institution to get excited about art in panels, about nearly a century worth of characters in print across publishers big and small among a vast array of beloved creators old and new. Not to get too sappy, but for all of the stress of actually covering a convention this size, I always have that core excitement about being in the big hall, surrounded by a bunch of people who maybe made the trip across the country or across the globe because they still like seeing Spider-Man swinging across NYC at Marvel or can’t get enough of Batman putting the boot to dude’s faces at DC.

All that out of the way, you can find the list of panels below, as well as a little bit of commentary on what I’m interested in checking out.

*What does that crazy moon talk even mean? I think Con craziness may have already set in. Still, if you see me, don’t let that stop you from saying hello.

Thursday

Planet of the Apes in Comics Present and Past— Planet of the Apes has come back to comics this year, thanks to BOOM! Studios. Current Planet of the Apes comics editor Ian Brill and writer Daryl Gregory talk about the new series, along with Tom Mason, who served as Malibu Comics’ creative director and oversaw the last big Apes explosion. Learn what’s next for Planet of the Apes and secrets behind the past of this comic franchise.

I’d really like to think that we’re now in a ten-year cycle of PoTA boom and bust. Anyway, BOOM! isn’t the only company in the Apes business with the new reboot/prequel coming out next month as well as the novel from Archaia. I’m hoping BOOM! gets some mileage out of the license that deserves to get dusted off every few years for a new batch of fans.

IDW and Hasbro: 2012 Transformations— What’s coming up in IDW’s Transformers, G.I. Joe, and Dungeons & Dragons titles? More important, who’s taking over stewardship of Transformers and G.I. Joe? Find out as IDW’s newest editor makes his presence known, alongside IDW’s editorial team and creators such as Mike Costa, Livio Ramondelli, and more surprise guests! Also, get word of a new license being announced today!

Marvel: Breaking into Comics the Marvel Way— You have the talent. You have the imagination. You have the “Go get ’em Tiger” determination that would make the Bullpen proud. But where do you go from there? Discover the next step in your budding comics career with world-renowned talent scout C. B. Cebulski, artists Skottie Young (Ozma of Oz) and Humberto Ramos (Amazing Spider-Man), and Marvel SVP of brand planning & communications Mike Pasciullo, as they give you all the right pointers toward getting a foot in the door at Marvel Comics. Discussing all entry points across every department, this panel is must for all Marvel hopefuls!

DC: Talent Search— Join DC’s Editorial Art Director, Mark Chiarello, for an informative orientation session that will explain how DC’s Talent Search works and discuss the different needs of the DC Comics, Vertigo and MAD Magazine. If you want to learn what DC Comics looks for in artists and how to improve your chances of becoming a working professional, then this is the panel for you! In order to have your work reviewed, attendance at this orientation session is mandatory. (Please note: Not all attendees are guaranteed a one-on-one review.)

Spotlight on Joyce Brabner— Is she the glacial, humorless activist as portrayed in the film American Splendor or just the person who published the first comic on the Internet? Come hear Comic-Con special guest Joyce Brabner talk about her latest projects, including finishing the work of her late husband Harvey Pekar and dealing with his legacy.

When’s the last time you saw the film American Splendor? You didn’t? Hope Davis kills it in. Kills.

Bongo Comics Sneak Peek— Bongo Comics offers a mouthwatering preview of upcoming projects featuring The Simpsons and Futurama and a few other surprises. Managing editor Terry Delegeane and creative director Bill Morrison host the writers and artists who create the comics and books based on Matt Groening’s phenomenal TV shows. Find out what’s in the future for Futurama Comics, what to surmise about Simpsons Comics, and how to get more connected than ever before. And join Sergio Aragonés as he presents his new humor monthly Sergio Aragonés Funnies. This is a must-attend panel for all fans of The Simpsons and Futurama, and anyone looking for a place to sit down!

DC: Flashpoint— Everything you know will change in a Flash! Flashpoint, the blockbuster comics event of the summer, has turned the DC Universe inside out! Join DC Comics Executive Editor, Eddie Berganza, and some of the amazing talent behind Flashpoint for a panel that’s sure to pose new questions about this explosive event even as it answers others!

Flashpoint is almost over. But good on DC for taking some time out of the con to get people psyched about the last issue before turning the lights out on the current incarnation of the DCU.

Spreading The Darkness: From Comic Book to Video Games and Entertainment— In a world of comic book icons, The Darkness has not only stood the test of time but flourished in various forms of media. Celebrate the upcoming 15th anniversary of The Darkness with the creators that know Jackie Estacado and his world the best. The Darkness creator Marc Silvestri (X-Men/Dark Avengers: Utopia) and team members from Digital Extremes and 2K Games discuss not only the comic but the upcoming video game, The Darkness II, arriving in October. Plus special surprise guests! And be the first to hear about an exciting announcement regarding The Darkness in other media.

Looking into my crystal ball, with no sources other than my active imagination, I’m guessing we might hear the announcement of a Darkness movie. Or maybe it’ll join Witchblade as another Top Cow title with an animated series. Either way, I’m down to check it out.

Dark Horse: Fall Publishing Highlights— Three supersecret surprise megastars from the entertainment and publishing worlds (revealed on Preview Night at the Dark Horse booth) discuss their thrilling new comics at this special panel. Discover their spine-tingling new projects coming in fall 2011 and get an exclusive San Diego Comic-Con print, which you’ll be able to see larger than life at the Dark Horse booth!

Dumbrella— Artists from Dumbrella, one of the most popular online comic collectives, discuss webcomics, independent publishing, and subverting popular culture. Feel free to quiz Andrew Bell (The Creatures in My Head), Meredith Gran (Octopus Pie), Jon Rosenberg (Goats), and Chris Yates (Chris Yates Studios) about anything your Internet heart desires.

DC Comics: Grant Morrison— Comic-Con special guest Grant Morrison, one of the most inventive writers in comics today, discusses his work in and out of comics, including the highly anticipated Action Comics #1, coming in September from DC Comics, his new nonfiction book, Supergods: What Masked Vigilantes, Miraculous Mutants, and a Sun God from Smallville Can Teach Us About Being Human, and recent acclaimed titles like Joe the Barbarian. Don’t miss this chance to hear one of comics’ most distinctive voices as he talks about his work from superheroes to the cutting edge of comics.

Marvel Digital: What’s Next?! Comics…and Beyond!— Members of the Marvel Digital Media Group give you the first word on Marvel digital comics, casual games, original streaming video productions, social media outreach, and the future of Marvel’s ever-expanding digital endeavors.

SKYBOUND Panel— It’s been an amazing year for SKYBOUND, Image COO Robert Kirkman’s imprint at Image Comics. The premiere original Witch Doctor has sold out nationwide, the all-ages hit Super Dinosaur continues to soar, and Kirkman’s team-up with Rob Liefeld, The Infinite, is about to rock fans to their core. So what’s next? Robert Kirkman discusses the future of the imprint with his stable of creators, including Thief of Thieves writer Nick Spencer, Witch Doctor creators Brandon Seifert and Lukas Ketner, and others. Expect loads of surprises, announcements, and most important: AWESOMENESS.

You know who the new Stan Lee is? Robert Kirkman. I’m not comparing the two guys in terms of creative output or legacy, but Kirkman seems to be the guy picking up the mantle of the modern hype man for comics. If even you don’t read his books, you probably know about them, and he’s not afraid to lob a few bombs the competition’s way to keep people talking. You have to respect that.

Archaia Entertainment: Immortals, the Graphic Novel— Before you watch Relativity Media’s epic 3D film Immortals when it opens on November 11, dive into Archaia’s prelude graphic novel, Immortals: Gods and Heroes, coming in September! Featuring original tales that expand on the movie’s characters and written and illustrated by some of the top names in comics, Immortals: Gods and Heroes promises to prepare you for the visionary film directed by Tarsem Singh (The Cell, The Fall). Editor Nate Cosby (Jim Henson’s The Storyteller) and contributors Dennis Calero (X-Factor), F. J. DeSanto (The Spirit), David Mack (Kabuki), Ron Marz (Witchblade), Jim McCann (Return of the Dapper Men), Ben McCool (Captain America), and some surprise guests give you a sneak peek at the graphic novel, plus provide some cool behind-the-scenes info of its production. Meet the two winners of the “Become Immortal” contest, whose likenesses will be drawn into the book. Plus, everyone in attendance will receive a voucher for a cool Immortals: Gods and Heroes giveaway at the Archaia booth! Moderated by Archaia editor-in-chief Stephen Christy.

Stan Lee, Yoshiki, and Todd McFarlane— The worlds of music and comics collide, as legendary creators Stan Lee (POW! Entertainment) and Todd McFarlane (Spawn) join forces with rock superstar, Yoshiki (X Japan) to create a bold new hero, Blood Red Dragon. Lee, Yoshiki, and McFarlane are joined by renowned writer Jon Goff (Halo Evolutions) for a captivating panel and Q&A session.

AICN Comics: Horror on the Paneled Page— Mark L. Miller (Ain’t It Cool News) hosts a panel focusing on horror with some of comic books’ darkest writers and artists. The discussion will breach such topics as how to create successful horror comics, what causes chills, and what doesn’t. Steve Niles (30 Days of Night), Joshua Hale Fialkov (DC’s upcoming I, Vampire), David Quinn (Faust), Tim Seeley (Hack/Slash), Brandon Seifert (Witch Doctor), Matt Pizzolo (Godkiller), Brea and Zane Grant (We Will Bury You), Terrence Zdunich (The Molting), and a few surprise guests who will show you what makes them the best of the best in comic book horror.

The output at AICN isn’t normally my thing, but if someone says they’re going to get a bunch of horror comic creators together to talk shop, I’m in.

DC Comics – The New 52— DC Comics explodes in September with 52 new number one issues and one panel is not enough to cover it! With a “DC Comics – The New 52” panel each day, there’s sure to be something for everyone! Join Dan DiDio, DC Entertainment Co-Publisher, Bob Harras, DC’s Editor-in-Chief, and DC Comics Executive Editor, Eddie Berganza, for an up-close look at this unprecedented wave of new series, from the first-ever re-launches of Action Comics and Batman titles to the latest thrills from comics’ cutting-edge!

Presentation preview: lots of enigmatic slides, some elliptical teases, and no real answers as to what the hay is going on with “The New 52.”

Love and Rockets— Gilbert, Jaime, and Mario Hernandez converse with Gary Groth about 30 years of creating their landmark comic book series, Love & Rockets. Since 1982, Love & Rockets has virtually defined alternative comics and culture, launching from the punk rock scene in Los Angeles and growing into one of the most mature bodies of work ever produced in the medium

Sergio and Mark Show— It’s that time again: The Eisner Award-winning folks who bring you Groo the Wanderer and other silly comics tell you what they’re working on and why it isn’t out yet. Sergio Aragonés and Mark Evanier, along with Stan Sakai and Tom Luth, answer your questions, tell strange stories, and reveal the dread secret of Sergio’s mustache.

IDW Publishing Presents: The Greatest Panel of All Time— New creator-owned books? Ever-larger licensed titles? All-new creators, and even some major crossover events? How about prizes just for attending? Yep, you’ll find all that and more, in The Greatest Panel of All Time. CCO Chris Ryall, editor Scott Dunbier, and creators Chris Roberson, Eric Powell, and Steve Niles, along with MC Dirk Wood, present a gamelike atmosphere as they spin the wheel on projects coming in 2011 and 2012. Come on down!

DC: Batman— Batman, Robin, Nightwing, Batwoman, and the rest of Gotham City’s greatest crimefighters take things to the next level in September with new battles and new titles. Get to know the writers and artists behind these exciting new comics, including Batman Group Editor Mike Marts, Editor Bobbie Chase, Grant Morrison (Batman Incorporated), Chris Burnham (Batman Incorporated), David Finch (Batman: The Dark Knight), Scott Snyder (Detective Comics), Peter Tomasi (Batman & Robin), Patrick Gleason (Batman & Robin), Gail Simone (Batgirl), Judd Winick (Batwing, Catwoman), Kyle Higgins (Deathstroke), Paul Jenkins, Gregg Hurwitz and others answer your questions at this exclusive Bat-panel. Moderated by John Cunningham.

Pretty all-star panel there. I hope they come prepared with an answer as to how/when Morrison’s Batman Inc. will be concluded.

True Stories— Chester Brown (Paying for It), Tom Devlin (art director of D&Q), Peter Kuper (Stop Forgetting to Remember), Leland Myrick (Feynman), and Thomas LeBien (publisher of Hill & Wang’s Novel Graphics line) discuss the ins and outs of nonfiction graphic novel stories. What are the lines between truth and fiction when images are involved in a story? Moderated by Scott McCloud (Understanding Comics).

Avatar Press: Special News and Q&A— Here’s your chance to meet the creative minds behind Avatar Press, the industry’s most groundbreaking, risk-taking publisher! Hosted by editor-in-chief William Christensen, this panel includes Jacen Burrows, whose atmospheric artwork terrified readers of Garth Ennis’s Crossed and Alan Moore’s Neonomicon, and Brian Pulido, whose cult favorite Lady Death series provides the backbone to the sexy and action-packed Boundless Comics line. Find out what new terrors this rogue publisher will unleash in the months ahead, and get your questions answered.

Kodansha Comics— Representatives from the largest publisher in Japan discuss the exciting manga they’ll be releasing in the coming months. Kumi Shimizu of Kodansha USA talks with Dallas Middaugh about the imprint’s upcoming books, such as Bloody Monday, Cage of Eden, Love Hina, and, of course, Sailor Moon!

BOOM! Irredeemable/Incorruptible Panel— Mark Waid’s bestselling, multiple sell-out Irredeemable has taken comic fans by storm, becoming one of the top-selling independent comics of the last several years. Mark Waid discusses Irredeemable’s beginnings, the future of the series, and its sister series, Incorruptible. Big announcements will be made at this not-to-be-missed panel for any fan of these books!

You know what’s nice-looking? That big Irredeemable omnibus.

Marvel: Next Big Thing— The Marvel Universe is where the biggest comic stories happen — so wouldn’t you like to be the first to know what Marvel has planned? Get the latest news on Marvel’s plans for their biggest heroes and villains, with some surprises along the way. Panelists Greg Pak (Incredible Hulks), Jonathan Hickman (FF), Jim McCann (Marvel Zombies Christmas Carol), Nick Spencer (Ultimate X), editor-in-chief Axel Alonso, and others answer all your burning questions while giving you a sneak peek at the future of Marvel.

MAD Men— What’s up with America ’s most famous humor magazine (that is, if you don’t count Newsweek)? Your genial moderator Mark Evanier quizzes the Usual Gang of Idiots: editor John Ficarra, art director Sam Viviano, writer Dick DeBartolo and artists Sergio Aragonés, Peter Kuper, Tom Richmond, and Keith Knight.

True story: as a kid I didn’t like MAD I read Cracked, it’s ugly, dumb cousin.

New Publisher Kickstart Comics!— An in-depth look at new and upcoming releases from Kickstart Comics, a discussion of TV and feature film plans with sister company Kickstart Productions, and Q&A with Kickstart Comic creators Jimmy Palmiotti (Jonah Hex), Mark Sable (Grounded, Unthinkable), Adam Freeman band Marc Bernardin (Monster Attack Network, Genius), Josh Williamson (Endangered, Mirror, Mirror), Phil Eisner (Event Horizon, Bad Guys), Matt Maiellaro (creator, Aqua Teen Hunger Force, Knowbodys) and Jack Monaco (Pushing Daisies, Book of Lilah). Great giveaways, too!

Creepy and Eerie: Comics That Can Still Scare You!— Discuss the new Dark Horse Creepy series, the classic age of the Warren Creepy and Eerie magazines, and all the exciting things coming up in the Creepy universe with a bone-chilling panel including Jason Shawn Alexander (Abe Sapien), Overstreet’s J. C. Vaughn (Doctor Solar), artist Nathan Fox (Haunt), and classic Creepy and Eerie cover artist Ken Kelly and writer Bruce Jones (Checkmate). Moderated by New Comic Company’s twin engines Dan Braun (Creepy) and Josh Braun (A History of Violence). Plus, there will be Creepy trivia questions with extraordinary swag and prizes!

Vertigo Editorial— They come from the cutting edge of comics…and Vertigo has never been edgier, with thought-provoking titles from some of comics’ most acclaimed creators. Don’t miss this panel featuring Scott Snyder (American Vampire), Jeff Lemire (Sweet Tooth), Michael Allred (iZombie), Mark Buckingham (Fables), Les Klinger (Annotated Sandman), Rebecca Guay (A Flight of Angels), Colleen Doran (Gone to Amerika), Bill Willingham (Fables), and many others. This is your opportunity to learn more about the entire Vertigo line. Hosted by Vertigo executive editor Karen Berger.

Arcana Comics: A Look at One of the World’s Largest Graphic Novel Publishers— Sean Patrick O’Reilly (Clockwork Girl), Josh Blaylock (Devil’s Due), Erik Hendrix (SideShows), Mike Kalvoda (Banshee), Brooke Burgess (Becoming), Matt Wilson (Scrooge & Santa), and Ryan Colucci (Harbor Moon) take you through some of the amazing talent coming out of one of the world’s largest graphic novel producers. With over 150 graphic novels released, find out what the publisher currently has coming in the near future and get a sneak peak at the 3D animated feature film Clockwork Girl, Arcana’s slate of interactive apps, and more. See how independent publishers make their mark in the comic book industry and blur the lines between mediums, Arcana style. Attendees will get free comics and the first in a series of Arcana Universe posters.

Friday

DC: Talent Search— DC’s editorial art director, Mark Chiarello, presents an informative orientation session to explain how DC’s Talent Search works and discuss the different needs of DC Comics, Vertigo, and MAD magazine. If you want to learn what DC Comics looks for in artists and how to improve your chances of becoming a working professional, this is the panel for you. If you want to have your work reviewed, attendance at this orientation session is mandatory. (Please note: Not all attendees are guaranteed a one-on-one review.)

Mike Mignola: Worlds at War— The world is falling to chaos in B.P.R.D. Hell on Earth, Hellboy’s facing his demons in a big way in Hellboy: The Fury, and monsters are overrunning Europe in the upcoming Baltimore: The Curse Bells. Join creator Mike Mignola, editor Scott Allie, and new B.P.R.D. artist Tyler Crook for exclusive insights on what has been and will continue to be an epic year in the Mignolaverse and beyond.

Have you seen Tyler Crook’s art? Quite nice. With him joining B.P.R.D. on art chores, I feel like the book is in good hands post Guy Davis.

Radical Publishing— Radical will announce its imprint deal with Sam Worthington’s production company, Full Clip, and introduce the writers and artists working on those projects. Panelists include Sam Worthington (Avatar), John Schwarz and Michael Schwarz (Full Clip Productions), Rick Remender (The Last Days of American Crime), Joshua Dysart (Unknown Soldier), Leonardo Manco (Hellblazer), and Radical Studios president Barry Levine

The Official Aspen Comics Panel 2011— Aspen Comics creators Frank Mastromauro, Peter Steigerwald, Vince Hernandez, Mark Roslan, Joe Benitez, JT Krul, Alex Konat, Jason Fabok, Beth Sotelo, and some surprise guests announce and preview new Aspen releases for 2012, including a special look at their new series in association with director McG’s production company, Haunted City, as well as answer questions about Aspen’s growing library of titles. All attendees will receive a free gift courtesy of Aspen Comics!

Tribute to Gene Colan— The comic book industry lost a giant last month. Gene Colan was a true artist and a truer gentleman. Fans and co-workers gather to remember him, including Marv Wolfman, Roy Thomas, Dean Mullaney, Andrew Farago, Glen David Gold, and moderator Mark Evanier. Come and add your voice and memories to a discussion of one of the greats.

Marvel: Year of the X-Men— The bonds of brotherhood have been broken between Cyclops and Wolverine, as their feud reaches its boiling point, tearing the X-Men apart in X-Men: Schism. But after the dust settles, what’s next for the X-Men and their allies? Enter X-Men Regenesis, where all your questions are answered. Writers Marjorie Liu (X-23), Rick Remender (Uncanny X-Force), and Chris Yost (X-Men: First to Last) and editor-in-chief Axel Alonso lay out what’s going on with the X-Men for this all-new, all-deadly panel!

Dark Horse Comics: 20 Years of Star Wars— Share favorite moments in Star Wars comics with resident Jedi Randy Stradley and a host of Star Wars guests from comics and beyond, including Mick Harrison (Dark Times — in his first public appearance!), Scott Allie and Stephane Roux (Jedi — The Dark Side), John Jackson Miller (Knight Errant), Dave Filoni and the Fillbach Brothers (Star Wars: The Clone Wars), Timothy Zahn (Choices of One), and Shelly Shapiro (editor-at-large, Del Rey). There will be exclusive news and images, giveaways, and even a chance to win a custom Stormtrooper helmet with art by Chris Scalf (Blood Ties)!

Oni Press Panelmonium 2011— It’s a new comic extravaganza with trendsetting indie comic powerhouse Oni Press, featuring Comic-Con debut titles One Soul, Petrograd. and Spontaneous! Join in the Q&A with Ray Fawkes (Possessions) and get the first word on his game-changing graphic novel One Soul. Plus an in-depth chat with Phil Gelatt (Labor Days) and Tyler Crook (B.P.R.D) about their new historical graphic novel chronicling the infamous assassination of Rasputin, Petrograd! Joe Harris (Ghost Projekt) and Brett Weldele (Surrogates) talk about their new miniseries Spontaneous, while Artist Brian Hurtt and writer Cullen Bunn join in the fray to discuss their hit ongoing series The Sixth Gun. And, as always, Oni Press’s Panelmonium brings announcements, reveals, special guests, free comics, and the only interactive panel in town! Guaranteed by Oni Press’s totally biased employees to be “the most fun you’ll ever have at a panel”!

Marvel: Amazing Spider-Man and His Avenging Friends— Spider-Man’s riding high after hitting the Big Time, but it’ll all come crashing down this summer in Spider-Island! Get an in-depth look inside the event that changes the course of Peter Parker’s life. But ol’ Web-Head isn’t the only New Yorker with a major storyline this summer. Daredevil makes his return, Punisher wages a new war, Venom explores the dark side of saving the world, and more of your favorite heroes are back with a vengeance! Sit down with our spectacular panel of creators, including Zeb Wells (Avenging Spider-Man), Rick Remender (Venom), Mark Waid (Daredevil), Greg Rucka (Punisher), Humberto Ramos (Amazing Spider-Man), senior editor Steve Wacker, editor-in-chief Axel Alonso, and others as they lay the groundwork for New York City’s greatest heroes.

VIZ Media Panel— VIZ Media’s 25th anniversary celebrations continue with a special panel packed with exciting news and prizes for our fans. VIZ Media staff will provide the latest updates on new acquisitions and upcoming releases, as well as give the scoop on groundbreaking projects they’ve yet to announce. Don’t miss a chance to win prizes such as $25 iTunes gift cards, special prizes from VIZ’s partners, and more!

Dark Horse Presents— As Dark Horse celebrates its 25th year of publishing, the company is proud to reintroduce the title that started it all: the game-changing anthology Dark Horse Presents. Known for featuring the industry’s top talent and launching some of the most successful titles in comics history, Dark Horse Presents was, is, and will continue to be a highly fertile breeding ground for new characters, concepts, and more. Find out what makes this book so important to the comics medium, with Dark Horse publisher Mike Richardson as well as a cast of top talent past and present, including Eric Powell (The Goon), Carla Speed McNeil (Finder), Sanford Greene (Deadpool), and more! Panel attendees will receive a Dave Gibbons minicomic exclusive to Comic-Con.

Frank Frazetta Tribute Panel— Frazetta associate J. David Spurlock follows Comic-Con’s crowd-pleasing panel from last year honoring the late, great master of fantastic art by hosting a new all-star group of guests to pay tribute to the legendary artist of Conan, Death Dealer, Vampirella, and more. Expect surprises, announcements, and a remembrance of Frazetta contemporary Jeffrey Catherine Jones.

DC: Superman— How does The Man of Tomorrow fit into the new DC Universe that rises in September? Find out as group editor Matt Idelson joins new Action Comics writer Grant Morrison (All Star Superman, Batman Incorporated) and author of the bestselling Superman: Earth One graphic novel J. Michael Straczynski (Superman, Wonder Woman) to take fans new and old up, up, and away to give them a sneak peak at what’s in store for Superman.

So, this panel’s title is a definitive question that requires a definitive answer. DC, are you guys gonna spill a little here and explain just what’s going on with Superman?

Shonen Jump Panel— Have you ever dreamed of becoming a manga creator? This panel gives you an opportunity to learn the secrets to being a professional artist and a writer. Weekly Shonen Jump editor-in-chief Hisashi Sasaki will give you straightforward tips and advice on how to improve your manga. Don’t miss this opportunity to learn from the editor of Japan’s #1 manga magazine! Plus, a chat with Hiroshi Matsuyama, the president of CyberConnnect2, about an upcoming Naruto Shippuden video game.

Image Comics Show— The folks from Image Comics present a slew of exclusive announcements about upcoming projects, updates on ongoing projects, and a Q&A session with some of the best writers working in comics. Find out about what Image is up to before anyone else does, get cool giveaways, and ask questions of your favorite creators! Panelists include David Baxter (Marksmen), John Layman (Chew), Scott Snyder (Severed), Nick Spencer (Morning Glories), Ben McCool (Pigs), and Tim Seeley (Hack/Slash).

DC Comics: Justice League— Comics’ top talents — writer Geoff Johns and artist Jim Lee — team up for the first time ever to bring you the new Justice League, making its debut as part of the new DC Universe. Johns, Lee, and DC executive editor Eddie Berganza bring together the talents behind the new JLA titles, including writers Dan Jurgens (Justice League International), JT Krul (Green Arrow), and Eric Wallace (Mister Terrific) and artists Francis Manapul (The Flash), Brian Buccellato (The Flash), and Philip Tan (The Savage Hawkman).

Monsterverse Horror Comics Ate My Brain— There is no escaping Bela Lugosi’s Tales from the Grave horror anthology comic and upcoming graphic novel series, Flesh And Blood. Joining Monsterverse’s Kerry Gammill (Superman) and Sam F. Park (The Halfway House) are Bela Lugosi Jr., screenwriter Peter Briggs (Hellboy), Robert Tinnell (Flesh And Blood), James Farr (Xombie), Chris Moreno (World War Hulk), Mark L. Miller (Ain’t It Cool News), Dan Brereton (The Nocturnals), James Groman (The Hobbit), and Mike Dubisch (Aliens vs. Predator). Expect a slideshow and discussion of Monsterverse’s horror projects, along with a Q&A session.

I feel like DC has the most panels out of any publisher at the con. Is this more than in previous years? It seems like they really want someone in a hall talking about DC books at some point every day of SDCC. I’m giving them a little bit of grief about it, but seriously, that’s a smart strategy, particularly when they’re trying to redefine exactly what DC is come September. The big question is whether all the editors and talent across the panels can stay on point and on message without throwing any kind of new confusion about the new direction of DC out into the public.

Vertigo: American Vampire— The acclaimed Vertigo series American Vampire — nominated for a 2010 Eisner Award as Best New Series — introduced Skinner Sweet and a whole new type of undead, blazing a blood-drenched new trail. Join the creator of this series, as well as the new miniseries American Vampire: Survival of the Fittest, for an undead discussion with writer Scott Snyder, artist Rafael Albuquerque, and editor Mark Doyle.

Hermes Press / Dark Shadows The Classic Series and the New Tim Burton Film— Lara Parker (Angelique from Dark Shadows), Kathryn Leigh Scott (Maggie Evans and Josette DuPres from Dark Shadows), Jim Pierson (consulting producer for the new Dark Shadows film), and Daniel Herman (publisher, Hermes Press) talk about the classic show, the comic book, and print tie-ins and reveals up-to-date news and some surprises about the upcoming Tim Burton film starring Johnny Depp, along with a Q&A session.

A Strange Tale of a Panel: Indie Creators on Marvel’s Strange Tales— Excelsior! Show up early and stay late as some of comics’ best indie creators come out of the closet, revealing themselves as maniacal Marvel madmen. Witness twisted love for some of mainstream comics’ best characters! Forbidden fantasies fulfilled! Shannon “Too Much Coffee Man” Wheeler comes clean about his eco-terrorist Red Skull; Jhonen “The Homicidal Maniac” Vasquez mulls over M.O.D.O.K.; and Jeffrey “Incredible Change-bots” Brown messes with the Merry Mutants. And more major terrific talents join this core crew, spilling secret stories from Marvel’s Strange Tales.

Yen Press Panel— The Yen Press crew — publishing director Kurt Hassler, senior editor JuYoun Lee, and assistant editors Tania Biswas and Abby Blackman — unveil exciting new projects for 2012 and take questions from the audience. And of course, the swag. We mustn’t forget the swag!

I don’t write nearly enough about the output of Yen Press. Expect that to change in the coming months.

Del Rey/Spectra— Del Rey/Spectra editors Betsy Mitchell, Anne Groell, and Tricia Pasternak, along with author Kevin Hearne (The Iron Druid Chronicles) present a look at current and upcoming titles and a first glimpse at George R. R. Martin’s Game of Thrones comic.

Showcasing the Best in Korean Comics— Jongmin Shin (Demian) moderates a panel with Korea’s most renowned and acclaimed comic book creator Hyun Se Lee (Armageddon) and media scholar Professor Chang Wan Han, as they introduce the best and latest trends in Korean comics. They will also give an exclusive world premiere of their latest productions.

Saturday

From Buddha to Batman: Deepak Chopra and Grant Morrison Discuss The Seven Spiritual Laws of Superheroes— Five years ago, New York Times bestselling author and internationally renowned spiritual guru Deepak Chopra joined legendary comic book writer Grant Morrison (All-Star Superman, Supergods) at Comic-Con to discuss the role superheroes play in the social fabric. What started as a thought-provoking panel discussion has since become a profound new teaching manual for discovering the superhero within — Chopra’s new book, The Seven Spiritual Laws of Superheroes. Now Chopra and Morrison are back to elaborate on what the superhero archetype means for us today. Joined by Deepak’s son Gotham Chopra (founder of Liquid Comics) and moderated by Chris Carle (editorial director of IGN Entertainment), the discussion will cover the seven essential laws that govern the realm of superheroes and the cultural importance of superheros — why they matter, why they will always be with us, and what they tell us about who we are…and what we may yet become. Q&A to follow.

This goes one of two ways: into the realm of profound truths about human nature or up its own butt. Either way, there’s no chance this is anything less than a fascinating conversation.

DC: Green Lantern— Enlist in the Corps at DC’s annual Green Lantern panel! DCU executive editor Eddie Berganza, Green Lantern Corps writer Peter Tomasi, Red Lanterns artist Ed Benes, and others offer a look at the aftermath of “War of the Green Lanterns” and more!

MTV Comics— Join executive editor Tom Akel to hear about new and ongoing titles with MTV creators. Marc Silvestri will discuss the new MTV/Top Cow collaboration September Mourning, a multiplatform project blending comics and music through video, comic books, and live events. And the legendary Stan Lee will reveal the story behind MTV Comics’ upcoming digital book The Seekers and let artists and writers know when to start sending submissions to collaborate with Stan on the comic!

Archie Comics: The Future of Riverdale and Beyond— Archie Comics has continued to be a trailblazing publisher in comics, and there’s much more in store! Archie’s co-CEO Jon Goldwater, president Mike Pellerito, and editor-in-chief Victor Gorelick, iVerse’s Michael Murphey, creators Dan Parent (Kevin Keller) and Michael Uslan (Batman, Life with Archie), and Archie executive director of publicity and marketing Alex Segura (Archie & Friends) present a look into the future of Archie stories, major announcements, special guest stars, digital plans, and much more!

Top Cow: We Create…Excitement— Join Top Cow founder Marc Silvestri (The Darkness, X-Men/Dark Avengers: Utopia), president Matt Hawkins (The Darkness II: Confession), and publisher Filip Sablik (Last Mortal), along with a bevy of Top Cow creators, for the most dynamic, news-packed hour at Comic-Con! Be the first to get exclusive news about the future of the Top Cow Universe, the announcement of the 2011 Pilot Season titles and creative teams, and a metric truckload of Top Cow film and television announcements. Plus special surprise guests and a free gift for every attendee!

Fantagraphics 35th Anniversary— Fantagraphics Books was founded in 1976 with the launch of their first publication, The Comics Journal. Since then, they’ve grown to become one of the world’s foremost publishers of literary comix and comic strips. Publishers Gary Groth and Kim Thompson offer a multimedia presentation highlighting their favorite works from the past 35 years, as well as previewing some of their upcoming favorites. Expect a major announcement or two, as well!

DC: The Dark and The Edge— From the shadowy corners of the new DC Universe comes a startling array of new series featuring some of comics’ top creators! Join DC Editor Pat McCallum and get acquainted with new DC titles from “The Dark” and “The Edge,” including Swamp Thing, written by Scott Snyder, Frankenstein: Agent of S.H.A.D.E. and Animal Man, written by Jeff Lemire, Deathstroke, written by Kyle Higgins, Demon Knights and Stormwatch, written by Paul Cornell, I, Vampire, written by Josh Fialkov, Suicide Squad, written by Adam Glass, Swamp Thing, drawn by Francesco Francavilla, All Star Western drawn by Moritat, and more!

Remembering Harvey Pekar— The legendary Harvey Pekar died in July 2010, leaving behind a huge legacy of work with a veritable who’s who list of comics collaborators on his American Splendor and graphic novels. Joyce Brabner and Danielle Batone join editor Charles Kochman and moderator Jeff Newelt to talk about Harvey’s life and comics career. This is an open invitation to anyone whoever worked with Harvey or cared about him to come and share their memories.

Robert Kirkman— One of the most prolific writers in comics today, Robert Kirkman is known for his work on The Walking Dead, Invincible, Super Dinosaur, Astounding Wolf-Man, Marvel Zombies, and the upcoming series with Rob Liefeld, The Infinite. After becoming an Image Comics partner in 2009 and introducing the internationally renowned hit TV show based on the comic he created, The Walking Dead on AMC, he has proven to be an unstoppable creative force. In 2010, Kirkman launched his own imprint at Image Comics, Skybound, providing him the opportunity to hand pick up-and-coming creators and maintain an active role in promoting and expanding their properties as Skybound Originals. Here he offers fans some insight behind their favorite hit comics.

Legendary Comics— For its inaugural year at Comic-Con, join iconic writer/artist Frank Miller (300), Legendary Comics editor-in-chief Bob Schreck (All-Star Superman), and other artists from the Legendary stable to find out about upcoming releases, including Miller’s Holy Terror.

Remember when Holy Terror, Batman was going to be the craziest Batman story Frank Miller ever put to the page? I guess as the simply-titled Holy Terror it’ll have to be the craziest thing Miller puts out this year.

Marvel: Cup O’ Joe— This is it, Mighty Marvel fans — the no-holds-barred, anything goes, full of surprises panel you wait all year for! Marvel’s chief creative officer Joe Quesada takes on all questions, shocks the audience with jaw-dropping announcements, and keeps you guessing with surprise guests. You never know who will show up, but you better be here, because this is the panel that everyone will be talking about!

Dark Horse: Joss Whedon— Long before signing on to helm one of the most anticipated superhero films in history, Joss Whedon rewarded fans the world over with some of the most compelling characters and plot lines in the history of comics, television, and movies. Here’s your chance to find out what he has in store for us next, including a sneak peek at the brand-new Angel & Faith and Buffy Season 9 comics, plus exciting news about Buffy digital comics!

Dark Horse and BioWare: A Comic and Video Game Partnership— Star Wars: The Old Republic and Mass Effect are creations of one of the most distinguished developers in video games — BioWare! Join Star Wars: The Old Republic senior writer Alexander Freed, Mass Effect 3 lead writer Mac Walters, Mass Effect comics scripter John Jackson Miller, Dark Horse editor Dave Marshall, and a cast of celebrities, as BioWare and Dark Horse announce their next collaboration and reveal exclusive details about the games and comics they’re working on.

DC Focus: Jim Lee— Comic-Con special guest Jim Lee is by far the most in-demand artist in comics, from his spectacular work on Batman, Superman, WildC.A.T.S. and so many other comics to his groundbreaking designs for the DC Universe MMO game. Now, as co-publisher of DC Entertainment, Jim has led the way to the start of DC Comics – The New 52 with his exciting new looks for the World’s Greatest Super Heroes.

Top Shelf Productions— Join Top Shelf PR guy Leigh Walton and an all-star cast of creators! You’ll hear from incredible author/artists with brand-new books, including Kagan McLeod (Infinite Kung Fu), Nate Powell (Swallow Me Whole, Any Empire), Robert Venditti (The Surrogates, The Homeland Directive), Mike Huddleston (The Homeland Directive), and James Kochalka (Johnny Boo, Dragon Puncher, American Elf)! Plus some wicked video trailers, a look at the new League of Extraordinary Gentlemen: 1969, and sneak peeks at what’s coming next from Top Shelf!

BOOM! Studios/KABOOM!/BOOM! Town Panel— The BOOM! team — Ross Richie, Matt Gagnon, and Chip Mosher — take over Comic-Con for one full hour. You will not believe what you will hear at this panel. The publisher that is full of surprises…surprises once again! It’s not a panel. It’s a publishing event as the team at BOOM! take publishing panels to the next level. You will never be the same after this one!

Archaia Entertainment: The Making of a Graphic Novel: Behind the Scenes on Bleedout, Everlast, and Mr. Murder Is Dead— Three new graphic novels coming from Archaia Entertainment’s Black Label have some very interesting stories behind them, and if you ever aspire to create your own graphic novel someday, you may pick up some pointers! Archaia editor-in-chief Stephen Christy goes behind the scenes on Everlast, a pre-apocalyptic tale about one’s destiny, created by Chad Michael Murray (One Tree Hill); Bleedout, based on Vogster Entertainment’s MMO RPG franchise CrimeCraft, with writer Mike Kennedy (Star Wars); and Mr. Murder Is Dead, a clever whodunit that evokes memories of the classic Golden Age comics of yesteryear, with writer Victor Quinaz (Before After) and illustrator Brent Schoonover (Astronaut Dad). Plus special announcements from Mouse Guard creator David Petersen and Rust creator Royden Lepp.

The Penny Arcade Q&A— After establishing their tiny media empire in the gaming space with PAX, PAX East, Child’s Play, Penny Arcade: The Series and the recently announced animated feature film The New Kid, Jerry Holkins and Mike Krahulik do their first Comic-Con panel in two years. Business, life, art, games, parenting — all topics are on the table.

Fables— The annual Fables panel has become a Comic-Con tradition — and with the original graphic novel Fables: Werewolves of the Heartland on the way this fall, there’s no better time to hear what Bill Willingham, creator of the multi-Eisner Award-winning series, has to say. Join Bill, artists Mark Buckingham and Steve Leialoha, group editor Shelly Bond, and others for a panel that is truly legendary.

Halo-8 Comics, Animation, and Creator-Owned-Transmedia— Halo-8’s Godkiller is one of the most broadly distributed creator-owned properties of the past year, a feat accomplished through Halo-8’s experimental “illustrated film” format that merges comics with digital-cinema. Halo-8 president Matt Pizzolo (creator, Godkiller) leads an in-depth conversation on how marrying art with technology can empower creators like never before and can help launch a new renaissance of sustainable creator-owned storytelling. The panel will also unveil new transmedia experiments such as an interactive-film version of Patrick Meaney’s Warren Ellis: Captured Ghosts and previews of upcoming illustrated films such as Tim Seeley’s Hack/Slash and Ben Templesmith’s Black Sky. The panel will include numerous creators and stars of Halo-8 projects, plus a special announcement: Seeley and Pizzolo will introduce the actress playing Cassie Hack in the Hack/Slash illustrated-film! You’re probably already her fan, and she’ll talk about how excited she is to bring Cassie to life

Metal Hurlant Chronicles— In the lineage of cult series such as The Twillight Zone and Tales from the Crypt, Metal Hurlant Chronicles is the science fiction live-action adaptation of stories from the eponymous world-renowned magazine (from which Heavy Metal magazine was adapted). This panel features a TV series pilot special screening, followed by a detailed presentation of the TV series and Q&A session with creator and director Guillaume Lubrano, producer Fabrice Giger (Humanoids), writers Geoff Johns (Green Lantern) and Dan Wickline (Sinbad), and artist Christian Gosset (The Red Star).

Sunday

Archaia Entertainment and The Jim Henson Company: The Early Works of Jim Henson Screening with Special Tale of Sand Discussion— Jim Henson was a creative genius responsible for some of the most iconic properties today, including The Muppets, Fraggle Rock, and The Dark Crystal. But what was he like leading up to that success? Archaia and The Jim Henson Company explore his early works and creative process, complete with archival, rarely seen footage, brought to you by Henson archivist Karen Falk. Then, get an advance look at Tale of Sand, the new original graphic novel coming in September, based on a never-before-seen screenplay written by Jim Henson and his longtime collaborator, Jerry Juhl. Falk, Archaia editor-in-chief Stephen Christy, and A Tale of Sand artist Ramón Pérez will discuss the behind-the-scenes production of the book and debut some new images. Moderated by Archaia CEO P. J. Bickett.

Axe Cop— Meet Comic-Con special guests Ethan and Malachai Nicolle, the 30- and 7-year-old brothers behind the award-winning web comic and print series Axe Cop (Dark Horse Comics). With moderator Kevin Murphy (Mystery Science Theater 3000, Riff Trax) and other guests Ethan and Malachai discuss Axe Cop and give you an exclusive look at what’s coming up in the world of the head-chopping policeman. At age 7, Malachi is Comic-Con’s youngest special guest ever!

When Ethan and Malachai hit the stage, anything goes, and it becomes this crazed, stream of consciousness, sugar-fueled party. Bring your kids.

IDW: Special Projects and Imprints— IDW doesn’t make just your favorite monthly comics. Senior editor Scott Dunbier, designer Dean Mullaney (creative director of the Library of American Comics), comics historian Craig Yoe, and head of IDW’s prose line Jeff Conner present a revealing look at some of the upcoming additions to IDW’s superb archival and prose lines

Marvel: Women of Marvel— Forget Spider-Woman & Emma Frost, meet the real Ms. Marvels of the comic world! Join women from every discipline in the creative process at Marvel to hear what it’s like working as a woman in comics today. These ladies are busting through the four-color ceiling! Guests include host Grace Randolph (The Weekly Watcher), writer Marjorie Liu (X-23), artist Christina Strain (Runaways), and more, brought to you by Oxygen.

Marvel: Fear Itself— The biggest comic book event of the year has everyone talking — but just what comes after it concludes? You’ll get the exclusive news here, with the big announcements that’ll change the future of the Marvel Universe — and send your favorite characters in exciting new directions. Be the first to know the biggest news of the weekend as the creators behind the comic blockbuster event answer your questions and leave you cheering! Join Greg Pak (Alpha Flight), Cullen Bunn (The Deep), Nick Spencer (Iron Man 2.0), editor-in-chief Axel Alonso, and others for the news you can’t miss.

Designing the New 52— What does it take to remake a universe? There are new stories, new characters, and especially new designs! DC’s Co-Publisher Jim Lee, VP – Art and Design Mark Chiarello, exclusive artist Cully Hamner, and others discuss their visual approach to reshaping the DC Universe!

Disney/Marvel Team-Up— Everyone wondered what would happen when the Mouse House got together with the House of Ideas, and the answer is an amazing assortment of Marvelous kids books! Editors from Disney Publishing Worldwide and Marvel unveil their new line of Marvel Origin Storybooks for kids, featuring modern retellings of some of Marvel’s most iconic characters, such as Thor, Captain America, Spider-Man, and the X-Men. From artwork to film adaptations to beginner books, find out all the upcoming excitement from the combined might of Disney and Marvel. With Ruwan Jayatilleke, senior vice president, Marvel; Rich Thomas, global editorial director, Disney Publishing Worldwide; and Michael Siglain, senior editor, Disney Publishing Worldwide

You can find the complete lineup for SDCC on the Comic Con site.

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Discuss this story in our Comics forums! Follow @MTVGeek on Twitter and be sure to “like” us on Facebook for the best geek news about comics, toys, gaming and more!