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Posted at 2:01 PM ET, 07/11/2010

COMIC-CON: Sunday's schedule is here -- and so, too, our early Top 10 picks

By Michael Cavna


Artist Stan Sakai's words still resonate. At last year's Comic-Con, Sakai told Comic Riffs that back in the early days of the event, he and his wife would bring their then-young children to the 'Con -- and thus be the sore thumbs, the odd "family" people out.

My, how things have changed. Sunday is now the behemoth geekfest's official Kids' Day -- with sessions featuring SpongeBob.and Scooby-Doo and Muppets and, yes, even the local park's LEGOs.

San Diego Comic-Con 2010 has just released the programming for its fourth and final day. Hollywood's fare will include "Sons of Anarchy" and "Supernatural" and "It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia" and "Glee" (though apparently in-house Gleeks won't get to see Matthew Morrison or Lea Michele or Jane Lynch). And the "spotlight" talks will include Doug TenNapel ("Tommysaurus Rex," "Creature Tech"); Ann and Jeff VanderMeer (the Hugo- and World Fantasy Award-winning husband and wife); and Al Wiesner (creator of the Jewish superhero Shaloman).

So much to do, so much to see unveiled. Comic Riffs can only scratch the surface, so here are the Ten Highlights catching our eye this minute (text below direct from the 'Con):

1. The Funny Stuff: Humor in Comics and Graphic Novels:
The world of comics isn't just about dark and mysterious superheroes. There are a lot of great funny books out there. The Cartoon Art Museum's Andrew Farago talks to Comic-Con special guests Peter Bagge (Hate), Howard Cruse (Wendel), Nicholas Gurewitch (The Perry Bible Fellowship), Keith Knight (The K Chronicles), Larry Marder (Beanworld), and Doug TenNapel (Monster Zoo) about the humorous side of comics.

2. WildStorm Focus on RED: The Comic Book
Wanna know more about RED -- one of this fall's most anticipated movies with an all-star cast led by Bruce Willis? Artist Cully Hamner is up front-and-center to tell all about his exciting thriller co-created with Warren Ellis. Plus, with your hosts, senior VP for creative affairs Gregory Noveck and VP/general manager Hank Kanalz, there's more RED comic news with screenwriters Erich Hoeber, John Hoeber, Doug Wagner, and others on what's in store for this ageless hero!

3. How-To Session: Bryan Tillman:
Animator and art instructor (Department chair of media arts and animation, game art and design, visual game programming, visual effects, and motion graphics at the Art Institute of Washington, DC) Bryan Tillman will cover character designs for animation and what makes them different from comics. Bryan is the owner and CEO of the Kaiser Studio Productions, a production studio for comics, toys, animation, and games.

4. The Women of Marvel:
One of the most talked-about panels from last year is back! Forget Storm and She-Hulk; 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 and how you can join them. Say goodbye to the so-called "Boy's Club" -- these ladies are busting down the four-color ceiling! Panelists include Marjorie Liu (Black Widow), Kathryn Immonen (Heralds), Christina Strain (Shadowland), and others.


5. Smallville:
Comic-Con favorite Smallville returns for its last visit to Comic-Con in advance of the show's 10th and final season, as showrunners Kelly Souders and Brian Peterson join star/executive producer Tom Welling and series stars Erica Durance, Cassidy Freeman, and Justin Hartley to talk about the year ahead, answer fan questions, and give an exclusive sneak peek at clips from the final season. From Tollin/Robbins Productions, Millar/Gough Ink in association with Warner Bros. Television, Smallville airs Fridays at 8pm ET/PT on The CW. Smallville: The Complete Ninth Season will be released on Blu-ray and DVD on September 7.

6. "The Batman Dreams of Hieronymus Machines," or The Matt Fraction Spotlight Panel:
Comic-Con special guest Matt Fraction (Casanova, Invincible Iron Man, Uncanny X-Men, The Mighty Thor) performs "The Batman Dreams of Hieronymus Machines," a weird spoken-word history of comics, art, and his own experiences with both and how comics -- and art -- can save your life. Also: Bruce Lee, cave paintings, Stilt-Man, and profound brain injuries. First performed as a part of W00tstock 2.0, now it's coming to San Diego! Then, after that, probably a discussion and some Q&A and stuff moderated by Bill Hader (SNL, Paul, Scott Pilgrim vs. the World).

7. Spotlight on Rick Riordan:
Comic-Con special guest Rick Riordan discusses his blockbuster book series Percy Jackson & the Olympians as well as his recently released The Kane Chronicles series and the upcoming all-new The Heroes of Olympus series. Join Rick for this one-on-one interview and Q&A session!


8. Cover Story: The Art of the Cover:
Despite the old adage, you can tell a book by its cover, especially if it's a comic book! Mark Evanier talks with fellow Comic-Con special guests Neal Adams [pictured right] (Batman, Green Lantern/Green Arrow), Dave Dorman (Star Wars), Sean Phillips (Criminal, Incognito), and Ivan Reis (Blackest Night, Green Lantern) about what makes a great cover.

9. The Digital Age of Comics:
Have we moved from the Bronze Age to the Modern Age to...the Digital Age of Comics? This lively discussion about eComics is moderated by Macworld senior editor Jason Snell, with IDW's Jeff Webber, iVerse Comics' Michael Murphey, Sony PSP's Adriana Eyzaguirre, and creators Jeff Smith and J. Scott Campbell.

10. Cartoon Network: Tower Prep with Firebreather Sneak:
Executive producer and series creator Paul Dini (Lost, Batman Beyond) and executive producer Glen Morgan (Bionic Woman) offer fans an exclusive first look at Cartoon Network's newest live-action mystery series Tower Prep. Meet the series stars Drew Van Acker (The Lake), Elise Gatien (Bionic Woman), Ryan Pinkston (Punk'd), and Dyana Liu (Parenthood). Fans will also get an exclusive look at Firebreather, Cartoon Network's first world premiere original CGI movie event based on the comic book series with creator and co-executive producer Phil Hester (The Wretch), co-executive producer Andy Kuhn (Freedom Ring), and writer/director Peter Chung (Aeon Flux).


COMIC-CON 2010: The Saturday schedule's picks

COMIC-CON 2010: The Friday schedule's picks

COMIC-CON 2010: The Thursday schedule's picks

By Michael Cavna  | July 11, 2010; 2:01 PM ET
Categories:  San Diego Comic-Con  | Tags:  San Diego Comic-Con 2010  
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Who colors your camo?

Sgt Wheeler is too busy to answer the question in Sunday's Doonesbury, but it appears someone anticipated the question and answered it.

By Robert Gavin
Globe Staff / July 11, 2010

Here’s what it takes to produce camouflage fabric for the Army: Develop seven colors that blend into wildly different terrains, don’t run or fade in the most extreme conditions, and reflect infrared light to obscure soldiers from night-vision devices. Print those colors in a complex pattern that can never vary by more than a thousandth of an inch. And then produce yard after yard, for millions of yards.


Posted by: schafer-family | July 11, 2010 2:48 PM | Report abuse

Michael, will you be attending Comic-Con in person? If so, please look the Sexiest Man Alive, Tom Welling, dead in the eye and tell him that Lori-M loves him. Don't be afraid to use the "L" word with another man. It's for a good cause here. You might even add that Lori-M desires you and lusts after your amazing body. Don't be shy. Mature men can openly discuss such things. Thanks in advance.

Posted by: Lori-M | July 11, 2010 11:39 PM | Report abuse

>> @Lori-M:

Jen Chaney at our sister blog Celebritology will be drawing Tom Welling duty. But whenever I see him next, I'll pass along your passion. From Zac Efron to Brad Pitt, Will Smith to Jeff Bridges, I'm very secure in my man-duties as fawning panter-by-proxy. [!]


Posted by: cavnam | July 12, 2010 10:43 AM | Report abuse

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