As we rapidly approach That Time Of The Year again, where staff journalists for papers and magazines prepare to fly out to San Diego, freelancers worry whether they have enough independently booked interviews to justify the cost of flying out, and fans pray that their cars and trucks will make it down the pacific highway, CCI has released the schedule for the event, and it looks better than ever. There really is something for everyone here, from comics through to movies, through to TV, games and books. Truly, it’s the biggest event of its kind in the world, and a nexus for fans of science fiction, fantasy and horror everywhere.
We’ve collated a small list of what we’ll be making a beeline for this year, and if you’re attending, please do post up your own in the comments section. Each day this week we’ll post up our own guide to a day of Con, so keep checking back.
THURSDAY 23 JULY
10.00-11.00 – Masters Of The Web – Room 32AB
Always entertaining, and interesting to those who follow the fortunes of the blogosphere, the panel this year brings Robert Sanchez (IESB.net), Devin Faraci (CHUD.com), Drew McWeeny (HitFix.com), and George Roush (LatinoReview.com) among others to chat about how the explosion of amateur online reporting has affected the industry. Sam Worthington will be there, too.
12.30-13.30 – Battlestar Retrospective – 6A
With Bear McReary and Michael Taylor, as well as moderation from Richard Hatch, this is the last chance to relive the excitement of a BSG Comic-Con panel, as well as provide closure to a series that had so much in terms of gossip, rumour-mongering and speculation about its answers, now that it has ended. Apparently there’s a new trailer premiere as well.
13.45-14.45 – Summit Entertainment – Hall H
Strings are going to have to be pulled to breaking point in order to get into this one, which will likely have the usual rabid attendance by superfans of the vampire book series Twilight, due to Summit airing footage from the new film, New Moon. There’s already been something of a controversy about scheduling due to Comic-Con’s refusal to put it on first thing, and thus avoid fans ‘camping out’ in the Hall during prior panels.
15.00-16.15 – James Cameron’s Avatar – Hall H
Assuming we’re able to get into Hall H, we’ll stay in there for the 3D presentation of footage from the highly-publicised Avatar. James Cameron and his cast members will be on hand to handle the talk, which is already the highlight of Comic-Con for many, many fans and features heavily on much of the promotional material already hanging from the gas lamps of San Diego. Very exciting stuff, considering the 3D presentation is a CCI first as well.
16.30-17.30 – Terry Gilliam’s The Imagination Of Doctor Parnassus – Hall H
After the excitement of Avatar, we’ll be looking forward to seeing what Terry Gilliam’s been up to with The Imaginarium Of Doctor Parnassus. It’s well-known that many actors will be playing the role originally filled by the late Heath Ledger, so the way in which they weave them together will be intriguing to say the least, as will the chance to see whether or not the director is still on top of his game.
18.00-19.00 – Del Rey: Terry Brooks – Room 2
It’s no secret that we think an awful lot of Terry Brooks here at SciFiNow. Between us, we’ve read all of his novels, and hold his Word & Void trilogy in particularly high regard. Now, taking all of that into account, some of us are looking forward to this sit-down with the man himself more than anything else on Thursday, discussing his return to Landover, what’s next in the Shannara series, and hoping for a chance to grill him on upcoming films.
And then after…
Eating at the Gaslamp Strip Club – Don’t let the name fool you, there’s no flesh on display here. Rather, it’s a cook-your-own place for steak. Granted, after a busy day at Con you may not feel like paying to cook your own food, but the experience itself is fun and it’s a good way to make sure you don’t eat anything dodgy on the first or second night. The prices are reasonable, too.
Having a drink at the Blarney Stone – It always seems a bit odd going to another country and always ending up in an Irish bar, but c’est la vie. The Blarney Stone offers the, er…authentic Irish experience in Southern California, complete with accents behind the bar and music on the stage. And Guinness, of course. Worth a few rounds in at any rate, but try to stay compus for the next day’s activities, which aren’t fun on a hangover.