Some “Can’t-Miss” Moments for San Diego Comic-Con 2016
This year’s Con is shaping up to be historic. While the word ‘historic’ is often thrown about for everything from sporting events to Kanye West describing his own tweets, this time, it is actually a statement of fact.
“Star Trek,” one of the cornerstones of fandom and a building block upon the diversity of geek culture that we ultimately hold dear, celebrates a milestone that other franchises can only hope to achieve, while still creating such magic. For 50 years now, Gene Roddenberry’s space exploration storyline has been molded, shaped, renamed, rewritten, recast fan-filmed and built upon into a never ending universe of imagination and culture. This year, Hall H will be overtaken by William Shatner, Scott Bakula, Michael Dorn, Jeri Ryan and Brent Spiner as they share their reflections and thoughts on the franchise with moderator, Bryan Fuller. Fuller is the executive producer of CBS All Access new “Star Trek” television series. Saturday, July 23 (2p.m. – 3p.m.)
While the “H” in “Hall H” probably stands for “Huge,” maybe the overcrowded, elbow-to-elbow line of perpetual trails of humanity isn’t for you. The historic celebrations don’t end with Star Trek’s Hall H panel. Look for “The Star Trek Roddenberry Vault” panel in room 5AB, exploring unseen clips and conversations with Star Trek documentary filmmaker, Roger Lay, Jr., Gene Roddenberry’s son, Rod, and members of the Star Trek franchise over the years. Saturday, July 23 (12:30p.m. – 1:30p.m.)
One of my favorite panels from last year was “March,” the graphic novel series surrounding the life of Congressman and Civil Rights Leader, John Lewis. The “Top Shelf Productions” book series covers, in stunningly full detail, the amazing life of Lewis, animated by the incredibly talented, award-winning artist Nate Powell. Nate painstakingly recreates some of the most brutal and profound moments, making the reader see the story from a first-hand perspective. I can tell you, as an artist, some of what Powell has to bring to the page is difficult to put on paper, both in the practical, literal sense, but mainly in the emotional sense. The struggle with having to draw certain dictations of history that stir such an emotionally devastating recreation can cause an artist to lose sleep at night and dwell on thoughts that are agonizing on the mind.
The books have become educational curriculum in many schools across the country and are offering a brand new approach to dynamic learning, not only from a historic standpoint, but from a cultural one.
The panel audience sat utterly silent last year as Congressman Lewis told story after story, weaving a patchwork of “good trouble” from his days as an Alabama sharecropper, to his nonviolent activism for equality and liberty. This year, “Book Three” will be discussed by Congressman Lewis, artist Nate Powell and Creator and Co-Author, as well as Digital Director and Policy Advisor to Congressman Lewis, Andrew Aydin. Once the panel is complete, Aydin says that Congressman Lewis will lead a march down to the convention floor. This march is evocative of the 1965 Selma to Montgomery march, met with hatred and divisive violence.
Congressman Lewis, bold in his words and in his actions, is still leading this march, sometimes without marching, or even standing. Sometimes while seated on the floor of the House of Representatives, with cameras being shut off and congressional leaders forgetting that he’s faced giants before, been outnumbered by the odds and those in authority, yet refused to allow the odds to break him. The panel’s day and time will be listed in your program, or on site within the coming days.
Speaking of historic heroes, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, a bestselling author in his own right, as well as perhaps the greatest living legend on the basketball court we have today (the all-time leading scorer in the NBA and winner of six championships) has began writing his own comic book! “Mycroft Holmes and the Apocalypse Handbook,” a mystery comic, covers Mycroft, a lesser known character that is said to be smarter, yet less disciplined than Sherlock Holmes.
Abdul-Jabbar, Joshua Cassara, Luis Guerrero, Andrew James will be covering topics related to the Titan comic book in room 5AB. Thursday, July 21 (12p.m.)
One of the defining moments in comic book history took place in a book called, “Batman: The Killing Joke.” It was quite possibly the darkest, most disturbing turn on a Batman tale to that point. The Joker wasn’t just a villain, he was evil. He had a desire to mentally and physically break people. It wasn’t easy to read, particularly for a young teenager, many years before the internet made everything so easily accessible and desensitized.
Now, years later, the screen adaptation of the story comes to life, in the animated version we never thought we’d see happen. Mark Hamill voices The Joker, Tara Strong is Batgirl (Barbara Gordon) and Kevin Conroy is Batman (Bruce Wayne). The premiere screening of the movie will be taking place at Comic-Con on Friday Night, July 22 (Probably in Ballroom 20, by most people’s expectations.)
“Game of Thrones” is nearly at an end and it leaves fans clamoring for whatever moments of clarity and satisfaction they can achieve before the epic and historic series concludes. This will be the final appearance of the series prior to a season premiere, as this is the final season. Therefore, having the executive producers David Benioff and D.B. Weiss join director Michael Sapochnik and cast members John Bradley (Samwell Tarly), Liam Cunningham (Ser Davos Seaworth), Nathalie Emmanuel (Missandei), Isaac Hemptstead Wright (Bran Stark), Conleth Hill (Varys), Faye Marsay (The Waif), Kristian Nairn (Hodor), Iwan Rheon (Ramsay Bolton) and Sophie Turner (Sansa Stark) on stage is going to be difficult for Hall H to contain. Friday, July 22 (2:15p.m.)
While there are TONS of other panels and premieres onsite, I’ll only mention one more for now.
Shout! Factory has a lot of my money. I give it to them on a regular basis, because they release the entertainment that I demand, yet no one else will give me
! Last year, “The Decline of Western Civilization” on BluRay was one of my Christmas gifts from my wife, because Shout! had made it available, but the greatest part of Shout! is their dedication to “Mystery Science Theater 3000” and introducing an entirely new generation of sarcastic geeks to the world of horrible movies and PSAs.
This year, after an incredible record-breaking crowdfunding campaign, MST3K Season 11 behind-the-scenes information will be revealed in a way that only Joel Hodgson, Felicia Day and their panel of silhouetted scorners could possibly reveal. Talking over the panelist commentary in a snarky way will not be allowed, but you should still attend! Room 24ABC on Saturday, July 23 (8:30p.m.)