The flashing lights, the cacophonous video displays, the thousands of people wearing only enough clothing to cover a few dozen…the annual Comic-Con International in San Diego is nothing if not overwhelming, and it’s jam-packed event scheduling is no exception. Before you find yourself trapped in the third Battlestar vs. Trek debate of the day, consult our list of cool toon events to squeeze in this July 12-15:
Those stop-motion wizards at LAIKA will be gearing up for the August release of ParaNorman with spooky treats for fans! On Friday the 13th (eek!) check out a panel with talent and filmmakers in Hall H. Voice actors Kodi Smit-McPhee, Anna Kendrick and Christopher Mintz-Plasse, directors Chris Butler and Sam Fell, as well as LAIKA CEO Travis Knight will attend (Dave Karger is moderating). Be sure to grab a “chilling” treat at the themed ice-cream truck cruising the Gaslamp with special events, giveaways and free confections. Even the convention hall isn’t safe, as costumed characters will be haunting the ‘Con; snag a photo op, if you dare!
The Comedy Corner
Comedy Central will be giving a first glance at it’s upcoming new animated laugh-o-rama Brickleberry with stars Daniel Tosh, David Herman, Tom Kenny, Jerry Minor and Kaitlin Olson plus creators/EPs Waco O’Guin and Roger Black on Friday. You can also meet the beloved cast of Matt Groening/David X. Cohen’s Futurama—Billy West, Katey Sagal, John DiMaggio and Maurice LaMarche—and hear them discuss the toon, now in its seventh season (Sat.) Be sure to come dressed as your favorite futuristic character for a chance at cool prizes!
Expect to see a lot of highly prolific show creator Seth MacFarlane at the FOX-TV animation panels! The channel will be highlighting top toon comedies Bob’s Burgers with stars H. Jon Benjamin, John Roberts, Dan Mintz, Eugene Mirman and Kristen Schaal, creator Loren Bouchard and EP Jim Dauterive (Fri.); Family Guy with MacFarlane and stars Alex Bornstein, Mila Kunis and Seth Green plus show-runners Mark Hentemann and Steve Callaghan (Sat.); American Dad! with MacFarlane, stars Wendy Schaal, Scott Grimes, Rachael MacFarlane, Dee Bradley Baker, Mike Barker and Matt Weitzman; The Simpsons with creator Matt Groening, EP Al Jean, supervising producer Mike Anderson and star Yeardley Smith, among others (Sat.); and of course The Cleveland Show with MacFarlane, Mike Henry, Sanaa Lathan and Kevin Michael Richardson (Sun.).
Cartoon Network’s running the gamut of toon events this year. Pencil in a first look at this fall’s DreamWorks Dragons: Riders of Berk, which will follow the further adventures of Hiccup and Toothless (Rm. 6A), and screening plus Q&A for WB Animation’s MAD with producers Kevin Shinick, Mark Marek and WBA’s SVP of series animation Peter Girardi on Thursday (Rm. 6DE). Annoying Orange creator Dane Boedigheimer and voicer Toby Turner will help Regular Show’s creator JG Quintel and stars Bill Salyers and Sam Marin wreak comedy chaos on in room 6A on Friday. Saturday, join creator Penn Ward and stars Jeremy Shada and Tom Kenny of Adventure Time for singing, live reads and exclusive clips (Rm. 6A); then get serious at the Clone Wars season five discussion with supervising director Dave Filoni and head writer Matt Michnovetz (Rm. 6DE).
Round out your weekend with Sunday’s DC Nation screening/Q&A to learn more about Green Lantern, Young Justice and the new Beware the Batman and Teen Titans Go! with animation producers Glen Murakami, Mitch Watson, Michael Jelenic, Aaron Horvath and WBA’s director of series Jeff Prezenkowski (Rm. 6BCF)—and don’t miss a sneak peek at Ben 10: Omniverse with panel hosted by star Yuri Lowenthal (Rm. 6DE). You can also learn more about live-action/toon hybrid Level Up with EPs Peter Murrieta, David Schneiderman and Derek Guiley, and stars Gaelan Connell, Connor del Rio, Jessie T. Usher, Aimee Carrero and Lonny Ross (Rm. 6A).
Fans are also invited to come by the booth (#3735) to share your favorite toon memories in honor of CN’s 20th birthday or show off their sweet Regular Show costumes—either way, there’s a chance you’ll get on TV! Oh, and look for a special Adventure Time event happening downtown…
Big Kids at the Bayfront
Adult Swim takes over the Hilton San Diego Bayfront’s Indigo Ballroom on Friday for a chock-full schedule of back-to-back panels, screenings, and madness. Hear from The Venture Bros. creators Jackson Publick and Doc Hammer; Robot Chicken principles Seth Green, Matthew Senreich, Tom Root, Matthew Beans and Breckin Meyer; Black Dynamite creators Carl Jones, Michael Jai White and Byron Minns with stars Tommy Davidson, Kym Whitley, Debra Wilson, Orlando Jones and Cedric Yarborough; Aqua Something You Know Whatever/Squidbillies creators Dave Willis, Jim Fortier and Matt Maiellaro; as well as producers/talent from live-action hits Childrens Hospital and NTSF:SD:SUV.
You can get up close and as personal as your ‘Con-induced body odor will allow with some of these fine folks at signings taking place at the AS booth (#3949). Robot Chicken will be there Thursday, with Black Dynamite, Venture Bros., Aqua Something and Squidbillies checking in on Friday.
Nickelodeon is offering plenty of chances to meet the creatives behind your favorite toons! Thursday’s T.U.F.F. Puppy/Fairly OddParents panel (11 a.m.-12 p.m.; Rm. 7AB) offers a sneak peak at the new OddParents live-action X-mas flick, storyboard showcase and reading from the upcoming Puppy Halloween special and Q&A with creator Butch Hartman and voice talent Jerry Trainor, Grey DeLisle, Daran Norris, Tara Strong, Susanne Blakeslee, Matthew Taylor and Carlos Alazraqui.
Friday offers a look at Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (10:15-11:15 a.m.; Rm. 6BCF) with Jason Biggs, Sean Astin, Greg Cipes, Rob Paulsen, EP Ciro Nieli and more; and The Legend of Korra discussion and live read by actors Janet Varney, David Faustino, P.J. Byrne, Seychelle Gabriel, joined by creators Dante DiMartino and Bryan Konietzko, co-exec producer Joaquim Dos Santos and voice director Andrea Romano (11:15 a.m.-12:15 p.m.; Ballroom 20).
Wrap up your Con experience on Sunday with the SpongeBob SquarePants panel, which includes a sneak peek at the upcoming stop-motion holiday special—voice stars Tom Kenny, Bill Fagerbakke and Mr. Lawrence (also writer), creative director Vince Waller and directors Seamus Walsh and Mark Caballero will attend.
Cast and creator signings will kick off at the Nick booth (#4113) a half-hour after the end of each panel (exc. SpongeBob). The booth will also offer costumed characters from hit series, giveaways and a giant vid screen running shows and the agenda for each day.
Mouse in da House
Get the scoop on your favorite Disney Channel and Disney XD shows plus cool upcoming series with fun weekend panels! On Friday, stars Elijah Wood and Bruce Boxleitner, EP/director Charlie Bean and consulting producers Edward Kitsis and Adam Horowitz will discuss TRON: Uprising and present never before seen clips from Motorcity and upcoming series Randy Cunningham: 9th Grade Ninja (2:15-3:15 p.m., Rm. 6A).
On Saturday the fun starts with a 12:30 p.m. Phineas and Ferb panel (Rm. 6A) with creators Dan Povenmire and Jeff “Swampy” Marsh discussing the hit show with cast members Vincent Martella, Alyson Stoner and Dee Bradley Baker—plus a sneak peek at this summer’s epic two-parter episode “Where’s Perry?” Then at 3:30, head to Room 5AB for the overstuffed Disney Channel Television Animation event for exclusive footage and top talent from Fish Hooks (creator Noah Z. Jones, EP Maxwell Atoms, voices Justin Roiland and Kari Wahlgren), Gravity Falls (creator Alex Hirsch, creative director Michael Rianda, voice Jason Morgan Ritter) and don’t miss Craig McCracken’s presentation of his new show Wander Over Yonder with co-producer Lauren Faust. Disney TV Animation’s SVP of original series Eric Coleman is moderating.
Something to Shout! About
The home entertainment gurus at Shout! Factory will be celebrating new toons and retro classics this year. Be sure to swing by their booth (#3849) for exclusive items like the My Little Pony – Friendship Is Magic Royal Pony Wedding tiara, which comes with a text-in code to receive a personalized pony greeting, and a special version of the Mighty Morphin Power Rangers: The Complete Series DVD box set.
On Saturday from 2-3 p.m. voice stars Sumalee Montano, Josh Keaton and Tania Gunadi from Transformers Prime will be signing, followed by Tom Kenny signing The Super Hero Squad Show and Rocko’s Modern Life discs at 5 p.m. Daily prize giveaways, sweepstakes and surprise guests are also promised. While waiting for the prize announcements, check out the in-booth Shout! Factory Store. Shout! is also cohosting a Power Rangers panel on Thursday with Saban Brands to kick off the show’s 20th anniversary.
Don’t miss a look at Disney’s Frankenweenie—Tim Burton’s latest stop-motion project—offered by the traveling Art Of exhibition, which features props, sets, character puppets and sketches by Burton himself. A panel on the film—as well as the Mouse House’s upcoming toon Wreck-It Ralph and Sam Raimi’s vfx spectacle Oz: the Great and Powerful—will go down in the notorious Hall H on Thursday. Later that day in the Indigo Ballroom, Genndy Tartakovsky will discuss Sony’s Hotel Transylvania.
There will also be a slew of cool fantasy/sci-fi/superhero flicks to check out: Zack Snyder’s Superman reboot Man of Steel, LoTR prequel The Hobbit and Marvel’s Iron Man 3 in Hall H on Saturday. Friday also has a couple cool panels (besides ParaNorman, of course—see details above): Sneak peeks at the newest Resident Evil and Sony’s Total Recall reboot; both in Hall H.