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The SDCC 2017 Can’t Miss Panels

With less than a week before the launch of this year’s San Diego Comic-Con — arguably the largest nerd convention in the world — comic, gaming, and entertainment fans are preparing to descend upon the beloved beachside city. As bags are packed with cosplay accessories and geeky tees, convention panels are being mapped out, and plans are being made for the rooms most deserving of a night spent outside in a sleeping bag (hint: it isn’t Hall H).

Since everyone already knows what to expect from those big rooms — actors and creators involved with the highest grossing properties — we’ve decided instead to focus on the slightly lesser-known panels.

This isn’t just the stuff you won’t want to miss over the four-day event. It’s also the stuff you’ve got a decent chance of actually getting into.

THURSDAY

GHOSTBUSTERS 101: A GHOSTBUSTERS PANEL OF BIBLICAL PROPORTIONS!

Join Ghostbusters co-creator Ivan Reitman and the IDW Ghostbusters brain trust of Erik Burnham, Dan Schoening, and Tom Waltz as they discuss the long-running, critically acclaimed, and fan-adored Ghostbusters franchise including everything from the classic original movies to the long-running comic book history at IDW Publishing . . . as well as future plans for major events from Ghost Corps that will add to the beloved brand’s canon, bringing the different Ghostbusters worlds together like never before! Be there . . . or be slimed!

Thursday July 20, 2017 10:15am – 11:15am // Room 6DE

COSPLAYING 101: BRINGING YOUR DREAMS TO LIFE!

Catherine M. Fisher (award-winning costumer), Bob Mogg (Steampunk expert extraordinaire), Birda Hussey Nichols (historic and fantasy costumer), and Caitlin Brown (costumer and member of the San Diego Patcheteers) discuss the basics in costuming and go over tips, tricks, and techniques to help a beginning costumer get started in the world of cosplaying. These panelists will show you how to get in on the all the cosplaying fun even if you’ve never sewn a stitch in your life. Moderated by Melissa Gene Meyer (deptartment assistant, CCI Masquerade).

Thursday July 20, 2017 11:00am – 12:00pm // Grand 1 & 2, Marriott Marquis San Diego Marina

RODDENBERRY PRESENTS

From the name that created Star Trek, Roddenberry Entertainment takes on the discussion of science fiction in today’s landscape of digital platforms, social media, and a franchise that has stood the test of time for over five decades. Television and film producers Rod Roddenberry and Trevor Roth will share some rarely seen treasures from the Roddenberry Vault. They will discuss this year’s 30th Anniversary of the beloved Star Trek: The Next Generation. And, joined by producers Scott Paskoff (Big Brother, Real World/Road Rules Challenge) and Greg Cipes (TMNT, Teen Titans Go!), the panel will offer the first-ever sneak peek at their newest animated project, Rod & Barry. Join moderator Clare Kramer (Buffy the Vampire Slayer, GeekNation) and possibly some special guests for laughs, giveaways, and more!

Thursday July 20, 2017 1:30pm – 2:30pm // Room 24ABC

SYFY: BATTLESTAR GALACTICA REUNION

A superfan’s dream come true! For the first time ever at San Diego Comic-Con, the cast and creators of the Emmy Award-winning Battlestar Galactica will come together for an exclusive Comic-Con reunion. They’ll provide insight into this critically acclaimed hit and look back on some of the show’s most hotly debated moments—the Pegasus arrival, New Caprica, the finale, and the truth about the Cylons. Join Ron Moore, David Eick, Tricia Helfer, Katee Sackhoff, Marcy McDonnell, Grace Park, Michael Trucco, and Aaron Douglas and relive your favorite series. Moderated by Maureen Ryan.

Thursday July 20, 2017 2:30pm – 3:30pm // Ballroom 20

IGN’S GAME CHANGERS: NERDS WIN. WHAT’S NEXT?

IGN brings together the most brilliant minds from the worlds of film, TV, games, and comics — the “game changers” for their industries — and has them talk about their craft, what they think are the most interesting trends in each medium, and where they see their respective industries going next. Geoff Johns (DC Entertainment president and chief creative officer), Hideo Kojima (Kojima Productions founder and creator of Metal Gear Solid and Death Stranding), Gale Anne Hurd (executive producer of The Walking Dead, Fear the Walking Dead, and Falling Water), and Carlton Cuse (executive producer of The Strain, Colony, Jack Ryan) will participate in a Q&A moderated by IGN’s Terri Schwartz.

Thursday July 20, 2017 5:00pm – 6:00pm // Room 7AB

ADAM WEST CELEBRATION

For many, Adam West provided the initial gateway to Batman through the glorious televised tales of the late ’60s. Tonight, fans will come together to celebrate his beloved performance and the 50+ years that followed with video footage and personal anecdotes. Please join director/writer/actor Kevin Smith (Clerks, Comic Book Men), actor/radio personality Ralph Garman (Family Guy, Starring Adam West), producer James Tucker (Batman: Return of the Caped Crusaders), moderator Gary Miereanu and an ever-growing list of special guests in this salute to the legendary “Bright Knight.”

Thursday July 20, 2017 7:00pm – 8:00pm // Room 6DE

FRIDAY

YOUNG JUSTICE Q&A

Young Justice is back! Series producers and key members of the creative team will be on hand to answer your burning questions about the first two seasons of this beloved fan-favorite series; and, if you’re lucky, you might learn a thing or two about the highly anticipated Young Justice: Outsiders.

Friday July 21, 2017 10:00am – 11:00am // Room 6BCF

THE BLACK PANEL

The Black Panel is 20 years old. A new era begins with an unprecedented event. Panelists for the year’s 20th-anniversary forum will not be announced in advance. If you’ve never been to Michael Davis’ Black Panel, you wouldn’t know some of the biggest names in media have graced its stage. Who’s been chosen for this 20th-anniversary celebration? Non-ya. Don’t get that? Here’s a clue: Non-ya is a response, not a rapper.

Friday July 21, 2017 10:00am – 11:30am // Room 5AB

STAN LEE AND FRIENDS: A CELEBRITY TRIBUTE TO THE COMICS LEGEND

Hot off immortalizing his hand and footprints in cement at the TCL Chinese Theatre in Hollywood, 95-year-old comics legend Stan Lee heads to San Diego Comic-Con for an intimate Q&A with Felicia Day, Mythbuster Adam Savage, and Stan’s longtime manager Max Anderson. Hear little-known anecdotes about Stan’s life, career, and hilarious encounters with fans and celebrities. The panel will also premiere footage from Icons: Face to Face, a cutting-edge VR project featuring Stan and Kevin Smith, coming soon from Legion M, the world’s first fan-owned media company.

Friday July 21, 2017 12:30pm – 1:30pm // Room 6DE

THE GENIUS OF ANIMATION: CARTOON LEGENDS AND GAME CHANGERS SPEAK

Experimentation, inspiration, fearlessness, and a little genius has led to this moment in the history of animation. This panel features influential figures and talented artists who have played or continue to play important roles in that history as they share their wisdom, experience, artistic influences, and memories of their famous mentors. Scheduled to appear: Dale Baer (Annie Award-winning artist for Yzma from The Emperor’s New Groove), Floyd Norman (Disney Legend, troublemaker, Floyderer), Tom Sito (June Foray Award-winner, animation director, professor, author), Randy Haycock (Aladdin, The Lion King, Moana), Ricardo Delgado (The Incredibles, How to Train Your Dragon, Men in Black), Mike Royer (Inkpot Award-winner, comic book legend, Disney artist), Victoria Ying (Wreck-It Ralph, Frozen, Moana), and Mindy Johnson (film historian, author of the upcoming Ink & Paint: The Women of Disney Animation), moderated by Leslie Combemale (Cinema Siren, ASIFA-Hollywood).

Friday July 21, 2017 2:00pm – 3:00pm // Room 23ABC

THE GEEK & SUNDRY PANEL WITH FELICIA DAY

Gather your party! Felicia Day (founder of Geek & Sundry, MST3K), Marisha Ray (Critical Role), Hector Navarro (Mothership, Shield of Tomorrow), Ivan Van Norman (Sagas of Sundry), Erika Ishii (Game Engine), Amy Dallen (The Wednesday Club), Eric Campbell (Shield of Tomorrow), and Sean Becker (The Guild, head of video at Geek & Sundry) discuss what it takes to make that broadcast magic happen and what the future of their programming may hold.

Friday July 21, 2017 2:30pm – 3:30pm // Room 5AB

THE TICK

The Tick, a new Amazon Original, centers on an underdog accountant, Arthur Everest, with zero powers, who comes to realize his city is owned by a global supervillain long thought dead. As he struggles to uncover this conspiracy, he falls in league with a strange blue superhero: the Tick! Cast members Peter Serafinowicz (Guardians of the Galaxy, Parks and Recreation), Griffin Newman (Search Party), Jackie Earle Haley (Preacher), Valorie Curry (The Following), Yara Martinez (Jane the Virgin, True Detective), Brendan Hines (Suits, Scorpion), Scott Speiser (The Young and the Restless), and Michael Cerveris (The Good Wife) join moderator Ralph Garman (Kevin and Bean morning show, Family Guy), and executive producers Ben Edlund (creator of The Tick), Barry Josephson (Bones), and David Fury (Buffy the Vampire Slayer) for an exclusive world premiere screening of the second episode of The Tick, followed by an audience Q&A. The Tick premieres on August 25 on Amazon Prime Video. The series is a co-production with Sony Pictures Television. Moderated by Ralph Garman.

Friday July 21, 2017 4:45pm – 5:45pm // Room 6A

CARDS AGAINST HUMANITY

The comedy show that is less bad than everyone thought it would be. The Cards Against Humanity writers’ room will improvise scenes based on rounds of the game played live on stage. Suggest your own black cards, and the best ideas will be used in the show. Bad ideas will be mercilessly ridiculed.

Friday July 21, 2017 7:15pm – 8:15pm // Room 6A

SATURDAY

BOOMERANG: SATURDAY MORNING CARTOONS

Start Saturday morning the way you’re supposed to — with cartoons! Voice talent heavy hitters Bob Bergen, Jeff Bergman, and Kari Wahlgren discuss iconic Looney Tunes and Hanna-Barbera characters and their latest roles in Boomerang’s new classics like New Looney Tunes and Dorothy and the Wizard of Oz . There will be games for the kids, trivia for the animation experts, prizes for everyone, and a first look at the newest show coming to Boomerang, Wacky Races! That’s not all, folks: Attendees will receive a 30-day free trial to the new Boomerang premium streaming service!

Saturday July 22, 2017 10:00am – 10:50am // Indigo Ballroom, Hilton San Diego Bayfront

INSIDE THE WRITERS’ ROOM: FROM SCRIPT TO SCREEN AND BEYOND

If writers’ rooms were like superhero teams, then this lineup would be the Justice League and The Avengers, here to offer an all-star insider’s look at your favorite TV series. The scribes behind some of today’s hottest genre shows share their candid thoughts on how to write, re-write, and actually produce the series you love (and sometimes loathe) in a special supersized session moderated by Sony Pictures Television’s executive senior VP of current programming and development, Chris Parnell. Find out the deep dark secrets (and low-calorie snacks) of the writers’ room-and what happens after your script hits the stage, why editing is considered the final rewrite, and what the alphabet soup of SVOD and OTT mean for the future of the medium you love. The lineup this year includes Ryan Condal (Colony), Gabrielle Stanton (Time After Time, The Flash), Javier Grillo-Marxuach (The Dark Crystal: Age of Resistance, The Middleman, Lost), Ashley E. Miller (Black Sails, Fringe, Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles), Steve Melching (Star Wars Rebels, Star Wars: The Clone Wars), Jose Molina (Agent Carter, The Tick, Firefly), Amy Berg (Counterpart, Da Vinci’s Demons, Eureka), Dave Rogers (director, The Mindy Project, The Office), and Mark A. Altman (The Librarians, Castle, Agent X).

Saturday July 22, 2017 10:00am – 11:30am // Room 24ABC

DC ESSENTIAL

New to comics? Are you at the convention because you’re a fan of great DC TV, movies, video games, or other media? Bingeing a season of The Flash leave you wanting to know more about the source material? Well, look no further; this is the program for you, as a panel of experts are on hand to help you along your journey through the wonderful world of comics!

Saturday July 22, 2017 11:15am – 12:15pm // Room 6DE

MARVEL ANIMATION PRESENTS

Marvel Animation returns for its always action-packed, news-breaking panel. This year, the focus is the debut of the all-new, instantly classic Marvel’s Spider-Man. Plus, tons of exclusive pulse-pounding info on fan-favorite series Marvel’s Avengers: Secret Wars and Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy! Hosted by Cort Lane (SVP, animation and family entertainment), and his motley crew of Eric Radomski (SVP, production and creative director, Marvel Animation), Stephen Wacker (VP, panel descriptions), and Kevin Shinick (supervising producer, Marvel’s Spider-Man). You’ll get eyefuls of never-before-seen information and sneak peeks-plus, as always, some surprise guests who’ll reveal waaay too much!

Saturday July 22, 2017 12:30pm – 1:30pm // Room 6A

THE OFFICIAL IMAGE COMICS PANEL

What’s new at Image Comics? What’s going on in the comics industry? How do you break into comics? Come listen to Ed Brubaker (Kill or Be Killed), Tini Howard (Magdalena), Donny Cates (God Country), Sina Grace (Nothing Lasts Forever), and Nicola Scott (Black Magick) discuss their work, the industry, and even more in this packed panel.

Saturday July 22, 2017 1:00pm – 2:00pm // Room 7AB

WOMEN ROCKING HOLLYWOOD: FEMALE DIRECTORS CHANGING THE FACES OF FILM AND TELEVISION

Wonder Woman broke all records in Hollywood for a film helmed by a female director. Now what? While there’s still a long way to go before women, who make up 51% of the population, are represented proportionately behind the camera, shows like Jessica Jones, Queen Sugar, and The Leftovers are making a huge difference by committing to the inclusion of female directors. This panel focuses on the incredibly talented, successful women who are expanding opportunities for women in film, who have made noise and are winning awards with their work on both the big and small screens. Scheduled to appear: Kirsten Schaffer (executive director, Women in Film LA), Tina Mabry (writer/producer/director, Queen Sugar, Queen of the South; director, Dear White People), Rosemary Rodriguez (writer/director, Silver Skies; director, Jessica Jones, The Walking Dead), Victoria Mahoney (director, Queen Sugar, Gypsy, American Crime), Aurora Guerrero (writer/director, Mosquita y Mari; director, Queen Sugar), Angela Robinson (writer/director, Professor Marston and the Wonder Women, True Blood), and Gina Prince-Bythewiid (writer/director, Love & Basketball, Beyond the Lights), the first woman of color hired to helm a superhero film for the upcoming Silver & Black. Moderated by Leslie Combemale (Cinema Siren).

Saturday July 22, 2017 1:00pm – 2:00pm // Room 23ABC

THE SCIENCE OF RICK AND MORTY

Nerdist’s Kyle Hill (Because Science, MythBusters: The Search) and special guests open up a portal to the Rickstaverse to rise above and focus on the science behind everything from portal guns to screaming suns. Q&A session burp to follow.

Saturday July 22, 2017 2:00pm – 3:00pm // Room 7AB

MYSTERY SCIENCE THEATER 3000: THE RETURN

Following a record-breaking Kickstarter campaign, the new season of MST3K is now a Netflix Original Series. What was it like to bring the show back, and what’s next for MST3K? Creator Joel Hodgson and cast members Felicia Day, Jonah Ray, Hampton Yount, and Rebecca Hanson take you behind the scenes.

Saturday July 22, 2017 3:00pm – 4:00pm // Horton Grand Theatre

ROBERT KIRKMAN AND TODD MCFARLANE IN CONVERSATION

Todd McFarlane, the creator of Spawn, and Robert Kirkman, the creator of The Walking Dead, sit down for an intimate one-on-one chat. These two titans have forever changed the comics industry in addition to breaking new ground in everything from toys to television to film. What tips do they have for their fellow creators? How did they rise so high? They’ll discuss these topics and more.

Saturday July 22, 2017 3:30pm – 4:30pm // Room 6DE

MARVEL: CUP O’JOE

Here is your chance to ask Marvel’s chief creative officer Joe Quesada about anything and everything Marvel. Got a question about your favorite hero? Want to hear the latest developments on Marvel’s Legacy or our up-and-coming heroes? This panel has you covered! Also featuring executive editor Nick Lowe, director of content and character development Sana Amanat, and creators Kris Anka (Runaways), Ryan North (The Unbeatable Squirrel Girl), and Rainbow Rowell (Runaways)!

Saturday July 22, 2017 4:00pm – 5:00pm // Room 25ABC

CRUNCHYROLL INDUSTRY PANEL

Hear about all the latest and greatest anime and manga coming out of Crunchyroll straight from the source. A special gift for all who attend.

Saturday July 22, 2017 8:00pm – 9:00pm // Room 25ABC

SUNDAY

BUFFY THE VAMPIRE SLAYER: TWO DECADES WITH FEELING A 20TH ANNIVERSARY CELEBRATION

The authors of the upcoming oral history Slayers & Vampires from Tor Books about Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Edward Gross and Mark A. Altman (co-authors of The Fifty-Year Mission) reopen the Hellmouth and look back at the secret history of the slayer who saved the world a lot, in honor of the show’s 20th anniversary. They will also look at what the future might hold for slayage in the 21st century and revisit the underappreciated genius of Angel and the Buffys that never were, featuring some surprise guests.

Sunday July 23, 2017 12:00pm – 1:00pm // Room 7AB

HANNA-BARBERA 60TH ANNIVERSARY

Warner Bros. Home Entertainment salutes the 60th anniversary of legendary Hanna-Barbera Studios with a panel led by artists and writers who worked side by side with the cartoon icons. Join Alan Burnett (The Smurfs), Spike Brandt (Tom and Jerry and the Wizard of Oz), Tony Cervone (Scooby-Doo! and KISS: Rock and Roll Mystery), author and animation historian Jerry Beck, and some surprise guests for a look inside the making of The Flintstones, Jonny Quest, The Jetsons, Magilla Gorilla, Hong Kong Phooey, Dastardly and Muttley in Their Flying Machines, The Perils of Penelope Pitstop, Top Cat, Wacky Races, The Yogi Bear Show, and more.

Sunday July 23, 2017 2:00pm – 3:00pm // Room 7AB

BONUS PANELS

SPIKE & MIKE’S FESTIVAL OF ANIMATION

Featuring award-winning animated shorts from across the globe. The festival is best known for theatrically premiering works of Tim Burton, John Lasseter (Toy Story), Bill Plympton (everything), Andrew Stanton (Finding Nemo) and Nick Park (Wallace and Gromit). Focusing on pop culture and hilarious award-winning films, this screening allows the viewer to see the next generation of Hollywood superstars before anyone else. Meet Spike in person. Recommended ages 10 and up. Bonus Animation Vs Animator 2.

Thursday July 20, 2017 4:00pm – 5:00pm // Room 25ABC

DR. HORRIBLE’S SING-ALONG BLOG

Join the fun and sing along as the California Browncoats screen Internet sensation Dr. Horrible’s Sing-Along Blog. Enter the horrible costume contest and win horrible prizes in four categories: Best Dr. Horrible, Captain Hammer, Penny, and “other” character from the show. A grand prize will be awarded to one well-prepared individual for “Best in Show.” Do not bounce!

Thursday July 20, 2017 8:30pm – 10:00pm // Room 6BCF

THE COMIC-CON INTERNATIONAL MASQUERADE

The Ballroom 20 stage becomes a showplace for a fun competition of creativity with impressive re-created and original design costumes crafted by our talented attendees presented before an audience of thousands. Not a dance or party but a talent show on a stage with trophies, cash prizes, and other awards for the top entries. Doors open for audience seating at 8:00, but the line for choice seating will begin hours earlier. Since the ballroom can fill up, tickets are required for seating inside and will be given out free at noon to those lined up. Any tickets that remain will be given out at the Masquerade Desk after 3:00. The Master and Mistress of Ceremonies will again be writers/artists Phil Foglio and Kaja Foglio, and there’ll be special live entertainment during the Judging Intermission. Overflow seating available in the Sails Pavilion, 5AB, and 6A (tickets not required for those rooms).

Saturday July 22, 2017 8:30pm – 11:30pm // Ballroom 20