Paramount, Sony, and Marvel may be sitting out this year’s San Diego Comic-Con, but that doesn’t mean there won’t be tons of stuff to see and do. Per usual, we’re pulling out the horror highlights for you plus a few general interest panels you might want to check out (and we didn’t forget about actual comics either).
To kick things off, here’s a recap of the Preview Night events (which include your first look at “Lucifer” and “Containment”) plus what the genre crowd can look forward to on Day One such as panels for “Damien,” “Teen Wolf,” “Zoo,” and “Under the Dome,” the final chapter of The Hunger Games saga paired with Vin Diesel’s The Last Witch Hunter, Skybound’s 5th anniversary, horror authors and composers, and even the reveal of Black Ops III‘s highly anticipated new “Zombies Mode.”
If it seems less horror-centric than previous years, don’t worry. Saturday is so PACKED with the goods, you (and we) are gonna need roller skates to get from one thing to the next!
The 2015 SDCC runs July 8-12 at the San Diego Convention Center. Visit Comic-Con.org for more info.
PREVIEW NIGHT: Wednesday, July 8, 2015
6:00pm – Special Sneak Peek Pilot Screenings – Ballroom 20
Comic-Con and Warner Bros. Television proudly continue their annual Preview Night tradition, with exclusive world premiere screenings of the pilot episodes of four of the most highly anticipated series of the 2015-16 television season.
Supergirl– In the vast DC Comics Universe of superheroes, the rich mythology of Superman, the planet Krypton and the House of El is perhaps the most famous and instantly recognizable. Enter Supergirl! Born Kara Zor-El on the doomed planet Krypton, the preteen Kara escaped at the same time as the infant Kal-El but didn’t arrive on Earth until many years later after being lost in the Phantom Zone. Protected and raised by her adopted family, the Danvers, Kara grew up in the shadow of her foster sister, Alex, and learned to hide the phenomenal powers she shares with her famous cousin. Years later, at age 24, living in National City and working as an assistant for Catco Worldwide Media mogul Cat Grant, Kara has spent so many years trying to fit in that she forgot to ever stand out. All that changes when she decides to embrace her superhuman abilities and become the hero she was always destined to be. With the help of Daily Planet photographer James Olsen, her bioengineer sister Alex, and the research of the super-secret, off-the-grid Department of Extra-Normal Operations (DEO) and its head, Hank Henshaw, who are tasked with keeping the Earth safe from aliens, Kara takes to the skies to protect her world. Her foes include both a sinister extraterrestrial menace and the high-tech terrestrial threat of clever villains with powerful weaponry. The series stars Melissa Benoist (Whiplash, Glee), Chyler Leigh (Grey’s Anatomy), and Mehcad Brooks (True Blood), with David Harewood (Homeland) and Calista Flockhart (Brothers & Sisters), and is executive produced by Greg Berlanti (The Flash, Arrow), Ali Adler (Chuck), Andrew Kreisberg (The Flash, Arrow) and Sarah Schechter (Pan, The Flash). From Berlanti Productions in association with Warner Bros. Television, Supergirl premieres Mondays at 8/7c on CBS this November.
Blindspot– Sullivan Stapleton (300: Rise of an Empire) and Jaimie Alexander (Thor films) star in Blindspot, a one-hour action thriller from Berlanti Productions (The Flash, Arrow, Pan) and writer/executive producer Martin Gero (Stargate: Atlantis). Stapleton plays hardened FBI agent Kurt Weller, who is drawn into a complex conspiracy when a naked amnesiac, Jane Doe (Alexander), is found in Times Square covered in a series of cryptic tattoos…including his name on her back. As Weller and his teammates at the FBI begin to investigate the veritable treasure map found in Jane Doe’s tattoos, they are drawn into a high-stakes underworld that twists and turns through a labyrinth of secrets and revelations-the information they uncover might ultimately change the world. In addition to Stapleton and Alexander, the series stars Rob Brown (Treme), Audrey Esparza (Public Morals), Ukweli Roach (Eternal Law), Ashley Johnson (The Killing), and Marianne Jean-Baptiste (Without a Trace). From Berlanti Productions in association with Warner Bros. Television Blindspot premieres this fall Mondays at 10/9c on NBC.
Containment– When a mysterious and deadly epidemic breaks out in Atlanta, a vast urban quarantine is quickly enforced, forcing those stuck on the inside to fight for their lives while local and federal officials desperately search for a. Torn apart from their loved ones, the survivors trapped within the cordon are fighting against not only fatal infection but also isolation, fear, and the disintegration of society around them. But as they begin to gain each other’s trust, hope remains, and on either side of the cordon unlikely heroes will rise. Containment stars David Gyasi (Interstellar), Christina Moses (How We Met), Chris Wood (The Vampire Diaries), Kristen Gutoskie, Claudia Black (The Originals), George Young, Hanna Mangan Lawrence ( Spartacus: Vengeance), and Trevor St. John (One Life to Live). Based on the original Belgian series created by Carl Joos for Eyeworks, Containment is produced by My So-Called Company in association with Warner Bros. Television, with executive producers Julie Plec (The Vampire Diaries, The Originals) and David Nutter (The Flash, Arrow).
Lucifer– Lucifer is the story of the original fallen angel. Bored and unhappy as the Lord of Hell, Lucifer Morningstar has resigned his throne and retired to the City of Angels, where he owns an upscale piano bar called Lux. When a beautiful pop star is murdered, for the first time in roughly 10 billion years, he feels something awaken deep within him. Is he actually capable of feelings for a human being? The very thought disturbs him. The murder attracts the attention of LAPD homicide detective Chloe Dancer, who finds herself both repulsed and fascinated by Lucifer. At the same time, God’s emissary, the angel Amenadiel, has been sent to Los Angeles to convince Lucifer to return to Hell. But with the City of Angels at his feet and a newfound purpose, Lucifer’s having too much fun to go back now. Sexy, dark and irreverent, Lucifer stars Tom Ellis (Rush), Lauren German (Chicago Fire), DB Woodside (24, Buffy the Vampire Slayer), Lesley-Ann Brandt (Spartacus series), Nicholas Gonzalez (Sleepy Hollow), Scarlett Estevez, and Rachael Harris (The Hangover) and is executive produced by Jerry Bruckheimer (Pirates of the Caribbean films), Jonathan Littman (CSI series), Tom Kapinos (Californication), Ildy Modrovich (Necessary Roughness), Len Wiseman (Underworld films), and Joe Henderson (Almost Human). From Jerry Bruckheimer Television and Aggressive Mediocrity in association with Warner Bros. Television, and based on characters created by Neil Gaiman, Sam Kieth, and Mike Dringenberg for DC Entertainment’s Vertigo imprint, Lucifer premieres Midseason on FOX.
Teen Titans Go!- The Teen Titans are back at it again, in Teen Titans Go!, with all new comedic adventures both in and out of Titans Tower and Warner Bros has you covered by screening a brand-new episode. Based on DC Comics characters and produced by Warner Bros. Animation, Teen Titans Go! airs Thursdays at 6/5c on Cartoon Network.
DAY 1: Thursday, July 9, 2015
10:00am – Behind the Music: Crime, Death, and Resurrection
Sean Callery (24, Homeland, Bones), Charlie Clouser (Wayward Pines), Fil Eisler (Empire, Revenge), Mac Quayle (American Horror Story: Freak Show, Scream Queens), Jeff Russo (Fargo, Tut, Power), and Mike Suby (Pretty Little Liars, The Vampire Diaries) explore the sounds of some of Hollywood’s biggest shows. The panelists will tell you how they bring thrills to your ears with their original music for these hit television shows, and you will learn how they create the music that drives you to new emotional heights of shock, terror, and fear. With special guest moderator Daniel Gillies (The Vampire Diaries, The Originals)
Thursday July 9, 2015 10:00am – 11:00am – Room 25ABC
10:00am – Grant Morrison and Graphic India: Myth, Magic, and Monsters
Legendary creator, Grant Morrison (Batman, All Star Superman, 18 Days, The Multiversity) discusses storytelling, global mythology, mysticism, the rise of Indian superheroes and his latest comic launch, 18 Days: The Mahabharata. Morrison will also announce his latest groundbreaking, mythic/sci-fi project with Graphic India for the first time.
Thursday July 9, 2015 10:00am – 11:00am – Indigo Ballroom, Hilton San Diego Bayfront
10:00am – The Buffy Effect: Teen Heroines Then and Now
Buffy the Vampire Slayer revolutionized the paradigm of the teen heroine, especially in young adult books. Now, eighteen years later, Buffy continues to have an impact on the TV shows and books we read today. Hear your favorite authors discuss Buffy, the queen of the teen heroine, and how she single-handedly changed the game for strong and snarky female characters who are not the sidekicks. Panelists are Kiersten White, Rachel Hawkins, Rae Carson, Brittany Geragotelis, Brittany Geragotelis, and Valerie Tejeda. Moderated by Sarah Kuhn.
Thursday July 9, 2015 10:00am – 11:00am – Room 28DE
10:45am – Open Road Films
Thursday July 9, 2015 10:45am – 11:45am – Hall H
12:00pm – Dark Horse Presents
For years, Dark Horse has brought the creations of the most talented creators in the comics industry to stands; now’s your chance to jump onboard! Dark Horse president and publisher Mike Richardson heads up a panel of Dark Horse’s incredible creative talent, including Rafael Albuquerque (EI8HT), Cullen Bunn (Harrow County), Joëlle Jones (Lady Killer), Paul Tobin (Colder), Gene Ha (Mae), and more!
Thursday July 9, 2015 12:00pm – 1:00pm – Room 23ABC
12:00pm – Robert Kirkman’s Skybound Comics
Skybound’s Robert Kirkman (The Walking Dead franchise, Outcast) explores the ever-changing comic landscape with Skybound creators and artists, including Paul Azaceta (Outcast) and Josh Williamson (Birthright, Ghosted). The panel will be moderated by Skybound editorial director Sean Mackiewicz.
Thursday July 9, 2015 12:00pm – 1:00pm – Room 7AB
12:00pm – Voice Over Celebration with Beloved Cartoon, Video Game, and Film VO Actors
From zero to sixty, a voice actor must convey a plethora of emotions, often impromptu. You will get an in-depth look into how voice actors approach the art, beauty, and challenges of performing on the spot. Susan Eisenberg, Rob Paulsen, Caitlin Glass, Anthony Bowling, Matt Mercer, Tara Platt, and Yuri Lowenthal from beloved titles including Wonder Woman, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, Diablo, Pinky and the Brain, League of Legends, Full Metal Alchemist, Call of Duty, Samurai 7, Attack on Titan, The Devil is a Part Timer, Final Fantasy, and Resident Evil discuss this pivotal topic, led by Genese Davis (The Holder’s Dominion, MMORPG).
Thursday July 9, 2015 12:00pm – 1:00pm – Indigo Ballroom, Hilton San Diego Bayfront
12:00pm – CBLDF: Spinner Rack Revolution: The Secret History of Free Speech in Magazine Comics
In the 1960s and ’70s, publishers fled from spinner racks to magazine stands to escape the bounds of the Comics Code Authority. While comic books continued to labor under the stigma of low-value, juvenile speech, the larger-format magazine comics broke out, giving artists a safe haven to openly deal with adult content, provide more horror and suspense, and be frank about sexuality. Magazines like Mad, Creepy, and Eerie paved the way for a generation of titles that included Heavy Metal, Vampirella, Epic Illustrated, 1984, and Savage Sword of Conan to break new ground for a general audience and loosen the reins on some of comics’ top creators. CBLDF deputy director Alex Cox reveals the untold history of magazine comics, reviewing the impact of publications from Warren, Marvel, Heavy Metal, National Lampoon, and more!
Thursday July 9, 2015 12:00pm – 1:00pm – Room 30CDE
12:00pm – The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 2 and The Last Witch Hunter
– The Hunger Games Mockingjay Part 2: Lionsgate presents an exclusive first look at one of the studio’s highly anticipated films coming to theaters this fall. Get a sneak peek into the powerful final chapter of the epic The Hunger Games film franchise. Attendees will be shown exclusive, never-before-seen footage from Mockingjay: Part 2 and treated to a cast and filmmaker Q&A session revealing details on the big-screen finale.
– The Last Witch Hunter: Vin Diesel is The Last Witch Hunter, and he is all that stands between humanity and the combined forces of the most horrifying witches in history. Join the cast as they preview exclusive footage from The Last Witch Hunter before its worldwide debut.
Thursday July 9, 2015 12:00pm – 1:15pm – Hall H
12:00pm – CBS TV Studios Comic-Con Lineup, including Extant, Limitless, Scorpion, Under The Dome, and Zoo – Ballroom 20
Extant Exclusive Sneak Preview and Panel – The mystery summer thriller series is back for its second season, bigger than ever with higher stakes and new faces. When Molly Woods discovers she has unwittingly put the human race on a path to destruction, she and a mysterious stranger may be the only hope for survival. An exclusive sneak peek at what’s to come in Season 2, followed by a panel discussion with cast members Halle Berry (X-Men), and Jeffrey Dean Morgan (Watchmen), executive producer Craig Shapiro, and executive producer and creator Mickey Fisher.
Zoo Exclusive Sneak Peek and Panel – The wild shall inherit the earth with Zoo, CBS’s newest summer blockbuster series, based on the #1 bestselling novel by James Patterson. Zoo is a global thriller about a wave of violent animal attacks against humans sweeping the planet. The series will span across eight countries and feature real-life lions, tigers, bears and more. Join series stars James Wolk (Mad Men), and Billy Burke ( Revolution) and executive producer Jeff Pinkner (Fringe) for an exclusive sneak peek of the first season, followed by a panel discussion. Ballroom 20
Under The Dome Exclusive Sneak Preview and Panel – It has been weeks since the dome descended upon Chester’s Mill and we last saw Barbie and the residents being urged to follow Melanie “home.” Season 3 will pick up where last season left off, and viewers will see the community rise to new heights of ingenuity, courage, and often darkness in their quest for freedom. There will be new faces, new alliances, and betrayal of trustm and what you “see” will not always be the truth as the residents find out that the enemy is within. Series stars Dean Norris (Breaking Bad) and Mike Vogel (Bates Motel) and special guest star Marg Helgenberger (CSI: Crime Scene Investigation) join executive producers Neal Baer and Tim Schlattmann for an exclusive sneak peek of the new season, followed by a panel discussion.
Limitless Exclusive Premiere Screening and Panel – What if you had access to 100% of your brain and nothing was impossible? Based on the feature film, and picking up where it left off, Limitless follows Brian Finch (Jake McDorman) as he discovers the power of the brain-boosting drug NZT. From executive producer Bradley Cooper, the fast-paced drama will explore what happens when there are no limits to man’s potential, as Finch will be coerced by the FBI to use his newfound extraordinary abilities for good. The exclusive screening of the pilot episode will be followed by a panel discussion with the series stars Jake McDorman (American Sniper), and Hill Harper (CSI: NY), director Marc Webb (The Amazing Spiderman 1 & 2), and executive producers Craig Sweeny, Alex Kurtzman and Heather Kadin.
Scorpion Exclusive Sneak Preview and Panel – CBS’s high-octane breakout hit, about a team of brilliant misfits who use their smarts to solve the nation’s crises while helping each other fit in, will be back at Comic Con with the entire team. Team Scorpion will unveil an exclusive sizzle reel highlighting all of the best action scenes and fan favorite moments from the first season. Fans will have the chance to hear firsthand about what’s ahead in Season 2 and discuss the series with starsElyes Gabel (World War Z), Robert Patrick (Terminator 2), Katharine McPhee (Smash), Eddie Kaye Thomas (American Pie), Jadyn Wong (Broken Trail), andAri Stidham (Huge), and executive producers Nick Santora and Nicholas Wootton.
Thursday July 9, 2015 12:00pm – 3:30pm – Ballroom 20
1:00pm – Call of Duty Black Ops III: Zombie World Reveal
Call of Duty invades Comic-Con for the reveal of Black Ops III’s highly anticipated new Zombies Mode. Be on-hand as Zombies director Jason Blundell unveils Treyarch’s new mind-bending tale of the undead. Don’t miss the onstage reveal of the star-studded cast. Attendees will also get an exclusive first look at the Zombies reveal trailer and receive limited edition Zombies memorabilia only available at Comic-Con. Plus, catch additional Black Ops III news as it breaks live, including the official announcement of the Call of Duty: Black Ops III Collector’s Editions.
Thursday July 9, 2015 1:00pm – 2:00pm – Room 6BCF
1:00pm – Geek and Sundry with Felicia Day
Felicia Day, Wil Wheaton, and friends chat with you, the audience, about everything you want to know-favorite shows, upcoming projects, the latest happenings at Geek & Sundry. Felicia will give a sneak peek at her book You’re Never Weird on the Internet (Almost).
Thursday July 9, 2015 1:00pm – 2:00pm – Indigo Ballroom, Hilton San Diego Bayfront
1:00pm – Mattel and WWE: NXT Superstar of Tomorrow
Once again, Mattel and WWE have teamed up to bring you an action-packed SDCC panel. WWE & NXT Superstars and Mattel personnel will discuss the tremendous growth in popularity of NXT, weigh in on the next generation of WWE Superstars, and give exclusive sneak peeks of Mattel’s upcoming WWE figure releases. Incredible guest appearances by William Regal, Seth Rollins, Sami Zayn, Kevin Owens, Charlotte, and additional special guests.
Thursday July 9, 2015 1:00pm – 2:00pm – Room 5AB
1:00pm – Science Channel: Raiders, Raptors, and Rebels: Behind the Magic of ILM
Fans will get to see exclusive clips and receive unprecedented access behind the scenes at Industrial Light and Magic, as science and creativity give birth to some of today’s top films. The secrets behind Avengers: Age of Ultron, Star Wars, Jurassic Park, and many more will be revealed during this once-in-a-lifetime panel. Join Science Channel as they celebrate the 40th Anniversary of Industrial Light and Magic at this year’s Comic-Con like no one else can. Surprise guests and exclusive footage along with a very special prize will be given away at this VIP experience where the science behind the movies is unveiled for the first time ever.
Thursday July 9, 2015 1:00pm – 2:00pm – Room 25ABC
1:30pm – Trailer Park
See the latest and greatest trailers with all of your pop culture-loving friends here on the big screen at Comic-Con.
Thursday July 9, 2015 1:30pm – 2:00pm – Hall H
2:00pm – Class of 1985: The Greatest Geek Movies of: Don’t Forget About Us
Moderator Mark A. Altman (Free Enterprise, Agent X) and panelists discuss the great geek year of 1985, as they go back to the future with such films as, well, Back to the Future, Lifeforce, The Breakfast Club, The Goonies, Clue, Legend, Rocky IV, Brazil, Commando, Weird Science, Silverado, Fletch, A View to a Kill, Cocoon, Witness, Return to Oz, Re-Animator, The Purple Rose of Cairo, Fright Night, Real Genius, Subway, After Hours, Ladyhawke, Enemy Mine and, yes, Robert Burnett, just for you: To Live & Die In L.A. And for good measure, they’ll discover a new type of martial arts,Gymkata, and prove to Virginia there really is a Santa Claus: The Movie. Enrolling in this brunch club are Scott Mantz (Access Hollywood), Robert Meyer Burnett (Free Enterprise), Steve Melching (Star Wars Rebels), Ashley E. Miller (Thor, X: Men: First Class), gymkataspert Steve Kriozere (NCIS, Agent X), Charles de Lauzirkia (Crave, Alien Anthology), and David E. Williams ( Femme Fatales, Lifeforce: The Space Vampires). Charge it to the Underhills!
Thursday July 9, 2015 2:00pm – 3:00pm – Room 5AB
2:00pm – From Dredd to Zenith: This is 2000 AD
Legendary co-creator of Judge Dredd and Strontium Dog Carlos Ezquerra is the guest of honor on the 2000 AD panel this year, as publicity droid Molch-R and other top name creators take you behind the scenes of the Galaxy’s Greatest Comic with fun, games, and exclusive announcements.
Thursday July 9, 2015 2:00pm – 3:00pm – Room 29AB
2:00pm – Image Comics: Where Creators Own the Mainstream
The mainstream is whatever you want it to be. Killer robots, ghosts, absurdist comedy, and space adventures aren’t niche, but in comics, they sometimes are treated like they are. In reality, they’re as mainstream as anything else, thanks to their wide-ranging appeal and the astonishing execution from Kody Chamberlain (Punks), Keenan Marshall Keller (The Humans), Chip Zdarsky (Kaptara), Marjorie Liu (Monstress), Alex Grecian (Rasputin), and Michael Moreci (Roche Limit). Come find your new favorite comic.
Thursday July 9, 2015 2:00pm – 3:00pm – Room 23ABC
2:30pm – Titan Comics: The Blacklist, Major New Announcements and the Creator Owned Hits of Tomorrow
Titan Comics takes you behind-the-scenes of major new projects including Assassin’s Creed, Heroes and The Blacklist! See the global premiere of artwork from the new Assassin’s Creed comics, plus be the first to find out about the launch storylines and and the all new Assassins! Heroes Reborn supervising producer Seamus Kevin Fahey gives you a sneak peak at the new Heroes comic and special SDCC ashcan. The Blacklist TV show writer Nicole Phillips talks about writing the new The Blacklist comic series, which debuts at SDCC! The artists of the creator-owned hits of tomorrow will be in attendance! Cult writer Roman Dirge gives you a ghostly glimpse at Lenore and his upcoming new projects! Artist Des Taylor takes you undercover of hit series Scarlett Couture! Harvey award nominated writer Mark Wheatley discusses his new re-mastered edition of Breathtaker! Plus, more comics talent and prizes to win!
Thursday July 9, 2015 2:30pm – 3:30pm – Room 4
3:00pm – Dark Horse Originals: The New Mainstream
Comics literature is the new mainstream, and Dark Horse Originals covers it all, from post-Depression-era America in The New Deal to the return of Gabriel Bá and Fábio Moon withTwo Brothers. Bá and Moon are joined by Matt Kindt (MIND MGMT) and Colleen Coover (Bandette) to discuss pushing the boundaries of what comics can accomplish in literature.
Thursday July 9, 2015 3:00pm – 4:00pm – Room 23ABC
3:00pm – Rewriting History: The Next Chapter of Heavy Metal
Nearly 40 years after its American inception, Heavy Metal remains the world’s leading illustrated science fiction and fantasy magazine. Now, “under new management,” the brand moves into new territory in music, film, and traditional comics publishing. Join co-CEO Jeff Krelitz, publisher Kevin Eastman, and a few very special surprise guests, for exclusive announcements on upcoming projects in entertainment and publishing, plans for further expansion, and a strategy to change the game on creator-owned work. This is an essential panel for longtime fans, curious onlookers, and comics creators of every stature, as the company offers exclusive news to Comic-Con attendees to broaden the landscape on original storytelling!
Thursday July 9, 2015 3:00pm – 4:00pm – Room 7AB
3:00pm – The Might and Magic of Legacy Effects
The work of Legacy Effects is featured in films including Avengers: Age Of Ultron, Jurassic World and Terminator: Genisys. Meet the studio founders and get a firsthand look into the making of these blockbuster films. You may even get a sneak peek at some of the actual props from the films. Engage in an exciting presentation, Q&A, and maybe even a couple of giveaways.
Thursday July 9, 2015 3:00pm – 4:00pm – Room 32AB
3:30pm – Robert Kirkman’s Skybound Entertainment Celebrates Five Years
Join panel host Geoff Keighley for a discussion with Skybound Entertainment’s Robert Kirkman and David Alpert (The Walking Dead franchise, Outcast) as they celebrate the company’s fifth anniversary. Kirkman and Alpert will explore Skybound’s various projects that include properties such as The Walking Dead, Outcast, and the company’s first feature film, AIR, starring Norman Reedus and Djimon Hounsou. The producing duo will also dive into the bustling world of Skybound Interactive, discussing the critically acclaimed Telltale’s The Walking Dead with Telltale CEO Kevin Bruner, and Skybound’s upcoming first-person-shooter game, Overkill’s The Walking Dead, produced by Starbreeze Studios. Expect exclusive news, special guests, and a first look at the full-length feature trailer for AIR.
Thursday July 9, 2015 3:30pm – 4:30pm – Room 6BCF
4:00pm – Destination America’s Ghost Asylum
Ever wondered what it is like to go on a real ghost hunt? Join the stars of Destination America’s Ghost Asylum as they discuss the most bloodcurdling paranormal hotspots in America. The team will describe their most intricate traps, including the Wraith Dome and the Prism Catcher. Never-before-seen footage of paranormal activity, exclusive clips, demonstrations, and special prizes will be featured at this event, which is sure to raise the hairs on the back of your neck. Presented by Destination America.
Thursday July 9, 2015 4:00pm – 5:00pm – Room 5AB
4:00pm – I’m Sleeping with the Lights On: Horror and Thriller Authors Discussion
Horror and thriller novels have an amazing way of keeping readers up at night. Whether it is demons and zombies, from the historical settings to the seemingly mundane, authors find bone-chilling ways to make sure the reader keeps turning the pages. Join Del Howison, owner of Dark Delicacy Bookstore, as he chats with distinguished horror and thriller writers J.T. Ellison (What Lies Behind), Kevin P. Keating (The Captive Condition), Matthew Reilly (The Great Zoo of China), Mira Grant (Symbiont), Diana Rowland (Vengeance of the Demon), and Robert Brockway (The Unnoticibles) about what motivates them to scare you.
Thursday July 9, 2015 4:00pm – 5:00pm – Room 25ABC
4:00pm – VIZ Media
Come party with VIZ Media! And by party, they mean sit in a chair and listen to thrilling tales of upcoming releases and other Earth-shattering announcements from North America’s largest distributor of manga and anime. VIZ Media has brought you thousands of your favorite titles, including huge hits like Naruto, Death Note, Sailor Moon, Ranma 1/2, and Tokyo Ghoul. Warning: Panel may include trivia, prizes, yelling and probably some clapping. Hosted by Urian Brown, Charlene Ingram and VIZ Media staff, with special guests.
Thursday July 9, 2015 4:00pm – 5:00pm – Room 7AB
4:30pm – Max Brooks & Avatar Press Comics
New York Times bestselling author Max Brooks (The Zombie Survival Guide) gives the scoop on new projects and creators joining the industry’s most groundbreaking, risk-taking publisher. Brooks hosts this panel, walking through the frightful world of Avatar Press comics. Want insight from such industry luminaries as Garth Ennis, Alan Moore, and Max Brooks? Want to find out what the next Providence, Caliban, or Extinction Parade will be? Can’t get enough Crossed, Uber, or God Is Dead? Find out what new terrors and travesties this rogue publisher will unleash in the months ahead!
Thursday July 9, 2015 4:30pm – 5:30pm – Room 8
4:30pm – Spotlight on Art Baltazar and Franco Aureliani
Famous cartooning duo Art Baltazar and Franco Aureliani (comic creators of Aw Yeah Comics, Itty Bitty Hellboy, and Tiny Titans) share their creative stories, secrets, and awesomeness of their artistic journey through the comic industry. From the indie comic world to DC Comics to Dark Horse Comics to retail store, these guys have done it all-20 years of overnight success. What are they planning next? Moderated by fellow podcaster John Siuntres (Word Balloon Podcast, Aw Yeah Podcast). Aw. Yeah.
Thursday July 9, 2015 4:30pm – 5:30pm – Room 4
5:00pm – MTV’s Teen Wolf
Teen Wolf cast members and executive producer are taking Comic-Con by storm for the sixth consecutive year. The pack of MTV’s hit series Teen Wolf will dish secrets, share a sneak peek of the upcoming season, and answer fan questions.
Thursday July 9, 2015 5:00pm – 6:00pm – Ballroom 20
5:00pm – Sense8
On June 5 Netflix debuted one of their most controversial and provocative new series, Sense8. Be on hand for the very first panel discussion of this new series, hosted by co-creator/writer and executive producer J. Michael Straczynski.
Thursday July 9, 2015 5:00pm – 6:00pm – Room 5AB
5:00pm – The Most Dangerous Women at Comic-Con: The Good, the Bad, and the Deadly
Everyone can all name a favorite villain or two: the Joker, Darth Vader, Loki. But how many of your favorite bad guys are actually bad girls? Here to discuss the best and baddest of the lady villains (and their lack of representation) is a panel of women equally dangerous in their own rights: Jenna Busch (founder of Legion of Leia, co-host of Most Craved), Susan Eisenberg (Justice League, Destiny), Jane Espenson (Once Upon a Time, Husbands), Jacqueline Goehner (costume designer, cosplayer), Katrina Hill (Action Movie Freak, The Walking Dead Psychology), Makayla Lynn (Legendary Digital Networks),Chase Masterson (The Flash, Star Trek: Deep Space 9), Dr. Janina Scarlet (Superhero Therapy, Star Wars Psychology), Stephanie Thorpe (The Ladies & The Gents, ElfQuest: A Fan Imagining), and Jessica Tseang (comics historian, founder of Little Geek Girls).
Thursday July 9, 2015 5:00pm – 6:00pm – Room 25ABC
5:30pm – Fright Night: 30 Years of Screams
Horror screenwriter Greg Beville (Blackstar Canyon) details the special effects and making of Fright Night 1985 and how the film’s practical effects compare to horror films today. Moderated by Now Streaming’s Andrew Furtado (Nightbreed: The Director’s Cut).
Thursday July 9, 2015 5:30pm – 6:30pm – Room 6A
5:45pm – Dynamite: The Next Ten Years
Join the Dynamite Entertainment team and their star-studded line-up of creative talent as they forecast their game-changing projects of 2016 and beyond, including James Bond, Grumpy Cat, Bob’s Burgers, Vampirella, and more. Special guests David Gonzales (creator of Homies) and Gail Simone (Red Sonja, Swords of Sorrow) will take the stage for a surprise announcements, including awesome developments regarding Grumpy Cat!
Thursday July 9, 2015 5:45pm – 6:45pm – Room 6DE
6:00pm – Dark Horse Manga
Dark Horse’s history with Japanese comics can be traced back to the company’s earliest years, with a legacy that includes such legendary series as Oh My Goddess!, Lone Wolf & Cub, Berserk, and many more. Now Dark Horse continues to publish some of the industry’s bestselling titles, such as Neon Genesis Evangelion, Oreimo: Kuroneko, Panty & Stocking with Garterbelt, Satoshi Kon’s Opus, Unofficial Hatsune Mix (as seen on David Letterman), and the works of the creative powerhouse Clamp. Be on hand for a look at the past, present, and future of manga at Dark Horse.
Thursday July 9, 2015 6:00pm – 7:00pm – Room 9
6:00pm – Vertigo: What’s the Story
Vertigo is back in San Diego and ready to blow your mind with trend-setting comics and top-notch talent. From horror, to mythic fiction, to sci-fi, and beyond, see what amazing new ideas are coming your way from the imprint that’s on a mission to defy all your expectations.
Thursday July 9, 2015 6:00pm – 7:00pm – Room 5AB
6:45pm – Damien
From executive producer Glen Mazzara (The Walking Dead, The Shield), Damien follows the adult life of Damien Thorn, the mysterious child from the 1976 motion picture who has grown up seemingly unaware of the satanic forces around him. Haunted by his past, Damien must now come to terms with his true destiny: that he is the Antichrist. Starring Bradley James (Merlin), Barbara Hershey, Megalyn Echikunwoke, and Omid Abtahi. Get an exclusive first look at the show followed by a Q&A with cast and producers, plus a special guest appearance.
Thursday July 9, 2015 6:45pm – 7:45pm – Room 6A
7:00pm – Surviving The Walking Dead: Understanding Behavior in a World Without Rules
In The Walking Dead, ethical lines are crossed and taboos broken as survivors adapt to a new way of life. But what drives the living to do terrible things, and how far will they go? Why do the atrocities committed by The Governor and The Hunters attract followers? Did society’s breakdown break Morgan’s psyche? Does Abraham’s traumatic past direct his “mission”? How does Rick remain sane? Is he immune to the “insanity”? Forensic psychiatrists H. Eric Bender, M.D., Praveen R. Kambam, M.D., and Vasilis K. Pozios, M.D., of Broadcast Thought, and special guests analyze the minds of heroes and villains of The Walking Dead. In a world of walkers, is humanity a liability? Learn how some rise above the mayhem while others fall into the depths of derangement when walkers prey on the living, the living prey on each other, and everyone prays they survive.
Thursday July 9, 2015 7:00pm – 8:00pm – Room 6DE
7:00pm – Nick Carter Goes West: From Boy Band to Zombie Western
Nick Carter of the Backstreet Boys discusses his first foray into film production with the studio behind Sharknado and Z-Nation. Fellow Backstreet Boys Howie Dorough, A.J. McLean, and The Asylum producers join the panel conversation.
Thursday July 9, 2015 7:00pm – 8:00pm – Room 5AB
7:15pm – Dark Matter
Dark Matter (a new series on Syfy Channel, based on the Dark Horse graphic novel) invites you to join the crew of the Raza. Actors Melissa O’Neil, Anthony Lemke, Roger Cross, and Jodelle Ferland join executive producer Jay Firestone (Lost Girl), and creator and show runner Joseph Mallozzi (Stargate ) to discuss the mysteries of the show’s first season.
Thursday July 9, 2015 7:15pm – 8:15pm – Room 6BCF
8:00pm – Son of Name That Movie
Returning for a third record-breaking year is the combination game show and visual/audio event known as Son of Name That Movie. Inkpot Award-winning host and creator John Field presents the fu- filled program shown to a packed house of film fans the last two years running. In this all-new version, 50 clips from 50 different sci-fi, horror, and fantasy films are presented. Place your ticket in the Magic Film Can. If picked from among audience members, you get to play the game by simply naming as many of the clips as possible. There will be first- through fourth-place prizes. And, if someone on the panel cannot name the clip and an audience member can, that person will get a bonus prize as well.
Thursday July 9, 2015 8:00pm – 9:00pm – Room 9
8:00pm – Web Series Creators: The Next Generation
Web series have established themselves as providing some of the most innovative content in the entertainment world. But where do they go from here? Jeff Burns (chairman of the International Academy of Web Television and host of Super Geeked Up) leads a discussion about the future of the digital space and how you can get involved. Featuring a panel of some of the best-known stars of the web series world: Sandeep Parikh (The Guild, The Real Housewives of Horror), Joanna Sotomura (Video Game High School, Emma Approved), Jonathan Robbins (Out With Dad, Clutch), Nicole Wright (Progress, Super Geeked Up), Christine Lakin (Telltale Games’ The Walking Dead, Lovin’ Lakin), and Brea Grant (Heroes, The Real Housewives of Horror). Come find out what exciting series you’ll be able to watch from these creators soon.
Thursday July 9, 2015 8:00pm – 9:00pm – Room 29AB
8:00pm – Psychology of Cult TV Shows Episode 2
Back by popular demand, this panel of geeky experts discuss the psychology behind such cult TV shows as Doctor Who, Sherlock, Buffy, Firefly, Arrow, The Walking Dead, The Legend of Korra, and others. Experts includeDr. Janina Scarlet (Superhero Therapy; Star Wars Psychology), Jane Espenson (writer, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Firefly), Dr. Travis Langley (Star Trek Psychology: The Mental Frontier, Doctor Who Psychology: A Madman with a Box), Dr. Billy San Juan (The Walking Dead Psychology; Star Wars Psychology), Alan Kistler (Doctor Who, A History; Walking Dead Psychology), Jenna Busch (Legion of Leia; Star Wars Psychology), Alex Langley (Geek Handbook 2; Kill the Freshman), and moderator Katrina Hill (Action Movie Freak). Participate in a live discussion of such fundamental questions as Does Korra have PTSD? What is happening to the 12th Doctor? What is the role of these TV shows in our lives?
Thursday July 9, 2015 8:00pm – 9:00pm – Room 25ABC
8:15pm – Dominion
All hell is breaking loose as the battle between angels and mankind continues in a second season of Syfy’s hit show Dominion. Join executive producer Vaun Wilmott for an exclusive screening of the first two episodes of Season 2. See episode 2 one week before it premieres on Syfy!
Thursday July 9, 2015 8:15pm – 10:00pm – Room 6DE
Ash vs Evil Dead Set Visit Part 1: It’s All Laughs and Guts
“We few, we Band of Brothers. For he who sheds his blood with me shall be my brother.” – William Shakespeare, King Henry V
“Oh yes, there will be blood.” – Jigsaw, Saw II
When you step foot onto the set of STARZ’ “Ash vs Evil Dead”, the one think you know you’re going to come across is fake blood. But I’m not talking a few splashes here and there. Oh no, I’m talking about bucket after bucket and gallon after gallon. Remember that scene from Ghostbusters II where Ray is lowered into the sewers only find a river of pink, gelatinous slime? I imagine that if the “Ash vs Evil Dead” crew wanted to recreate that with fake blood, they would have enough leftover to film a completely different horror movie just for the fun of it.
That’s part of the joy of being on the set of “Ash vs Evil Dead”, which filmed last year in Auckland, New Zealand. The cast and crew are there to obviously create a professional show that STARZ will be proud to air. However, that doesn’t mean that they aren’t having fun while doing so. And who can blame them? When you’re making the third season to one of television’s most outrageous, gory, violent, irreverent, and audacious series, you’re bound to have a few laughs along the way.
That feeling permeated every square foot that “Ash vs Evil Dead’s” set took up. In between takes, crew members were laughing and smiling while setting up the next scene. Don Brooker and Shay Lawrence of PROFX, the company behind the FX of the show, couldn’t stop giggling with glee and beaming with pride as I got to see, and play with, their delightfully gruesome creations, including a head that was severed multiple times due to, “Ash stomping on a harp and the strings slicing through“, which created an accordion-like effect that I’m sure will be one of the highlights of the 3rd season. Even the cast couldn’t stop loving every second of the production. Dana DeLorenzo made sure to stop and talk with the crew as she walked through the set, cracking jokes and making what I can only assume were inside references, while Bruce Campbell was often found creating Snapchats with silly filters to keep fans engaged.
All this being said, there was a strange tension that hovered over the crew throughout this camaraderie. Sure, they were having a blast shooting the 3rd season…but would there be a 4th? The uncertainty palpably hung in the air and everyone’s faces went quickly from wide grins to concerned expressions when asked about the possibility of a return. Nothing was signed and, while everyone had their hopes up, it was really up in the air as to what the next year would bring.
Says producer Rob Tapert, who has been a part of the Evil Dead universe since Sam Raimi’s first film, “It’s a battle for the fourth [season]. I think STARZ as a subscriber-based network that skews a little bit older and a little bit more ethnic has issues trying to properly monetize this and grow their subscriber base out of it. They’re very happy critically how it’s been received. They love the show, they’ve been great partners, but I know in their own mind they go, ‘Well, we’re not certain it’s grown our subscriber base.’ It’s worked on Amazon Prime and it’s worked really, really well on Bit Torrent. On the weekends, when it’s on, it’s often the first or second most illegally downloaded show over the weekend, which doesn’t help anybody really.” This theme rang heavy over each interview, with each cast and crew member talking about how the fans drove STARZ to want to make this show in the first place but are also the same force that may potentially halt it from continuing.
“If you want our show to raise your subscriptions, you’d better find out how to get your company in front of people so that they know what your company is! It’s not our job to create a brand for your company. You guys do that on your own and we’ll help out with content,” says star Bruce Campbell about STARZ. However, this attitude is not meant to be aggressive. In fact, it’s quite the opposite.
“We’re always going to be grateful to STARZ, because they were the only ones who were willing to pony up, to give us the budget we needed, and the creative freedom,” he continues. “This is an unrated TV show and normally that’s not what you go into with television. Television is designed to reach the greatest audience possible. So, if this was cable, the edges would be shaved right off this thing. And it could actually be more popular! We are not the most popular show on television, by a long shot. Are we the most fervently watched? I’d put us top 10. You see the DVDs flying off the shelf. We sold more DVDs in the first season than any other show in five years!”
Tapert remains hopeful, telling me, “The good news is that we’re certainly in discussions for a fourth season. They’ve been great partners so far!”
So what have the cast and crew of the third season of “Ash vs Evil Dead” dreamt up for us this time? Well, the biggest reveal that’s come out so far is that Ash is a father! We’re going to be introduced to Arielle Carver’s character Brandy this season and see what it means for someone like Ash to pony up to that kind of responsibility.
“She’s fiercely independent and very strong-willed. She doesn’t trust easily,” says Carver, who tells us that her character’s foundational knowledge of Ash is less than approving. “[Brandy’s] mom told her that Ash was a crack dealer who got shanked in prison! They only thing they heard about Ash is that he was a psychotic axe murderer who killed his friends. They heard these horrible stories about him, so of course she wanted to protect her daughter from that. That’s the only experience Brandy has of Ash up until she meets him.”
Still, Ash is never one to give up when it comes to fighting for something…if he deems it worthy of his time, of course. “Ash starts doing something he doesn’t often do, which is try. He starts putting in active effort. He’s trying to be this great dad, this cool dad…just trying to be a dad! Because he has no idea. His only example is Brock and that wasn’t the most loving of relationships. He kinda fails miserably but, through some awful events, they come together and she realizes they have more in common than she thought,” she explains.
While I wasn’t given the full rundown of events that occur within this season, I was told that this time evil has “gone global” and, as can be expected, it’s all Ash’s fault. It’ll all lead up to a climax where we’re introduced to the giant monster known as Kandar, which will be the largest foe Ash has ever had to face. However, with greater demons come greater weapons and Ash will get to use what Campbell calls “the ultimate boomstick” when he comes into possession of a tank! I have to tell you readers that walking past a tank on a set is quite an interesting experience. It’s not often that you pass by one under any circumstance, so consider me intrigued to see what kinds of trouble Ash gets into when he gets his hands on this massive weapon of destruction.
Part II of our set visit coming soon!
Director Brian Taylor Introduces Us to Mom & Dad
Director Brian Taylor was more than kind enough to sit down with us for a few minutes to discuss his latest film, Mom & Dad starring Nicolas Cage and Selma Blair. This parental-units gone mad flick has already had it’s share of buzz during its release back on January 19th, and with a DVD and Blu-ray street date of February 20th, this is sure to be one film that will define the term “smothering parenting.” Read on and enjoy this little dive into paternal and maternal madness!
DC: Brian – let’s start off by having you give us a brief synopsis of the film, as well as where in the deep recesses of your mind did you manage to come up with an idea such as this?
BT: Well, the germination of the idea is pretty straightforward – I am a parent, so I think it’s something we can all relate to, and I will say that when I told my son about the idea of what the film was about, he looked at me as if I was insane. The movie is like one of those “one fine day” films…One fine day, in the world, the birds are singing and the sprinklers are happily watering away on millions of lawns, some phenomenon happens, and it’s never explained why or how, but it’s just a thing that everyone needs to react to. Simultaneously, all across the country – maybe all across the world, all the parents turn on their own children in a homicidal rage, and they don’t attack anyone else’s children – only their own. In the movie we follow two kids who have to survive 24 hours in the house they grew up in to avoid killing (or being killed) by the two people they love most in the world, and are supposed to love them the most in the world.
DC: Without giving away any spoilers, is this something that could have a continuation piece attached to it in the future?
BT: Well the way it works is if people love this story, we’re more than happy to give it to them, so let’s see how it goes (laughs).
DC: With you having worked with Nicolas Cage in the past, and knowing of his capabilities, was this an instance of you saying “here you go, have at it,” or was there a bit more direction in the process?
BT: Directing Nicolas is understanding that he’s not like other actors – first of all, he’s one of the most professional actors that you will ever encounter. This is a guy that may seem to be unhinged, over-the-top and crazy when you watch some of the stuff he’s done, but I assure you that he’s an actor of incredible precision and everything he does is under control and well thought-out, to a level that I think would surprise a lot of people. We did a table read for the film the day before we started shooting, and this is usually a time when the actors break out their pencils and make notes and try different things – he walked in and did the entire movie off-book with full-intensity in front of a packed room – nobody does that. The other actors were in awe, so he’s the real deal, and he’s capable of doing things that other actors wouldn’t even begin to try. It’s like being the visor for Cyclops in X-Men – if the visor comes off, he’s able to shred buildings, so that’s it – you’re basically the visor and the funnel for all that energy that’s potentially destructive.
DC: I’m sure this answer will be somewhat of a foregone conclusion, but I’ll ask anyway – Nicolas was your first choice for this role, correct?
BT: Oh yeah, and you never know how people are going to react to material like this because it’s pretty unorthodox, but I kind of knew that he’d get it. I sent him the script and he got back to me a day later and said “I’m in.” He got the humor and satire and most of all he personalized it on a level that the angst of the lost-soul parents is something he can relate to.
DC: After the release of Mom & Dad, what’s going to be keeping you busy for work?
BT: Right now I’m doing the TV show on SyFy called “Happy” which is based on the Grant Morrison comic book, and it’s completely bananas. I’ve got a few more episodes to finish up the first season, and if we’re picked up for a second season I’ll most likely dive straight into that.
Fight Zombies and Aliens in Rainbow Six Siege’s Outbreak Mode
Tom Clancy’s Rainbow Six Siege is about to enter sci-fi horror territory with the launch of the new Outbreak cooperative game mode, which will run from March 6-April 3.
Originally released by Ubisoft back in 2015, most of Rainbow Six Siege’s game modes up until this point had you fighting terrorists, although during the Outbreak event you’ll be facing off against everything from zombies to hulking alien monstrosities. The premise of Outbreak is fairly simple: A spacecraft crashes in the town of Truth or Consequences in New Mexico, unleashing a parasite which mutates the local populace. As a member of the elite Rainbow Six task force, your job is to eliminate the mutated creatures and contain the parasite before it spreads.
If you’re one of the 25 million people who already plays Rainbow Six Siege, you can learn more about the Outbreak event ahead of its launch on the game’s official website.
Tom Clancy’s Rainbow Six Siege: Outbreak Synopsis:
A few days ago, a mysterious space capsule crashed near Truth or Consequences in New Mexico. It turned out to be carrying an exotic parasite, the Apex, which infected the area and turned the town’s populace into monsters. The Quarantine Zone is the only thing keeping it contained, but it will not last for long. If the parasite gets out, it would be a disaster of global proportions. Millions would die. Rainbow’s mission is to enter the devastated town and destroy the parasite’s roots before this happens.
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