28 Things To Do and See at Comic-Con That Aren't Movie, TV or Comics Panels

Tuesday, July 22, 2014 at 6:00 am

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Well, we've spent the past week giving you detailed previews about what to expect from this year's San Diego Comic Con when it comes to films, television, comics, and various exclusives, but now it's time to take a step back and look at everything else this show has to offer...as written by a man who admittedly has never been to any incarnation of Comic Con before.

But now that I've had an insane load of various panels, programs and events dumped into my lap to look at, it actually did get to me thinking that as a first-timer of sorts, what could the behemoth that is SDCC offer that tickles my fancy the most? Where would I go there, assuming I also had infinite money and could be in two places or more at the same time? Well, let's take a look and find out, and maybe highlight some places all of you had best check out as well...

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The 9 Types of Movie Panel at Comic-Con, and Who's on Them This Year

Monday, July 21, 2014 at 6:00 am

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News-wise, Comic-Con nowadays is all about the movies. It's where you first learn there are other monsters in Godzilla, or that Batman will be in the Man of Steel sequel, or maybe you see a Warcraft proof-of-concept. If you're lucky, something like 300 or Mirrormask will blow your mind by being way different and better than you imagined. If you're not, you'll end up in the umpteenth panel about how Emily the Strange is really really really maybe going to be optioned for a movie next year, and this time we're serious. Or you sit through the obligatory tag-along movie; nobody needs to see a panel on the next Resident Evil or Underworld film, but like the undead, they keep coming anyway. Point being, there's more to the movie panels than the big stuff that gets reported.

You might want to avoid the whole circus completely, but if you don't, we're gonna break down this year's big movie panels by type, and then by what specifics you might expect. Other than Chris Hardwick and Ralph Garman hosting every single one, of course.

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The 21 Best TV Panels at Comic Con for Fans and Future Professionals

Friday, July 18, 2014 at 6:00 am

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CNN

The San Diego Comic-Con is the premiere pop-culture convention with over 130,000 fans making the pilgrimage each year to attend panels discussing their geek obsessions. To put it another way, a population the size of Pasadena travels to San Diego to live for a week. This has the effect of increasing San Diego's population by 10%. More people attend SDCC than attend the Super Bowl - it is a big deal in fandom. So much so that it has outgrown its name, and more people will attend SDCC than purchased copies of the new Amazing Spider-Man issue #2.

In fact, for television it has become vital for building buzz and creating and maintaining meaningful connections with fans. Like most conventions, it is a great place to network and develop relationships that can lead to jobs in creative fields, with opportunities to not only learn about what is happening in your favorite entertainment media, but also to learn best practices. There is no medium where this is more true than television. Not only are there panels highlighting new shows and fan favorites, but there are also workshops where attendees can acquire skills and learn from established pros.

Here are 21 panels you might want to attend at SDCC if you are a television fan or looking for how to break in.

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13 Actual Comics Panels You Have to Attend at Comic-Con

Thursday, July 17, 2014 at 6:00 am

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Look, we know you're probably poking through the San Diego Comic-Con schedule and panicking right now. "How the hell am I supposed to choose between Modern Batman-ology and the Game of Thrones panel in Hall H?" First off, that's a trick question; you're never getting into Hall H, so forget it. But secondly, we're here to help you make some of those crucial choices as you scope out some of the best and most interesting panels during the show.

In this list, we've come up with 13 comics-related panels which you absolutely, positively should not miss (unless you've made it into Hall H, in which case please share your dark sorceries with the rest of us).

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The 18 Coolest Exclusives to Snag at San Diego Comic-Con 2014

Wednesday, July 16, 2014 at 6:00 am

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Gentile Giant

If you're a business, you don't go to San Diego Comic-Con without an exclusive. For us fans, well, it might be unusual if we come home without an exclusive. At the biggest pop-culture event in the United States, exclusive can mean a lot of things: toys, comics, clothing, even beer. Some of these items will be available after the convention, maybe months later. Others come in fairly large runs, so you might have decent odds of scoring one. Others come in editions of 250 or less. If you really want one of those, you're going to have to make standing in line a priority. Your best course of action might be to pick out some alternate souvenirs.

With a week to go before the convention, many companies have already announced what they're bringing to San Diego. Still, there could be a few more surprises over the coming days (look for a new one to be revealed on this very site at 10 a.m. today). Below are a few of the standouts - technically, more than 18 - arranged by franchise. Whether your jam is Alien or Hello Kitty, there's likely something for you at San Diego Comic-Con.

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The 26 Goofiest Moments in the Darkman Sequels

Tuesday, July 15, 2014 at 6:00 am

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Sam Raimi's Darkman recently got the deluxe Blu-ray treatment from Shout! Factory, and as well it should have. (I wrote about it over at the Village Voice.) Perhaps not so surprisingly, it doesn't look like the film's straight-to-video sequels Darkman II: The Return of Durant and Darkman III: Die Darkman Die will be getting the similar Blu-ray love anytime soon, at least not domestically. But the movies do have their charm, particularly given the diminishing returns of low-budget sequels in those days. (Yeah, you, Robocop 3.)

I should mention that "goofy" is not a pejorative term in this case. We are here to celebrate goofiness, not shun it.


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Weekend Hangover: From Doctor Who to Fart Odors, 18 Stories You Might Have Missed

Monday, July 14, 2014 at 6:00 am

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Ian McKellen
Whatup, Holmes?

Ian McKellen as a 93 year-old Sherlock Holmes may see long life as a benidiction, but we have to wonder if he still wants to cum a batch. This was but one of the weekend thread stories you might have missed, compiled with the aid of Kyle LeClair, and now it's time for the rest. Tipsters this week include skrag2112, Gallen_Dugall, Citrus King, CobraCommander, NOT.DrAbraxas, brownkidd, Anyone00, scockery, DrAbraxas, SlyDante777, fury_cartoon, donnaryoko,andre_morelo

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8 Ways Bronies Are Just Like Anime Fans, as Seen in the New Documentary A Brony Tale

Friday, July 11, 2014 at 6:00 am

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One group likes a cartoon about brightly colored ponies with distinctive personalities. The other has a broad interest in animation and comics from Japan. Still, Bronies and anime fans are more similar than you might think. Both occupy relatively small pockets within the greater nerd universe; they may turn up at general events like San Diego Comic-Con, but they have their own conventions and their own way of expressing community. (Those MLP t-shirts that read "20% Cooler" and at least 50% of the costumes at Anime Expo won't make sense to people outside of the scenes.) On top of that, both Bronies and anime fans also face challenges and stereotypes that might not affect other so-called geeks. In fact, sometimes, they're misjudged by their own.

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8 Insane Things From the Never-Made Oliver Stone/Arnold Schwarzenegger Planet of the Apes

Thursday, July 10, 2014 at 6:00 am

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In 1994, as Oliver Stone's Natural Born Killers was being released, his producers Don Murphy and Jane Hamsher were looking for the trio's next project. (Hamsher recounts these events in her book, Killer Instinct). Murphy was a lifelong fan of the Planet of the Apes series, and sort of haphazardly threw Stone into a meeting with a roomful of studio executives. As they were eagerly leaning in to see Stone reveal his master plan for Apes, he said, "Oh, I don't know, I watched the original films a couple nights ago and they are awful. I'm only here because of Don Murphy. You should talk to him." A roomful of betrayed executives glared at Murphy. Murphy started floundering and pitching the potential for Happy Meal toys, and was met with embarrassment and dismay. Finally, Stone stepped in and delivered an idea that Hamsher jokes was an acid flashback. "What if time were not linear, but circular, and there was no difference between the past and the future?...And what if there were discovered cryogenically frozen Vedic Apes who held the secret numeric codes to the Bible that foretold the end of civilization?" The execs loved it and cut Stone a check.

Thus begins the tale of the production of Return of the Apes. Jane Hamsher worked with Road Warrior/Beyond Thunderdome screenwriter Terry Hayes, and they were able to produce a screenplay that attracted Arnold Schwarzenegger to star in the leading role. Some bizarre pieces were falling into place, so we tracked down a copy of the script to see just how they would have landed.


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9 Things I Learned About Gaming With Disabilities from the Ablegamers Foundation and My Son

Wednesday, July 9, 2014 at 6:00 am

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Visiting Katsucon two years ago, I was introduced to the Ablegamers Foundation, a group dedicated to bring gaming to people with disabilities through custom controllers and interfaces. Thanks to my son Connor, I immediately felt a personal connection to their mission, and hoped that in the future, there might be something they could do to make video games more accessible to him. Later, an invite appeared in my e-mail inbox, letting me know about Ablegamer's open house on July 5th, where they would open their doors to gamers with disabilities, help evaluate them for custom interfaces, and even go so far as to help them apply for grants to pay for what could be potentially expensive equipment. I decided this would be the perfect time to take Connor out to their headquarters near Washington D.C. and see what options were available to make his gaming experience more fun and rewarding.


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