Comic-Con: From A to Z
There’s something for everyone at the Con this year. To prove it, here’s an alphabetical look at the diversity of entertainment.
A Actor Stephen Amell of the CW hit “Arrow” knows the power of social media. With more than 2 million followers on Facebook, Amell has made it his mission to make sure “Arrow” isn’t lost in the crowded world of TV and movie superheroes. “Arrow’s” popularity has made it the CW’s most-watched series since “Vampire Diaries.” Amell will be joined this year by Katie Cassidy, David Ramsey, Emily Bett Rickards, Colton Haynes, Willa Holland, Paul Blackthorne and John Barrowman. Friday, 5:30 p.m., Ballroom 20. (Michael James Rocha)
B Sheldon kissing Amy? Leonard and Penny getting engaged? Darth Vader on the loose? What goes on inside those big brains behind “The Big Bang Theory,” and what geek treats await us in the new season? These and other cosmic questions might be answered during the “Inside the ‘Big Bang Theory’ Writers’ Room” panel, which will place the CBS show’s uber-clever executive producers and writers under the microscope for your obsessive-compulsive enjoyment. Friday, 10:30 a.m., Ballroom 20. (Karla Peterson)
Comic-Con International: San Diego
When: Today through Sunday, 9:30 a.m. to 7 p.m. (closes at 5 p.m. Sunday)
Where: San Diego Convention Center
C Course for your inner assassin: Ubisoft is going big this year with a parkour course in celebration of “Assassin’s Creed: Unity.” Gamers and parkour aficionados will get the chance to bring video game moves to life, including a 25-foot “leap of faith” jump at the course on the Martin Luther King Jr. Promenade. (Lyndsay Winkley)
D “Dr. Who” fans may be crushed that the classic BBC series isn’t hosting a panel this year with its latest time-traveling actor, Peter Capaldi, but they can make do with another magical British export: Daniel Radcliffe. The “Harry Potter” star makes his first Con appearance on a panel for his sci-fi horror flick “Horns” in Hall H. Hogwarts robes are optional. Thursday, 3 p.m., Hall H. (Pam Kragen)
E Electronic Arts will wow gamers with footage from two anticipated video games slated to release in October: “Dragon Age: Inquisition” and “Battlefield Hardline.” (Winkley)
F Food, from cheese-laden pizzas to hot dogs, nachos and fries, will be in ample supply for the thousands of attendees in need of grab-and-go sustenance as they navigate long lines and wend their way through the congested exhibit floor. Hot dogs are expected to outsell burgers by a more than 3-to-1 margin, but for those in search of a real sugar rush, the center’s culinary team is debuting s’mores chocolate bars and a confection that unites Pop Rocks candy with dark chocolate. Sold in concession stands in the lobby and cafes at the back of the exhibit hall. (Lori Weisberg)
G Diana Gabaldon, author of the best-selling romantic, time-traveling series “Outlander,” kicks off the Starz TV version of her Scottish adventure Friday. “Outlander” - the first book in what is so far an eight-book series - introduces us to 20th-century nurse Claire Randall, who unwittingly travels to 18th-century Scotland and is forced to marry Scottish warrior Jamie Fraser. Will “Outlander” be as big as “Game of Thrones”? We don’t know, but be prepared for men in kilts and lots of sex. Meet cast members Caitriona Balfe (Claire) and Sam Heughan (Jamie), executive producer Ronald D. Moore and Gabaldon. Friday, 2:15 p.m., Room 6A. (Diana McCabe)
H Hotel rooms in San Diego sell out months before the throngs of attendees flood the city, and with demand high, so are rates. The average nightly room rate for Wednesday through Saturday of Comic-Con week: $225. The same period a week earlier: $165. Special rates for convention block hotels range from $152 in Mission Valley to $380 for an upper-end downtown hotel. (Lori Weisberg)
I Internet speed, which is always slower than a glacier at the Convention Center during Comic-Con, might be faster this year. Convention center officials say its network provider has boosted wireless coverage of the network by more than 75 percent and added more access points throughout the facility. (McCabe)
J Justice League, the superhero posse that includes Superman, Wonder Woman, Shazam, Flash and Green Lightning, is poised to take away some of The Avengers’ spotlight. Warner Bros. is rumored to have an entire lineup of DC Comics movies and TV shows to announce at the 2014 convention, including “Justice League,” “Sandman,” “Wonder Woman” and “Man of Steel 2.” 8 p.m. Saturday, Hall H. (Nina Garin)
K There will be plenty of kids at the convention. You’ll see babies dressed as superheroes and grade schoolers disguised as “Star Trek” characters. Sunday is known as family day thanks to many kid-friendly panels like “SpongeBob SquarePants” as well as drawing and illustration tutorials. Panels happen from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sunday. (Nina Garin)
L What you’ll be doing most of the weekend is getting in line for something. The lines at Comic-Con are an adventure in themselves, with many of them - even the Starbucks line - in full force before sunrise. This year, there’s a new wristband system for the gargantuan Hall H line, which could cause even more confusion. But while they’re frustrating and annoying, lines are also where many lasting Comic-Con friendships are formed. (Nina Garin)
M No surprise here, but Marvel, the superhero of comics, has a huge presence at Comic-Con, especially on Saturday when former DC Comics writer and Marvel’s head of television, Jeph Loeb, shows up for a panel featuring the latest on the company’s hit animated series. Saturday, 10:30 a.m. Room 6BCF. Also featured in yet another Marvel session are more than a dozen video games. 12:30 p.m. Room 6A (Lori Weisberg)
N The meeting of the Nicole Beharie Fan Club will come to order during Fox TV’s “Sleepy Hollow” panel. While the many executive producers discuss how in the world a show about a time-traveling Ichabod Crane became a breakout hit, the rest of us can ponder the TV gift that is the chemistry between Beharie’s kick-butt police lieutenant Abbie Mills and Tom Mison’s dreamily clever Crane. Beharie and Mison will be in attendance, along with the formidable John Noble, Orlando Jones, Katia Winter and Lyndie Greenwood. Friday, 5:45 p.m., Room 6BCF. (Peterson)
O “Orphan Black” star Tatiana Maslany got snubbed by the Emmys this year, but fans of the multitalented actress (who plays about 10 characters on BBC America’s cloning-themed sci-fi series) can show her their love at a “Clone Club” panel. Joining her for the panel are co-stars Jordan Gavaris (Felix) and Dylan Bruce (Paul). 6 p.m. Friday in Hall 6A (Kragen)
P Sometimes, an exciting story just jumps out at you. Literally. Grammy nominee, paper engineer and author Renee Jablow will make paper toys out of characters from DreamWorks’ 3-D film “How to Train Your Dragon 2.” Participants will have the opportunity to create paper dragons - that actually fly - and learn about techniques for making pop-up books. Sunday, 3 p.m. Room 30CDE (Shannon Barr)
Q When professional cartoonists combine improv, drawing and a healthy dose of competition, laughter ensues. At least, that’s the aim for the panel “Quick Draw.” Quizmaster Mark Evanier, best known as writer/producer for “Garfield,” will host the silly festivities. The audience will watch as the three cartoonists - Sergio Aragonés, Scott Shaw! and Floyd Norman - compete to speedily draw cartoons from a variety of given topics. Saturday, 11:45 a.m. Room 6BCF (Barr)
R For those who love bloodsucking protagonists who possess vampiric powers, such as immortality and mind-reading, Anne Rice should not be missed. Author of more than 30 books - including the popular novel series “The Vampire Chronicles” - Rice will be there to sign books from the 10-novel series. This includes the first book, “Interview With the Vampire,” which resulted in the 1994 film adaptation starring Tom Cruise and Brad Pitt. Rice’s newest novel, “Prince Lestat,” will be released in October. Saturday, 3 p.m. TBA. (Barr)
S Sunday is no day of rest for members of the “Supernatural” fandom, who will descend upon the massive Hall H in devoted droves for a panel guaranteed to make them forget they have been in line since 2013. Stars Jared Padalecki and Jensen Ackles will be quippy and adorable (as will executive producer Jeremy Carver and the devilish Mark A. Sheppard), the CW network’s video clips will be gasp-worthy, and there will be bloopers. Everybody scream! Sunday, 10 a.m., Hall H. (Peterson)
T Channing Tatum has a place in many hearts for his hot bod and “Step Up” dance moves. But this week, Tatum will be flexing his film-geek muscles at Comic-Con, where two of his films will be featured: the sci-fi space opera “Jupiter Ascending” and animated rom-com “The Book of Life.” It is not confirmed that the actor will be on the Warner Bros. panel for “Jupiter,” but he might make a stop, since he will already be in the general locale promoting 21st Century Fox’s “The Book of Life.” Saturday, 2:50 p.m., San Diego Convention Center Hall H. (Lexy Brodt)
U The cast of CBS’s “Under the Dome” will be let out into the open to give fans a sneak peek of the remainder of the show’s second season. Dean Norris - who plays the character “Big Jim” - as well as Mike Vogel, Rachelle Lefevre, Alexander Koch, Colin Ford, Eddie Cahill and executive producer Neal Baer will give fans something to look forward to as this season of “Under,” which is based on the behemoth book by Stephen King, comes to a close. The panel will also feature other new CBS shows, including the new “Scorpion” and “Reign.” Thursday, 11:15 a.m., Ballroom 20. (Lexy Brodt)
V Video game hype will take center stage at this year’s Comic-Con. BioWare will attend in order to reveal some background behind the highly anticipated fourth game in the “Mass Effect” series. On Sunday, Comic-Con offers a “Lego Batman 3" panel with special visitor Adam West, whose voice will appear in the new game. This panel in particular will run on Sunday, 1 p.m., in Room 6BCF. (Lexy Brodt)
W “The Walking Dead” is crawling everywhere this year. Stars Andrew Lincoln and Norman Reedus lead AMC’s “Dead” panel. For more zombie fun, run through the Walking Dead Escape attraction at Petco Park. Friday, 12:20 p.m., Hall H (Kragen)
X X-Rated? Not quite, but the SuicideGirls Blackheart Burlesque troupe promises naughty parodies of “Game of Thrones,” “Star Wars,” “The Big Lebowski” and other cult favorites. Nerdcore meets soft-core midnight Saturday at the House of Blues, 1055 Fifth Ave., San Diego
Y Special Comic-Con guest Gene Luen Yang wrote the graphic novel “American Born Chinese,” a 2006 finalist for the National Book Award. His “Boxers & Saints” was nominated for the same award in 2013. Yang’s “The Shadow Hero” (illustrated by Sonny Liew) will debut at the Con.
Z Grab your decaying sweetheart and shamble to the Prom of the Undead, aka the zombie prom. The night will feature live - for now, at least - music, dancing, prom king and queen contest, photo booth, cash bar and hors d’oeuvres. Mmmmmm, bacon-wrapped brains! Saturday, 6 to 10 p.m., the Horton Grand Hotel, 311 Island Ave., San Diego.
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