Howdy, Muppet fans! Heard any good news lately? If you’re like me, you could definitely use a break from all the strange happenings in the news these past few weeks. And, if you’re also like me, you may be escaping into the world of comic books to help find relief. And if you’re 100% like me, you’ll be doing that this weekend at San Diego Comic Con! If so, here are some things for Henson fanatics like us to look out for while at Geek Mecca this year from July 19th – July 23rd.
Thursday, July 20
10:00am – 11:00am
A way-fun, LOL, multimedia show of the kookiest, kraziest, most bizarro leotard-clad bad-guy-bashers of the Golden Age of comic books! See the Hand, a giant hand! See Madam Fatale, the first cross-dressing superhero! See Kangaroo Man (Batman was taken)! See tons more nutty-cool heroes held up to reverence and ridicule! Based on the bestselling book Super Weird Heroes (and its upcoming sequel), this stand-up comedy presentation is by the former creative director of the Muppets, now the Eisner-winning editor of IDW and Yoe Books Craig Yoe. Twenty laugh-riot cosplay changes in all!
Thursday, July 20
4:30pm – 5:30pm
The Art Heroines explore the value of using science to further your art projects, from finding inspiration to implementing techniques. These seasoned professionals offer an in-depth discussion on how the pros employ the scientific method in their work. From observation to experimentation to innovation, they’ll break down how you can use science at home. Moderated by Robyn Simms, Emmy-nominated costume designer for Tumble Leaf (Amazon) and co-host of The Grownups Are Talking podcast, the panel features Danelle Vierkant (creature designer and builder, Grimm, American Horror Story), Ivonne Escoto (designer and builder, Sleepy Hollow, The Flash), Dee Chavez (background designer/layout, Nickelodeon, DreamWorks), Kristin Donner (painter/illustrator, Nickelodeon, Society for American Archaeology), Melissa Doss Diwa (builder, Jim Henson’s Creature Shop, Disney Online), Nicole Filiatrault (technical director, South Park), Kaitlyn Yang (VFX supervisor, Robot Chicken, The Walking Dead), and Chelsea Pickens (art department, Anomalisa, Yamasong).
Friday, July 21
5:00pm – 6:00pm
Mouse Guard, one of the most successful and popular indie comics in the past decade, reminds readers that “It’s not what you fight, but what you fight for “! Creator David Petersen talks about the recently released coloring book, the new original short story in BOOM!’s Free Comic Book Day issue, new Mouse Guard merchandise, and how in September fans can enjoy the Mouse Guard Alphabet Book. David will also be sharing a sneak peek of and discussing the fourth chapter in the Mouse Guard saga, Mouse Guard: The Weasel War (2018). Plus, a live reading of a Mouse Guard short story and a few prize giveaways. Moderated by Cameron Chittock (BOOM! Studios associate editor).
Saturday, July 22
10:00am – 11:30am
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
12:30pm – 1:30pm
There’s a comic at BOOM! Studios for everyone from longtime fans to brand-new readers, and this is the panel to discover your favorite new series! BOOM! Studios editors and creators explore the diverse imprints of BOOM! Studios, BOOM! Box, KaBOOM!, and Archaia with the exclusive previews, news, and the information you need to discover your next obsession. Featuring Matt Gagnon (BOOM! Studios editor-in-chief), John Allison (Giant Days), Ryan Parrott (Saban’s Go Go Power Rangers), Carly Usdin (Hi-Fi Fight Club), David F. Walker (War for the Planet of the Apes), Aline Brosh McKenna (Jane), and James Tynion IV (The Backstagers). Moderated by Filip Sablik (BOOM! Studios president of publishing and marketing).
Additionally, Gigi Edgley (Farscape and Jim Henson’s Creature Shop Challenge) will be signing at the Sails Autograph Pavilion
Thursday, July 20 • 11:15am – 2:30pm
Friday, July 21 • 10:00am – 2:30pm
Saturday, July 22 • 2:30pm – 7:00pm
Sunday, July 23 • 10:00am – 1:30pm
For all you art lovers, there will be plenty of Henson-related artists lending their pencils to your requests. Look for Katie Cook at Table HH-17, David Petersen at Table GG-09, and over in Exhibitors’ Alley, stop by Amy Mebberson & James Silvani‘s Table at F-07. For fans of the Archaia imprint, Boom! Studios will be stationed at Booth #2229.
Also, there are always plenty of fan art pieces to be found in Artists’ Alley. It’s almost certainly worth your time to spend an hour or so digging for buried Muppet treasure amongst the Spider-Man mashup pictures. So much mashup potential!
And certainly don’t forget the cosplayers! I’ve seen some pretty great Muppet costumes at Comic Cons past and expect this year to be no different. Fan favorites like Beaker and Mahna Mahna will most likely pop up walking the floor. In addition, with California being a big puppetry scene as of late, I’m anticipating a few fanmade Muppets to be roaming the convention center.
And then, of course, there’s the merchandise. SDCC is all about cross-promotion and marketing along the spectrum, so a trip to the Hallmark booth will be worth your time to get a sneak peek of what Muppet Christmas ornaments we can expect in the next year or two. WeLoveFine will be there with their geek-inspired t-shirts and we know they’re always good to hit up for the Muppet fan on your gift list. Try swinging by the Disney Booth and see if there’s anything Muppety hiding there – I know I will! And with those new Muppet action figures, Minimates, and glasses and mugs in stores now, one of the first booths I’ll be checking out is Diamond Select at Booth #2607 to try to get a look at their just-released Series 3 Muppet figures.
That’s all for your preview this year, Henson fans! Be sure to check back here on ToughPigs after SDCC for our report all about the stuff we just told you about! Now let’s get nerdy!
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by Matt Wilkie – Matt@ToughPigs.com