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Fri, 13 Jul ’12

Comic-Con International’s Gems for the Hall H Avoider

Believe it or not, there’s more to do than talk about the big movies.

If you’ve been attending the San Diego Comic-Con International for a few years, chances are this has happened to you: you get caught up in the moment, realize it’s time for that big movie panel in Hall H, then you get in line and figure out you should have been there two hours ago, because there’s no way you’re making it inside now. As any self-respecting Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy fan would tell you: don’t panic. You think you’re lost, but actually, outside of Hall H (and Ballroom 20,which is now ground zero for new TV stuff), there’s much to be found. Here are just a few panels we recommend this weekend.


Dan’s Band – At 10:30 a..m. today, join Curtis Armstrong (Booger from Revenge of the Nerds), Dave Foley and Paget Brewster for a live table-reading of an exclusive, written-for-Comic-Con episode of Dan Vs., in which Armstrong’s title character always picks a fight with someone or something, be it a person or an abstract concept. Plus it’s moderated by Spongebob Squarepants, Tom Kenny! (Room 6A)

Masters of the Toy Universe – Mattel’s collector lines will be showcased in a panel at noon, including the unveiling of a new mystery line that most fans are assuming will be Back to the Future figures, and the reveal of who won the Masters of the Universe Create-A-Character contest. (Room 25 ABC)

Fired Up –
Before The Avengers, Joss Whedon was known for other stuff, like the short-lived and much-loved sci-fi series Firefly. For its tenth anniversary, the entire principle cast is reuniting at 12:30 p.m. Yes, this is in Ballroom 20, but it felt worth mentioning nonetheless.

Paper Heart – At 2 p.m., there’s a panel dedicated to Star Wars origami. Enough said, right? (Room 7AB)

Scan Tron At 2:15 p.m., the cast of Tron: Uprising (which includes original star Bruce Boxleitner, and Elijah Wood) present a look at this new animated series. Ask them if there’s a third movie coming; we’re sure they’ve never heard that question before. (Room 6A)

King O’ Con – Peter Cullen has been the voice of Optimus Prime in most incarnations of Transformers, from the original U.S. cartoon to the live-action movies. We’re not sure if Larry King knows that, or cares, but the iconic interviewer will be taking on everyone’s favorite truck-robot in a 1:1 interview at 6 p.m. Not entirely sure what to make of this. (Room 23ABC)


Welcome to Earth! – M. Night Shyamalan and Will Smith aren’t coming, so the panel for Sony’s After Earth is getting pushed upstairs to room 6A on Saturday morning (10 a.m.). Because of who’s actually available, the panel will focus to a greater extent than usual on the movie’s prequel novel and tie-in comics.

Day-O – Felicia Day and Wil Wheaton talk all things Geek & Sundry on YouTube at their channel panel in the Indigo Ballroom at the Hilton, 11 a.m., along with the cast of The Guild and others. Stick around afterwards for another channel panel you’ll like…something something Nerdist.

For Old Timers’ Sake – William Shatner and Roger Corman. That’s the title of this 4:15 p.m. panel, and probably all you need to know about being in the presence of two guys who are way cooler than you’ll ever be when you reach their age. Also there’s this: Kevin Smith is moderating. (Room 6A)

Cheesy but True –
At 8:30 p.m. Saturday night, watching the Masquerade simulcast in the Sails Pavilion is the thing to do. They generally have free nachos, and it’s also the only time and place you can buy booze at Comic-Con (if you’re legal to do so).


Sunday Sillies –
After a long weekend of walking back and forth, it’s always a good idea to blow off some steam with stuff that’s just plain fun. We recommend either the raucous sing-along presentation of that musical episode of Buffy (Room 6BCF, 3:30 p.m.) that’s become an annual tradition. Also, don’t neglect the exhibit hall – there may be some good last-minute deals.