A wide variety of entertaining and informative panels and comic industry sessions are among the programming offerings scheduled at Wizard World Austin Comic Con, this Friday through Sunday at the Austin Convention Center. Featured panels include Austin-based heroes such as screenwriter and director Tim McCanlies, film critic and pop culture guru Harry Knowles and filmmaker-wunderkind Emily Hagins. Austin Comic Con is sponsored by Austin Books & Comics, Alamo Drafthouse, Austin Chronicle, 101X FM and Dragon’s Lair.
Day programming begins on Friday with the popular “Wizard Art School,” as noted Marvel and DC artist Greg Horn leads a discussion on digital art, beginning at 2 p.m. in Room 9. Indy art sensations Rob Guillory (Chew) and Kody Chamberlain (Sweets) discuss their breakout Image hits in “The Art of Chew and Sweets” at 3 p.m. in the same room. Also at 3, in Room 8, “The Incredible Hulk,” Lou Ferrigno, sits down for an exclusive Q&A about the classic show and his status as a pop culture icon. At 4, the Women of Wrestling take the stage, as Torrie Wilson, Amy Dumas, Lisa Marie Varon, Christy Hemme and Jackie Haas discuss their special role in the sport of wrestling, in Room 8.
The art theme continues in Room 9 at 4 p.m., as fan favorite artist Alé Garza takes fans on an artistic tour of his style and storytelling. At 5, get ready for “Bionic Buddies,” Lindsay Wagner and Richard Anderson as they discuss the huge phenomenon that has remained popular with fans across the world, in Room 8. Wizard School remains in session in Room 9 at 5 p.m. with “How to Sculpt with the Shiflett Brothers,” a look at the creative process with these talented sculptors. James O’Barr concludes day programming on a busy Friday as “The Crow” creator talks about the dark franchise and plans for a new movie home for the series, in Room 8 at 6 p.m.
Friday night includes a free screening of The Matrix at 7:30 p.m. in Room 9. And just a few short blocks from the Convention Center is the new “Drink & Draw” event at Club Deville (900 Red River St.). Join “Uncle Staple” of STAPLE! Independent Media Expo and comic legends who will be on hand to contribute sketches on a unique original piece that will be auctioned off for charity.
Day programming begins on Saturday at noon with a Q&A with Ray Park, the X-MEN and Star Wars: EPISODE I star in Room 9. Staying in the Star Wars theme, that is followed in the same room at 1 pm by a discussion with legendary film star Billy Dee Williams. Then at 2 pm, it’s a Star of a different kind as Walter Koenig, “Pavel Chekov” in the original “Star Trek” series, sits with fans in Room 8 for a rare Q&A session on all things Trek. Also at 2 pm, in Room 9, comic book and video game legend Joe Madureira discusses his career and new video game plans. Then at 3 pm in Room 9, two of the most beloved “Buffy: The Vampire Slayer” actors, Clare Kramer (“Glory”) and Nicholas Brendon (“Xander”) discuss the behind-the-scenes fun on one of pop culture’s greatest hits. Also at 3 pm in Room 8, Wizard Art School returns with award-winning artist Bill Sienkiewicz talking technique in the interactive Q&A and demonstration.
The Caped Crusader and Boy Wonder, Adam West and Burt Ward, turn Room 9 into the Batcave at 4 pm for a “Bat-Panel” on the iconic 60’s TV series.
Moving from bats to monsters at 5 p.m., “Famous Monsters of Filmland Returns!” gives film buff Harry Knowles, new editor of the greatest monster movie magazine of all time, a forum to share his plans. Also at 5 pm, Avengers Academy and former Amazing Spider-Man artist Mike McKone concludes the day’s Wizard Art School lessons.
At 6 pm are a pair of not-to-miss panels, including the unique Austin Film Festival Screenwriters Panel, featuring film director Tim McCanlies (Alabama Moon, Secondhand Lions, The Iron Giant) and Alvaro Rodriguez (Machete, Shorts, From Dusk Till Dawn: The Hangman’s Daughter) in Room 8. At the same time in Room 9, is a preview of AMC’s ambitious new horror series “Walking Dead,” based on Robert Kirkman’s zombie series.
Saturday night opens with the Austin Comic Con Costume Parade featuring the Minor Mishap Marching Band, an “absurd expression of boisterous pandemonium and washboard-tuba-punk-rock ridiculousness,” or so they say, at 7 p.m. beginning on the Convention floor. That leads nicely into the 8 p.m. Costume Contest at new fine art school The Art Department (503 Neches), with crazy outfits the rule.
Saturday is also Movie Night at Austin Comic Con. At 9 p., fans will be calling Ghostbusters at a free screening of the 1984 classic film, introduced by the one and only Ernie Hudson, in Room 9. Over at the Alamo Drafthouse Ritz (320 E. 6th St.) beginning at 10, fans can join The Human Centipede stars Ashley C. Williams, Ashlynn Yennie and Akihiro Kitamura for a special reunion screening and Q&A. That’s followed by a midnight regional premiere screening of the fun sci-fi action and Tokyo gore mashup Alien vs. Ninja.
Also at 10 pm, a Comic Con tradition, the Masquerade Ball is a fun-filled party for costumed fans and celebs, at the Gypsy Lounge (1504 E. 6th St.).
Sunday is far from a day of rest, as fans who didn’t finish their popcorn the night before can check out the My Sucky Teen Romance panel with Austin’s own filmmaker Emily Hagins with exclusive preview footage from the upcoming movie, at 11 am in Room 9. The “Writing Comics with Matthew Sturges” panel, in which the “House of Mystery” scribe and “Fables” co-writer Sturges discusses professional comic writing, how to stay on deadline and his upcoming plans is also set for 11 am, in Room 8. Wizard Art School gets back in session there at noon with legendary comic icon Mike Grell discussing his unique style.
Also at noon, in Room 9, fans can talk to “Babylon 5” beauty Claudia Christian as she shares some secrets of her multi-faceted success and previews a sneak peek at her new Showtime series “Look.” That’s followed in the same room at 1 pm by the popular “Trailer Park,” a look at trailers for the hottest upcoming films. Also at 1 pm, in Room 8, The Superstars of Wrestling, hosted by Kevin Nash and Jackie Haas, give the low-down on all things in and out of the ring.
Wizard School remains in session at 2 pm in Room 8, as comic book luminary Michael Golden takes fans through his career and shares his knowledge with aspiring artists. Movie buffs may want to catch a free screening of the Japanese sci-fi action film Robogeisha in Room 9 at 2 pm. The day then concludes at 3 pm with the always adorable Kids’ Costume Contest, where kids 10 and under show off their costumes and win fun prizes.
Austin Comic Con is sponsored in part by Austin Books & Comics, Alamo Drafthouse, Austin Chronicle, 101X FM and Dragon’s Lair. Attendees are encouraged to come as their favorite villain, superhero or pop culture personality for the chance to win special prizes in costume contests. Event-goers may also try their hand interactive product exhibits and shop for collectible comics, movie and television memorabilia, toys and games at more than 100 dealer booths.
The Austin Convention Center is located at 500 East Cesar Chavez Street. Austin Comic Con is the seventh stop on Wizard’s eight-city 2010 North American tour. Hours are Friday, Nov. 12, noon – 8 pm; Saturday, Nov. 13, 10 am – 7 pm; and Sunday, Nov. 14, 10 a. – 5 pm (all times Central). Tickets are available in advance or by calling 1-866-882-5860 and online at www.wizardworld.com/austin.html at up to a 15% savings over tickets purchased at the door. Advance adult single-day tickets are $25; three-day weekend tickets are $45, and tickets are free for children age 10 and under when accompanied by a paid adult (limit two children per adult). VIP packages with special entry and exclusive items are also available.
About Wizard Entertainment
Gareb Shamus founded Wizard Entertainment in 1991. Today, Shamus publishes consumer magazines Wizard, ToyFare, FunFare and numerous books about pop-culture’s top talent, comic books and toys. Shamus also produces a North American Comic Con tour. Wizard World Comic Con – The Pop-Culture Capital of the World!