Comic-Con doesn’t have to be scary - unless you want it to be. And of course, we want it to be. We have culled through the Comic-Con schedule and pulled the panels that look like they have a special focus on zombies, vampires, and all things macabre.
First up, Thursday (and, of course, preview night)
Wednesday, July 11th
Preview night kicks off with a night of screenings from Warner Bros. television. Starting at 6pm in Ballroom 20, catch your first look at upcoming series 666 Park Ave., Arrow, Cult, The Following, and Revolution.
Thursday, July 12th
11:00-12:00 Twisted Twins: American Mary— Jen and Sylvia Soska (of Twisted Twins Productions and the makers of Dead Hooker in a Trunk) and Todd Masters (of MASTERSFX and make-up effects producer on True Blood) will discuss the use of prosthetics in horror. The Soskas will also address the challenges of working in a male-dominated genre. They will unveil a sizzle reel from their new film American Mary. Paula Lindberg (Ruby in American Mary) will also be on the panel, which is moderated by Beth Accomando (author of the KPBS blog Cinema Junkie). Room 5AB
12:00-1:00 Comics Arts Conference Session #2: Once More, with Comics: How the Whedon Universes Continue in Comic Book Form— Authors Katrina Hill (Action Movie Freak, GeekNation.com), Jennifer K. Stuller (Ink-StainedAmazon, GeekGirlCon), and Traci Cohen (CSU-Sacramento) examine how comic books and graphic novels provide a new form of media adaptation in which the graphic novel form furthers the canon or official continuity of television series as sequels to the original material. Creator Joss Whedon's television universes enjoy new life in print (e.g. Buffy the Vampire SlayerSeason 9). Sharing their own thoughts on these Whedon comic book follow-ups are comic book writer/actress Amber Benson (Buffy the Vampire Slayer: Willow and Tara), editorsScott Allie (Dark House) and Mariah Huehner (IDW), and actors Clare Kramer (Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Bring It On) and Tom Lenk (Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Cabin in the Woods).Room 26AB
1:00-2:00 Dark Horse: Powered by Creators-An In-Depth Look at the Best in Creator-Owned Comics— Just over 25 years ago, Dark Horse arrived with a different agenda than any other publisher in comics. The young company was founded on the belief that comics creators should have the option to retain the rights to their own work, and today it continues to be a highly fertile breeding ground for new characters and concepts. Self-publishing sensation Sam Humphries introduces Dark Horse publisher Mike Richardson, along with a cast of top talent from around the industry. Expect exclusive announcements, and much, much more! Room 23ABC
1:15-2:15 Not with a Bang, with a Bite— Great prophets, religious scriptures, and scientific evidence points to an apocalypse in 2012...but these authors envision the end of the world in the form of a zombie pandemic. With their decaying, disintegrating, and sometimes flesh-eating tendencies, zombies have lurched their way into science fiction and fantasy novels and are here to stay. Doomsday takes on a whole new meaning when losing limbs and lumbering across the earth are involved. Learn how to survive everything from zombie invasions to viral zombie infections from panelists Jeyn Roberts (Dark Inside),Michael Spradlin (Blood Riders), Mira Grant (Blackout), Diana Rowland (Even White Trash Zombies Get the Blues), Stephen Blackmoore (City of the Lost), Dana Fredsti(Plague Town), Susan Dennard (Something Strange and Deadly), and Max Brooks(World War Z), led by John Hornor Jacobs (This Dark Earth). Room 6A
2:00-3:00 Inside the Shadow Show: Ray Bradbury's Lasting Impact on Literature, Comics, Film, and Beyond— Literary legend Margaret Atwood (The Handmaiden's Tale) and acclaimed horror and fantasy writer Joe Hill (Heart-Shaped Box) are joined bySam Weller (The Bradbury Chronicles: The Life of Ray Bradbury) and internationally acclaimed horror writer Mort Castle (The Strangers), the co-editors of Shadow Show: All-New Stories in Celebration of Ray Bradburyl to reflect on the deep and lasting impact of Bradbury on their work, literature, comics, cinema, and beyond. Moderated by Chris Ryall, CEO and editor-in-chief of IDW Comics. Room 5AB
2:05-3:05 Walt Disney Studios: Frankenweenie, Oz The Great and Powerful, andWreck-it Ralph— Walt Disney Studios hosts a Q&A panel featuring the imaginative director of Frankenweenie, Tim Burton (Alice in Wonderland); a special look at the world of Oz The Great and Powerful with director Sam Raimi (Spider-Man trilogy); and the illustrious voice cast of Walt Disney Animation Studios' Wreck-It Ralph, including John C. Reilly (Step Brothers) and Sarah Silverman (The Sarah Silverman Program), and director Rich Moore (Futurama). Hall H
2:15-3:15 Blizzard Entertainment Product Showcase— Love Diablo, World of Warcraftand StarCraft? Join Chris Metzen (Blizzard Entertainment SVP, story and franchise development) and a team of esteemed guests as we reveal never-before-seen licensed products and plans for 2012/2013. Talk to the designers, writers and artists themselves as we dig into Mega Bloks, novels, comics, statues and more. Panel and Q&A session moderated by Kat Hunter (host of Blizzcon coverage on DIRECTV). Room 6BCF
2:30-3:30 MTV's Teen Wolf— Cast members Tyler Posey, Dylan O'Brien, Crystal Reed, Tyler Hoechlin, Holland Roden and Colton Haynes, along with executive producer Jeff Davis, present an exclusive first-look at a new episode, followed by a Q&A session. Stay for the don't-miss world premiere trailer of MTV's upcoming scripted comedy series The Inbetweeners. Room 6A
3:00-4:00 Hotel Transylvania— Animation superstar and 12-time Emmy nominee Genndy Tartakovsky, who previously created Dexter's Laboratory, Samurai Jack, Sym-Bionic Titan andStar Wars: Clone Wars, makes his directorial debut this year with Sony Pictures Animation'sHotel Transylvania. Join Genndy for an exclusive sneak peek at footage from Hotel Transylvania and an exciting look behind the scenes of this very unique project, which boasts a hilarious voice cast.
Indigo Ballroom, Hilton San Diego Bayfront
3:15-4:15 Low Budget/Big Genre: Making it Fun— Script developers, producers, writers, and actors discuss lower-budget genre movies and some of the tools they use to make them so much fun that people keep coming back for more. Panelists include writer/director Eric Forsberg (Syfy, The Asylum, Active Entertainment), Micho Rutare (development executive, The Asylum), actress Gabriel Womack (Triassic Attack, Copperhead), Mark Beltzman (Re-Animator, the Musical),Karen Goodman Forsberg (producer and co-founder, Big Bear Horror Film Festival), and Bill Lundy (writer, Silent Warning, Alien Siege on SyFy; head of Scriptwriters Network).Marriott Hall 2, Marriott Marquis & Marina
3:30-4:30 Spotlight on Tim Bradstreet: 25 Years on the Edge of Fantastic Illustration— Comic-Con special guest Tim Bradstreet (The Punisher Max, Hellblazer, Vampire: The Masquerade) discusses his career in RPGs, comics, and film. Join Tim for this onstage interview and Q&A session moderated byTom Racine (Tall Tale Radio). Room 4
3:45-4:45 The Walking Dead— The bestselling, award-winning comicThe Walking Dead has been a critical and commercial success -- and its TV adaptation on AMC holds its own weight as a record-setting juggernaut. Join creator/writer Robert Kirkman and series artist Charlie Adlard for a rare sit-down, where they will discuss the past, present, and future of the decade's most talked about zombie phenomenon. A Q&A will follow the conversation between the visionary collaborators.
4:00-5:00 Character Design in Entertainment: From Script to Sculp— When it comes to behind-the-scenes special features and "The Art of Making..." reference books for movies, gaming, and entertainment, oftentimes we only get a brief glimpse of what went into the design of a production. Leading creature and concept designer Neville Page(Avatar, Star Trek, Tron, Super 8, and most recently Prometheus) goes in-depth about the specificity of character development, from script interpretation to full design execution, referencing select work from some of the spectacular films he has worked on. You will not only see the final resolve, but the roughest of sketches. A thorough Q&A will be a big part of the presentation. Room 7AB
4:00-5:00 Abstract Studio: Terry Moore— Don't miss fan favorite Terry Moore as he discusses his new hit horror series Rachel Rising, his acclaimed sci-fi series Echo, and exciting plans for the 20th anniversary celebration of his epic series Strangers in Paradise!Terry will fill you in on all the latest news and then open the floor for the ever-popular Q&A. Room 23ABC
5:00-6:00 Legendary Comics— Legendary Comics presents a behind-the-scenes look at its upcoming slate of must-read projects. Get first-look access to new content, grab limited-edition giveaways, and ask questions of your favorite creators. The panel is hosted by the nerdist himself, Chris Hardwick. Panelists include The Tower Chronicles creatorsMatt Wagner (Grendel, Mage) and Simon Bisley (Lobo, 2000 AD), Shadow Walkcreators Max Brooks (The Zombie Survival Guide, G.I. Joe: Hearts & Minds), Mark Waid(Kingdom Come, The Flash), and Shane Davis (Final Crisis: Rage of the Red Lanterns,Superman: Earth One). Joining this all-star cast are co-creator of The Tower Chroniclesand Shadow Walk, Thomas Tull (founder and CEO of Legendary Entertainment) and editor-in-chief Bob Schreck (All-Star Superman). Don't miss breaking news regarding our next project from an elite creator in the comics industry who will be making a surprise appearance. Room 6A
5:00-6:00 Uncle Creepy Presents— A stellar panel of ghoulish creators discuss Warren'sCreepy and Eerie, which have been relaunched at Dark Horse in hardcover archival editions, new comic books, and artist compilation formats. Discover all the exciting things coming up in the Creepy universe. Moderated by Overstreet's J. C. Vaughn and featuring New Comic Company's twin engines Dan Braun (Creepy) and Josh Braun (Button Man) and super special guest MAD and Creepy artist Angelo Torres (Mad), plus writerChristopher A. Taylor and some very special unannounced guests. Plus, there will beCreepy trivia questions with tons of giveaways, swag and prizes. Room 9
5:45-6:45 Vertigo: A View from the Cutting Edge of Comics— It's a big year for Vertigo, with exciting new projects like Fairest, Punk Rock Jesus, and Saucer Countryjoining American Vampire, Fables, The Unwritten, and Sweet Tooth. Get the lowdown on all your Vertigo favorites-and some that will be-and catch the latest on new graphic novels like Stieg Larsson's The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo Vol. 1 and others, with senior VP/executive editor Karen Berger, plus Rafael Albuquerque (American Vampire), Mike Allred (iZombie), Mark Buckingham (Fables), Mike Carey (The Unwritten), Jeff Lemire (Sweet Tooth), Sean Murphy (Punk Rock Jesus), Dustin Nguyen (American Vampire: Lord of Nightmares), Scott Snyder (American Vampire, American Vampire: Lord of Nightmares), Bill Willingham (Fables, Fairest), and others. Room 6DE
6:00-7:00 The Character of Music— Composer and executive producer teams discuss the dynamics of music in film and television. Blake Neely and Greg Berlanti (Arrow),Chris Lennertz and Eric Kripke (Revolution, Supernatural), Joseph Trapanese andCharlie Bean (TRON: Uprising), and Nathan Johnson and Rian Johnson (Looper) discuss their working relationship, how music plays a character in their stories, and the intense process of scoring their projects. Moderated by Anne Cecere, director of film and TV relations of BMI, and Chandler Poling, founder of White Bear PR. Attendees will get a sneak peek into their work and receive fun giveaways. Room 5AB
6:00-7:00 Monsterverse Horror Comics: Bela Lugosi Demands Flesh and Blood!—Monsterverse Entertainment executives Kerry Gammill (Superman, Stargate, The Outer Limits) and Sam F. Park (Bela Lugosi's Tales from the Grave) discuss the horror transmedia company's current and future projects in print, mobile apps, interactive games, and Hollywood, along with Henry Mayo (Ted, Tarzan, The Mummy). CreatorsRobert Tinnell and Neil Vokes (Flesh and Blood) will discuss future plans for their award-winning (Ghastly Award-Best Horror GN 2011) graphic novel series along with its cover artist Dan Brereton (Nocturnals, The Last Battle). Q&A session to follow. Room 8
6:00-7:15 Showtime: Dexter— The gasps from last season's finale can still be heard among Dexter fans as their worst fears were realized, Dexter got caught and by none other than Deb! What will he do? What will she do? What's next for America's Favorite Serial Killer? If the suspense is killing you, don't miss this incredible panel, where you'll be the first to see the Comic-Con exclusive first two minutes of the season premiere. Moderator Ralph Garman (KROQ Entertainment reporter) presides over a revealing interview and Q&A session with the stars and executive producers of Dexter. Featured panelists include series star/executive producer Michael C. Hall (Dexter), Jennifer Carpenter (Deb), and special guest star Yvonne Strahovski (Hanna). Also appearing are executive producers John Goldwyn, Sara Colleton, Scott Buck, and Manny Coto. PlusDexter fans will be the first to see the world premiere trailer of one of the hottest series on television, Homeland, presented by executive producers Howard Gordon and Alex Gansa. The new season of Dexter premieres September 30, at 9pm ET/PT only on Showtime. Ballroom 20
6:15-8:15 The Virtual Drive-In— Come with us again to those thrilling days of yesteryear where one of the few places you could see offbeat genre films was at your local drive-in, huddled safely in your car as the summer sky darkened around you. At least that was the germ of an idea that gave birth to this panel last year, and the reception by those fans who attended was so positive they're doing it again. So, welcome to the second edition of the Virtual Drive-In, where you will preview three twisted tales by some talented filmmakers who will all be appearing on the panel to discuss their work and take your questions. Moderated by Robert Meyer Burnett. The featured films are:
Branded -- A dark and mind-bending journey into a surreal, dystopian society where mega-corporations have unleashed a monstrous global conspiracy to get inside our minds and keep the population deluded, dependent and passive. One man's quest to unlock the truth behind the conspiracy will lead to an epic battle with the hidden forces that really control our world. Appearing on stage is director Jamie Bradshaw.
Crave -- Aiden (Josh Lawson) fantasizes about a better life away from hisgruesome job as a crime scene photographer working alongside his detective friend Pete (Ron Perlman)-a heroic life where he falls in love with the perfect woman and dispenses justice on the hard streets of Detroit. When he meets the alluring young Virginia (Emma Lung) and steals a gun from a crime scene, the line between his darkest fantasies and reality begins to blur, with deadly consequences. This visually arresting psychological noir begins its festival run with its world premiere at the Fantasia Film Festival and continues on to other festivals around the world. Appearing on stage: Josh Lawson (House of Lies) and director Charles de Lauzirika, with other guests to be announced.
Coldwater -- "Make sure the past isn't watching you." Andre agrees to help out his friend Robert by taking over a housesitting job at an unusual house nestled in the heart of Coldwater Canyon. As the day turns into night, Andre experiences strange things that lead him to believe he is not alone and that someone or something is watching him. Appearing in person are writer/director Dave Parker (The Hills Run Red) and starIvan Djurovic (24).
7:00-8:00 History of the Modern Zombie— Zombie Research Society hosts a panel of leading zombie experts moderated by ZRS founder Matt Mogk (Everything You Ever Wanted to Know About Zombies). Panelists include Max Brooks (Zombie Survival Guide, World War Z), Scott Kenemore (Zen of Zombie, Zombie, Ohio), Aaron Sagers (CNN Geek Out, entertainment writer, TV host), Steven Schlozman, M.D. (zombie autopsies, Harvard Medical School), and Bradley Voytek, Ph.D. (University of California, San Francisco). Join them for a spirited discussion about the evolution and impact of the modern zombie, and get all your pressing questions answered before it's too late!Room 7AB
7:30-8:30 Famous Monsters of Filmland: Stake of the Union 2012— The world's first monster fan magazine invades Comic-Con again this year. Publisher Philip Kim and executive editor Ed Blair are on hand to discuss the future of the magazine, including covers, digital issues, film and TV projects, and more. Special panelists include Bela Lugosi Jr.; Jeff Moor, and Allen Steelgrave of ESP Guitars on their top-secret project with FM; Todd Masters (True Blood) on celebrating 25 years of makeup excellence with his company MastersFX; and many surprises. Room 24ABC
8:00-9:30 Zombies, Vampires, and Werewolves on Trial: The Forensic Psychiatry of the Dead, the Undead, and the Unlucky— Zombies, vampires, and werewolves are the most terrifying monsters to stalk the night. But what if these monsters existed in real life and actually stood trial for their murderous crimes? Would they be found guilty and put behind bars, or would they be found not guilty by reason of insanity and committed to a psychiatric hospital? Would they even be competent to stand trial? Forensic psychiatrists of Broadcast Thought, H. Eric Bender, M.D., Praveen R. Kambam, M.D., and Vasilis K. Pozios, M.D. evaluate whether the "conditions" that plague these bloodsuckers, flesh-eaters, and wild beasts might serve as the basis for an insanity defense. Hear Mark E. Safarik, M.S., V.S.M., FBI Ret., supervisory special agent, Behavioral Analysis Unit (Killer Instinct), compare the behaviors of these characters to real-life bloodsucking and flesh-eating killers. See these iconic characters in a new light, and sink your teeth into them for a change! Room 7AB
8:00-9:00 H. P. Lovecraft— "They all lay in stone houses in Their great city of R'lyeh, preserved by the spells of mighty Cthulhu for a glorious resurrection when the stars and the Earth might once more be ready for Them." So wrote master weird tale and horror author H. P. Lovecraft in 1926, and the stars have aligned! Get a sanity-shattering peek into Lovecraft's past and present influence in pop culture. Discover the unspeakable nameless horrors from beyond time and space that are rising in comics, games, movies, music, television and more. With Brian Callahan (Arkham Bazaar), Cody Goodfellow(Perilous Press), Mars Homeworld (CEO, Dead House Music), and Michael Alan Nelson(creator, Fall of Cthulhu). Moderated by Aaron Vanek (H. P. Lovecraft Film Festival-Los Angeles). Room 9
8:30-10:00 Dr. Horrible's Sing-Along Blog Sing-Along— Join the fun as the California Browncoats screen Internet sensation Dr. Horrible's Sing-Along Blog-coming back with call back sheets so you can play along during the screening. Enter our costume contest: horrible prizes awarded to the best version of each character from the show. DO NOT BOUNCE. Room 6BCF
8:30-9:30 Holliston: Inside the Humor, the Horror, and the Geekery of the New "Great American Sitcom"— Join the cast of FEARnet's hit television sit-com Holliston as they preview their upcoming second season, show outtakes and clips, and discuss their journey to bringing their outrageous comedy for true horror, sci-fi, and pop culture fans to mainstream cable television. Featuring creator/star Adam Green (the Hatchet franchise),Joe Lynch (Knights of Badassdom), Oderus Urungus (alien lead singer of GWAR),Laura Ortiz (The Hills Have Eyes), Corri English (lead singer of Brokedown Cadillac), and a surprise celebrity moderator. This promises to be one of the most inspiring, laugh-filled, and entertaining panels you'll catch this year at Comic-Con! Don't let the late time slot deter you-this is the panel to see! Room 24ABC