Mind you, Comic-Con attendees also camp. But in this case, camping
takes on a whole new meaning. When one camps at the San Diego Convention
Center, the scenery doesn’t change. Sometimes for hours at a time.
You see, when you camp at Comic-Con, you’re stuck in the
great indoors. You sit in the very same seat in one of those cavernous meeting
rooms for most of the day. Just so you’ll then be guaranteed to actually see the panel / film
preview / celebrity that you traveled all the way to San Diego to experience.
And tomorrow … Well, I’d anticipate that a lot of animation
fans will be camped out in Room 6BCF. As this particular hall plays host to
panels that will preview some of the more highly anticipated animated films
& TV shows for 2009 and beyond.
First up – from 10:15 – 11:15 a.m. -- is the “Astro Boy”
panel. Director David Bowers and producer Maryann Garger will be on hand to talk
up this CG reboot of this manga favorite from the 1960s. Freddie Highmore and
Kristen Bell will also be there in the hall to talk about the characters that they’re
voicing in this Summit Entertainment release.
Copyright 2009 Summit Entertainment. All Rights Reserved
Then – from 12:45 – 1:45 p.m. – it’s Stan the Man who’ll be
entertaining the campers in Room 6BCF. Comic book legend Stan Lee will be
joined on stage by Natasha Henstridge as they promote Walt Disney Studios Home
Entertainment’s new digital motion comic series, “Time Jumper.”
Then – from 2 to 3 p.m. – the campers who are still in Room
6BCF will probably wish that they’d brought along a snack. For they’re sure to
grow hungry as Anna Faris, Bill Hader and Andy Samberg talk up Sony Pictures Animation’s
September 2009 release, “Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs.”
And then -- if you’ve camped out in Room 6BCF for this long …
Well, then you should probably consider
hanging in there ‘til 5:45 p.m. When “Ren & Stimpy” creator John Kricfalusi
(who’s a special guest at this Year’s Comic-Con) steps into the spotlight and
then looks back on his career in animation.
Looking ahead to Saturday now … The preferred camping spot
for animation fans on this day of the Con will most likely be Ballroom 20. Where
– from 11:15 a.m. to 1 p.m. --- Seth McFarlane will be holding court. As Seth
first talks up the new season of “Family
Guy” and then promotes that series’ spin-off, “The Cleveland Show.”
Right after McFarlane exits Ballroom 20, this part of the
San Diego Convention Center then becomes Matt Groening country. As first Billy
West, Katey Sagal, John DiMaggio and Maurice LaMarche take to the stage to talk
up “Futurama” (which just got a 26 episode pick-up from Comedy Central).
Copyright 2009 Matt Groening / 20th Century Fox. All Rights Reserved
The crew from Planet Express are expected to be on stage
from 1 -1:45 p.m. Then – from 1:45 – 2:30 p.m. – Groening himself waltzes
into Ballroom 20. Where Matt will then promote the 21st season of “The
Simpsons” by showing a few clips from “Treehouse of Terror XX.”
Of course, the downside of the Comic-Con camping phenomenon
is that – once a particular hall fills up early in the morning – it’s doubtful
that those who are left outside will be able to get a seat to any of the other
panels that will be presented in this venue. So if on Saturday, you find that
you’re not able to get into Ballroom 20, not to worry … Back in Room 6BCF, there’ll
be some panels on Saturday that will be sure to entertain animation fans.
Take – for example – from 11:15 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. – when
JHM’s own Floyd Norman will join Sergio Aragones and Scott Shaw! at that perennially
popular “Quick Draw” panel.
Then – from 12:30 – 2 p.m. -- 6BCF becomes a showcase for
some of animation’s top voice talents. As Bill Farmer, Chuck McCann and Laraine
Newman take part in a panel that will be hosted by Mark Evanier.
A word of caution, though. “”Quick Draw” really is one of
the more popular panels to be presented at Comic-Con. Attendees come back year
after year to see Sergio & Scott (and now Floyd) duke it out with their
lightning-fast drawing skills. Which is why it’s quite likely that Room 6BCF
will more than its share of campers this Saturday morning.
Copyright 2009 BearManor Media. All Rights Reserved
And so – if you find yourself blocked out of Ballroom 20as
well as Room 6BCF … Well, there’s always room 5AB. Where – from 2:30 – 3:30
p.m. – animation legend June Foray will be onstage with the ubiquitous Mr.
Evanier to talk about "Did You Grow Up With Me, Too? - The Autobiography of June Foray.”
As for me … It looks like I’ll be spending this Saturday lined
up outside of Room 7AB. You see, I’m determined to get a seat at Nickelodeon’s
2 -3 p.m. panel. Where the vocal cast of “The Penguins of Madagascar” (i.e. Tom
McGrath, John DiMaggio, Jeff Bennett and Danny Jacobs) will be doing a live reading
of a script for an upcoming episode.
And given how popular this Robert Schooley / Mark McCorkle show
is right now … Maybe the smart thing to do – in order to guarantee getting a seat in Room 7AB on Saturday afternoon –
is to camp out in that same hall on Friday night.
So look for me and my Coleman stove at the San Diego Convention
Center this coming weekend. I’ll be the guy who’s serving up S’Mores as I stand
there waiting in line.