News & Updates
July 19, 2020
While the global box office may be crippled right now, one movie that brought a dose of hope to South Korean theaters this past weekend was Yeon Sang-ho’s “Peninsula.” The sequel to 2016’s cult favorite “Train to Busan,” the post-apocalyptic thriller earned $13 million at the South Korean box office, according to Deadline’s figures. In Taiwan, a reported figure of at least $5 million was earned for “Peninsula,” with receipts in Malaysia, Singapore, and Vietnam. “Peninsula” also delivered IMAX a win this weekend, bringing global totals to $1 million for the first time since mid-March, which was the last time many moviegoers went to a theater. $750,000 of the IMAX totals came from “Peninsula.” Stateside, “Peninsula” is currently dated to open from Well GO USA on August 7.
The original “Train to Busan” netted $92 million at the global box office back in 2016, but continues to have a life on Netflix. The horror action movie depicted a “Snowpiercer”-esque train ride through a zombie apocalypse. Set four years after the events of “Train to Busan,” “Peninsula” stars Gang Dong-won as a soldier who managed to get out of zombie-infested South Korea, where the government has completely collapsed and turned the country into a slum. When he’s sent back to Korea to retrieve something valuable, his return is of course complicated by infected and non-infected people alike.
While “Train to Busan” had a Cannes premiere, that was not possible for “Peninsula,” which made its global debut this weekend. Yeon has cited such influences as “Mad Max: Fury Road,” “Land of the Dead,” and “Thunderdome” for the sequel. This time around, Yeon is also working on a bigger canvas, emboldened by the success of the original. “The scale of ‘Peninsula’ can’t compare to ‘Train to Busan,’ it makes it look like an independent film,” Yeon told Screen.
In “Train to Busan,” “The Age of Shadows” star Gong Yoo plays Seok-woo, a workaholic who’s distracted by his job in finance, and estranged from his kid daughter and wife, who lives in Busan. For her birthday, Seok-Woo agrees to take her to her mother in Busan via train from Seoul. But what was meant to be a simple father-daughter journey turns into the ride from hell, as a virus of unknown origin rapidly spreads on the train, transforming victims into zombies in swift and hideous ways.
Source: IndieWire film
July 19, 2020
Cinephiles with cash to burn can now own a piece of movie history by bidding on Rick Dalton (Leonardo DiCaprio) and Cliff Booth’s (Brad Pitt) cars from Quentin Tarantino’s “Once Upon a Time in Hollywood.” They’re going up for auction August 26 and 27 as part of a massive memorabilia event hosted by Prop Store. The auctioneer is based in London and Los Angeles, and you can register to bid virtually online.
DiCaprio’s yellow Cadillac Coupe de Ville currently has an estimate of $45,000 to $55,000, while Pitt’s less flashy Volkswagen Karmann Ghia is estimated between $20,000 and $30,000. The gorgeous pastel-colored caddy receives ample screen time in the film, with Dalton riding in the passenger seat as Booth graciously chauffeurs the movie star around town after losing his license for driving drunk. The adorable little Karmann Ghia is featured prominently as well in a beautiful night driving scene, as well as Booth’s flashy J-turn. Many other vintage cars appear in Tarantino’s ode to 1960s Los Angeles, including the MG TD, the classic British roadster that Sharon Tate (Margot Robbie) can be seen being escorted in.
The auction has plenty of other movie props, too, including John Candy’s Barf costume from “Spaceballs,” Rocky Balboa’s boxing gloves from “Rocky,” Michael Corleone’s Miami suit from “The Godfather,” Obi-Wan Kenobi’s dueling lightsaber hilt from the “Star Wars” films, Tom’s Cruise’s fighter pilot helmet from “Top Gun,” an Alfred Hitchcock movie camera from the making of “Vertigo,” one of Jennifer Lawrence’s costumes from “The Hunger Games,” a miniature model of the Nostromo from “Alien,” and more. The starship replica from “Alien” is reportedly the most expensive item, coming in between $300,000 and $500,000. That’s according to Variety.
All in all, the auction includes more than 850 items, ranging in price from $100 to $500,000. Prop Store began in 1998 when it was founded by collector and archivist Stephen Lane. The LA-based Chief Operating Officer Brandon Alinger is an expert in both the “Star Wars” and the “Indiana Jones” franchises, and has even traveled to Tunisia to visit the filming locations and retrieve pieces of the set left behind.
Head over to the Prop Store to learn more about the auction.
Source: IndieWire film
July 18, 2020
Before Ben Stiller made his feature directing debut with the iconic ’90s cult classic “Reality Bites,” he’d been circling a comedy script written by David Cross and Robert Cohen. It was called “The Towering Disaster,” and Stiller developed the story with Cross and Cohen after collaborating on the short-lived MTV sketch comedy series “The Ben Stiller Show,” co-created by Stiller and Judd Apatow. While “The Towering Disaster” has remained in the vault ever since, Stiller will be dusting it off next weekend, on July 25, for a star-studded live table read benefiting racial justice initiatives and COVID relief efforts. Live read cast member Bob Odenkirk announced the news on Twitter this week. See below.
“July 25 EXTRAVAGANZA…Holy S, this is the BIG ONE,” Odenirk wrote. “David Cross and Rob Cohen wrote this ridiculously hilarious script sometime right after ‘The Ben Stiller Show’ cracked up…I loved it then, can’t wait to read it now with SUPERSTARS all around!”
Ben Stiller, David Cross, and Bob Odenkirk will be joined by Michael Cera, Don Cheadle, John Ennis, Will Forte, Regina Hall, David Koechner, Jack McBrayer, Michael McKean, Sarah Silverman, Kristin Wiig, and Henry Winkler. Broadcasting live on Saturday, July 25 at 8 p.m. ET/PT on HouseSeats.live, the event goes for $12.50 a ticket, and proceeds will go to the Equal Justice Initiative and Direct Relief.
The movie is a riff on the 1970s wave of blockbuster disaster movies like “The Poseidon Adventure,” “The Towering Inferno,” and “Earthquake.” Stiller’s last film as a writer/director was 2016’s “Zoolander 2.” Recently, he said he wouldn’t cut a Donald Trump cameo from the original 2001 “Zoolander,” which he also directed, despite fan backlash calling for the short scene to be snipped.
Stiller discussed the controversy on a recent episode of The Daily Beast’s podcast “The New Abnormal,” saying, “I’ve had people reach out to me and say, you should edit Donald Trump out of ‘Zoolander.’” The controversy refers to a scene set at the VH1 Fashion Awards that includes Donald and Melania Trump as red-carpet interviewees discussing the greatness of self-obsessed male model Derek Zoolander. “But at the end of the day, that was a time when that exist[ed] and that happened.”
July 25 EXTRAVAGANZA…Holy S, this is the BIG ONE. David Cross and Rob Cohen wrote this ridiculously hilarious script sometime right after The Ben Stiller Show cracked up…I loved it then, can’t wait to read it now with SUPERSTARS all around! pic.twitter.com/iLMnEqDyNh
— Mr. Bob Odenkirk (@mrbobodenkirk) July 16, 2020
Source: IndieWire film
July 17, 2020
Source: Visual Storytelling
July 12, 2020
It’s mid-summer. Normally we’d be covering the openings of “The Forever Purge” and “Ghostbusters: Afterlife,” with “Minions: Rise of Gru” in its second weekend competing for #1. As usual, all franchise titles, likely all hits.
The master filmmaker’s first release in seven years, “Jacket” continued his fruitful exclusive relationship with Warner Bros. (similar to the studio’s ties with Clint Eastwood and Christopher Nolan). Atypically for the season and the studio, it started as a limited release on June 26, then expanded on July 10. 12 years later his posthumously released “Eyes Wide Shut” opened on July 16. It’s impossible imagining either going in summer or even being made.
Kubrick’s ability to make such esoteric films didn’t happen in a vacuum. It was related to his establishing himself as a lucrative source of both profit and prestige for studios. The final nine of his 13 features all scored domestic grosses of $90 million (adjusted) or better, and all but his first three made money despite usually carrying elevated expense based on the director’s rigorous production demands.
Here is how his films worked in the U.S./Canada, in order of their gross (all adjusted as are budgets to 2020 values — the numbers are inexact but close):
1. 2001: A Space Odyssey (1968/MGM) – Gross: $410 million; Budget: $88 million
Kubrick’s best known and most acclaimed film (#6 on the most recent Sight & Sound greatest films of all time critics’ survey) actually lost money on initial release, with its then-massive budget and polarized critical reaction (mixed to negative from Pauline Kael, Andrew Sarris, the New York Times, Variety, John Simon) limiting its initial appeal. This extended to awards, where it was ignored by critics’ groups and won only for Special Effects among its four Oscar nominations (snubbed for Best Picture).
But as perhaps along with “The Rocky Horror Picture Show” (gross almost entirely from midnight shows, over $100 million higher) the most sustained cult interest film ever, “2001” continued to add to its revenue in 1969, then reissues and consistent library have now made it also his biggest hit.
MGM placed this as a road show release. The strategy, mostly used for top musicals and historical epics (“The Sound of Music,” “Ben-Hur”) meant it played exclusively in big cities for months at elevated ticket prices and limited shows, with a slower release pattern continuing as it expanded. Most early dates were in 70mm and Cinerama, with the visual experience (quickly recommended to be viewed while high) a big draw.
Whatever its initial slow financial return, this built on Kubrick’s already major reputation and set him up for creative freedom with Warner Bros. starting with “A Clockwork Orange.”
2. Spartacus (1960/Universal) – Gross: $366 million; Budget: $105 million
Kubrick’s sole film for which he had no development role (he was brought in to direct a week into filming by producer/star Kirk Douglas) was the #1 domestic release for 1960 (though “Psycho” ultimately overtook it), and until 1970, its studio’s biggest hit. It followed in the wake of the massive “Ben-Hur,” and replicated its road show release. Though Kubrick disowned the film as not his vision, it remains, because of Douglas’ stirring portrayal, at the high end of the director’s still popular works.
3. The Shining (1980/Warner Bros.) – Gross: $153 million; Budget: $59 million
The fourth biggest film in its summer, this Stephen King adaptation owed its success more than most Kubrick hits to its star. Jack Nicholson’s bravura performance caught the public’s fancy as much as Kubrick’s distinctive design for the Overlook Hotel in this horror-genre film.
Made in search of a hit after his more lackluster “Barry Lyndon” results, it is no less cerebral than most of his films, but its distinctive scares appealed to a more general audience than most of his films.
Warners tread carefully with the unconventional film, opening limited in late May before expanding weeks later. It never was a #1 film, but consistently held well as audiences rather than critics responded well to it (among its negative reviews: Pauline Kael, Ebert and Siskel, The New York Times). 40 years later, it is likely the most widely known film of 1980 other than “The Empire Strikes Back.”
4. A Clockwork Orange (1971/Warner Bros.) – Gross: $140 million; Budget: $15 million
A massive hit compared to its cost, this initially X-rated dystopian nihilistic commentary on juvenile violence benefited from its year-end release (in New York and Los Angeles; other U.S. cities rolled out in January). It won best film from the New York Film Critics Circle (though Kael and others dissented) and became one of Kubrick’s three Best Picture nominees at the Oscars.
Warners for its initial Kubrick release exerted a careful strategic release with initial reserved performances (a variation on road shows without seat selection but limited show times). Though WB personnel changed, it set the tone at the company for treating his films as important as any they released. In this case, combined with its awards haul, it elevated what might have been just a sensationalized release into a genuine event.
5. Full Metal Jacket (1987/Warner Bros.) – Gross: $108 million; Budget: $70 million
The expense of recreating Vietnamese exteriors and an American base camp in England (where Kubrick made all of his films after “Spartacus”) cut into the profits of this. It benefited from strong foreign grosses and the best overall reviews ahead of its initial release than any of his films since “Dr. Strangelove.” And there was the usual appetite for a war film irrespective of its esoteric vision. It lacked any stars to draw, adding to all the other aspects that make it impossible to envision today.
Warners again was careful, opening in limited release at the end of June. It expanded on July 10 to under 1,000 theaters (fewer than any other top ten release that week), then held better than most other titles in the following weeks. It hasn’t sustained public interest as much as earlier titles.
6. Dr. Strangelove or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb (1964/Columbia) – Gross: $103 million; Budget: $15 million
Though not quite making it into the top ten for 1964, this was a major hit at the time before attaining legendary status among comedies. It overcame a major release date issue. Originally planned for December, 1963, President Kennedy’s death caused cold feet. Its acclaim the next year — including best film from the New York Film Critics and multiple Oscar nominations despite a January release (the same month the Beatles first broke out in the U.S.) suggest that had it kept its original date it might have overtaken “Tom Jones” to win the 1963 awards.
The response followed the pattern of art-house films, some of which like “La Dolce Vita” and other foreign smashes drove significant box-office by reaching an educated/upscale audience. Its humor represented the caustic, pointed attitude of current-event comedy styles then popular, from Nichols and May, Mort Sahl, Lenny Bruce, to Vaughn Meader. In any event, it remains timely and a classic after connecting from the start.
7. Lolita (1962/MGM) – Gross: $102 million; Budget: $18 million
Speaking of impossible to imagine easily today, even if there’s more innuendo here than explicitness, is “Lolita,” the content parameters of which were still dictated by the Production Code. Nakobov’s novel about a middle-aged professor’s obsession with a 14-year-old (two years older than the book) had been a bestseller after international bans. A daring project for a 33-year-old director on the rise.
With European films expanding boundaries, the climate was right for “Lolita.” It further elevated an already distinctive young director. Though it was well reviewed, it has not managed to remain among his best remembered films.
8. Eyes Wide Shut (1999/Warner Bros.) – Gross: $101 million; Budget: $118 million
Kubrick’s last film, 12 years after “Full Metal Jacket,” was his most driven by star-power, his most expensive, and the one after his initial low-budget films in the 1950s for which it was most challenging to make a profit. A much better foreign result looks to have gotten it there. (Ironically without adjusting any of the other titles for inflation, this is his top grossing film worldwide).
Of note‚ this was the only film in his entire career to initially receive a wide release. It opened mid-summer at #1, but fell quickly, only lasting three weeks in the Top Ten.
This was a Kubrick film in extremis — a 15-month shoot, most of it without a break, complete mystery about the plot other than the novel it was loosely based on, with a reliance on his name to draw interest as much as the Cruise/Kidman combination. But where “The Shining” felt like a normal extension of Jack Nicholson, the casting here didn’t have as much appeal. And times had changed. The peculiar worlds Kubrick created by 1999 were far removed from mass-audience film interest. By this point, reviews were critical and they were decidedly mixed and mostly unenthusiastic. But its reputation has continued to grow, and it has since gone on to top multiple “Best of the 1990s” film lists.
9. Barry Lyndon (1975/Warner Bros.) – Gross: $91 million; Budget: $55 million
Again, the international box office saved this expensive (though probably only a fraction of a typical blockbuster’s budget in today’s production world) Thackeray adaptation. Kubrick’s biggest Oscar winner (four awards, also nominated for Picture and Director). It opened limited in December to qualify, built on its nominations, and had it not been so costly would have felt more like a success.
Its reputation has soared — it was the second highest ranked Kubrick film in the 2012 Sight & Sound critics’ poll, and the same for directors, who placed it very high at #19 on their own list.
10. Paths of Glory (1957/United Artists) – Gross: (est.) $18 million; Budget: $8 million
Kubrick’s leap forward after three low-budget films came after the acclaimed, though not widely seen, “The Killing.” Kirk Douglas signed on as the lead in this World War I troop mutiny drama that still stands as one of the most acclaimed anti-war films ever. It didn’t reach the hoped-for audience or awards attention its year-end release desired, but was awarded prestige status both for its themes and a distinctive creativity that set Kubrick up the rest of his career.
11. The Killing (1956/United Artists) – Gross: (est.) $3 million; Budget: $3 million
Even before “Paths,” this was the film that got Kubrick needed attention. The film noir, co-written by Jim Thompson with Sterling Hayden, received most of its bookings on a double feature with the Western “Bandido” and lost money initially. But against the odds it got enough critical attention to attract the studio interest that led to “Paths.”
12. Killer’s Kiss (1955/United Artists) – Gross: (est.) $1 million; Budget: $750,000
This 67-minute New York-filmed story of a young boxer and his obsession with a sexy neighbor was bought by UA for a little over its cost. It was released mainly as a second feature to minor notice until Kubrick became better known.
13. Fear and Desire (1953/Joseph Burstyn) – Gross (est.) $500,000; Budget: $500,000
Wishing to move beyond his successful career as a photographer for Look Magazine and with two short films to his credit, Kubrick made this self-financed bare-bones unnamed war-set film with a cast and crew of only 15. It was acquired by the leading art-house distributor of the time, Joseph Burstyn. He promoted it as an exploitation release to little notice. The limited prints were mostly lost, Kubrick allegedly destroyed the negative, and it remained unseen until the 1990s when the by-then public domain film was located. When shown at Telluride and then Film Forum, Kubrick asked that people not see it.
That’s only 13 films for one of the most iconic careers any director has had. Not unusual today, but for the last half of the 20th Century that’s a very spartan output. But it was a career that at its essence existed because of box office success, which for the most part exceeded his critical acclaim case by case. And along with his distributors, Kubrick deserves attention for his producing and marketing instincts that were crucial to his work getting attention every step of the way.
Source: IndieWire film
July 12, 2020
Is there a future ahead for Netflix’s smash-hit action movie “The Old Guard”? Don’t rule it out, as the film is currently sitting at the top spot in the charts for the United States after just releasing on July 10. But that’s not the only factor working in the favor of a possible sequel. Directed by Gina Prince-Bythewood and written by Greg Rucka, “The Old Guard” is based on not one, but a trilogy of graphic novels written by Rucka, with artist Leandro Fernández. There’s also the fact that the protagonists, a team of mercenaries led by Charlize Theron and KiKi Layne, are immortal.
Director Prince-Bythewood has revealed to Entertainment Weekly that she and Rucka have plans for two more films in mind. “The graphic novel itself is a trilogy,” she said. “Where the story goes is pretty phenomenal, so if the audience is for it, I think we are as well.”
The film’s last moments certainly point to what could be in store for a possible next film, as Matthias Schoenaerts’ Booker, exiled and living in solitude after an act of betrayal, is approached by the former Old Guard member Quynh, played by Veronica Ngo.
About the final scene, Prince-Bythewood told Collider, “It was part of the graphic novel, and I always loved it because I felt there would have been a hole, if it didn’t end the way it did. There’s always a fear because you don’t want to annoy an audience. I know how I feel when things are left open, but for me, we told the story. It does have a beginning, middle, and end.”
She also said that the scene opens up to “a possibility of more, but that’s absolutely up to the audience. Greg has always envisioned this as a trilogy. I know where the story is going and it’s pretty dope. So, if the audience wants more, there’s certainly more story to tell.”
Whether or not she would be up for directing the sequel, Prince-Bythewood said, “It’s been two years, and just coming out of it now, I’m eager for a rest.”
It’s not unlike Netflix to greenlight a sequel to one of its hit movies. Earlier this year, the success of another mercenary thriller on the platform, “Extraction,” almost immediately put development on a followup installment into motion.
Source: IndieWire film
July 12, 2020
A new documentary centered on the history of nudity in the movies, beginning with the silent film era all the way through present day, “Skin” examines the changes of morality over time that encouraged, or prohibited, the use of nudity in movies. The film, directed by Danny Wolf, also emphasizes the political, sociological, and artistic changes that allowed nudity to happen, or not, in the first place. Check out the first trailer below for the film, which hits VOD from Quiver Distribution on August 18.
According to the official synopsis, “‘Skin’ delves into the gender bias concerning nudity in motion pictures and will follow the revolution that has pushed for gender equality in feature films today. A deep discussion of pre-code Hollywood and its amoral roots, the censorship that ‘cleaned up’ Hollywood and how the MPAA was formed leads into a discussion of how nudity changed cinematic culture through the decades.”
The many famous talking heads include Malcolm McDowell, Pam Grier, Shannon Elizabeth, Kevin Smith, Sean Young, Amy Heckerling, Traci Lords, Mariel Hemingway, and Bruce Davison, all of whom in one way or another have confronted censorship, or disrobed or asked someone to disrobe, throughout their careers. Also featured in the documentary is filmmaker Peter Bogdanovich. The director of “Paper Moon” and “The Last Picture Show” (provocative in 1971 for its shattering of sexual taboos onscreen) is recently back in the spotlight thanks to two podcasts, “The Plot Thickens” from Turner Classic Movies, and the new season of “You Must Remember This,” that reconsider his legacy and relationships with women behind the scenes.
“Skin” takes a look at early censorship in Hollywood, including the Hays Code that ruled moviemaking from 1934 to 1968, and the filmmakers and actors who defied it or bent the rules, such as Marilyn Monroe, one of the first actresses to prove that nudity wouldn’t necessarily destroy your career. The film culminates in a discussion of what are nude scenes like in the age of the #METOO movement, which has been instrumental in increasing the hiring of intimacy coordinators for sex scenes on sets.
Here’s the trailer for “Skin: A History of Nudity in Movies.”
Source: IndieWire film
July 11, 2020
Ben Stiller has revealed that, despite outcry from fans calling for a brief scene featuring the current United States President to be cut from the film, he won’t be editing Donald Trump out of his 2001 comedy “Zoolander.” Stiller discussed the controversy on a recent episode of The Daily Beast’s podcast “The New Abnormal.”
“I’ve had people reach out to me and say, you should edit Donald Trump out of ‘Zoolander,’” Stiller said, referring to a scene set at the VH1 Fashion Awards that includes Donald and Melania Trump as red-carpet interviewees discussing the greatness of self-obsessed male model Derek Zoolander. “But at the end of the day, that was a time when that exists and that happened,” said Stiller about requests to edit the film.
“Zoolander” isn’t Donald Trump’s only screen appearance. By this logic, his appearances would also require removal from films such as “Home Alone 2: Lost in New York,” “Two Weeks Notice,” “The Little Rascals,” and “Celebrity,” as well as the series “The Fresh Prince of Bel Air,” “Spin City,” “Sex and the City,” “Suddenly Susan,” “The Drew Carey Show,” “All My Children,” and “The Nanny.” There’s also the longtime reality series Trump executive-produced, “The Apprentice.”
“There were so many movies [back then] that had a silly cameo from Donald Trump,” Ben Stiller, who directed and starred in “Zoolander,” said. “He represented a certain thing.”
Regarding the scene (below), Stiller said, “We were shooting at the now defunct VH1 Fashion Awards… and as people were coming up the red carpet, we pulled them aside and asked them to talk about Derek Zoolander, and so Trump and Melania did that.”
Stiller followed up the film with a 2016 sequel, “Zoolander 2,” of which Donald Trump was famously not a fan.
In the podcast, Stiller also discussed his 2008 comedy “Tropic Thunder,” which is controversial for featuring a meta Robert Downey Jr. in blackface portraying a white, Australian movie star doing method acting in blackface. “’Tropic Thunder’ probably would not have been made [in 2020],” Stiller said. “It would be tone deaf right now to make it.”
Head over to The Daily Beast to listen to the full podcast.
Source: IndieWire film
July 11, 2020
Comic-Con is going virtual this year, and though the 2020 installment of the annual event isn’t taking place in the usual San Diego Convention Center, the upcoming Comic-Con@Home festival will still feature plenty of panels and high-profile exhibitors.
Event organizers have begun to announce the schedule for the upcoming virtual event, which will be free and open to the public. Check below for the Comic-Con schedule (all times are Pacific Standard):
Wednesday, July 22:
Comics in the Classroom Ask Me Anything: Pick the Brains of Teachers, Administrators, Creators, and Publishers: Panelists will discuss integrating comics into classrooms.
GeekED: Re-storied: Re-imagining creative privilege: A discussion about getting more diverse voices into entertainment and how the narrative landscape is evolving in schools, life performances, and digital experiences.
Teaching and Learning with Comics: Susan Kirtley (Portland State University), and Antero Garcia (Stanford University) will lead a panel on the practical activities and theory involved in teaching with comics.
The Power of Teamwork in Kids Comics: Gene Luen Yang (“Dragon Hoops”) is joined by Chad Sell (“Cardboard Kingdom”) and science comics team Jim Ottaviani & Maris Wicks (“Astronauts”) to talk about collaboration in children’s comics.
Books for All: It’s Time to Redefine How We Share Books With Kids: A panel on how teachers, librarians, creators, and parents can share impactful and diverse comics with kids of all ages.
Comics as a Conduit: A panel that will highlight comic books that tackle real world issues, be it environmental activism, civic engagement, physical and mental health awareness, and other topics.
GeekEd: “Watchmen” and the Cruelty of Masks: HBO’s “Watchmen” put forth the idea that “masks make one cruel”. On college campuses, many people, both students and non-students have taken up virtual masks to make statements and take actions that would not be acceptable if done in public. Educators will share their thoughts about the power of masks and how “Watchmen” and other comics show people a path towards heroism or villainy.
License to Thrill: Graphic Novel Adaptations for Kids: A discussion about adaptions of graphic novels.
Make Programming Your Superpower!: A discussion on how to create effective and engaging programs youth of different age groups.
Conspiracy Theories and Propaganda Throughout Pop Culture: A panel that will trace conspiracies and propaganda throughout comics, shows, and movies, and how they correlate to the current climate of increased conspiracy theories.
GeekEd: College and the Nerd Mind: Educators and mental health experts will share how they have applied their passion for fandom and the lessons they’ve learned from superheroes to develop new practices to students.
New Kids Comics from Eisner Award Publishers: Writers and artists will discuss their upcoming comic books.
Words and Pictures Working Together: Strategies for Analyzing Graphic Texts: A crash course in text analysis for graphic novels, including demonstrations on how to lead students in analyzing the elements of comics and the unique combination of art and text, share resources, and discuss challenges.
Comic-Con Celebrates 15 Years of Eisner Librarians: A panel where librarians who served on the Eisner Awards jury will discuss their experiences.
Comics on Campus: Fandom at Academia: This panel provides an inside look at new courses by the professionals and academics who are bringing geek culture to campuses nationwide
Spirit Skies: How to publish an International youth comic in the Age of Covid-19: A discussion on the the impact of the coronavirus on cross cultural artistic exchange and how people can publish their work during the ongoing pandemic.
Teaching Graphic Novels Online: A discussion on how graphic novels can inspire and enrich online classroom lessons for students grades 3 and up.
Thursday, July 23:
Art and the Holocaust: A sampling of artwork and propaganda done during World War II in the U.S. and Nazi Germany.
Body Talk: A discussion on showcasing diverse body types in visual storytelling.
Building a Geek Brand: Surviving a Pandemic: How to start a “geek” business during a pandemic.
Causeplay – In Service to Others: How cosplayers and prop builders serve their communities through their love of pop-culture.
Crunchyroll Industry Panel: Previews of upcoming Crunchyroll content.
Graphix: Get Drawn In: Meet the authors of some of the hottest upcoming graphic novels for kids.
How to Get News Coverage: Comic journalists discuss what they look for in submissions.
P.S. NPC: Storytelling in Video Game: What’s writing for video games really like?
Star Trek Universe Virtual Panel: A panel featuring casts and producers from “Star Trek: Discovery,” new animated series “Star Trek: Lower Decks” and “Star Trek: Picard.”
Transforming Together Time: Family Gaming and the Future of Play: This panel will share real-world examples behind some of the most beloved family gaming experiences and latest announcements.
Virtual Fandom: Superhero Fandom Adapts to the Pandemic: Superhero artists and actors discuss adapting to the pandemic.
X-Men Fandom Surprise Party: Influencers, podcasters, and cosplayers experience the surprise of their lives with drop in visits by surprise celebrity guests from the “X-Men” universe.
11 a.m. – 12 p.m.
Alien Superstar with Henry Winkler & Lin Oliver: Hollywood legend Henry Winkler and children’s book veteran Lin Oliver discuss their New York Times bestselling book “Alien Superstar” and its forthcoming sequel, “Lights, Camera, Danger: Alien Superstar 2.”
Batgirls!: A discussion on the different versions of Batgirl.
Cartoon Network Studios: The Art of Storyboarding: Hear from artists behind some of Cartoon Network Studios’ hit series as they share their journeys, learnings and top tips for aspiring storyboard artists worldwide.
Hollyweird Science: Creativity, Correctness, and Collaboration: Panelists of scientists and Hollywood creatives explore the thought processes, motivations, and inspirations that drive their own careers.
James Bond – 007 in Comics!: A deep dive on Ian Fleming’s James Bond in comics past, present, and future.
Mega Construx Unveils New Halo Toy Line: MegaConstrux toy designer Mia Muscroft gives an inside look at the all-new line of Halo construction toys.
Shannon Messenger Keeper of The Lost Cities Spotlight Panel: Shannon Messenger will appear in conversation with J.C. Cervantes from their personal writing spaces to discuss this magical, blockbuster series that follows Sophie, a girl with incredible abilities.
Solar Opposites: A panel on the Hulu animated series.
The Art of Collaboration: Duos Behind Top TV Shows: Film, television, video game and esports experts talk about the process and importance of collaboration in popular projects.
Web Comics: Saving the Entertainment Industy, Four Panels at a Time: A discussion on the ongoing pandemic, Black Lives Matter, and how the rest of 2020 have affected professionals’ work.
75th Anniversary of Moomin appreciation: An appreciation of Tove Jansson’s work.
All the Starfleet Ladies: Then and Now: An examination of the ladies of “Star Trek” from its inception to the present.
Amazon Prime Video: Truth Seekers: Prime Video’s “Truth Seekers” panel will feature Simon Pegg, Nick Frost, James Serafinowicz, and Nat Saunders. The 8-episode series centers on a team of part-time paranormal investigators who team up to uncover and film ghost sightings across the United Kingdom.
Cartoon Network Studios First Look: Exclusive clips from upcoming Cartoon Network shows.
Duncanville: Executive producers Mike & Julie Scully, executive producer and star, Amy Poehler, along with stars Ty Burrell, Riki Lindhome, Joy Osmanski, Yassir Lester, Betsy Sodaro, and guest stars Rashida Jones and Wiz Khalifa discuss their favorite moments from the season.
From Script to Screen: Behind-The-Scenes of Your Favorite Film & TV Shows: Entertainment creatives discuss on how they bring your favorite film and television projects from script to screen.
Legion M: How We’re Opening the Gates to Hollywood: Learn more about Legion M’s upcoming films.
Mattel & WWE Elite Squad Fan Panel: The superstars of WWE and the Mattel action figure design team reveal the most exciting, authentic, upcoming WWE figure releases.
Oddball Comics Not-So-Live!: Scott Shaw will present his digital slideshow of “the craziest comic book covers ever published!”
Paperfilms’ Jimmy Palmiotti and Amanda Conner: A discussion on reinventing DC Comics’ Harley Quinn for a new generation of fans.
A Look Inside “Marvel’s 616” on Disney+: “Marvel’s 616” explores how Marvel’s rich legacy of stories, characters and creators exist within the “world outside your window.” Each documentary, helmed by a unique filmmaker, explores the intersections of storytelling, pop culture and fandom within the Marvel Universe.
Amazon Prime Video: Utopia: Prime Video’s “Utopia” panel will feature John Cusack, Gillian Flynn, Rainn Wilson, Sasha Lane, Ashleigh LaThrop, Dan Byrd, Desmin Borges, Javon Walton, and Jessica Rothe. The 8-episode thriller centers on a group of young comic fans who discover that a conspiracy in a graphic novel is real and team up to save the world.
Comics Satire and The New Political Cartoon: Cartoonists discuss their approaches to making relevant, critical comics in a time where there’s no shortage of political and social satires.
His Dark Materials Virtual Panel and Q&A Session: Talent from the HBO/BBC show discuss the hit drama series.
How Every Epic Fantasy Can Be . . . Epically Different: A discussion on literary fantasy, which provides a multiverse of fictional prisms, imagined against mythic elements, world folklore, and reimaginings of actual history.
Insider Art: A Compendium of Comics, Crafts & Cats for All Ages: A discussion on how to raise funds for female and non-binary comic book retailers who faced financial hardships under quarantine.
Legendary Comics 2.0: Sci-Fi, YA, Romance, and More!: The Legendary Comics team chat to find out who they are and what they publish.
So you want to make an Action Figure, a Conversation with today’s Indie Toy Makers: How crowdfunded toys are a possibility for indie creators.
Terry Moore Is Still Drawing Comics: Terry Moore discusses his work and what’s next, plus offers thoughtful answers to questions.
The Future of Entertainment: How emerging technologies will shape everything, from Hollywood to the educational experience.
The Women Behind Mythic Quest: Raven’s Banquet – Collaboration Across Gaming & Television to Create A Successful Crossover: A discussion featuring women who are leaders in their respective fields in historically male-dominated industries and their advice for the next generation.
This is Not the Apocalypse You’re Looking For: Real Life Disasters, Fictional Recovery: A discussion about how disaster events and emergency management are often handled in pop-fiction and in the real world.
Wonder Women: Superstars of Paranormal: The Women of Paranormal unite in this powerful panel, presented by Travel Channel.
Amazon Prime Video: Upload: Prime Video’s “Upload” panel will feature Greg Daniels, Robbie Amell, Andy Allo, Kevin Bigley, Allegra Edwards, and Zainab Johnson. The panelists will discuss what fans can expect in Season 2 of the comedy.
Artist Bootcamp by DeviantArt: DeviantArt artists discuss tips on improving one’s art.
Collider: Directors on Directing: A panel featuring Robert Rodriguez (“Alita: Battle Angel”), Colin Trevorrow (“Jurassic World: Dominion”), and Joseph Kosinski (“Top Gun: Maverick”).
Draw Along With Dark Horse: A panel featuring Gabriel Bá (“The Umbrella Academy”), Naomi Franquiz (“Tales From Harrow County: Death’s Choir”), Tyler Cook (“Colonel Weird: Cosmagog”), and Mike Deodato (“Berserker Unbound”).
Horizon Zero Dawn Comes To Comics: A discussion on the PlayStation 4 “Horizon Zero Dawn” game being adapted into a comic.
How to Build a Girl Squad: How to build a cast that featured more than just a token female character.
IDW: G.I. Joe: Snake Eyes with Rob Liefeld: A first look at Rob Liefeld’s take on G.I. Joe.
Music for Animation: Find out what it takes to create the sonic worlds of popular animated shows.
Shaenon Garrity in Conversation with Andrew Farago: A panel featuring Shaenon K. Garrity and Andrew Faraggo.
Shaman King: Then, Now & Tomorrow: Kodansha Comics experts Misaki Kido, Ben Applegate, and Ivan Salazar offer an in-depth look at Hiroyuki Takei’s supernatural battle manga masterpiece, past, present, and future
SYFY: The Roast of Todd McFarlane: Todd McFarlane is going to get roasted.
The Adventure Zone: Petals to the Metal Graphic Novel: Learn more about the graphic novel.
The Brave New World of TwoMorrows: How the pandemic is changing the way TwoMorrows Publishing produces its books and magazines, its current challenges, and updates on release schedules and new projects.
The Boys Season 2: Prime Video’s “The Boys” panel will feature Eric Kripke, Karl Urban, Jack Quaid, Antony Starr, Erin Moriarty, Jessie T. Usher, Laz Alonso, Chace Crawford, Tomer Capon, Karen Fukuhara, and Aya Cash. The superhero show is returning for a sophomore season later in the year.
Afro-Futurism and Black Religion: Connecting Imaginations: A conversation on the connections between Afrofuturism and Black Religion and the way in which comics, graphic novels, and animation are capturing the rich dynamic that spawns new ways in which popular culture is being impacted by these forces.
Artist as Brand, Rise of the Artist Entrepreneur: A panel discussion on art career sustainability.
Brandon Sanderson Spotlight: New York Times bestselling author Brandon Sanderson returns with the newest book in his Stormlight Archive series, Rhythm of War, coming in November from Tor Book.
Dubbing American into Latin American – A Chat with Dub Actors: Meet some of Mexico’s biggest dubbing stars.
HBO Max and Cartoon Network Studios: Close Enough: JG Quintel, creator of the Emmy Award-winning “Regular Show” discusses his new show HBO Max series “Close Enough” with a panel and table read.
Humanoids Legacy: Famed creators Mark Waid, Brian Michael Bendis, Mark Russell, and Tula Lotay talk with Humanoids CEO Fabrice Giger about the influence “Humanoids” has had on the comic book and film world for the last four decades.
NBC’s Superstore: The cast and showrunners of “Superstore” come together for a fun-filled hour stocked with their favorite shared moments over the past five years.
Prototype and Game Pitches: Publishing Your Tabletop Game: Learn from tabletop game industry professionals as they share tips and experience on how to publish your tabletop game.
Soundtracks to Fandom: Z2 Comics and the Graphic Album: A panel featuring Dave Chisholm (“Chasin’ the Bird: Charlie Parker in Los Angeles”), Chris Miskiewicz and Noah Van Sciver (“Grateful Dead: Origins”), Leah Moore (“Morrison Hotel”), and musician Yungblud, rock legend Robby Krieger of The Doors, and Grateful Dead archivist David Lemieux, with a special appearance by 2D of the Gorillaz.
The Science of Back to the Future: The creative team behind “Back to the Future,” “Transformers,” and the new crossover will share how they dream up their fantastic stories and discuss with local scientists if and how the science in their stories might work.
Action Figure Insider – 15 years of Talking About Toys: A panel featuring Randy Falk (VP & general manager of product development at NECA), Jim Fletcher (creative director at DC Direct, DC Entertainment), Brian Flynn (owner and principal of Super7), Jeremy Padawer (partner at Jazwares, LLC), and Andrew Perlmutter (president of Funko).
ASC: Sketch-to-Screen: VR/AR/Gaming & Beyond: Aaron Sims and his Aaron Sims Creative artist team reveal the secrets behind their character and world-building concept designs, previsualizations, and visual effects for some of the most iconic film and television franchises of our generation.
Bugs Bunny’s 80th Anniversary Extravaganza: Take a trip through eight decades of laughs and carrots when Warner Bros. Home Entertainment presents an all-encompassing look at one of the world’s most beloved and recognizable stars.
Graphic Novel or Illustrated Book: You Make the Call: A discussion on what constitutes a graphic novel.
Inside the Voice Actors Studio – Home Edition: Inside the Voice Actors Studio will give an inside look at what it really takes to become a voice actor in this day and age, with a focus on the new challenges facing the profession as a whole.
Manga Publishing Industry Roundtable: What are the factors contributing to manga’s resiliency, and what are its prospects for the future? Get a taste of what’s hot, what’s not, and what’s next from the perspective of top publishing pros.
MARVEL HQ: The destination for all young Marvel fans (and their families). Check out everything Marvel HQ has to offer about popular superheroes, with a comics read-along, an epic LEGO battle, and a behind-the-scenes look at the animated series, Marvel’s “Spider-Man: Maximum Venom.”
Teaching and Making Comics: A panel featuring Ebony Flowers (“Hot Comb”), Roman Muradov (“Vanishing Act”), Trina Robbins (“Flapper Girls”), Sophie Yanow (“The Contradictions”), and James Sturm (“Off Season”).
The Blacklist Draws on Animation to Complete Season 7 Amid Covid: NBC’s “The Blacklist” series creator/executive producer Jon Bokenkamp, executive producer John Eisendrath, series stars Diego Klattenhoff (Donald Ressler), and Harry Lennix (Harold Cooper), will be joined by Proof, Inc’s visualization supervisors Adam Coglan and Matt Perrin to discuss how they stepped up to the challenge of completing the season with partial animation after production was shut down due to the pandemic.
The Rise and Rise of the Australian Comic and Toy Collectibles Market: Neville Howard (comics and reprints), Ben Gee (toys and collectibles), and Mike Speakman (retro games and indie comics) explore the world of Australian collecting trends, whether it’s Australian price variants, reprints, or print errors of sourcing those pesky grails from the United States.
Twenty Years of Harry Dresden: Celebrate 20 years of “The Dresden Files” with Jim Butcher.
Breaking Into Comics and Staying In!: Comics Experience founder Andy Schmidt (Marvel, IDW), Comics Experience creators workshop director Bon Alimagno (Marvel), and artist Sanford Greene (“Bitter Root”) present an invaluable guide to breaking into the industry.
Go Fish!, Ultraduck and Miskatonic: Arcanamation Nation: A panel featuring previews of “Go Fish!” and “Miskatonic.”
LGBTQ Characters on Television – What’s Next?: A panel featuring Jamie Chung, Jamie Clayton, Wilson Cruz, Tatiana Maslany, Anthoyn Rapp, J. August Richards, Harry Shum, Jr., and Brian Michael Smith.
Nerd Up or Shut Up Live: A live show of Nerd Up or Shut Up, the podcast where the only wrong opinion is yours.
Orbit’s New Voices in SF&F: Get to know seven exciting new voices in science fiction and fantasy, whose debut novels are being published by Orbit in 2020 and early 2021: K.S. Villoso, Luke Arnold, Constance Sayers, Devin Madson, Andrea Stewart, Essa Hansen, and M.A. Carrick.
The Science of Star Trek: Three Generations of Advice: A panel featuring Larry Nemecek, Naren Shankar, , André Bormanis, and Erin Macdonald.
The State of the Industry: Animation Superstars: ASIFA-Hollywood and some of the brightest talents in animation will assemble for a lively discussion about the inner workings of the animation biz
Van Helsing Season 4 – Comic-Con@Home Panel Discussion: A panel featuring the cast of “Van Helsing.”
Image Comics Spotlight: Get the exclusive scoop on an exciting new project by a best-selling powerhouse creative team returning to Image for an all-new series.
23rd Annual San Diego Comic Con Superhero Kung Fu Extravaganza: A panel featuring Ric Meyers, Frank Djeng, Eric Jacobus, Chris Mancini, Jan Lucanus, Peter Pham, and Scott Adkins.
Dispatches from Middle-earth: What’s new for Tolkien fans: TheOneRing.net (TORn) staffers Clifford Broadway (host of TORn Tuesday), Nicole Roberts (TORn outreach coordinator), Abie Ekenezar (filmmaker), and special guest John Garth (Tolkien biographer) talk about the new book from Garth referencing real world places that inspired Tolkien’s Middle-earth.
Heavy Metal: Forging The Future of Genre: Heavy Metal CEO Matthew Medney is joined by partner, publisher, and chief creative overlord David Erwin the future of storytelling that no else dares to publish.
How To Thrive as an Indy Comics Creator Now!: Brian Pulido details his eight rules on how to thrive in the ever-changing landscape of indie comics.
How To Write And Create Manga: A panel featuring Barbra Dillon, Frederick Luis Aldama, Theresa Rojas, Peter Murrieta, and Sebastian Kadlecik.
Mystery Science Theater 3000: A Panel Panorama: A Q&A with Joel Hodgson, Bill Corbett, and J. Elvis Weinstein.
Shudder: ‘Horror is Queer’: A panel on how horror cinema is queer cinema, featuring Same Wineman, Nay Bever, Bryan Fuller, Don Mancini, and Lachlan Watson.
The League of Extraordinary Scientists and Engineers: More Science in Your Fiction: A discussion on how comics and science fiction push scientists and engineers to rocket past what we know is possible at any given moment and into an otherwise unimaginable future
The Most Dangerous Women at Comic-Con: Building a Better Heroine: A discussion on everyone’s favorite female/nonbinary characters of the past decade, and what people can learn from them.
Friday, July 24:
“Crazy” Talk: Mental Health, Pop Culture, and the Pandemic: A discussion on how pop culture fandom communities can help stave off social isolation and despair during the ongoing pandemic.
Charlize Theron: Evolution of a Badass – An Action Hero Career Retrospective: Actress and producer Charlize Theron reflects on portraying over two decades of action heroes.
Cosplay – the Spice of Life!!!: Catherine M. Fisher, Bob Mogg, Loki Sanlok, and Dan Moyer discuss getting started in the world of cosplaying.
HBO Max: The Cartoon Network Studios Collection: A panel featuring talents from “Tig n’ Seek,” “The Fungies,” and “Summer Camp Island.”
Howard Cruse: The Godfather of Queer Comics: A panel discussing the life and work of Howard Cruse.
Last Gasp: 50 Years of Publishing the Underground Part I The comics, moderated by Jon Cooke and mainly focused on the period 1970-1995: A discussion on the early history of publisher Last Gasp, from its founding in 1970 and through the rise of the underground comix movement.
Lights, Camera, LGBTQI-dentity! Never Alone: If you’re isolated and away from your usual support systems, connect with “Ru Paul’s Drag Race” contestants Pandora Boxx, Jackie Cox, and Silky Nutmeg Ganache, who will bolster your identity with their hard-won stories of resilience.
Pixel Stories – Reimagining Video Game Narrative: Meet the industry’s most innovative writers working on today’s fan-favorite video games. Panelists will include Aaron Contreras, Clay Murphy, Amelia Gray, Jennie Kong, and moderator John Wie.
Reclaiming Indigenous History and Culture Through Comics: Johnny Bear Conteras, Kilma Lattin, and Chag Lowry discuss their projects to reclaim indigenous history and culture.
The Mandalorian and His Many Gadgets: A discussion on the science behind the various tools Mando uses to secure his bounties in the popular Disney+ show.
DC@Home Day One: An inside scoop on what’s in store for Batman, Superman, Wonder Woman and other DC heroes and villains
11 a.m. – 12 p.m.
Blade Runner Comic Panel: Mike Johnson, Jeff Connor, and David Leach discuss adapting the world of “Blade Runner 2019” into a comic.
Decoding the Kirby/Lee Dynamic: Biographers Danny Fingeroth and Abraham Riesman join historians Fred Van Lente and Crystal Skillman to discuss the contentious relationship between Jack Kirby and Stan Lee.
Entertainment is Female: a Conversation with Hollywood Executives: Jeannette Francis, Mette Norkjaer, Grey Cusack, Aubrey Lee, Nikki Baida, and Sam Crawley discuss their pushes for female representation in Hollywood.
HBO Max and Cartoon Network Studios: Adventure Time: Distant Lands: Adam Muto, Glory Curda, Olivia Olson, and Niki Yang discuss the new “Adventure Time” specials.
Hot Wheels: Designing Fans’ Exclusives: A behind-the-scenes look at the 2020 Mattel Creations Hot Wheels.
Make Your Own Felted Friends!: Families can learn how to make their own “felted friends” (puppets) with crafts already around the house.
Marvel Comics: Next Big Thing: Marvel editor-in-chief C.B. Cebulski breaks down all the latest and greatest coming from the House of Ideas with some of Marvel’s most epic creators.
Raina and Robin in Conversation: Raina Telgemeier and Robin Ha discuss the art of creating graphic novel memoir, draw on camera, and take questions from their fans.
Star Wars Audiobooks: Doctor Aphra: Get the inside scoop on the newest Star Wars Audiobook Original, “Doctor Aphra,” from inception to the finished product performed by a full cast.
Think Big!: Harley Salbacka, rep at Humanoids, discusses the role young-reader graphic novels play in education and libraries along with graphic novel librarian Tina Lorena.
TragiComics: A discussion on using humor to process and respond to the difficulties and oddities of life.
Vikings: Celebrating 6 Seasons of The Series: Michael Hirst, Travis Fimmel, Katheryn Winnick, Alex Ludwig, Clive Standen, and Jordan Patrick Smith will discuss their favorite moments from the past six and a half seasons, favorite fan interactions, and what makes “Vikings” so extraordinary.
AMC’s Fear the Walking Dead: “Fear the Walking Dead” will present a panel for the series’ upcoming sixth season, premiering later this year.
Collider: Quibi’s Don’t Look Deeper Panel: Don Cheadle, Emily Mortimer, Helena Howard, director Catherine Hardwicke, and co-creator Jeffrey Lieber discuss bringing the sci-fi thriller “Don’t Look Deeper” to life for Quibi.
Exclusive Behind-the-Scenes with Undiscovered Country: Scott Snyder, Charles Soule, and Giuseppe Camuncoli reveal the secrets behind the Eisner Award-nominated, chart-topping series out from Image Comics, “Undiscovered Country.”
HBO Max and Cartoon Network Studios: Infinity Train: The mysterious and compelling fan-favorite series from Cartoon Network Studios and HBO MAX pulls in for a triumphant return to Comic-Con this year.
History Goes Graphic: Authors behind graphic adaptations of cultural pasttimes, historical figures, social justice movements, and autobiographies discuss their process.
Lucasfilm Publishing: Stories From a Galaxy Far, Far Away: Some of the biggest and best Star Wars authors talk about some of their exciting new projects set in a galaxy far, far away.
The Undiscovered Art of Jack Kirby: Architect: Barry Ira Geller, Mike Royer, Tom Kraft, and Wally Anne Marie Wharton will discuss the discovery of the secret visual language inherent within all the “Lord of Light” architectural work created by Jack Kirby.
TOKYOPOP: Manga for Everyone: A discussion on TOKYOPOP’s latest manga lineup with titles for kids, teens, adults and ongoing initiatives to highlight LGBTQ+ stories and titles by women and people of color.
Zombies and Coronavirus: Planning for the Next Big Outbreak: A discussion on what we’ve learned from our recent pandemic challenges and how we could deak with the next unknown (such as a zombie apocalypse).
Thought Bubble & Comic-Con@Home: Tula Lotay in Conversation: Laura Jones will interview Lisa Wood on how the latter got started in the industry.
AMC’s The Walking Dead: “The Walking Dead” will make its 11th San Diego Comic-Con appearance with a panel spotlighting “A Certain Doom, ” which will air as a standalone episode later this year.
From Idea to Hired: Books, TV, Film, and Comics: Agents, managers, and book editors come together to answer questions about how to take your writing career from the blank page to sold.
Harryhausen100: Into the Ray Harryhausen Archive: 2020 marks what would have been legendary animator Ray Harryhausen’s 100th birthday. To mark this occasion, the Ray and Diana Harryhausen Foundation present an exclusive look into the incredible collection which was gathered over a lifetime of creativity.
IDW: Draw a Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle!: Franchise co-creator Kevin Eastman, writer and artist Sophie Cambell, and Chad Thomas will discuss how to draw the titular protagonists.
LMGI – Hollywood Location Scouts: A panel featuring Jen Farris, Jeff Hunter, James Lin, Emma Pill, and Asha Sharma.
Make Mine Marvel: Bringing Back Marvel Classics for Today’s Readers: A panel on the legacy of classic Marvel Comics, and how new books for readers of all ages are bringing classic comic art, characters, and storylines to a new generation.
Mattel Creations: Designing Pop Culture: Mattel president Richard Dickson and chief design officer Chris Down discuss the process for desining toys for pop culture fans.
Water, Earth, Fire, Air: Continuing the Avatar Legacy: A discussion on the future of Nickolodeon’s beloved series.
[adult swim] YOLO: Crystal Fantasy: Travel to Wollongong, Australia with the cast and crew of Adult Swim’s newest animated comedy “YOLO: Crystal Fantasy.”
AMC’s The Walking Dead: World Beyond: “The Walking Dead: World Beyond” makes its Comic-Con International debut as the third series in The Walking Dead Universe.
Entertainment Weekly: Brave Warriors: A conversation with Joseph Morgan, Aasif Mandvi, Jocko Sims, Henry Ian Cusick, and Michael Mando on the thrill of playing iconic characters.
GirlsDrawinGirls: Industry Professional Women Artists in Quarantine: Balancing work, art, homeschooling, and life: GirlsDrawinGirls founder Melody Severns, “The Simpsons” director Debbie Bruce Mahan, Disney Television Animation artist Sherry DeLorme, and other industry professional women artists address working from home during a pandemic.
I Am Not Okay with This – From the Page to the Screen!: A discussion on the evolution of Netflix’s “I Am Not Okay With This.”
Real Weird Science Alive and At Home!: Dissect the real science in famous Weird “Science” comics from the 50’s and learn about the gruesome real life habits of bugs featured in the comics.
The Psychology of Star Trek vs. Star Wars: Back by popular demand, the Trek vs Wars discussion returns to Comic-Con in Episode VI, with examinations of Discovery, Picard, and, of course, Rise of Skywalker.
UnMasked: Rhapsody PR’s Behind-the-Music panel: Sean Callery, Jeff Russo, Maggie Phillips, Torin Borrowdale, Amanda Jones, and Nathaniel Blume reveal the secrets behind creating music for TV’s most groundbreaking and thrilling programs.
Your Secret Weapon: How Friendship Saves the Day: Our favorite heroes and heroines can always count on their best friends. No matter how powerful their foes might be, friendship always saves the day. Join this panel of talented authors as they discuss the importance of crafting these invincible relationship and the challenges that test them.
[adult swim] 12oz Mouse: It’s cast & crew of lo-fi favorite Adult Swim show “12oz Mouse.”
First Look at Hulu’s Helstrom: “Helstrom” showrunner Paul Zbyszewski and stars Tom Austen, Sydney Lemmon, Elizabeth Marvel, Robert Wisdom, Ariana Guerra, June Carryl, and Alain Uy discuss the upcoming series.
Galaxy Grrls, or the Female and Non-Binary Authors who Bridge the new Frontier of Space Fiction: This panel is focused on the legacy of female and non-binary writers who came before, and the trailblazing of modern authors who are redefining sex, gender, and society against the tapestry of the stars.
Get It On the Table: Designing Your Tabletop Game: Come hear advice from veterans in the tabletop industry on how to design games, game design theory, where game design is headed, and what kinds of games people are making.
HBO MAX: Adult Animation Panel: Show creators of “Robot Chicken,” “Samurai Jack,” “Primal,” “Black Dynamite,” “Lazor Wulf,” and “Final Space” share their favorite San Diego Comic-Con memories.
Hermes Press and Gothic Comics in America: A panel on upcoming comics from Kaz Windness, Bill Holbrook, H.H. Glynn, and Molly Mercier.
Latin American Horror Cinema 2: Sometimes They Come Back: Latin America’s hottest horror directors to discuss how they can bring a new brand of fear to the USA screens.
Observational Drawing by Controlling Angles: Wei Xu will discuss how to construct shapes by controlling angles instead of distances. This observational drawing process takes advantage of geometry principles and computer graphics techniques to dramatically reduce drawing complexity.
Peacock Original Series: The Capture: With the emergence of video surveillance and facial recognition, “The Capture” unveils a troubling world of fake news and the extraordinary power of intelligence services. To celebrate the premiere, the cast and creators will come together to discuss what could happen when seeing is deceiving and technological capabilities are abused.
Reimagining Mandrake The Magician with Erica Schultz: Erica Schultz and Tea Fougner offer a sneek peek at “Legacy of Mandrake the Magician.”
The Annual Jack Kirby Tribute Panel: Every year, former Kirby assistant Mark Evanier hosts a gathering of fans of the man some call “The King of the Comics” and his vast, persistent impact on not only comic books but related fields, as well.
The Vortex opens AGAIN- Vortex 2.0 launches Storm King Comics: Storm King Comics’ “John Carpenter’s Tales of Science Fiction: Vortex 2:0” is the sequel to the original storyline and this panel lets you hear in-depth from the entire creative team as to the process of launching this new series.
Zoom into Xadia: The Dragon Prince: The creators and voice actors of “The Dragon Prince” celebrate the saga so far, perform some behind-the-scenes skits, give a sneak peek of upcoming books, and answer fans’ burning questions submitted via social media.
Bob’s Burgers: The Emmy Award-winning animated FOX series “Bob’s Burgers” invites fans into their homes for a virtual panel with all of the laughs and surprises they generally bring to the Indigo Ballroom.
Comic-Con: Robert Kirkman at Home: Robert Kirkman shares his latest projects and answers questions.
Crossing Swords: From the producers of “Robot Chicken,” “Crossing Swords” centers on good-hearted hero wannabe Patrick who lands his dream job as a squire, only to learn the royal castle is a corrupt hornet’s nest of horny monarchs, crooks and charlatans.
Fantasy & Sci-Fi Authors: Peter Clines, Fonda Lee, and Kiersten White will answer questions about writing fantasy and science fiction novels.
How to Make a Comic From Start to Finish: Brian Haberlin will take you through the process using his Image Comics creations as examples and will touch on the whole process from soup to nuts.
Legendary Spawn Creator Todd McFarlane Talks Toys, Comics, and More!: Jim Viscardi and Todd McFarlane talk about geekdom topics and give a sneak peek at future products.
Remote Real-Time: The Age of Virtual Production: Meet the pioneering team from Halon Entertainment as their executive and creatives discuss virtual production, the impact of COVID-19, and the challenges of transitioning to a completely remote workforce, as well as how Hollywood can proceed with production during the pandemic utilizing real-time workflows.
Sinless, Fearless, Ruthless – A look at science and social science in a YA sci-fi book: Imagine a world where your looks depend on “being good” and adhering to social norms and morality. That is the premise of Sarah Tarkoff’s new young adult book series “Eye of the Beholder.” The book’s young heroine is part of a future where all countries in the world are governed by a new religion. A future where not following the doctrine and the morality of the religion has physical implications.
The Nacelle Company: Pop-Culture Under Quarantine: Brian Volk-Weiss, Richard Mayerik, Victoria Bennett, David Vonner, and Robin Henry discuss creating new content during the pandemic.
Vampirella 50th Anniversary Finale: Dynamite joins current “Vampirella” writers and artists Christopher Priest, Tom Sniegoski, Lucio Parrillo, Meghan Hetrick, and editor Matt Idelson to discuss the appeal of the character, current storylines, and tease the future.
VIZ: A Haunting Conversation with Junji Ito: A discussion with horror manga veteran Juni Ito.
Archer @Home: “Archer,” FXX’s award-winning animated comedy, returns for its 11th season later this year and follows Sterling Archer and his return to the spy world after a three-year coma.
Deep Blue Sea 3: The Panel!: A panel on the upcoming feature film.
IDW: The Mueller Report in 10-minutes: Cartoonist Shannon Wheeler and journalist Steve Duin take you through the ins and outs of “The Mueller Report.”
No Strange Bedfellows: The Relationship Between Pro Wrestling and Comics: From the heroics of Hulk Hogan to the anti-heroics of “Stone Cold” Steve Austin and the villainy of Ric Flair, this panel explores the parallels in character development and storyline advancement between these outrageous forms.
Read Manga and Learn Classics Literature!: Want to get kids reading classic literature while they are not in the mood for books with thousands of words? Manga can help you. Join Manga Classics co-founder Erik Ko and English literature teacher Mike Barltrop to learn how to use Manga in learning.
The Living Dead: Celebrating the Legacy of George Romero: George A. Romero invented the modern zombie with “Night of the Living Dead,” creating a monster that has become a key part of pop culture.
Unboxing Pandora: Season Two On The CW This Fall: The cast and crew of The CW’s hit sci-fi series previews the show’s exciting second season debuting this fall.
Building Your Own Themyscira: Connecting With Other Geeky Bosses: A round table discussion about best practices for networking and the importance of finding your community.
Hip-Hop And Comics: Cultures Combining: A discussion on the cross-generational impacts of these cultural crossovers.
SYFY: TZGZ’s Adult Animated Originals: Prepare to depart on a journey of animated bliss and get the first look at four new originals coming to TZGZ, SYFY’s late-night adult animation block.
The Famous Monsters Podcast: Famous Monsters podcast crew, Jorge “The-Jack-Of-All-Trades” Marrero and Jason “The Falcon” Ioannou, are joined by fellow podcasters Matt Corrigan and Aaron McLane of The Launchpad podcast to play a game called “Body Count.” The game pits iconic monsters like the Wolf Man, Pennywise, and Pumpkinhead against each other to see who can collect the most victims.
The Wonderful, Horrible World of E.C. Comics: A look at E.C.’s lasting impact.
Travel Through Time with Comics: Have you ever wished you could turn back time? Ponjea and Leo Huang will show you the experience of time travelling through the fantasy comic “Chronos Ruler,” including the showcase of the anime PV and comic drawings by Ponjea
TV Guide Magazine Fan Favorites: A panel with Hale Appleman, Lindsey Morgan, Richard Harmon, Robbie Amell, Kennedy McMaan, Alex Newell, Jeri Ryan, Harvey Guillen, Chris Chalk, and Ashleigh Murray.
32nd Annual Will Eisner Comic Industry Awards: The “Oscars” of the comics industry honors comics creators and their works in 32 categories.
Saturday, July 25
(Nearly) a Decade of Nathan Hale’s Hazardous Tales: New York Times bestselling author Nathan Hale celebrates the upcoming publication of the 10th book in his nonfiction graphic novel series for kids, “Nathan Hale’s Hazardous Tales.”
“Cosmos: Possible Worlds”: A panel with the host and creators of the Fox series, including host Neil deGrasse Tyson, VFX supervisor Jeffrey A. Okun, executive producer/director Ann Druyan, writer/director Brannon Braga, and executive producer Jason Clark.
Dynamite’s Two Huge Crossovers Revealed: Dynamite Entertainment unveils two action-packed, ambitious crossovers set to debut this fall and winter.
Inglorious Treksperts: 30 Years of Best of Both Worlds: The hosts of the hit Star Trek podcast, “Inglorious Treksperts,” are joined by actress Elizabeth Dennehy (“Commander Shelby”) to discuss the making of one of “Star Trek: The Next Generation”‘s most beloved episodes, “The Best of Both Worlds” which celebrates its 30th anniversary this year.
Last Gasp: 50 Years of Publishing the Underground Part II lowbrow art, 1996-2020: Ron Turner (founder and publisher, Last Gasp), Ron English (PoPaganda, Abject Expressionism), Robert Williams (Through Prehensile Eyes, Zap Comix), Camille Rose Garcia (Tragic Kingdom, Saddest Place on Earth), Andrea Harris (fmr director, Grand Central Art Center), Jon B. Cooke (The Book of Weirdo), Attaboy (Hi-Fructose magazine), and Colin Turner (associate publisher, Last Gasp) discuss the history of Last Gasp
Narrative Design for Computer Games: Industry vets Neal Hallford (Betrayal at Krondor), Haris Orkin (Call of Juarez), Anne Toole (Horizon Zero Dawn), and Xalavier Nelson Jr. (We Are the Caretakers) break down how narratives are crafted and executed in the gaming industry.
Tantalizing Tips: Make up effects artist Jeff Barkley explains the differences in pointed ears and ear tips and shows you how to apply 2 different kinds of tips. He is joined by professional cosplayers Trey Barkley and Enasni.
The Guide: Overstreet’s 50th Anniversary: Gemstone Publishing president and CEO Steve Geppi, MyComicShop.com’s Buddy Saunders, Comics Buyer’s Guide veteran Maggie Thompson, CBCS Primary Grader Steve Borock, and Gemstone’s Mark Huesman celebrate Bob Overstreet and five decades of The Overstreet Comic Book Price Guide.
UDON Entertainment 20th Anniversary: UDON Entertainment is celebrating it’s 20th Anniversary! Join UDON chief of ops Erik Ko and the UDON crew to see what new projects the company has to bring in 2020!
Warner Archive’s Secret Origins of Saturday Morning Cartoons: Dip behind the curtain to reveal the beginnings of the beloved tradition of Saturday Morning cartoons with movie historian, author and TV personality Leonard Maltin (Entertainment Tonight), animation historian and author Jerry Beck (Animation Scoop), and the Warner Archive Home Entertainment team.
11 a.m.–12 p.m.
Back to the Moon and Beyond with NASA: The panel, hosted by William Shatner, will include NASA astronauts Nicole Mann and Kjell Lindgren as well as space technology expert LaNetra Tate, and spacesuit engineer Lindsay Aitchison/
DC@Home Day Two: Be sure to drop in on this panel to hear from DC’s hottest talent about their latest works and how they’re making DC and The World’s Greatest Super Heroes the home for fans of great superhero storytelling worldwide.
Eye of Newt and Wool of Bat: the science behind magic potions and spells: Naturopathic doctor DeJarra Sims will walk you through nature’s real-life tinctures for healing, sleeping, wit-sharpening, and love, and explain the science behind their effects.
Finance for Creatives: This panel will be discussing some of the financial, tax, and credit issues that creatives are experiencing, including resources of where to turn to for help and support.
From Wakanda to Numbani, Writing the Next Generation of Heroes: Through original novels, these authors expand the world of some of the newest pop culture heroes from Marvel and Overwatch. Featuring Preeti Chhibber (author, “Orientation: Avengers Assembly”), Nicky Drayden (author, “Overwatch: Hero of Numbani”), and Nic Stone (author, “Shuri: A Black Panther Novel”).
Giving a Voice to Independent Creatives: Led by Barbra Dillon (editor-in-chief, Fanbase Press), join Lisa K. Weber (artist, Hex11), Kelly Sue Milano (writer, Hex11), and Lynly Forrest (editor/producer, Hex11), along with indie creators Alston Novak (artist, Glitch), Travis Rivas (writer, Super-Abled Comics), and David F. Walker (writer, Bitter Root) for a discussion about creating comics outside the mainstream and tips on exactly how to do it.
Inspired: Personal Stories in Graphic Novels: Join Oni Press creators Maia Kobabe (“Gender Queer: A Memoir”), Joel Christian Gill (“Fights: One Boy’s Triumph Over Violence”), and Katie Green (“Lighter Than My Shadow”) for an empowering discussion on therapeutic nature of the creative process.
“The Simpsons”: A panel with the executive producers of the Fox animated series, including Al Jean, Matt Selman, David Silverman, Carolyn Omine, and Mike B. Anderson, and moderated by actor Yeardley Smith.
The Art of Adapting Comics to the Screen: David S. Goyer Q&A. The writer behind such iconic comic book film and TV adaptations including “Blade,” “Batman Begins,” “Constantine” (TV), and “Man of Steel,” David S. Goyer, discusses his creative writing process and what it took to bring characters and tales from the pages to the to the screen.
“Dune” Publishing Panel: Bestselling science fiction authors Brian Herbert and Kevin J. Anderson discuss the exciting new “Dune” graphic novels, comics, and original novels coming out this fall.
“Bless the Harts”: The panel features the cast and executive producers of the Fox animated series, including Kristen Wiig, Maya Rudolph, Ike Barinholtz, Jillian Bell, Fortune Feimster, and executive producers Phil Lord, Chris Miller, and Andy Bobrow.
“Phineas and Ferb The Movie: Candace Against the Universe”: A conversation with the cast and creators of the Disney+ animated feature, including Ashley Tisdale, Vincent Martella, Maulik Pancholy, Dee Bradley Baker, creators and executive producers Dan Povenmire and Jeff “Swampy” Marsh, and director Bob Bowen.
Calling All Book Lovers: A Sneak Peek at New Books from Tor, Tor Teen and Tor.com Publishing: This will be a panel to shine a spotlight on some of the exciting books that Tor, Tor Teen, and Tor.com Publishing have to offer.
“Constantine”: 15th Anniversary Reunion: Keanu Reeves, director Francis Lawrence, and producer Akiva Goldsman reunite to reflect on the making of the 2005 DC Comics adaptation. Moderated by Collider editor-in-chief Steven Weintraub.
“Dark Horse All-Stars”: Three of the industry’s best creators including Gerard Way (co-creator of “The Umbrella Academy”) Nnedi Okorafor (co-creator of “LaGuardia”), and Matt Kindt (co-creator of “BANG!”) gather for a roundtable discussion.
Diversity and Comics: Why Inclusion and Visibility Matter: Panelists include John Jennings (Professor of Media and Cultural Studies, UC Riverside), Frederick Aldama (Ohio State University, 2019 Eisner Award winner), Christina Steenz Stewart (syndicated cartoonist), Chelsea ‘Ché’ Grayson (Executive Director, Northern California Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Community Foundation), David Walker (comic book writer), and more.
Jim Lee’s X-Men Artist Edition Spotlight: Get the inside scoop on IDW Publishing’s newest Artist Edition books.
“Magic: The Gathering” Panel with Mark Rosewater: Rosewater will give the first sneak peak of Zendikar Rising, Magic’s September expansion.
Personal, Political, Fictional, and Factual: Personal, political, fictional, and factual creators tackle important topics that affect everybody, regardless of political affiliation or engagement.
Spotlight on “The Cloven” with Garth Stein and Matthew Southworth: This panel will spotlight the debut sci-fi graphic novel collaboration by author Garth Stein (“The Art of Racing in the Rain”) and cartoonist Matthew Southworth (“Stumptown”).
“The Amazing Brutus”: Unusual Places to Find a Great Animation Story: Ricardo Arnaiz (“El Americano: The Movie”) will share the story behind his new animated film project
Women of Color in Comics: Race, Gender & the Comic Book Medium: anelists include, Jonita Davis (film reviewer, and pop culture journalist), Jules Rivera (comic book artist), Vanee Matsalia (writer, educator), Camilla Zhang (writer, editor, consultant), Marqueeda LaStar (tech & pop culture journalist), and moderator Regine L. Sawyer, (writer/publisher).
“American Dad!”: A conversation with the cast and executive producers of the Fox animated series, including Rachael MacFarlane, Wendy Schaal, Scott Grimes, Dee Bradley Baker, supervising director Brent Woods, and executive producers Nic Wegener and Joe Chandler.
“The Right Stuff”: A talk with the cast and creators of the Disney+/National Geographic series, including Patrick J. Adams, Jake McDorman, Colin O’Donoghue, Michael Trotter, Aaron Staton, Micah Stock, James Lafferty, Nora Zehetner, Shannon Lucio, Eloise Mumford, Eric Ladin, Patrick Fischler, showrunner and executive producer Mark Lafferty, and executive producer Jennifer Davisson.
Creative Renaissance: How to Thrive When It’s Hard to Survive: Hear how nonprofit organizations are working with comics creators to support each other and their communities during these challenging times.
Guillermo del Toro and Scott Cooper on “Antlers” and Filmmaking: Award-winning directors del Toro and Cooper in conversation.
Latinx & Native American Storytellers: Prominent voices in comics, childrens literature and academia look back on their history and forward to what the future will hold for the stories told by Indigenous creators and the creators who are children of immigrants.
Masters of Storytelling: The all-stars in storytelling from Image Comics reveal their secrets behind creating some of the best stories in comics.
Mighty Morphin Power Rangers: The Future Is Now: Join a star-studded lineup of talent including to discuss the future of Power Rangers in comics.
Picard 2020: A Literary Perspective: Take a deep dive into Picard’s bookshelf with Una McCormack (author of “Picard: The Last Best Hope”), David Mack (author of “Star Trek: More Beautiful Than Death”), Stephen Graham Jones (author of “The Only Good Indians”), Alex White (author of “The Big Ship at the End of the Universe”), and moderator Ed Schlesinger (senior editor at “Gallery Books”).
Official Aspen Comics Panel: Frank Mastromauro (Aspen co-owner), Peter Steigerwald (Aspen co-owner), Vince Hernandez (Aspen EIC), Mark Roslan (Aspen director of design and production), Gabe Carrasco (Aspen editor), Siya Oum (artist of Lola XOXO), Jordan Gunderson (artist of Soulfire), J.T. Krul (writer of Soulfire), and Alex Konat (artist of Fathom) reveal Aspen’s 2021 publishing plans and the future of independent comic book publishing.
Tribute to Dennis O’Neal: Beyond Batman: Dr. Travis Langley (“Batman and Psychology”; “The Joker Psychology”) moderates a super team who have come together to share remembrances, lessons learned, and endless appreciation for Denny, who was truly one of the greats.
UltraLawyer Kaiju Patrol: Join attorneys Bethany Bengfort (Durie Tangri), Nari Ely (US. Courts), Thomas Harper (Army JAG), and Joshua Gilliland (The Legal Geeks), as they battle legal issues from Ultraman, Gamera, Godzilla, Mothra, and more!
“Family Guy”: Cast members Seth MacFarlane, Alex Borstein, Mila Kunis, Seth Green, and executive producers Rich Appel, Alec Sulkin, and Kara Vallow from Fox’s hit animated comedy Family Guy celebrates 350 episodes with a virtual table read.
“For All Mankind”: Cast members Joel Kinnaman, Michael Dorman, Sarah Jones, Shantel VanSanten, Jodi Balfour, Wrenn Schmidt, Sonya Walger, and Krys Marshall gather for a thoughtful conversation looking back on season one of the Apple TV+ drama.
Couch-Surfing with Simon & Schuster: Chrissy Noh (marketing), Lisa Moraleda (publicity), Lisa Quach (marketing), Alissa Nigro (marketing), Milena Giunco (publicity) and Emily Ritter (marketing) offer a sneak peek at the hottest books and properties coming from Simon & Schuster Children’s Publishing in 2020
“Doctor Who Time Lord Victorious” Panel: Go behind the scenes with writer Jody Houser, artist Roberta Ingranata, colorist Enrica Eren Angiolini, editor Jake Devine, and BBC producer James Goss to discuss the new “Time Lord Victorious” comic series.
“The Order”: The panel features the cast and creators of the Netflix horror series, including Jake Manley, Adam DiMarco, Devery Jacobs, Thomas Elms, Louriza Tronco, Katharine Isabelle, showrunner Dennis Heaton, and executive producers Shelley Eriksen, Mike Frislev, and Chad Oakes.
“Bill & Ted Face the Music”: Keanu Reeves, Alex Winter, Samara Weaving, Brigette Lundy-Paine, William Sadler, director Dean Parisot alongside writers Ed Solomon and Chris Matheson gather for a panel moderated by filmmaker and fan Kevin Smith.
“Stumptown”: Stars Cobie Smulders, Jake Johnson, and Michael Ealy will be joined by executive producers Jason Richman, David Bernad, Ruben Fleischer and, graphic novel author Greg Rucka in conversation.
Apex Comics Publishing Group 2020-2021 Exclusive Previews: “William Shatner War Chronicles” and “Stan Lee’s God Woke” writer/artist/publisher Mariano Nicieza will feature exciting new creator-owned projects with SDCC exclusive premiere announcements.
Comic Shops: Preserving Through Crisis: Join Joe Field (Flying Colors Comics & Other Cool Stuff, Concord, CA), Marc Hammond (Aw Yeah Comics, Harrison, NY), Jeff Beck (East Side Mags Montclair, NJ), and Dr. Christina Blanche (Aw Yeah Comics, Muncie, IN) for an engaging discussion on retailing endurance.
Figure Drawing for Popular Media: Emilio Soltero, Ph.D., presents a primer on drawing the figure for popular media, including drawing for comics and character design.
Kodansha Comics Got Weird Manga: Summer Edition: Join the manga experts at Kodansha USA Publishing including Misaki Kido, Tomo Tran, and Ivan Salazar as they recommend the perfect fun-in-the-sun stories, as well as some award-winning and nominated titles that are all a part of Kodansha Comics & VERTICAL library.
“What We Do in the Shadows”: Raise a glass of regular human alcohol beer to the sharp-toothed cast — Matt Berry, Natasia Demetriou, Kayvan Novak, Mark Proksch, and Harvey Guillén — and the creative team for a spirited discussion hosted by special guest, Haley Joel Osment.
Source: IndieWire film
July 5, 2020
This weekend marks the 49th anniversary of the release of “Shaft.” Released in 1971, it grossed about $90 million in adjusted prices — a huge success, more than 25 times its cost. More importantly, it forced studios to acknowledge the Black audience segment that was long taken for granted.
By 1969, Hollywood studio filmmaking was 105 years old. There were Black directors, but they were too few and far between. The first Black director was silent filmmaker Oscar Michaeux, whose parents were former slaves. In the sound era, the first Black director was Spencer Williams (“The Blood of Jesus,” 1941), an actor best known as Andy of Amos n’ Andy. And while films in the 1960s began to tell Black stories such as “Lilies of the Field” and “A Raisin In the Sun,” they inevitably reflected white perspectives and denied Black audiences the full range of portrayals of their life experiences.
In 1971, the Independence Day weekend release date for “Shaft” didn’t suggest high hopes. Pre-“Jaws,” summer playtime usually meant mid-range releases — often action oriented, and meant for quick play. And its initial dates were only a handful of big-city downtown theaters, with other dates gradually added.
“Shaft” director Gordon Parks was one of the top photojournalists of his era. Already in his mid-50s, he initially made some public TV documentaries as well as some film consulting work. It was his second feature. His first, “The Learning Tree,” was released in October 1969. Based on Parks’ fictionalized account of growing up in Kansas, it wasn’t a breakout hit, but probably grossed around $40 million adjusted. That was good enough to lead to his second film.
In the interim, Melvin Van Peebles (like Parks, a renaissance man with a professional portfolio good enough for a dozen people) made two features. His first, the French-produced “The Story of a Three-Day Pass,” had a limited U.S. release. But it was enough to get the attention of Columbia Pictures. “Watermelon Man,” a comedy starring Godfrey Cambridge as a white bigot whose skin turns black overnight, opened May 1970 to modest results.
Van Peebles was dissatisfied with the compromises needed to satisfy a studio, and self-financed his next film. That was “Sweet Sweetback’s Baadasssss Song.” Independently released by Cinemation (previously known for exploitation films), it was a huge success at key big-city theaters despite its rating (“Rated X by an all-white jury,” its ads brilliantly displayed).
There was no centralized reporting of grosses in 1971, even less so from independents. Some reports claim as much as $90 million adjusted gross, but that’s unlikely; it never had a wide release, with very little racial crossover. But for an adjusted budget of under $1 million, it was highly profitable and caused multiple white producers to search out similar low-budget projects that became known as blaxploitation. 1970 also saw Ossie Davis’ directorial debut, “Cotton Comes to Harlem,” with adjusted gross over $50 million.
“Shaft” outpaced all these. It played much wider, and bolstered by Isaac Hayes’ Oscar-winning theme song (a #1 hit), it fit the image of a revolutionary film while still conforming to mainstream norms. Its hero had swagger, not unlike James Bond. He was a world-wise private eye, and he wasn’t there to make white audiences comfortable. Unlike most earlier films with Black characters, it had a contemporary urban setting far more relevant to the intended audience than the milieu of, say, “Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner.”
“Shaft” built on some recent successes in which Black actors shifted to more assertive characters, including the success of football star Jim Brown as a key part of the ensemble in World War II action smash “The Dirty Dozen.” Then Sidney Poitier evolved after an already impressive career (which included two of the top six 1967 films, plus the Best Picture winner) with a game-changing moment in “In the Heat of the Night” that resounded with all audiences.
As a detective investigating a murder in a small Southern town, he’s slapped by a local white official — and he slaps him back. It’s a moment that would have been unthinkable even a few years earlier. That moment and its resonance (to experience it with a Black audience at the time was to feel the earth move) was the kind of reaction that gives courage to cautious studios.
By the early 1970s, MGM management was floundering and its ownership was more interested in selling its real estate assets than being creative and “Shaft” was its only real hit for 1971. As a result, Hollywood saw eight Black-directed releases in 1972, including “Super Fly” (Gordon Parks Jr./Warner Bros.), “Trouble Man” (Ivan Dixon/20th Century Fox), “Buck and the Preacher” (Sidney Poitier/Columbia), “Come Back Charleston Blue” (Mark Warren/United Artists), “Melinda” (Hugh A. Robertson/1972) and “Blacula” (William Crain/AIP).
Parks himself quickly made the sequel “Shaft’s Big Score” in 1972, to decent if lesser grosses. He only made two more features (“Super Cops” in 1974, significant for its mainly white cast, then the biopic “Leadbelly” in 1976, which saw little interest when Paramount released it). Van Peebles directed a handful of other independent features, none rising to the level of interest of “Sweetback.”
Over the next two decades, the most successful Black director by far was Sidney Poitier. His helming career often gets short shrift among his huge achievements, but his hits included “Uptown Saturday Night” and its two sequels as well as “Stir Crazy” with Richard Pryor and Gene Wilder, which became the biggest-grossing film by a Black director until “Black Panther.”
“Sweet Sweetbaack,” and especially “Shaft,” set the table.
Source: IndieWire film