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Comic-Con 2013 Schedule: See what's happening Thursday

The Comic-Con schedule is here! Sorta.

Today marked Day One of the annual Con schedule roll-out, which, as you’ll recall, is as drawn-out as an American Idol results show.

So what’s on tap for Thursday? You can see the full schedule here, but if you just want some highlights, we got those too. READ FULL STORY

Comic-Con: Kanye West's art director delivers 'Head Smash' to comics

There’s a long history of comic book artists treading into the neighboring world of album cover art especially when psychedelia, counter-culture, fantasy or heavy metal bridged the distance between the art table and the turn table. Usually it’s an art table star — like R. Crumb, Berni Wrightson, Barry Windsor-Smith or Paul Pope to just a few — playing the tourist in turntable territory but the exact opposite is the case with the cover for Head Smash.

The haunting image is the handiwork of Joe Perez, the designer and art director best known for his work with Kanye West and Donda. Perez’s portfolio includes the Cruel Summer album cover in 2012, for example, but never a comic book. That changes with the brutal dystopian visions of Head Smash , which features interior art by Dwayne Harris and the original cover by Tim Bradstreet. The world is the creation of Vlad Yudin of The Vladar Company and was co-written with Erik Hendrix of Arcana and premieres down at Comic-Con International. We caught up with Perez to get in tune with his mixed media. See the art below.


C2E2 is Comic-Con, Chicago-style with beer, tattooing and celeb chefs


Werewolves, Wookiees, Orcs and Klingons abound at pop culture expos and major comic book conventions but one truly rare beast is innovation – the names and faces of guests change but at most shows the standard Q&A panel and autograph table line-up are the numbing rule of thumb.

The limited thinking at most cons makes it heartening to hear about some of the offbeat concepts at the Chicago Comic and Entertainment Expo (C2E2), which kicked off today at McCormick Place, the largest convention center in North America. We caught up with Lance Fensterman, the global vice president at ReedPOP, to talk about some highlights of C2E2, including less-traditional activities his company has brought to the expo on the shore of Lake Michigan.

This looks like a job for Supperman

C2E2 serves up an offbeat fan experience tonight as Top Chef winner Stephanie Izard creates a menu with superhero theme at her hotspot restaurant The Little Goat. Fans will be seated side-by-side with notable names such as Tron title star Bruce Boxleitner; Lost and Babylon 5 cast member Mira Furlan and 100 Bullets writer Brian Azzarello.

“We hope C2E2 is about creativity, art, entertainment of all different varieties — and the culinary arts fit neatly into that universe,” Fensterman said. “A chef staring at an empty plate is not dramatically different from an artist starting at an empty page. This is what we explore with our Food & Comics series and the dinner at The Little Goat.”

Laugh it up, Joker

Comedy Mutant offers free yuks for C2E2 fans with stand-up routines by Brian Posehn, Myq Kaplan and Mike Drucker. On that same stage there’s also a Kevin Smith slot (he would make a joke if he heard we called it that) and stage time reserved too for Patton Oswalt, who has been feeling the Force lately.

“Patton Oswalt is my hero,” Fensterman said. “His ‘At Midnight I Will Kill George Lucas with a Shovel’ bit from a few years ago sealed his geek cred and his Parks and Recreation improvised monologue put him in the geek hall of fame. I’m going to ask him to marry me this weekend.” Oswalt will also bring spiffy exclusive posters (shown above) to sign for fans and he will answer audience questions as long as they are delivered with Yoda syntax.


Comic-Con 2013: The Course of the Force strikes back

Popular podcaster and affable funny guy Chris Hardwick and his company, Nerdist Industries, are taking another run at Jedi fun this summer with the second annual Course of the Force, the fundraising relay where fans and celebrities take turns running with a lightsaber that they will eventually deliver to Comic-Con International in San Diego.

Modeled on the Olympic torch tradition, Course of the Force was a big hit last year and we caught up with Hardwick for a quick email interview about the miles covered last year and Episode II’s expanded route. (Instead of repeating the 2012 Santa Monica to San Diego route, the 2013 edition will start up in Marin County, more than 500 miles north of San Diego.)

ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY: What’s a defining memory you have from Year One?
CHRIS HARDWICK: It’s sort of a mash-up of images. We had hoped that some people would run in costume. We had no idea how many people actually would. My memory is a flash of all the amazing cosplay — some Boba Fetts, father and son Stormtroopers, an unreal General Grievous, and even a Marty McFly (we had stressed that all cosplay was welcome) among many others, running down the I-5 Freeway while being led by Jabba’s Sail Barge, which we had built to be our pace vehicle. True story!

People run with torches, people run with batons. You guys run with lightsabers. That’s pretty fun. Is there any movie weapon cooler than lightsaber?
It’s hard to top the lightsaber. I love proton packs from Ghostbusters, the Highlander blade, Deckard’s gun, and those flip-action repulsor rifles from Minority Report. Still, the lightsaber was a sci-fi weapon that ushered in a new era. (My girlfriend’s dad, John Dykstra, brought it to life in the original Star Wars.) It’s perfect — a sword made of light. You can use it for offense, defense, as a deflector or just to look really cool for no reason. And I DEFY you to swing one without going “vvvvvv vvvvvvv VVVVVVVT.” It’s impossible.


Countdown to Comic-Con: The race for hotels starts (and ends?) today

The Oscars are over, so what better time to start planning your trip to this summer’s San Diego Comic-Con? The fandom nation hovered around their collective keyboard at 9 a.m. this morning, when booking through Comic-Con for San Diego hotels started. And, as usual, it apparently ended very soon after it began — the housing page is currently just a sad message, reading “Housing for Comic-Con is closed at this time.” However, hope is not lost: EW spoke to a representative from Comic-Con, who noted that Early Bird booking is still in effect (although none of the downtown hotels are available for booking.) READ FULL STORY

EW's Entertainers of the Year: Joss Whedon on how 'The Avengers' exposed his angry inner Hulk

There are good years, and then there are great years, and then there are the kinds of years that Joss Whedon had in 2012. In May, Lionsgate released Cabin In The Woods, the long-delayed, widely acclaimed po-mo horror flick, co-written and produced by the cult pop auteur. (Drew Goddard co-wrote and directed the film.) In July, Whedon attended Comic-Con and celebrated the tenth anniversary of his gone-too-soon TV series Firefly at one of the most emotional panels the annual fan-fest has ever seen. In September, Whedon went to the Toronto International Film Festival and premiered Much Ado About Nothing, a micro-budget, literally homemade adaptation of the Shakespeare comedy. ”That was an incredible experience,” recalls Nathan Fillion, who stars in the film (set for release next summer). “The man got three standing ovations before he got on stage. That’s just indicative of the kind of fandom that Joss creates. I have never seen anything like it.” In October, The CW aired – for the first time on television – Whedon’s 2008 Emmy-winning online opus Dr. Horrible’s Sing-Along Blog. Shortly before Halloween, the man who created Buffy The Vampire Slayer, Angel and Dollhouse took to the Web to say a few words about the defining issue of the 2012 presidential campaign – a zombie apocalypse – via a very funny, very personal, very partisan video viewed by over 7 million people.

Oh, and there was Marvel’s The Avengers. Whedon wrote and directed that, too. Grossed $1.5 billion worldwide. Maybe you saw it.


'Firefly: Browncoats Unite' reunion tonight: Why Joss Whedon's cult classic has endured for a decade


Some television shows blaze bright and fade quickly. Others ignite and burn for years. Joss Whedon’s Firefly did neither. The sci-fi opus barely sparked during its 11-episode run on Fox in 2002, yet produced a uniquely vibrant afterglow, nurtured by stalwart fans, as well as new fans who continue to discover the series on DVD and cable. To celebrate the cult classic’s 10-year anniversary, Science will air a reunion special tonight called Firefly: Browncoats Unite, which brings together Nathan Fillion, Adam Baldwin, Summer Glau, and more for a conversation (moderated by this reporter) about the show’s origins and legacy and where the series might have gone had it continued. READ FULL STORY

Comic-Con will call San Diego home through 2016

San Diego will continue to host Comic-Con International through 2016, the city’s mayor and convention organizers announced today. The massive confab of all things geek has been held in the southern California city’s seaside convention center since it was constructed in 1991.

The deal extends by a year the convention’s contract with the city, which was set in 2010 after Comic-Con organizers briefly entertained the possibility of leaving San Diego for larger convention floors in either nearby Los Angeles or Anaheim, Calif. Since 2007, Comic-Con has sold out of its 125,000-130,000 available passes; organizers have needed to seek out venues outside the convention center in nearby hotels to accommodate all of its events. The city of San Diego is aiming to complete a planned expansion of the convention center by 2016, but EW has confirmed that was not a deciding factor in keeping Comic-Con in the city.

Read more:
Comic-Con will remain in San Diego ‘for the foreseeable future’
Comic-Con 2012: Nathan Fillion’s Photo Diary
Comic-Con 2012: Fan Portraits!

First Look: LEGO 'Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles' at New York Comic-Con

What would the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles look like if they were from Scandinavia? One would think paler, but one would be wrong!

In anticipation of New York Comic Con, Nickelodeon’s rebooted TMNT team has partnered with LEGO for a pair of limited-edition minifigures, including a rare black-instead-of-green turtle. The collector items, rolled out exclusively for Comic Con, will be free for the first 300 costumed fans at the Danish toymaker’s NYC flagship store this Saturday. Perhaps more notable, though, is that the figures serve as a preview of the full TMNT set that Lego is looking to launch in January. (Do they even have sewers in Denmark?*)

You can sneak an exclusive peek at the first two toys — Epic Turtle and Kraang, respectively — here.


Rob Corddry, Paul Scheer root out disease and terror at Comic-Con -- VIDEO

One of them is bound by a mission to eradicate sickness with the healing power of laughter, the other is on a mission to go on a lot of missions to eradicate terrorists.

They are Dr. Blake Downs (Rob Corddry) and Special Agent Trent Hauser (Paul Scheer), and their respective Adult Swim comedies, Childrens Hospital and NTSF:SD:SUV::, return with new episodes on Thursday night. At midnight on the season 4 premiere of Childrens Hospital, our doctors wage what is surely an unforgettable battle against a terrifying airborne amnesia. Fifteen short minutes later, on the season 2 premiere of NTSF, Trent goes undercover as a student at Nick Cannon High School to try to figure out who’s been abducting the popular children of San Diego’s elite. America’s Got Terror, indeed (sunglasses). READ FULL STORY

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