Here we are again: San Diego Comic-Con International starts tomorrow! And it's packed with spy-related programming this year, right from the very beginning. Here's information on panels spy fans might want to attend, pasted from the official schedule on the official site. (I'd say that the Archer panel was the highlight last year, and would strongly recommend fans of the show to attend that one this time!)
Thursday, July 21
10:00-11:00 Burn Notice: The Fall of Sam Axe— For fans of USA's hit series Burn Notice who've always wanted to know what happened before Sam Axe (Bruce Campbell) teamed up with Michael Weston and Fiona, Comic-Con attendees are invited inside the USA made-for-TV movie Burn Notice: The Fall of Sam Axe, debuting on DVD exclusively at Comic-Con! The Burn Notice prequel chronicles what turned out to be the last military mission of former U.S. Navy SEAL Lieutenant Commander Axe and the expedition that took him from the jungles of Colombia to sunny Miami Beach. Go one-on-one with Bruce Campbell, star of Burn Notice: The Fall of Sam Axe, and Burn Notice creator, writer, and executive producer, Matt Nix. Ballroom 20
11:15-12:15 Covert Affairs— For the first time, TV's sexiest spy show, USA Network's Covert Affairs, comes to Comic-Con! Spend some time with stars Piper Perabo (Annie Walker), Christopher Gorham (Auggie Anderson), Sendhil Ramamurthy(Jai Wilcox), Kari Matchett (Joan Campbell), Anne Dudek (Danielle), and Peter Gallagher (Arthur Campbell). Executive producers Doug Liman, Chris Ord, Matt Corman, and Dave Bartis also join the panel, moderated by the one-and-only Oded Fehr. Fans will get an insider's look into the action-packed world of Covert Affairs. Besides having questions answered about the exciting current season, fans will view exclusive video content featuring a sneak peek at upcoming episodes. There will also be surprise giveaways for audience members! Ballroom 20
4:00-5:00 Archer Screening and Q&A— This animated half-hour comedy revolves around the spy agency known as the International Secret Intelligence Service (ISIS) and the lives of its self-involved employees. Series creator Adam Reed (Sealab 2021,Frisky Dingo) and the show's voice-over actors discuss their daunting and enigmatic work of espionage, reconnaissance missions, and undercover surveillances -- which are all actually unmitigated occasions for the ISIS staff to undermine, sabotage, and betray each other for personal gains and prosperity. Panelists include H. Jon Benjamin (Bob's Burgers, Jon Benjamin Has a Van) as the highly skilled yet incredibly vain master spy Sterling Archer; Aisha Tyler (Talk Soup, CSI) as fellow agent provocateur Lana Kane; Chris Parnell (Saturday Night Live, 30 Rock) as the easily intimidated comptroller of ISIS, Cyril Figgis; Judy Greer (Mad Love, Arrested Development) as the loquacious secretary, Cheryl/Carol; Amber Nash (Frisky Dingo,Aqua Teen Hunger Force) as the discordant director of human resources for ISIS, Pam Poovey; and George Coe (Funny People, Curb Your Enthusiasm) as Sterling's elderly and always-exploited butler, Woodhouse. Indigo Ballroom, Hilton San Diego Bayfront
5:30-7:30 Showtime : Tired of Ordinary Television?— This year at Comic-Con, Showtime saves! The casts and creative forces behind Dexter and Shameless give sneak peeks into the new seasons. And be the first to see an exclusive look at the new Showtime original series Homeland.
Dexter -- See the exclusive world premiere of the new season's trailer, then moderator Ralph Garman (KROQ entertainment reporter) will preside over a revealing interview and Q&A session with the stars and executive producers, including Michael C. Hall (star/executive producer), C. S. Lee (Masuka), David Zayas (Batista) , guest star Colin Hanks (Peter Jackson's King Kong, Roswell), and more. Also appearing are executive producers John Goldwyn, Sara Colleton, Scott Buck, and Manny Coto.6:00-7:00 Road to Stumptown— Meet Greg Rucka (Gotham Central) and Matthew Southworth (Spider-Man: The Grim Hunt), the Eisner-nominated creative team behind the innovative new crime title Stumptown. Moderated by comics scholar ProfessorBen Saunders. Room 7AB
Shameless -- Come party with the cast and creative team behind the hottest new Showtime original series, Shameless. If you thought your family was dysfunctional, wait 'til you meet the Gallaghers. Get the inside scoop on what's in store for the new season as Mike Schneider (TV Guide Los Angeles bureau chief) leads an interview and Q&A with stars William H. Macy (Fargo, Jurassic Park III) and Emmy Rossum (Day After Tomorrow, Dragon Ball: Evolution ), plus more, along with executive producer John Wells (West Wing, ER, Southland).
Homeland -- This fall, the war on terror comes home in the new Showtime original series Homeland from executive producers/writers Howard Gordon (24, The X-Files) and Alex Gansa (24, The X-Files, Numb3rs), starring Claire Danes (Terminator 3), Damian Lewis (Band of Brothers, Life), Mandy Patinkin (The Princess Bride, Criminal Minds), and Morena Baccarin (V, Firefly). Comic-Con favorite Morena Baccarinwill make a special appearance to introduce exclusive footage fromHomeland. Ballroom 20
8:00-11:00 Hall H and Ballroom 20 Thursday Panel Playback— Didn't get into either Hall H or Ballroom 20 today? We feel your pain! In this three-hour block, Comic-Con rebroadcasts some of the day's popular panels from those two giant rooms. Best of all, those in attendance will get to vote on what they want to see. It's democracy at its finest and it's a second chance to see these panels. (Please note: these playbacks will include only the panel discussions. None of the film clips or footage shown at the live events will be shown.) Room 25ABC [This is a cool new feature of Comic-Con this year. I'll only list it once, but every night you can see the panels from Hall H and Ballroom 20, often impossible to get into, rebroadcast at the end of the day. I like it!]
Friday, July 22
10:00-11:00 Torchwood: Miracle Day— John Barrowman (Doctor Who) and Eve Myles (Doctor Who) join cast members Mekhi Phifer (ER), Bill Pullman (Independence Day), Alexa Havins (All My Children), and Lauren Ambrose (Six Feet Under), along with writer Jane Espenson (Battlestar Galactica), to discuss the fourth installment of the hit BBC Worldwide show, a Starz Originals co-production, currently airing Friday nights at 10 ET/PT on Starz. Ballroom 20
11:00-12:00 Page One— The opening page of a comic sets up everything that comes after it, for good or ill. Carla Speed McNeil (Finder), Jen Van Meter (Hopeless Savages), Greg Rucka (Stumptown), and moderator Douglas Wolk discuss great first pages of comics and the way they can instantly pull their audience in and establish the tone and themes of a story. Room 32AB
11:45-12:30 Adult Swim: The Venture Bros.— Show creators Jackson Publick andDoc Hammer will screen an early premiere of The Venture Bros. Special -- From the Ladle to the Grave: The Story of Shallow Gravy -- a 15-minute documentary-style animated special (premiering August 28 on Adult Swim), discuss their original series, and answer questions. The panel also features James Urbaniak (Dr. Venture). Indigo Ballroom, Hilton San Diego Bayfront
12:15-1:15 Relativity Media: Raven and Haywire— Two fantastic films from Relativity Media debut in this Hall H presentation.
Raven -- The film is a gritty thriller in which Edgar Allan Poe joins forces with a young Baltimore detective to hunt down a mad serial killer who's using Poe's own works as the basis for a string of brutal murders. Raven stars John Cusack as Edgar Allan Poe, Luke Evans, and Alice Eve and is directed by James McTeigue.1:00-2:00 Comics Arts Conference Session #7: Focus on David Lloyd— Comic-Con special guest David Lloyd (V for Vendetta, Kickback [James Bond 007: Shattered Helix]) discusses the nature of sequential art and the methods of its production, considering his own methods, and how those methods have changed over time, as well as the creation of comics more generally in various genres and national and historical traditions. He will also look at the teaching of sequential art, both to practitioners and to audiences, discussing his time at the London Cartoon Centre and the Cartoon Classroom project. Kathleen McClancy (Wake Forest University) moderates. Room 26AB
Haywire -- An electrifying tale of espionage and betrayal. A female covert ops specialist who works in the deadly world of international operatives strikes back after discovering she's been double-crossed by someone close to her in the agency. Mixed martial arts superstar Gina Carano makes her feature film -- and Comic-Con -- debut, starring and performing her own high-adrenaline stunts. Also appearing is director Stephen Soderbergh. Hall H
2:30-3:15 Adult Swim: Black Dynamite— Creators and voice talent from the new animated series offer a sneak peek at the show and answer questions. Executive producer Carl Jones (The Boondocks) and director Scott Sanders (Black Dynamite) appear, in addition to writer and star Michael Jai White, voice actors Tommy Davidsonand Kym Whitley, and writer/voice actor Byron Minns, all of whom also starred in the live-action feature film Black Dynamite. The 2009 movie is an outrageous action comedy/spoof that follows ex-CIA agent and full-time ladies' man Black Dynamite, who's out to avenge the death of his brother against kung-fu masters, drug-dealing pimps, and The Man. The Black Dynamite animated series further chronicles the exploits of Black Dynamite and his crew. Indigo Ballroom, Hilton San Diego Bayfront
Saturday, July 22
10:00-10:45 Chuck Screening and Q&A— Comic-Con fan-favorite Chuck returns with a bang for its farewell panel to celebrate its fifth and final season. Executive producer and co-creator Chris Fedak, along with series stars Zachary Levi (Alvin and the Chipmunks), Yvonne Strahovski (upcoming My Mother's Curse), Joshua Gomez (Without a Trace), Ryan McPartlin, Mark Christopher Lawrence (The Pursuit of Happyness), Vik Sahay (Good Will Hunting), Scott Krinsky (The O.C.) with Sarah Lancaster (The Good Doctor), and Adam Baldwin (Serenity), offer a Q&A with fans and an unforgettable video presentation. Produced by Fake Empire, Wonderland Sound and Vision in association with Warner Bros. Television, Chuck airs Friday at 8:00 ET/PT on NBC, and Chuck: The Complete Fourth Season will be released on Blu-ray and DVD this fall. Ballroom 20
10:00-11:00 Motion Picture and Television Production Designers— In collaboration with a highly skilled art department, the production designer lays out the designs that will guide a small army of decorators, carpenters, sculptors, painters, and artisans of all sorts, to bring into existence those fantastic worlds that fire everyone's imagination. Panelists include moderator John Muto (Terminator 2:3D), Cece DeStefano (Alias), Jim Bissell (Mission: Impossible - Ghost Protocol), Edward Thomas(Torchwood, Dr. Who), and Greg Melton (The Walking Dead). Room 25ABC
11:30-12:30 Spotlight on Steranko— Comic-Con special guest Steranko, the Eisner Hall of Fame-winning writer/illustrator/filmmaker/escape artist, presents a provocative forum featuring his work on Captain America, X-Men, Nick Fury, Agent of S.H.I.E.L.D., The Shadow, Indiana Jones and more, including a new series of Batman covers and his groundbreaking graphic novel Red Tide. Moderator J. David Spurlock promises to reveal a new storm of secrets from the Steranko bag of tricks. Room 5AB
1:30-2:30 Spotlight on Peter Kuper— From MAD to World War 3 Illustrated, Comic-Con special guest Peter Kuper (Spy vs. Spy) has for three decades been blowing up spies and politicians and creating graphic novels ranging from Franz Kafka adaptations to autobiographies that would scare Kafka. Get an inside look at how he comes up with Spy vs. Spy ideas and his other idiotic projects! Room 8
5:00-6:00 Charlie's Angels— The cast and creative team from Sony TV's highly anticipated action-packed series Charlie's Angels for ABC -- Annie Ilonzeh (General Hospital), Minka Kelly (Parenthood, Friday Night Lights), Rachael Taylor (Grey's Anatomy), Ramon Rodriguez (The Wire, Daybreak) and executive producers Alfred Gough (Smallville) and Miles Millar (Smallville) come to Comic-Con to discuss their new series. The series is also executive-produced by Drew Barrymore (Charlie's Angels movies), Leonard Goldberg (the original Charlie's Angels), Nancy Juvonen (Charlie's Angels movies), and Marcos Siega (Vampire Diaries, Dexter). Join the cast & producers for a dynamic discussion and Q&A session about what's in store for viewers this fall! Indigo Ballroom, Hilton San Diego Bayfront
6:00-6:45 Nikita Screening and Q&A— Nikita returns to Comic-Con with series starsMaggie Q (Mission: Impossible 3), Shane West (ER), Lyndsy Fonseca (Kick-Ass), and executive producer Craig Silverstein (Bones) for its latest mission: to unveil an exclusive video presentation and reveal classified information from the highly anticipated second season that finds Nikita and Michael on the run with a black box containing the government's darkest secrets. Leading the hunt for them is Alex...and she knows all of Nikita's tricks. What will the Comic-Con Q&A reveal? From Wonderland Sound and Vision in association with Warner Bros. Television, Nikita airs Fridays at 8/7c on The CW. Nikita: The Complete First Season will be released on Blu-ray and DVD on August 30. Room 6BCF
6:45-7:30 Person of Interest Pilot Screening and Q&A— A peerless creative team is behind this new white-knuckle action series -- including creator/executive producer Jonathan Nolan (The Dark Knight) and showrunner/executive producer Greg Plageman (Cold Case) -- about an ex-CIA agent, presumed dead, who partners with a mysterious billionaire to prevent violent crimes in New York City. Join these producers plus stars Jim Caviezel (The Thin Red Line), Michael Emerson (Lost), andTaraji P. Henson (Academy Award nominee, The Curious Case of Benjamin Button) for an inside look at one of the most anticipated new shows of the fall season, including an exclusive screening of the pilot episode and Q&A. From Bonanza Productions Inc. in association with Bad Robot Productions and Warner Bros. Television, Person of Interest will air Thursdays at 9/8c on CBS. Room 6BCF
7:30-8:30 The Art of the Hollywood Movie Poster— Who are the talented artists Hollywood has tapped for the creation of some of the best movie posters in recent history? Leslie Combemale (film art expert and owner, ArtInsights Animation and Film Art Gallery) moderates a panel of artists who have worked on hundreds of movie posters and movie campaigns, including Andrea Alvin (Batman Returns, Batman Forever, Pinocchio poster artist, wife and artistic partner of late cinema art legend John Alvin), Matthew Peak (Nightmare on Elm Street poster artist, son of famed movie poster artist Bob Peak), Steve Chorney (Labyrinth, Who Framed Roger Rabbit?, Star Trek), James Goodridge (Inglorious Basterds, Harry Potter), and Lawrence Noble (The Empire Strikes Back 10th Anniversary, Time After Time, Flash Gordon). They will relay stories of the creation of some well-recognized and most appreciated movie posters, discuss the current atmosphere of the world of cinema art, and offer suggestions for artists who wish to take up the craft. This panel will include a short Q&A. Room 8
Sunday, July 24
Not much spy programming on Sunday, as far as I can tell. Take the time to stroll around the dealer floor and find some James Bond posters or Nick Fury back issues! Or check out that cool Doctor Who panel. That's where I'll be Sunday afternoon...