My Comic-Con Schedule!
IT’S that time again, gang! Comic-Con time!
Here’s my schedule of all the events I’m either a part of or that I plan to passive-aggressively horn my way into! If you see me, be sure to come up and say hello, unless I’m talking to someone more famous or who can do more for my career than you, in which case, don’t you dare interrupt. Don’t you dare.
As always, I’m happy to sign autographs – and still for my nominal fourteen dollar charge! (Exact change please.) Just let me know whose name you want me to sign and on what. My Will Eisner is all but indistinguishable from the real thing (especially now that I’m spelling it right) and my Bill Finger’s been getting some nice notices as well. Ask about my Siegel & Shuster “two-fer” discount!
Above: Some of my most requested autographs.
On with my schedule!
Thursday July 12
3:00-4:00 – Finding Last-Minute Lodgings in a Booked-Solid San Diego: A Candid Discussion
I plan to leave the cesspool that is Los Angeles at exactly five-thirty a.m. Thursday morning so I can get down to the Con when everything starts. But it’s three a.m. as I write this, and I’ll likely oversleep until 1:30 in the afternoon. I have no place to stay (yet!) but I’ll be damned if I spend three nights in my car again for the sixth year in a row. Head on over to Room 212 in the Bushmiller Pavilion if you have any suggestions. If you’re a vendor, maybe we can strike a deal and I can help you construct a fort out of your comic book boxes and sleep right there in your booth, making sure none of the notoriously sticky-fingered security guards roaming the convention at night start pawing through your stacks of vintage Little Lulus.
Were Whitman comics ever sold individually in the 1970s? They were priced individually, yes – but is there an actual recorded instance of any issue sold singly, by itself, alone – and not in the little plastic bag where you got two decent funny animal ones and one piece of crap you never read like “Battle of the Planets” or, God forbid, “Star Trek” in the middle, which you couldn’t even see until you got home and ripped open the plastic? We’ll explore the evidence and talk to some guy who used to worked in a Rexall Drug Store back then. Room 218 (off of the Gottfredson Ballroom).
Friday July 13
11:00-12:00 – The “Stop Saying Zombie Apocalypse” Panel
A heartfelt plea to the general public and the media to stop using the phrase “the zombie apocalypse” immediately. Please note: People using the phrase “the zombie apocalypse” will not be admitted. Room 8.
1:00-2:00 – Who Was Wealthier: Scrooge McDuck or Richie Rich? A Debate
Obsessed Swedish “Barks-ologist” Mågnild Ljüngbørg and completist Richie Rich collector Franklin Todd go head to head to finally settle the question which has baffled young children under the age of ten for decades: Who has more money – the edema-suffering “Poor Little Rich Boy” in the Eton collar or the greedy, globe-trotting waterfowl from Duckburg? You won’t want to miss this one, especially if you just bought a hot dog or a slice of pizza and need a place to sit down and eat it. Room 27-C.
Midnight-1:30am – The Golden Age of Animation’s Most Hilariously Racist Cartoons
A Comic-Con Tradition! Join fellow animation enthusiasts as I screen clips from 37 vintage animated shorts from the 1920s through the late 1950s featuring the most patently offensive ethnic stereotypes you’ve ever seen! In the interest of time, I’ve edited them down to just the funny parts so they’re completely out of context. My promise: I will not waste time getting all Leonard Maltin on you by explaining these were “a product of their time.” The clip of the disgusting hairy Slovak peddler (“Toby the Pup in Prague,” Van Beuren Studios, 1930) is alone worth attending to see! Room 15.
Saturday July 14
1:00-2:30 – No, You’re Not The Next Mel Blanc: The “101 Bad Voices” and “101 Worse Voices” Panel
We’ll be screening a bunch of highly annoying, often infuriating YouTube videos of those jackasses who honestly believe they can get work as voiceover talent based on the dozens of very slightly different voices, none of them good and most of them based not on the original source – but on someone else’s impression of the original (usually an SNL cast member). Roll your eyes and grumble with the rest of us as we hear the requisite Stewie, Scooby-Doo and Cartman again and again and again, plus numerous other animated characters none of which are currently in need of a new actor to portray them. Also: We’ll be speaking with a panel of animation voice casting directors who’ll discuss why they don’t tend to hire new talent based on clips on the internet where someone is only able to perform a rudimentary vocal facsimile of an actor or character’s one most famous catchphrase. Room 12A.
4:00-6:00 – 60s Sitcom Powerhouses: Sheriff Taylor & Lt. McHale
What a treat! Set a spell and listen as I interview two of 1960s television’s biggest legends – Andy Griffith and Ernest Borgnine -as they describe what it was like to star in a hit comedy of the early 1960s. Paul Henning Amphitheatre. Canceled.
3:00pm-4:30am – The People Versus Matt Groening
Join us as we hijack 20th Century Fox’s “Simpsons” panel – where they intended to discuss the upcoming season – and instead force Matt Groening, Al Jean, various writers, producers and show-runners to watch every single goddamn episode of the last season, “A Clockwork Orange“-style, and subsequently force them to defend each recycled plot, every single unfunny joke and awful line in a kangaroo court that hopefully will result in a formal apology and mutual agreement to finally pull the goddamn plug on the show once and for all.
4:00-5:30 – The Annual Jack Kirby Anecdotal Circle Jerk
Come join friends and fans of the late, great Jack Kirby as we all attempt to outdo one another with a personal story or remembrance of the comic book legend, née God, who conveniently is no longer around to dispute any of what is said. The room fills up fast so be sure to get there early so you don’t miss a single one of the amazing stories you’ve heard ten times before! Room 23-B
Sunday July 15
10:30-12:00 – I’m Dickens, He’s Fenster: A 50th Anniversary Celebration
It was half a century ago this September 28th that a small portion of the nation first watched, with diminishing interest week by week, the probably pleasant and likely amusing adventures of Harry Dickens and Arch Fenster, until the last episode aired September 13th of the following year. I’ll be moderating neither John Astin (Dickens?) nor Marty Ingels (Fenster, I guess) but rather a panel of people not even tangentially involved in the television industry but who, like you, may have seen stills of the show or think the title at least sounds familiar. Also: What the next fifty years will bring, Dickens & Fenster-wise. Attendees are encouraged to come dressed as their favorite “I’m Dickens, He’s Fenster” character. Room 18, Adam West Wing.
Our only offsite event, not officially sanctioned by the Con, but you know if Stan Lee can negotiate the treacherous cliff, he’ll be there! Please, no Furries or Gamorrean Guards! Torrey Pines, San Diego.
Okay, I think that’s it. See you there! Now to get some sleep, then hop in the car and head down the freeway before my attorney reads any of this.