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Animation Groups & Die-Hards Man Panels at Comic-Con 2007

Animation groups and animation pros with a flair for comics will be out in force manning panels at the 38th annual Comic-Con 2007 in San Diego this year.

ASIFA-Hollywood, the Los Angeles chapter of The International Animated Film, will have a major presence at Comic-Con this year, including booth 5434 in Hall "C." Here is a quick rundown of its offering or you many find the updated list at

* Thursday, July 26, 3:30-5:00 pm -- ANIMATION ON A SHOE-STRING, Creating a Low Cost Animation Studio with Your Home Computer (Room 30CDE)

* Thursday, July 26, 6:00-7:00 pm -- MAVERICKS, MAGIC AND MAGOO (Room 3)

* Thursday, July 26, 7:15-8:45pm -- THE PIXAR STORY: TO INFINITY AND BEYOND (Room 6CDEF)

* Friday, July 27, 4:30-6:00pm -- TREASURES FROM THE ASIFA VAULT (Room 3)


* Friday, July 27, 9:00-10:00pm -- WORST CARTOONS EVER (Room 6CDEF)

* Saturday, July 28, 2-3:00 pm -- STATE OF THE ANIMATION INDUSTRY (Room 8)

The State of the Animation Industry panel will include AWN's editor in chief Sarah Baisley, along with Tim Johnson (co-director, OVER THE HEDGE), Bill Plympton (independent animator extraordinaire), Aki Umemoto (creative director, Mattel for 25 years and currently creative director of Base Station), Stephen Chiodo (Chiodo Bros. Studio), Aubry Mantz (formerly of ILM, chair of animation at Laguna College of Art & Design) and Kent Braun (DigiCel animation software). Educator and Awn Forum moderator Larry Loc will moderate the panel in Room 8.

ASIFA-Hollywood's animation jam will be running all convention long. Check out for more information.

Loc will post daily updates about what is happening with ASIFA-Hollywood at Comic-Con on his website:

The Animation Writers Caucus of the WGA will feature its panel, Holy Bleep, Batman!: Censorship & Animation, on July 28, 10:30 am to noon in Room 8 of the Convention Center. What can't you say in a cartoon? What can't you show? Why? Who says? Writers and producers of daytime and primetime animated television series tell tales out of school about what they didn't get to do and what they got away. Featuring panelists Alan Burnett (BATMAN), Opus Moreschi (LIL' BUSH), Eric Kaplan (THE DRINKY CROW SHOW), Craig Miller (CURIOUS GEORGE), Andrew Nichols (JIMMY NEUTRON, WILL & DEWITT) and Patric Verrone (FUTURAMA).

Also check out The Animation Production Process on July 28, 6:30-7:30, in Room 3. What goes into bringing an animated script to screen? Producers Stephanie Graziano (X-MEN: THE ANIMATED SERIES), Tad Stones (HELLBOY ANIMATED: SWORD OF STORMS) and Greg Weisman (SPECTACULAR SPIDER-MAN) take you behind the scenes and into the trenches. Moderated by Shannon Muir (INVADER ZIM), author of GARDNER'S GUIDE TO WRITING AND PRODUCING ANIMATION from GGC, and currently project management coordinator at AWN.

AWN's columnist Mark Simon will give a Storyboarding seminar:* How to make over $100,000/yr with a pencil* Tricks for working with directors* How to get startedJuly 26, 11:30 am - 12:30 pmRoom 30 CDE

Simon will also be part of the CREEPERS screening with question and answer session at 3:50 pm on July 26 in Room 26 AB.

Another AWN contributor and Comic-Con mainstay, Scott Shaw! has his annual presentation, Scott Shaw!: Oddball Comics, July 28, 2:30-4:00 pm. For nearly four decades, cartoonist Shaw! (CAPTAIN CARROT AND THE FINAL ARC) has presented his uniquely hilarious slideshow of "the craziest comicbooks ever published" to SRO audiences at Comic-Con. Now seen at and in the pages of GEEK MONTHLY magazine, Scott's Oddball Comics show features such nutty four-color oddities as ALL-NEGRO COMICS, POPULAR TEEN-AGERS' TONI GAY AND BUTCH DYKEMAN, IT'S FUN TO STAY ALIVE, crotch-centric issues of SUPERMAN'S GIRLFRIEND, LOIS LANE and funnybooks with a "fish-in-the-face" moti... plus, a baker's dozen of the most notorious Oddball Comics of all time.

Shaw! also joins writer/producer Mark Evanier on one of Evanier's 14 panels he's involved with:

July 26, 1:30-2:30 pm, Room 8, Spotlight on Gary Friedrich -- The author of some of the most fondly remembered Marvel Comics of the '60s and '70s, Comic-Con special guest Gary Friedrich will be interviewed by Evanier about his comics career, including a memorable and thought-provoking run on Sgt. Fury and His Howling Commandoes, created during the height of the Vietnam War.

July 26, 2:30-4:00 pm, Room 8, Sergio & Mark: Groo's 25th -- It's hard to believe, but it's been 25 years since Sergio Aragonés' Groo first wandered into our lives. Many issues and seemingly just as many publishers later, Groo is still hale and hearty. Join creator Aragonés, colorist Tom Luth, letterer Stan Sakai, plus a Groo editor or two, along with Evanier, whose involvement with the character remains a mystery to all of us.

July 26, 4:00-5:30 pm, Room 8, The Golden and Silver Age of Comics -- Comic-Con has a long tradition of seeking out talent from the early years of comics, and this year is no exception. Along with comics stalwarts Dick Ayers, Russ Heath and George Gladir, moderator Evanier interviews first-time special guests Allen Bellman, Mel Keefer, and Lily Renée Phillips about their lives and careers in comics.

July 27, 12-1:00 pm, Room 8, Spotlight on Allen Bellman -- Having started out doing backgrounds for CAPTAIN AMERICA in the 1940s, Allen Bellman went on to work on a number of other Timely Golden Age series, including SUB-MARINER and HUMAN TORCH. In the 1950s, he worked with the legendary Charles Biro and Bob Wood and Lev Gleason Publications, before leaving comics for the newspaper world. Meet one of the unsung heroes of the Golden Age of Comics as Evanier talks to Bellman about his career in comics.

July 27, 1-2:00 pm, Room 8, Spotlight on Mel Keefer -- First-time Comic-Con special guest Mel Keefer spent most of his career in the world of newspaper syndicated comics, drawing strips, such as PERRY MASON, MAC DIVOT and Rick O'Shay. Evanier talks to Keefer about his work, including as a layout and character design artist in animation and his "starring" role as the artist behind Jack Lemmon's cartoonist in the 1965 movie HOW TO MURDER YOUR WIFE.

July 27, 2-3:00 pm, Room 8, Marvel in the 60s and 70s -- The Marvel Age of Comics was a magical time for both the people who created the books and fans who read them. Evanier talks to Roy Thomas (AVENGERS, CONAN), Gary Friedrich (SGT. FURY, GHOST RIDER), Dick Ayers (SGT. FURY, FANTASTIC FOUR), Mike Ploog (GHOST RIDER, MONSTER OF FRANKENSTEIN), and Magazine Management's David George about that magical Marvelous era.

July 27, 4:30-5:30 pm, Room 8, Spotlight on Mark Evanier -- Sure, you've seen him moderate about a gazillion panels at Comic-Con, but have you ever heard the Evanier story? Comics and animation writer -- and long-time ME friend --Paul Dini sits down and turns the mic on Evanier for once. Learn about his life, his career, his popular blog, and what he really does when he's not moderating panels at Comic-Con!

July 27, 5:30-6:30 pm, Room 8, Spotlight on Dave Stevens/The Rocketeer's 25th -- THE ROCKETEER zoomed out of the sky 25 years ago in the pages of Pacific Comics Presents and took the comics world by storm! Dave Stevens' lush art and evocative 1930s setting -- not to mention the Rocketeer's main squeeze, Bettie Page! --is still being talked about today. Evanier talks to creator Stevens about the legacy of THE ROCKETEER and what he's doing these days.

July 28, 10:30-12:00 pm, Room 6CDEF, Quick Draw -- We've said it before and we'll say it again: Quick Draw is just about the most fun you can have at any comics convention panel. Host Evanier keeps artists Sergio Aragonés, Scott Shaw! and Mike Kazaleh on their toes through this rollicking cartoon improv event, while you get to see them draw their hearts out live on the big screen.

July 28, 12:00-1:15 pm, Room 6B, Cartoon Voices I -- Such a Comic-Con favorite, they're doing it twice this year. Evanier hosts his yearly panel with some of the greatest voice talent in the cartoon business. The panel includes Neil Ross (GI JOE), Wally Wingert (INVADER ZIM), Kathy Garver (SPIDER-MAN AND HIS AMAZING FRIENDS), Will Ryan (Disney voice artist), Chris Edgerly (HARVEY BIRDMAN) and Joe Alaskey (DUCK DODGERS). Stay tuned for Part II tomorrow at noon in the very same room. Room 6B

July 28, 4:30-6:00 pm, Room 2, Spotlight on Roy Thomas -- One of the first big-time fans turned pro, Roy Thomas went from editing the seminal comics fanzine ALTER EGO to a job at Marvel Comics that saw him produce memorable runs on AVENGERS, X-MEN, CONAN and just about every other Marvel character and group, including, at one point, editing the whole line. Evanier interviews Thomas on his long and storied career in comics, including his return to the magazine that started it all, ALTER EGO.

July 29, 10:30-11:45 am, Room 1AB, Jack Kirby Tribute -- Let's face it: when it comes to comics, it's Kirby's World and we just live in it. 2007 has seen a bumper crop of Kirby projects, including the first volume of DC's deluxe chronological reprinting of all the FOURTH WORLD stories, a major documentary about JACK ON THE FANTASTIC FOUR DVD, and Evanier's upcoming art book, KIRBY, KING OF COMICS. Join Evanier as he talks to Neil Gaiman, Erik Larsen, Darwyn Cooke, Mike Royer and members of the Kirby family about the lasting influence of the undisputed King of comics.

July 29, 12:00-1:15 pm, Room 6B, Cartoon Voices II -- Back for more with some of the greatest voice talent in cartoons today. Moderator Evanier talks with Tom Kenny (SPONGEBOB SQUAREPANTS), Michael Bell (RUGRATS), April Stewart (SOUTH PARK), Gregg Berger (TRANSFORMERS), Maurice LaMarche (PINKY AND THE BRAIN) and Charles Napier (MEN IN BLACK) in this second installment.

July 29, 1:30-3:00 pm, Room 1AB, Cover Story: Art of the Cover -- You really can tell a book by its cover, and Evanier is going to talk to some of the best cover artists in the comics biz about it. Join Evanier along with fellow Comic-Con special guests Adam Hughes (CATWOMAN, WONDER WOMAN), Joseph Michael Linsner (DAWN), Joe Jusko (TOMB RAIDER, MARVEL MASTERPIECES), Rowena (renowned fantasy cover illustrator), Matt Wagner (GRENDEL, BATMAN), J. H. Williams (PROMETHEA) and others as they tell their own cover stories.