WED-SUN: PLEASE VISIT THE "FAMOUS MONSTERS" BOOTH #1509!
Ben von Strawn's crazy, low-brown Shock Monster eyeball logo!
There's probably not a single human being invading San Diego and its environs this weekend, for Comic-Con International, that doesn't know Godzilla is leading the pack — via the mega-media push by Legendary Pictures for the highly-touted and much-hyped Gareth Edwards creature features set to open worldwide next May. This includes the wildly-anticipated "Godzilla Encounter" exhibit in the Gaslamp District, in which fans will become immersed in a Kaiju-riffic experience covering the entire history, including displays of original monster suits and props. But, there are other Japanese-related events over the weekend at the show.
Here's a list of my picks for Japanese Fantasy Film events at this weekend's convention:
WEDNESDAY — SUNDAY
Legendary Pictures' amazing kaiju experience is located at the corner of 7th & J Streets in the Gaslamp Quarter — but you'll need a pass to get inside. Pick up your ticket from the Legendary booth in the Exhibitor's Hall @ #3920
ROBOTECH INDUSTRY PANEL
Tommy Yune, director of "Robotech: The Shadow Chronicles" and Steve Yun, screenwriter of "Robotech: The Shadow Chronicles" showcase all the latest live-action and animated "Robotech" projects in production. Thursday July 18, 2013 8:15pm - 9:15pm Room 6DE
CYBORG 009 AND THE LEGACY OF SHOTARO ISHINOMORI
Did you know that in 2008 the late Shotaro Ishinomori was named by Guinness World Records as the world record holder for the most comics published by one author? It's true! He created 770 individual stories that were collected into 500 volumes of manga, including "Kikaider," "Kamen Rider," and "Cyborg 009." In a celebration of his legacy, Archaia Entertainment and Ishimori Production Inc. have teamed up to produce a groundbreaking new graphic novel that re-imagines "Cyborg 009" for a new generation! Moderator Stephen Christy (Archaia's editor-in-chief) talks with writers F. J. DeSanto and Bradley Cramp and artist Marcus To (Red Robin, Adventures of Superman) about the process of bringing this graphic novel to life while also diving into Ishinomori's incredible legacy with manga/anime expert Deb Aoki (manga.about.com). Every attendee will receive a free copy of the "Cyborg 009: Chapter 000" preview issue. Friday July 19, 2013 2:00pm - 3:00pm Room 9
BEYOND THE VALLEY OF TEZUKA:
MANGA LEGENDS YOU DON'T KNOW, BUT SHOULD KNOW
Just as Jack Kirby, Moebius, and Robert Crumb influenced Western comics, many great Japanese manga artists have influenced many who have followed them. Yes, there's Osamu Tezuka, but there are many more worth discovering, such as Shigeru Mizuki, Shotaro Ishinomori, Go Nagai, Gengoroh Tagame, Taiyo Matsumoto, Moto Hagio, Takehiko Inoue, and much more. Christopher Butcher (director, Toronto Comic Arts Festival and manager, The Beguiling), F. J. DeSanto (Cyborg 009 from Archaia Entertainment), Giorgio Tsoukalos (Ancient Aliens), Graham Kolbeins (editor, The Passion of Gengoroh Tagame from Picturebox), Deb Aoki (MangaComicsManga), and possibly a surprise guest or two introduce you to some manga legends you may not know, including many that have recently released or soon-to-be-released works in English, and some that are long overdue to be recognized by Western comics fans. Friday July 19, 2013 7:30pm - 8:30pm Room 28DE
FAMOUS MONSTERS OF FILMLAND: STAKE OF THE UNION 2013
Join Famous Monsters publisher Philip Kim and executive EDitor Ed Blair in celebrating the world's oldest monster fan magazine. This year will feature some of FMF's most monstrous announcements to date, including special panelists Frank Frazetta Jr. (son of the legendary artist), Jeff Moore (VP of ESP Guitars), August Ragone (author and kaiju expert), Giorgio Tsoukalos (Ancient Aliens), actors Kathryn Leigh Scott and Lara Parker (Dark Shadows) and much, much more. Friday July 19, 2013 7:45pm - 8:45pm Room 5AB
LEGENDARY PICTURES: GODZILLA
An epic rebirth to Toho's iconic Godzilla, this spectacular adventure pits the world's most famous monster against malevolent creatures who, bolstered by humanity's scientific arrogance, threaten our very existence. Gareth Edwards directs "Godzilla," which stars Aaron Taylor-Johnson, Ken Watanabe, Elizabeth Olsen, and Juliette Binoche, with David Strathairn and Bryan Cranston. The screenplay is by Max Borenstein, Frank Darabont, and Dave Callaham. Thomas Tull and Jon Jashni are producing with Mary Parent and Brian Rogers. Alex Garcia and Patricia Whitcher are the executive producers, alongside Yoshimitsu Banno and Kenji Okuhira. The film is from Warner Bros. and Legendary Pictures. Saturday July 20, 2013 10:45am Hall H
STAR BLAZERS 2199: CREW & FAN MEETING AND SCREENING
The legendary "Star Blazers" TV series is coming back! Join the crew to learn more about "Star Blazers 2199" at this exciting and riveting panel! You'll have a chance to witness the screening of the first episode of the new show as well as be able to ask questions. Panel guests include producer Hiroaki Ikegami and a guest Cosplayer from Japan playing Yuki Mori. Saturday July 20, 2013 2:00pm - 3:00pm Room 25ABC
To be sure, there are a lot of other panels and presentations on manga and anime during the convention, but these are just my best picks for this year's show — for further information, please visit the official Comic-Con International website — and have a great con! I know that I will!