Ian Anderson 2:38 p.m., Dec. 10
The first issue of a six-part comic series, loosely about the making of Coldplay's latest album Mylo Xyloto, will debut at this week's San Diego Comic-Con International. The comic will then be released monthly from February 2013. The story of Mylo Xyloto was conceived and written by Coldplay alongside Academy Award-nominated writer and director Mark Osborne (Kung Fu Panda, The SpongeBob SquarePants Movie), and the comics will be published by Matt Groening's Bongo Comics Group.
Says Coldplay on their website, "Three years ago we had an idea with our friend Mark Osborne about a character called Mylo Xyloto - 'xylo' as in xylophone, 'to' as in toe. Gradually, Mylo's story and universe came together, and this ended up providing the backdrop for the album and tour."
On Thursday, July 12, the Balboa Theatre will be home to W00tstock 4.0: Three Hours of Geeks and Music, with musical comedy duo Paul and Storm, singer/songwriter Marian Call, and folk duo the Doubleclicks, as well as one-time Star Trek: the Next Generation whipping boy Will Wheaton, Grrl.com blogger Bonnie Burton, Mythbusters co-star Adam Savage, and author Rob Reid. Open to all ages, the show starts at 7:00pm with tickets running $45.
Also on Thursday, Dawn of the Con is set to be hosted by Rob Zombie at nearby Petco Park, where the former White Zombie frontman (who’s bringing the titular hotrod from his “Dragula” video) will debut music from his upcoming remix album. Running from 5:30pm to around 11:00pm and limited to Con badge holders, DJ Will from VH1 Classic’s That Metal Show will spin, along with several other performers TBA.
Petco Park will also be the scene of a multi-day event celebrating the 100th issue of the Walking Dead, the comic series that spun off into a wildly successful TV show. The Walking Dead Escape is a massive obstacle course that will be set up from July 12 through 14, with participants invited to run the course as a “Survivor” or a “Walker.”
A related event, the 6th Annual Zombie Walk, will find dead men (and women) walking all over downtown, hunting for brains to eat, beginning on Friday at 5:00pm. We don't recommend looking for any brains at City Hall, tho...
The Legend of Zelda Symphony will perform videogame-inspired tunes on Thursday night at Embarcadero Marina Park South, open to all ages and running from $20 to $76.
Thursday will see a special edition of the Museum of Photographic Arts’ POP Thursdays, with a costume contest and cocktail party. South Park eatery Alchemy will be serving tacos and cocktails, the comic-based movie Sin City will screen, and live models will be body-painted in comic-inspired artwork courtesy of San Diego Body Art Playground. DJ Gabe Vega will spin, and a photo booth setup will take your pic laid out as a comic book cover. The event starts at 7:0pm, with admission running from $8 (students) to $10 (public).
The outdoor stage at Space 4 Art (325 15th Street) will host the Crazy Rattlesnake Treehouse Gang on Thursday night, performing a live multi-media reading of comics and graphic novels from eight independent cartoonists and animators, in front of a projection screen backdrop flashing related images and film footage. Mad Magazine contributor Phil McAndrew will be among the participants, along with animators Becky Dreistadt and Frank Gibson (Yo Gabba Gabba), and local comic artist Tom Neely. Starts at 8:00pm, free admission to all.
Convention Center events on Thursday include a panel featuring talent from MTV’s Teen Wolf series (2:30pm).
Another panel, The Character of Music, will be moderated by Broadcast Music, Inc. (BMI), the U.S. performing rights and royalty organization, on Thursday at 6:00pm in Room 5AB. Composers Blake Neely and Christopher Lennertz, along with Joseph Trapanese and Nathan Johnson, will discuss the importance of music in film and TV, alongside their executive producer counterparts Andrew Kreisberg (upcoming CW series Arrow), Todd Aronauer (Supernatural), Charlie Bean (TRON: Uprising), and Rian Johnson (Looper). Panelists will also discuss their working relationships, how music plays a character in their stories, and the process of scoring their projects.
Also at Comic-Con, Kiss bassist Gene Simmons will be doing a comic book signing on Friday, July 13 at 2:00 pm, at Arcana Comics Booth #2415. Only 200 copies of the Simmons Comics Anthology will be made available. Fans will get the chance to meet Simmons and get their photo taken with real life versions of his comic characters Dominatrix™ and Zipper™.
The Anthology brings together comics originally co-created by Simmons, which includes the first issue of Zipper™, Dominatrix™ and Gene Simmons House of Horrors™ plus the first chapter of an all-new crossover event, “The Slave Trade”, where Zipper™ and Dominatrix™ will face off against each other.
“We intend on using the finest artists and writers in the comic book medium,” says Simmons in a press release. “Zipper™, Dominatrix™, and Gene Simmons House of Horrors™ will be published throughout the year. For Comic-Con, we thought we would do something special and give the fans a jam-packed Simmons Comics Anthology featuring all of our comic book titles. This is just the beginning.”
In the case of House of Horrors, this would actually be the THIRD beginning, with the title having been cancelled twice before, at two different publishing houses (including local IDW, which is still doing the Kiss: Dressed to Kill comics).
Metallica guitarist Kirk Hammett will be making an appearance at the Convention Center on Friday, signing "a few pre-determined cool thingies" pertaining to his forthcoming book, Too Much Horror Business - The Kirk Hammett Collection. The guitarist will be at the Tokyo Toy Booth #5336 in Hall G from 1:30pm to 2:30pm.
Beginning at 5:00pm on Friday, July 13, House of Blues and SEGA of America will present Sonic Boom 2012, with Crush 40 and Jean Paul and Alex Makhlouf from Cash Cash. Tickets are $15 for the all-ages event.
On Friday, July 13, the Whistle Stop will throw a free show with the Touchies, the New Kinetics, and DJ Robin Roth, all dressed in comic-themed costumes (which attendees are encouraged to wear as well). According to Mishey Touchie, "The New Kinetics are going as characters from the Scott Pilgram comic. The Touchies are going as characters from the comic movie Battle Royal. It's the movie where all the school kids are sent to the island and they have to stay and basically kill each other, until one kid is left standing. I've tried to explain it to people, but all they say is 'You mean like Hunger Games?' I'm not too sure about that, I've never seen Hunger Games."
Downtown’s Voyeur nightclub is throwing a 21-and-over Con of the Dead bash on Friday night, hosted by Fearnet.com and featuring music from the upcoming Resident Evil 6 video game, DJ Amanda Jones, Go-Go Ghoul Dancers, and goodies and giveaways from MPI’s Dark Sky Films and more.
Steampunk Party: The 2nd League of Temporal Adventurers Society Gala will be held at the San Diego Automotive Museum, starting at 8:00pm on Friday and featuring Unextraordinary Gentlemen, Miss Eliza Rickman, and local steampunk historian Professor J. S. Greyshade.
The Gaslamp Theater will screen a midnight movie on Friday night/Saturday morning, featuring the Devil’s Carnival, the latest punk rock opera from Darren Lynn Bousman (Repo: The Genetic Opera, Saw 2-4, Mother’s Day). The movie stars Terrance Zdunich (who co-wrote Repo! and the music for Carnival with Saar Hendelman), Bill Moseley, Briana Evigan (S Darko), Emilie Autumn, J. Larose, Alexa Vega (Spy Kids), Paul Sorvino, and The Clown from the band Slipknot.
According the the film's website, it's about "Sinners [who] are invited to a theme park where they endure the repetition of their transgressions. What chances do a conniving kleptomaniac, a gullible teenager, and an obsessed father stand when facing their own moral failings? Lucifer and his colorful cast of singing carnies invite you to grab a ticket to the Devil’s Carnival to find out!”
Metalocalypse's cartoon heavy metal band Dethklok, featuring local guitarist Mike Keneally, will play their first 2012 concert on the USS Midway on Friday night, beginning at 7:00pm.
Saturday, July 14, will see another cartoon band come to life, with the Aquabats Super Comicon Show at the House of Blues, a concert blending live-action comedic sketches with animation segments from the Hub TV Network show. Tickets run $18 to $20, open to all ages.
Sunday at the Convention Center, a panel called Behind the Music with CW3PR: Composers and Singers on Creating the Perfect Sound for TV and Film will run from 3:00 to 4:00pm.
Also Sunday at the Con, the all-musical episode of TV’s Buffy the Vampire Slayer, “Once More With Feeling,” will screen from 3:30 to 4:30pm. Attendees are encouraged to dress in costume and to act out "shadowcasting" in front of the screen, ala the Rocky Horror Picture Show.
All this month, San Diego comic creators will be featured in an exhibit titled Unmasked! Comic Art in San Diego Revealed. Hosted by Artlab Studios at 3536 Adams Avenue and curated by local cartoonist Batton Lash, the gallery show represents a wide range of styles and genres. Cartoonists include long-time veterans of the comics field such as Eric Shanower (creator of the award-winning Age of Bronze series) and underground comix artist Mary Fleener (who also plays in local bands with Cathryn Beeks and others), as well as rising stars such as Rebecca Hicks (Little Vampires) and Tyler Crook (Petrograd graphic novel). Other local artists include Dan Bois, Chynna Clugston Flores, Paul Horn, Mark Irwin, Dean LeCrone, Billy Martinez, and Jorge Pacheco.
The Casbah is running a Three Nights During the Con series on Thursday, Friday, and Saturday, featuring Tim Heidecker of Cartoon Network’s Tim and Eric Show, JP Inc. and local electronic space rockers Optiganally Yours (Thursday), Vivian Girls and local DJ Mario Orduno (Friday), and wrapping up with John Maus, Divers, and Tropic of Cancer (Saturday). Maus is touring behind A Collection of Rarities and Previously Unreleased Material, a sixteen-song set spanning eleven years that drops July 17 via Ribbon Music.
Also Thursday through Saturday, Warner Bros. Entertainment will present Extra at Comic-Con, a free all-day outdoor entertainment festival at Bayfront Park thrown by the TV show Extra, with various bands performing and all five different Batmobiles on display, from Adam West’s Lincoln Futura to Christian Bale’s rolling black tank.
Filmmaker Kevin Smith will host, the Bacon Brothers (Kevin Bacon and his brother) will perform, Nerdmelt Comedy will joke around, and cast members and creators from WB shows like Fringe and the Big Bang Theory will be signing autographs and basking in fannish adulation.
Throughout the Con, NBC at Gaslamp Square Park will take over the Tin Fish restaurant at 5th Avenue and K Street. The TV show Grimm will be celebrated with a Grimm-themed playpen, complete with props from the program and professional makeup artists applying faux skin carvings to volunteers. The network also promises to show off the actual Ferris wheel from the Revolution series and a related walk-through display called Revolution Village.
BioWare Base at the Gaslamp Hilton hotel returns to the Con this year, courtesy of the Canadian videogame company. Voice actors from Mass Effect will be dropping by, and plenty of multiplayer game consoles will be available to anyone tired of playing with themselves.
While the Con rolls onward, the Wine Steals/Proper restaurant will again host its own mini-Con, TR!CKSTER, focusing on small press and creator-owned comics, including/especially comics geared for adults. The latter will be at the forefront of each night's “Pen & Drink” event, where attendees are invited to draw scantily clad models while enjoying food and drinks.
All week, San Diego’s New Children’s Museum has a Cartoon Network Take Over display devoted to the Adventure Time TV series, recreating the look, characters, and settings the show’s surreal fantasy world.
Finally, if you’re one of the tens of thousands of people left empty handed with no tickets to the sold out Comic-Con, you can always use those empty hands to compete at the U.S. Air Guitar Championships regional showdown, to be held Thursday night at the Soda Bar.
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More comic-related links:
OVERHEARD IN SAN DIEGO - Several years' worth of this comic strip, which debuted in the Reader in 1996: http://www.sandiegoreader.com/photos/galleries/overheard-san-diego/
FAMOUS FORMER NEIGHBORS - Over 100 comic strips online, with mini-bios of famous San Diegans: http://www.sandiegoreader.com/photos/galleries/famous-former-neighbors/
JAY ALLEN SANFORD MySpace page: http://www.myspace.com/jayallensanford