SDCC 2016: Friday Panel Hidden Gems

By: DRWHO42, Alyssa, ComicConDad & Transmute Jun

Note from the Editors: We are approaching the big show in San Diego quickly and as each day draws closer we are treated to exciting news and announcements. Over the next few days as the schedules are released we will have posts highlighting some of the gems that we have found in the schedule.

DRWHO42’s Picks:

Star Wars: The Science Awakens 10:00am – 11:00am 7AB
Could Lightsabers ever be a reality? How would Starkiller Base work in the real world? Which droid would NASA select for a real mission? Fon Davis (production designer, Star Wars Movies), Kim Steadman (NASA engineer, Mars Science Lab), Kieran Dickson (editor, Outerplaces), Travis Langley (editor, Star Wars Psychology), Steve Huff (fight choreographer), and moderator Jenna Busch (Legion of Leia) break down the science behind a galaxy far far away, field your burning questions and give away a prize or two.

The British Invasion: Spirit of ’86 12:00pm –  1:00pm Room 29AB
The British are coming! The British are coming! No, they’ve already arrived-and they’ve been the driving force of the comics scene for decades! In the anniversary year of the release of Alan Moore and Dave Gibbons’s Watchmen, moderator Leonard Sultana (An Englishman In San Diego) talks to Paul Levitz (former DC Comics president) and a panel of special guests about the recruitment of U.K. creative talent in the late-70s/mid-80s, the key titles of the period and their lasting impact on the comics landscape to this day.

Sharknado: The 4th Awakens 7:15pm –  8:15pm Room 6A
Ian Ziering, Tara Reid, Ryan Newman, Stacey Dash, Cody Linley, Masiela Lusha and director Anthony Ferrante will whet your appetite for the explosive new sequel in the pop culture juggernaut that is Sharknado! See exclusive clips of the fourth installment, which will be chomping down viewers this July 31 on Syfy. The cast and director will share stories from the set, explain why the story takes place five years into the future, and reveal how just many sharks it takes to destroy Las Vegas. Fans also get to partake in a Q&A session.

Transmute Jun’s picks:

Spotlight on Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa 10:00am – 11:00am 29AB
Moderator Alex Segura (crime novelist and Archie writer) conducts a freewheeling discussion with acclaimed comic book writer, playwright, and screenwriter Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa, spotlighting his time at Archie Comics, including the creation of the hit Afterlife with Archie and Chilling Adventures of Sabrina comics and writing other beloved comic book properties like the Fantastic Four; his prolific television (Glee, Supergirl), theatrical (American Psycho, Spider-Man on Broadway), and movie (Carrie andTown that Dreaded Sundown remake) work; and the upcoming Riverdale TV series from the CW.

Nobility: The Screening 11:00am – 12:00pm Neil Morgan Auditorium
See Nobility, the long-awaited love note to sci-fi, and enjoy the heroes you’re not looking for, but the ones humanity needs! This star-studded action/adventure story in the vein ofFarscape and Doctor Who is the perfect mash-up of action, drama, and comedy. Created by E. J. De la Pena (Jingle All the Way), starring Walter Koenig (Star Trek), Doug Jones (Hellboy), Christopher Judge (Stargate SG-1), Darren Jacobs (Royal Shakespeare Company), Cas Anvar (Assassin’s Creed), Torri Higginson (Stargate Atlantis), Ellen Dublin (Lexx), Adrienne Wilkinson (Xena), Miracle Laurie (Dollhouse),Neil Kaplan (Voltron: Legendary Defender), and James Kyson (Heroes).

Spotlight on Berkeley Breathed 1:30pm – 2:30pm 5AB
In 2015, Pulitzer Prize-winning cartoonist Berkeley Breathed began (without warning!) producing all-new Bloom County strips, for the first time in more than 25 years! Join Berkeley for one of his infamous presentations, focusing on what it’s like to be the last strip cartoonist standing! Presentation followed by Q&A.

ComicConDad’s Picks:

Geek Girls & Catbirds 10:00am – 11:00am Room 25ABC
Comics professionals come together to discuss their unique contributions to their beloved medium in this star-studded panel. Topics include creating engaging characters with Margaret Atwood (Angel Catbird), transitioning from artist to writer/artist with Joëlle Jones (Lady Killer), and going from Kickstarting to book deal with Hope Nicholson (The Secret Loves of Geek Girls). Sure to be a great panel for the budding cartoonist eager to explore the craft of making comics!

Kramer’s Ergot and the Art of the Comic Anthology 11:30am – 12:30pm Room 24ABC
Few anthologies have done as well a job of capturing modern cartooning and visual storytelling than the Kramer’s Ergot series, edited and compiled by Sammy Harkham. Learn about the history behind the series, the process of wrangling over 15 artists, and the importance of anthologies in the comics medium, with contributors Johnny Ryan, John Pham, Matt Groening, and Steven Weissman.

Spies, Vixens, and Masters of Kung Fu 6:00pm – 7:00pm Room 4
Paul Gulacy (The Rook) discusses his 40-plus years in the comics industry with moderator Steve Mattsson (Superboy & the Ravers). Hear about Paul’s work on classic characters like Shang Chi, Sabre, Batman, James Bond, Sci-Spy, Catwoman, and G.I. Joe. See behind-the-scenes examples of Paul’s technique: layouts, pencils, inks, fully rendered colors, and painting.

Alyssa’s Picks:

How to Build a Geek Brand 12:00pm –  1:00pm  Pacific 24, North Tower, MM & Marina
Do you dream of converting your nerd passion into a full-time career but feel overwhelmed with the next steps? Whether writing your first book, becoming a YouTube personality or creating an innovative product, the road to success can be filled with many obstacles and pitfalls. Join geek pros as they help you get started, discover some shortcuts, and inspire you to make an impact in pop culture. Panelists include Tony B. Kim (founder of Hero Within and, Sam Maggs (author,The Fangirl’s Guide to the Galaxy and Wonder Women), and Andre Meadows (comedian on Black Comedy Nerd).

Space Command: Bold Adventures in the Far Reaches of Space 12:00pm –  1:00pm
Neil Morgan Auditorium, SD Central Library
Science fiction Legend Marc Scott Zicree (Star Trek: The Next Generation, Twilight Zone Companion), Emmy-winning VFX genius Ron Thornton (Star Trek Voyager, Babylon 5) and sci-fi superstar members of the cast present the world premiere of the spectacular opening sequence of Space Command: Redemption, the epic adventure web series that spans 150 years of galactic history! Featuring the awesome cast: Doug Jones (Hellboy, Pan’s Labyrinth), Bill Mumy (Lost in Space, Twilight Zone), Bob Picardo (Star Trek Voyager, Total Recall), Mira Furlan (Babylon 5, Lost), Bruce Boxleitner (Tron, Babylon 5), Mike Harney (Orange Is the New Black), Christina Moses (Containment), James Hong (Big Trouble in Little China), Faran Tahir (Star Trek), and worldwide Talent Search winners Ethan McDowell, Bryan McClure, and Sara Maraffino. With music by David Raiklen, plus a Q&A session and behind-the-scenes video.

Mars Needs People: Putting Humans on the Red Planet 4:00pm –  5:00pm Room 7AB
Long before the rescuing of Mark Watney became a cultural phenom, Mars and martians had captured the imagination of comic book and science fiction authors. For almost a century and a half, fictional visits to the red planet have been made by humans like John Carter and superhumans like Superman, Dr. Manhattan, and Dr. McNinja. Some, like the Martian Manhunter (J’onn J’onzz) even call the fourth planet home. In this panel, Jason Crusan (director, Advanced Exploration Systems Division at NASA), Joseph Cassady (executive director, Space at Aerojet Rocketdyne), Gregory H. Johnson (president and executive director, Center for the Advancement of Science in Space), and moderator Steve Broback (cofounder, Dent the Future) discuss the latest developments in the commercial and government partnership driving the 2035 mission to Mars.

Trek Talks: Science, Smithsonian And Star Trek 6:30pm –  7:30pm Room 5AB
From the cutting-edge labs of the Smithsonian Institution to the front lines of the digital economy, the promises made in Star Trek are coming true. This panel gives a glimpse at real Trek technology: the tricorder that may change medicine, laser weapon technology, and an actual tractor beam. And fans will get a preview of the original Starship Enterprise, fully restored after 50 years and the centerpiece of the National Air and Space Museum. This panel will include exclusive preview clips from Smithsonian Channel’s two-hour special Building Star Trek, which will air later this year. Dr. Margaret Weitekamp, curator at the Smithsonian’s National Air and Space Museum, moderates a discussion with Dr. Sonny Kohli, team leader of Cloud DX, a finalist for the Qualcomm Tricorder XPRIZE; David Grier, professor of physics and director of the Center for Soft Matter Research at New York University, who is developing a real-life Tractor Beam; Dr. Rob Afzal, Lockheed Martin senior fellow Laser Sensor and Systems Harnessing the Power of Lasers; and Elizabeth Trojian, executive producer of Smithsonian Channel’s Building Star Trek.

What’s YOUR hidden gems? Click here and share them with us on the FoCC forum.

Panels sorted by room

Panels 10am – 12:45pm

Panels 1pm – 3:45pm

Panels 4pm – 6:45pm

Panels 7pm – close


Alyssa bought her first comic at age 7 & was hooked. She has collected comics most of her life. Recently she has branched out to comic art and books. She goes to as many con's as she can & enjoys the long form story telling of TV and dark chocolate and wine, can't forget wine, oh, but then there's dark beer. Let's just go all in & say she's a foodie, and can always be enticed with new & fun foods.