I'm going to make this one pretty simple. Below are descriptions of the panels I'm most looking forward to seeing at next weekend's Baltimore Comic-Con.
1:00 - 2:00 PM - Spotlight on Thor
Marvel is giving the con-goers a Thor spotlight in anticipation of the blockbuster film set to drop next year. The panel features the creative talent behind the Thunder God's exploits both past and present, including, but not limited to, the great Walter Simonson. Simonson's Thor stories are some of my favorite comics ever. Last year at Baltimore I had the chance to meet Mr. Simonson and he was one of the nicest people I've ever had the pleasure of meeting. Having the chance to hear him discuss his addition to the Thor legacy will be a real treat for this longtime fan.
11:00 - 12:00 PM - comiXology and the Future of Digital Comics
comiXology has positioned themselves as the industry's leading force in the growing world of digital comic distribution and collecting. In this panel, comiXology's CEO, David Steinberger, will be discussing the company's rise to success, their plans for future digital comics initiatives and his opinions on what the future of the industry might look like with the advances in digitial delivery. Digital distribution is here and it's here to stay, so it's important that those of us working in the industry and those of us covering the industry are as educated as we can be about where comics is headed in this new digital age. I, for one, am looking very forward to this discussion.
3:00 - 4:00 PM - Mondo Marvel
Marvel Comics' executive editor Tom Breevort joins Jonathan Hickman (yes) and Jeff Parker (oh hell yes) to discuss the current creative direction of Marvel Comics and to tease some things we can look forward to in the near future. I've really been digging Marvel lately and they've overtaken DC in number of pulls each week in my hold box, so I'm definitely looking forward to it. Add to it the fact that Hickman is rocking it these days and the chance we'll get some more Hulk info out of Jeff Parker and you've got a panel well worth spending an hour on.
1:00 - 2:00 PM - Comics Rewind: The 1980s
Last year this panel was a spotlight on the 1970s and it was the best time that my friends and I had the entire show. This year the panel shifts to the 1980s, but with a similar focus. Mark Waid moderates as Louise and Walter Simonson, Marv Wolfman, Timothy Truman, Matt Wagner and John Workman relate stories about working in the comics industry during the 1980s. This is one of the most entertaining, free-form panels of the weekend and if it's anything like last year's 70s version, the stories should be VERY entertaining.
3:00 - 4:00 PM - Paul Pope vs. Bob Schreck
Paul Pope sits down with his longtime editor, Bob Schreck, and talks about, well, about just how awesome he is. What more do you need?
1:00 PM - Costume Contest
The panels close down for the con and the costume contest winners are announced. It should be a great time to watch all the various contestants in their geek finery competing for a bevy of prizes. I imagine we'll see more than a few Scott Pilgrims this year, probably some Kick Ass characters (oy vey) and more than a fair share of Predators. Whatever the turnout it should be a really great time and a good way to close out the show before we all grab up a bunch of 75% off back issues and make our way to the bars.