WonderCon, one of the country’s most popular and well-attended comic book conventions, boasts an impressive guest list for the annual event being held in San Francisco on Friday through Sunday April 2-4, 2010. WonderCon is produced by the same organization that produces the world-renowned Comic-Con International in San Diego.
Guests at WonderCon will take part in programs and panel discussions that spotlight their career and contributions to the comic book and popular arts industries. Many will also be available for autographing sessions. Those scheduled to appear include:
Murphy Anderson: One of comics’ most respected inkers, Anderson is also known for his stunning pencils on Hawkman, Adam Strange, and Atomic Knights. Anderson’s long career in comics — dating back to the Golden Age — includes the Buck Rogers syndicated comic strip and a long stint producing PS, the Preventive Maintenance magazine for the U.S. Army.
Sergio Aragones: As one of MAD magazine’s longest-running cartoonists and the creator of that popular dim-witted barbarian Groo, Sergio Aragones is one of WonderCon’s most popular guests. Sergio recently helped revive the DC western hero Bat Lash in a new miniseries and co-wrote Will Eisner’s The Spirit with frequent collaborator and fellow WonderCon guest Mark Evanier. Most recently, the man some call the world’s fastest cartoonist ventured into the popular world of The Simpsons, becoming a regular featured writer/artist in Bart Simpson Comics.
Peter S. Beagle: His extraordinary body of work — including A Fine And Private Place, The Last Unicorn, Tamsin, and the award-winning “Two Hearts” — has made author Peter S. Beagle an American fantasy legend. He also wrote the animated versions of The Lord of the Rings and The Last Unicorn, plus the fan-favorite “Sarek” episode of Star Trek: The Next Generation. Starting in April 2010, IDW Publishing will release a six-issue adaptation of The Last Unicorn, to be followed by an adaptation of A Fine and Private Place.
Max Brooks (appearing courtesy of Avatar Press): The author of two bestsellers, The Zombie Survival Guide and World War Z, Max Brooks has also written for Saturday Night Live, for which he won an Emmy. His first graphic novel, The Zombie Survival Guide: Recorded Attacks, was released in 2009. The son of Mel Brooks and Anne Bancroft, Max is completely dedicated to the cause of raising awareness on the issue of zombie survival.
Michael Chiklis (appearing courtesy of IDW Publishing): Perhaps best known for his portrayal of Detective Vic Mackey on the groundbreaking television drama The Shield, as well as his roles as Ben Grimm, the Thing, in the Fantastic Four movies and his starring roles in the TV series The Commish and Daddio, Michael Chiklis is currently venturing into the world of comic books. Along with Anny Simon Beck and Marc Andreyko, he is launching Pantheon, a dark and stylized story of ancient Greek gods returning to a ravaged, chaotic near-future Earth, where they battle for the fate of mankind. The five-issue series pits Zeus’ fellow gods against Titans in an epic battle of good versus evil and debuts from IDW Publishing in Spring 2010.
Frank Cho: Award-winning cartoonist Frank Cho started his comics career with the syndicated strip Liberty Meadows. He eventually took his popular strip to comic book form, published by Image Comics. He has also produced work for Marvel Comics, including New Avengers, Mighty Avengers, and Hulk, and Dynamite Entertainment’s Jungle Girl.
Amanda Conner: With a comics career that started at Marvel and Archie in the late 1980s, Amanda Conner worked for Claypool Comics on Soulsearchers and Company and for Harris on Vampirella in the 1990s. She’s best known as the penciller on DC’s Power Girl, co-written by fellow WonderCon special guest Jimmy Palmiotti (with Justin Gray). She also illustrated the Supergirl feature in Wednesday Comics, featuring Krypto the Super Dog and Streaky the Super Cat.
Darwyn Cooke: Writer/artist Darwyn Cooke is best known for his work at DC Comics, including Catwoman, Will Eisner’s The Spirit, and the Eisner Award-winning series DC: The New Frontier, which was turned into an animated movie in 2008. His current project is a series of graphic novels published by IDW based on Richard Stark’s legendary Parker books. The first, The Hunter, premiered at Comic-Con this year, while the second — an adaptation of The Man with the Getaway Face — will debut in 2010.
Colleen Doran: Illustrator, film conceptual artist, cartoonist, and writer Colleen Doran boasts published works numbering in the hundreds. She has illustrated the works of Neil Gaiman, Clive Barker, Warren Ellis, Anne Rice, J Michael Straczynski, Peter David, and Tori Amos. Her credits include Sandman, Wonder Woman, A Distant Soil, Legion of Superheroes, Teen Titans, Walt Disney’s Beauty and the Beast, Tori Amos: Comic Book Tattoo, and many more.
Mark Evanier: Comics, animation, TV, and blog-writer Mark Evanier comes back to WonderCon to host a bevy of panels for comics-loving fans of all ages. Known for his work with Jack Kirby (his art book Kirby: King of Comics won the 2009 Eisner Award for Best Comics-Related Book) and Sergio Aragones (he does something on Groo, but no one is quite certain what it is), Evanier brings his incredible wealth of knowledge of comics and pop culture to light each and every day on his blog at www.newsfromme.com.
David Finch: A fan-favorite artist known primarily for his work at Marvel, David Finch started his comics career at Top Cow on Cyberforce. He went on to illustrate The New Avengers at Marvel, along with the relaunch of Moon Knight and the Ultimate Universe-changing event series Ultimatum, written by Jeph Loeb. He’s also done album cover art for the band Disturbed and concept art for films, including Watchmen.
Hunter Freberg: Humorist, entertainer, well-known media personality, and keynote speaker Hunter Freberg has been a correspondent on KRON-TV (San Francisco), KNBC-TV (Los Angeles), WJBK-TV (Detroit), and CNN, answering viewers’ questions from around the country. Her commentaries have been syndicated on over 300 radio stations across the country, and she has served as co-host for ABC Talkradio. Her no-nonsense, breezy, on-target style has even taken center stage at The Improv in Los Angeles. Since marrying humorist/satirist Stan Freberg, audiences have declared it, “A comedy match made in heaven.”
Stan Freberg: One of America’s best-loved humorists, satirists, and keynote speakers, Stan Freberg is known worldwide as an award-winning composer, lyricist, singer, actor, writer, and director. His albums and CDs have sold millions, reaching multiple generations of fans. Starting at the age of 18, he began a lifetime career as a voice-over actor doing over 400 Warner Bros. cartoons. His radio career started with him appearing in a small part, on the Jack Benny Show and culminated a few years later with actually replacing Benny with the Stan Freberg Show on the CBS Radio Network. During the same time period he helped create the award-winning children’s program Time For Beany (Beany & Cecil), which received an Emmy for Best Children’s Show three years in a row. He is known as one of the handful of Capitol Legendary Recording Artists and served on the founding Board of Governors of NARAS, where he personally created the word “Grammy” in 1957. His many awards include four Emmys, a Grammy, the Venice Film Festival’s Grand Prix, and 21 Clios (the Oscar of Advertising). Freberg has been inducted into The Radio Hall of Fame, The Animation Hall of Fame, and has a star on The Hollywood Walk of Fame.
Adam Hughes: Starting his comics career in 1987, Adam Hughes has drawn for DC Comics, Marvel Comics, Dark Horse Comics, Sideshow Collectibles, and many other companies. He has also done work for Lucasfilm, Warner Bros. Pictures, and Joss Whedon’s Mutant Enemy Productions.
Geoff Johns: The mastermind behind this year’s biggest comics event, Blackest Night, Geoff Johns is DC’s go-to guy for relaunching its heroes. He brought back Hal Jordan (Green Lantern Rebirth), Barry Allen (Flash Rebirth), and Connor Kent (Superboy in Adventure Comics), and he is currently telling the tale of Superman: Secret Origin. His other work includes long popular runs on Hawkman, Teen Titans, and Justice Society of America.
Adam Kubert: Artist Adam Kubert’s body of work includes Wolverine, Incredible Hulk, Spider-Man, Superman, and Ghost Rider, along with launching Marvel’s mega-popular Ultimate X-Men and Ultimate Fantastic Four titles. After a short stint at DC, Adam has recently returned to his roots at Marvel. He currently teaches with his father, Joe, and brother, Andy, at The Joe Kubert School of Cartoon and Graphic Art located in Dover, New Jersey.
Joe Kubert: In Joe Kubert’s 70-plus years of working in the comics medium he has produced countless stories for countless characters, including DC Comics’ Hawkman, Tarzan, Enemy Ace, Sgt Rock, Batman, and the Flash as well as creating his own characters: Abraham Stone and the heroic caveman Tor. His list of accomplishments is lengthy: penciller, inker, letterer, colorist, one of the creators of 3D comic books, newspaper strip cartoonist, school founder and teacher, correspondence course developer, author, artist, and editor. His graphic novel Fax from Sarajevo won both the Eisner and Harvey Awards for Best Graphic Album-New in 1997. Joe lives and works in New Jersey.
Jimmy Palmiotti: Starting off as one of comics’ top inkers, Jimmy Palmiotti has added writer to his resume. The co-founder of Event Comics and Marvel Knights, Jimmy now chronicles the adventures (along with writing partner Justin Gray) of Jonah Hex (soon to be a major motion picture) and Power Girl for DC, and the zombie horror/thriller The Last Resort, published by IDW. His co-creation (with Joe Quesada), Painkiller Jane, was a TV series on Sci Fi in 2007.
Tim Powers: Author Tim Powers’ first two novels, The Skies Discrowned and Epitaph in Rust, were both published in 1976. His subsequent novels include The Drawing of the Dark, The Anubis Gates (winner of the Philip K. Dick Memorial Award and the Prix Apollo), Dinner at Deviant’s Palace (winner of the Philip K. Dick Memorial Award), On Stranger Tides, The Stress of Her Regard, Last Call (winner of the World Fantasy Award), Expiration Date, Earthquake Weather, Declare (winner of the World Fantasy Award), and Three Days to Never.
Darick Robertson: The co-creator of Transmetropolitan and The Boys, Darick Robertson began his career at age 17 when he created the title Space Beaver, an independent black-and-white comic for which he supplied all art and story. Darick went on to work on Justice League of America and JLE, Wolverine, Spider-Man, The New Warriors, and, with Warren Ellis, Acclaim’s Man of the Atom. In 1997, he reteamed with Ellis to co-create 60 issues of Transmetropolitan. Darick went on to illustrate Marvel’s Fury, Spider-Man, Nightcrawler, The Punisher: Born, and a two-year run on Wolverine. In 2006 he signed an exclusive contract with DC Comics, illustrating American Splendor, The Exterminators, JLA, The Authority: Prime and, in 52, relaunching The Question with Greg Rucka. He also illustrates Dynamite Entertainment’s The Boys with co-creator Garth Ennis, and the WildStorm series Prototype, inspired by the multiplatform game from Activision, and The Authority with Keith Giffen.
James Robinson: Comic book scribe and sometimes screenwriter James Robinson is currently known for his work on sundry Superman books as well as the Justice League of America for DC Comics. His prior work, Starman, is also currently been reprinted by DC in Omnibus form.
Greg Rucka: Author Greg Rucka made his mark in the mystery genre with his Atticus Kodiak novels before adding comics writer to his resume. Since then he has had notable runs on 52, Gotham Central, and Wonder Woman at DC, Wolverine at Marvel, and his own creations, Queen & Country and Whiteout, at Oni Press. Since 1999 Rucka and his works have been nominated for 17 Eisner Awards and have won 3. He currently writes Action Comics and Detective Comics for DC and Stumptown for Oni. His latest Atticus Kodiak novel is Walking Dead.
Gail Simone: A multiple award-winning, critically acclaimed writer of comics and animation, Gail Simone began writing as a columnist for comicbookresources.com, producing the comics parody column “You’ll All Be Sorry.” She has since had fan-favorite runs on such books as Deadpool, Agent X, Birds of Prey, Gen13, and the creator-owned Welcome To Tranquility. She currently writes Wonder Woman, Secret Six, and other special projects for DC Comics. Simone has also written for animation, including Justice League Unlimited and Tomb Raider.
Kevin Smith: The popular writer/director of such films as Clerks, Mallrats, Chasing Amy, and Zack and Miri Make a Porno, Kevin Smith returns to WonderCon for the first time in over four years! In addition to his movie work, Smith has returned to comics with back-to-back Batman miniseries: Batman: Cacophony, and Batman: Widening Gyre. Smith’s Q&A sessions always pack them in wherever he appears.
Ethan Van Sciver: Not many artists can say they were present at the rebirth of a character, but Ethan Van Sciver teamed with writer (and fellow WonderCon special guest) Geoff Johns to relaunch two of comics’ most popular heroes: Hal Jordan (Green Lantern) and Barry Allen (The Flash). Coming off the recent Flash Rebirth mini-series, Van Sciver is one of the most popular artists working in comics today.
Judd Winick: With a writing career that runs the gamut from Barry Ween: Boy Genius to the Dark Knight, Judd Winick has brought to vivid life an incredible assortment of comic characters. From his touching true-life graphic novel Pedro and Me to his current work for DC on Batman, Winick has been a fan-favorite writer for many years, including popular stints on Green Arrow, The Outsiders, and Green Lantern. His work also includes the animated series, The Life and Times of Juniper Lee, which ran for three years on Cartoon Network.
For additional information on WonderCon or Comic-Con in San Diego, please visit www.comic-con.org