The Seventh Annual San Diego Comic Fest, the friendly comic book convention with a casual atmosphere and an intimate scale will be March 7-10, 2019 at the Sheraton Four Points Hotel on Aero Drive.
San Diego Comic Fest has sometimes been called “Comic-Con Unplugged.” It offers all the things that make comic book conventions special, with an emphasis on comics, science fiction, movies animation, and artwork, but without lines or crowding. Tickets are available in advance online and at the door during event registration hours.
Guest of Honor, Sergio Aragonés (“El Maestro”) has been called the World’s Greatest Living Cartoonist, as well as the fastest. Sergio came to Mexico at age 6 from Spain. In his twenties, he moved to New York with only $20 in his pocket and his portfolio. By 1963, his work was in Mad Magazine (and still is) and elsewhere. In the late 1970s, with buddy Mark Evanier, he co-created Groo the Wanderer, one of the first successful creator-owned comics, appearing first in 1982 and continuing to this day. Work for Mad, DC, Dark Horse, Bongo, and many others has led to a host of awards, such as the National Cartoonists Society’s Reuben Award, Comic-Con’s Icon award, Eisner Awards including the Will Eisner Hall of Fame Award, Harvey Awards.
San Diego Comic Fest’s origins date to the very first comic convention held in San Diego Back in 1969. Teenage San Diego comic dealer, Mike Towry was among the handful of fans who founded what became known as San Diego Comic-Con. As fans reminisced about the “old-school” cons during the 40th Comic-Con in 2009, he and other Con veterans agreed that San Diego needed a second convention – one with an atmosphere like the early years. Thus, San Diego Comic Fest was born.
In 2017, San Diego comics publishing professional and President of Little Fish Comic Book Studio, Matt Dunford, was elected to the position of Chairman. Matt’s passion for the medium is only surpassed by his enthusiasm for sharing it among all generations of creators and fans. “Comic Fest has brought back the sense of community that enables fans and professionals to hang out and enjoy good times talking about comics, science fiction, films, animation and all of the other things they love,” says Dunford.
One unique aspect of Comic Fest is the Comic Fest Café. For 2019, the themed Café celebrates the 50th anniversary of the Apollo 11 Lunar Landing, with Moon and space-exploration-inspired decorations and programs, plus music, entertainment and parties. A Thursday-evening welcome reception with special guests will kick-off the convention. Among the special events scheduled at Comic Fest are programs with both real science and science fiction professionals filled with lively and thought-provoking discussions about humanity’s obsession and romance which have led to the exploration of space as it has been both accomplished and imagined. From the legendary folk tales to the first footsteps on the moon, this topic has entranced anyone who has gazed up at earth’s constant companion. Comic Fest’s Science Fiction Guest of Honor is William Nolan, an award-winning author and member of the legendary Southern California court of writers called “The Group” (Ray Bradbury, Charles Beaumont, Richard Matheson, et al). Although best known for coauthoring acclaimed dystopian science fiction novel Logan’s Run
with George Clayton Johnson, Nolan has authored more than 2000 pieces (fiction, nonfiction, articles, and books), and edited twenty-six anthologies in a career that has spanned more than six decades.
San Diego Comic Fest will celebrate the 25th Anniversary of Spider-Man: The Animated Series, with Special Guest John Semper, producer and head writer on the hit action-adventure animated series for Fox Television. Mr. Semper worked directly with Spider-Man’s co-creator, Stan Lee, in bringing this popular character to the TV screen.
A celebration of Bob Clampett’s Beanie & Cecil cartoons’ 60th anniversary will also be a special highlight, featuring Clampett family member, Ruth Clampett. Among the confirmed Comic Fest guests and program highlights are:
● International Guests from Mexico and Japan: Luis Fernando, Mexico City pioneering cartoonist of Mexican folkloric iconography and culturally important myths. “Juanele,” Juan Manuel Ramíirez de Arrelano (physicist, comic artist and cartoonist) from Mexico City. Hiroshi Kanatani, Japanese artist (Shonen Sunday, Famous Monsters of Filmland) and Toho Studios commissioned illustrator of Godzilla.
● Science Fiction Special Guests: The multi-award-winning authors (aka “Killer B’s”): David Brin, Greg Bear, Gregory Benford and Vernor Vinge. Jonathan Maberry, NY Times Bestselling author, 5-time Bram Stoker Award winner, creator of V-WARS (coming soon as a Netflix original series).
● Special Animation Guests: Willie Ito, Tony Benedict and Jerry Eisenberg (aka “The Three Tooners”) share stories of the classic Hanna-Barbera (Flintstones, Jetsons, Yogi Bear, Jonny Quest and more) animation era. Buzz Dixon, writer of Thundarr the Barbarian, G.I. Joe, Transformers, Batman, Tiny Toons and more.
● Special Golden Age Comics Guest: Allen Bellman, spunky 1940’s era Timely Comics staff artist on Captain America, Human Torch and Submariner.
● Special Underground Comix Guests: Comics pioneer women Trina Robbins, Lee Marrs, Barbara “Willy” Mendes and Mary Fleener. ● Special Editorial Cartoonist Guests: Lalo Alcaraz – La Cucaracha
creator focusing on Latino culture and politics, graphic novelist, political cartoonist, and cultural advisor to Disney/Pixar. David G. Brown – award-winning and frequently anthologized political cartoonist for the Los Angeles Sentinel.
● “Science of Science-Fiction” Guests: Dr. Burçin Mutlu-Pakdil, a researcher whose work led to the discovery of an extremely rare, circular-structure galaxy now referred to as Burçin’s Galaxy. Michael Ravine, Advanced Projects Manager at Malin Space Science Systems in San Diego, CA, where he has managed the development of cameras currently orbiting the Moon, Mars and Jupiter and on the surface of Mars, and enroute to asteroid Benuu. Sally Shaw, UCSB postdoctoral researcher and professional dark matter hunter. ● Barbara Kesel – Harvey Award-winning and Eisner-nominated comics writer/editor for DC, Marvel, Image, Dark Horse, and Crossgen. ● Rob Salkowitz – Communications educator, author of Comic-Con and the Business of Pop Culture, writer for Forbes and ICv2.
● Anina Bennett and Paul Guinan – Creators of steampunk favorites Boilerplate: History’s Mechanical Marvel and Heartbreakers comics, Aztec Empire, and more.
● James Robinson – Eisner-winning comics writer for DC/Vertigo (Starman, Batman, Superman, Justice Society of America, Justice League), Marvel (Captain America, Fantastic Four, Cable, Squadron Supreme), Image (Airboy, Leave It to Chance), and Dark Horse (Grendel Tales).
● Chris Ryall – President, Publisher, Chief Creative Officer of IDW Publishing, comics writer (Rom, Transformers et al.), co-creator of Groom Lake, The Hollows, The Colonized, Onyx, and Zombies vs Robots.
● Shannon Wheeler – Eisner and Harvey Award-winner (Too Much Coffee Man) and New Yorker cartoonist.
● Mike Royer – Disney designer, fan-favorite inker of Jack Kirby and Russ Manning.
● William Stout – Artist, designer and writer for comics, films, books, museum prehistoric-life murals (San Diego Natural History Museum), Disney and Universal theme-park attractions and more.
● Mark Bode – Comics creator known for Cobalt-60, Miami Mice, The Lizard of Oz, Heavy Metal magazine, The Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles
and for completing and continuing work by his legendary father, Vaughn Bode
● Scott Shaw! – Cartoonist, animator and creator of the ever-popular Oddball Comics show.
● Richardo Delgado – Storyboard artist, Eisner-winning creator of Age of Reptiles
graphic novels for Dark Horse.
● Allan Russell – Amazon #1 bestselling author of 15 crime fiction novels, dubbed “One of the best writers in the mystery field today,” and winner of a Critics’ Choice Award, The Lefty (best humorous mystery) and the Odin Award for Lifetime Achievement.
LINK to FULL GUEST LIST: http://www.sdcomicfest.org/special-guests/
Three-day and one-day tickets will be available for advance purchase online and sold at the door during registration hours. Full passes including the Thursday night reception on March 7th are only available in advance online. To buy tickets online, go to www.sdcomicfest.org/tickets. Discounts for active military families and student are available. Children under 12 are free if accompanied by a ticket-holder.