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 50​th​ 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 25​th​ 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’ 60​th​ 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 7​th​ 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.

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