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Comic-Con 2011 preview

NEW YORK - AUGUST 31: In this photo illustration, vintage Spider Man and X-Men Marvel comic books are seen at St. Mark's Comics August 31, 2009 in New York City. The Walt Disney Co. announced that it plans to acquire Marvel Entertainment Inc. for $4 billion in stock and cash, bringing 5,000 Marvel characters including Spider Man and Incredible Hulk under the Disney umbrella. (Photo Illustration by Mario Tama/Getty Images) Getty

(CBS) Comic-Con starts next week in San Diego, Calif., on Thursday, July 21, and runs through the weekend (and there's a "Preview Night," Wednesday, July 20).

The event is a big deal (to paraphrase Vice President Joe Biden) and now draws more than 100,000 people a year. Here's a sampling of what you can expect.

Pictures: Comic-Con 2010

For a complete list of the events, go to

Wednesday, July 20

Special Sneak Peek Pilot Screenings - 6:00-9:00 p.m. - The night before Comic-Con kicks off, Warner Bros. and Comic-Con screen pilot episodes of upcoming TV series. This year's offerings are "Alcatraz," "The Secret Circle," "Person of Interest" and "Supernatural: The Anime Series."

Thursday, July 21

Planet of the Apes in Comics Present and Past - 10:00-11:00 a.m. - With the new movie, "Rise of the Planet of the Apes" coming, this is a perfect time to see what's going on with "Planet of the Apes" comics editor Ian Brill and writer Daryl Gregory. Hobbit Talk - 10:00-11:00 a.m. - This isn't an official Peter Jackson event but is an influential fan site and there's bound to be lots of good inside information on the upcoming "Hobbit" films.

Burn Notice: The Fall of Sam Axe - 10:00-11:00 a.m. - "Burn Notice" and Bruce Campbell fans rejoice! Now you can see what happened to Same Axe (Campbell) before he joined Fiona and Michael Weston on the USA series. This made-for-TV movie debuts on DVD at Comic-Con.

Comic-Con How-To: Creating a Character-Driven Story with Maxwell Alexander Drake - 10:00-11:00 a.m. - This is just what it says it is: A how-to on creating great characters and stories.

Kinect "Star Wars" Panel - 10:00-11:00 a.m. - Jorg Neumann of Kinect Publishing and Craig Derrick of LucasArts discuss the upcoming Kinect "Star Wars" game with USA Today's Mike Snider.

Comic-Con Film School 101: Preproduction and Screenwriting - 10:00-11:00 a.m.  This is the first day of a four-day class on how to make low-budget movies using desktop postproduction software and available video technology.

Spotlight on Joyce Brabner - 10:30-11:30 a.m. - Brabner will talk about her current projects and the work of her lates husband, Harvey Pekar.

X-Play Live - 11:00 a.m.-12:00 p.m. - A live panel with G4's Blair Herter, Adam Sessler, Morgan Webb, Kristin Adams, hosts of the long-running X-Play.

Covert Affairs - 11:15 a.m.-12:15 p.m. - Piper Perabo from USA's "Covert Affairs" will take part in a panel discussion with her co-stars Christopher Gorham, Sendhil Ramamurthy, Kari Matchett, Anne Dudek, Peter Gallagher and executive producers Chris Ord, Doug Liman, Matt Corman, and Dave Bartis. Moderated of Oded Fehr.

The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn Part 1 - 11:15 a.m.-12:15 p.m. - Sneak peak! And a filmmaker and cast Q&A!

Focus on Rick Baker - 12:15-1:00 p.m. - The Oscar-winning make-up effects artist will talk about his career, emphasizing his work on the "Men in Black" series.

Stan Lee, Yoshiki, and Todd McFarlane - 1:00-2:00 p.m. - Comic creator and legend Stan Lee and Todd McFarlane sit on a panel with Yoshiki to talk about "Blood Red Dragon." Writer Jon Goff joins them.

"Game of Thrones" Panel and Q&A session - 3:00-4:00 p.m. - Members of the HBO series cast join the panel discussion, including Kit Harington, Nikolaj Coster-Waldau and Peter Dinklage. Moderated by "A Song of Fire and Ice" creator George R. R. Martin.

Robert Rodriguez's Quick Draw Productions - 4:45-5:45 p.m. - Filmmaker Rodriguez will present Quick Draw's latest. He'll also have exclusive footage of latest project.

Beavis & Butthead - 5:00-6:00 p.m. - Mike Judge, creator of "Beavis & Butthead," talks about the duo's return to MTV. He'll show footage from the upcoming series.

Showtime - 5:30-7:30 p.m. - The premium cable station will have a host of stars and creative people from its shows "Dexter," (including an appearance by star Michael C. Hall), "Shameless" stars William H. Macy and Emmy Rossum and more.

Entertainment Weekly: The Visionaries: A discussion with Jon Favreau and Guillermo del Toro on the Future of Pop Culture - 6:00-7:00 p.m. - Entertainment Weekly moderates a conversation with director Jon Favreau (his "Cowboys & Aliens" comes out July 29) and Guillermo del Toro, who co-wrote the upcoming "Don't Be Afraid of the Dark" remake.

Writing Movies for Fun and Profit - 7:00-8:00 p.m. -  Thomas Lennon and Robert Ben Garant, stars of "The State," "Reno 911!" and writers of the "Night at the Museum" films, talk about how to write movies that will make billions at the box office.

Friday, July 22

Conversations with Sid and Marty Krofft: A Look at the Past, Present and Future - 10:00-11:00 a.m. - Sid and Marty Krofft talk about their creations H.R. Pufnstuf and Sigmund and the Sea Monsters.

Comic-Con Film School 102: Production - 10:00-11:00 a.m. - This is Day two of the four-day course on making movies on super low budgets.

Panelists include Valerie Perez, Vera Vanguard, Edward G. Negron, Sean Rourke and Jack Conway.

Epix Pictures: The Captains - 10:15-11:15 a.m. - Kevin Smith moderates a panel with William Shatner and Avery Brooks, captains of "Star Trek." Shatner has produced and directed a documentary about all the actors who have played "Star Trek" captains. This should be amazing.

Page One - 11:00 a.m.-12:00 p.m. - This panel, about the first page of a comic, is moderated by Douglas Wolk and features Carla Speed McNeil, Jen Van Meter and Greg Rucka.

AMC's "The Walking Dead" - 11:15 a.m.-12:15 p.m. - Stars and creators of the AMC show talk about the first season of the series and what's in store for season two. Panelists include creator Frank Darabont, executive producer Gale Ann Hurd and stars Andrew Lincoln, Sarah Wayne Callies and Laurie Holden.

Publishing Queer: Producing LGBT Comics and Graphic Novels - 1:00-2:00 p.m. - Moderator Justin Hall leads a panel featuring Bob Schreck, Brian Andersen, Charles "Zan" Christensen Jacquelene Cohen and Shannon O'Leary in which they discuss the challenges and rewards of publicizing and marketing LGBT-themed comics.

Adult Swim: Childrens Hospital - 1:30-2:30 p.m. - Check out a never-before-screened episode of "Childrens Hospital." Rob Corddry, Jon Stern, Malin Akerman, Lake Bell, Erinn Hayes, Rob Huebel and Megan Mullally sit in on a panel to talk about the show.

DreamWorks: Fright Night - 2:45-3:45 p.m. - Actors Colin Farrell, Anton Yelchin, Christopher Mintz-Plasse), Imogen Poots, Dave Franco, director Craig Gillespie and screenwriter Marti Noxon talk about their remake of the 1980s horror film.

"True Blood" Panel and Q&A session - 5:30-6:30 p.m. - Series regulars Sam Trammell, Rutina Wesley, Ryan Kwanten and more sit on a panel to talk about the HBO series.

Magic: The Gathering Panel - 5:30-6:30 p.m. - Yep. The panel is moderated be head designer Mark Rosewater and includes director of R&D Aaron Forsythe, senior creative Magic art director Matt Cavotta and brand manager Mark Purvis.

Dungeons & Dragons: How to Be a Dungeon Master: The Art of the DM - 6:30-7:30 p.m. - You can learn to be a Dungeon Master! Attend this panel and you'll be on your way.

World Premiere: Batman: Year One - 8:00-10:00 - This is the world premiere of "Batman: Year One" followed by a panel with voice actors Bryan Cranston, Eliza Dushku, Ben McKenzie, Katee Sackhoff and executive producer Bruce Timm, directors Lauren Montgomery, Sam Liu and dialogue director Andrea Romano. Moderated by Gary Miereanu.

Saturday, July 23

Activision - 10:00-11:30 a.m. - Comics legend Stan Lee talks about upcoming Activision Marvel games "X-Men Destiny" and "Spider-Man: Edge of Time." Editorial director of Ryan Penagos moderates. The panel includes Peter David, TQ Jefferson, Dee Brown and Jullian Spillane.

"Chuck" Screening and Q&A - 10:00-10:45 a.m. - Consider this a farewell panel as co-creator Chris Fedak and cast members Zachary Levi, Yvonne Strahovski, Joshua Gomez, Ryan McPartlin, Mark Christopher Lawrence, Vik Sahay, Scott Krinsky, Sarah Lancaster and Adam Baldwin have a Q&A with fans.

An Early Evening with Kevin Smith - 5:45-7:30 p.m. - Kevin Smith takes the stage for what has become an annual Q&A. Hear the creator of "Clerks," "Mallrats" and many other cool things talk and talk and talk.

The Art of the Hollywood Movie Poster - 7:30-8:30 p.m. - Leslie Combemale moderates a panel that includes artists who have worked on posters you've grown up looking at and admiring. The artists are Andrea Alvin ("Batman Returns"), Matthew Peak "Nightmare on Elm Street"), James Goodridge ("Harry Potter"), Steve Chorney ("Who Framed Roger Rabbit?") and Lawrence Noble ("The Empire Strikes Back" 10th Anniversary).

MythBusters - 7:45-8:45 p.m. - Like "Mythbusters" needs an introduction. The gang's all here!

HBO's "True Blood" Presents the Comic-Con International Masquerade - 8:30-11:30 p.m.

FX Pilot Sneak Peek Screening - 9:30-10:30 p.m. - FX hasn't released the details - meaning which pilot - but the network has some great shows on its roster. Probably worth taking a peak.

Sunday, July 24

"Glee" - 10:00-11:00 a.m. - Creator and executive producer of "Glee," Ryan Murphy, creator/executive producer Brad Falchuk and stars of the show give the audience a peek at "Glee The 3D Concert Movie." There's also a Q&A session.

Comic-Con Film School 104: Post Production and Distribution - 10:00-11:00 a.m. - The final day of the four-day filmmaking course tells you how to get your movie seen by lots of eyeballs (or at least more than yours and your friends and family).

Watchmen: 25 Years Later - 11:00 a.m.-12:00 p.m. - Artist Dave Gibbons, editor Len Wein and colorist John Higgins talk about the "Watchmen" legacy. Moderated by Douglas Wolk.

One-on-One with Castle Star Nathan Fillion - 11:45 a.m.-12:45 p.m. - The "Firefly" star, Nathan Fillion, and the cast of "Castle" talk about the crime series in a panel discussion.

BBC America's "Doctor Who" - 12:30-1:30 p.m. - Stars Karen Gillan and Matt Smith, with the help of producers and writers, make their first appearance at Comic-Con for a Q&A and panel. You'll get to see new footage before the show comes back to BBC America later this summer.

Sons of Anarchy - 3:30-4:00 p.m.

Buffy the Musical - 4:00-5:00 p.m. - The weekend closes with a screening of the "Buffy the Vampire Slayer" musical episode, "Once More with Feeling." See you next year!

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