I’m on my way to “Comic Con” (aka The San Diego Comic Con) and I’m hoping to have a great time — despite the crowds.

To recap my scheduled appointments, I’ll be signing my book The 100 Greatest Looney Tunes Cartoons at the Insight Editions booth (#2913) on Friday 10:30-11:30am and Saturday from 2:00-3:00pm. I’ll also be signing the book TODAY (Thursday) at the Van Eaton Gallery booth #501 at 3:00pm. On Friday afternoon I’ll be moderating a special panel: Peanuts Turns 60 from 2:00-3:00pm in Room 25ABC. Panelists will include Jeannie Schulz (widow of Peanuts creator Charles Schulz) and Stephan Pastis (creator of Pearls Before Swine). And on Friday night, I’ll be screening my all-new edition of Worst Cartoons Ever at 9pm in Room 6BCF.

The photo above is not Stan Freberg at last year’s Comic Con. It’s Freberg with Peter Tork, Mickey Dolenz and Mike Nesmith from an episode of The Monkees in 1966. Stan and his wife Hunter will be appearing at the Con today in Room 6BCF in an interview with Mark Evanier at 11:45am. I’ll be there.

If you can get into Hall H, the very first thing you’ll see is a Dreamworks Megamind panel at 10am. Tron Legacy is previewed there at 11:15am. Bill Plympton will be discussing his work in Room 8 at 1:30pm. Nathan Greno and Byron Howard (directors), Glen Keane (animation supervisor), and other artists from Tangled discuss the new film in Room 5AB at 2:00pm. There will be a panel about The Hub, the new Hasbro animation channel/animation studio with producers Bob Orci, Alex Kurtzman and Jeff Kline, along with President and CEO Margaret Loesch, in Room 7AB at 4:30. Robotech and Carl Macek will be remembered at 6:45 in Room 6DE. And that’s just some of today’s activities.

Tomorrow (Friday) starts with a 10am Comedy Central panel devoted to Ugly Americans with series creator Devin Clark, animator Aaron Augenblick and several voice actors in Room 25ABC. Tom Sito hosts a State of the Animation Industry panel with Raul Garcia, Joe Haidar, Beth Sleven and Sean Petrilak in Room 9 at 11:30. The Adventure Time panel with Pen Ward (creator), Jeremy Shada (voice of Finn), John DiMaggio (voice of Jake), and Tom Kenny (voice of Ice King) is in Room 6A at 11:45. A Neighbors from Hell panel is at 12 noon with the voice cast including Molly Shannon, Patton Oswalt, Will Sasso, Kurtwood Smith in Room 25ABC. Don’t miss my Peanuts panel at 2pm in Room 25ABC. Pixar’s Ronnie Del Carmen discusses the story process and what it’s really like to work in Story at Pixar, followed by Q&A, at 4:30 in Room 26AB .

Saturday begins with a SpongeBob panel with producer Paul Tibbitt, creative director Vincent Waller, storyboard director Tuck Tucker, background painter Andy Clark and the voice of SpongeBob, Tom Kenny, 10am in Room 6A. This is opposite a panel called Writing Animated Feature Films with panelists Alan Burnett (Green Lantern: First Flight), Darren Lemke (Shrek Forever After), John Musker (The Princess and the Frog), Dean DeBlois (How to Train Your Dragon) and Wallace Wolodarsky (Monsters vs. Aliens), in Room 8. The Futurama panel with producers Matt Groening and David X. Cohen, cast members Billy West, John DiMaggio, Katey Sagal, and Maurice LaMarche, is at 12:45 in Ballroom 20. The Simpsons panel with Groening, showrunner Al Jean, executive producer Matt Selman, and supervising director Mike Anderson follows at 1:30 in Ballroom 20. Mark Evanier’s Cartoon Voices panel (part 1) features Evanier and Earl Kress talking voice acting with April Winchell, Candy Milo, Gregg Berger, Tom Kane and Jason Marsden in Room 6BCF at 1:45pm. After this, I’m personally spending the rest of the day going through the dealers room…

There are so many booths I’m anxious to hit. One in particular is shared by Pixar artists Josh Cooley, Bill Pressing and Scott Morse (Booth #4800). Cooley has has a new book, inspired by his love of classic movies mixed with his love of Golden Book art, Movies R Fun- A lil’ Inappropriate Book, a parody depicting scenes from favorite R rated movies in the Golden Book/Mel Crawford-ish style. Pictured below is Bill Pressing’s limited edition Intercontinental Cuties playing cards, which will be available at the Con at the same booth.

On Sunday – after Cartoon Voices part II with Phil LaMarr (Futurama), Janet Waldo (The Jetsons), and Cheryl Chase (Rugrats), at 11:15 in Room 6A – I’m leaving. And if I’m lucky I will have bought some old comic books.

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Jerry Beck

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