Walking, not quite dead, at Friday’s San Diego Comic-Con 2018

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Yibambe! Citizens of Wakanda made an appearance at Friday’s San Diego Comic-Con.
Yibambe! Citizens of Wakanda made an appearance at Friday’s San Diego Comic-Con.

The enormous crowds already in line at the start of Friday’s San Diego Comic-Con made me think three things. Where the heck is the end of this line? (It was nowhere within sight.) If this is a weekday morning, then what is Saturday’s attendance going to look like? (The stuff of nightmares, I’m sure.) And finally, that it might be better to take a leisurely walk around the festivities and let that line diminish a bit.

The Walking Dead panel at San Diego Comic-Con 2018
The Walking Dead panel at San Diego Comic-Con 2018

In my wanderings, I stumbled into a nearly empty Hall H corral line and actually made it into the big event room with almost no wait at all, just in time to see the panels for Fear the Walking Dead and its mother show, the original The Walking Dead television series.  To be honest, I was flabbergasted that I made it into a popular event that I’m sure fans spent hours waiting in line to attend. It was very odd and made me wonder if the fervor for exclusive toys had surpassed what used to be the ecstatic excitement for Hall H movie previews.

Robert Kirkman (left) and Greg Nicotero (right)
Robert Kirkman (left) and Greg Nicotero (right)

Nevertheless, it was fun to see the TWD stars and writers and directors and show-runners discuss the upcoming season of their respective shows and listen to fun anecdotes about life on The Walking Dead sets.

Andrew Lincoln
Andrew Lincoln

Fans gave a standing ovation to longtime TWD star, Andrew Lincoln (Rick Grimes), who will be leaving the series after this next season. The actor was emotional and gave an emotional explanation for his decision to walk away from the popular zombie series.

Lauren Cohan and Jeffrey Dean Morgan
Lauren Cohan and Jeffrey Dean Morgan

AMC debuted the trailer for next season and it looks to be an exciting ride, mostly on horseback, as the apocalypse survivors’ lives continue to evolve, or devolve, as it were.

Fans were also introduced to the new show-runner, Angela Kang, a former writer for the series.

(Top, L-R) Scott Tracy Griffin, Jim Sullos, Harry Kloor, Matthew Rhodes, Cathy Wilbanks, (bottom, L-R) Joe Jusko, Mark Evanier
(Top, L-R) Scott Tracy Griffin, Jim Sullos, Harry Kloor, Matthew Rhodes, Cathy Wilbanks, (bottom, L-R) Joe Jusko, Mark Evanier

Next on the agenda was the 7th annual Edgar Rice Burroughs panel, where ERB, Inc. and guests unveiled new projects and products pertaining to Burroughs’ creations, including Tarzan, John Carter of Mars, Pellucidar and Carson of Venus.

Joe Jusko
Joe Jusko

ERB, Inc’s Director of Special Projects, Scott Tracy Griffin, moderated the panel and the biggest news of the day was that legendary artist and longtime Burroughs fan, Joe Jusko, will be creating new artwork for covers of the entire Burroughs Library, starting with the Tarzan series of books. The library consists of approximately 80 titles and the project will likely take two years to complete. Finished titles will be available as they are completed.

Mark Evanier
Mark Evanier

Renowned comic-book writer Mark Evanier also attended the panel and talked about his upcoming project, a “Groo vs. Tarzan” comic series, with Tom Yeates doing the Tarzan parts and Sergio Aragonés illustrating the Groo bits. Evanier also talked about how Aragonés’ Groo character was actually inspired by Tarzan.

Jim Sullos (L) and Joe Jusko (R)
Jim Sullos (L) and Joe Jusko (R)

ERB, Inc. President Jim Sullos and Vice-President Cathy Wilbanks talked about new books in the “Wild Adventures of Edgar Rice Burroughs” series and other upcoming products like roleplaying games, shirts and even Tarzan Soap.

Cathy Wilbanks
Cathy Wilbanks

On the television and movie front, Netflix will soon be hosting the new season of the Tarzan and Jane animated series, which will take place in the Amazon. Warner Bros. still has the film rights to Tarzan, but a sequel to the 2016 movie is still up in the air.

Harry Kloor and Matthew Rhodes (L-R)
Harry Kloor and Matthew Rhodes (L-R)

Film producers Harry Kloor and Matthew Rhodes were also on hand to discuss their initial plans to try to bring Pellucidar and Burroughs’ other “Lost Worlds” to both the small and big screens. Let’s keep our fingers crossed.

Fred Dekker
Fred Dekker

Our final panel of the day was “It Was 50 Years Ago Today,” which examined the year 1968 in film and television, the year many consider to be “Geek’s Ground Zero,” due to the revolutionary sci-fi and horror genre films that debuted that year, including Planet of the Apes, 2001 A Space Odyssey, Night of the Living Dead and Rosemary’s Baby.

The panelists included Steve Melching, Charles de Lauzirika, Ashley E. Miller, Fred Dekker, Thomas P. Vitale, Robert Meyer Burnett, Jeff Bond, and it was moderated by Mark A. Altman. The panel was a fun look back at the groundbreaking genre films of the late-sixties.

San Diego Comic-Con 2018
San Diego Comic-Con 2018

Click on the gallery images below to see the full-sized pics:

See our San Diego Comic-Con 2018 coverage for Wednesday and Thursday.

News from Comic-Con:

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About the author

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Bob Leeper

Bob Leeper is the co-owner and manager of "Arizona’s Pop Culture and Alternative Art Network," Evermore Nevermore. He is the co-creator of the pop culture events Steampunk Street and ENCREDICON, and is a member of the Phoenix Film Critics Society. He also curates the Facebook fan site The Arizona Cave – AZ Fans of Edgar Rice Burroughs, and is one of the few brave and bold fans of Jar Jar Binks.

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