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SDCC 2014: Horror Highlights – Thursday, July 24

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It’s that time of year again. We’re two weeks out from the biggest “geek” event there is and as per usual, the overwhelming amount of panels, screenings, signings and dealers contain a healthy dose of the macabre. See below for the Day One of San Diego Comic-Con and its horror highlights.

Comics, TV, Film, Video Games, Zombies, Witches, Cannibals, Slashers and Psychology are on deck for the horror-loving hordes that trek to San Diego each year to revel in fandom. Find out when you can get your first looks at titles like THE WITCHER, PENNY DREADFUL, HANNIBAL, SEE NO EVIL 2 and THE WALKING DEAD, below.

San Diego Comic-Con takes place Thursday, July 24-Sunday, July 27. For its entire schedule, head here.

• THE WITCHER, 10:00am – 11:00am Room 6A

A franchise spanning literature, comics, film & television, board games, and widely popular video games, The Witcher has touched millions with its engaging characters and exciting adventures. A diverse panel of experts discuss the many aspects of this renowned universe. Be the first to see new Dark Horse publications, see the first-ever live consumer demo of the upcoming The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt video game, and get a chance to meet the team behind Wild Hunt. Panelists include actors Doug Cockle (Geralt of Rivia, The Witcher franchise), Dark Horse Comics author Paul Tobin (The Witcher House of Glass), Nick McWhorter, CD PROJEKT RED’s game developers Damien Monnier and Lukasz Wnek (The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt), and Rafal Jaki. Moderated by SpikeTV’s Geoff Keighley.

• GODZILLA AND THE MASTER OF MONSTERS, 11:00am – 12:00pm Room 23ABC

August Ragone (Eiji Tsuburaya: Master of Monsters), David E. Chapple (Famous Monsters of Filmland), and Arian Hinojosa (Monster Attack Team) present a discussion on the man who brought Godzilla and Ultraman to life, establishing the art of Japanese visual effects and creating the genre known as the “kaiju eiga” (Japanese monster movies). See rare, behind-the-scenes photographs of how the original Godzilla films were made and the men and women who made them.

• UNDER THE DOME: PANEL AND EXCLUSIVE SNEAK PREVIEW, 11:15am – 12:00pm Ballroom 20

The hit summer series is back for its second season, bigger than ever with higher stakes and catastrophic developments that leave no one safe under the dome. The inhabitants of Chester’s Mill must decide who to rally behind as Big Jim continues to fight for the town’s trust and allegiance, all while resources dwindle and the post-apocalyptic conditions continue to intensify. There are new faces, bigger mysteries, betrayal of alliances, and monumental revelations about the dome, which will lead to a shocking discovery of what is behind it. Journey back under the dome, where you can’t always believe what you see and nothing is impossible. An exclusive sneak preview at what’s to come in season 2 will be followed by a panel discussion with the cast: Mike Vogel (Bates Motel), Dean Norris (Breaking Bad), Rachelle Lefevre (Twilight), Alexander Koch, Colin Ford, and Mackenzie Lintz, along with executive producer Neal Baer.

• GOOSEBUMPS, 12:30pm – 1:30pm Hall H

Get your first look at two of next summer’s most anticipated films. First, Scholastic’s iconic book series Goosebumps, written by R. L. Stine, has already captured the world’s imagination-selling over 400 million books worldwide. Now it’s coming to the big screen, with Jack Black starring as the author himself and Rob Letterman directing. Jack and Rob will tell you all about how Stine’s monsters are coming to life on the big screen. The film hits theaters on August 7, 2015. Then, stay tuned as director Chris Columbus has a special video announcement about his upcoming film Pixels, starring Adam Sandler (in theaters May 15, 2015)-you’ll find out how one lucky Comic-Con badge-holder might win a chance to be a part of the movie.

• DRAWING ON YOUR NIGHTMARES: MODERN HORROR IN COMICS, 1:00pm – 2:00pm Room 23ABC

Hot on the heels of the premiere of the Dark Horse comic turned television series The Strain, you are invited to explore the darker corners of comics. Horror has been one of the cornerstones of the Dark Horse publishing line for years, and 2014 will be no exception! Join panelists for an hour of all that is guaranteed to thrill and chill you, with resident horror junkies, editor-in-chief Scott Allie and PR director Jeremy Atkins, along with Eric Powell (The Goon), Mike Huddleston (The Strain), the first U.S. appearance of Colder artist Juan Ferreyra, and more for sneak peeks, announcements, and other surprises along the way!

• SKYBOUND’S THE WALKING DEAD, 4:15pm – 5:15pm Room 6A

Dive into the world of the Eisner Award-winning The Walking Dead graphic novel series with creator Robert Kirkman and artist Charlie Adlard. Moderated by The Walking Dead editor Sean Mackiewicz.

• CREATION OF CREATURE, 4:30pm – 5:30pm Room 24ABC

Neville Page (Avatar, Star Trek, Tron, Prometheus, Noah) will be sharing his techniques and vision for creating creatures and characters in the entertainment industry. Examples will be shown from various productions as well as tips and tricks from his upcoming book, Beauty in the Beast.

• HANNIBAL: EMBRACE THE MADNESS, 4:45pm – 5:45pm Ballroom 20

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Join the creative minds behind the award-winning TV seriesHannibal. The menu will include executive producer/creator Bryan Fuller, executive producer/writer Steven Lightfoot, director David Slade, executive producer Martha DeLaurentiis, and stars Caroline Dhavernas (Dr. Alana Bloom), Scott Thompson, and Aaron Abrams (Special Agents Jimmy Price and Brian Zeller), in a panel moderated by Jonathan Ross. They’ll serve behind-the-scenes discussion from the second season, paired with sneak previews of what’s to come in season 3, not to mention a few surprises along the way. Bon appétit, Fannibals!

• ALIENS, PREDATOR, PROMETHEUS AND BEYOND, 6:00pm – 7:00pm Room 9

Nearly 30 years ago, Dark Horse rewrote the rules of licensed comics with the release of Aliens, continuing the story lines of Ridley Scott’s iconic film franchise. Predator and the iconic crossover Aliens Vs. Predator followed, with each series practically outselling the last. Now, the publisher partners with Scott again, to bring sci-fi epic Prometheus to comics. With just under two months away from the launch of the ambitious and highly anticipated crossover, Fire and Stone, Dark Horse editor-in-chief Scott Allie, writers Chris Roberson (Aliens), Joshua Williamson (Predator), Christopher Sebela (Aliens Vs. Predator), and the Prometheus team of Paul Tobin and Juan Ferrerya, reveal just what’s in store for this grand universe!

• PENNY DREADFUL, 6:00pm – 7:00pm Ballroom 20

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Creator and showrunner John Logan is joined by spellbinding stars Josh Hartnett (Ethan Chandler), Reeve Carney (Dorian Gray), and Harry Treadaway (Victor Frankenstein), as the monstrous new series possesses Ballroom 20. Enter the demimonde to find out what moments haunt the writer and cast from the first season and view a sneak peek to see what the cards reveal about the season ahead. The panel will be moderated by Emmy Award-nominated actress and host Aisha Tyler (Archer, The Talk), followed by a Q&A session with the “Dreadfuls.” Penny Dreadful returns to Showtime in 2015.

• REINVENTING HORROR, 7:00pm – 8:00pm Room 5AB

For seven years at Comic-Con, Mark L. Miller (Ain’t It Cool News, Pirouette) has gathered a ghoulish ensemble of creative minds to discuss and dissect how they create nightmares and what (if anything) scares them. This year, Mark gathers a talented panel of filmmakers, writers, artists, and musicians to discuss how to reinvent and revitalize the horror genre; pushing new limits, twisting new concepts, and crafting new terrors to keep you up at night.

• LEPRECHAUN: ORIGINS and SEE NO EVIL 2, 7:00pm – 8:00pm Room 7AB

WWE Studios and Lionsgate host a panel for their soon to be released collaborationsLeprechaun: Origins and See No Evil 2. The panel will feature See No Evil 2 directors Jen and Sylvia Soska-the twisted twins of American Mary fame, who will be joined by their on-screen psychopath WWE Superstar Kane. Also in attendance will be director and VFX guru Zach Lipovsky (Tasmanian Devils), director of Leprechaun: Origins; and the star of the cult classic reboot, WWE Superstar Hornswoggle. The panel will include See No Evil 2 and Leprechaun: Origins producer and WWE Studios president Michael Luisi, who will unveil the hotly anticipated and re-imagined looks of the new Leprechaun and Jacob Goodnight.

• INSIDE THE MINDS OF FREDDY KRUEGER, JASON VOORHEES AND MICHAEL MYERS, 8:00pm – 9:00pm Room 7AB

This terrible trio has terrified audiences worldwide…but what makes each one tick? Is Michael simply a sociopathic stalker, Freddy merely a manipulative monster, and Jason just a killing machine? Or will we find there’s more to these slashers when we slice below the surface? Join forensic psychiatrists H. Eric Bender, M.D., Praveen R. Kambam, M.D., and Vasilis K. Pozios, M.D., from Broadcast Thought, and very special guest Mark Swift (writer of Freddy vs. Jason, Friday the 13th [2009]), as they analyze these villains’ murderous motivations. Can we make sense of a vengeful boogeyman’s sister obsession? Could fire turn a violent predator into a sadistic serial killer? Did “mommy issues” and bullying birth a brutish butcher? Who is the most dangerous killer, and which, if any, would be considered insane? Join the discussion moderated by horror-meister Evan Dickson of Bloody Disgusting! Discover the answers to these and other questions, and take a stab at these iconic slashers!

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