[Convention] SDCC: Special Guests Appearing at Comic Con International: San Diego 2019

The 50th Annual Comic Con International: San Diego 2019 is a week away and this year looks to be epic! Even with the huge amount of publishers, artists, exhibitors, and small press, the layout is done quite well. Navigating it should be a breeze!

Below you will find the massive list of amazing special guests that are confirmed for this year’s event!

Neal Adams at Comic-Con 2019, July 18-21 at the San Diego Convention Center

Neal Adams

Artist, Batman, X-Men, Green Lantern/Green Arrow

Neal Adams has worked on legendary runs of Batman, X-Men, Green Lantern/Green Arrow, Avengers, Deadman, and many more. Characters and storylines Neal created have been in Batman, X-Men, and even the Batman LEGO movie. Neal’s co-creation, Ra’s Al Ghul, appears in Batman movies as well as the Arrow and Gotham TV shows. Arrow also features another character Neal created, Merlyn. Additionally, Ra’s and ManBat also show up in video games and X-Men character, Havok, has been featured in X-Men movies, as well as other mutants Neal created. He is currently working on a Batman/Ra’s Al Ghul project due out later this year.

Barry Alfonso at Comic-Con 2019, July 18-21 at the San Diego Convention Center

Barry Alfonso

Former Comic-Con publicity director

Barry Alfonso’s credits as a professional writer include articles and interviews for publications such as the Los Angeles Times and Rolling Stone, songs recorded by numerous pop and country artists (including Pam Tillis’s 1995 Number One hit “In Between Dances”) and Grammy-nominated album liner notes. His biography A Voice of the Warm: The Life of Rod McKuen was published by Backbeat Books in May. Barry is also active as an oral historian and graphic novel scriptwriter. He credits his stint as San Diego Comic-Con publicity director in 1973-75 with giving him the skills and confidence to follow his dreams.

Wendy All at Comic-Con 2019, July 18-21 at the San Diego Convention Center

Wendy All

Comic-Con volunteer in the 1970s

Wendy All’s first Comic-Con meeting in 1972 changed her life trajectory. She grew up loving geology, archaeology and languages, although she also enjoyed drawing and creating environments for her dolls. Inspired by professional writers and illustrators at Comic-Con, she graduated Art Center and landed a job at Mattel. She has also designed toys for Hasbro (My Little Pony, Star Wars), Disney Consumer Products (Disney Princesses), illustrated food packaging and licensed children’s books. Her latest work, Dash and Victoria Find True Love, about young Queen Victoria, Dash, her Cavalier King Charles Spaniel, and Prince Albert is available on Amazon. www.wendyall.com

Maeheah Alzmann at Comic-Con 2019, July 18-21 at the San Diego Convention Center

Maeheah Alzmann

Former Comic-Con committee member, 1975–1986

After graduating from Pt. Loma High School in 1975, Maeheah Alzmann was invited by Vicky and Dina Kelso to attend her first ever Comic-Con, and she was immediately hooked. During her 12 years on the committee, she met exquisitely talented people that she would never have had the honor of meeting, learned what it takes to be part of a dedicated group of people with a common goal, and acquired friends that she would trust with her very life to this day. “I thank each and every person that made my Comic-Con experiences such highlights in my life.” She worked as both treasurer and meal functions coordinator in her time with the Con.

Maeheah now lives in Greenwood, DE, and is married to Richard Butner, who she, fittingly, met at her very first Con. She is retired from the restaurant industry and now drives a medical transportation van. She is looking forward to visiting beautiful, sunny San Diego with her husband Richard, along with her daughter, her daughter’s husband and brother-in-law, and their most “fan-ish” granddaughter, because it’s now time for their very first Comic-Con!

Sergio Aragonés at Comic-Con 2019, July 18-21 at the San Diego Comic Convention

Sergio Aragonés

Cartoonist, Groo the Wanderer, MAD magazine

One of MAD magazine’s longest-running cartoonists (only Al Jaffee has been around longer) and the creator of dim-witted barbarian Groo the Wanderer, Sergio Aragonés is one of comics’ most popular creators. He has won every major cartooning award including the Reuben, the Comic-Con Icon award, the Will Eisner Hall of Fame award, various other Eisners and Harveys, and even has two awards named for him. In addition to his continuing work for MAD, Sergio had his own comic book series at Bongo Comics, Sergio Aragonés Funnies. He continues to draw Groo for Dark Horse Comics and is presently working on a series in which Groo meets Tarzan, of all people!

Leigh Bardugo at Comic-Con 2019, July 18-21 at the San Diego Convention Center

Photo by Christina Guerra

Leigh Bardugo

Author, Shadow and Bone trilogy, The Language of Thorns

Leigh Bardugo is a #1 New York Times bestselling author of fantasy novels and the creator of the Grishaverse. With over one million copies sold, her Grishaverse spans the Shadow and Bone trilogy, the Six of Crows Duology, The Language of Thorns, and King of Scars—with more to come. Her short stories can be found in multiple anthologies, including Some of the Best from Tor.com and The Best American Science Fiction & Fantasy. Her other works include Wonder Woman: Warbringer and Ninth House. Leigh was born in Jerusalem, grew up in Los Angeles, graduated from Yale University, and has worked in advertising, journalism, and even makeup and special effects. These days, she lives and writes in Hollywood, where she can occasionally be heard singing with her band.

Greg Bear at Comic-Con 2019, July 18-21 at the San Diego Comic Convention

Photo: Astrid Anderson Bear

Greg Bear

Author, The Mongoliad Cycle series;
Comic-Con founding committee member

Greg Bear is the author of over thirty novels, including Blood Music, Eon, and Darwin’s Radio, and many short works of fiction, as well as nonfiction articles. He’s won five Nebula awards and two Hugos, as well as international awards, including the Science Fiction World Award for Best Foreign Writer. Back in the day when he was on Comic-Con’s founding committee, he was also creating and publishing artwork. He’s married to Astrid Anderson Bear and his children are Alexandra and Erik. Erik collaborated with his father and five other authors to help create the best-selling three-volume Mongoliad Cycle series.

David Brin at Comic-Con 2019, July 18-21 at the San Diego Convention Center

David Brin

Author, The Postman, Earth, The Transparent Society

David Brin is an astrophysicist whose international bestselling novels include The Postman (filmed in 1997), Earth, and recently Existence. Dr. Brin serves on advisory boards (e.g., NASA’s Innovative and Advanced Concepts program or NIAC) and speaks or consults on a wide range of topics including AI, SETI, privacy, and national security. His nonfiction book about the information age, The Transparent Society, won the Freedom of Speech Award of the American Library Association. His graphic novels include The Life Eaters, Forgiveness, and Tinkerers. More info: www.davidbrin.com

Kurt Busiek at Comic-Con 2019, July 18-21 at the San Diego Comic Convention

Kurt Busiek

Writer, Marvels, Astro City, Conan

Kurt Busiek broke in to comics in 1982, selling his first scripts to both DC and Marvel Comics within a month of graduating college. But he didn’t break through until 1994 and Marvels, the groundbreaking mini-series he did with painter Alex Ross. A multiple Eisner and Harvey Award winner, Kurt has written Avengers, Conan, Superman, and others, co-created Thunderbolts and The Power Company, and launched creator-owned series, including Astro City, Arrowsmith, Autumnlands, Shockrockets, and The Wizard’s Tale. He makes his home in the Pacific Northwest and attended his first San Diego Comic-Con in 1980.

Richard Butner at Comic-Con 2019, July 18-21 at the San Diego Convention Center

Richard Butner

Former Comic-Con chairman, committee member, 1973–1982

Currently living in Greenwood, DE, Richard Butner is now semi-retired. He works for two resource centers for homeless and recovering persons. Formerly, he was a purchasing agent at ILC Dover, where, among other items, he purchased materials for U.S. spacesuits.

Richard married Maeheah Alzmann. They have three grown children and ten grandchildren. He enjoys reading reprints of old comic strips and comic books, spending time with the grandchildren, and enjoying Mexican cuisine, beer, and margaritas with Maeheah. And he says, “By the way, I had a BLAST working on Comic-Con!” He was on the Comic-Con committee from 1973 to 1982, and in addition to being chairman, he served as executive VP, secretary, treasurer, and helped Comic-Con get incorporated as a non-profit.

Eddie Campbell at Comic-Con 2019, July 18-21 at the San Diego Convention Center

Eddie Campbell

Artist, From Hell; writer, artist, Alec: The Years Have Pants

Eddie Campbell (b. August 10, 1955) is a Scottish artist and writer living in Chicago, best known as the illustrator of From Hell (written by Alan Moore), currently being released in parts in a new colorized edition. Campbell is also the creator of the autobiographical Alec stories collected in Alec: The Years Have Pants, and Bacchus, the wry adventures of Greek gods still surviving. In Bizarre Romance Eddie turns the short stories of his wife, Audrey Niffenegger, into comics. Eddie is also a historian of comics; The Goat Getters is his first large scale work in this field. Also among his graphic novels is The Fate of the Artist, in which the author investigates his own murder, and The Lovely Horrible Stuff, all about money. A Disease of Language is a collaboration with Alan Moore, The Truth is a Cave in the Black Mountain is with Neil Gaiman.

David Clark at Comic-Con 2019, July 18-21 at the San Diego Convention Center

David Clark

Comic-Con founding committee member

In 1966-69, David Clark had the good luck to go to high school in San Diego with Greg Bear, Scott Shaw, John Pound, and Roger Freedman. They all shared a love of science fiction, comics, monster movies, and all things weird and wonderful! In 1970 they all became founding members of the first San Diego (Golden State) Comic-Con. Over these many years David has written comics, sold comics as a retailer, and managed to attend most of the 50 Comic-Cons. He now pursues his interest in SF and pulp art with presentations on the classic artists.

Bill Cole at Comic-Con 2019, July 18-21 at the San Diego Convention Center

Bill Cole

Longtime Comic-Con Exhibitor

Bill Cole, professional engineer, and retired Major, United States Army, since 1988 has been one of the longest San Diego Comic-Con exhibitors. He started his company in June of 1973 after winning tickets to a local comic book show. After going to small cons in the area, he started to produce and sell plastic sleeves to protect comic books. Sometime later, he began to manufacture heat-sealed Mylar sleeves to prevent comic books from turning yellow. All this led to his doing this on a full-time basis, making a career change and calling the company Bill Cole Enterprises, Inc. Today, BCE is one of the largest archival supply companies in the world. Bill has been married for 47 years to his lovely wife Nancy and has four grown children.

Jon B. Cooke at Comic-Con 2019, July 18-21 at the San Diego Convention Center

Jon B. Cooke

Writer, editor, Comic Book Creator, Comic Book Artist

Jon B. Cooke is the five-time consecutive Eisner Award winner (and one-time Harvey Award recipient) for his former magazine, Comic Book Artist, as well as writer and producer of the full-length feature film documentary, Will Eisner: Portrait of a Sequential Artist [2007]. Currently editor of Comic Book Creator magazine (published by TwoMorrows), Cooke is author of The Book of Weirdo, a massive retrospective of R. Crumb’s humor comics anthology, published this year by Last Gasp. For that San Francisco-based publisher, Cooke is working with them on a 50th anniversary celebratory book to be published in 2020. He is also co-editor of Kirby100, The Warren Companion, Swampmen: Muck Monsters of the Comics, and the forthcoming World of TwoMorrows. He is currently developing a four-act play with his brother, Andrew D. Cooke, about the early years of comics entitled The Golden Age. Cooke lives in southern Rhode Island with his wife, Beth, and two of his three sons as they get their act together, along with rescue dogs Dilly and Roxy, and a cat named Noodle.

Mark Evanier at Comic-Con 2019, July 18-21 at the San Diego Convention Center

Mark Evanier

Writer, producer, comics historian, Kirby King of Comics

Mark Evanier has been writing comic books since he was 17, having started reading them when he was about that many minutes old. He apprenticed with the great Jack Kirby and has written much about Jack and comic book history. He’s written countless comics including many with the superstars of Disney, Warner Brothers, and Hanna-Barbera, as well as Blackhawk and others for DC, his own co-creations including The DNAgents, Crossfire, and Magnor, plus he does something (God knows what) on Groo the Wanderer with Sergio Aragonés. He’s also written hundreds of hours for TV including sitcoms, variety shows, and cartoons, including writing/producing 20 years of Garfield the Cat.

Mary Fleener at Comic-Con 2019, July 18-21 at the San Diego Comic Convention

Mary Fleener

Writer, artist, Billie the Bee, Life of the Party

Born in Los Angeles, Mary Fleener started self-publishing her own mini comics in the mid- ‘80s and began appearing in anthologies such as Weirdo, Wimmen’s, and Rip Off Comix. Her first solo title was Hoodoo (1988), and she illustrated the stories of Zora Neale Hurston. This inspired her to do her own autobiographical stories that were collected in book form under the title Life of the Party (1994). Fleener has just completed her first YA graphic novel called Billie the Bee, which is available now from Fantagraphics Books.

Ebony Flowers at Comic-Con 2019, July 18-21 at the San Diego Convention Center

Ebony Flowers

Writer, artist, Hot Comb

Ebony Flowers was born and raised in Maryland. She holds a BA in Biological Anthropology from the University of Maryland College Park and a PhD in Curriculum and Instruction from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, where she wrote her dissertation as a comic (mostly). Ebony is a 2017 Rona Jaffe Award recipient. She lives in Denver, CO. Her first book Hot Comb will be published by Drawn & Quarterly in May 2019.

Roger Freedman at Comic-Con 2019, July 18-21 at the San Diego Convention Center

Roger Freedman

Comic-Con founding committee member

Dr. Roger Freedman teaches physics and astronomy at the University of California, Santa Barbara. He’s the co-author of four widely-used physics and astronomy textbooks that include lots of comic book and SF references. He worked on Comic-Con in its formative years in the 1970s and was the leader of Comic-Con’s first “house band,” Dr. Raoul Duke and his All-Human Orchestra. Today he’s on the board of directors of San Diego Comic Fest. His cartoon likeness has appeared as a supervillain in DC Comics (Jimmy Olsen #144) and as a mad scientist in Marvel Comics (What If? #8).

Rick Geary at Comic-Con 2019, July 18-21 at the San Diego Convention Center

Rick Geary

Writer, artist, Black Dahlia, The Lindbergh Child

Rick Geary has been a freelance cartoonist and illustrator for over 45 years. His illustrations and graphic stories have appeared in National Lampoon, MAD, The New York Times, Heavy Metal, Disney Adventures, and many other publications. His graphic novels include the biographies J. Edgar Hoover and Trotsky, as well as nine volumes in the series titled A Treasury of Victorian Murder, and six volumes in A Treasury of 20th Century Murder, the latest of which is Black Dahlia.

For Comic-Con, he created the Toucan mascot, and designed the new Inkpot Award. He received the Eisner Award in 2007 for his work on Gumby Comics.

Rick and his wife Deborah live in Carrizozo, New Mexico.

Lawrence Geeck at Comic-Con 2019, July 18-21 at the San Diego Convention Center

Lawrence Geeck

Former Comic-Con board member, executive VP and president

Lawrence (Lance) Geeck became involved with the San Diego Comic-Con starting around 1977 as a volunteer helping out at the convention. In the following years, he became more active and was voted to be a member of the board of directors. During this time he helped setup agreements with the hotel and convention center in San Diego. Eventually he was voted into the executive vice-president position and then became president the following year. These positions were some of the most fun he’s ever had. He and his wife Ines are happily looking forward to seeing old friends at Comic-Con 50.

Gene Ha at Comic-Con 2019, July 18-21 at the San Diego Convention Center

Gene Ha

Writer, artist, Mae; artist, Top 10

New York Times bestselling comic book artist Gene Ha writes and draws Mae from Lion Forge Comics. It’s the story of Mae Fortell, a girl who follows her long missing sister Abbie to a world of mad science and mystery. He’s famed for his work with writer Alan Moore, Top 10 and its prequel The Forty-Niners. Gene has won 4 Eisners, the highest award in American comics. Gene Ha lives outside Chicago in Berwyn, IL, with his lovely wife Lisa. More info: www.geneha.com

Gene Henderson at Comic-Con 2019, July 18-21 at the San Diego Convention Center

Gene and Mary Henderson

Gene Henderson

Former Comic-Con VP and board member

Gene Henderson, a SoCal native, got his first comic at the age of six . . . and he has been collecting them ever since. He was at the first Comic-Con in 1970, and is very proud to be attending the 50th! Gene has been a board member, vice president, director of security, and archivist for Comic-Con. For over three decades he coordinated the Russ Manning Promising Newcomer Award, and co-created the annual Will Eisner Hall of Fame display that’s a yearly part of the Art Show. He wishes his wonderful wife Mary, who worked for many years as Comic-Con’s hotel liaison and banquet coordinator, could be with him to celebrate.

Jonathan Hickman at Comic-Con 2019, July 18-21 at the San Diego Convention Center

Jonathan Hickman

Writer, East of West, Manhattan Projects, X-Men

Jonathan Hickman is the visionary talent behind the award-winning East of West, Black Monday Murders, and Manhattan Projects. He also occasionally plies his trade at places like Marvel working on books such as Avengers, the Fantastic Four, and most recently, the relaunch of X-Men.

Jonathan lives in South Carolina, along with his twin brother, Marc, who recently won an Academy Award for the animated short, Pixeleffed.

More info: www.pronea.com

Beth Holley at Comic-Con 2019, July 18-21 at the San Diego Convention Center

Beth Holley

Former Comic-Con VP, publicity and publications; VP, Exhibits

Beth Holley became involved with the San Diego Comic Convention (now Comic-Con International) in 1989 shortly after moving to California from Norfolk VA. She served as information coordinator 1989-1991, VP of publicity & publications 1991-1993, and the VP of exhibits from 1994-2008.

As a comics collector and enthusiast for comic book history, she was copy editor of the Gold and Silver Age comics publication Comic Book Marketplace magazine published by Gemstone Publishing Inc., from 1994-1999. She was a member of the American Association of Comicbook Collectors from 1999-2005. Beth was awarded Comic-Con’s Inkpot Award for Fandom Services in 2000.

Willie Ito at Comic-Con 2019, July 18-21 at the San Diego Comic Convention

Willie Ito

Cartoonist, animator, Disney, WB, and Hanna-Barbera cartoons

Willie Ito hails from San Francisco, California. At the age of five, he realized that cartooning and animation were in his future.

In 1954, he received a scholarship from Chouinards Art Institute in Los Angeles and moved down south. While a student, Willie decided to visit the Disney Studio. He had his student’s portfolio with him and was asked to present it. Two weeks later he found himself hired and started his career on Lady and the Tramp. His very first assignment was the iconic spaghetti kissing scene. He went on to the infamous Termite Terrace at Warner Bros. and worked with Chuck Jones on the classic short cartoons One Froggy Evening and What’s Opera Doc? He also did layouts for Friz Freleng and received his first screen credits on Prince Violent.

Over the years, Willie has worked on The Beany and Cecil Show, numerous Hanna-Barbera cartoons, and at various other animation studios as a freelance artist. He returned to Disney in 1976 and joined their comic strip department and eventually the Disney Consumer Products division, where he became director of character art international.

After 50 years in the business, Will retired and now illustrates and publishes children’s picture books.

Arvell Jones at Comic-Con 2019, July 18-21 at the San Diego Convention Center

Arvell Jones

Artist, Deathlok, All-Star Squadron

Arvell Jones, a pioneer comic artist, is best known for his work for Marvel Comics and DC Comics in the 1970s through the ‘90s.

He worked on original concept art for the teaser posters for the Black Panther movie that was released in 2018. He is co-creator of the character Misty Knight, the first African American female superhero for Marvel Comics. Misty Knight has been featured in the Marvel/Netflix TV series Luke CageThe Defenders, and Iron Fist. He’s drawn for Marvel

on titles such as Deathlok, Thor, Iron Man, Luke Cage, Avengers, Daredevil, Captain America, and many more. For DC, he worked on Super-Team Family, Secret Society of Super-Villains, and, of course, All-Star Squadron.

Maya Kern at Comic-Con 2019, July 18-21 at the San Diego Convention Center

Maya Kern

Artist, Hearts Thorns and Scales, Monster Pop!

Maya Kern is a comic artist, illustrator, and product designer based out of upstate New York. She has been self-publishing comics since 2012, starting with a compilation of short retellings of fairytale comics, Hearts Thorns and Scales. She gained online acclaim and features in io9, Daily Dot, Autostraddle, and Ladies Making Comics for her retellings Redden and How to Be a Mermaid. Now she and her wife own a small business together where they create unique apparel and merchandise with a colorful flair. Maya has been making her webcomic Monster Pop! since 2012, which was nominated for the 2017 PRISM Awards.

Denis Kitchen at Comic-Con 2019, July 18-21 at the San Diego Convention Center

Portrait by Pete Poplaski

Denis Kitchen

Cartoonist, author, publisher, Kitchen Sink Press, The Art of Harvey Kurtzman

Denis Kitchen, cartoonist, publisher, author, curator, and agent, began his career as one of the pioneer “underground” cartoonists in the late 1960s. His Kitchen Sink Press, founded in 1969, celebrates its 50th anniversary this year. Kitchen published legendary creators Will Eisner, Harvey Kurtzman, Robert Crumb, Milton Caniff, Charles Burns, Howard Cruse, Trina Robbins, Mark Schultz, Neil Gaiman, Alan Moore, and many others. In 1988 he founded the non-profit Comic Book Legal Defense Fund and chaired it for its first eighteen years.

Kitchen co-authored The Art of Harvey Kurtzman and Underground Classics (Abrams, 2009), a monograph on Harrison Cady (Beehive, 2019), a biography of Al Capp (Bloomsbury, 2013), and created a graphic mini-biography of Dr. Seuss for Masterful Marks (Simon & Schuster, 2014).

Dark Horse Books’ published a monograph, The Oddly Compelling Art of Denis Kitchen in 2010. He received a Lifetime Achievement Award in 2012 and was a first ballot selection for the Will Eisner Hall of Fame in 2015.

Ann Leckie at Comic-Con 2019, July 18-21 at the San Diego Convention Center

Photo: MissionPhoto.org

Ann Leckie

Author, Ancillary Justice, Imperial Radch trilogy

Ann Leckie is the author of the Hugo, Nebula, and Arthur C. Clarke Award-winning novel Ancillary Justice and the rest of the acclaimed Imperial Radch trilogy. Her most recent novel is The Raven Tower, published by Orbit in February.

She has also published short stories in Subterranean MagazineStrange Horizons, and Realms of Fantasy. Her story “Hesperia and Glory” was reprinted in Science Fiction: The Best of the Year, 2007 edition, edited by Rich Horton.

Ann has worked as a waitress, a receptionist, a rodman on a land-surveying crew, and a recording engineer. She lives in St. Louis, MO.

Jae Lee at Comic-Con 2019, July 18-21 at the San Diego Convention Center

Jae Lee

Artist, Batman/Superman, The Inhumans, Stephen King’s The Dark Tower

Jae Lee is a Korean-American comic book artist, known for his dark style. In 1990, he became one of the youngest artists ever to work for a major publisher. He is an Eisner Award-winner for his work on Marvel’s The Inhumans. His art can also be seen in Stephen King’s Dark Tower, Before Watchmen: Ozymandias, and Batman/Superman. Official website: jaeleeart.com

Jim Lee at Comic-Con 2019, July 18-21 at the San Diego Convention Center

Photo: Mike Jara Photography

Jim Lee

Artist, Justice League: Origin, Suicide Squad; DC Comics publisher/chief creative officer

Jim Lee is a renowned comic book artist and the chief creative officer–publisher of DC Entertainment. In addition to his duties at DC, he is the artist for many of DC Comics’ bestselling comic books and graphic novels, including All Star Batman and Robin, Superman: For Tomorrow, Justice League: Origin, Superman Unchained, and Suicide Squad. He also served as the executive creative director for the DC Universe Online (DCUO) massively multiplayer action game from Daybreak Games.

Paul Levitz at Comic-Con 2019, July 18-21 at the San Diego Comic Convention

Paul Levitz

Writer, editor, publisher, 75 Years of DC Comics, Legion of Super-Heroes

Paul Levitz is a comic fan (The Comic Reader), editor (Batman), writer (Legion of Super-Heroes, executive (30 years at DC, ending as president and publisher), historian (75 Years of DC Comics: The Art of Modern Myth-Making (Taschen, 2010)), and educator (including the American Graphic Novel at Columbia). He won two consecutive annual Comic Art Fan Awards for Best Fanzine and received Comic-Con International’s Inkpot Award, the prestigious Bob Clampett Humanitarian Award, the Comics Industry Appreciation Award from ComicsPro, and the Dick Giordano Humanitarian Award from the Hero Initiative. His Taschen book won the Eisner Award, the Eagle Award, and Munich’s Peng Pris. His recent books include Will Eisner: Champion of the Graphic Novel (Abrams ComicArts, 2014), and he curated the celebratory book, Action Comics: 80 Years of Superman (DC, 2018). Levitz also serves on the board of the Comic Book Legal Defense Fund and BOOM! Studios.

Joseph Michael Linsner at Comic-Con 2019, July 18-21 at the San Diego Convention Center

Joseph Michael Linsner

Writer, illustrator, Dawn, Cry for Dawn

Joseph Michael Linsner is most well-known for writing and painting the adventures of his creation Dawn, his personal Pin-Up Goddess. Since her debut appearance on the cover of Cry for Dawn #1 in 1989, Dawn has struck a chord with thousands of fans on an international level. She is currently published in six languages and has come to life in the form of statues, action figures, and lithographs. An award-winning illustrator, Linsner has worked for all of the major comics publishers, painting covers for Conan, Wolverine, Red Sonja, Vampirella, Harley Quinn, Batman, and countless others. 2019 marks Dawn’s 30th anniversary in print, and Linsner plans on celebrating it with a new Dawn mini-series to be published by Image Comics.

William R. Lund at Comic-Con 2019, July 18-21 at the San Diego Convention Center

William R. Lund

Comic-Con founding committee member

William R. Lund was born in Spokane, WA, joined the Navy and eventually became a founding member of Comic-Con. He has written for Comicscene and Fangoria and primarily acted on stage. He was also a recipient of the Inkpot Award.

Ulli Lust at Comic-Con 2019, July 18-21 at the San Diego Convention Center

Ulli Lust

Writer, artist, Today Is the Last Day of the Rest of Your Life, How I Tried to Be a Good Person

Ulli Lust was born in Vienna in 1967. In 1995 she moved to Berlin to study graphic design. Her work ranges from comics journalism, to erotic-mythological poetry, to graphic autobiography. She runs the online publishing company Electrocomics, which publishes e-books and online comics by a growing group of international cartoonists. Her books include Airpussy (L’employé du Moi, 2009), Today Is the Last Day of the Rest of Your Life (Fantagraphics Books, 2013), Voices in the Dark (New York Review of Comics, 2017), and most recently How I Tried to Be a Good Person, (Fantagraphics Books, 2019). She lives in Berlin.

Alitha Evelyn Martinez at Comic-Con 2019, July 18-21 at the San Diego Convention Center

Alitha Evelyn Martinez

Artist, Black Panther: World of Wakanda, Riverdale

Alitha Evelyn Martinez never wanted to do anything other than draw comic books. In her teenage years, she was held back from a Marvel tryout by a teacher who was trying to spare her the feeling of being rejected by a major publisher because she was a girl, which prompted Alitha to head to New York and challenge the notion that girls did not draw superheroes. Since she began her professional career in 1999 pencilling Iron Man for Marvel, Alitha has also worked on X-MenBlack SunBlack Panther and  Black Panther: World of WakandaMoon Girl, NBC’s Heroes, DC’s Batgirl, Archie Comic’s New Crusadersand Riverdale, and Barbie for Paper Cutz. Her other large-scale projects include Vampire: My Boyfriend BitesKung Fu Masters, Quest for Dragon Mountain for Lerner Publications, and political cartoons for the New York Post.

Alitha visits schools at least once a year, to tell the next crop of storytellers that no one and nothing should stop them from telling their stories. She advises that drawing or writing every day, however small, helps to build stamina and strengthens dedication. The love of art never dies.

Todd McFarlane at Comic-Con 2019, July 18-21 at the San Diego Convention Center

Todd McFarlane

Writer, artist, Spawn creator, Venom co-creator; CEO McFarlane Toys, and President, Image Comics

2019 marks the year that legendary artist Todd McFarlane makes history with the release of the historic Spawn #300 and record-breaking Spawn  #301. These milestones make Spawn the longest-running independent comic in North America.

The road to McFarlane’s history-making comic run began in 1992 with the formation of Image Comics and the release of Spawn #1 the top-selling independent comic of all-time, and one of the most popular comic heroes in the world.

In 1994, McFarlane founded his industry-changing toy company, McFarlane Toys. A Grammy- and Emmy-winning producer/director, McFarlane is set to write and direct a new Spawn film.

Follow Todd on Twitter@Todd_McFarlane

Craig Miller at Comic-Con 2019, July 18-21 at the San Diego Convention Center

Craig Miller

Publicist, producer, author, Star Wars Memories

Craig Miller’s career has been all over the pop culture map, working on publicity, licensing, and as a special projects producer for Star Wars, The Empire Strikes Back, The Dark Crystal, The Last Starfighter, Return to Oz, The Thing, and more, including bringing preview presentations of those films to Comic-Con. He’s written and produced animation ranging from The Smurfs and Curious George to The Real Ghostbusters to G.I. Joe and Beast Wars and live-action shows such as Showtime’s The Hunger. He’s created and written shows for China, Latin America, Italy, France, Dubai, and Israel. His book about his years at Lucasfilm, Star Wars Memories, will be coming out later this year.

Frank Miller at Comic-Con 2019, July 18-21 at the San Diego Convention Center

Photo: AFP & Joël Sagat

Frank Miller

Writer-artist, 300; writer, Superman: Year One; artist, Cursed

Frank Miller is regarded as one of the most influential and awarded creators in the entertainment industry today, known for his intense, hard-boiled storytelling and gritty noir aesthetic across comics, novels and film. Launching June 19, Miller is reteaming with artist John Romita Jr. for the highly anticipated Superman: Year One, a groundbreaking, definitive treatment of Superman’s classic origin story to be distributed under the DC Black Label.

Additionally, Miller is illustrating Cursed – his young adult novel debut with writer Thomas Wheeler, a reimagining of the King Arthur legend from the point of view of sixteen-year-old Nimue, the young woman who first wielded Excalibur and became the all-powerful Lady of the Lake. Cursed will be published by Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers in Fall 2019.

Randall Munroe at Comic-Con 2019, July 18-21 at the San Diego Convention Center

Randall Munroe

Writer, artist, xkcd, What If?, Thing Explainer

Randall Munroe is the author of the #1 New York Times bestsellers What If? and Thing Explainer, the science question-and-answer blog What If, and the popular webcomic xkcd. A former NASA roboticist, he left the agency in 2006 to draw comics on the internet full-time. He lives in Massachusetts. His new book, HOW TO: Absurd Scientific Advice for Common Real-World Problems, will be released in September 2019.

Audrey Niffenegger at Comic-Con 2019, July 18-21 at the San Diego Convention Center

Audrey Niffenegger

Writer, artist, The Time Traveler’s Wife, Bizarre Romance

Audrey Niffenegger is an artist and a writer. Her novels The Time Traveler’s Wife and Her Fearful Symmetry were both international bestsellers. She recently collaborated with Wayne McGregor on a ballet, Raven Girl, for the Royal Opera House Ballet, and on Bizarre Romance, a collection of comics, with her husband, the artist Eddie Campbell. The Time Traveler’s Wife is being adapted into a television series for HBO by Steven Moffat. Ms. Niffenegger is writing a sequel, The Other Husband.

Larry Niven at Comic-Con 2019, July 18-21 at the San Diego Convention Center

Larry Niven

Author, Ringworld series, Fleet of World series

Larry Niven is a prolific author whose interests include sci-fi conventions, RPGs, AAAS meetings, comics, the defense of Earth against incoming giant meteoroid impacts, and moving mankind into space.

His short stories and novels have won several awards since his first publication in the Worlds of IF 1964 collection with the story “The Coldest Place.” He has won several Hugo and Ditmar Awards, as well as a Nebula and an Inkpot Award.  His latest short story “The Dead Guest of Honor” can be found in The Best of Galaxy’s Edge on stands now. Several works in the pipeline for Larry include Starborn and Godsons (Baen Books, Spring 2020) and Paths to Glory (third in the Bowl of Heaven series, Spring 2020). He met his wife Marilyn at the New York World Science Fiction Convention in 1967, and they married in 1969 and now reside in Tarzana, CA.

Floyd Norman at Comic-Con 2019, July 18-21 at the San Diego Convention Center

Floyd Norman

Artist, animator, The Jungle Book, Toy Story 2

Floyd Norman has been working in the entertainment business a very long time. He began his professional career while still in high school working as an assistant on Archie Comics. Enrolling in Art Center College of Design in the early fifties he dropped out of school when offered a position at Walt Disney Studios. Floyd learned his animation ropes doing the tedious, grunt work of an apprentice inbetweener. By the sixties, he suddenly found himself in Walt’s prestigious story department working on The Jungle Book and life has never been the same.

Floyd decided to leave the studio in the late sixties. He and his partners formed their own production company to produce educational media. He returned to Walt Disney Animation Studios in the nineties. However, after completing story work on three animated features he moved north to Pixar Animation Studios to develop Toy Story 2 and Monsters, Inc. By the year 2000, it was time to retire, but he continued to work at Disney. He illustrated children’s books and worked on toys and games in the Consumer Products Division of the company. After working on a number of special animated projects for Walt Disney Animation Studios, the studio bosses realized he wasn’t going to go away. Floyd has recently been rehired, and returns to Disney animation after a ten-year absence. “Some artists can walk away,” says Floyd. “However, I plan to die at the drawing board.” If you know Floyd Norman you know he means what he says.

Katie O'Neill at Comic-Con 2019, July 18-21 at the San Diego Convention Center

Katie O’Neill

Writer, artist, Princess Princess Ever After, The Tea Dragon Society

Katie O’Neill is an Eisner and Harvey Award-winning illustrator and graphic novelist from New Zealand. She is the author of Princess Princess Ever After, Aquicorn Cove, The Tea Dragon Society, and The Tea Dragon Festival, all from Oni Press. She mostly makes gentle fantasy stories for younger readers, and is very interested in tea, creatures, things that grow, and the magic of everyday life.

Mike Pasqua at Comic-Con 2019, July 18-21 at the San Diego Convention Center

Mike Pasqua

Former Comic-Con program coordinator and executive VP

Mike Pasqua, like others, began his Comic-Con experience as a volunteer in 1976. In 1980, he became one of the program coordinators, a position that he held until 1984 when he became executive vice president of the organization until his departure in 1989. Mike spent time in the corporate world in the field of legal affairs and contracts management.  He is currently an instructor in international politics. He lives at the base of the San Gabriel Mountains with his wife, Sharon, and their children, Andrew, who recently graduated from Loyola Marymount University and Megan, who will be attending the University of Turin. In his spare time, Mike plays golf (badly) and is convinced that his Siberian husky, Laika, is evil.

Bree Paulsen at Comic-Con 2019, July 18-21 at the San Diego Convention Center

Bree Paulsen

Writer, artist, Patrik the Vampire

Bree Paulsen is a SoCal native that received BFA in Animation at the Laguna College of Art and Design. She worked on the 2015 stop-motion video game Armikrog as set and prop fabricator. In late August 2013, she started her webcomic Patrik the Vampire right before her senior year of college. The webcomic is an ongoing slice-of-life story about a vampire living among humans that explores themes of guilt, grief, and trust between comedic scenarios.

Carey Pietsch at Comic-Con 2019, July 18-21 at the San Diego Convention Center

Carey Pietsch

Cartoonist, The Adventure Zone, Lumberjanes

Carey Pietsch is a cartoonist based out of Brooklyn, NY. She’s currently working on The Adventure Zone: Murder on the Rockport Limited and Here There Be Gerblins graphic novels, and her previous work includes drawing two arcs of Lumberjanes and the artwork for the Mages of Mystralia webcomic. Carey also makes Keepsakes, No Swords, and other original comics and zines about magic and empathy. When she’s not making comics, she plays in tabletop campaigns, makes tiny clay cats, and fights a losing battle against the inevitable death of her houseplants.

Richard Pini at Comic-Con 2019, July 18-21 at the San Diego Convention Center

Richard Pini

Writer, editor, publisher, Elfquest

Richard Pini is the co-creator, sometimes-writer, editor, and publisher for the long-running fantasy graphic novel series Elfquest. He is the author of the Eisner Award-nominated art book Line of Beauty—The Art of Wendy Pini, as well as co-author and editor of The Art of Elfquest, and Elfquest—The Art of the Story. A graduate of MIT in astronomy as well as planetarium writer, lecturer, and teacher, he has contributed articles to magazines on the wonders of the heavens. After 2018’s year-long 40th anniversary celebration for Elfquest, his sights are now set on facilitating the newest chapter in the series.

Wendy Pini at Comic-Con 2019, July 18-21 at the San Diego Convention Center

Wendy Pini

Writer, artist, publisher, Elfquest, Beauty and the Beast

Wendy Pini has been drawing literally since the age of two, and has worked for Marvel, DC, First Comics, Comico, Berkley, Tor Books, and many other publishers. She is the co-creator, writer, artist and colorist for the long-running fantasy graphic novel series Elfquest, widely acknowledged as “the first American manga.”  She has also written and painted two Beauty and the Beast graphic novels, as well as a critically acclaimed 400-page dark, futuristic reimagining of Poe’s Masque of the Red Death,currently in development with an award-winning team as a thriller for the musical theatre.

Bud Plant at Comic-Con 2019, July 18-21 at the San Diego Convention Center

Bud Plant

Pioneer comics retailer, publisher

Bud Plant began buying comics in 1961 and scored Fantastic Four #1 off the stands (but who knows where that went?). He started seriously collecting comics in 1964. Plant and his buddies opened their first comic shop in March 1968, and started Comics & Comix in 1972, which ran to 7 stores. He did catalogs of fanzines, underground comix and comics-related books, and set up at comic shows across the country. Plant got into distribution in 1984, but sold out to Diamond in 1988. He published a few fanzines with his friends, some underground comix, and zillions of catalogs. Today he collects Golden Age, does a few shows, still puts out catalogs, and writes weekly emails with all the new goodies at BudsArtBooks.com.

John Pound at Comic-Con 2019, July 18-21 at the San Diego Convention Center

John Pound

Comic-Con founding committee member; artist, Garbage Pail Kids

John Pound helped start the San Diego Comic-Con. Avoiding a real job, he drew underground comix and painted fantasy art prints, book covers, and comic covers. He loved humor art.

John moved to Northern California when he met Karen, his future wife.

Art Spiegelman invited him to paint Topps’ “Garbage Pail Kids” stickers, a big hit and he painted hundreds. He also had art in BLAB, MAD, and JUXTAPOZ magazines.

For fast, irreverent art-making, he began writing computer code to make instant randomly- generated comics. His newer code generates random cartoon-like art prints, books, animations, and music videos. A code art compilation awaits publication. More info: www.poundart.com

Paco Roca at Comic-Con 2019, July 18-21 at the San Diego Convention Center

Paco Roca

Writer, artist, Wrinkles, Twists of Fate

Paco Roca was born in Valencia, Spain, in 1969 and got his start in comics drawing the action series Road Cartoons for legendary comics magazine El Víbora. His graphic novel Arrugas received the 2008 Premio Nacional del Cómic, was adapted into an award-winning animated feature film, and was released in English as Wrinkles by Fantagraphics Books in 2016. Other works available in English include Twists of Fate (Fantagraphics Books, 2018) and The House, due out November 2019.

Mike Royer at Comic-Con 2019, July 18-21 at the San Diego Convention Center

Mike Royer

Artist, Kirby’s Fourth World series, Eternals, Captain America

Mike Royer began his career in 1966 assisting Russ Manning on Magnus, Tarzan and later the Star Wars comic strip. After 14 years working on various titles for Gold Key, James Warren, and laying out one-third of the first Spider-Man animation series, Mike was asked by Jack Kirby to work with him on his Fourth World books New Gods, Forever People, etc., plus Demon and Kamandi for DC, and then Eternals, Devil Dinosaur and Captain America, etc. at Marvel. After almost 10 years with Jack, Mike spent 21+ years as a product designer/character artist for Disney Licensing and the Disney Store. In 2001 Mike returned to his birth state of Oregon where he did product design and character art for several clients including Danbury Mint, Disney collector pins and Pin USA, and even found time for some inking again on such luminaries as Erik Larsen, Ron Frenz, and Steve Rude, etc. In an almost 50-year career, Mike’s jobs have included animation layout and cartoon storyboarding, comic book penciling, lettering and inking, product design, record album covers, etc. Mike was the first cartoonist guest for the 1970 Mini-Con that gave birth to Comic-Con.

Chuck Rozanski at Comic-Con 2019, July 18-21 at the San Diego Convention Center

Chuck Rozanski

Long-time Comic-Con exhibitor and retailer, Mile High Comics

Chuck Rozanski began selling collector comics in 1970, at the age of 14. He first sold at Multicon 1972 at 17, San Diego Comic-Con 1973 at 18, and opened his first Mile High Comics retail store at 19. He had 4 stores by age 21. 0ver the past 49 years, has provided fans with over $200,000,000.00 in comics.

He currently resides in Boulder, CO with his wife of 44 years, Nanette, and still owns and operates Mile High Comics, including an immense 65,000 square foot Mega-Store in Denver. He also raises money for numerous charities as the nationally-recognized drag queen, Bettie Pages.

Stan Sakai at Comic-Con 2019, July 18-21 at the San Diego Convention Center

Photo: Emi Fujii Photography

Stan Sakai

Writer, artist, Usagi Yojimbo

Stan Sakai was born in Kyoto, Japan, and grew up in Hawaii. He began his comic book career by lettering Sergio Aragonés’ Groo the Wanderer. He also worked with Stan Lee, lettering the Spider-ManSunday comics for 25 years. Sakai is most famous for his original creation, Usagi Yojimbo, an epic saga celebrating its 35th anniversary in 2019. It features Miyamoto Usagi, a samurai rabbit living in early-seventeenth-century Japan. His work on Usagi Yojimbo has led to a number of awards, including six Eisner Awards, a Harvey Award for Best Cartoonist, the Japanese American National Museum’s Cultural Ambassador Award, Parent’s Choice Award, and an American Library Association Award. Skillful weaving of history, folklore, and Japanese culture into his work has made Sakai’s Usagi Yojimbo a favorite among educators as a curriculum tool. Usagi has also been a part of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles in their TV series, comic book crossovers, and toy lines. An Usagi Yojimbo TV show is in development, produced by Gaumont Studios, Sakai, James Wan’s Atomic Monster, and Dark Horse Entertainment. Stan is married to artist Julie Fujii-Sakai with whom he collaborates on Chibi Usagi and other projects. They live in Southern California.

Steve Sansweet at Comic-Con 2019, July 18-21 at the San Diego Convention Center

Steve Sansweet

Author, Star Wars: The Ultimate Action Figure Collection; head of Rancho Obi-Wan

Steve Sansweet is head of Rancho Obi-Wan, a nonprofit museum that houses the Guinness World Records-certified largest collection of Star Wars memorabilia (www.ranchoobiwan.org). Located in Northern California on the outskirts of Petaluma, it is open for pre-booked tours and events. Steve has written or co-authored 18 Star Wars books and many articles and has appeared on numerous television and online shows and podcasts. He was Director of Content Management and head of Fan Relations at Lucasfilm Ltd. for 15 years and after retirement served as a consultant for the company. Prior to Lucasfilm, Steve had a 26-year career as a reporter and an editor at The Wall Street Journal.

Bob Schreck at Comic-Con 2019, July 18-21 at the San Diego Convention Center

Bob Schreck

Editor, Batman, Sin City

Bob Schreck is an award-winning editor who has worked in comics since 1975. His publishing career began at Comico in 1985. By 1991 he joined Dark Horse and was the editor of creator-owned titles and the Legend line where he shepherded Frank Miller’s Sin City and Dark Horse Presents. In 1997, along with Joe Nozemack, he launched Oni Press best known for Kevin Smith’s Clerks comics. In 1999 Schreck joined DC Comics becoming group editor of the Batman franchise. He shepherded numerous projects including DK2, Batman: Hush, Batman: Year 100, and Green Arrow. After working briefly at IDW, he landed at Legendary Films as senior VP/editor-in-chief. He has served as editor to such talents as Neil Gaiman, Harlan Ellison, Guillermo del Toro, Paul Pope, Dave Gibbons, Scott Morse, Grant Morrison, and many others. Currently, Schreck is semi-retired doing freelance editing and consulting, living in Oregon with his husband, Randy, and their dog, Bandit.

Diana Schutz at Comic-Con 2019, July 18-21 at the San Diego Convention Center

Portrait art by comics colorist Brennan Wagner

Diana Schutz

Editor, 300, Grendel, Usagi Yojimbo

Diana Schutz is an award-winning editor who has worked in comics since 1978. In her 25-year tenure at Dark Horse as senior/executive editor, she shepherded Frank Miller’s Sin City and 300, Matt Wagner’s Grendel, Stan Sakai’s Usagi Yojimbo, Paul Chadwick’s Concrete, Larry Marder’s Beanworld, and Harvey Pekar’s American Splendor. She also served as editor to authors Michael Chabon, Neil Gaiman, Harlan Ellison, and Will Eisner. Schutz is an adjunct instructor of Comics Studies at Portland State University and the first woman to be inducted into the Canadian Comic Book Creator Hall of Fame. Semi-retired, she now works as a literary translator of European graphic novels.

David Scroggy at Comic-Con 2019, July 18-21 at the San Diego Convention Center

David Scroggy

Former Comic Book Expo director; head of product development at Dark Horse Comics

David Scroggy has been involved with the comics business since he moved to California from his hometown of Akron, OH in 1975. There, he began a long association with the San Diego Comic Convention (now Comic-Con International), wrote a regular column for Comics Buyer’s Guide, and began working for Pacific Comics, an early comics retailer. When Pacific began publishing comic books in 1981, he served as editorial director.

After leaving Pacific Comics, Scroggy worked as an artist representative, and served as director of Comic Book Expo, the trade show associated with Comic-Con International.

In 1993 David joined Dark Horse Comics. He was asked to start a new department, Product Development, that would develop collectibles. He spent 23 years with Dark Horse, retiring in June 2017.

David Scroggy has won the Eisner Award (for Dark Horse’s comic-related products), Comic-Con’s Inkpot Award, and the Diamond Gem award

Seth at Comic-Con 2019, July 18-21 at the San Diego Convention Center

Photo: David Briggs Photography

Seth

Cartoonist, Palookaville, Clyde Fans

Seth is the cartoonist behind the long running comic-book series Palookaville. His books include Wimbledon GreenGeorge Sprott, and It’s a Good Life, If You Don’t Weaken. He is the designer for The Complete PeanutsThe Portable Dorothy ParkerThe John Stanley Library, and The Collected Doug Wright. From 2014 to 2016 he partnered with Lemony Snicket on the young readers series All the Wrong Questions. 2019 marks the release of his highly-anticipated masterwork Clyde Fans, which tells the story of a crumbling small business and a faltering family. He lives in Guelph, Canada.

Scott Shaw! at Comic-Con 2019, July 18-21 at the San Diego Convention Center

Scott Shaw!

Cartoonist, comic historian, Captain Carrot, Oddball Comics

For forty-eight years, Scott Shaw! has written and drawn underground comix (Fear and LaughterGory Stories Quarterly), kids’ comic books (Captain Carrot and his Amazing Zoo Crew!Sonic the HedgehogSimpsons Comics), comic strips (Bugs BunnyWoodsy Owl), graphic novels (ShrekAnnoying Orange), TV cartoons (Jim Henson’s Muppet BabiesThe Completely Mental Misadventures of Ed GrimleyCamp Candy), toys (McFarlane Toys’ line of Hanna-Barbera and Simpsons action figures), trading cards (Garbage Pail Kids), video games (also GPK), and advertising (Pebbles Cereal commercials starring the Flintstones). His work has garnered him four Emmy Awards, an Eisner Award, and a Humanitas Award. Scott also is known for his presentations of “the craziest comic books ever published”, Oddball Comics Live! (with a long-awaited Oddball Comics book coming in Summer 2020 from TwoMorrows) and his regular participation in Quick Draw! with Mark Evanier and Sergio Aragonés. He was also one of the kids who helped start what is currently known as Comic-Con International: San Diego. More info: www.shaw-cartoons.com

Barry Short at Comic-Con 2019, July 18-21 at the San Diego Convention Center

Barry Short

Former Comic-Con assistant executive VP

Barry Short attended his first San Diego Comic-Con in 1974, and he’s been at every one since. In 1976, at the urging of Gene Henderson, he began volunteering, working first in security and running projectors. He directed the Masquerade in 1980, and then served as program director from 1981 to 1986. In 1983 and 1984 he served as assistant executive VP. He was also auctioneer for the Art Auction for close to 15 years in the ‘90s and beyond.

Barry was a comics retailer from 1986 to 2004, operating 21st Century Comics in Orange County, which was nominated for the Will Eisner Spirit of Comics Retailer Award.

Kevin Smith at Comic-Con 2019, July 18-21 at the San Diego Convention Center

Kevin Smith

Writer, director, Clerks, Jay and Silent Bob Reboot; comic writer, Daredevil, Green Arrow

Kevin Smith has been saying silly cinematic sh•t since his first film Clerks, released way back in 1994. He had a heart attack and almost died last year but survived solely so he could direct his magnum opus, Jay and Silent Bob Reboot. A polygamist, he’s married to both his wife Jen and podcasting.

Scott Snyder at Comic-Con 2019, July 18-21 at the San Diego Convention Center

Photo: Mitchell Haddad

Scott Snyder

Writer, Batman, American Vampire, Wytches

Scott Snyder has written comics for both DC and Marvel, including the bestselling series American Vampire, Batman, and Swamp Thing, and is the author of the story collection Voodoo Heart (The Dial Press). His latest projects include Justice League, The Batman Who Laughs, Batman: Last Knight on Earth (all for DC), and Wytches (Image). He teaches writing at Sarah Lawrence College, NYC and Columbia University. He lives on Long Island with his wife Jeanie, and his sons Jack and Emmett. He is a dedicated and un-ironic fan of Elvis Presley.

Mark Stadler at Comic-Con 2019, July 18-21 at the San Diego Convention Center

Mark Stadler

Comic-Con former VP

Mark Stadler has been involved with comic books as a fan, a Comic-Con organizer and a published writer. He has been a comic book fan for more than 50 years. He discovered the San Diego Comic-Con in 1972, and has attended all but one Comic-Con since. Mark joined the Comic-Con Committee in 1979 and was a member for 15 years, serving as board secretary, films coordinator and a vice president, among other positions. He wrote comics for two publishers in the 1980s. He created and wrote a feature titled “Hunter XX” for FantaSci, published by Apple Comics, and he wrote several issues of Hero Alliance, an Innovation Publishing title.

Steranko at Comic-Con 2019, July 18-21 at the San Diego Convention Center

Steranko

Writer, artist, publisher, Nick Fury, Agent of S.H.I.E.L.D., Captain America

Steranko is one of the most controversial figures in contemporary culture, with careers as a musician, author, carnival fire-eater, publisher, male model, historian, magician, and designer. As an escape artist, his death-defying performances inspired the character Mister Miracle. Stan Lee hailed him as one of the prime architects of the Marvel Age. As writer-illustrator of Marvel’s X-Men, Captain America,and the co-creator of Nick Fury: Agent Of S.H.I.E.L.D., he rocked the comic world with a revolutionary narrative approach that changed the medium—forever. Popular polls cite Steranko as the 5th Most Influential Comics Artist in the history of the form.

Brinke Stevens at Comic-Con 2019, July 18-21 at the San Diego Convention Center

Brinke Stevens

Comic-Con volunteer; actress, author, director, Brinke of Destruction

Then known as Charlene Brinkman, Brinke Stevens got involved with Comic-Con in 1973.  For many years she ran the Masquerade, while presenting elaborately choreographed dance numbers during intermission. For a decade, she modeled for her artist husband Dave Stevens as “Bettie” in The Rocketeer comics. Brinke later wrote and published her own comic book series, Brinke of Destruction,and a sci-fi novel, Dangerous Toys. She’s starred in 194 films to date, mostly fantasy, sci-fi and horror. She co-produced two documentaries, Shock Cinema and Something to Scream About, and also wrote and directed the movie Personal Demons (2018).

William Stout at Comic-Con 2019, July 18-21 at the San Diego Convention Center

William Stout

Artist, Fantastic Worlds: The Art of William Stout

Comic Art Professional Society co-founder and tenth president William Stout has attended every Comic-Con. He’s assisted Russ Manning, Harvey Kurtzman, and Will Elder and collaborated with Moebius and Will Eisner. Fantastic Worlds: The Art of William Stout covers Bill’s 50-year career. Legends of the Blues is the first of three volumes.

Stout drew the Wizards poster. Film work includes both Conan movies, Predator, Masters of the Universe, Return of the Living Dead, and Pan’s Labyrinth. Bill’s dinosaur books inspired Jurassic Parkand The Land Before Time. The Houston Museum of Natural Science, Walt Disney’s Animal Kingdom, San Diego Natural History Museum, and the San Diego Zoo display Stout murals.

J. Michael Straczynski at Comic-Con 2019, July 18-21 at the San Diego Convention Center

J. Michael Straczynski

Writer, producer, Babylon 5, Sense8; Author, Becoming Superman

J. Michael Straczynski has written hundreds of comics for DC, Marvel, Image, and others, created Babylon 5, co-created Sense8, received Eisner, Inkpot, Icon and Hugo Awards, penned Clint Eastwood’s Changeling, and wrote for such films as WWZ, Thor, and Underworld Awakening. He is head of the creative council for Artists, Writers and Artisans, the new comic company from Bill Jemas and Axel Alonso; worked in the writer’s room for the upcoming Kong vs. Godzilla feature film; is writing a series pilot for USA Network; and his autobiography, Becoming Superman, from HarperCollins Voyager, will debut here at Comic-Con.

Tui T. Sutherland at Comic-Con 2019, July 18-21 at the San Diego Convention Center

Photo: © Jeremy West

Tui T. Sutherland

Author, Wings of Fire series

Tui T. Sutherland is the author of the New York Times and USA Today bestselling Wings of Fire series—Book #13: The Poison Jungle releases in June—and the graphic novel adaptation series—Book #2 released in February. She has also written the Menagerie trilogy and the Pet Trouble series, and she is a contributing author to the bestselling Spirit Animals and Seekers series. She lives in Massachusetts with her wonderful husband, two adorable sons, and two very patient dogs. More info: www.tuibooks.com

Sam Sykes at Comic-Con 2019, July 18-21 at the San Diego Convention Center

Photo: Libbi Rich

Sam Sykes

Author, An Affinity for Steel, Bring Down Heaven trilogy

Sam Sykes—author, citizen, mammal—has written extensively over the years, penning An Affinity for Steel, the Bring Down Heaven trilogy, Brave Chef Brianna, and now the Grave of Empires trilogy, starting with Seven Blades in Black (Orbit, April 2019). At the time of this writing, no one has been able to definitively prove or disprove that he has fought a bear.

Janet Tait at Comic-Con 2019, July 18-21 at the San Diego Convention Center

Photo: John Rogers

Janet Tait

Former VP, Events

A former VP of Events for Comic-Con, Janet Tait ran films and programming in the 1980s and created Comic-Con’s first website in the early ‘90s. In 1989, she won an Inkpot Award for her contributions to comics fandom. She was also a judge for the Will Eisner Comic Industry Awards in 1992.

Janet was married to longtime Comic-Con President John Rogers, who passed away from brain cancer in 2018.

Janet currently writes fantasy and science fiction and is the author of Cast into Darkness, an Amazon Top 100 bestseller in Urban Fantasy. She is hard at work on the sequel.

Maggie Thompson at Comic-Con 2019, July 18-21 at the San Diego Convention Center

Maggie Thompson

Writer, editor, Comics Buyer’s Guide

Award-winning Maggie Thompson still has the copy of Dell Four Color #103 (Easter with Mother Goose) that she bought when she was three. That’s because her (science-fiction-fan) mom and dad encouraged her to read—and collect—comic books and attend conventions. As a result, she and her husband, Don, were pioneering publishers of comics fanzines and eventually took over Comics Buyer’s Guide, where she worked for 30 years. These days, she writes online columns for Comic-Con’s Toucan blog and Gemstone Publishing, maintains her website www.maggiethompson.com, and is delighted that today’s readers get to see the best of what’s old and new.

Mike Towry at Comic-Con 2019, July 18-21 at the San Diego Convention Center

Mike Towry

Comic-Con founding committee member, 1972 co-chair

Major events for San Diegans in 1969 included the Apollo 11 moon landing and the bicentennial of their city’s founding. Another event, at the time not recognized as significant, was the founding of Comic-Con. That year, Mike Towry, at the age of 14, joined with other fans to start what has become, much to his delight, the world’s premier pop culture event. Attending the ever-wonderful Comic-Con continues to be a highlight of his year. More recently, in 2011, he founded the San Diego Comic Fest for fans who were missing the smaller, more-casual cons from days of yore.

Billy Tucci at Comic-Con 2019, July 18-21 at the San Diego Convention Center

Billy Tucci

Writer, artist, Shi

Billy Tucci is an award-winning cartoonist best known for his modern-day samurai fable, Shi. Through Billy’s Crusade Fine Arts, the multi-Eisner Award-nominated Shi has been printed in five languages sold more than 3 million comic books. He has also worked on a litany of projects for DC Comics’ including Sgt. Rock, Harley Quinn, Flash vs. Superman, and Batman.

His earnest retelling of the Christmas story A Child Is Born has quietly turned into an international blockbuster after winning the Christian Small Publisher Book of the Year Award.

2019 celebrates Shi’s 25th anniversary with the release of the graphic novels Shi: Return of the Warriorand Shi: Hotaru, accompanied by new Shi action figures, statues, and reprints. Billy’s also bringing about the return of Golden Age icon Miss Fury for Dynamite Entertainment and two new creator-owned projects, Zombie-Sama! and Appalachian Apocalypse, as well as Wonder Woman for DC Comics. More info: www.apostlearts.com

Dan Vado at Comic-Con 2019, July 18-21 at the San Diego Convention Center

Illustration by Jhonen Vasquez

Dan Vado

Publisher, SLG Publishing; writer, JLA

Dan Vado, a known miscreant and otherwise follower of his least profitable whims is the founder, CEO and longest tenured person at SLG Publishing. Known for publishing an eclectic and idiosyncratic and diverse line of comics, SLG Publishing at one time or another published the likes of Jhonen Vasquez, Faith Erin Hicks, Roman Dirge, Ariel Schrag and a host of other people whose names, for legal and other reason, we are not allowed to utter.

In addition to his publishing work, Vado wrote for a brief period for DC Comics ,producing a thankfully-forgotten-until-someone-decided-to-reprint-it run of JLA comics, among other things.

Currently Vado lives as a recluse in plain sight and can be found wandering the aisles of grocery stores and haunting his San Jose music venue behind a comic shop, The Art Boutiki, telling anyone who will listen (which is pretty much nobody) “Hey, back in my day . . .”

Ursula Vernon at Comic-Con 2019, July 18-21 at the San Diego Convention Center

Ursula Vernon

Author, Digger, Dragonbreath and Hamster Princess series

Ursula Vernon is the author of the Hugo Award winning comic Digger and the Dragonbreath and Hamster Princess series for kids. She writes for adults under the name T. Kingfisher. When not writing, she spends a lot of time wandering around the garden growing heirloom beans and trying to make eye contact with butterflies.

Charles Vess at Comic-Con 2019, July 18-21 at the San Diego Convention Center

Charles Vess

Artist, Sandman, The Collected Books of Earthsea

Since 1976, Charles Vess’ art has graced many a cover and page of various comic book publishers including Marvel (Spider-Man, Raven Banner), DC (Books of Magic, Swamp Thing, Sandman) and Dark Horse (Book of Night).

Over time he has moved more into book illustration (working with Neil Gaiman, George RR Martin, and Charles de Lint) and he continues to win accolades and praise for his detailed, ethereal, light-and-shadow infused work.

The Collected Books of Earthsea (Saga, 2018) was a four-year collaboration between Charles and author Ursula K. le Guin. This 1000+ page tome features 56 color and black-and-white illustrations and is the definitive collection of all things Earthsea.

Visit his website at: www.greenmanpress.com

Jeff Walker at Comic-Con 2019, July 18-21 at the San Diego Convention Center

Jeff Walker

Genre marketing consultant, long-time Comic-con program participant

During Jeff Walker‘s Zelig-like career he has been an actor, entertainment journalist, rock critic, music publicist, film merchandise licensee (as a founder of The Thinking Cap Company) and genre marketing consultant. He’s also a lifelong fan, amassing a respectable collection of comics by the age of 14. Of course, that was the generation whose mothers gave away those collections “along with my Hardy Boys, Tom Swifts, Bomba the Jungle Boys, Famous Monsters, and classic novels from The Science Fiction Book Club. That momentous decision of hers, of course, led to a career immersed in the music and genres that he grew up loving. After hearing about Comic-Con at the 1972 World Science Fiction con in L. A., he first went to San Diego the following year while working for United Artists Records and brought down a display of album covers that he thought would appeal to fans who loved the same things he did. In 1979 he was asked to join The Ladd Company as a genre consultant to work on Blade Runner and subsequently worked for WB, Amblin’, and  Disney, and brought featurettes he produced, slide shows, talent, and promo items to Comic-Con every year. In 1987 he and Bob Kane brought the first glimpses of the then very controversial movie Batman that Tim Burton was filming with Michael Keaton. That was a landmark campaign that turned an initially highly skeptical fan base into one of the biggest hits of the decade and arguably launched the age of comic book-based movies that still dominates the box office today. For the next 25 years, and to this day, Jeff has consulted for most of the studios and has helped bring hundreds of film and TV panels to Comic-Con. He was awarded an Inkpot in 2011 for Fandom Service. Jeff lives in L. A. with his wife photographer Kim Gottlieb-Walker and has three grown children—Orion, Ethan and Rachel— who he is happy to say are all hardcore fans and whose collections were never thrown out.

Chris Ware at Comic-Con 2019, July 18-21 at the San Diego Convention Center

Self-portrait by Chris Ware

Chris Ware

Writer, artist, Jimmy Corrigan, Rusty Brown Part I

Chris Ware is the author of Jimmy Corrigan: The Smartest Kid on Earth and Building Stories, which was listed as a Top Ten Fiction Book by both the New York Times and Time. A regular contributor of comic strips and 25 covers to the New Yorker, his work has been exhibited at the MOCA Los Angeles, the MCA Chicago, and the Whitney Museum of American Art, and it was the focus of the PBS program Art in the 21st Century in 2016. An eponymous monograph was released by Rizzoli in 2017 and Rusty Brown Part I will appear in September 2019 from Pantheon Graphic Library.

Bob Wayne at Comic-Con 2019, July 18-21 at the San Diego Convention Center

Bob Wayne

Former senior VP, Sales at DC Comics; writer, Time Masters, Wild Cards

Bob Wayne has his roots in Texas fandom, selling at conventions and his own stores. After 28 years at DC Comics he retired as senior VP of sales. He has written comics, including Time Masters (with Lewis Shiner) and created the Card Sharks for George R.R. Martin’s Wild Cards, now in development at Hulu. He has attended Comic-Con for the last 35 years, and received an Inkpot Award and a ComicsPRO Industry Appreciation award. He is currently a publishing consultant and serves on the CBLDF Advisory Board. He resides in Fort Worth, TX and remains grateful his mother never threw away his comics.

Marv Wolfman at Comic-Con 2019, July 18-21 at the San Diego Convention Center

Marv Wolfman

Writer, editor, Tomb of Dracula, New Teen Titans

Marv Wolfman has created more characters that have gone on to television, animation, movies, videogames, and toys than any other comics creator since Stan Lee. At Marvel, Marv was writer-creator of Blade, the Vampire Hunter, Nova, Bullseye, Black Cat, and many others. At DC, Marv co-created the New Teen Titans, Deathstroke, Vigilante, and dozens more. The Titans have starred in two successful cartoon shows several animated movies and a new live action TV series.

Marv also writes animation and videogames. His script for Epic Mickey-2 for Disney was nominated for a Writer’s Guild award. His non-fiction history book, Homeland, the  Illustrated History of the State of Israel won the National Jewish Book award. His novel, Superman Returns won the Scribe Award for best novelization, and his book, Arkham Knight also received a Scribe nomination. In 2011, Marv was inducted into the Eisner Hall of Fame.

Phil Yeh at Comic-Con 2019, July 18-21 at the San Diego Convention Center

Phil Yeh

Cartoonist, Even Cazco Gets the Blues, Winged Tiger Comics and Stories

In 1977 Phil Yeh wrote, illustrated, and published one of the first modern American graphic novels, Even Cazco Gets the Blues. He was one of the first publishers of graphic novels to push for acceptance of this art form in general bookstores and libraries.

In 1985, Yeh formed Cartoonists Across America & The World to promote literacy, the arts, and creativity using humor and comics. To date they have painted 2000 murals in 49 states and 18 countries. Yeh has written over 90 books and comics.

He was given the Bob Clampett Humanitarian Award by Comic-Con in 1989 and in 2009 received an Inkpot Award.

Phil is continuing to do speaking events and mural events for literacy around the world.  More info: www.wingedtiger.com


Comic-Con International: San Diego (SDCC)

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About Jason Bennett 4792 Articles
Jason Bennett is PopCultHQ's chief editor, a contributing writer, and comic book reviewer/reporter. One with the Force. Browncoats Unite! So say we all! Follow Jason on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram: @TahoeJBennett