Comic Con Unveils San Diego Lineup

Grab your light sabers, folks! The four-day schedule for San Diego Comic-Con 2008 was rolled out over the weekend. The 2008 convention, held from Thursday, July 24 to Sunday, July 27, offers a familiar mix of Hollywood star power (Keanu Reeves! Mark Wahlberg!), comic book showcases and industry workshops that cater to the odd mélange of Hollywood types and comic book nerds who tend to flock to the friendly environs of San Diego every summer. Although it appears this year’s crop of buzz-seeking blockbusters may not live up to last year’s stable of box-office winners like Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull, Iron Man and Beowulf, there are still plenty of events to capture the hearts and minds of casual observers and comic book enthusiasts alike.

On Thursday afternoon Reeves and Wahlberg, doing their best to carry the mantle for the Harrison Fords and Robert Downey Jr.’s of years past, are in San Diego building buzz for their upcoming blockbusters The Day the Earth Stood Still and Max Payne, respectively.

Friday’s showcase of the Cold War-themed movie Watchmen, directed by 300’s Zack Snyder, might provide some much-needed adrenaline to the otherwise tamer Comic-con lineup. The movie is based on a popular graphic novel from the 1980’s and the ensemble cast includes Billy Crudup and Patrick Wilson, among others.

There’salso plenty on the docket to appeal to those less attuned to the comic book universe. Kal Penn, John Cho and NPH (Neil Patrick Harris) are stopping by San Diego on Sunday to discuss their stoner-comedy/anti-Bush administration missive Harold & Kumar Escape from Guantanamo Bay. Speaking of stoner comedies, Pineapple Express’ Judd Apatow is co-hosting a panel with fellow directors Kevin Smith, Frank Miller and Mr. Synder (that guy is everywhere!).

Comic Book enthusiasts should be placated by the vast array of panel discussions, artist showcases and special events, including several tributes to comic book legend and The Spirit creator Will Eisner. If not, that light saber might just come in handy.

Comic Con Unveils San Diego Lineup