All is not lost, however, for devotees of comics,

graphic novels and other forms of pop culture. That’s becauseComic-Con@Home, a virtual event, will take placeThursday, July 23 through Sunday, July 26 and fans can participate from the comfort and safety of their own homes. The full schedule was still being finalized at press time so readers should visit for details. Also, the 2020 Souvenir Book will be made available through the website as a downloadable PDF. This annual publication is prized by attendees and others for its exclusive artwork and special anniversary testimonials to notable figures in the world of pop culture. This year’s honorees will include:

100TH BIRTHDAY OF RAY BRADBURY One of the best-known authors in modern

American literature, Ray Bradbury made his mark in fiction, comics, movies, television and so much more. His science fiction and fantasy novels and short stories have endeared him to millions of readers the world over. Numerous Bradbury books like Fahrenheit 451, The Martian Chronicles, The Illustrated Man, and Something Wicked This Way Comes remain in print, finding new readers and fans every day. Bradbury wasalso a friend of Comic-Con, being one of the very first guests at the convention in 1970 and attending year after year until his death in 2012.

100TH BIRTHDAY OF RAY HARRYHAUSEN Ray Harryhausen made his mark as a special

effects artist on science fiction and fantasy movies. Utilizing his amazing skill with models and stop-motion animation, Harryhausen produced an incredible body of work with films such as Earth vs. the Flying Saucers, 20 Million Miles to Earth, The 7th Voyage of Sinbad, Jason and the Argonauts, and Clash of the Titans (the latter starred a hunky young Harry Hamlin). Harryhausen’s particular brand of movie magic has influenced countless moviemakers over the years. Sadly, he passed away in 2013.

50TH ANNIVERSARY OF CONAN IN COMICS The world’s favorite, fiercest barbarian debuted

in Marvel Comics in 1970. Conan conquered the comics world by storm and is still being published by Marvel a half-century later, after a long period

at Dark Horse Comics. Conan has also been the subject of several film adaptations. By Crom, Comic-Con@Home will celebrate the various comic versions of Robert E. Howard’s legendary hero: the Adventurer, the Freebooter, the Wanderer, the Buccaneer, the Usurper, and the Conqueror!

50TH ANNIVERSARY OF JACK KIRBY’S FOURTH WORLD Comics veteran Jack “King” Kirby made headlines

in 1970 when he moved from Marvel Comics to DC Comics, and started his epic Fourth World storyline. Kirby took overSuperman’s Pal Jimmy Olsenand created theForever People, New Gods and Mister Miracle along with one of comics’ ultimate bad guys,Darkseid. Fifty years later, Kirby’s The New Gods still resonates, with a major motion picture in the works to be directed by Oscar nominee Ava DuVernay (Selma, A Wrinkle in Time).

Numerous additional articles on comics and pop

culture history will also appear in the 2020 Souvenir Book. Meanwhile, fans of their earlier movies are invited to a “most excellent” Comic-Con@Home experience for the upcoming sequel Bill & Ted Face the Music! Cast members Keanu Reeves, Alex Winter, Samara Weaving, Brigette Lundy-Paine and William Sadler (who was hilarious as the Grim Reaper in 1991’s Bill & Ted’s Bogus Journey) as well as director Dean Parisot and writers Ed Solomon and Chris Matheson will participate in a lively panel to be moderated by filmmaker and fan Kevin Smith. In Bill & Ted Face the Music! the now middle- aged best friends set out on a new adventure to seek the song that will set their world right and bring harmony in the universe with the help of their daughters, a new batch of historical figures, and a few music legends. No in-person or virtual Comic-Con would

be complete without an appearance by The Walking Dead. World Beyond will make its Comic-Con International debut as the third TV series in the wildly successful zombie-apocalypse universe. Moderated by Chris Hardwick, thepanel discussing the new series will feature showrunner and executive producer Matt Negrete and cast members Aliyah Royale, Alexa Mansour, Hal Cumpston, Nicholas Cantu, Nico Tortorella, Julia Ormond and Joe Holt. The Walking Dead: World

Beyond delves into a new story that follows the first generation raised in a surviving civilization of the post-apocalyptic world. Two sisters and their two friends leave a place of safety and comfort to

brave dangers— known and unknown, living and undead— on an important quest. The Walking Deadseries to date are notable for their inclusion of

LGBTQ characters. Several other TV series will also be represented

during Comic-Con@Home. NOS4A2 returns for its second season, which kicked off June 21 on BBC America. Moderated by Clark Collis ofEntertainment Weekly, this show’s panel will include out actor Zachary Quinto and author/executive producer Joe Hill. NOS4A2’s second season picks up eight years after the first. Female protagonist Vic McQueen (played by Ashleigh Cummings) remains more determined than ever to destroy the vampiric Charlie Manx (Quinto). Charlie, having faced his own mortality, emerges desperate for revenge against Vic. This time, he sets his sights on the person who means most to Vic: her 8-year-old son Wayne. Hulu will showcase its new original series. The

first is Helstrom, which follows Daimon and Ana Helstrom, the son and daughter of a mysterious yet powerful serial killer. The siblings have an understandably complicated dynamic as well as unique skills, which they use to track down the worst of humanity. Solar Oppositesis an animated series that centers around a team of four aliens who escape their exploding home world only to crash land in suburban America. Their mission is to protect the Pupa, a living supercomputer that will one day evolve into its true form, consume them, and terrafarm the Earth. Finally, the Fisher Price-inspired Crossing Swordsfollows Patrick, a good-hearted peasant who lands a coveted squire position at the royal castle. His dream job quickly turns into a nightmare when he learns his beloved kingdom is run by a hornet’s nest of horny monarchs, crooks and charlatans. War, murder, full frontal nudity — who knew brightly colored peg people led such exciting lives? While Comic-Con@Home won’t be the same

as attending the actual event, it promises to be safer plus less expensive. The best part will be not having to find parking or waiting in long lines to get into popular panels! Hopefully, those will return in 2021.

July 2020 | @theragemonthly 23

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