News From ME

Today's Video Link

Home movies of Mr. Laurel and Mr. Hardy. With cameo appearances by Jimmy Finlayson (sans mustache) and Charley Chase (with mustache)…

Retorting Reporting

Comic Book Resources has posted another account of yesterday's Sergio 'n' me panel…but before you click over to it, let me warn you that the quotes aren't very exact, several jokes are rephrased so they aren't jokes and maybe I just wasn't speaking clearly but some misinfo is conveyed. Stan Sakai does not ink Groo and I'm the one, not Sergio, who took Stan pages to letter on his anniversary. The story of my first trip to the MAD offices sounds like I was there alone but I was there with my then-partner, Steve Sherman. The romance comics Sergio wrote were for DC, not Marvel. Bill Gaines's spurious twin brother was named Rex, not Max. Et cetera, et cetera…

This is all trivial but I was bothered by one line — and this may well have been my fault — that makes it sound like Tom Yeates, who drew the Conan portions of the upcoming Groo Vs. Conan mini-series, was responsible for the project's long delay. As Sergio explained on the panel, the problems were all related to Sergio's medical problems and hospitalization. Tom is utterly professional and utterly blameless.

And I have this regarding our confusion as to whether the first issue of Groo Vs. Conan will be out for Comic-Con: I have been informed that the release date is July 23. This year's Comic-Con is July 24-27…so the answer is yes. Sergio was right. I was…well, not wrong but unsure. Some days, that's the best I can do.

Groo News

I did a panel Friday morning at WonderCon with my longtime partner Sergio Aragonés. Wanna know what was said on it? It got written up for the L.A. Times website. Yes, it's true that the long-awaited Groo Vs. Conan mini-series has been completed and is coming out. Yes, it's true that Sergio says the first issue will be out in time for Comic-Con. Yes, it's true that no one's told me that and I'm not sure. Yes, it's true that we will soon launch a 12-issue limited series called Groo: Friends and Foes, which since it will be one issue per month, will put Groo back to monthly appearances again. Neither of us knows when that'll be scheduled but we've started work on #3.

And yes, it's true that Sergio has rejected the whole idea, often suggested, of doing a live-action Groo movie. He said he was afraid it would wind up looking like that Flintstones movie. When the audience cheered that — and cheer they did — I guess the reporter didn't hear the Señor add that he did want to do a film but in animation. Some major studios have expressed, as they say in Hollywood, interest. (Do I believe it's going to happen? My policy is that I don't believe any movie is a reality until Leonard Maltin reviews it.)

From the E-Mailbag…

Paul Paron writes…

I've been a Road Warrior since 1979. The Denny's Rule also holds true for motels when traveling.

You pass tons on the interstate and when you finally decide to stop, there is nothing. Nothing, I tells ya, and you stop at something you finally locate. Not your best choice, not your happiest, the place may smell of unfamiliar food scents or have an abundance of non-running vehicles in the parking lot, but you really need a place to stay.

In the morning…somewhat refreshed, you begin your travel again. I can promise you that the next exit will have no less than three suitable motels, if not more.

I really believe this — and it also holds true for fuel. I drive a diesel pick up truck. Pass a truck stop, pass a truck stop, pass a truck stop, really low on fuel, stop at what ever has diesel at the next exit — it's forty or fifty cents higher than the going rate, and guess what you see at the next exit? Discount fuel, we'll give it to you for free, and wash your truck too if you'd like.

I'd say God hates travelers, but then I'd lose my standing as an agnostic.

Maddening, I know. Hey, here's an app I'd like to have on my smartphone and if no one makes this, someone should. It would be called something like, "What's Near Me That's Open Now and Isn't Closing in Fifteen Minutes Or Less?" You could set it for restaurants, pharmacies, etc., and it would show you lists of such places and if they close, when they close. Several times now, I've used one of those search apps to find someplace nearby to dine and it shows me places that close in three minutes. Ideally, you could set the kind of business you're seeking and the minimum amount of time before it closes.

Better still, how about if my GPS had an "On the Way" feature? It knows the route I'm taking. How about if I can set it to show me all the Five Guys burger joints that are either on that route or not far off it? I can use the GPS to search for "Five Guys" but it will just show me that this one is four miles away and that one is nine. Sometimes, that means the nine-mile one is one I'll be passing in ten minutes, whereas to go to the four-mile one would take me in utterly the wrong direction.

And I'm still hoping for the one that will allow me to search for restaurants that don't serve cole slaw. That would be a true benefit to all mankind.

Today's Video Link

Here's another stand-up comic we don't see nearly enough of — Gary Mule Deer…

The Denny's Rule

Good morning from beautiful, overcast Anaheim. Last night, my GPS told me to turn right at a certain street to get to my hotel but my instincts told me no. To which of these should I have listened? I erred, did as the GPS commanded and found myself on a one-way street that led only to the gate where I would use my Disneyland Employee Parking Pass to gain entrance. Since I have no Disneyland Employee Parking Pass and there was no way to turn around, I was in a heap o' trouble. I violated enough traffic rules that I expected someone to slap me in Disney Jail — or force me to take a job wearing a Pocahontas suit — but I made it out alive. I think Disney has a secret deal with the GPS company to trap unsuspecting drivers into going to work there.

On the way down, I passed dozens of Denny's Restaurants. I stopped at none of them but I was reminded of something I devised years ago that I call The Denny's Rule. It goes a little something like this…

Let's say you're driving someplace late at night and you're desperate to find someplace on the way to stop and eat before you get to that final someplace. You pass Denny's after Denny's, all of them open.

If you do not stop at one, you will never find a better place to eat.

If you do stop at one and dine and then get back in your car and proceed on, within the next half-mile, you will find a better place that's open.

That's The Denny's Rule. Learn it. Know it. Live by it.

I was not desperate for chow last night so I did not stop at Denny's and am therefore alive and well to update my blog, then go off for a fine day of WonderConning. Hope to see some of you this evening. They tell me I'll be sittiing, those rare moments I sit, at Table AA-152. If you're on the premises, come on by. If I'm not there, my pal Scott Shaw! will be and if you have kids, he'll draw you a neat picture of a Flintstone or a Simpson or someone else. Back soon.

Another Tale From My Early Career

anothertale

This story occurred in 1978. I was the Head Writer — I think that was my title — on a Saturday AM TV show and on this program, I'd learned the best way to get the scripts done was to not go in to work.

When I went into work, first of all, I couldn't sit around in my pajamas, unshaven and unshowered, satiating my occasional need for food by walking six yards, making a quick sandwich and taking it back to my desk to eat as I worked. When I went into the studio, I had to shave and shower and get dressed and then drive all the way out to the studio in the valley, which was 45 minutes each way — longer if traffic was bad and traffic was always bad. I had to greet people and make small talk and get dragged into meetings to discuss various aspects of the show and then someone would always say, "Hey, we have things to talk about…let's do it over lunch." Lunch was two hours right there.

I couldn't get anything written if I went to the studio. At home, I could get plenty done so I tried to go in no more than once a week. Twice was sometimes necessary.

A new writer had come on staff and he'd just handed in his first script. I thought it was very good so I fixed a few spelling mistakes and had the Production Assistant copy it and distribute copies to everyone who needed copies. The next day, I planned to not go in so I worked all day and into the evening and didn't stop there. Writing seemed to be flowing out of me at a good clip so I stayed up until around dawn, pounding away on my state-of-the-art (then) typewriter. You can work that late when you don't have to go into an office the next morning.

Or at least I didn't think I did when I went to bed close to 6 AM. At 10 AM, the telephone rousted me with one of those sharp rings that makes you just know something is serious. It was. It was the show's producer calling — a nice, bright lady who was in a state of Utter Panic. I was only about one-third awake as I asked her, "What's wrong?"

"It's this new writer's first script," she said. "I just got it and it's a disaster. An unmitigated disaster. Mark, we have a Major Crisis here."

I told her I thought it was fine. She told me it was not fine. It was a Major Crisis. In fact, it was now two Major Crises. Major Crisis #1 was that the new writer had written this unmitigated disaster. Major Crisis #2 was that the Head Writer did not see it as an unmitigated disaster. Suddenly, I was like a doctor who hadn't noticed that the patient was bleeding from all orifices. "You have to get out here right away," she said. "We have to talk about this."

I said, "I was planning on coming in tomorrow. Can't we discuss it then? This script isn't scheduled to go into production for another week or two. If there's anything wrong with it, we have plenty of time to fix it!"

The panic in her voice grew. "Mark," she said, "I feel the whole show slipping away. We need to fix this now."

I got the message. She was worried they'd not only hired the wrong new writer but the wrong Head One as well. "Okay," I said. "Keep your wrists closed. I'll be there as soon as I can." I had to. After all, it was a Major Crisis.

So I shaved and I showered and I got dressed and I got in my car and I drove to the studio which was way the hell out in the middle of nowhere and I walked into her office and I said, "Okay, I'm here. What's wrong with the script?"

She picked it up and said, "It takes forever to get started. It's dead time. Everyone's just standing around talking."

The writer had started the script with a joke — a good joke, I thought — then commenced introducing the plot around the middle of page two. I took the script from her, crossed out three lines on Page 1 and three more on Page 2 and handed it back to her. She read it over and said, "Oh, that's fine. The story gets started quicker now."

I said, "What else bothers you about it?"

She said, "That's it. I haven't read past the middle of Page 2 yet."

Evanier's Rule of Thumb: Any Major Crisis you can solve in under a minute was never a Major Crisis. It wasn't even a Minor Crisis.

A Major Crisis would be…well, let me give you an example of a Major Crisis. The script we're talking about here was for a Saturday morning series produced by Sid and Marty Krofft Productions. The particular episode revived some characters who had appeared on their 1973-1974 Saturday morn show, Sigmund and the Sea Monsters.

In '74, I was working a lot for Western Publishing, makers of Gold Key Comics. One day, I was up meeting with my editor and as I started to leave, I heard the receptionist remind him that Marty Krofft was coming by for an appointment in half an hour. I had not met either Krofft then but I'd admired the output of their operation. I mentioned to the receptionist that I might hang around the office until he got there so I could introduce myself — or better still, be introduced. I just wanted to tell him how much I liked what they did. Western was then doing a few comics and activity books based on H.R. Pufnstuf and other Krofft properties and Marty was coming by to discuss future publishing plans.

I went back to chat with Bernie Zuber, who basically constituted the entire Production Department at Western's offices on Hollywood Boulevard. Bernie was staring out the window at a huge fire — billows of ebony smoke filling the air — about a mile off. We guesstimated it was somewhere around Santa Monica Boulevard and La Brea.

And as we were guessing, the receptionist came and found me to say, "If you're still waiting for Marty Krofft, his office just called and he won't be in. That fire you're looking at…that's Goldwyn Studios. The Kroffts are taping a show there."

goldwynstudios01

Goldwyn Studios was an old, venerated facility smack-dab in the middle of Hollywood. Mary Pickford and Douglas Fairbanks owned the place when it had a different name. Wuthering Heights was filmed there. So was Some Like It Hot. So was Guys and Dolls. So was West Side Story. So were hundreds of other memorable films and TV shows.

The fire had started on the set of Sigmund and the Sea Monsters. Something electrical had sparked near something combustible and within the hour, three of the studio's five soundstages were gone, along with an office building.

That's a Major Crisis.

And that's how I didn't meet Marty Krofft that day. Four years later when I went to work for him, I did and found much to admire about him and his brother, one being Crisis Management. Or maybe I should say "crisis management" with non-capitalized letters because no problem that occurred when I was there rose anywhere near that level. But there were problems. Freightloads of problems. Most of the projects I worked on for them were variety shows and producing a variety show is basically an exercise in dealing with one problem after another after another after another. Sid and Marty and the kind of people they already employed proved to be real good at coping with problems…solving most, working around those that couldn't be solved. The producer lady who had the moment of panic I described above was pretty good at it, too. Just not all the time.

I hope some of that rubbed off on me but I did get a lesson the day she dragged me out to the Valley because one script got off to a slow start. The lesson — and I'm sure you knew this but I can be real dumb at times — is that the first thing you have to do to solve a problem is to accurately and unemotionally gauge its size and scope. Big Problems require Big Solutions. Little Problems need Little Solutions.

If you try to solve a Big Problem with a Little Solution, it won't work. The problem is bigger than the solution. If you try to solve a Little Problem with a Big Solution…well, that might work but it's likely to create other problems because you have Too Much Solution. It's like if you tried to kill a cockroach in your kitchen by rolling in a Sherman Tank. You might crush the cockroach but you might also crush your stove, your refrigerator, your cleaning lady, your box of Rice Chex, your tuna-noodle casserole, etc.

One day, early in my days with Sid 'n' Marty, Sid got to talking about the fire. It was in no way his or the company's fault but he felt bad about the headaches it had caused everyone — two people were injured, one seriously — and how many tenants of that office building had lost treasured personal items. But then he got to recalling the funny aspects of that afternoon — like Rip Taylor in the grotesque make-up he wore on the show, carrying Billy Barty in his Sigmund costume to safety. There were also all the technicians and crew members and puppeteers and little people fleeing out onto Santa Monica Boulevard to escape the flames. That he could laugh about it now, just four years later, and smile at how everyone had helped everyone else was a very good sign.

On that first show I did for them, a Fire Marshal came on the stage to make certain our sets with non-flammable, which they were. He had been around for the Sigmund experience, before and after the fire, and he told me he was amazed how well the Kroffts and their entire staff handled matters, valuing people over property…and then, with all of their sets and most of their costumes lost, bouncing back and finishing production on the series so that no air dates were missed. "I've worked a lot of fires," he said. "And the first thing you learn is that the panic often does more damage than the fire."

That's a good thing to remember…and you can minimize that panic if you don't treat the minor crises of life like major ones. Of course, that means being able to tell the difference.

Today's Video Link

This is a clip from a 1977 HBO special, back when most of what that network offered was stand-up comedians. This was because HBO wasn't signatory to the Writers Guild so they couldn't hire good comedy writers. Stand-ups, however, could do their acts.

This is Ed Bluestone, a wry comic I always liked. He had been a writer for National Lampoon, where he contributed some great articles and was credited with the idea for the "If you don't buy this magazine, we'll shoot this dog" cover, one of the most famous in the history of magazines. He became a stand-up, appeared on a lot of shows, then disappeared. I have no idea what became of him and gathering from the response the last time I mentioned him on this blog, neither does anyone else.

But I always found him to be very funny with quotable lines that have since found their way into the acts of others. Here he is, introduced by David Steinberg. If you look fast at the end, you'll catch a glimpse of a very young Jay Leno, who I think had been in show business for about the length of Bluestone's performance…

Late Night Talk

I am informed that The Late Show with Stephen Colbert (or as it may be called, The Late Show starring Stephen Colbert) will not be in any way affiliated with Dave Letterman's Worldwide Pants company. Furthermore, in a recent round of budget-cutting negotiations, Letterman's firm gave up half-ownership in The Late, Late Show with Craig Ferguson. CBS now owns the other half.

Also, someone read what I posted earlier and then posted on a forum, "Mark Evanier predicts Craig Ferguson will lose his 12:35 show!" No, Mark did not predict that. He suggested it's probably under discussion. Personally, I hope they leave the guy there. I think he's the best late night host currently on the air.

Helping Hand Needed

Hey, remember a few months ago when a lot of you pitched in to help out a good man named Bob Kahan? Bob, a former editor at DC Comics and elsewhere, has had a rough time of it in the current economy and needed your help so he and his cats would not get evicted from their apartment. A lot of you responded and Bob and the cats had a place to live.

Well, I'm afraid Bob still hasn't been able to find work. I know he's been trying like hell but, well, if you could spare a few bucks again, it would sure help. And let's get this guy a job, too. He's too good to not be employed.

Today on Stu's Show!

patcardi01

Hey, today (Wednesday), Stu Shostak has another great guest…a guy who's had a helluva career in TV and it ain't over yet.  Pat Cardi was one of the most in-demand kid actors in the sixties and that's not an easy distinction to attain.  Do you know how many parents think they have talented kids who can make them wealthy?  But Pat did have talent and had more credits back then than you'll believe, including his job as a regular on the sitcom, It's About Time with Joe E. Ross and Imogene Coca.  I remember him from a movie called And Now, Miguel, which I somehow had to sit through twice in high school.  He was also on The Bill Dana Show and Ben Casey and Rawhide and Branded and The Fugitive and a few dozen other shows and he was in movies and he's still in TV doing interesting things behind the camera.  Listen in today and hear all about the guy.

Stu's Show can be heard live (almost) every Wednesday at the Stu's Show website and you can listen for free there. Webcasts start at 4 PM Pacific Time, 7 PM Eastern and other times in other climes. They run a minimum of two hours and sometimes go to three or beyond.  Shortly after a show ends, it's available for downloading from the Archives on that site. Downloads are a paltry 99 cents each and you can get four for the price of three.  You can't beat that deal with a stick.

Yes…More on Late Night

Joe Musich writes to ask for my thoughts and speculation on "…the look of the CBS Colbert show? What will happen to Worldwide Pants the entity? Will Worldwide have a bearing on the CBS Colbert show? Will Dave switch roles and pick up a political talk show at Comedy Central? He might be good at that. And what will become of Paul, Felicia, and the band?"

Well, what happens with Dave's production company Worldwide Pants will depend on what Dave decides he wants to do with the rest of his life. No one around him seems to think he's interested in another TV show of any kind but who knows? The man will be 68 next year when he hands Late Show off to Stephen Colbert.

That's about the age Johnny Carson was when he stepped down from The Tonight Show and pretty much disappeared from television. But that was not Carson's intention at the time he retired from that program. From all reports, he had nothing particular in mind he wanted to do in the entertainment field but figured something would present itself…and nothing did. Johnny made a few deals to develop specials but never followed through on them. (I was peripherally involved in one project where he was considering — or at least said he was considering — a producer role on a proposed revival of his old game show, Who Do You Trust. He decided against that as he decided against just about everything else he was offered.)

Will Dave go that route? Beats me. At this point, it may beat Dave, as well. But if he does find something he wants to do, Worldwide Pants may be the production entity. And I would imagine he will keep the company alive to manage its various assets. Carson Productions still exists to sell material from all those Tonight Shows and Dave owns a couple of decades of Late Shows and some other programming W.P. produced. I doubt though it will be involved in the new Late Show unless Worldwide Pants owns that title, in which case it might be a silent profit participant.

The idea probably will be for Colbert to do a show that will neither look nor feel like Letterman's. He'll have a new set, a new band, a new theme, a new announcer, etc. They may or may not do it from The Ed Sullivan Theater. (We may get a hint about that when Colbert visits Dave's show next Tuesday.) One factor to consider is that CBS will probably want Dave to do his last broadcast on a Friday then have Stephen debut the following Monday. It may not be possible to bring in a whole new set and do all necessary renovations to that theater over a weekend. On the other hand, it is a great facility and CBS will want to put something in there…

So I would expect Paul and Felicia and Alan Kalter and others to just go elsewhere. I can sure see someone pouncing on Paul Shaffer to head up a new show somewhere…maybe a hip music program.

And as I was writing that reply, I got this question from Jeff Madeira…

So what do you think will become of Craig Ferguson? Are his late night days numbered? Who might they get to replace him?

Given that CBS has not moved to quash rumors that Ferguson will be departing, I would imagine that replacing him is at least on the table over there. That would be a shame because I think he's enormously entertaining and clever…though I imagine he'd have little trouble finding other venues in which to be entertaining and clever. He does have a new game show soon to debut, which may have been a "tell" that he's known for some time he wasn't going to be busy with an 11:35 show and might not even have 12:35 much longer.

If they do keep him, that would be a partial answer to Joe's question above about Worldwide Pants. Worldwide Pants produces Ferguson's show now.

Who would replace Craig? Well, Chelsea Handler is out there actively campaigning for the job. She tweeted a photo of herself outside the CBS building and told all she was there for meetings. CBS issued a statement that said she was not there to discuss 12:35…so that suggests she will never be there to discuss 12:35. I doubt she is under consideration. My feeling is that if Ferguson is replaced — and it's still an IF, let's remember — it'll be by someone with some experience on TV but not that kind…like Craig Ferguson was. I also think CBS will be looking to counter the idea that they're only interested in white guys and they may also think it's time to experiment with something other than a show where one host sits behind a desk and interviews people with something to plug.

One thing to consider: Does Colbert's deal give him control and/or ownership of the show that follows him the way Letterman did? It's an interesting aspect to all this. Carson and Letterman had both — ownership for the obvious financial benefits of producing one's lead-out, control to make sure the show that followed didn't upstage them or compete for guests. Leno never wanted to own the show after his and from all reports, never interfered with what Conan and then Jimmy Fallon wanted to do as long as they didn't book the same guests right before he did. Colbert may at least have a heavy say in what follows him and may even own the time slot.

Lastly for now about this daypart, Lane Ingham writes…

I agree with you that the announcement of Colbert came so soon after Dave announced his retirement that it had to have been in the works for some time. But I wonder why CBS felt they had to announce it so quickly. Why not drag out the suspense for a few months?

This is just a guess but the battle for Dave's seat could have gotten ugly. When Mr. Carson announced his abdication, NBC already had a deal with Leno but that wasn't known at the time and they apparently talked about delaying the press release about Jay for a while.

The problem was that the instant Johnny set his departure date, a large part of show business exploded. Stars, including some pretty big people, were on the phone to their agents. A lot of top Hollywood deal-makers were determined to land the gig for their clients and the longer NBC let them think there was a shot at it, the more threats and pressures would be brought to the game. A gent who was involved in the midst of that from the NBC side told me it was difficult to make a deal with anyone about anything else while Johnny's job still seemed to be out there for the taking.

We think of the battle to replace Johnny as between Dave and Jay but there were a lot of other people who wanted to be Carson's successor and some of them had pretty strong, determined agents. I heard that one Very Big Movie Star called his agent about five minutes after Johnny announced his retirement and the V.B.M.S. said, "That job is mine! Lock it up for me or you're fired!" It was probably not in the network's interest to have that kind of thing go on for long. That's why I think Dave did not announce his decampment until Les Moonves was at least reasonably sure they could and would get Colbert…but they'll probably never admit that.

Today's Video Link

When composer-conductor Leonard Bernstein turned 70, there was a big concert to celebrate him and his life. For it, Lauren Bacall performed a special piece of material crafted for the occasion by Bernstein's collaborator on West Side Story

A Fortuitous Dilemma

Here are nine words or phrases that have been so misused that their precise meanings are fuzzy and contradictory. The worst one in there is "begging the question." I never know what someone means now when they use that term because everyone uses it with such a different definition.

The Wonders of WonderCon!

Here's another look at what I'm doing this weekend.  I'll be hosting or appearing on panels at WonderCon down at the Anaheim Convention Center.  Saturday is sold out but badges are still available for Friday and Sunday.

The entire programming schedule is here but below is a list of the stuff I'm doing…and I want to call special attention to the panel on Hanna-Barbera history on Saturday.  I've been doing this kind of thing for a long time and I know this is one of those panels that folks in years to come will regret having missed.  That's if they miss it, of course, and you don't have to.  We also have a damn good Cartoon Voices panel immediately preceding it.

When I'm not doing these, I'll be either wandering the con or sharing a table with the infamous Scott Shaw!, who is currently featured as a character in the Dick Tracy newspaper strip.  Don't believe what I say?  Here.  Here's proof that Scott is in the strip, flat-top and all…

dicktracy01See?  That's Scott and he will be wearing the same shirt at the convention.  Our table, by the way, is not listed in the convention floor plan but it should be somewhere near Sergio's.  Just go to his table and look around until you see Scott's shirt.  If I'm there, say howdy.  If I'm not, say howdy but say it to Scott.  I will also be signing copies of the new Rocky & Bullwinkle comic book (second issue now on sale!) at the IDW Booth, wherever that is, on Saturday from 4 PM to 5 PM.  And here's where else I'll be…

Friday, April 18

THE SERGIO AND MARK SHOW
Sergio Aragonés, Mark Evanier, and maybe others who bring you the award-winning, ship-sinking Groo the Wanderer have actual news of actual, for-real upcoming Groo comics as well as other exciting projects. Come hear Sergio explain what's up and then hear Mark translate it into English!
12:30pm – 1:30pm / Room 213

THE MEN WHO MADE BATMAN
2014 marks the 100th birthday of Batman's uncredited co-creator Bill Finger, the 75th anniversary of Batman's first appearance, the 50th anniversary of the "New Look" Batman, and the 25th anniversary of the Tim Burton motion picture that proved the world would welcome a serious Dark Knight. Celebrate by looking back at how Bob Kane and Bill Finger created the character and how ghost creators Jerry Robinson and Gardner Fox helped them shape the Caped Crusader's first year in print. Dr. Travis Langley (Batman and Psychology: A Dark and Stormy Knight), Mark Evanier (Bill Finger Award), Alan Kistler (The Ultimate Batman Trivia Challenge), Robert O'Nale (The Cape Creator documentary), Jens Robinson (son of Jerry Robinson), and the rest of their super team of bat-experts unite to answer the question, "Who built the bat?"
2:00pm – 3:00pm / Room 210A

Saturday, April 19

THAT 70'S PANEL
What was it about comics in the seventies that made them so different from the ones that had gone before and the ones since? Witness a lively discussion on the topic among four folks who brought you comics then: Marty Pasko (Superman), Len Wein (Swamp Thing), Marv Wolfman (Tomb of Dracula), and your moderator, Mark Evanier (Scooby Doo).
10:30am – 11:30am / Room 203

CARTOON VOICES
It's one of the most popular panels at any convention! Five masters of speaking for animated superstars demonstrate their talents. The dais will consist of Greg Berg (Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles), Gregg Berger (The Transformers), Candi Milo (Dexter's Laboratory), Wally Wingert (The Avengers), Debi Derryberry (Jimmy Neutron), and Fred Tatasciore (The Hulk). And it's all moderated by animation voice director Mark Evanier (The Garfield Show).
12:30pm – 1:30pm / Room 300DE

HANNA-BARBERA HISTORY
Learn the history of the world's most prolific cartoon studio and meet some of the men who brought you shows like The Flintstones, Yogi Bear, Scooby Doo, and even the Wacky Races! Your host Mark Evanier (who worked there in the eighties) interrogates men who were there in the sixties and before: Tony Benedict, Jerry Eisenberg, Wally Burr, and maybe a few others.
1:30pm – 2:30pm / Room 300DE

Sunday, April 20

COVER STORY: THE ART OF THE COVER
What's a good cover on a comic book? How are the best ones created? Be there for this "shop talk" discussion with artists who've been responsible for some of the best: Paul Gulacy (Star Wars), Cliff Chiang (Wonder Woman), and Tony Daniel (Superman/Wonder Woman). Presiding will be moderator Mark Evanier and co-moderator Len Wein.
12:00pm – 1:00pm / Room 207

WRITING FOR ANIMATION
Mark Evanier has written hundreds of hours of cartoons for television, including Scooby Doo, Richie Rich, Dungeons & Dragons, Superman: The Animated Series, and many more. He is currently head writer and supervising producer of The Garfield Show, and now he's offering a reprise/sequel to this topic he spoke on last year and knows better than anyone!
1:30pm – 2:30pm / Room 300DE

IDW PUBLISHING: KIDS COMICS! PONIES, TURTLES AND MORE!
Editor Sarah Gaydos and a host of amazing creators discuss the growing slate of all-ages titles at IDW including My Little Pony, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles New Animated Adventures, Samurai Jack, Powerpuff Girls, Ben 10, Ghostbusters, Popeye, KISS Kids, and more! Plus, free comics!
2:30pm – 3:30pm / Room 213

As always, rooms and plans and my philosophy of life are all subject to change.  See you down there, I hope!