Congers, NY (June 18, 2008) With numerous once-in-a-lifetime events and innovative panels completely new to Wizard World, the Chicago convention is proving to be the biggest Wizard World ever. Not only are comic book legends like Warren Ellis and Alex Ross making rare convention appearances, but also several stars from the worlds of film and television are making their Wizard World debut.
* Six of the seven artists that formed Image Comics, which has gone on to be one of the biggest comic companies of all time, will reunite on Saturday, June 28. Todd McFarlane, Rob Liefeld, Whilce Portacio, Erik Larsen, Marc Silvestri and Jim Valentino will discuss the past, present and future of the company that brought you Spawn, WildC.A.T.s, Savage Dragon, Youngblood and more. This is a panel you won’t want to miss!
* “Batman: Gotham Knight,” the film that bridges the gap between “Batman Begins” and “The Dark Knight,” will have its world premiere on Saturday night. Following the premiere, writers Brian Azzarello, Alan Burnett, Josh Olson, Greg Rucka and Executive Producer Bruce Timm will take part in a special panel and Q&A session moderated by DC Comics Senior Vice President of Creative Affairs Gregory Noveck.
* Special Guest Missy Peregrym from the hit show “Reaper” will sit down with Wizard Magazine’s Kevin Mahadeo during a Saturday Q&A panel. Ever wonder what it’s like being the girlfriend of Satan’s bounty hunter? This is the panel for you!
* Guest of Honor Warren Ellis will discuss a variety of topics during his Warren Ellis Unplugged session on Friday night at 9:30 p.m., giving fans a rare glimpse into his unparalleled personality.
* The creators of the Adult Swim series “Moral Orel” will participate in a panel on Saturday, during which you’ll hear about the making of this Emmy Award-winning stop-motion animated show. Present at the panel will be Dino Stamatopoulos (“Late Night with Conan O’Brien”), Scott Adsit (“30 Rock”) and Chris McKay. Come and discover all new reasons to be offended by this show! The trio will also be signing at the Wizard Booth on Saturday after their panel.
* Venom and Phoenix from the hit NBC series “American Gladiators” will be showing clips and giving away behind-the-scenes secrets during their question and answer session on Friday.
* Image Comics’ superstar writer Robert Kirkman will be the subject of an in-depth look at his work on Invincible, The Walking Dead, The Astounding Wolf-Man and Brit during a panel on Friday. This is your only chance to see Kirkman at Wizard World Chicago, so be there or be square!
* The Great Debate: Bendis vs. Johns, sponsored by A&E/History, pits two of the hottest writers in comics, Marvel heavyweight Brian Michael Bendis and DC titan Geoff Johns, against each other as they debate some of the most controversial topics in the industry!
* The convention takes its first step into the world of live music with the invigorating J-pop sound of ORESKABAND, one of the hottest bands in Japan. The concert, free to convention attendees, will take place on Friday evening.
* In Saturday’s Spawn to the Future panel, Spawn creator Todd McFarlane makes a special guest appearance at Wizard World Chicago to introduce the new Spawn creative team of writer Brian Holguin, artist Whilce Portacio and McFarlane himself who will co-plot the stories and lay out the pages, and give secrets about the book’s upcoming exciting new direction.
* With “Star Wars: The Clone Wars” movie and TV series hot on the horizon, Lucasfilm’s Head of Fan Relations Steve Sansweet will have much to share with fans at Wizard World. Sansweet’s presentation will reveal exciting looks into the upcoming animated movie and series, as well as into LucasArts’ breathtaking new game, “The Force Unleashed.” Don’t miss this hour on Saturday covering all the Star Wars excitement to come.
There are many more exciting events taking place at this year’s Wizard World Chicago, so be sure to go to www.wizardworld.com for the complete programming schedule and to purchase tickets. Wizard World, the largest family-friendly comics and pop culture convention in the central US, returns to Chicago June 26-29 at the Donald E. Stephens Convention Center.