Comic-Con International features one of the most diverse guest lists of any convention. Forty guests have been announced for the 2014 event, including creators from mainstream and alternative comics, graphic novels, comic strips, animation, and science fiction and fantasy books. The following individuals appeared at Comic-Con International 2014 as special guests.
Comic-Con 2014 Special Guests
Writer/producer, Garfield; Kirby: King of Comics
Mark Evanier has worked with Jack Kirby; written hundreds of comic books, including Blackhawk, New Gods, Bugs Bunny, The DNAgents, Crossfire, Scooby Doo, and Tarzan; and written dozens of TV shows both live-action and animated, the latter including most of the animated Garfield shows for the last twenty years. He is the author of several books on comics, including Kirby: King of Comics, which won two Harvey Awards and one Eisner. He has several other Eisner Awards for his work with Sergio Aragonés on Groo the Wanderer and other silly comics. And he's hosted countless panels at conventions like this one.
Author, Riftwar Saga
Raymond E. Feist is a Southern California native who has resided in San Diego County since 1971. Author of more than 30 novels, published in 23 languages in more than 130 nations, Feist is a multiple times international bestselling author of fantasy. His Riftwar Saga trilogy debuted in 1982 and has been continuously in print for more than 30 years around the world. He attended his first Comic-Con in 1977, then in the El Cortez Hotel, and has missed only a few in the intervening years. He received the Inkpot Award in 1988.
Granddaughter of Bill Finger
Athena Finger knew all along that she was the lone grandchild of Bill Finger, co-creator and original writer of Batman . . . it was Batman fans who didn’t know. Born two years after Bill died, Athena never met her grandfather, but heard about him from her father Fred. When Athena got married, she kept her maiden name out of respect for the man who gave life not only to her (indirectly) but also to the world’s most popular superhero. Since Marc Tyler Nobleman, author of Bill the Boy Wonder, found out about Athena in 2007, she has slowly made her presence known to comicdom. She lives in Florida with her son Ben and teaches math at Broward College.
Writer/artist, The Black Beetle, artist, Afterlife with Archie
Francesco Francavilla, an Eisner and Eagle award winner and New York Times bestselling creator, is best known for bringing his signature style (Neo-Pulp) to the comics industry, from superheroes to horror and sci-fi. Francesco has worked on such acclaimed series as Batman, Captain America, Hawkeye, and Guardians of the Galaxy, among others. He is currently illustrating his own creator-owned The Black Beetle for Dark Horse and Afterlife with Archie for Archie. The Black Beetle vol.1 was listed in Amazon's top ten Best Graphic Novels list of 2013. Francesco is also an acclaimed cover artist, having won the Eisner Award for Best Cover Artist in 2012.
Illustrator, RAW, Old Jewish Comedians, Heroes of the Comic Books
Drew Friedman's comics and drawings have appeared in RAW, Weirdo, Heavy Metal, National Lampoon, MAD, The New Yorker, and many other publications. His artwork has been collected in five anthologies. His Sideshow Freaks collection appeared in 2011. The New York Times wrote of his three volumes of Old Jewish Comedians: "A festival of drawing virtuosity, Friedman might very well be the Vermeer of the Borscht Belt." The Society of Illustrators will be presenting a show of his Old Jewish Comedians art in 2014. His latest book of portraits is Heroes of the Comic Books from Fantagraphics, with a foreword by Al Jaffee.
Writer/artist, Mr. Monster
Michael T. Gilbert’s first comics work appeared in 1973 in New Paltz Comix. Three years later his first series, The Wraith, debuted in Star*Reach’s Quack! in 1982, Gilbert began co-adapting a series of Elric of Melnibone novels for Pacific and First Comics. While at Pacific, Gilbert created his signature character, Doc Stearn . . . Mr. Monster, who made his debut 30 years ago at the 1984 San Diego Comic-Con. Mr. Monster is currently appearing in Dark Horse Presents, as well as “Mr. Monster's Comic Crypt” in Alter Ego magazine. Additionally, Gilbert has written or drawn stories featuring Superman, Batman, Dr. Strange, The Simpsons, SpongeBob, Donald Duck, and Mickey Mouse.
Artist, Witchblade, Anomaly
Brian Haberlin is an American comic book artist, writer, editor, and producer. He is best known as the co-creator of the Witchblade comic and for his digital art techniques and teaching. Brian is the co-founder of Anomaly Productions, a company creating graphic novels and interactive apps. Its first graphic novel, Anomaly, is the longest original full-color graphic novel ever produced and contains 50 pages that are interactive with smart devices. New graphic novels Shifter and Between Worlds and a line of children’s books come out next from the company. Brian also teaches via his Digitalarttutorials.com site, his studio, and Minneapolis College of Art and Design.
Author, Tell No Lies, Batman: The Dark Knight
Gregg Hurwitz is the New York Times bestselling author of 13 thrillers, most recently, Tell No Lies (8/20/13). His novels have been shortlisted for numerous literary awards, graced top ten lists, and have been translated into 22 languages. He is also a New York Times bestselling comic book writer, having penned stories for Marvel (Wolverine, Punisher) and DC (Batman, Penguin), as well as produced and written screenplays for film and television (ABC’s V, Expulsion spec script to Warner Bros, and many more). He is currently developing his Tim Rackley books for Sony. Gregg resides in Los Angeles
Animator/cartoonist, Disney, WB, Hanna-Barbera
Willie Ito’s career as an animator/cartoonist spans nearly 60 years. In 1954, he started at Walt Disney Productions on Lady and the Tramp, working on the iconic spaghetti kissing scene. He also worked with Chuck Jones and Friz Freleng at Warner Bros. on classic cartoons such as One Froggy Evening and What’s Opera Doc? and on the Beany and Cecil TV show with Bob Clampett. He next worked at Hanna-Barbera on shows such as The Flintstones and Yogi Bear. Willie later returned to Disney’s comic strip department and then Disney Consumer Products, mentoring artists as international director of Disney Art. He is currently writing and illustrating a series of children’s picture books via his Yabitoon Books company, including Hello Maggie and A Boy of Heart Mountain.
Artist, Batman, Deadman
Kelley Jones began his career at Marvel with Micronauts, then moved to DC, bringing a grim gothic style to Deadman. Critical success led him to a memorable turn on Sandman: Seasons of Mist. Kelley next made an impression with Batman, drawing the Elseworld classic Red Rain. He was further linked to Batman by becoming the cover artist for Batman and Detective during the Knightfall event. Kelley became the regular artist on Batman and, with inker John Beatty, is credited with creating one of the most defining versions of Batman ever. He’s currently the artist on Disney’s three-part graphic novel science fiction epic, Space Mountain.
Writer/artist, Relish, French Milk
Lucy Knisley is the author and artist of the New York Times bestselling graphic novel Relish; My Life in the Kitchen, as well as French Milk, Radiator Days, Make Yourself Happy, and Pretty Little Book. She has worked on Marvel titles and does cover and story work for BOOM Studio’s Adventure Time series. She lately specializes in drawn travelogues for Saveur magazine and is plowing through her next book with First Second Publishing. She also teaches workshops on comics and travelogueing. Her work can be seen at LucyKnisley.com.
Writer/cartoonis, Supernatural Law, The First Gentleman of the Apocalypse
Batton Lash is the creator of the humor/horror series Supernatural Law (aka Wolff & Byrd, Counselors of the Macabre), which he originated as a weekly comic strip in 1979 and began publishing as a comic book in 1994. Lash has also written for Archie Comics (Archie Meets the Punisher, Archie: Freshman Year) and Bongo Comics (Radioactive Man). His most recent projects are The Werewolf of New York (a full-color Supernatural Law graphic novel), Gory Lori, a comic he penciled for creator/writer Nick Blodgett, and The First Gentleman of the Apocalypse, a series Lash created for David Lloyd’s online comics anthology Aces Weekly. More on Batton Lash can be found at www.exhibitapress.com.