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
Artist, Batman, X-Men, Ms Mystic
Neal Adams had legendary runs on Batman, X-Men, Green Lantern/Green Arrow, and Deadman. Adams rescued Batman from the campy TV show, and transformed him into his present “Avenger of the Night” persona. When people say “modern Batman,” they mean Neal Adams’ Batman. His run led directly to the realistic incarnation seen in the The Dark Knight movies. Neal’s Batman Odyssey has blasted into new horizons of the comic book medium. Neal’s most recent work includes Blood (Dark Horse), The First X-Men (Marvel), and Invasion of the Supermen (DC).
Cartoonist, Groo, MAD, Sergio Aragonés Funnies
One of MAD magazine's longest-running cartoonists (only Al Jaffee has been around longer) and the creator of dim-witted barbarian Groo the Wanderer, Sergio Aragonés is one of comics’ most popular creators. In addition to his continuing work for MAD, Sergio—the man some call the world’s fastest cartoonist—also has his own comic book series at Bongo Comics, Sergio Aragonés Funnies.
At the tender age of 12, Ray Billingsley was discovered at a seventh grade art project and literally grew up in the industry, spanning four decades. A graduate from the LaGuardia High School of Music & Art, Ray won a four-year scholarship to the School of Visual Arts, in New York, where he learned under the strict tutelage of Will Eisner. Billingsley landed his first syndicated strip, Lookin' Fine at 23, making him the youngest syndicated 'toonist in the country. The jewel in his career came with his second syndicated strip, under King Features Syndicate, titled Curtis. Curtis is a semi-autobiographical effort, detailing the life of an African American family living in a neighborhood within the inner city. It was an instant success, broke barriers, and was well-received by all ages, races, and cultures for it's humor, art, and gentle handling of topical situations. It's still going strong in over 370-plus papers internationally with an estimated 43 million readers daily. There are three Curtis compilation books, various products, and more details at www.billingsleyart.com. Billingsley is also working on an animated treatment of Curtis.
Artist, co-creator, Power Pack
June Brigman has enjoyed a long and varied career as a comic book artist, drawing such titles as Alpha Flight, Supergirl, and Star Wars. She is the co-creator (with Louise Simonson) of the Power Pack series from Marvel Comics, which celebrates its 30th anniversary this year. She also illustrated the Brenda Starr comic strip for 15 years and currently does art for The 99 comic series, as well as freelance illustrations for Horse and Rider magazine. June teaches part-time in the Atlanta branch of the Sequential Art Department at the Savannah College of Art and Design. Check out her online portfolio at www.ArtWanted.com/juneart.
Cover artist, Guardians of the Galaxy, Avengers
Mark Brooks is a Marvel exclusive illustrator known for his imaginative and bold cover art on titles such as X-Men Legacy, Guardians of the Galaxy, Avengers, Uncanny Avengers, Secret Avengers, and A+X. His most recent cover work is featured on Fearless Defenders, the new Marvel UK series, and Deadpool. His interior work includes AvX: Consequences, Wolverine & the X-Men: Alpha & Omega, Thor, Ultimate Spider-Man, and the acclaimed Uncanny X-Force. His work can also be found on projects for Sideshow Collectibles, Sega, and toy packaging for companies such as Hasbro and Capcom. For more information on Mark's work, visit diablo2003.deviantart.com.
Artist, Power Girl, Before Watchmen: Silk Spectre
Amanda Conner started out in comics on such books as Barbie and Gargoyles. She also illustrated Soul Searchers & Co. and Suburban Jersey Ninja She-Devils. Amanda then moved on to what is probably her best-known work, as penciler of Vampirella. She also illustrated Painkiller Jane vs. the Darkness, Power Girl, Codename: Knockout, and Birds of Prey for DC; drew X-Men Unlimited for Marvel; and co-created Gatecrasher for BlackBull Comics, a well as The Pro, a creator-owned book for image with Jimmy Palmiotti and Garth Ennis. Her work outside comics includes ABC's Nightline, The New York Times, MAD magazine, and character designs for film and television. Her most recent work includes Before Watchmen: Silk Spectre (DC), and Captain Brooklyn (Image).
Artist, co-creator, Bandette
Colleen Coover is an illustrator and comic book artist and writer living in Portland, Oregon. She is the creator of the adult comic Small Favors and artist of the all-ages Banana Sunday and the graphic novel Gingerbread Girl, both written by her husband, Paul Tobin. The couple's current project, Bandette, was nominated for four Eisner Awards in 2013 and won the Best Digital Comic award. Colleen spends most of her time thinking up ways for comics to be more awesome.
Brian Crane’s Pickles is a daily comic strip featuring Earl and Opal Pickles, who have been married for over 50 years, it shows the funny side of family and friendships and is syndicated by the Washington Post Writers Group. Soon after Pickles’ debut in 1990, Crane “retired” as an art director for an advertising agency in Reno, Nevada, to devote his full attention to his comic strip. In 2001, Pickles was named Best Comic Strip of the Year by the National Cartoonists Society. In 2013 he won the NCS Reuben award for Outstanding Cartoonist of the Year. Pickles has topped comics polls across the nation again and again, and it appears in over 800 newspapers around the world.
Cartoonist/illustrator, Stinky, How to Be Happy
Eleanor Davis has produced two graphic novels for kids: The Secret Science Alliance and the Copycat Crook (2009), which she created with her husband Drew Weing, and the easy-reader Stinky (2008), both of which were nominated for Eisner Awards. The received the Russ Manning Promising Newcomer Award in 2009. Her illustrations have appeared in The New Yorker, The New York Times, and many other places. How to Be Happy is her first book for adults. Check out more of her work at doing-fine.com.
Writer, Batman, Airboy
Chuck Dixon has contributed well over a thousand scripts to publishers like DC, Marvel, Dark Horse, Hyperion, and Image. His comic book adaptation of J. R. R. Tolkien's The Hobbit continues to be an international bestseller. Along with Graham Nolan, he is the creator of the Batman villain Bane. Chuck also writes a series of action novels about a team of Navy SEALs and their missions in the global War in Terror, as well as a series of original SF novels, Bad Times, both available on Kindle and other ebook platforms.
Co-creator, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles
In 1982, he met Peter Laird in Northampton, Massachusetts and Mirage Studios was formed. Less than a year later in the middle of a late night jam session, Eastman doodled a new character he dubbed a “Ninja Turtle” to make Laird laugh—and Eastman and Laird’s Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles had officially entered the universe! Self published in May of 1984 the first issue sold out of its 3000 copies overnight and quickly became a fan favorite. Eastman and Laird maintained full control of their creations while guiding them through toy licensing, TV series adaptation, as well as feature film exploitation, and by 1989 the TMNT’s were number one in all three categories. Currently Eastman is working on a new TMNT series with IDW Publishing and editing Heavy Metal. He also recently partnered with writer/director/producer Robert Rodriguez to develop a new series of Heavy Metal-inspired animated and live action films. Eastman resides in San Diego with wife Courtney (aka “First Lady of the Turtles”), son Shane, as well as a few insane dachshunds.
Writer/producer, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Husbands
Jane Espenson is co-creator of the award-winning online CW comedy Husbands along with her producing partner Brad Bell. She is also known for her work as a writer/producer for Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Angel, Firefly, The O.C., Gilmore Girls, Battlestar Galactica, and Game of Thrones, among other shows. She also writes comic books and short stories and has edited several books of essays. She currently writes for ABC's Once Upon a Time and Once Upon a Time in Wonderland, while continuing her work on Husbands with Bell.