con2008-header_logoThere are lots of reasons to attend Comic-Con or even follow along at home as the San Diego Comic-Con becomes the very center of the popular-culture universe including a good dose of Tolkien-related material. The 2008 SDCC has a “Hobbit-centric” flavor and kicks off today (Wednesday) has plenty to keep the Middle-earth enthusiast busy including TORn’s very own sneak-peek of the forthcoming pair of movies centered around “The Hobbit.” Read on for everything you need to know about SDCC 08!

TORn is invited back to present an unofficial look at the two-film Hobbit films that are in the works. Founder and owner Chris Pirrotta (Calisuri) Senior Staffer Larry D. Curtis (MrCere) and the incomparable Cliff Broadway (Quickbeam) will take the stage of room 32A/B with author and friend Kristin Thompson to offer sneaks and insights into what is going on with the pre-pre-production. Be sure to block out Friday from 10 a.m. to 11 a.m. on your calendar. Thompson will be signing her book at the TORn booth as well:
Thursday, 1:30 – 2:30
Friday, 11:30 to 12:30 (after the panel)
Sunday, 1:00 to 2:00

TORn is also claiming a little territory again at the show by sharing a little space on the dealer’s floor with friendly host Slave Boy Films (booth 5424). There conventioneers will be able to buy the web site’s latest shirts produced in conjunction with New Zealand’s very own Weta, the special effects house that many would call the greatest in the world. You can view the shirts RIGHT HERE

Weta has its own booth as well, the magnificent space called booth #2615 where TORn will be conducting an interview with highly esteemed Tolkien artist and film conceptual artist John Howe. Weta master Richard Taylor will also be involved in that discussion and the two of them will be signing film posters of forthcoming documentary “Reclaiming The Blade,” which includes many of the LOTR cast and is narrated by John Rhys-Davies. That goes down Thursday at 4 p.m. and will be featured on TORn as well as we seek to get a feel for how these men are thinking about “The Hobbit.”

Howe will also have a limited edition giveaway poster that I hate to even mention for fear that I will not get one. Impact Books (booth #1415) will be giving away 1,000 Howe dragon images on a 36 x 24 print.

Another can’t miss booth is the Sideshow Collectibles’ mammoth presence on the floor (booth #1929) that features all flavors of popular culture and is expected to have a couple of breathtaking LOTR figures on display. Sideshow has always supported TORn from the beginning and chances are there will be several TORn staffers tucked away somewhere around the booth. Rumor is SSC has gift cards on the floor again which provides sweet, sweet shopping on-line. The booth also has frequent giveaways and contests.

(Free wi-fi at Comic-Con this year so using that gift card should be even easier!)

Sideshow has its own panel on Thursday from noon to 1 p.m., where its artists discuss how concepts and ideas arrive as figures, including LOTR, for the most demanding of collectors.

Preview night (Wednesday) will also feature so hot, LOTR-related programming. Actor John Noble (Denathor) will have his new television pilot screened Wednesday night from 6 to 7:30 and 7:30 to 9 p.m.. Then Saturday at 4:45 the pilot has its own Q&A panel , along with some expected special guests.

Tolkien artist Colleen Doran and director Ralph Bakshi will also be on panels at the show. Check our full day-by-day calendar below for every detail as well as links to help you navigate SDCC.

Wed. July 23:
6 p.m. – 7:30 p.m. Fringe Pilot Screening #1 – Ballroom 20
7:30 p.m. – 9 p.m. Fringe Pilot Screening #2 – Ballroom 20

Thur. July 24:
noon – 1 p.m. Sideshow Collectibles panel – Room 2
1:30 p.m. – 2:30 p.m. Kristin Thompson signing – booth #5424
4 p.m. – TORn interviews Richard Taylor and John Howe – booth #2615 followed by signing

Fri. July 25:
10 a.m. – 11 a.m. Hobbit panel – Room 32 AB
11:30 a.m. Kristen Thompson signing – booth #5424
4:30 – 5:30 Action Figure Insider: Behind the Plastic (ToyBiz LOTR figure makers) – Room 30AB

Sat. July 26
10:15 a.m. – 11:15 a.m. Ralph Bakshi spotlight
noon – 1 p.m. John Howe spotlight – Room 3
2 p.m. – 3 p.m. John Howe signing – booth 1415
4:45 p.m. – 5:45 p.m. Fringe Q&A, trailer screenings with guest John Noble
6 p.m. – 7 p.m. Impact University, Colleen Doran along with Orson Scott Card, Peter David, others

Sun. July 27
1 p.m. to 2 p.m. Kristin Thompson signing – booth #5424

Booths of note: with Slave Boy Films – #5424
Sideshow Collectibles – #1929
Weta – #2615

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