Back to the Future: NCTA Heads to Comic-Con


Comic-Con returns this week as the very latest in anime, film, TV, gaming and, of course, comics reign down on the San Diego Convention Center.

As someone who has watched the festivities from afar, I’m especially excited to be attending Comic-Con this year to see how TV programming has changed and how a whole culture of frenzied fandom has developed. Over the last decade, cable has helped mainstream science fiction, fantasy and dystopian genres. It’s become the premium storytelling platform. So it’s unsurprising that so much of the rabid culture worship coming from Comic-Con is sourced from cable programs. After all, the essence of Comic-Con is an over-the-top celebration of the best stories being told on the best platforms.

Comic-Con has changed dramatically over the years, transitioning from an intimate gathering of comic book fans to an international entertainment convention with hundreds of thousands of attendees. Obtaining a ticket and reserving a hotel room has become insanely competitive, and making it into the coveted Hall H panels now requires camping out at least 12 hours ahead of the event.

Last year’s event had a record-breaking presence by cable networks and programs, and by the looks of the programming schedule, cable will again be fully represented.

Like most shows, it’s impossible to see everything, but I’ve narrowed down a few things I’m especially looking forward to and hoping to see.


On the first day of the show, USA Network’s highly anticipated new event series, Dig makes its debut with a panel featuring creators and stars. And while there’s no guarantee, I’ve got to at least try to get a seat into the coveted Hall H on Friday when AMC’s The Walking Dead and HBO’s Game of Thrones will have back-to-back panels and Q&A.

Also on Thursday, there are several cool behind-the-scenes panels where showrunners and other creative staff will give a peak into program creation.


There are no exact details yet but HBO is hosting Game of Thrones: Survive the Realm, some sort of interactive outdoor installation and Cartoon Network created The Adventure Time Conquest Fulfillment Center.


In between panels, I’ll be visiting the enormous show floor with booths representing all corners of the entertainment industry. Cable networks A&E, Adult Swim, BBC America, Nickelodeon, STARZ and many more will have exhibits and hopefully some cool swag and giveaways.

Depending on what happens, I’ll be sharing pictures and stories on this blog and tweeting at @juliannetwin. Follow all the madness on Twitter using Comic-Con’s hashtag #SDCC.

Comic-Con is full of unannounced surprises and special guests, that’s part of what makes it so thrilling. And if I look hard enough, I may even meet my favorite actor without even realizing it!