Comic-Con 2016: Thursday's Must-See Events

More than 100,000 comic book fanatics and cosplay enthusiasts will descend on the San Diego Convention Center Thursday to kick off the first day of San Diego Comic-Con 2016

More than 100,000 comic book fanatics and cosplay enthusiasts will descend on the San Diego Convention Center Thursday to kick off the first day of San Diego Comic-Con 2016.

The first day of the annual pop culture expo will include an inside look into Disney's upcoming movie, "Moana," a spotlight on DC Entertainment co-publisher Jim Lee, a 25-year industry veteran and a chance to watch the premier of Oliver Stone's new political thriller.

Here are a few of Thursday's must-attend events:

Becoming Nerdstrong
10:00am - 11:00am, Pacific 24, North Tower, Marriott Marquis & Marina
This panel will talk about how to mix fandom culture and passions into a fitness journey. The talk will feature Andrew Deutsch (Nerdstrong Gym founder), David Nett (Nerdstrong Gym partner), Christy Black (Nerdstrong Gym partner), Andrew Seely (Nerdstrong Gym partner), and Blair Herter (Nerdstrong Gym partner, Attack of the Show).

The 4th Annual Musical Anatomy of a Superhero
11:00am - 12:00pm, Indigo Ballroom, Hilton San Diego Bayfront
Music has always been important to setting the cinematic mode, and this panel will give a behind-the-scenes look at the music of some of today's biggest superhero movies. Participating composers include Henry Jackman (Captain America: Civil War, Kick Ass 2), Tom "Junkie XL" Holkenborg (Deadpool, Batman v Superman), John Ottman (X-Men: Apocalypse, X-Men: Days of Future Past) and Blake Neely (Supergirl, The Flash).

11:45am - 12:45pm, Hall H
Acclaimed filmaker Oliver Stone will premier his newest film, "Snowden." The biographical political thriller follows Edward Snowden, a former CIA employee who leaked information from the National Security Agency in 2013. Don't miss an opportunity to talk with Stone and actors Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Shailene Woodley and Zachary Quinto.

Welcome to the Whedonverse
12:00pm - 1:00pm, Room 23ABC
Years after the beloved shows have ended, Joss Whedon's cult favorite television shows, including "Buffy the Vampire Slayer," "Angel & Faith" and "Serenity," live on as some of the most popular comics published by Dark Horse. The comic book publisher will give an exclusive look at what's to come in the Whedon universe.

The Nerdist Panel with Chris Hardwick
1:00pm - 2:00pm, Indigo Ballroom, Hilton San Diego Bayfront
Join Chris Hardwick of Comedy Central's "@Midnight" and AMC's "Talking Dead" to talk about all things Nerdist. The panel will include Jessica Chobot (Nerdist News), Rachel Heine (editor-in-chief), Dan Casey (The Dan Cave), Alicia Lutes (Fangirling) and Legendary Digital Networks Adam Rymer.

Moana: Art of Story
12:30pm - 1:30pm, Room 6A
Don't miss a behind-the-scenes look at Disney's upcoming animated feature, "Moana." Directors Ron Clements and John Musker, whose prior Disney collaborations include "The Little Mermaid," "Aladdin," "Hercules," "Treasure Planet" and "The Princess and the Frog," will lead a panel of artists to talk about their newest movie.

Captain America 75th Anniversary
5:00pm - 6:00pm, Room 9
Celebrate 75 years of Captain America fighting for justice with Jim Simon, son of cartoonist and Captain America co-creator Joe Simon, and Allen Bellman, one of the original artists for the Captain America comics.

Queer History in Comics or LGBTQ Geek Year in Review
6:00pm - 7:00pm, Room 28DE
This panel will roundup some of this year's highlights in comics, TV, movies, animation and games and discuss their significance for the LGBTQ community. Panelists will include Diane Anderson-Minshall (The Advocate, Plus), Nick Adams (director of GLAAD's Transgender Media Program), Mike Ciriaco (LA Weekly), Amber Garza (Geeks OUT/Flame Con, Sequential Rights), Chelsea Steiner (AfterEllen, Autostraddle) and Amelia Vaughn (Huffington Post).

Death and the High Cost of Resurrection
6:30pm - 7:30pm, Room 26AB
Bestselling horror/fantasy author Mira Grant and comic creator and former Marvel/IDW editor Andy Schidt will, and others, will discuss the ramifications of a "Comic Book Death," when a character is killed off but the readers expect they will be somehow resurrected. The discussion will be moderated by Adron Buske, co-host of the Nerd for a Living podcast.

The New Comics Journalism: Representation for All
7:00pm - 8:00pm, Room 23ABC
Join Heidi MacDonald (The Beat), Megan Purdy (Women Write About Comics), Emma Houxbois (Comicosity), Brett Schenker (Graphic Policy), and others talk about prominent issues in the comic book industry for the annual state-of-comics-journalism panel. This year topics will include the demand for a more inclusive comic industry, as well as problems related to decreasing comic book funding.

The Rocky Horror Picture Show
8:15pm - 10:45pm, Room 6DE
Get an inside look at the upcoming star-studded remake of "The Rocky Horror Picture Show," which will be celebrating it's 40th year of theatrical distribution. Don't miss an opportunity to meet cast members and producers for a first look at the reimagining of the cult classic, which will premier this fall on FOX.

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