1. John Barrowman, William Shatner, James Marsters, WWE® Divas The Bella Twins™ Q&A’s, Creator Sessions Headline Programming At Wizard World San Antonio Comic Con

    Question-and-answer sessions featuring John Barrowman (“Arrow,” “Torchwood”), William Shatner (Star Trek, “T.J. Hooker”), James Marsters (“Buffy The Vampire Slayer,” “Torchwood”), WWE® Divas The Bella Twins™, Manu Bennett (The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey, “Arrow”), Alan Tudyk (“Firefly,” 42)and many others top the robust programming schedule at Wizard World San Antonio Comic Con, next Friday through Sunday, August 1-3 at the Henry B. Gonzalez Convention Center. Most programming is included as part of the standard event admission.

    Some of the highlights of the more than 60 scheduled panels are:

    • Interactive Q&A sessions with Barrowman (Saturday, 5 p.m.), Shatner (Saturday, 2 p.m.) Marsters (Saturday, noon), The Bella Twins (Sunday, 4 p.m.), Bennett (Sunday, 2 p.m.), Tudyk (Saturday, 1 p.m.), Jason David Frank (“Mighty Morphin’ Power Rangers”; Saturday, 2 p.m.)„ Dean Cain (“Lois & Clark: The New Adventures of Superman,” “Smallville,” Sunday, noon), Michael Rooker (“The Walking Dead,” Guardians of the Galaxy, Saturday, 4 p.m.) and others.

    • The Fam Tour” meet and greets, featuring social media stars Nash Grier, Cameron Dallas, Hayes Grier and Carter Reynolds (Friday, 2 p.m.; Saturday, 10 a.m) (Paid events)

    • Informative discussions with noted creators Genese Davis, Adam Simon and J.R. Knoll (Friday, 5 p.m.); Jai Nitz and Brett Booth (various times); Rich Knol, Kerry Tolan and Zechary Grey (Saturday, 11:30 a.m.); Michael Golden (Saturday, noon); Davis, Rob Prior and Eric Reeves (Saturday, 3:30 p.m.); Tom Cook (Sunday, 12:30 p.m.) and more

    • Screening of The Crow (Saturday, 7 p.m., preceded by 6:30 p.m. “Creating the Crow with James O’Barr”)

    • Debut of “Con Radio” with host Mo Lightning and Aaron Sagers, with special guest Jason David Frank (Saturday, 5:15 p.m.)

    • Costume contests for adults (Saturday, 7 p.m.) and kids (Sunday, 3 p.m.), plus cosplay-themed sessions with featured cosplayer Ivy Doomkitty, Wizard World personality Damian Beurer, Jonathon Vela and others

    • Wizard World Comic Con Film Festival, featuring selected shorts and music videos (Friday, 5-8 p.m., Saturday, 1:30-5:45 p.m., Sunday, 1:30-4:30 p.m.)

    • Meet-and-greets with Jason David Frank (Saturday, 9:30 a.m.; Sunday, 9:30 a.m.)(Paid events)

    • Kids Day (Sunday), with an array of kids and family activities designed just for the younger set, highlighted by the Half-Hour Of Power With The Green Power Ranger with Frank (1:30 p.m.)

    Unless noted, programming events take place in the designated General Programming Rooms at the Henry B. Gonzalez Convention Center. VIP tickets or additional costs may apply to ensure access to select activities, as noted. (*Note: Frank Meet & Greets and “Fam Tour” panels require a separate ticket.)

    A full list of Wizard World San Antonio Comic Con programming is available at http://www.wizardworld.com/programming-sanantonio.html (subjects, guests, times and rooms subject to change).

    Wizard World San Antonio is the ninth of 16 events currently scheduled in the 2014 series produced by Wizard World, Inc. (OTCBB: WIZD) and will also feature a top-drawer collection of well-known comics artists and writers and a variety of activities, exhibitors and special attractions. For more on the event, visit http://www.wizd.me/SanAntonioPR.

  2. William Shatner, Lauren Cohan, Evan Peters, WWE® Superstar Kane® Headline Celebrity Guests At Wizard World Nashville Comic Con, September 26-28

    William Shatner (Star Trek, “T.J. Hooker”), Lauren Cohan (“The Walking Dead,” “The Vampire Diaries”), WWE® Superstar Kane®, WWE® Divas The Bella Twins™, Evan Peters (X-Men: Days of Future Past, American Horror Story), Eliza Dushku (“Buffy the Vampire Slayer,” “Angel”), Shannen Doherty, Holly Marie Combs and Brian Krause (“Charmed”) and Alan Tudyk (“Firefly,” 42) are among the celebrities scheduled to attend Wizard World Nashville Comic Con, September 26-28 at the Music City Center. It is the 12th of 16 events in the 2014 series produced by Wizard World, Inc. (OTCBB: WIZD) and will also feature a top-drawer collection of well-known comics artists and writers and a variety of activities, exhibitors and special attractions.

    Shatner will appear on Friday, Sept. 26, only; The WWE stars will attend on Saturday, Sept. 27, only. Krause will appear all three days. The others are scheduled for Saturday and Sunday.

    Wizard World Nashville Comic Con will also be the scene of a reunion of six cast members from “Star Trek: The Next Generation,” as Jonathan Frakes (“Commander William T. Riker”), Levar Burton (“Lt. Commander Geordi La Forge”), Michael Dorn (“Lieutenant Worf”), Marina Sirtis (“Counselor Deanna Troi”), Brent Spiner (“Lt. Commander Data”), and Gates McFadden (“Dr. Beverly Crusher”) relive the memories of the program’s seven-year run.

    Superstar comics creators scheduled to attend include Neal Adams (“Batman,” “Green Lantern”), Ron Garney (“Thor,” “Uncanny X-Force”), Ethan Van Sciver (“Green Lantern,” “Flash”), Phil Ortiz (“The Simpsons,” “Muppet Babies”), Arthur Suydam (“Marvel Zombies,” “Army of Darkness”), Michael Golden (“Spider-Man,” “Hulk”), Greg Horn (“Walt Disney,” “Guardians of the Galaxy”), and many others.

    Other notable celebrities on the Wizard World Nashville Comic Con roster include Manu Bennett (The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey, “Arrow”), Sean Astin (The Lord of the Rings, Rudy), Jamie Bamber and Michael Trucco (“Battlestar Galactica,”), Jon Bernthal and Michael Rooker of “The Walking Dead,”  Lou Ferrigno (“The Incredible Hulk,” “King of Queens,”), Jason David Frank (“Mighty Morphin’ Power Rangers”) and Jenna Busch (“Cocktails With Stan).

    Wizard World Comic Con events bring together thousands of fans of all ages to celebrate the best in pop-fi, pop culture, movies, graphic novels, comics, toys, video gaming, television, sci-fi, gaming, original art, collectibles, contests and more.  Wizard World Nashville Comic Con show hours are Friday, September 26, 3-8 p.m.; Saturday, September 27, 10 a.m.-7 p.m., Sunday, September 28, 11 a.m.-5 p.m.

    A first-class lineup of topical programming takes place all three days at the event, with celebrity Q&A’s, the Wizard World Film Festival, comics-themed sessions, costume contest, movie screenings, evening parties and more.  Sunday is also Kids Day, with an array of activities and programming specially designed for the younger Wizard World fans.

    Wizard World Nashville Comic Con is also the place for cosplay, with fans young and old showing off their best costumes throughout the event.  Fans dressed as every imaginable character – and some never before dreamed – will roam the convention floor, often stopping by the Show Stage, the ideal place to see and be seen.

    For more on the 2014 Wizard World Nashville Comic Con, visit http://www.wizd.me/NashvillePR.

  3. Wimbledon Semifinalist Lucie Safarova, Junior Wimbledon Winner Noah Rubin, National College Player of the Year Jamie Loeb, To Join World No. 1 Novak Djokovic at Johnny Mac Tennis Project Benefit at SPORTIME Randall’s Island on August 21st

    It was just a few days ago that two stars had perhaps their best career performances across the Atlantic, when women’s semifinalist Lucie Safarova and boys junior champ Noah Rubin showed their stuff at Wimbledon. And all spring, the tennis world took notice as Jamie Loeb slammed her way to National College Player of the Year honors in a brilliant freshman season at the University of North Carolina. Now these three up and coming standouts have another showcase, as they will join current world No. 1 and seven-time Grand Slam singles champion Novak Djokovic, Hall of Famer John McEnroe, N.Y. Rangers superstar goaltender Henrik Lundqvist and actor Edward Norton on Thursday, August 21, for a gala evening of tennis and fun to benefit the Johnny Mac Tennis Project.

    The benefit night will take place at SPORTIME Stadium on Randall’s Island. Rubin and Loeb are two of the standout students who have trained at the John McEnroe Tennis Academy since its creation in 2010 at its flagship location at SPORTIME Randall’s Island.

    Loeb will take on Safarova, currently ranked at No. 17 on the WTA Tour, at 6:30 p.m., followed by Djokovic, the reigning Wimbledon men’s singles champion, against Rubin at 7:30.

    “I want to personally thank Novak for donating his time in support of my foundation, Johnny Mac Tennis Project,” said McEnroe. “This a tremendous opportunity for two of our brightest JMTA stars to show their skills against the best in tennis. All of us at JMTA are so proud of what Noah and Jamie have accomplished, and also excited that a player of Lucie’s caliber has added her support to this special night.”

    Safarova, 27, is a native of the Czech Republic. She has won five titles since turning pro in 2002, most recently in Quebec City last year. In addition to her semifinal run at Wimbledon, which included a win over 10th-ranked Dominika Cibulkova, Safarova reached the fourth round at Roland Garros. Her current ranking matches her career best.

    “I am looking forward to taking part in this important night and to see first-hand what John and the Johnny Mac Tennis Project are accomplishing by competing against Jamie,” said Safarova. “I am very familiar with what John and his team are doing in New York City, as two of my long-time friends on Tour, Martina Sucha from Slovakia and Hana Sromova from the Czech Republic, are both members of the JMTA coaching team. So, I am pleased to be able to help support the cause as I prepare to do some damage at the 2014 US Open.”

    Rubin, 18, of Long Island, advanced through qualifying, winning eight matches – six in the main draw – on the Wimbledon grass to claim the junior title. He defeated sixth-seeded Stefan Kozlov in the finals to cap a run that also included wins over the seventh and 12th seeds.

    Loeb, 19, from Ossining, N.Y., had an incredible year at UNC, recording a 53-4 singles mark, including 19-1 in the fall, racking up the most single-season wins in UNC history, and helping the Tar Heels to the National championship match. The ITA All-American in singles and doubles is also the first UNC female player to be the top-ranked singles player in the country.

    The evening will also include pro-celebrity doubles action, featuring Djokovic, McEnroe and their guests, NY Rangers all-star goaltender Henrik Lundqvist and Hollywood superstar Edward Norton, both almost as serious about their tennis as they are about their day jobs, as well as other promising junior players from the John McEnroe Tennis Academy, a lively auction and great hospitality, with all net proceeds to support the efforts of Johnny Mac Tennis Project, a 501(c)(3) public charity.

    JMTP provides scholarships, coaching, transportation and other financial assistance to qualified young tennis players in the greater New York area, as well as introducing the sport to hundreds of new junior players each year in the neighborhoods surrounding Academy locations. JMTP benefit nights in previous years have featured the likes of Bjorn Borg (2011), Andre Agassi (2012) and Jim Courier (2013). JMTP and Sportime Clubs, home of the John McEnroe Tennis Academy, have already provided over $1.5 million in scholarships and no cost programming to young players in NYC and its communities.

    Tickets start at $75. To purchase tickets, and for more information about special VIP packages, corporate packages, or to become a sponsor, please go to www.JMTPBenefit.com, call 888-988-6921 or email JMTP2014@sportimeny.com.

  4. 'Big Bang Theory' Duo Simon Helberg, Kunal Nayyar To Make Wizard World Debuts At Chicago Comic Con August 23

    Simon Helberg and Kunal Nayyar, two of the stars of the long-running hit Emmy® nominated TV series “The Big Bang Theory,” will make their respective first Wizard World appearances at Chicago Comic Con, Saturday, August 23, only, at the Donald E. Stephens Convention Center. The duo, who portray best friends Howard Wolowitz and Raj Koothrapali, respectively, will meet fans, sign autographs, pose for photo ops and conduct a joint interactive Q&A session.

    Helberg, whose “Big Bang” comedic timing and witty one-liners have endeared his character to fans and critics alike, recently won the Critics’ Choice Television Award for Best Supporting Actor in a Comedy Series. His feature directorial debut, We’ll Never Have Paris, was well received at the 2014 South by Southwest Film & Music Festival.

    Prior to “Big Bang,” Helberg starred in Aaron’s Sorkin’s Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip which took place behind the scenes of a live sketch comedy show and starred Matthew Perry and Bradley Whitford.

    Nayyar was a newcomer to the TV scene before landing the role as the sometimes awkward astrophysicist Koothrappali role on “Big Bang.” In addition to guest starring roles on “NCIS” and “Sullivan & Sons,” Nayyar voiced Gupta in the animated feature Ice Age: Continental Drift and has a role in the independent film Dr. Cabbie opposite Adrianne Palicki and Mircea Monroe.

    The duo join David Boreanaz (“Bones,” “Angel”), Norman Reedus (“The Walking Dead,” Boondock Saints), Matt Smith and Karen Gillan (“Doctor Who,”), Katie Cassidy (“Arrow,” “Gossip Girl”), Patrick Stewart (X-Men, “Star Trek: TNG”) William Shatner (“Star Trek,” “T.J. Hooker”) and comics legend Stan Lee among the celebrities scheduled to attend the event, set for August 21-24. Wizard World Chicago Comic Con is the largest and longest-running of the 16 events in the 2014 series produced by Wizard World, Inc. (OTCBB: WIZD) and will also feature a top-drawer collection of well-known comics artists and writers and a variety of activities, exhibitors and special attractions.

    Wizard World Comic Con events bring together thousands of fans of all ages to celebrate the best in pop-fi, pop culture, movies, graphic novels, comics, toys, video gaming, television, sci-fi, gaming, original art, collectibles, contests and more. Wizard World Chicago Comic Con show hours are Thursday, August 21, 3-8 p.m.; Friday, August 22, noon-7 p.m.; Saturday, August 23, 10 a.m.-7 p.m., Sunday, August 24, 11 a.m.-5 p.m.

    For more on the 2014 Wizard World Chicago Comic Con, visit http://wizd.me/ChicagoPR.

  5. Wizard World Presents ‘Star Trek: The Next Generation’ Panel Featuring Sir Patrick Stewart, Moderated By William Shatner, August 24 During Chicago Comic Con

    Fans of “Star Trek: The Next Generation,” the highly successful 1987-1994 follow up to the original “Star Trek” television series, are in for a special treat as six of its stars reunite for a unique celebration of the 20th anniversary of the program’s final episode on Sunday, August 24 from 5-6:45 p.m. “Captain Kirk” from the original, William Shatner, hosts as the “TNG” bridge crew of Sir Patrick Stewart (“Captain Jean-Luc Picard”) Jonathan Frakes (“Commander William T. Riker”), Levar Burton (“Lt. Commander Geordi La Forge”), Michael Dorn (“Lieutenant Worf”), Marina Sirtis (“Counselor Deanna Troi”), Brent Spiner (“Lt. Commander Data”), and Gates McFadden (“Dr. Beverly Crusher”) relive the memories of the program’s seven-year run.

    The event will be held at the Rosemont Theater (5400 N. River Rd., Rosemont). Tickets range from $30 to $150; more information available at wizd.me/StarTrekTNGChicago. A Wizard World Chicago Comic Con admission is not required to attend the TNG reunion panel, but William Shatner Platinum VIPs are admitted free with Tier 1 seating.

    Shatner is a one man force of nature who delivers a larger than life performance complete with his laugh-out-loud humor and signature storytelling in his inimitable style. Fans can enjoy this rare and special appearance produced in conjunction with Lightspeed Fine Arts. All ticket buyers receive a limited-edition lithograph exclusive to this event.

    The Emmy Award and Tony Award nominee Stewart, who has performed in more than 100 television and film roles, will also attend the convention, signing autographs, posing for photo ops and greeting fans on Saturday and Sunday. Stewart is one of several actors to appear in all three “X-Men” films: X-Men (2000), X2 (2003) and X-Men: The Last Stand (2006). His role as Picard placed him in four Star Trek films: Generations (1994), First Contact (1996), Insurrection (1998) and Nemesis (2002).

    “Star Trek: The Next Generation” focuses on the 24th century adventures of Captain Jean-Luc Picard aboard the U.S.S. Enterprise (NCC-1701-D). This incarnation of the famous starship is much larger than the one captained by James T. Kirk a century earlier, and, accordingly, it carries a larger crew complement: 1,012 men, women…and, surprisingly, children. This era’s Starfleet Command believes that men and women are more likely to sign up for long-term exploratory missions if they think of their ship as home. Thus, Picard’s crew enjoys many of the comforts they’d have otherwise left behind, including a wide variety of recreational opportunities, “replicated” food dishes to suit every palate, and quarters large enough to share with spouses and offspring. There are schools for the children and a bar (stocked with synthetic alcohol, or synthehol) where the adults can unwind. However, the ongoing mission—no longer limited to a mere five years—remains virtually the same as it was during Kirk’s time: to seek out new life and new civilizations, and to boldly go where no one has gone before. The show won an astounding 18 Emmy Awards during its magnificent run.

    David Boreanaz (“Bones,” “Angel”), Norman Reedus (“The Walking Dead,” Boondock Saints), Matt Smith and Karen Gillan (“Doctor Who,”), Katie Cassidy (“Arrow”) and comics legend Stan Lee are among the celebrities scheduled to join Shatner, Stewart and the “TNG” team at Wizard World Chicago Comic Con, August 21-24 at the Donald E. Stephens Convention Center. It is largest and longest-running of the 16 events in the 2014 series produced by Wizard World, Inc. (OTCBB: WIZD) and will also feature a top-drawer collection of well-known comics artists and writers and a variety of activities, exhibitors and special attractions.

    For more on the 2014 Wizard World Chicago Comic Con, visit http://www.wizd.me/ChicagoPR.

  6. Nickelodeon Introduces Kids’ Choice Sports 2014, Brand-New Awards Show Hosted By Legendary NFL Star Michael Strahan

    For over 26 years, Nickelodeon’s Kids’ Choice Awards has been the bellwether event touting kids’ favorites in the world of entertainment, and it has grown to one of the most anticipated annual shows in Hollywood. Nickelodeon and host and executive producer Michael Strahan (LIVE with Kelly and Michael, Fox NFL Sunday) will bring all the fun, excitement and slime of the Kids’ Choice Awards to the world of sports and allow kids around the country to pick their favorites in a new, live awards show, Kids’ Choice Sports 2014, on Thursday at 8 p.m. (ET/PT).

    Set to take place at UCLA’s Pauley Pavilion in Los Angeles, Kids’ Choice Sports 2014 will follow Nickelodeon’s Kids’ Choice Awards legacy to honor kids’ favorite athletes, teams and sports moments from the year in one big, slimy sports celebration. In true Nickelodeon spirit, the event will also feature a daring, slime-filled sports stunt performed on a star athlete’s home turf, a special halftime live musical performance and top athletes competing outside their sports realm for a KCS trophy.

    “It is a real honor to be the inaugural host of the Kids’ Choice Sports awards,” said Strahan. “As an athlete and as a father to four kids who grew up with Nickelodeon, I know firsthand what an important role sports play in kids’ lives. This is going to be a kids’ Super Bowl-sized event that will have the best athletes, the best entertainment, the most fun, and of course the best slimings the world of sports has ever seen for the whole family to watch together.”

    “Giving kids a voice and a chance to celebrate their favorites with big events has been part of the Nickelodeon DNA since we launched the first Kids’ Choice Awards over 26 years ago, and we are thrilled to have Michael Strahan as our host and executive producer of our first Kids’ Choice Sports awards,” said Cyma Zarghami, President of Nickelodeon. “Sports are a huge part of kids’ lives and in the spirit of Kids’ Choice, we are going to celebrate it in the biggest, loudest, slimiest way possible this summer!”

    A Kids’ Choice Sports council consisting of influencers in the sporting world will lend their expertise and experience to help inform the awards show, consult on the nominee process and give feedback on categories. Members of the committee include: Baron Davis (former New York Knicks and two-time NBA All-Star); Ken Griffey Jr. (former baseball outfielder and 13-time All-Star); Lisa Leslie (former WNBA MVP and four-time Olympic gold medal winner); Cal Ripken Jr. (former shortstop and third baseman for the Baltimore Orioles and 19-time All-Star); Deion Sanders (NFL Pro Football Hall of Famer); Misty May-Treanor (three-time Olympic beach volleyball gold medalist); Andy Elkin (Agent, Creative Artists Agency); Tracy Perlman (VP Entertainment Marketing and Promotions, NFL); Jeff Schwartz (President and Founder, Excel Sports Management); Jill Smoller (SVP, William Morris Endeavor); Leah Wilcox (VP, Talent Relations, NBA); Alan Zucker (SVP, IMG Clients Group); Michael Phelps (most decorated Olympian of all time); Tony Hawk (professional skateboarder) and Zane Stoddard (VP, Entertainment Marketing and Content Development, NASCAR).

  7. Brett Booth, Neal Adams, Ethan Van Sciver, Mike Grell Top Comics Creators At Wizard World San Antonio Comic Con, August 1-3

    Brett Booth (“Batman/Superman,” “The Flash”), Neal Adams (“Batman,” “Green Lantern”), Ethan Van Sciver (“Green Lantern,” “Flash”), Mike Grell (“Action Comics,” “Green Arrow”) and Phil Ortiz (“The Simpsons,” “Muppet Babies”) are among the top comics creators scheduled to attend Wizard World San Antonio Comic Con, August 1-3 at the Henry B. Gonzalez Convention Center. In all, more than 50 artists and writers will appear in Artist Alley at the inaugural show.

    Other notable creators on hand include Mario Guevara (“Ultimate Future Foundation,” “Blackbeard”), Jorge Molina (“X-Men,” “Fear Itself”), James O’Barr (“The Crow”), Greg Horn (“Walt Disney,” “Guardians of the Galaxy”), Michael Golden (“Spider-Man,” “Hulk”), Arthur Suydam (“Marvel Zombies,” “Army of Darkness”), Rob Prior (“Heavy Metal,” “Spawn the Impaler”).

    In addition, VIP attendees will receive a free copy of 100th Anniversary X-Men Special #1, featuring an exclusive variant cover by Molina. Many other artists will have exclusive lithographs and prints, provided free to VIPs and available to all fans for purchase.

    John Barrowman (“Arrow,” “Torchwood”), Jon Bernthal of “The Walking Dead,” William Shatner (Star Trek, “T.J. Hooker”), WWE® Superstar Bray Wyatt™, WWE® Divas The Bella Twins™, James Marsters (“Buffy The Vampire Slayer,” “Torchwood”), Manu Bennett (The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey, “Arrow”) and Alan Tudyk (“Firefly,” 42) are among the celebrities scheduled to attend Wizard World San Antonio Comic Con.It is the ninth of 16 events in the 2014 series produced by Wizard World, Inc. (OTCBB: WIZD) and will also feature a variety of activities, exhibitors and special attractions.

    Wizard World Comic Con events bring together thousands of fans of all ages to celebrate the best in pop-fi, pop culture, movies, graphic novels, comics, toys, video gaming, television, sci-fi, gaming, original art, collectibles, contests and more. Wizard World San Antonio Comic Con show hours are Friday, August 1, 3-8 p.m.; Saturday, August 2, 10 a.m.-7 p.m., Sunday, August 3, 11 a.m.-5 p.m.

    For more on the event, including a full list of comics writers and artists attending, visit http://wizd.me/SanAntonioPR.

  8. Marvel Comics & Wizard World Reveal ‘Guardians of the Galaxy #17’ Exclusive Variant Cover By Alvaro Martinez For Chicago Comic Con

    Wizard World fans have been anticipating the August release of the feature film Guardians of the Galaxy for months. Marvel Comics and Wizard World, Inc. (OTCBB: WIZD) today revealed the latest edition of its 2014 series of exclusive variant covers of the best Marvel titles with the unveiling of Guardians of the Galaxy #17, drawn by Spanish native Alvaro Martinez. Just in time to celebrate the blockbuster movie, VIP attendees at Wizard World Chicago Comic Con, August 21-24 at the Donald E. Stephens Convention Center, will receive a free copy of the limited-edition book at registration.

    Martinez is scheduled to be on site at the event to sign copies (autograph fees may apply). Leading professional comic grader CGC will also be on hand to accept books for grading and Signature Series.

    The exclusive version of Guardians of the Galaxy #17 will be limited to 4,000 copies and provided free at registration to all Wizard World Chicago Comic Con VIP attendees, including any celebrity VIP packages.

    The cover features several Guardians characters, including Drax the Destroyer, portrayed by Dave Bautista, who will be a guest at the event on Saturday, August 23, and available to autograph copies of the comic. Castmates Karen Gillan (“Nebula”) and Michael Rooker (“Yondu”) are also scheduled to attend the show.

    “I love how the Guardians of the Galaxy #17 Chicago Comic Con Exclusive came out,” said Bautista. “It’s an honor to see Drax on the cover and I look forward to signing for the fans in Chicago.”

    Martinez’s work follows the first eight entries in the Wizard World variant cover series: Miracleman #1 and Miracleman #2, both drawn by Eisner Award Hall of Famer Neal Adams for Wizard World Portland Comic Con (Jan. 24-26) and New Orleans Comic Con (Feb. 7-9), respectively; Wolverine #1, illustrated by noted cover artist Greg Horn, for Wizard World Sacramento Comic Con (March 7-9); Daredevil #1 by Michael Golden for Wizard World Louisville Comic Con (March 28-30); Wolverine & The X-Men #1 by David Mack for Wizard World St. Louis Comic Con (April 4-6); Hulk #1 by Mike Grell for Wizard World Minneapolis Comic Con (May 2-4); Amazing Spider-Man #1 by John Tyler Christopher for Wizard World Atlanta Comic Con (May 30 – June 1) and Amazing Spider-Man #1.2 by J.G. Jones for Philadelphia Comic Con (June 19-22). Jorge Molina has completed a cover of 100th Anniversary X-Men Special #1 scheduled for San Antonio Comic Con (Aug. 1-3).

    “Just in time for Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy comes this stunning cover from Alvaro Martinez,” says Marvel SVP Sales & Marketing David Gabriel. “We’re excited to bring this cover exclusively to attendees of the show & give them something special they can get signed by some of the stars of the upcoming film!”

    Martinez has worked on numerous Marvel titles, including Cataclysm: Ultimate X-Men, Ultimate Comics X-Men and Iron Man Annual Vol. 5. The native of northern Spain (Cantabria) previously drew Harbinger #10 and Archer & Armstrong #9, gaining the attention of Marvel.

    “We are pleased to welcome Alvaro Martinez to the Wizard World family and are particularly excited that his excellent Guardians cover is timed so well with the release of the film,” says John Macaluso, Wizard World CEO. “Having Drax, Dave Bautista’s character, on the cover with him attending our event is an extra special treat for VIP attendees.”

    With some new faces on the team, it might be time for the Guardians to have a little team-building vacation.  Or, you know, they could keep fighting alien warlords and galactic empires. Guess they’ll have to plan that team-building retreat for next month. Writer: Brian Michael Bendis; Artist: Ed McGuinness.

    In addition to Bautista (WWE Superstar Batista), Gillan (“Doctor Who”) and Rooker (“The Walking Dead”), David Boreanaz (“Bones,” “Angel”), Norman Reedus (“The Walking Dead,” Boondock Saints), Matt Smith (“Doctor Who,”), Katie Cassidy (“Arrow”), William Shatner (“Star Trek,” “T.J. Hooker”), WWE® Superstar John Cena® and comics legend Stan Lee are among the celebrities scheduled to attend Wizard World Chicago Comic Con, the Midwest’s largest pop culture event. It is the 10th of 16 events in the 2014 series produced by Wizard World, Inc. and will also feature a top-drawer collection of well-known comics artists and writers and a variety of activities, exhibitors and special attractions.

    For more on the 2014 Wizard Chicago Comic Con, go to http://www.wizd.me/ChicagoPR.

  9. WWE® Superstar Bray Wyatt™, Divas The Bella Twins™ Added To Wizard World San Antonio Comic Con, Sunday, August 3

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    WWE® Superstar Bray Wyatt™ and Divas The Bella Twins™ have been added to the celebrity roster at the inaugural Wizard World San Antonio Comic Con on Sunday, August 3, at the Henry B. Gonzalez Convention Center.

    They replace WWE Superstar John Cena, who had been scheduled to attend but had to cancel due to filming.

    Wyatt will pose for photo ops beginning at 11 a.m., then sign autographs from 11:45 a.m. - 1:30 p.m. The dazzling and devious Nikki and Brie Bella will begin their dual and single photo ops at 1:30 p.m., followed by an autograph session at 2:30 and interactive Q&A panel at 4 p.m.

    The Superstar known as Bray Wyatt seems to have stepped out of the collective population’s nightmares and into our reality. A man shrouded in mystique, not much is known about the apparent head of the Wyatt Family – other than he seems to have a mission to bring his macabre vision to WWE.

    Recently, Wyatt survived Dean Ambrose on SmackDown to claim a spot in the unprecedented WWE World Heavyweight Championship Ladder Match at WWE Money in the Bank on June 29. He also battled United States Champion Sheamus to a Disqualification on Raw - one that showed the continued problems between The Wyatt Family and WWE Tag Team Champions The Usos.

    A self-admitted “tomboy” with a feminine side, Nikki originally planned to play professional soccer until a leg injury ended her career. From there, she followed her twin sister Brie’s lead into WWE.

    Unsuccessful in seizing spots in the 2006 WWE Raw Diva Search, the Bellas caught the eyes of execs and soon landed in FCW. Training for the competition they’d soon crush (while male WWE fans formed crushes on them), Nikki and her sibling made their way onto the main roster in 2008 and turned heads whenever they set foot inside the ring.

    Brie debuted on SmackDown in 2008, defeating her first opponent, Victoria, by way of “Twin Magic” — a move in which she and her identical sister, Nikki, secretly switch places during matches. In 2011, the sneaky tactic helped Brie defeat Eve and win her first Divas Championship.

    Every bit as cunning as she is cute, this half-Mexican, half-Italian beauty appeared on ECW, WWE NXT, and both SmackDown and Raw, where she teamed up with her doppelgänger in both love and war. The flirtatious pair was romantically linked to The Miz & John Morrison, Daniel Bryan and even Alberto Del Rio.

    The three join John Barrowman (“Arrow,” “Torchwood”), Jon Bernthal of “The Walking Dead,” William Shatner (Star Trek, “T.J. Hooker”), James Marsters (“Buffy The Vampire Slayer,” “Torchwood”) and Manu Bennett (The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey, “Arrow”) among the celebrities scheduled to attend the event, set for August 1-3. It is the ninth of 16 events in the 2014 series produced by Wizard World, Inc. (OTCBB: WIZD) and will also feature a top-drawer collection of well-known comics artists and writers and a variety of activities, exhibitors and special attractions.

  10. socialcon Debuts In Chicago With Nash Grier, Hayes Grier, Cameron Dallas, Many More, August 23-24

    From Vine to YouTube to Instagram to Twitter to Facebook and more, fans now have a place to gather to celebrate the best and brightest in the world of social media as socialcon makes its debut August 23-24 at Donald E. Stephens Convention Center. Some of the most-followed social media stars will be in attendance, including “The Fam Tour” members Nash Grier, Hayes Grier, Cameron Dallas and Carter Reynolds; Reggie Couz; Princess Lauren; Toby Randall and many more in two days of meet-and-greets, concerts, live performances, Q&A panels, autographs, photo ops and more. The combined followers base exceeds 100 million users.

    socialcon is produced by Wizard World, Inc. (OTCBB: WIZD), which conducts dozens of pop culture conventions nationwide annually. The timing and location of socialcon CHICAGO are co-located with Wizard World Chicago Comic Con (August 21-24), the largest event on the promotion’s calendar.

    Some of the other leading social media phenoms scheduled to attend the inaugural event include The Hillywoods, KingBach, Kingsley, DeStorm Power, Anthony Quintal (LohAnthony), Superwoman, DJ and Drummer; Josh Peck and Tyler Ward.

    “We are excited to bring stars with a combined tens of millions of followers to one place so that thousands of fans with whom they have interacted can meet them up close and personal,” said John Macaluso, Wizard World CEO. “Several have appeared at our Wizard World Comic Cons and have been huge hits, so creating socialcon, a series of events highlighting the social media stars, is a natural addition.”

    socialcon CHICAGO will run as a distinct event from Wizard World Chicago Comic Con, with separate admission, programming and show floor. On Saturday, Meet & Greet entry begins at 10:30; general admission is from 11 a.m. - 8 p.m. On Sunday, Meet & Greet entry begins at 10:30; general admission is from 11 a.m. - 6 p.m.