Special Guests

The following special guests have been confirmed to appear at Comic-Con International 2016, to be held July 21–24 at the San Diego Convention Center.

Jason Aaron

Jason Aaron at Comic-Con International 2016

Writer, Scalped, Star Wars, Thor

Jason Aaron is a comic book writer best known for his work on the New York Times bestselling crime series Scalped for Vertigo Comics and the critically acclaimed Southern Bastards from Image Comics, as well as for various celebrated projects with Marvel Comics. Aaron’s current work for Marvel includes the creation of the headline-grabbing female version of Thor and the launch of an all-new Star Wars series, the first issue of which sold over one million copies to become the bestselling American comic book in more than 20 years. Aaron was born in Alabama but currently resides in Kansas City. He enjoys many things but shaving is not one of them.

Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa

Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa at Comic-Con International 2016

Writer/producer, Afterlife with Archie, Riverdale

Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa is an award-winning playwright, comic book and screenwriter. He was brought in to overhaul Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark and his adaption of American Psycho began its Broadway run in March 2016. Television credits include Big LoveLookingGlee, and Supergirl. For Marvel Comics, he wrote the monthly adventures of the Fantastic Four (Harvey Award, Best New Talent), Sensational Spider-ManNightcrawler, and an adaption of Stephen King's The Stand. As chief creative officer for Archie Comics Publications, he scripts Afterlife with Archie and Chilling Adventures of Sabrina and is producing Riverdale, a television pilot based on the Archie characters for the CW.

Sergio Aragonés

Sergio Aragonés at Comic-Con International 2016

Cartoonist, MAD, Groo

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—had his own comic book series at Bongo Comics, Sergio Aragonés Funnies. His most recent work includes a 12-issue maxi series from Dark Horse Comics, Groo and Friends.

Derf Backderf

Derf Backderf at Comic-Con International 2016

Writer/artist, Trashed, My Friend Dahmer

Derf Backderf is the writer/artist of three graphic novels: Trashed, My Friend Dahmer, and Punk Rock & Trailer Parks .His comic strip The City appeared in over 140 weekly newspapers during its 24-year run. He won an Angoulême Prize and a Robert F. Kennedy Award and has been nominated for Eisner, Harvey, Ignatz, and Rueben Awards. He lives in Cleveland, for reasons he can no longer remember.

Mike Baron

Mike Baron at Comic-Con International 2016

Writer/co-creator, Nexus, Badger

Mike Baron is the creator of Nexus (with artist Steve Rude) and Badger, two of the longest-lasting independent superhero comics. Nexus is about a cosmic avenger 500 years in the future; Badger is about a multiple personality, one of whom is a costumed crime fighter. Baron has written The Punisher, Flash, Deadman, and Star Wars, among others. His novels include Whack Job, Skorpio, Biker, Helmet Head, and Banshees. Baron is adapting Biker into a graphic novel with artist ChrisCross, for Comicmix.

Michael Barrier

Michael Barrier at Comic-Con International 2016

Photo by Dixie Knight


Author/comics and animation historian, Funnybooks, Hollywood Cartoons

Michael Barrier founded and edited Funnyworld, the first magazine devoted to serious examination of comic art and animated cartoons. He is the author of Funnybooks: The Improbable Glories of the Best American Comic Books (University of California Press, 2014), The Animated Man: A Life of Walt Disney (University of California Press, 2007), and Hollywood Cartoons: American Animation in Its Golden Age (Oxford University Press, 1999). He is co-author, with Harvey Kurtzman, of From Aargh! to Zap!: Harvey Kurtzman’s Visual History of the Comics (Prentice Hall, 1991) and co-editor, with Martin Williams, of A Smithsonian Book of Comic-Book Comics (Smithsonian/Abrams, 1981).

Kate Beaton

Kate Beaton at Comic-Con International 2016

Writer/artist, Step Aside, Pops; Hark! A Vagrant!

Kate Beaton began her online work Hark! A Vagrant! in 2007. Since then, her illustrations have appeared in publications such as the New YorkerHarper’s, and Marvel’s Strange Tales anthology. Her first collection, Hark! A Vagrant, spent five months on the New York Times bestseller list and topped best-of-the-year lists from Time, E!, Amazon, and Publishers Weekly. Beaton's cartoons often display a wonderfully light touch on historical and literary topics. The jokes are a knowing look at history through a modern perspective, and a campaign against anyone with the idea that history is boring. Her most recent book is the September 2015 Hark! A Vagrant! collection, Step Aside, Pops, published by Drawn & Quarterly.

Cece Bell

Cece Bell at Comic-Con International 2016

Writer/artist, El Deafo

Cece Bell is an author and illustrator of books for children. She lives in an old church and she works right next door in a newish barn. Her graphic novel memoir, El Deafo, which chronicles her childhood experiences with hearing loss, received a Newbery Honor and an Eisner Award in 2015. Cece's other books include the Geisel Honor book Rabbit & Robot: The Sleepover, Bee-Wigged, and the Sock Monkey series. She has also illustrated books written by her husband, Tom Angleberger, including the picture book Crankee Doodle, as well as the Inspector Flytrap chapter book series (August 2016). Check out www.cecebell.com for more info.

Allen Bellman

Allen Bellman at Comic-Con International 2016

Artist, Captain America

Allen Bellman became a staff artist at Timely during the Golden Age of comics. As a teenager, he first did backgrounds for Syd Shores’s Captain America starting in 1942. He also worked on titles featuring characters such as Captain America, the Patriot, the Human Torch, and Jet Dixon of the Space Squadron and on series such as All Winners Comics, Marvel Mystery, Sub Mariner Comics, Young Allies, and much more. Allen’s self-created back-up crime feature “Let's Play Detective” appeared in Captain America Comics. He also contributed to pre-code horror, crime, war, and western tales for Atlas. Allen worked in the comics field until the early 1950s. For more info, visit www.allenbellman.com.

Berkeley Breathed

Berkeley Breathed at Comic-Con International 2016

Writer/artist, Bloom County, Outland, Opus

Berkeley Breathed began his art career in high school when he drew a headless spaceman outside a spaceship and then spat red paint where the head should have been, causing the illusion of an explosion, naming it “Gesundheit.”

In the early 1980s Breathed began drawing Bloom County, a political satire, for college newspapers. Nationwide recognition came with his creation of Opus, an insecure penguin who reflected the political conscience of America. He furthered his fame with his creation of Bill the Cat, who was the exact opposite of Opus in that he represented the scum of America. The combination of Opus and Bill was a huge success and saved Breathed from the near demise of his strip.  

When Bloom County ended, Breathed next created Outland, a strip in which Opus, Bill, and several other characters resurfaced in a utopia-like world. After Outland ended he then started Opus, a new comic strip featuring Opus, Bill, and other characters.

In 2015, Breathed pioneered a new paradigm for newspaper comic strips by bringing back Bloom County without the paper. Bloom County now appears exclusively on Facebook, with a new collection due to be published by IDW in 2016.

Chester Brown

Chester Brown at Comic-Con International 2016

Writer/artist, Paying for It, Mary Wept over the Feet of Jesus

Chester Brown was born in Montreal in 1960 and is best known for his two recent nonfiction graphic novels: the meticulously researched and Harvey Award–winning Louis Riel and the controversial, critically acclaimed Paying for It. Brown began self­publishing his comic book series Yummy Fur at age 23 and has been publishing with D+Q since 1991. He is the author of The Playboy, I Never Liked You, The Little Man, and Ed The Happy Clown. His latest publication is Mary Wept over the Feet of Jesus. He lives in Toronto, where he ran for Parliament twice as a member of the Libertarian Party of Canada.

Co-Sponsored by Drawn & Quarterly

Emily Carroll

Emily Carroll at Comic-Con International 2016

Writer/artist, Through the Woods

Emily Carroll is a writer and artist best known for the eerie comics she posts on the Internet, as well as her debut collection of short horror stories, Through the Woods (published by Margaret K. McElderry, 2014). In 2015 she won the Ignatz Award for Outstanding Artist, two Eisner awards (including Best Short Story for her online comic “When the Darkness Presses”), and the British Fantasy Award for Best Comic/Graphic Novel. Most recently she illustrated Baba Yaga's Assistant, a children's graphic novel written by Marika McCoola (published by Candlewick Press, 2015).