Special Guests

Comic-Con 2019 will be held July 18-21 (with Preview Night on July 17) at the San Diego Convention Center. The following special guests are confirmed for this year's event.


Maggie Thompson

Maggie Thompson at Comic-Con 2019, July 18-21 at the San Diego Convention Center

Writer, editor, Comics Buyer’s Guide

Award-winning Maggie Thompson still has the copy of Dell Four Color #103 (Easter with Mother Goose) that she bought when she was three. That’s because her (science-fiction-fan) mom and dad encouraged her to read—and collect—comic books and attend conventions. As a result, she and her husband, Don, were pioneering publishers of comics fanzines and eventually took over Comics Buyer’s Guide, where she worked for 30 years. These days, she writes online columns for Comic-Con’s Toucan blog and Gemstone Publishing, maintains her website www.maggiethompson.com, and is delighted that today’s readers get to see the best of what’s old and new.

Mike Towry

Mike Towry at Comic-Con 2019, July 18-21 at the San Diego Convention Center

Comic-Con founding committee member, 1972 co-chair

Major events for San Diegans in 1969 included the Apollo 11 moon landing and the bicentennial of their city’s founding. Another event, at the time not recognized as significant, was the founding of Comic-Con. That year, Mike Towry, at the age of 14, joined with other fans to start what has become, much to his delight, the world’s premier pop culture event. Attending the ever-wonderful Comic-Con continues to be a highlight of his year. More recently, in 2011, he founded the San Diego Comic Fest for fans who were missing the smaller, more-casual cons from days of yore.

Billy Tucci

Billy Tucci at Comic-Con 2019, July 18-21 at the San Diego Convention Center

Writer, artist, Shi

Billy Tucci is an award-winning cartoonist best known for his modern-day samurai fable, Shi. Through Billy’s Crusade Fine Arts, the multi-Eisner Award-nominated Shi has been printed in five languages sold more than 3 million comic books. He has also worked on a litany of projects for DC Comics’ including Sgt. Rock, Harley Quinn, Flash vs. Superman, and Batman.

His earnest retelling of the Christmas story A Child Is Born has quietly turned into an international blockbuster after winning the Christian Small Publisher Book of the Year Award.

2019 celebrates Shi’s 25th anniversary with the release of the graphic novels Shi: Return of the Warrior and Shi: Hotaru, accompanied by new Shi action figures, statues, and reprints. Billy’s also bringing about the return of Golden Age icon Miss Fury for Dynamite Entertainment and two new creator-owned projects, Zombie-Sama! and Appalachian Apocalypse, as well as Wonder Woman for DC Comics. More info: www.apostlearts.com

Dan Vado

Dan Vado at Comic-Con 2019, July 18-21 at the San Diego Convention Center

Illustration by Jhonen Vasquez


Publisher, SLG Publishing; writer, JLA

Dan Vado, a known miscreant and otherwise follower of his least profitable whims is the founder, CEO and longest tenured person at SLG Publishing. Known for publishing an eclectic and idiosyncratic and diverse line of comics, SLG Publishing at one time or another published the likes of Jhonen Vasquez, Faith Erin Hicks, Roman Dirge, Ariel Schrag and a host of other people whose names, for legal and other reason, we are not allowed to utter.

In addition to his publishing work, Vado wrote for a brief period for DC Comics ,producing a thankfully-forgotten-until-someone-decided-to-reprint-it run of JLA comics, among other things.

Currently Vado lives as a recluse in plain sight and can be found wandering the aisles of grocery stores and haunting his San Jose music venue behind a comic shop, The Art Boutiki, telling anyone who will listen (which is pretty much nobody) "Hey, back in my day . . ."

Ursula Vernon

Ursula Vernon at Comic-Con 2019, July 18-21 at the San Diego Convention Center

Author, Digger, Dragonbreath and Hamster Princess series

Ursula Vernon is the author of the Hugo Award winning comic Digger and the Dragonbreath and Hamster Princess series for kids. She writes for adults under the name T. Kingfisher. When not writing, she spends a lot of time wandering around the garden growing heirloom beans and trying to make eye contact with butterflies.


Charles Vess

Charles Vess at Comic-Con 2019, July 18-21 at the San Diego Convention Center

Artist, Sandman, The Collected Books of Earthsea

Since 1976, Charles Vess’ art has graced many a cover and page of various comic book publishers including Marvel (Spider-Man, Raven Banner), DC (Books of Magic, Swamp Thing, Sandman) and Dark Horse (Book of Night).

Over time he has moved more into book illustration (working with Neil Gaiman, George RR Martin, and Charles de Lint) and he continues to win accolades and praise for his detailed, ethereal, light-and-shadow infused work.

The Collected Books of Earthsea (Saga, 2018) was a four-year collaboration between Charles and author Ursula K. le Guin. This 1000+ page tome features 56 color and black-and-white illustrations and is the definitive collection of all things Earthsea.

Visit his website at: www.greenmanpress.com

Jeff Walker

Jeff Walker at Comic-Con 2019, July 18-21 at the San Diego Convention Center

Genre marketing consultant, long-time Comic-con program participant

During Jeff Walker's Zelig-like career he has been an actor, entertainment journalist, rock critic, music publicist, film merchandise licensee (as a founder of The Thinking Cap Company) and genre marketing consultant. He's also a lifelong fan, amassing a respectable collection of comics by the age of 14. Of course, that was the generation whose mothers gave away those collections "along with my Hardy Boys, Tom Swifts, Bomba the Jungle Boys, Famous Monsters, and classic novels from The Science Fiction Book Club. That momentous decision of hers, of course, led to a career immersed in the music and genres that he grew up loving. After hearing about Comic-Con at the 1972 World Science Fiction con in L. A., he first went to San Diego the following year while working for United Artists Records and brought down a display of album covers that he thought would appeal to fans who loved the same things he did. In 1979 he was asked to join The Ladd Company as a genre consultant to work on Blade Runner and subsequently worked for WB, Amblin', and  Disney, and brought featurettes he produced, slide shows, talent, and promo items to Comic-Con every year. In 1987 he and Bob Kane brought the first glimpses of the then very controversial movie Batman that Tim Burton was filming with Michael Keaton. That was a landmark campaign that turned an initially highly skeptical fan base into one of the biggest hits of the decade and arguably launched the age of comic book-based movies that still dominates the box office today. For the next 25 years, and to this day, Jeff has consulted for most of the studios and has helped bring hundreds of film and TV panels to Comic-Con. He was awarded an Inkpot in 2011 for Fandom Service. Jeff lives in L. A. with his wife photographer Kim Gottlieb-Walker and has three grown children—Orion, Ethan and Rachel— who he is happy to say are all hardcore fans and whose collections were never thrown out.

Chris Ware

Chris Ware at Comic-Con 2019, July 18-21 at the San Diego Convention Center

Self-portrait by Chris Ware


Writer, artist, Jimmy Corrigan, Rusty Brown Part I

Chris Ware is the author of Jimmy Corrigan: The Smartest Kid on Earth and Building Stories, which was listed as a Top Ten Fiction Book by both the New York Times and Time. A regular contributor of comic strips and 25 covers to the New Yorker, his work has been exhibited at the MOCA Los Angeles, the MCA Chicago, and the Whitney Museum of American Art, and it was the focus of the PBS program Art in the 21st Century in 2016. An eponymous monograph was released by Rizzoli in 2017 and Rusty Brown Part I will appear in September 2019 from Pantheon Graphic Library.

Bob Wayne

Bob Wayne at Comic-Con 2019, July 18-21 at the San Diego Convention Center

Former senior VP, Sales at DC Comics; writer, Time Masters, Wild Cards

Bob Wayne has his roots in Texas fandom, selling at conventions and his own stores. After 28 years at DC Comics he retired as senior VP of sales. He has written comics, including Time Masters (with Lewis Shiner) and created the Card Sharks for George R.R. Martin’s Wild Cards, now in development at Hulu. He has attended Comic-Con for the last 35 years, and received an Inkpot Award and a ComicsPRO Industry Appreciation award. He is currently a publishing consultant and serves on the CBLDF Advisory Board. He resides in Fort Worth, TX and remains grateful his mother never threw away his comics.

Marv Wolfman

Marv Wolfman at Comic-Con 2019, July 18-21 at the San Diego Convention Center

Writer, editor, Tomb of Dracula, New Teen Titans

Marv Wolfman has created more characters that have gone on to television, animation, movies, videogames, and toys than any other comics creator since Stan Lee. At Marvel, Marv was writer-creator of Blade, the Vampire Hunter, Nova, Bullseye, Black Cat, and many others. At DC, Marv co-created the New Teen Titans, Deathstroke, Vigilante, and dozens more. The Titans have starred in two successful cartoon shows several animated movies and a new live action TV series.

Marv also writes animation and videogames. His script for Epic Mickey-2 for Disney was nominated for a Writer’s Guild award. His non-fiction history book, Homeland, the  Illustrated History of the State of Israel won the National Jewish Book award. His novel, Superman Returns won the Scribe Award for best novelization, and his book, Arkham Knight also received a Scribe nomination. In 2011, Marv was inducted into the Eisner Hall of Fame.

Phil Yeh

Phil Yeh at Comic-Con 2019, July 18-21 at the San Diego Convention Center

Cartoonist, Even Cazco Gets the Blues, Winged Tiger Comics and Stories

In 1977 Phil Yeh wrote, illustrated, and published one of the first modern American graphic novels, Even Cazco Gets the Blues. He was one of the first publishers of graphic novels to push for acceptance of this art form in general bookstores and libraries.

In 1985, Yeh formed Cartoonists Across America & The World to promote literacy, the arts, and creativity using humor and comics. To date they have painted 2000 murals in 49 states and 18 countries. Yeh has written over 90 books and comics.

He was given the Bob Clampett Humanitarian Award by Comic-Con in 1989 and in 2009 received an Inkpot Award.

Phil is continuing to do speaking events and mural events for literacy around the world.  More info: www.wingedtiger.com