Special Guests

The following guests are scheduled to appear at Comic-Con 2020, July 23–26 (with Preview Night on July 22) at the San Diego Convention Center.

Darcie Little Badger

Darcie Little Badger at Comic-Con 2020, July 23-26 at the San Diego Convention Center
Little Badger

Writer, Elatsoe, Strangelands

Darcie Little Badger is a Lipan Apache scientist, writer, and fan of the weird, beautiful, and haunting. Her debut novel, Elatsoe, will be published by Levine Querido in 2020 and has been described as “paranormal, supernatural, fantastical meets noir and mystery.” Darcie is a co-writer of Strangelands, a comic series in the H1 superhero universe, with Mags Visaggio (art by Guillermo Sanna and Vincenzo Federici). Darcie’s short fiction, nonfiction. and comics have appeared in multiple places, including Nightmare magazine, Strange Horizons, and The Dark. She currently lives on both coasts and is engaged to a veterinarian who cosplays as Cassandra Pentaghast and Luke Skywalker.

Barbara "Willy" Mendes

Barbara "Willy" Mendes at Comic-Con 2020, July 23-26 at the San Diego Convention Center
Barbara "Willy"

Artist, underground comix, Gothic Blimp Works, Illuminations

Barbara "Willy" Mendes began doing underground comix as "Willy Mendes" in New York, with back covers for Gothic Blimp Works. In San Francisco, she collaborated with Trina Robbins on the first feminist comics and edited her own book, Illuminations.

Ms. Mendes has shown epic narrative paintings in the U.S. and Israel, and her Biblical murals are on display in Jerusalem, Florida, and Los Angeles. In 2016, the corner featuring her "Angel Wall" outdoor mural was designated "Barbara Mendes Square," and Ms. Mendes was proclaimed a Los Angeles Cultural Treasure.

Her new Queen of Cosmos Comix launches at Comic-Con 2020 from Red 5 Comics.

Shannon Messenger

Shannon Messenger at Comic-Con 2020, July 23–26 at the San Diego Convention Center

Photo: Devende Photography


Author, Keeper of the Lost Cities series, Sky Fall series

Shannon Messenger graduated from the USC School of Cinematic Arts, where she learned—among other things—that she liked watching movies much better than making them. She’s studied art, screenwriting, and film production, but realized her real passion was writing stories for children. She’s the New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of the award-winning middle-grade series Keeper of the Lost Cities, as well as the Sky Fall series for young adults. Her books have been featured on multiple state reading lists, published in numerous countries, and translated into many languages. She lives in Southern California with an embarrassing number of cats. Visit her online at shannonmessenger.com.

Bill Morrison

Bill Morrison at Comic-Con 2020, July 23–26 at the San Diego Convention Center

Writer, artist, editor, The Simpsons, MAD magazine, Yellow Submarine

Bill Morrison has spent his career as an artist and writer working with the most iconic characters in popular culture. He began his career painting movie posters, including many for Walt Disney, such as The Little Mermaid, Bambi, and The Jungle Book.

Bill also spent several years drawing The Simpsons for all kinds of merchandise and writing, drawing, and editing The Simpsons and Futurama comics for Bongo Comics. He was also art director on the Futurama TV series.

Recently, Morrison created a graphic novel adaptation of The Beatles Yellow Submarine, and was executive editor of MAD magazine.

Steve Niles

Steve Niles at Comic-Con 2020, July 23–26 at the San Diego Convention Center

Writer, 30 Days of Night, Criminal Macabre, Mystery Society

Writer Steve Niles is best known for 30 Days of Night, Criminal Macabre, October Faction, Mystery Society, and Frankenstein Alive Alive. He currently works for comic publishers IDW, Clover Press, Storm King, Image, and Dark Horse. Steve is currently writing The October Faction for IDW and Kick-Ass for Mark Millar.

30 Days of Night was released in 2007 as a major motion picture. Other comics by Niles, including Remains, Aleister Arcane, and Freaks of the Heartland, have been optioned for film. October Faction is a Netflix series that debuted in January.

Steve lives in the desert near Los Angeles, CA with his wife Monica and a bunch of animals.

John Ostrander

John Ostrander at Comic-Con 2020, July 23-26 at the San Diego Convention Center

Writer, Suicide Squad, GrimJack, Star Wars

John Ostrander was born in Chicago in 1949 and was a longtime fan of comics. A professional stage actor in Chicago as well as a playwright, he studied at Second City with Del Close. John began writing comics at First Comics, where he created GrimJack. At DC Comics, John created the Suicide Squad and wrote Firestorm, The Spectre, Hawkworld, and Wasteland with Del Close. He’s worked at Marvel as well and wrote Star Wars comics for ten years at Dark Horse. He now lives in Michigan.

Steve Saffel

Steve Saffel at Comic-Con 2020, July 23-26 at the San Diego Convention Center

Editor, Titan Books, Marvel, Del Rey Books

Steve Saffel has attended every San Diego Comic-Con since 1984, first as the promotions manager and magazine editor for Marvel, then later as an executive editor for Del Rey Books, a freelance fiction editor, and a senior acquisitions editor for Titan Books. At Marvel he was responsible for the company’s exhibit and guests, and at Del Rey he spearheaded the effort to bring mainstream book publishers to exhibit at the convention. His current editorial focus is on original science fiction, fantasy, and horror, as well as licensed properties including Alien, Gears of War, original Marvel novels, Mass Effect, and more.

Dan Slott

Dan Slott at Comic-Con 2020, July 23-26 at the San Diego Convention Center

Writer, Fantastic Four, Iron Man 2020

Dan Slott is an award-winning writer best known for his 10-year run on Amazing Spider-Man, which included The Superior Spider-Man saga, Spider-Island, Renew Your Vows, Go Down Swinging, and the original, New York Times bestselling comic book story Spider-Verse. He is currently working on The Fantastic Four and Iron Man 2020 for Marvel and has, in the past, worked on She-Hulk, Silver Surfer, Tony Stark: Iron Man, Mighty Avengers, Avengers: The Initiative, The Ren & Stimpy Show, Looney Tunes, Batman Adventures, and Arkham Asylum: Living Hell. 

Beau Smith

Beau Smith at Comic-Con 2020, July 23–26 at the San Diego Convention Center

Writer, creator, Wynonna Earp

Beau Smith has worked in senior marketing positions for Eclipse Comics, Todd McFarlane Productions, and IDW and as a writer for DC, Image, and IDW. As a writer, he’s worked on the biggest brands in the world, including Star Wars, Spawn, and Batman. He’s best known as the creator of Wynonna Earp, which moved from the pages of an IDW comic book to TV screens on Syfy and Netflix in 2016. Season 4 is in production now and Beau continues to write comics based on Wynonna and her world. He also created the series Cobb, which is currently in development as a TV show.

Jeff Smith

Jeff Smith at Comic-Con 2020, July 23–26 at the San Diego Convention Center

Cartoonist, BONE, RASL, Tuki: 2 Million BCE

Jeff Smith is the New York Times bestselling author of the award-winning series, Bone, which is published in over 30 countries and is among Time magazine’s “Ten Best Graphic Novels of All Time.” Bone was a pioneer in comics publishing for kids when it launched Scholastic’s graphic novel imprint, Graphix Books, in 2005.

Smith’s other award-winning and acclaimed comics include SHAZAM! The Monster Society of Evil, RASL, Little Mouse Gets Ready!, Rose, and Bone: Tall Tales. Smith splits his time between Columbus, OH and Key West, FL with his wife and business partner, Vijaya Iyer, where he is working on his current project is TUKI: 2 Million BCE.

Matthew Southworth

Matthew Southworth at Comic-Con 2020, July 23-26 at the San Diego Convention Center

Artist, co-creator, Stumptown

Matthew Southworth is a comics artist, musician, and writer based in Seattle. He is the co-creator (along with Greg Rucka) of the comic book series Stumptown, as well as an executive producer of ABC's Stumptown TV series. He has worked for Marvel, DC, and Dark Horse Comics and was the lead vocalist and guitarist of the Seattle rock band The Capillaries. His graphic novel The Cloven, written by Garth Stein, will be published by Fantagraphics in 2020.

Garth Stein

Garth Stein at Comic-Con 2020, July 23-26 at the San Diego Convention Center

Author, The Art of Racing in the Rain, The Cloven

Garth Stein is the author of the New York Times bestselling novel The Art of Racing in the Rain. His other novels are Raven Stole the Moon, How Evan Broke His Head and Other Secrets, and A Sudden Light. His graphic novel The Cloven, illustrated by Matthew Southworth, will be published by Fantagraphics in 2020.

Garth is the founder of Seattle7Writers, a collective of more than 90 Northwest authors. He serves on the board of Hugo House, a Seattle literary center, and he is the chair of the Author Leadership Circle for BINC (Book Industry Charitable Foundation).