With a mere 13 days left until Comic-Con International — well, 12 if you count Preview Night — the convention-related stories are beginning to pour in:
• Rich Johnston catches word that Westboro Baptist Church, the small but vocal anti-gay extremist group best known for picketing funerals and Jewish institutions, will protest Comic-Con on Thursday — if only briefly. The Kansas-based congregation, which is headed by Fred Phelps, is in San Diego to oppose the appearance by former Vice President Al Gore at the 2010 AHA Health Forum Leadership Summit. However, members are squeezing in time from 1:15 to 2 p.m. to take a run at nerds, who “have turned comic book characters into idols, and worship them.”
“The destruction of this nation is imminent,” the group’s website reads, “so start calling on Batman and Superman now, see if they can pull you from the mess that you have created with all your silly idolatry.”
• Brace yourselves for a media frenzy: Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie are rumored to be attending Comic-Con to promote their films Megamind and Salt.
• Speaking of programming: As we noted yesterday, convention organizers unveiled the schedule for Thursday. I run down the highlights here, and break out the TV and movie panels at our sibling blog Spinoff Online.
• The Live Feed breaks down some of the TV series that won’t be at Comic-Con, and why.
• San Diego News Room has a general overview of the convention.