SDCC | Surveying the calm before the storm

Although Preview Night is still hours away, there's still plenty of Comic-Con International news and miscellaneous tidbits, ranging from early announcements and last-minute preparations to convention exclusives and recommendations. We've rounded up just some of them here.

Fox has partnered with BOOM! Studios to produce a convention-exclusive Maze Runner comic. Written by the film's director and screenwriter, Wes Ball and T.S. Nowlin, and illustrated by Marcus To, the one-shot will be given to attendees of the studio's Hall H presentation on Friday.

• Dark Horse rounds up its pre-convention announcements of 12 new creator-owned comics, including Hellboy and the B.P.R.D., by Mike Mignola, John Arcudi and Alex Maleev, EI8HT, by Rafael Albuquerque and Mike Johnson, The Black Hammer, by Jeff Lemire and Dean Ormston, and Fight Club 2, by Chuck Palahniuk and Cameron Stewart.

• The online comics education resource Comics Experience has partnered with IDW Publishing to release creator-owned titles by new talent, beginning in January with five miniseries: Drones by Chris Lewis and Bruno Oliveira; Creature Cops: Special Varmint Unit by Rob Anderson and Fernando Melek; Gutter Magic by Rich Douek and Brett Barkley; and Tet by Paul Allor and Paul Tucker.

• The Los Angeles Times shines a spotlight on IDW Publishing, which is celebrating its 15th anniversary. “It sounds very trite to say it this way, but the one that really feels transformative to the company is when we started doing the Transformers,” says Editor-in-Chief Chris Ryall. “People were going, ‘Wait a second, who is this little company in San Diego that was suddenly awarded this giant licensed property?’”

• The above video provides a four-minute history of Comic-Con. (via Cinema Blend)

• AT&T is deploying two mobile cell sites and additional wi-fi equipment to the San Diego Convention Center to handle the increased demand for service from Comic-Con.

Electronic Frontier Foundation shares a map of San Diego's camera surveillance network, in case you're working to keep your identity secret. (via BoingBoing)

Hero Complex gathers a schedule of charity events that will be held throughout the convention.

Crave Online selects 10 "can't-miss" comic book panels, The Hollywood Reporter spotlights a dozen film and television presentations, parties and miscellaneous events, and Topless Robot gets ambitious with 28 recommendations.

San Diego Source and KOGO compile a guide to Comic-Con for the badge-less -- events open to the general public.

• As part of the big promotional push for Gotham, Fox and Warner Bros. Television will have a zip line (San Diego Mayor Kevin L. Faulconer will even go for a ride Thursday), branded "police" cars operating as a shuttle service, and a Gotham Chronicle newspaper.

• On the food front, Nerdist announced that stop-motion animation studio Laika is bringing "Bug Chef" David George Gordon in  a food truck to Petco Park to help promote Boxtrolls. The menu includes teriyaki grasshopper kabobs and chocolate-dipped chapulines (small Mexican-spiced grasshoppers). (via Super Punch)

• Paramount Pictures has partnered with Pizza Hut to bring “an enormous live-action Pizza Thrower” to Comic-Con to promote the upcoming Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles movie.

The Hollywood Reporter recommends four high-end restaurants near the San Diego Convention Center.

Dan Abnett Returns to Marvel Cosmic in Annihilation Event Series

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