Only a few days left until “Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince” hits theaters at midnight Wednesday (one minute after 11:59 p.m. Tuesday, people!). Many may be dusting off their Ravenclaw scarves and watching movie marathons to get hyped up, but the specter of the swine flu could have made the film’s launch a much more somber event. Emma Watson and Rupert Grint had filmed their kissing scene for “Deathly Hallows” prior to the announcement, but neither seems particularly shaken up by the incident when discussing it in this video. Yeah, they say that now …
— Keeping the spirit alive until the last moments, Hero Complex’s Geoff Boucher will be having a chat with “Potter” producer David Heyman at the Apple Store (1248 Third Street Promenade) in Santa Monica on Monday night at 7. If you stop by, say “Hi!”
— A few weeks later, more Potter fun can be had even after the film’s release — in the magical realm of San Diego at Comic-Con International. There are a couple of panels of note to spotlight, and both seem to basically ask: What’s next for Harry Potter fans?
Thursday (July 23) at 3:30 p.m. is the Evolution of Fantasy panel in Room 3. The group will talk about the next “big thing” since Harry Potter and Twilight, etc., are over in book form. Panelists Jacqueline Carey (Naamah’s Kiss), Lynn Flewelling (Shadows Return), Patrick Rothfuss (The Name Of The Wind), Thomas Sniegoski (The Fallen), Greg Van Eekhout (Norse Code), and Cindy Pon (Silver Phoenix: Beyond the Kingdom of Xia) answer questions posed by moderator Lev Grossman (The Magicians).
Then Sunday (July 26) at 2 p.m. is the Muggles, Wizards, Tentpoles, and Fans in the World of “Harry Potter” panel in Room 32AB. Panel members Leslie Combemale (ArtInsights Gallery, official/exclusive HP art supplier), Henry Jenkins (USC, author of Convergence Culture), Melissa Anelli (webmaster, The Leaky Cauldron, author of Harry: A History), Gwendolyn Grace (president emeritus, HP Educational Fanon), Lev Grossman (Time magazine book reviewer, author of The Magicians), and Heidi Tandy (webmaster, Fiction Alley) will get into the latest Harry Potter issues. The session will be moderated by Potter Headmaster (their words, not mine!) Eric Bowling.
— Jevon Phillips