Preview: A Big Bird, a big blue TARDIS land at Pittsburgh Comicon

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Some of today's best-known writers and illustrators in the comic-book world will make appearances at Pittsburgh Comicon, where they will share the Monroeville Convention Center floor with a familiar blue police box and a very big bird.

In a rare convention appearance, Caroll Spinney -- aka "Sesame Street's" Big Bird and Oscar the Grouch -- will sign autographs and sketch at the ToonSeum booth all three days, in addition to a Sunday Q&A session with the ToonSeum's Joe Wos. Mr. Spinney, who will be 80 in December, has been performing the roles of Oscar and Big Bird for more than 40 years and has been with "Street" since its inception.

'Pittsburgh Comicon'

Where: Monroeville Convention Center.

When: 1-7 p.m. Friday; 10 a.m.-6 p.m. Saturday; 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Sunday.

Tickets: One-day pass $20, two-day pass $35, three-day pass $50 (under 8 free), plus charges for autographs, www.pittsburghcomicon.com.

From the universe of "Doctor Who," the BBC sci-fi show celebrating its 50th year, the TARDIS -- which speeds the title Time Lord to his adventures -- will be on display, and Daphne Ashbrook, Dr. Grace Holloway in the 1996 "Doctor Who" movie, will make an appearance. Her sci-fi resume also includes Melora on "Star Trek: Deep Space Nine."

The guest list of writers and artists includes Jim Steranko, George Perez, Jim Balent, Barry Kitson, Herb Trimpe, Mike McKone, Scott McDaniel and Michael Golden, along with late additions Eddy Barrows, an artist on "Teen Titans," "Superman" and more, and writer Bryan JL Glass ("Mice Templar" and the new Dark Horse comic "Furious").

A Captain America print by Mr. Steranko will be given to three-day pass holders, and this year's T-shirt has Superman art by Mr. Perez. Zenescope Entertainment is making a splash at Comicon by offering exclusive comics with covers by con guests Jamie Tyndall and Talent Caldwell and screening the full pilot episode of "Grimm Fairy Tales Animated" at 2 p.m. Saturday.

And what would Comicon be without a Zombie Walk? The sold-out event for Sunday at 10 a.m. benefits the Greater Pittsburgh Community Food Bank, and Comicon will continue to collect nonperishable items the day of the walk. Zombies will follow a path leading from the convention center to the site of George Romero's "Dawn of the Dead," the Monroeville Mall.

Find a full list of guests and exhibitors at pittsburghcomicon.com.

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Sharon Eberson: seberson@post-gazette.com or 412-263-1960.


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