‘Breaking Dawn,’ ‘Game of Thrones,’ ‘Dexter’ to Kick Off Comic-Con 2011

Vampires, warrior-kings, Penn & Teller and other fantastical creatures will help jump-start this year's convention

Comic-Con 2011 will get off to a rousing start, with vampires, werewolves and sword-swinging warriors dominating the agenda on the first full day of the convention.

Following a preview night on Wednesday, July 20, Thursday will be highlighted by a sneak peek of the rabidly anticipated vampire flick "The Twilight Saga: Breaking – Dawn Part 1," along with a Q&A session with director Bill Condon and cast members.

HBO's hit fantasy series "Game of Thrones" will also be well-represented on Thursday, when George R.R. Martin — author of the novel series "A Song of Ice and Fire," which inspired the series — holds court with fellow fantasy scribes Brandon Sanderson, Patrick Rothfuss and others for the panel "Putting the 'Epic' in 'Epic Fantasy' — Writing to Excite!" Meanwhile, HBO will present a panel and Q&A session for the series, with series stars Peter Dinklage, Emilia Clarke, Jason Momoa, Kit Harington and Nikolaj Coster-Waldau. Martin will moderate the affair.

Fox, meanwhile, will deliver press conferences for the sci-fi thriller "In Time" featuring the movie's stars, Justin Timberlake and Amanda Seyfried, and "Rise of the Planet of the Apes," with star Andy Serkis and director Rupert Wyatt answering questions.

Showtime will represent with a panel that will include "Dexter" series star Michael C. Hall and season six guest-star Colin Hanks, "Shameless" stars William H. Macy and Emmy Rossum, and an exclusive trailer for the new series "Homeland," starring Claire Danes, Damian Lewis and Mandy Patinkin.

Also of note for the day: An appearance by "Evil Dead" alum Bruce Campbell, who'll be on hand to discuss his starring turn in the USA Network made-for-TV movie "Burn Notice: The Fall of Sam Axe." "Burn Notice" writer, creator and executive producer Matt Nix will also be on the panel.

Magicians-turned-myth debunkers Penn Jilette and Raymond Teller will also be on hand on Thursday to discuss (well, Penn will, anyway) their new Discovery series "Penn & Teller Tell a Lie," which will present several incredible stories each episode, with one of them being revealed as an untruth by episode's end.