It’s the crazy fall season for comics and graphic novels, as the Baltimore Comic-Con blends into the Small Press Expo and then barnstorming cartoonists head north to the Brooklyn Book Festival, before everyone dons their waders for New York Comic Con.
Baltimore is underway as you read this! What a great show1 I’m a bus headed down this very minute. Guests are a who’s who of comics and they are all present in a relaxed, collegial atmosphere that makes this show a highlight of the calendar. And of course there’s the HArvey Awards gala tomorrow night, where Michael Uslan will emcee and Gail Simone will deliver the keynote address. Word on the street is that this will be a real scorcher.
All the programming can be found here. And You will find the Beat on TWO panels, both Saturday:
11:00-12:00 – Comics by the Numbers Over this past year, the comic landscape has changed as diversity has spread across the comic pages, as well as behind the scenes with the creators making them. Though a stereotype persists of the “comic reader,” the characters are reflecting the real diverse audience. Join bloggers Heidi MacDonald (The Beat) and Brett Schenker (Graphic Policy) as they discuss the comic audience, presenting hard data showing that comic readership is more diverse than ever and there’s more going on than grabbing headlines when decisions are made. If you’ve ever wondered about who the comic fans are, or are looking at how to market your own comics, this is the panel for you!
I’ve pulled together some more numbers for this and it should be a real eye opener. This is Brett’s only convention appearance of the year so make sure to come hear the man who rewrote comics demographics.
4:00-5:00 – Gender and Comic Books What is gender? Can we see it in comic books? Does gender make a difference in the comic book industry? If you have been paying attention, you know it is making a difference – in both good and bad ways. Learn how we can see gender in comics and how it influences us in how we think of ourselves and others. See the history of the Bechdel test, the more recent sexy lamp test, and the pros and cons of both. Join moderator and comic scholar Christy Blanch, as we explore masculinity, femininity, androgyny, and how ideas of gender have influenced the comics world.
No need to explain this.
If I can recommend a panel I’m NOT on, Saturday in the Main Ballroom:
2:00-3:00 – Spotlight on Miracleman Who would have guessed that a revival of a character from the 1950s would become one of the 1980s’ most popular and influential comics? And yet, that is exactly what happened with the revival of Marvelman/Miracleman. Join Marvel’s Senior Vice President of Publishing Tom Brevoort, Alan Davis, John Totleben, Rick Veitch, and Mark Buckingham as they take a look at this groundbreaking series.
Next week, I’ll be at Small Press Expo, Politics and Prose and the week after at the Brook;yen Book Festival. Details to come. But if you see me walking around at any show, please feel free to stop and say hi.
Heidi MacDonald is the founder and editor in chief of The Beat. In the past, she worked for Disney, DC Comics, Fox and Publishers Weekly. She can be heard regularly on the More To Come Podcast. She likes coffee, cats and noble struggle.