While I’m nowhere near Mark Evanier levels yet, I do have FIVE panels at this year’s Comic-Con, and my Publishers Weekly compatriot has three. It’s a record for both of us! Will I even have a voice left by the time Sunday with it’s back to back show enders rolls around? I hope so! Because all the amazing folks on the panels deserve some voice!
The above photo of from me panelling last year with Pete Coogan, Brad Ricca and Jeff Trexler. That was a great panel, I wish someone had taped it.
In particular, the now annual Comics Jouranlism panel has some new faces along with the regulars that should make for a spunky hour. Please come out and hear us expound at length on points we touch on way too briefly here.
Thursday, July 24
4:00pm – 5:00pm The 9th Annual All-Star Comic Book Podcasters Panel Room 28DE
Get ready for a no-holds-barred debate/discussion of the current state of the geek marketplace. Like sports reporters at the World Series or Super Bowl, these podcast hosts voice their opinions on their weekly shows, but what happens when they face each other, and may not get the last word on a subject? Featuring John Siuntres (Word Balloon), Heath Corson (The Nerdist Writers Panel-Comics Edition), Calvin Reid (Publisher’s Weekly Comics World), Tim Beyers (The Motley Fool), John Mayo(Comic Book Page), and Glen Weldon (NPR Pop Culture Happy Hour).
Friday, July 25
10:00am – 11:00am Publishers Weekly: Behind the Digital Line Room 28DE
As digital comics have become a driving force of the medium, more publishers and creators have launched digital first lines of comics. How do publishers and creators deal with the unique properties of the web and tablet? How do readers react? Are they an evolution from webcomics or their own medium? And how will technological evolution affect storytelling as more choices arise? PW’s Calvin Reid discusses the digital evolution with the people behind digital lines, including Aces Weekly’s David Lloyd, Monkeybrain’s Alison Baker, New Paradigm’s Brandon Perlow, Black Mask Studio’s Matt Pizzolo, and Sequential’s Russell Willis.
1:00pm – 2:00pm The Future of Geek Room 28DE
Will comics’ takeover of pop culture continue, or has geek peaked? Industry-watchers Heidi MacDonald (The Beat), Rob Salkowitz (Comic-Con and the Business of Pop Culture), and Tim Beyers (Motley Fool) follow the money in conventions, movies, and publishing to forecast the future of the fandom business. John Siuntres (Word Balloon podcast) moderates.
3:00pm – 4:00pm Walking the Line: An Investigation into Alternative vs. Mainstream Comics and Beyond Room 28DE
Calvin Reid (Publishers Weekly editor) moderates a panel with Nick Abadzis (author of The Cigar That Fell in Love with a Pipe, Titan’s Doctor Who comic series, and the award-winning graphic novel Laika) Frank Cammuso (author of The Misadventures of Salem Hyde series), Kazu Kibuishi (writer and artist of the Amulet series, and editor of the Explorer series) and Gene Luen Yang (writer and artist of the graphic novel Boxers & Saints) about the overlap between mainstream and alternative comics, and the possibility of a greater collaboration between the two.
4:00pm – 5:00pm Brands Gone Geek: How Media and Marketers Are Harnessing the Might of the Superfan Room 25ABC
Geek culture is winning the war for the hearts, minds, and wallets of consumers. Comic book-inspired stories dominate both the box office and overnight ratings. Major brands are doubling down on their embrace of geek-centric content and its creators. Yesterday’s nerds are today’s key decision makers across all business sectors. What does this all mean for a marketplace that strives to remain relevant? How are producers and publishers of content responsible for turning you into a “superfan” reacting and responding to the challenge? And how are brands and advertisers working together with industry advocates-including your friendly neighborhood comic shop-to keep the “comic” in “comic culture”? Bonfire Agency and a diverse panel of pop culture professionals present a lively discussion and debate. Panelists include publisher Filip Sablik (BOOM! Studios), journalist Heidi MacDonald (The Beat, Publishers Weekly), entertainment marketer Jeff Dellinger (Hero Complex), author Rob Salkowitz (Comic Con and the Business of Pop Culture), comics retailer Joe Field (Flying Colors Comics) media strategist Kris Longo (Geek Riot Media), and Ed Catto (Bonfire Agency). Moderated by Steve Rotterdam, former senior VP of sales & marketing at DC Comics and founding partner of Bonfire Agency.
Saturday, July 26
6:00pm – 7:00pm Comics Journalism: The Hulk Takes a Butt Selfie and You Won’t Believe What Happens Next Room 23ABC
It’s the annual comics journalism panel, and despite what you may have heard, comics journalists are still alive. Are they well? You’ll find out with The Beat’s Heidi MacDonald, Bleeding Cool’s Rich Johnston, and Comics Reporter’s Tom Spurgeon, as they are joined by Eisner Award-nominated Matt Meylikhov of Multiversity, Joshua Yehl of IGN, and Jill Pantozzi of The Mary Sue to talk about what’s new in comics and what’s new in covering them.
Sunday, July 27
3:00pm – 4:00pm Fictionalized Nonfiction: The Art of Combining Fact and Fiction Room 32AB
The Beat’s Heidi MacDonald will get today’s best literary cartoonists to spill their guts on just how they use moments and memories from their lives with actual facts from the time period and how they combine everything into the art of nonfiction or the fictitious memoir. Gilbert Hernandez is the cartoonist behind Marble Season, Bumperhead, and Love and Rockets that touches on his childhood but never tells the full story of his life as one of the famous Hernandez Brothers. Mimi Pond’s Over Easy tells the story of Madge, an art school drop out in the ’70s when hippy met punk, a story close to her own life. David Lasky’s The Carter Family is a biography of the first superstar group of country. MacDonald will ask: Do they draw likenesses from memories or from photographs? Do they take liberties with the facts to tell a more engrossing story? “Fictionalized Nonfiction” will peek into the creative process of today’s leading graphic novelists.
4:00pm – 5:00pm Publishers Weekly: Creating Great Graphic Novel Events in Libraries Room 32AB
Librarians love graphic novels, and graphic novels make for great library events! LIbrary events create more opportunities for everyone by getting more people reading graphic novels, promoting comics to a lasting audience, and bringing the excitement of 21st-century pop culture events to the library setting. Join a spectrum of creators, librarians, and retailers who explain how these events are changing comics and how you can put one on at your own library. With Karen Green (Columbia University), Sven Larson (Papercutz), Jack Baur (Berkeley Public Library), Erwin Magbanua (San Diego Public Library), and others, with moderator Heidi MacDonald (Publishers Weekly, The Beat).
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.