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ComicsAlliance Guide to San Diego Comic-Con 2012: What to do on Thursday

Between its hundreds of combined panels, parties, events and contests, Comic-Con International in San Diego can make for a pretty overwhelming week if you’re not careful. Have heart, though, ComicsAlliance readers! We’re here to help you make the most of your pending adventure into the heart of pop culture’s ultimate obstacle course.

After the jump you will find ComicsAlliance recommendations for Conic-Con panels, events and screenings taking place on Thursday, July 12 2012.THE PANELS

10:00-11:00 IDW & Hasbro

Join senior editor John Barber (Transformers: Robots in Disguise), editor Carlos Guzman, and Hasbro’s director of global publishing Michael Kelly reveal secrets and upcoming plans for Transformers, G.I. Joe, Dungeons & Dragons, Magic: The Gathering, and more. A new Transformers series will be announced-as well as a new license. Panelists include Larry Hama (G.I. Joe: A Real American Hero), Chris Metzen (Transformers: Autocracy), Flint Dille (Transformers: Autocracy), Livio Ramondelli (Transformers: Autocracy), Andrew Griffith (Transformers: Robots in Disguise), Brendan Cahill (Transformers: Robots in Disguise), Mike Costa (G.I. Joe: Cobra), plus surprise guests! Room 9

ComicsAlliance note: IDW’s Transformers comics are eerily good and addictive.

10:00-11:00 Racebending.com: Creating Spaces for Diverse Characters and Representations

Creators and artists are developing engrossing characters from underrepresented groups. Panelists from different mediums will discuss their creative processes and how can fans support their diversity efforts. Featuring novelist and comic book writer Marjorie Liu (Astonishing X-Men), video game writer David Gaider (Dragon Age), comic book writer Brandon Thomas (Miranda Mercury), showrunner and screenwriter Javier Grillo-Marxuach (The Middleman), writer Sarah Kuhn (One Con Glory), and Comic-Con special guest N.K. Jemisin (The Hundred Thousand Kingdoms); moderated by Racebending.com. Room 23ABC

ComicsAlliance note: We’re big fans of Miranda Mercury.

11:00-12:00 Spotlight on Becky Cloonan

Comic-Con special guest Becky Cloonan, one of the most versatile artists in comics today, talks to Jimmy Aquino (Comic News Insider podcast host) about her career in comics and illustration, collaborating with writers, artists, and musicians, and the dark secrets she learned through 15 years of self-publishing. Room 32AB

ComicsAlliance note: We’re big fans of Becky Cloonan.

12:00-1:00 Comic-Con How-To: How to Better Understand the Sociology Behind Cosplay

Veteran costume designer and cosplayer Yaya Han leads a stimulating discussion about the many social aspects of cosplay, such as: Why do we cosplay? What does cosplay mean to each of us? Why is there cosplay drama? How has cosplay progressed in the last 10, years and what are the positive and negative aspects? What is the proper etiquette when cosplaying, photographing cosplayers, and socializing with regular attendees? All of these questions will be answered, and more. Room 2

ComicsAlliance note: Yaya Han is one of the best cosplayers ever, and a frequent guest star of Best Cosplay Ever (This Week).

12:00-1:00 The Pitching Hour

Jermaine Turner (director, Disney/ABC Cable Networks Group), Ted Biaselli (VP, The Hub Network), Jill Sanford (director, Disney original series TV animation), Derek Hoffman (VP, Donner Co.), Valerie Alexander (screenwriter), Carina Schulze (Chatrone), Charlie Chu (editor, Oni Press), Lindsay Rostal (game producer, The Odd Gentlemen), Jennie Kong (VP, Miller PR), and your moderator Dan Evans III (freelance development exec, Kaijudo: Rise of the Duel Masters) will take an idea from conception through production for various media. This process will include creating a pitch document, obtaining agents, and getting a pitch meeting. The panelists will explain, through hypothetical example and humorous stories, the process that new creators should adopt to make their way through the creative battleground of the entertainment industry. Knowing that each project is unique, there will be a Q&A to allow the audience to really hone in on the solutions to obstacles they may encounter. Also on hand is Brendan McFeely (IP lawyer, Kane Kessler) to give creators insight on protecting their ideas as they navigate Hollywood. Room 5AB

ComicsAlliance note: We’re acquainted with most of these panelists and can promise you that their advice is extremely valuable for those of you interested in this area.

1:00-2:00 DC Collectibles

Action figures, statues, busts, PVC figures . . . DC Collectibles has them all-and more. The DC Collectibles crew, including DCE chief creative officer Geoff Johns, executive director for creative services Kevin Kiniry, director of creative services Jim Fletcher, DCE co-publisher Jim Lee, artist Amanda Conner, and sculptors Jean St. Jean and Phil Ramirez explain how they come up with so many great products and what’s coming up from comics’ top makers of awesome collectibles. Room 5AB

ComicsAlliance note: DC Collectibles makes some great stuff.

1:00-2:00 New Crusaders: Welcome to Red Circle

The future of superhero comics has arrived in San Diego! The New Crusaders have blazed a new trail for comics-digital and print-and this is your chance to learn what’s next for the most compelling comic heroes in decades. Join the Red Circle Comics brain trust of Paul Kaminski (executive director of editorial), Mike Pellerito (president), Alex Segura (executive director of publicity and marketing), and incoming New Crusaders artist Alitha Martinez as they discuss the formation of the digital-first New Crusaders series, upcoming print initiatives and storylines, and a few jarring surprises. Panel attendees will receive an exclusive New Crusaders limited-edition sketch cover signed by the panelists. Room 9

ComicsAlliance note: Archie Comics has been doing some impressive work with the Red Circle heroes/New Crusaders.

2:00-3:00 DC Comics: Batman: Beyond the Night of Owls

Gotham City’s Night of the Owls may be over-but the fallout will affect Batman’s hometown for years to come! Find out what’s on the horizon for the Dark Knight and his crimefighting cohorts in this panel featuring Batman group editor Mike Marts, with Chris Burnham (Batman, Incorporated), Tony Daniel (Detective Comics), David Finch (Batman: The Dark Knight), Kyle Higgins (Nightwing), Gregg Hurwitz (Batman: The Dark Knight), Gail Simone (Batgirl), Scott Snyder (Batman), J. H. Williams III (Batwoman), and others. Room 6DE

ComicsAlliance note: We like Batman.

2:00-3:00 Power Rangers: 20 Years and Beyond

Saban Brands and Shout! Factory officially kick off the 20th anniversary celebration of Power Rangers with a discussion featuring Elie Dekel (president, Saban Brands), Paul Schrier (“Bulk”), and other on-screen talent and members of the creative team. Moderated by Brian Ward (DVD producer of Mighty Morphin Power Rangers: The Complete Series), the panel will dive into the origin and evolution of the Power Rangers franchise, including the long-awaited debut of the series on DVD and the show’s resurgence on Nickelodeon with Power Rangers Super Samurai and much more! Indigo Ballroom, Hilton San Diego Bayfront

ComicsAlliance note: We like Power Rangers.

3:00-4:00 IDW’s Artist’s Editions: What’s Next?

Editor Scott Dunbier answers questions about the Eisner Award-winning series from IDW. If you are a fan of original art, this is the panel for you: one hour of talking about what you want to see as an Artist’s Edition, and just gabbing about great art in general. Plus there will be a few fantastic announcements of forthcoming books. Room 9

ComicsAlliance note: IDW’s Artist Edition releases are more than we deserve, and are arguably the most beautiful possible presentations of comic book artwork.

3:00-4:00 Graphic Novels: The Bookstore Crowd

The comics world looks at “mainstream comics” as the superhero crowd, the ones available in comic book stores every Wednesday. But the real mainstream comics and graphic novels are in bookstores and created by a whole different crowd, one that lacks, for the most part, capes, powers, and spandex. Comics journalist Tom Spurgeon (comicsreporter.com) talks to Comic-Con special guests Kate Beaton (Hark! A Vagrant!), Alison Bechdel (Are You My Mother? A Comic Drama), Brecht Evens (The Making of), Jennifer and Matthew Holm (Babymouse series), Nate Powell (Any Empire), and Jason Shiga (Empire State) about their popular graphic novels that appeal to a more diverse audience in bookstores all over the world. Room 23ABC

ComicsAlliance note: We’re fans of Kate Beaton, Alison Bechdel, Nate Powell and the other panelists, and of this subject. Sure to be a great discussion.

3:45-4:45 The Walking Dead

The bestselling, award-winning comic The Walking Dead has been a critical and commercial success — and its TV adaptation on AMC holds its own weight as a record-setting juggernaut. Join creator/writer Robert Kirkman and series artist Charlie Adlard for a rare sit-down, where they will discuss the past, present, and future of the decade’s most talked about zombie phenomenon. A Q&A will follow the conversation between the visionary collaborators.

ComicsAlliance note: The Walking Dead is kind of a big deal.

4:00-5:00 Abrams ComicArts

For over 60 years Abrams has been the premiere art book publisher. With the launch of Abrams ComicArts in 2009, the tradition of excellence continues with award-winning original graphic works by Derf Backderf, Brian Fies, Jason Shiga, and Kazu Kibuishi, as well as monographs on such seminal creators as Jack Kirby, Harvey Kurtzman, Daniel Clowes, and Jaime Hernandez. Charles Kochman (editorial director) and Sheila Keenan (senior editor) talk about current ComicArts titles; the exciting fall list, including Economix by Michael Goodwin and Dan Burr, The Carter Family: Don’t Forget This Song by Frank M. Young and David Lasky, and Mars Attacks; and give sneak peeks at upcoming titles such as Out of Line: The Art of Jules Feiffer, Barry Deutsch’s Hereville Book 2: How Mirka Met a Meteorite, Bazooka Joe from Topps, William Stout’s Legends of the Blues, Good Riddance: A Graphic Memoir of Divorce by Cynthia Copeland, and Darryl Cunningham’s What the Frack? Lies, Hoaxes, Scams, and Other Science Tales; as well as news about what’s coming next from Dave McKean, Frank Cammuso, Laura Lee Gulledge, Kazu Kibuishi, and others. Room 9

ComicsAlliance note: Abrams books are routinely excellent.

4:30-5:30 Marvel: Next Big Thing


The Marvel Universe is where the biggest comic stories happen-so wouldn’t you like to be the first to know what Marvel has planned? Get the latest news on Marvel’s plan for their biggest heroes and villains, with some surprises along the way! Editor Sana Amanat, editor-in-chief Axel Alonso, Marvel talent scout C. B. Cebulski, and others answer all your burning questions while giving you a sneak peek at the future of Marvel. Room 6DE

ComicsAlliance note: Marvel’s only announced three titles from the Marvel NOW! initiative, so it’s a good bet there will be news at this panel.

5:00-6:00 Legendary Comics

Legendary Comics presents a behind-the-scenes look at its upcoming slate of must-read projects. Get first-look access to new content, grab limited-edition giveaways, and ask questions of your favorite creators. The panel is hosted by the nerdist himself, Chris Hardwick. Panelists include The Tower Chronicles creators Matt Wagner (Grendel, Mage) and Simon Bisley (Lobo, 2000 AD), Shadow Walk creators Max Brooks (The Zombie Survival Guide, G.I. Joe: Hearts & Minds), Mark Waid (Kingdom Come, The Flash), and Shane Davis (Final Crisis: Rage of the Red Lanterns, Superman: Earth One). Joining this all-star cast are co-creator of The Tower Chronicles and Shadow Walk, Thomas Tull (founder and CEO of Legendary Entertainment) and editor-in-chief Bob Schreck (All-Star Superman). Don’t miss breaking news regarding our next project from an elite creator in the comics industry who will be making a surprise appearance. Room 6A

ComicsAlliance note: Legendary’s only released Frank Miller’s Holy Terror so far, but the company’s creative and editorial roster is very auspicious.

5:00-6:00 Archer: Screening and Q&A

This animated half-hour comedy revolves around the spy agency known as the International Secret Intelligence Service (ISIS) and the lives of its self-involved employees. Series creator Adam Reed (Sealab 2021) and the show’s voice actors discuss their daunting and enigmatic work of espionage, reconnaissance missions, wiretapping, and undercover surveillances-which are all actually unmitigated occasions for the ISIS staff to undermine, sabotage, and betray each other for personal gain. Panelists include H. Jon Benjamin (Bob’s Burgers) as the highly skilled yet incredibly vain master spy “Sterling Archer,” Aisha Tyler (The Talk) as Archer’s fellow agent and ex-girlfriend “Lana Kane,” Chris Parnell (Saturday Night Live) as the easily intimidated comptroller-turned-ISIS-agent “Cyril Figgis,” Judy Greer (Arrested Development) as the loquacious secretary “Cheryl Tunt,” and Amber Nash (Frisky Dingo) as the discordant director of human resources for ISIS “Pam Poovey.” Indigo Ballroom, Hilton San Diego Bayfront

ComicsAlliance note: Archer is awesome.

5:30-6:30 Kodansha Comics

The staff of Kodansha Comics talk about all their exciting plans for 2012 and beyond. Learn about all the new titles coming out in the coming months, with special coverage of Sailor Moon, Battle Angel Alita, and many other hit manga series. Kumi Shimizu (Kodansha USA Publishing) and Dallas Middaugh (Random House) will tell tall tales and answer all of your burning questions. Room 4

ComicsAlliance note: Kodansha got a lot of people excited earlier this year when the publisher announced the return of the Sailor Moon manga for English-speaking audiences.

5:30-6:30 Batman’s Biggest Secret: The Bill Finger Story

Based on five years of research for the new book Bill the Boy Wonder: The Secret Co-Creator of Batman, Marc Tyler Nobleman (Boys of Steel: The Creators of Superman) reveals startling, never-published information about Bill Finger, uncredited co-creator of Batman-including the game-changing discovery of Finger’s lone heir. Michael Uslan, executive producer of The Dark Knight Rises, on the book: “Purposefully and meaningfully (and beautifully) written.” Room 26AB

ComicsAlliance note: This should be self-explanatory.

5:45-6:45 Vertigo: A View from the Cutting Edge of Comics

It’s a big year for Vertigo, with exciting new projects like Fairest, Punk Rock Jesus, and Saucer Country joining American Vampire, Fables, The Unwritten, and Sweet Tooth. Get the lowdown on all your Vertigo favorites-and some that will be-and catch the latest on new graphic novels like Stieg Larsson’s The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo Vol. 1 and others, with senior VP/executive editor Karen Berger, plus Rafael Albuquerque (American Vampire), Mike Allred (iZombie), Mark Buckingham (Fables), Mike Carey (The Unwritten), Jeff Lemire (Sweet Tooth), Sean Murphy (Punk Rock Jesus), Dustin Nguyen (American Vampire: Lord of Nightmares), Scott Snyder (American Vampire, American Vampire: Lord of Nightmares), Bill Willingham (Fables, Fairest), and others. Room 6DE

6:00-7:00 Rewriting the Rules of Queers in Comics

Depictions of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender characters in comics are breaking from the purely positive “role model” portrayals that were common over the past decade. Some creators aren’t shying away from sex, stereotypes, and bad behavior in their pursuit of intriguing and well-rounded characters. As comics readers clamor for more explicit, more outrageous, and more extreme comics-and hail them as victories over timidity and political correctness-is it time to rewrite the rulebook on queer characters? Oliver Nome (Fathom: Kiani), James Robinson (Earth 2, Justice League), Nicola Scott (Earth 2, Secret Six), Gail Simone (Secret Six, Birds of Prey), Ivan Velez Jr. (Tales of the Closet, Milestone Comics), and moderator Charles “Zan” Christensen (The Mark of Aeacus, The Power Within) engage in a lively, irreverent discussion about the wild frontier of queers in comics. Room 32AB

ComicsAlliance: A subject near and dear to our hearts.

7:00-8:00 Indie Comics Marketing and PR 101

Need tips on how to market your comic? Have questions about doing PR? This is the panel for you! Some of the best and brightest in comics today present a roundtable discussion, revealing all the secrets of doing marketing and PR for your comics. comiXology marketing and PR maven Chip Mosher is joined by Dark Horse’s director of PR Jeremy Atkins, Image Comics’ PR and marketing director Jennifer de Guzman, IDW Publishing’s VP of marketing Dirk Wood, Archaia’s Marketing Manager Mel Caylo and comics writer David Gallaher (Box 13, the Harvey Award-winning High Moon, and Marvel’s Darkstar and The Winter Guard) for a wide-ranging discussion you will not want to miss! Room 8

ComicsAlliance: An all-star panel of indie publishing PR folks, all of whom have lots of interesting things to say on this subject.

7:00-8:00 Bleeding Alliance of Beat Reporters

Andy Khouri of Comics Alliance, Rich Johnston of Bleeding Cool, Heidi MacDonald of The Beat, and Tom Spurgeon of The Comics Reporter represent the four most influential and popular blogs in the comics industry. Join them for a one-time-only chat about the changing role of comics news, how they run their sites, what makes news, and what makes a rumor. It will be either a love fest or a slug fest. Moderated by Douglas Wolk (Reading Comics). Room 23ABC

ComicsAlliance note: Our own Andy Khouri sits on this panel with our distinguished colleagues in the comics blogosphere for what’s sure to be a lively bloodbath conversation.

Click here for the complete Comic-Con programming guide for July 12, 2012.

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