With more than 200 panels to choose from at San Diego Comic-Con on Thursday alone, the programming at the show can be completely overwhelming -- and it's far too easy to miss a panel you know you might have loved, or to find yourself on the wrong side of the con floor five minutes before a great panel is about to start!
Take heart, brave reader. ComicsAlliance has sifted through the schedule to offer up our pick of the best panels, screenings, and events, starting with programming for Thursday July 24, 2014 -- with an emphasis, of course, on comics programming. We'll also let you know where and when you can find ComicsAlliance contributors at the San Diego show.
10:00am - 11:00am: My Adventures in Storytelling, Room 28DE
Brian Stelfreeze (Batman Black-and-White, Wednesday's Comics, Day Men) talks about his career as a comics illustrator and shares what he's learned along the way.
Moderator: Doug Wagner (Gun Candy, I.C.E.)
10:00am - 11:00am: Spotlight on Scott Snyder, Room 5AB
Comic-Con special guest Scott Snyder (writer of Batman, Superman Unchained, American Vampire, The Wake, and the upcoming Wytches) answers your questions in this candid, open discussion of his work and the craft of writing.
11:00am - 12:00pm: Spotlight on Dan Slott, Room 7AB
NY Times bestselling comic book author and Comic-Con special guest Dan Slott (Amazing Spider-Man, Superior Spider-Man, Silver Surfer) shares stories about working in comics, from his early days on Ren & Stimpy to Batman: Arkham Asylum Living Hell to his current runs on Spidey and Surfer.
Moderator: Jill Pantozzi (TheMarySue.com)
11:30am - 12:30pm: Spotlight on Bill Finger, the Co-Creator of Batman, Room 4
2014 marks the 25th anniversary of the movie Batman, the 50th anniversary of Batman's "New Look," the 75th anniversary of Batman's debut, and the 100th anniversary of the birth of Bill Finger, the Caped Crusader's uncredited co-creator. Bill's only living descendants, Athena Finger and her son Benjamin, invite you to celebrate the life and achievements of the man who first put the dark in the Dark Knight.
Moderator: Dr. Travis Langley (Batman and Psychology: A Dark and Stormy Knight) Panelists: Tom Andrae (Batman and Me), Mark Evanier (Bill Finger Awards), Lee Meriwether (Batman: The Movie's Catwoman), Marc Tyler Nobleman (Bill the Boy Wonder: The Secret Co-Creator of Batman), Jens Robinson (son of Joker co-creator Jerry Robinson), and Michael Uslan (Batman, The Dark Knight film trilogy).
12:00pm - 1:00pm: Color Me RADD, Room 9
We wanna color you up! You'll never look at color comics the same way again! Oni Press editor-in-chief James Lucas Jones and guests discuss the role of colorists in storytelling and the processes behind their particular brands of eye-melting magic.
Panelists: Lee Loughridge, Ryan Hill, and more
12:00pm - 1:00pm: The Switch to Digital, Room 7AB
From mail to photographs and now comics, everything is making the move to digital. Creators talk about making the switch.
Moderator: Mark Waid (Daredevil) Panelists: Colleen Coover (Bandette), Batton Lash (Supernatural Law), Jeff Smith (Bone), Rina Piccolo (Tina's Groove), and Paul Tobin (Bandette)
1:00pm - 2:00pm: Batman in the '70s, Room 5AB
In celebration of Batman's 75th birthday, panelists look back at a crucial decade in the life of the Caped Crusader. It was a time of change as new writers and artists brought forth new interpretations of this classic character.
Moderator: Mark Evanier Panelists: Neal Adams, Denny O'Neil, Michael Uslan, Len Wein, and Anthony Tollin
1:00pm - 2:00pm: CBLDF: The History of the Comics Code, Room 30CDE
60 years ago this month, comics were put on trial in a nationally televised Senate subcommittee hearing that had shattering repercussions for this great American artform. The Comic Book Legal Defense Fund presents the shocking history of moral panic that led to this historic hearing and the birth of the Comics Code Authority.
Presenter: Charles Brownstein (CBLDF executive director)
1:00pm - 2:00pm: Female Heroes, Then and Now, Room 32AB
This year marks the 25th anniversary of Heartbreakers, a groundbreaking science fiction series that was one of the first action comics starring female heroes, and the only one written by a woman when it debuted in Dark Horse Presents. Today, there are more women than ever reading and creating comics -- not to mention cosplaying and writing about comics -- but it seems a lot of the old biases are still entrenched. What's changed in 25 years, and what hasn't?
Panelists: Anina Bennett and Paul Guinan (Heartbreakers), Jimmy Palmiotti (Painkiller Jane), Kiala Kazebee (Vaginal Fantasy), Allison Baker (Monkeybrain Comics), and Claire Hummel (Bioshock: Infinite)
Explore the past, present, and the future of female character creation for film, TV, comics, video games, and novels and examine the traps of common tropes, clichés, and stereotypes, while discussing how content creators can create wonderful, relatable, and realistic female characters.
Moderator: Michele Brittany (West Coast Bleeding Cool News correspondent) Panelists: Neo Edmund (Red Riding-Werewolf Huntress, Kaijudo Rise of the Duel Masters), Charlotte Fullerton (My Little Pony, Ben 10 Omniverse), Clare Kramer (Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Geek Nation), Marv Wolfman (Teen Titans, creator of countless comic book characters), Andrew Robinson (Kaijudo Rise of the Duel Masters, Rescue Bots), and Mairghread Scott (Transformers Prime, Rescue Bots)
2:00pm - 3:00pm: Image Comics: I Is For... Infinity, Room 23ABC
The future of comics is bright. Sci-fi, western, apocalyptic, kid-friendly. Realistic, cartoony, abstract, painterly. Anything goes in comics, and there are an infinite number of stories to tell.
Panelists: Nick Dragotta (East of West), Rick Remender (Deadly Class), Richard Starkings (Elephantmen), Jason Latour (Southern Bastards), Stuart Moore (EGOs), and Ryan Burton (Dark Engine)
Oscar-Pulitzer-Eisner Hall of Fame winner Jules Feiffer turns to the noir genre with his new graphic novel Kill My Mother. Come hear a conversation with this comics pioneer who started with Will Eisner, went on to become one of the world's most-read comic strip creators, and eventually conquered the Broadway stage and Hollywood.
Moderators: Mark Evanier and Paul Levitz
2:00pm - 3:00pm: The 2000 AD Zarjaz Hour Featuring Judge Dredd, Room 29A
The legendary British comic book kicks off San Diego with all the 2000 AD and Judge Dredd talk and games you can handle!
Moderator: Michael Molcher Panelists: Jock (Batman), Chris Burnham (Batman), Henry Flint (Judge Dredd), and Michael Carroll (Jennifer Blood)
2:30pm - 3:30pm: ComiXology: Ask Me Anything, Room 8
ComiXology, the revolutionary cloud-based digital comics platform, spills the beans on everything you've ever wanted to know about digital comics, publishing, life, and more! Learning everything from how to publish your own comic book through comiXology Submit to how to begin your own successful startup just like comiXology.
Moderator: Chip Mosher Panelists: David Steinberger and John D. Roberts
3:00pm - 4:00pm: Gene Luen Yang in Conversation with Scott McCloud, Room 28DE
Comic-Con special guest Gene Luen Yang (The Shadow Hero) and Scott McCloud (Understanding Comics) talk comics, creative processes, current and upcoming projects, and the general state of the industry.
3:30pm - 4:30pm: IDW Artist's Editions, Room 4
Artist's Edition editor Scott Dunbier blathers on and on about Artist's Editions past, present, and future. There will be a couple of cool announcements as well as special guests Walter Simonson and IDW president (and art lover) Greg Goldstein -- what more could you possibly want?
3:30pm - 4:30pm: DC Comics: Batman 75: Legends of the Dark Knight, Room 6BCF
In his 75-year publishing history, Batman has grown into one of the most popular and influential icons of all time. This panel brings together legendary creators who helped define the Dark Knight.
Panelists: Neal Adams, Greg Capullo, Geoff Johns, Jim Lee, Frank Miller, Grant Morrison, Denny O'Neil, and Scott Snyder
4:00pm - 5:00pm: Kids' Heroes, Capes, and Journeys: Does One Size Fit All?, Room 29A
Graphic novel authors and educators discuss how kids' heroes have grown and changed over the years.
Panelist: Meryl Jaffe (Raising a Reader), Jennifer Holm (Babymouse, Squish), Matthew Holm (Babymouse, Squish),, Dave Roman (Astronaut Academy) , Frank Cammuso (The Misadventures of Salem Hyde), Ted Naifeh (Courtney Crumrin) , Marc Tyler Nobleman (Boys of Steel: The Creators of Superman, Bill the Boy Wonder), Royden Lepp (Rust), and Alexis Fajardo (Kid Beowulf).
Are you ready for Marvel's biggest event of the year? In Avengers & X-Men: AXIS, the Red Skull has enslaved thousands, amassed an army, and now broadcasts his message of hate across the world. A who's who of Marvel talent and editors will be on hand to discuss this Marvel blockbuster!
Panelists: Axel Alonso, Mike Marts, Nick Lowe, Rick Remender, and more
5:00pm - 6:00pm, Breaking Barriers: Transgender Trends in Popular Culture, Room 28DE
In recent years, transgender creators have gained visibility in comics, movies, and television after long being consigned to the shadows. From coming out and transition to navigating gender politics in a world still struggling to understand, cartoonists, writers, and filmmakers are investing their work with unique personal experiences as their characters learn to live and love in new and unexpected ways.
Moderator: Tara Madison Avery (Dirtheads, Gooch, Prism Comics) Panelists: Dylan Edwards (Transposes), Melanie Gillman (As the Crow Flies), J. D. Saxon (Mahou Shounen Fight!), Elizabeth Lain (F*** the Limits!: The 30-Day Art Project, This Is Where), Ashley Love (Trans Forming Media, journalist, transsexual advocate), and Michelle Nolan (Love on the Racks: A History of American Romance Comics)
5:00pm - 6:00pm: Color Design in Comics, Room 32AB
Some of the most memorable color decisions in comics can happen before the first page is drawn. Panelists discuss the art of color design.
Moderator:ComicsAlliance's own Douglas Wolk Panelists: Ian Herring (Ms. Marvel), Ryan Hill (Judge Dredd: Mega-City Two), Sloane Leong (Change), and José Villarrubia (Trillium)
5:00pm - 6:00pm: DC Comics-Master Class: Art History, Room 30CDE
Class is in session, as some of the greatest artists in the industry take this panel to school with an in-depth look at their creative process.
Panelists: Lee Bermejo (Before Watchmen: Rorschach, Suiciders), John Romita Jr. (Superman), Nicola Scott (Earth 2)
5:00pm - 6:00pm: Spotlight on Eleanor Davis, Room 9
Eleanor Davis (How To Be Happy) offers an autobiographical presentation that has something to do with finding truth in fiction and the strange passions inside an author/reader relationship.
5:00pm - 6:00pm: Teaching Content Through Comics: Math, Science, and History, Room 29A
Comics and graphic novels are highly effective tools not only for improving literacy but also for teaching mathematics, science, and history/social studies.
Moderator: Tracy Edmunds (Reading With Pictures) Panelists: Nick Dragotta (Howtoons), Geoffrey Golden (Sesame Street), Chuck Dixon (The Forgotten Man), Jonathan Hennessey (The United States Constitution: A Graphic Adaptation), and Josh Elder (Comics That Make Kids Smarter)
5:30pm - 6:30pm: Pitch Your Comic to Mark Waid and Thrillbent, Room 8
Think you have a one-shot digital comic in you that the world should see? Here's your chance to pitch it. Plus, panelists discuss what works and doesn't work in digital comics, what makes this medium unique, and what new projects are coming up from Thrillbent.
Panelists: Mark Waid (Daredevil, Superman: Birthright, Empire), James Tynion IV (Batman, The Eighth Seal, The House in the Wall), Christina Blanch (The Damnation of Charlie Wormwood),Chris Mancini (Comedy Film Nerds), Nicholas Rucka (Kitchen Death Match), Lori Matsumoto (Thrillbent general manager), and Raygun (Thrillbent web development/design)
6:00pm - 7:00pm: Batman '66, Hall H
Holy Bat Panels! Get all the details on the most anticipated home entertainment release in fanboy history when Warner Bros. Home Entertainment reunites pop icons Adam West, Burt Ward, and Julie Newmar on the Hall H stage for a Bat-tastic look at Batman: The Complete TV Series.
6:00pm - 7:00pm: LGBT Geek Year in Review, Room 28DE
In the past few years, the geek world has been filled with many noteworthy moments of importance to the queer fan. Some were fabulous, some were unfortunate, some were misguided, and some were "blink and you missed it." Panelists review events of LGBT interest in the past year, why they think they were so important, and what they might mean for the future.
Moderator: P. Kristen Enos (Active Voice, Creatures of Grace)
Panelists: Diane Anderson-Minshall (The Advocate), Trish Bendix (AfterEllen.com), Matt Kane (GLAAD), and Sean Z. Maker (Bent-Con)
Vertigo is ready to blow your mind with trend-setting comics and topnotch talent. From horror to mythic fiction to sci-fi and beyond, see what amazing new ideas are coming your way from the imprint that's on a mission to defy all your expectations!
Panelists: Lee Bermejo (Suiciders), Mark Buckingham (Fables, Fairest), Tula Lotay (Bodies), Simon Oliver (FBP: Federal Bureau of Physics), Scott Snyder (American Vampire, The Wake), and more.
Both hip-hop and comics' forms thrive on excitement and energy, inspire passionate fanbases, and have risen from modest beginnings to achieve global recognition. This panel brings together graphic artists and musical innovators to discuss the ties between these two creative cultures.
8:00pm - 9:00pm: Monkeybrain Comics: Digital and Beyond, Room 28DE
Since launching in 2012, Monkeybrain Comics has become recognized as a premier publisher for quality digital comics. Panelists discuss the advantages of publishing digitally and how digital and print can work together.
Moderators: Allison Baker and Chris Roberson (publishers) Panelists: Anina Bennett (Heartbreakers), Christopher Sebela (High Crimes), Jen Vaughn (Avery Fatbottom), and Gabriel Hardman (Kinski)
8:15pm - 9:15pm: The Definitive History of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, Room 6DE
In celebration of the new documentary film, Turtle Power: The Definitive History of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, this panel takes fans behind-the-scenes and beneath the streets into the incredible 30-year journey to reveal the real origin story of four of pop culture's most enduring heroes.
Moderator: Kevin Eastman (co-creator) Panelists: Randall Lobb (writer/director), Isaac Elliott-Fisher (executive producer), Mark Hussey (executive producer), and Galen Walker (executive producer)