SDCC Saturday: Beyond Hall H (and Ballroom 20)

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A selection of the panels being held in the smaller rooms on the third day of San Diego Comic Con.

Skybound Entertainment: Comics and Creators
10:00AM-11:00AM, Room 29AB

Skybound Entertainment editor Jon Moisan discusses Skybound’s latest comics slate with some of their top creators, including Sean Mackiewicz (Skybound Entertainment editorial director, Gasolina), Donny Cates (Redneck, God Country), Chris Pasetto (Kill the Minotaur), Christian Cantamessa (Kill the Minotaur), and Brandon Thomas (Horizon).

Space . . . The Final Escape
10:00AM-11:00AM, Room 7AB

What is it about outer space that keeps us coming back to imagine the possibilities? Whether battling alien life forms in a far away galaxy or facing life or death technical dangers aboard a space station, we return to the stories that celebrate space and the triumph of the human spirit to explore and survive in it. Blast off with Claudia Gray (Defy the Stars), Nathan Hale (One Trick Pony), James S. A. Corey (Persepolis Rising), and Andy Weir (Artemis), led by Captain Maryelizabeth Yturralde of Mysterious Galaxy.

Inside the Writers’ Room: From Script to Screen and Beyond
10:00AM-11:30AM, Room 24ABC

If writers’ rooms were like superhero teams, then this lineup would be the Justice League and The Avengers, here to offer an all-star insider’s look at your favorite TV series. The scribes behind some of today’s hottest genre shows share their candid thoughts on how to write, re-write, and actually produce the series you love (and sometimes loathe) in a special supersized session moderated by Sony Pictures Television’s executive senior VP of current programming and development, Chris Parnell. Find out the deep dark secrets (and low-calorie snacks) of the writers’ room-and what happens after your script hits the stage, why editing is considered the final rewrite, and what the alphabet soup of SVOD and OTT mean for the future of the medium you love. The lineup this year includes Ryan Condal (Colony), Gabrielle Stanton (Time After Time, The Flash), Javier Grillo-Marxuach (The Dark Crystal: Age of Resistance, The Middleman, Lost), Ashley E. Miller (Black Sails, Fringe, Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles), Steve Melching (Star Wars Rebels, Star Wars: The Clone Wars), Jose Molina (Agent Carter, The Tick, Firefly), Amy Berg (Counterpart, Da Vinci’s Demons, Eureka), Dave Rogers (director, The Mindy Project, The Office), and Mark A. Altman (The Librarians, Castle, Agent X).

Who Cleans up the Mess?
11:00AM-12:00PM, Room 29AB

Political activist and blogger Rena Marrocco (The Liberal Diva) hosts a viewing of a few epic battle scenes and talks to elected officials, including San Diego City Councilmember David Alvarez, Oceanside City Councilmember Esther Sanchez, California State Treasurer John Chiang, California State Assembly Member Nathan Fletcher, and Mayor Racquel Vasquez (Lemon Grove), about what it would take to repair the damage done if such battles happened in real life. Topics will include procedures, cost, time and legislative fallout.

The Production Designer: Architect of Imagination
12:00PM-1:00PM, Room 23ABC

The production designer reads 100 pages of nothing but words on paper and then must literally dream up the most perfect of all possible worlds in which the tale should take place. Whether the story is set in some mythic past, the here and now, or some nearly unimaginable future, it’s always human emotion rendered in color and composition. And following that, the designer must gather and organize an army of artists who, over months or years, in plaster or in pixels, will somehow render that design for the big screen. Panelists include Françoise Audouy (Logan, Dracula Untold), Hannah Beachler (Moonlight, Black Panther), Oliver Scholl (Spider-Man: Homecoming, Suicide Squad), and Patrick Tatopoulos (Justice League, Batman Vs. Superman: Dawn of Justice), moderated by John Muto (Home Alone, Species).

Women on the Dark Side
12:00PM-1:00PM, Room 28DE

Not all female artists/creators are about unicorns and glittery vampires and silly pseudo-bondage. Some women create truly dark and challenging art and content with just a touch of humor and whimsy. Whether it’s comic books, novels, or art, these are the women who are creating content that connects with our deeper, darker side. Featuring Susan Lee (Wraith of Love, Shadow of the Knight), Megan Hutchison (Rockstars), Madeleine Holly-Rosing (Boston Metaphysical Society), and Maria Alexander (Mr. Wicker, Snowed). Moderated by Barbra Dillon (Fanbase Press).

DC’s Harley Quinn: Celebrating 25 Years
12:30PM-1:30PM, Room 6DE

Twenty-five years ago, Dr. Harleen Quinzel made her first appearance in Batman: The Animated Series, and what a debut it was! An instant fan favorite-and her popularity has been meteoric ever since! Come celebrate her first appearance anniversary with some of the key contributors to this modern icon.

BOOM! Studios: Discover Yours
12:30PM-1:30PM, Room 24ABC

There’s a comic at BOOM! Studios for everyone from longtime fans to brand-new readers, and this is the panel to discover your favorite new series! BOOM! Studios editors and creators explore the diverse imprints of BOOM! Studios, BOOM! Box, KaBOOM!, and Archaia with the exclusive previews, news, and the information you need to discover your next obsession. Featuring Matt Gagnon (BOOM! Studios editor-in-chief), John Allison (Giant Days), Ryan Parrott (Saban’s Go Go Power Rangers), Carly Usdin (Hi-Fi Fight Club), David F. Walker (War for the Planet of the Apes), Aline Brosh McKenna (Jane), and James Tynion IV (The Backstagers). Moderated by Filip Sablik(BOOM! Studios president of publishing and marketing).

Living a Creative Lifestyle
1:00PM-2:00PM, Room 29AB

First Second Books creative and editorial director Mark Siegel discusses how to incorporate creativity into your day-to-day life. How do you inspire yourself to write and draw stories? How do you inspire yourself to finish stories and to maintain a consistent work ethic throughout the process? And how do you do that in a way that is fun, healthy, and low stress? Siegel outlines a creative lifestyle based on his years of experience at First Second as well as being the creator of his own comics works.

Comic-Con How-To: Comics and Other Geek Items for the Vision Impaired
1:00PM-2:00PM, Room 2

Joshua Loya is a martial artist, public speaker, and professional adventurer who has taken it upon himself to help others craft compelling stories. In his youth, combat sports and athletics were not generally available to him because he was at very high risk for losing his eyesight. Joshua found solace in comics and genre fiction, despite eventually losing his eyesight and pursuing martial arts full-time. Scott Brick is an American actor, writer, and award-winning narrator of over 600 audiobooks. He has narrated books for a number of high-profile authors, including Michael Crichton, Frank Herbert, and Isaac Asimov.

Archie Comics Forever: Riverdale and Beyond
1:00PM-2:00PM, Room 4

Celebrate the new era of Archie Comics with news and announcements about your favorite Archie titles and The CW’s hit Riverdale TV show. Featuring Jon Goldwater, Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa, Mike Pellerito, Alex Segura, Dan Parent, Jesse Goldwater, Mark Waid, and others.

Women Rocking Hollywood: Female Directors Changing the Faces of Film and Television
1:00PM-2:00PM, Room 23ABC

Wonder Woman broke all records in Hollywood for a film helmed by a female director. Now what? While there’s still a long way to go before women, who make up 51% of the population, are represented proportionately behind the camera, shows like Jessica Jones, Queen Sugar, and The Leftovers are making a huge difference by committing to the inclusion of female directors. This panel focuses on the incredibly talented, successful women who are expanding opportunities for women in film, who have made noise and are winning awards with their work on both the big and small screens. Scheduled to appear: Kirsten Schaffer (executive director, Women in Film LA), Tina Mabry (writer/producer/director, Queen Sugar, Queen of the South; director, Dear White People), Rosemary Rodriguez (writer/director, Silver Skies; director, Jessica Jones, The Walking Dead), Victoria Mahoney (director, Queen Sugar, Gypsy, American Crime), Aurora Guerrero (writer/director, Mosquita y Mari; director, Queen Sugar), Angela Robinson (writer/director, Professor Marston and the Wonder Women, True Blood), and Gina Prince-Bythewiid (writer/director, Love & Basketball, Beyond the Lights), the first woman of color hired to helm a superhero film for the upcoming Silver & Black. Moderated by Leslie Combemale (Cinema Siren).

Unconventional Comics
1:30PM-2:30PM, Room 8

Comics are all about super powers and saving the world, right? Discover the rich and growing market for comics that may lack super-powered heroes but are super all the same. Moderator Andrew Farago (Cartoon Art Museum) discusses with panelists R. Sikoryak (Terms and Conditions), Simon Hanselmann (Megg & Mogg), Gemma Correll (The Worrier’s Guide to Life), and Melanie Gillman (As the Crow Flies) how they were inspired to write their unconventional books and why the comics format was right for their work.

World Mythology in Contemporary Fantasy
2:00PM-3:00PM, Room 9

Xenophobes beware. (And if you know what “xenophobes” means, please keep reading.) There are worlds of diverse gods, djinn, daemons, Ghabali, manticores, sylphs, yowies-and oh, yeah, Baba Yaga-to learn about. And you can find them all in the pages of books. Join Reneé Ahdieh (Flame in the Mist) in conversation with Ilona Andrews (Wildfire), Tomi Adeyemi (Children of Blood and Bone), Traci Chee (The Speaker), S. A. Chakraborty (The City of Brass), and Nidhi Chanani (Pashmina) to learn about the monsters that roam the Earth and how world mythology provides the building blocks of contemporary storytelling.

Writing for Television, Film, and Comics with J. Michael Straczynski
2:00PM-3:00PM, Room 11

After talent, the most important thing an up-and-coming writer needs is information on how to break into the writing profession as an art and a craft. Having written nearly 400 produced television episodes (with roughly half of that as producer), several hundred comics for DC, Marvel, and Image, and five big-budget movies that have grossed over a billion dollars around the world, J. Michael Straczynski (JMS) once again shares his knowledge with new writers to help them break in and improve their work. Note: This is not a lecture but rather uses a Q&A format, so come equipped with good questions.

Fanbase Press: Introducing Quince
3:00PM-4:00PM, Room 28DE

Quince is a 15-issue comic book series being released in English and Spanish about teenager Lupe who discovers she has superpowers at her quinceañera. Creative team Sebastian Kadlecik (Penguins vs. Possums), Kit Steinkellner (Z: The Beginning of Everything), and Emma Steinkellner (X-Box) discuss the series and the importance of inclusivity and representation in the comic book medium in a session moderated by Barbra Dillon (editor-in-chief, Fanbase Press).

Who’s the Most Neurotic Superhero?
3:00PM-4:00PM, Grand 1 & 2, Marriott Marquis San Diego Marina

Ever since the dawn of Marvel’s “superheroes with real problems,” costumed adventurers have been letting their psychological damage show. Spider-Man’s guilt and insecurity, Batman’s tango with trauma, Captain America’s survivor’s guilt, Jessica Jones’s smorgasbord of symptoms, and Star-Lord’s daddy issues are just some of the mental challenges that modern superheroes deal with. Dr. Travis Langley (Batman and Psychology), R. Sikoryak (Masterpiece Comics), Dr. Janina Scarlet (Superhero Therapy), Alex Langley (The Geek Handbook), and moderator Danny Fingeroth (Superman on the Couch) hold a lively discussion of the psychological challenges that many heroes (and some villains, too) deal with.

AMC’s Visionaries: Robert Kirkman’s Secret History of Comics
4:45PM-5:45PM, Room 6DE

Executive producers Robert Kirkman (The Walking Dead, Fear the Walking Dead), Daniel Junge (Saving Face, Being Evel), and Rory Karpf (The Book of Manning, Dale) introduce their new unscripted series AMC’s Visionaries: Robert Kirkman’s Secret World of Comics, a six-part one-hour documentary series that explores the stories, people, and events that have transformed the world of comic books. Using a distinctive filmmaker approach, the series takes a deep dive into the most accessible and often subversive modern popular art form and will cover topics ranging from origin stories to the untold history behind iconic characters. Join the panelists for a Q&A session and an official sneak preview of this new series.

It Takes All Kinds to Make the Comics: A Dark Horse Celebration of Diversity
5:30PM-6:30PM, Room 8

For years, comics creators from a variety of backgrounds have been doing incredible work furthering the medium of sequential art. With award-winning storytelling and phenomenal artistic expression, people from a variety of backgrounds have truly started a movement of more accurate and diverse representation in the comic business. Join Gabriel Bá (Two Brothers), Fábio Moon (Two Brothers), Jose Pimienta (Soupy Leaves Home), Irene Koh (The Legend of Korra: Turf Wars), and Erika Alexander (Concrete Park) for a fascinating conversation on embracing people and cultures from around the world and what changes they think still need to be made in the comics industry.

 Discover Why YA is the Future of Comics
5:30PM-6:30PM, Room 7AB

One of the hottest genres in pop culture, YA books, movies, and comics aimed at middle-grade and young-adult audiences are creating legions of devoted fans all over the world. Join some of the most popular new voices in comics as they discuss the importance of YA, how to bring new readers to comic books, and the bright, diverse future of entertainment. Featuring Nidhi Chanani (Pashmina), Sarah Kuhn (Clueless), Tillie Walden (Spinning), Shannon Watters (Lumberjanes), Scott Westerfeld (Spill Zone), and Kiwi Smith and Kurt Lustgarten (Misfit City). Moderated by Brigid Alverson (Good Comics for Kids blog at School Library Journal, contributor to CBR, Publishers Weekly, ICv2, and Smash Pages).

The Most Dangerous Women at Comic-Con: More than Just Cookies
6:00PM-7:00PM, Grand 1 & 2, Marriott Marquis San Diego Marina

The doting girlfriend. The damsel in distress. The evil seductress. The tough girl who dies. Why are so many female characters such cookie-cutter archetypes? Why do so many fictional women lack the depth and variety of character of their male counterparts? How can fans and writers work together to create richer stories with more well-rounded characters, female and otherwise? Here to discuss the many archetypes of women in fiction are a group of women dangerous in their own rights: Tamara Brooks (Comic Book Resources, Seat 42F), Dr. Janina Scarlet (Superhero Therapy), Jennifer K. Stuller (Ink-Stained Amazons and Cinematic Warriors, GeekGirlCon), Jessica Tseang (Little Geek Girls, comic book historian), Tamara Robertson (MythBusters: The Search), and Alex Langley (The Geek Handbook, Kill the Freshman). Moderated by Katrina Hill (Action Movie Freak, 100 Greatest Graphic Novels).

Gays in Comics, Out in Comics: A 30th Year Celebration
6:00PM-8:00PM, Room 29AB

The comic world’s longest-running panel celebrates its 30th year with an all-star panel and celebration that will spotlight creators, comics, and fans from 1988 to the present. What a difference 30 years makes! “Diversity” has become a rallying cry in the comics world today. Almost every comic company is looking toward LGBTQ or LGBTQ-friendly creators for work that reflects the world around us today-gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender characters as well as people of color, other cultures, and more. This year, founding moderator and bestselling author Andy Mangels (Wonder Woman ’77 Meets the Bionic Woman, Star Trek books) returns to chair the panel and welcomes Tara Madison Avery (Anything That Loves, Gooch, Alphabet), Roxane Gay (Black Panther: World of Wakanda, Bad Feminist, SDCC special guest), Sina Grace (Iceman, Self-Obsessed, Burn the Orphanage), Phil Jimenez (Superwoman, Wonder Woman, Infinite Crisis), Steve Orlando (Midnighter and Apollo, Supergirl, Justice League of America), and Molly Ostertag (Shattered Warrior, Strong Female Protagonist, The Witch Boy). Showcased throughout will be special video messages from an array of Hollywood and comic book celebrities sending special 30th anniversary messages to their LGBTQ fans and allies, plus a Prism Comics Fan Mixer including cool swag giveaways and a silent auction of incredible comics items!

Legendary’s Cursed panel with John Barrowman, Carole Barrowman, and Erika Lewis
6:30PM-7:30PM, Room 7AB

Legendary Comics hosts John Barrowman, Carole Barrowman, and Erika Lewis talk all things Cursed, their new comic series-the Scottish history, their favorite characters, their not-so-favorite characters, and more

Creating Your Own Destiny: The New Comics Career
7:00PM-8:00PM, ROom 11

The traditional comics career used to be all about begging for work and turning your creations over to “the man.” Not anymore! The last decade has seen a complete change as comics creators are determining their own fates and blazing their own trails to more creative freedom and higher potential payoffs. “The New Comics Career” has arrived. Andy Schmidt (Comics Experience, Marvel, IDW, BOOM!) outlines all the ways to plot a course for your career that is tailored to your goals and needs. He’ll cover defining and setting your goals, setting yourself up for success, fan building, and marketing yourself to both fans and publishers alike. Take control of your own creative destiny!

Spiritual Themes in Comics
7:00PM-8:00PM, Room 4

This will mark the 20th year that the Christian Comic Arts Society has hosted the Spiritual Themes in Comics panel at Comic-Con. As spiritual themes continue to be explored in movies like Wonder Woman as well as in comics, science fiction, and fantasy, panelists will delve into and examine how spiritual themes influence the entertainment industry and how the reality of spiritual beliefs affects the culture’s perception of spiritual influences. Panelists are B. Dave Walters (Electropunk), Travis Hanson (Bean Leaf Press), Buzz Dixon (Serenity), Scott Mercano (Diablo Publishing), Adam Key (Canal Street), and moderator Geoff Strout (The Faithful Creative).

The Arkham Sessions: Psychology of Batman the Animated Series
7:00PM-8:00PM, Room 25ABC

Hosts of The Arkham Sessions Dr. Andrea Letamendi and Brian Ward bring their hit podcast about Batman and mental health to Comic-Con. In celebration of the 25th anniversary of the iconic 1990s Batman: The Animated Series, The Arkham Sessions invites visionary writers Paul Dini (Dark Night: A True Batman Story; Batman: The Animated Series), Alan Burnett (Batman: The Animated Series), and Brenden Fletcher (Gotham Academy) to break down Batman and his infamous rogues’ gallery.

Bedside Press
7:30PM-8:30PM, Room 26AB

Publisher Hope Nicholson leads a roundtable discussion with creatives involved with the small press publisher Bedside Press. Sam Beiko (editor, Gothic Tales of Haunted Love), Janet Hetherington (Gothic Tales of Haunted Love), Eryn Williams (Enough Space for Everyone Else), and Jon Vanneste (Enough Space for Everyone Else) discuss their contributions to the publisher as well as their own independent works.

Inclusive Speculative Fiction
8:00PM-9:00PM, Room 9

Harper Voyager, home to such fantasy icons as Richard Kadrey, C. Robert Cargill, Raymond Feist, and Brom, is proud to announce a new universe of possibility inhabited by a broadly inclusive array of speculative fiction. HarperCollins Children’s Books showcases a roster of diverse authors and literature for the next generation of readers. Join in for a presentation of the diverse voices in fiction that readers have been calling for!

Superheroic Science with Joy Lin
8:00PM-9:00PM, Grand 1 & 2, Marriott Marquis San Diego Marina

The author of popular animated series “If superpowers were real” on discusses the real-life implications and scientific issues of having superpowers. For instance: The Invisible Woman would be blind, because light is shining straight through her instead of reflecting off of her; Thor would kill Jane due to decompression sickness if he flew straight up with her by swinging his hammer; and Ant Man would not be able to punch a person effectively because his arm is so thin and short that his punches would be comparable to being poked by a tattoo needle. This panel is science-heavy and is recommended for audience members 12+.

Women Below the Line
8:00PM-9:00PM, Room 28DE

Sheyne Fleischer (assistant editor, reality TV), Alicia Minette (production designer, propmaster/fabricator/blacksmith, ABC Digital), Sabrina Wichner (miniature VFX artist, Interstellar, Pee-wee’s Big Holiday), Rachel Noel (narrative designer, Armored Warfare, Pathfinder Adventures), Aiden Vitti (costume department, Twin Peaks, Ghostbusters), and Meredith Placko (entertainment reporter, What the Flick?!, explore roles of women in the entertainment industry. They will discuss their careers and experiences working in their various fields, focusing on success stories and how to follow your dreams in the industry while exploring gender roles in the creative professions. Bring your questions! Moderated by Claire Hummel (art director, Campo Santo) and Glenn Freund (League of S.T.E.A.M.).

10 Points to Slytherin: Why Good Fans Love Evil Characters
8:30PM-9:30PM, Room 26AB

It’s time to get in touch with your dark side! Forget those boring heroes-fandom loves striking and iconic villains. Loki, Harley Quinn, Darth Vader-with their fascinating backstories, dangerous aesthetics, and devil-may-care attitudes, it’s easy to see why many fans self-identify with the bad guys. But what does it say about you when you proudly claim allegiance to Slytherin House, the 501st Legion, or the Agents of Hydra? This interactive panel will explore fan fascination with fictional antagonists with TV writer Jane Espenson (Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Battlestar Galactica), New York Times bestselling author Rebecca Zanetti (Blood Brothers series, The Dark Protectors series), writer and producer Christine Boylan (Once Upon a Time, Castle), comics writer Erica Schultz (Charmed, Swords of Sorrow), and writer and editor Kendall Ashley (Nerdist, Geek & Sundry). Moderated by podcast host Adron Buske (Nerd for a Living, Fictitious).

Not So Strange Bedfellows: The Relationship Between Comics and Professional Wrestling
8:30PM-9:30PM, Room 8

Some have called the spectacle of pro wrestling “a comic book come to life.” That is not so far from the truth. From the heroics of Hulk Hogan to the anti-heroics of “Stone Cold” Steve Austin and the villainy of Ric Flair, this panel explores the parallels in character development and storyline advancement between these outrageous forms. Featuring Rik Offenberger (, Francis Szyskowski (The Massacre Twins), Scott Lost (The 2nd Shift), Michael Kingston (Headlocked), Flobo Boyce (The Indelible Silverstreek), and Jonathan Bowles (Wrestle Crate). Moderated by Joshua Waldrop (Red Guerrilla Media).

WHEW. That is quite the lineup.

Liz Keysmash
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Liz Keysmash

Liz has a ginger kitty named Thackery Binx who chirps like a bird and plays fetch like a dog. She reads a lot of slash, and writes a bit as well. She thinks she’s a good cook, she brews beer, she's a total nerd about baseball, she reads YA fiction, she has recently rediscovered her love of pop music, she swears like a sailor.
Liz Keysmash
Follow Liz