The Racialicious Pre Comic-Con Notebook

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By Special Correspondent Arturo R. García

To horribly mangle The Beatles’ words, picture yourself in this hallway, on a hot July day – surrounded by more than 150,000 male and female geeks in all assortment of accoutrements. Welcome to my weekend in the world’s biggest Jiffy-Pop. If you were only able to score tix for one day, I have some advice for you: if you want to have fun, skip the panels and take in the sights.

If you’re in for all four days and Wednesday’s preview night, though, here’s some panels of interest going on during the event:

Thursday
2:30 pm: Spotlight on Gene Yang. The artist behind American Born Chinese speaks in Room 4.
4p: “Tipping Point for LGBT Portrayals In Comics.” Centered around the new Batwoman and The Question sharing the spotlight in Detective Comics. Room 32AB
6:30 pm: “The Anthropology of Star Trek.” Expect at least one question regarding Uhura’s hemline. Room 30AB.
The Comic-Con Curse begins to rear its’ ugly head here, as the ST panel is up against a first look at Thirst, which I definitely want to check out. That trailer link I posted, btw, is NSFW.
7:30: “Geek Roundtable.” The note for this panel bills it as “the funniest and most racially diverse group of geeks on the Internet.” The Roundtable accepts your challenge. Room 10.

Friday
11:45 am: Spotlight on Flash Forward. If you wanted to know how John Cho feels about playing second fiddle to Joseph Fiennes after being a part of three commercially successful movie franchises, this is your chance to ask. Room 6A.
2 pm: Spotlight on Dwayne McDuffie, where he’s probably going to talk about not just the Milestone U, but an upcoming project dealing with all of the DC Universe’s black superheroes. Room 2. I’ll definitely be at this one.
3:45 pm: District 9. Peter Jackson shifts his focus from New Zealand to South Africa in this sci-fi thriller, where a race of aliens is held as refugees. In South Africa. Subtle! Hall H.
6:30 pm: “Making Comics Relevant To Readers Across Cultures.” Jeff Yang, of Secret Identities fame, moderates a panel discussion featuring McDuffie, Yang, and Gail Simone, among others. Room 3.

Saturday
10 am: “The Black Panel.” So, what promises to be a thoughtful discussion of diversity in comics gets a post-dinner slot, but Kel Mitchell, Ludacris and Reggie Hudlin get to go on in the morning? I’m almost afraid to find out why. Room 5AB.
11 am: Spotlight on Lost. Per reader request, I will attempt to cram myself into Hall H and see what the hubbub is about. Not sure how much access I’ll get since, as A.D. Nix pointed out, the press pass doesn’t spare you from the lines (which, come to think of it, negates the purpose of a pass in the first place). Still, I’ll do what I can, and plan on catching the boys at The Lost Podcast for additional insights.
3:15 pm: Heroes panel. How the mighty have fallen. This first look at next season’s edition of Super Benetrelli Fun Time Parade Let’s Go is being held at the Indigo Ballroom in the Hilton Bayfront – in other words, not inside the convention’s main hall. On the bright side, the hotel does have a bar on the premises. I’ll try to not get myself kicked out of this one.
5:15 pm: True Blood panel. Something something something y’all something something Sookie’s cleavage something something check out Latoya’s analysis of this show and the New Vampire Chic. See what I did there? Ballroom 20.
6:30 pm: “Bridging Cultures Through Popular Media.” Again, the fact this gets stiffed in favor of Kel Mitchell bugs me. On the bright side, I get to tell panelist Faran Tahir that he’s got a following here at The R. Room 4. It should also be noted that this panel runs up against the one for Black Dynamite, in Room 5AB.

Sunday looks pretty light on diversity-related fare, but I’ll probably check out the BBC stuff (Doctor Who at 10 am, and Being Human/Torchwood at 2:15 pm) before checking out and taking the last cab home. Depending on wifi availability on the grounds, my plan is to contribute a post a day spotlighting a creator or independent project spotlighting POCs. You can also follow my less formal rantings on Twitter. Now if you’ll excuse me, I have a batch of spare socks, deodorant and undershirts to pack …