The Extra-Large Racialicious Guide To San Diego Comic-Con 2011, Part I

By Arturo R. García

The San Diego Comic-Con’s growth shows no signs of slowing down, even before its’ host venue, the San Diego Convention Center, begins its’ own expansion. As things stand, however, you can expect virtually all of downtown San Diego to be awash in SDCC-related events of their own. With that in mind, this year’s guide will run in two installments, while also covering some of the extracurricular festivities and celeb sightings.

Case in point: if you’re a Whedonista getting into town before Preview Night on July 20, you should go see singer Jane Lui in a stage adaptation of TEH JOSS’ Dr. Horrible’s Sing-Along Blog. The show premieres July 17 and runs thru July 30 at the Tenth Avenue Theatre. Tickets are available here, and you can see Lui talk about her transition to acting here:

With that in mind, click under the cut for a look at the POC-centric stuff going on and around SDCC. Highlighted panels will include the full description from the SDCC program.

THURSDAY

12:00-1:00 p.m.: Spotlight on Jo Chen. Speaking of TEH JOSS, no matter how you feel about the Buffy The Vampire Slayer Season 8 comic, you can’t knock Chen’s covers for that series, as well as Serenity adaptations like “Better Days,” and her other works. Dark Horse editor Scott Allie, who also worked on the Buffy book, will serve as moderator. Room 7AB

12:00-1:00 Comics Arts Conference Session #2: Graphic Representations of Otherness
Authors such as Scott McCloud and W. J. T. Mitchell have argued for the ways in which graphic narratives manipulate ideas through both image and language, highlighting the way that these elements may work cooperatively or in disjunction to present robust depictions of subjectivity. Anne Cong-Huyen (University of California, Santa Barbara),Caroline Kyungah Hong (Queens College), Kim Knight (University of Texas at Dallas),Amanda Phillips (University of California, Santa Barbara), Melissa Stevenson (Stanford University), Elizabeth Swanstrom (Florida Atlantic University), and Candace West(University of California, Santa Cruz) examine representations of Otherness in graphic media, including comics, television, and video games, focusing on the ways in which representations of otherness in graphic narratives and other media can either solidify stereotypes or undermine cultural assumptions — or both. The roundtable will consider a variety of forms of “Otherness” including gender, race, and sexuality, as well as metaphors of Otherness, including the animal, the monstrous, and the heroic. Room 26AB

1:00-2:00 p.m.: Stan Lee, Yoshiki, and Todd McFarlane. Four years after reuniting with metal legends X Japan, singer Yoshiki goes for a really freaky team-up: the guy who bought Barry Bonds’ balls and the Father Christmas of geekdom. The trio will come together to discuss their joint creation, Blood Red Dragon. Indigo Ballroom, Hilton San Diego Bayfront.

2:00-3:00 p.m.: Love and Rockets. The Hernandez brothers discuss their seminal series, recently reprinted in its’ entirety by Fantagraphics Comics. Room 9.

Celeb Sightings: Psych’s James Roday and Dulé Hill will anchor the show’s panel from 12:30 – 1:30 p.m. in Ballroom 20. Jason Momoa discusses the politics of Khal Drogo, and possibly the hair care, at the Game of Thrones panel, moderated by writer George R.R. Martin from 3-4 p.m. in Ballroom 20; Aisha Tyler will be part of the Archer panel at the Indigo Ballroom in the Hilton San Diego Bayfront Hotel, 4:15-5:15 p.m.

4:00-5:00 p.m.: Kodansha Comics. Japan’s biggest manga publisher discusses its’ upcoming publishing schedule, including Love Hina, Bloody Sunday and – remember her? – Sailor Moon. Room 23ABC.

Creator Alert: Greg Pak (Incredible Hulks) will be part of Marvel Comics’ “Next Big Thing” panel in Room 6DE, 4:30-5:30 p.m. At the same time, a href=”http://geneyang.com”>Gene Luen Yang (Level Up, American Born Chinese) will be on the Comics for Teens panel in Room 26AB.

4:45-5:45 p.m.: Robert Rodriguez’s Quick Draw Productions. What’s next for the man behind Machete? Probably not a sensitive period drama. But find out for yourself at this sneak-peek. Hall H.

5:00-6:00 p.m.: Buffy The Vampire Slayer and LGBT Comics Fandom. LGBT fans hailed the revelation in the long-running television hit that one of its main characters, Willow, had fallen in love with another female character, Tara. This groundbreaking depiction of queer love in the TV show has been built upon in the Buffy comic books published by Dark Horse Comics, and Buffy remains one of the most queer-friendly properties in pop culture. Moderator Charles “Zan” Christensen (Prism Comics president) discusses the special relationship between the Buffyverse and LGBT comic book fans with Buffy creators and actors, including Scott Allie,Andrew Chambliss, Jane Espenson, Drew Greenberg, Tom Lenk, and a special guest! Room 32AB.

6:00-7:00 p.m.: LGBTX — The X-Men’s Queer Characters, Themes, and Fans. The X-Men and their universe have always been popular with LGBT comics fans. The idea of mutants is seen as an allegory for the reality of difference and persecution, as well as community and power, experienced by lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender people. The X-Men have also included compelling queer characters in their roster, including the first gay superhero, Northstar. How have these themes and characters been handled? What are the plans for the future? Moderator Chance Whitmire (Fanboys of the Universe) tries to make sense of it all with panelists Peter David (X-Factor), Phil Jimenez (Astonishing X-Men), Chuck Kim (Age of X),Marjorie Liu (Daken: Dark Wolverine), Scott Lobdell (Uncanny X-Men), and Zack Stentz (X-Men First Class). Room 32AB.

6:30-7:30 p.m.: Manga: Lost in Translation. A look at how the industry has weathered the recession, how companies are focusing on both digital and print releases, and what these things mean for freelancers looking to break into the business. Room 26AB.

FRIDAY

 

10:00-11:30 a.m.: The Black Panel.
This year’s panel will be a bitter yet sweet departure from the past. Help celebrate the life and work of Dwayne McDuffie, with Peter David (writer of stuff), Keith Knight (The K Chronicles, The Knight Life), Reggie Hudlin (House Party, Boomerang, Black Panther), and the reunion of the original Milestone partners, Derrick Dingle, Denys Cowan, and Michael Davis, who have not done a panel together in over an decade. It will be a joyous celebration with a surprise guest or two and some big announcements. Room 5AB.

11:00 a.m.-12:00 p.m.: JManga — Manga!? Hear it Straight from Japan! Members of the Japanese manga industry discuss where the business is going, and preview jmanga.com, a manga portal supported by the country’s Digital Comic Association, an alliance of 39 publishers. Room 25ABC.

Creator Alert: At 12 p.m., Love & Rockets co-creator Jaime Hernandez holds court in a Master Session at Room 30CDE on visual storytelling presented by the Comic Book Legal Defense Fund, with the artwork created to be put up for grabs in the CBLDF Benefit Auction on Saturday; novelist and comics writer Marjorie Liu will be in Marvel’s “Year of the X-Men” panel in Room 6DE starting at 12:30 p.m.

1:00-2:00 p.m. Publishing Queer: Producing LGBT Comics and Graphic Novels. As gay characters and comics make their way into the mainstream, this panel will look at how that material, as well as LGBT creators, can be promoted outside the LGBT community. Room 9.

2:00-3:00 p.m.: Nappy Hour. The infamous cooking timer returns as Keith Knight (The Knight Life, the K Chronicles, (th)ink, MAD) brings together another lightning-fast roundtable discussion of all things nerdist, with a stellar lineup of panelists including writer/producer/illustrator Michael Davis (Milestone Media, The Black Panel), writer/performer Pam Noles (And We Shall March, Death 40 Feet Tall), and writer/director/critic David Walker (Bad Azz Mofo)! Room 23ABC.

2:30-3:15 p.m.: Adult Swim — Black Dynamite. Ready or not, Michael Jai White’s blaxploitation spoof is making the jump to the animated arena. Indigo Ballroom, Hilton San Diego Bayfront.

3:00-4:00 p.m.: Shonen Jump Panel. Editor-in-chief Hisashi Sasaki will be on hand to let you know what it takes to get a shot at Japan’s top manga magazine. Room 9.

Creator Alert: writer Eric Wallace (Mister Terrific) and artists Francis Manapul (The Flash), and Philip Tan (The Savage Hawkman) will be part of DC Comics’ “Justice League” panel in Room 6DE starting at 4:15 p.m. At 6 p.m., Marjorie Liu will be in Room 25ABC as part of the “Girls Gone Genre” panel.

5:30-6:30 p.m.: True Blood Panel and Q&A session. The cast of “Everybody Loves SOOKEH” reunites to discuss something that’ll surely give the Roundtable more to scrutinize over the next few weeks. Ballroom 20.

6:30-7:30 p.m.: The Best and Worst Manga of the Year. Bloggers David Brothers and Deb Aoki will be among the experts sharing their cheers and jeers from the manga marketplace over the past couple of years. Room 26AB.

Celeb Sightings: At 7 p.m., you can choose from seeing LL Cool J talk tech from NCIS: LA in Room 6BCF, or Tony Todd (Candyman) and Sonny Chiba (Kill Bill) discuss their latest film, Sushi Girl, in Room 25ABC.

8:30-9:30 p.m.: Showcasing the Best in Korean Comics. writer Hyun Se Lee (Armageddon) and media scholar Professor Chang Wan Han share the latest trends and best books from Korea’s manhwa scene. Room 8.

It wouldn’t be SDCC without parties, of course, and Friday night, Angry Asian Man will be co-sponsoring the Endless Summer Party on the rooftop of the 10th Avenue Theater, 930 10th Ave. It’s 18 to enter, 21 to drink, with $10 tickets for presale/guest list types, and $15 if you’re buying them at the door.

Meanwhile, yours truly will be bringing the music once again for the Geek Girls Network party, to be held at Vin de Syrah, 901 5th Avenue, starting at 7 p.m. Alas, tickets for the GGN party have already sold out. Stay tuned tomorrow for Part II, where we cover Saturday and Sunday’s events!