The Queer Side of Comic-Con International 2012

By: Jase Peeples
7.5.2012

Comic-Con International, the largest convention dedicated to comic books, entertainment, gaming, and all the popular arts, kicks off July 12 and runs through July 15 in San Diego, California.

In addition to being the biggest geek party on the planet, the convention is also a hotbed of homo activity and 2012 will have the strongest LGBTQ presence to date.

Not only will Prism Comics – the nonprofit organization supporting LGBT comics, creators and readers– be present with a Triple Queer Comics Booth (#2144, 2146, 2148), but Comic-Con 2012 will have the most queer events in the entire history of the convention.

Here’s a full list of the must-hit events for any gay geek attending:

PANELS

There will be six Prism-sponsored or Prism-related panels this year focusing attention on queer characters and creators, with some of the biggest names in comics including Phil Jimenez, Alison Bechdel, Gail Simone, Eric Shanower, James Robinson, Dan Parent, Nicola Scott, Marjorie Liu, and many more.

Thursday, July 12, 4-5pm, Room 8, "Spotlight on Andy Mangels". Best-selling author and Comic-Con special guest Andy Mangels has been extraordinarily active in the entertainment field for 28 years: as a pop culture journalist for magazines ranging from Amazing Heroes, Wizard, SFX and Back Issue to Holywood Reporter, The Advocate and Weekly World News; as a comic book writer and editor for projects such as Nightmares on Elm Street, ElfQuest, Star Trek, Star Wars, Gay Comics, Bloodwulf, Dragon's Lair, and books for DC, Marvel, Image, and other companies; as the author of over 20 books including Star Wars, Star Trek, Roswell, X-Files, and Iron Man novels and non-fiction tomes; as an award-winning special features producer and documentary director/writer for over 40 popular DVD projects; as the man behind raising over $136,000 for Domestic Violence shelters with his Women of Wonder Day charity events; and as a respected panelist at Comic-Con for 25 years! Now, Andy Mangels sits down with interviewer Roger Klorese (Prism Comics Publications Chair) for a look at his career, and discusses writing for almost every major licensing company, his renowned social and humanitarian activism, and having the most famous moustache in comicdom. Plus, find out about his September 2012 book from TwoMorrows, Lou Scheimer: Creating the Filmation Generation, and what's next for Andy! Questions from audience members will be welcome.

Thursday, July 12, 5-6pm, Room 32AB, "Northwest Press".How does a small comic book publisher succeed in today's market? Northwest Press opened their doors in 2010, braving a recession, the rise of digital media, and the disappearance of specialty shops and bookstores to create a publishing company specializing in a niche market: lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender comics. Two years later, Northwest is still growing. Come and join in a lively discussion about how to operate on a shoestring while looking like a pro, how to leverage social media and connections, and how to succeed as a small press. Moderated by Chance Whitmire (Fanboys of the Universe), and featuring the owner of Northwest Press, Charles "Zan" Christensen (The Mark of Aeacus, The Power Within), as well as four of the creators he's published: Dylan Edwards (Transposes), Justin Hall, Steve MacIsaac, and Leia Weathington (The Legend of Bold Riley). Sponsored by Prism Comics.

Thursday, July 12, 6-7pm, Room 32AB, "Rewriting the Rules on 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? Join Oliver Nome (Fathom: Kiani), James Robinson (Earth 2, Justice League), Nicola Scott (Earth 2, Secret Six), Gail Simone (Batgirl, Secret Six), Ivan Velez Jr., and moderator Charles "Zan" Christensen for a lively, irreverent discussion about the wild frontier of queers in comics. Sponsored by Prism Comics.

Friday, July 13, 2-3pm, Room 25ABC, "No Straight Lines: Four Decades of Queer Comics". Queer cartooning has been one of the most vibrant artistic and countercultural movements of the past 40 years, tackling complex issues of identity and changing social mores with intelligence, humor, and an irreverent imagination. No Straight Lines, a massive anthology published by Fantagraphics Books, is the most definitive collection to date of this material, showcasing everything from lesbian underground comix, to gay newspaper strips, to bi punk zines, to trans webcomics. Join the editor of the book, Justin Hall, as he moderates an all-star panel of some of the true greats of LGBTQI comics: Alison Bechdel, Paige Braddock, Ed Luce, Trina Robbins (Wimmen's Comix), and Eric Shanower (Age of Bronze). Sponsored by Prism Comics. Signing will follow from 3:30-5:50pm at the Fantagraphics booth (# 1718-1722). .

Saturday, July 14, 1-2pm, Room 25ABC, "Northstar: From Coming Out to Getting Married!" Northstar, the first openly gay superhero in mainstream comics and a member of both the X-Men and Alpha Flight, came out of the closet 20 years ago… and this year he ties the knot! Northstar has lead a challenging life, facing villains, personal challenges, family rivalries, disease, death, and accusations of being put back in the closet. Now Northstar starts a major new chapter in his life, with a high-profile wedding. Join Prism Comics as we celebrate Northstar and explore how he and the comics community's attitudes toward LGBTQ characters have changed over the years. Moderator Chance Whitmire (Fanboys of the Universe) delves into the past and the bright future of everyone's favorite gay mutant with guests David Gabriel (Vice President of Sales, Marvel Comics), Phil Jimenez (New X-Men), Marjorie Liu (Astonishing X-Men), Scott Lobdell (Uncanny X-Men), and Jase Peeples (The Advocate, Gay.net). Sponsored by Prism Comics.

Saturday, July 14, 5:30-7:00pm, Room 6A, "Gays in Comics: 25th Year Celebration!" The comic world's longest-running panel celebrates its silver anniversary with an incredible all-star panel and celebration which will spotlight creators, comics, and fans from 1988 to the present. It was once unthinkable that mainstream companies such as DC, Marvel, and Archie would have best-selling and award-winning titles frontlining gay characters such as Batwoman, Northstar, and Kevin Keller. Now, they hire top-level gay or gay-friendly creators, and independent publishers and creators are publishing unequivocal content spotlighting gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender characters, to the cheers of the thousands of fans who are out of the comic book closet and those who welcome diversity among comic book protagonists. This year, founding moderator and best-selling author Andy Mangels will chair a new form of panel, a live documentary that will unfold for the audience, featuring a mixture of commentary, images, music and other surprises!

Showcased with live appearances and video messages will be an army of awesome creators who have appeared on the previous 24 panels, including: Howard Cruse, creator of Stuck Rubber Baby and Barefootz, founder of Gay Comix, and godfather of the gay comic movement; Roberta Gregory, creator of Naughty Bits and Bitchy Bitch and the godmother of the gay comic movement; Phil Jimenez, amazing artist of Fairest, Astonishing X-Men, and Wonder Woman; Alison Bechdel; Charles "Zan" Christensen, founding member of Prism Comics, and publisher of gay-themed Northwest Press; Gail Simone; Eric Shanower; Joan Hilty, creator of the weekly comic strip Bitter Girl and past DC editor; Ivan Velez, Jr.; Paige Braddock; Joe Phillips, artist and publisher of Joe Boys, Star Trek, and The Heretic; Trina Robbins, remarkable writer and artist whose work on behalf of women in comics has helped redefine the industry; Dan Parent, writer and artist for Archie and Betty & Veronica and creator of Archie's new gay character, Kevin Keller; Wendy Pini, the creator of ElfQuestand Masque of Red Death; Chip Kidd; Patty Jeres, past DC Comics director of marketing communications, and past Prism Comics co-president; Joe Palmer, awesome webmaster of GayLeague.com; Ed Luce; Jeff Krell; Robert Triptow, legendary cartoonist and past editor of Gay Comix; Justin Hall, Prism Comics Talent Chair; Marc Andreyko, author of the fan-favorite Manhunter series and Captain America and Bucky; Sean-Z; Steve Englehart, industry legend, and creator of comics first out gay super-hero Extrano in 1987's Millennium; Jon Macy, award-winning writer and artist of Teleny and Camille and Fearful Hunter; Ted Abenheim, the new president of Prism Comics and heroic and tireless fundraiser for LGBTQI organizations; and Roger Klorese, a past president of Prism Comics and longtime comics and internet trailblazer! This panel will be chock-full from beginning to end, so be on time or you'll miss some awesome surprises that we aren't announcing yet!

Afterward, stick around for the “Gay Comic Fan Mixer and Prism Comics Silent Auction!” with prizes, one-of-a-kind comics items, and surprise special guests!

EVENTS

Besides the Prism's annual “Gay Comic Fan Mixer and Prism Comics Silent Auction!” and the “Heroes and Villains Party”, this year will see the most queer comics-related events ever held in conjunction with San Diego Comic-Con.

Thursday, July 12, 8pm-1:30am, "Oso Oro", Pecs Bar. Ivan Velez, Jr. is bringing his long-running "Oso Oro" party to San Diego at Pecs Bar. Flex your artistic muscles at "Oso Oro", a multimedia celebration of international bear pop culture with Japanese bear bara manga, raffles for bear prizes, limited edition t-shirts, and best bear model contest. Attendees are encouraged to draw bear models and also pose onstage themselves. Ivan is also bringing "Oso Oro" to the No Straight Lines release party, details below. Pecs Bar is located at 2046 University Avenue, San Diego, CA. Go to oso-oro.com for more information.

Friday, July 13, 8-10pm, the Fantagraphics No Straight Lines Release Party at Trickster. Along with appearances from creators who contributed to the anthology, the event will feature a "Drink-And-Draw" in conjunction with Ivan Velez, Jr.'s "Oso Oro", where artists will sketch live queer-themed figure drawing models and sell their art (all sales will be donated to the Prism Comics Queer Press Grant!). Stay tuned at trickstertrickster.com for details. Trickster is located at 795 J Street, San Diego, CA.

Friday, July 13, 10pm-2am, "Heroes and Villains Party", Rich's Dance Club. Attend Hillcrest's number one Geek party, which returns to Rich's for the 8th year! Geek Knight Production's Ned Cato Jr. (Cub Club San Diego) is bringing back sexy Heroes and Villains for what will be one of the hottest parties of the year with Super DJ Marcel Hetu. The party will feature go-go dancers, laser show, LED wall, and costume contest hosted by Glitz Glam, which will have nearly $200 in cash and prizes. Ronnie Mena and his crew are returning for face and body paint. Meet queer comics creators including special guest Sean Z who will show off his latest masterpiece book Myth. Rich's Dance Club is located at 1051 University Avenue, San Diego, CA, richssandiego.com.

Saturday, July 14, 7:40pm, Reception Joe Phillips' Joe's Boys, Alexander Salazar Fine Art. The exhibit of Joe Phillips' artwork from Joe's Boys will run from July 12 through July 15, with the reception on Friday the 13th. The Alexander Salazar Fine Art Gallery in downtown San Diego is within walking distance from the Convention Center and is open from 11am-6pm. Alexander Salazar Fine Art is located at 640 Broadway, San Diego, CA, alexandersalazarfineart.com.

Saturday, July 14, 7-8pm, "Gay Comic Fan Mixer and Prism Comics Silent Auction!" San Diego Convention Center, Room 6A. Happening directly after the "Gays in Comics" panel, the fan mixer and silent auction is hosted by and benefiting Prism Comics, the nonprofit organization that supports gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgendered comics, creators, and readers. Mingle with comics fans and creators plus stay for the special drawing of "Comics Gift Basket" and the silent auction of incredible comics items, including original art and more!

 

Tags: GAY & AWAY
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