Are You Ready for Comic-Con 2011?

By: Jase Peeples
7.12.2011

Comic-Con International is the largest convention dedicated to comic books, entertainment, gaming and all the popular arts.

In addition to the weekend’s gay superhero events, such as the Heroes vs. Villains After Party, the convention itself has also long supported LGBT programming.

Here’s a list of must-hit queer events on the 2011 schedule.

Aquaman Thursday, July 21
5:00-6:00 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 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

Smallville_green-arrow Friday, July 22
1:00-2:00 Publishing Queer: Producing LGBT Comics and Graphic Novels— Queer-themed comics, once solely the domain of the gay press, are breaking into the mainstream. What are the challenges and rewards of producing this work and getting it in front of an audience hungry for the material? How can it be marketed and publicized, both to an LGBT readership and beyond? Should queer cartoonists self-publish or look to established publishers? Moderator Justin Hall (Glamazonia, Prism Comics Talent Chair) leads a spirited conversation with a diverse panel of publishing pros: Brian Andersen (self-publisher, So Super Duper), Charles "Zan" Christensen (publisher, Northwest Press), Jacquelene Cohen (publicist, Fantagraphics), Shannon O'Leary (comics editor and journalist), Bob Schreck (editor-in-chief, Legendary Pictures), and Tony Valenzuela (executive director, Lambda Literary Foundation). Room 9

Sarurday, July 23
4:00-5:00 Bent Comix: The Next Wave of Gay Cartooning— A small band of independent gay cartoonists joined forces in 2008 to create Bent Comix. Initially intended as a distribution cooperative, Bent has morphed into something much more dynamic: a true creative community. Last year they created Bent Con, the world's first queer comics show. Now they're expanding the convention, their membership, and their mission. In a world where the queer media are disintegrating and publishing is a risky venture, Bent Comix shines a light. Moderator J. D. Glass (Core, Prism Comics secretary) grills the panelists about their part in creating the future of gay comics. The include Dave Davenport (Hard to Swallow), Jeff Krell (Jayson), Steve MacIsaac (Shirtlifter), Brad Rader (Harry and Dickless Tom), Jody Wheeler (DoorQ.com), and Sean Z (Myth). Room 4

Superboy 5:30-7:00 Gays in Comics: Year 24!— As mainstream companies DC and Marvel continue to frontline gay characters such as Batwoman and Northstar and hire top-level gay or gay-friendly creators, 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. Founding moderator Andy Mangels (USA Today bestselling author of Star Trek novels and Iron Man: Beneath The Armor) hosts Robert Kirkman (The Walking Dead, head of Image Comics's Skybound imprint), Chip Kidd (author, editor and designer, Bat-Manga, Rough Justice), Dan Parent (writer/artist, Archie, Betty & Veronica, creator of Archie's new gay character and series, Kevin Keller), Jon Macy (writer/artist Teleny and Camille and Prism Queer Press grant recipient for Fearful Hunter), Paul Cornell (writer, TV's Doctor Who and DC Comics's upcoming Stormwatch and Demon Knights), and Greg Pak (writer, Incredible Hulks, co-writer, Alpha Flight, Herc). Plus a special video appearance by J. H. Williams III (co-writer/ artist, Batwoman). And there's always a surprise or two. Afterward, stick around for the hour-long gay comics fan mixer/social, hosted by Prism Comics, with prizes and surprise special guests! Room 6A

7:00-8:00 Gays in Comics Mixer and Silent Auction— Mingle with comics fans and creators plus stay for the special drawing of a Comics Gift Basket and the silent auction of hot comics items, including original art by Alex Ross and Dan Parent! Hosted by and benefiting Prism Comics, the nonprofit organization that supports gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgendered comics, creators, and readers. Room 6A

Sunday, July 24
10:00-11:00 Glee— Creator/executive producer Ryan Murphy, creator/executive producer Brad Falchuk, and stars of Glee present a sneak peek at Glee The 3D Concert Movie featuring never-before-seen footage, behind-the-scenes secrets, and Q&A session. Hall H

Tags: GAY & AWAY
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