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Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Jewish Side of SDCCI Part 2 (of 3) - The Programming

Below are my suggestions for panels to attend at San Digeo Comicon International, which starts today.

While some of these panels may have more "Jewish" content than others, all of these are panels which I would make a good effort to attend in person ... if I was going to the convention this year. Which I'm not.


1:00-2:30 Comics Arts Conference Session #3: New Fun About Siegel and Shuster — Gerard Jones (Networked: Carabella on the Run) leads Nicky Wheeler-Nicholson Brown (grand-daughter of Major Malcolm Wheeler-Nicholson), Brad Ricca (Last Son), and copyright expert Lauren Agostino in a discussion about the creative influences and legal issues surrounding Siegel and Shuster's early characters. Mel Gordon (California State University East Bay) shares insights about Jewish superheroes from his forthcoming book Siegel and Shuster's Funnyman: The First Jewish Superhero, co-authored by Thomas Andrae. Room 26AB

3:30-4:30 Spotlight on James Sturm — Comic-Con special guest James Sturm has created award-winning graphic novels for early readers (Adventures in Cartooning), young adults (Satchel Paige: Striking Out Jim Crow, Fantastic Four: Unstable Molecules), and grownups (The Golem's Mighty Swing, Market Day) and co-founded the country's finest cartooning school (The Center for Cartoon Studies). Come join James during this rare Comic-Con appearance! Room 26AB


10:30-11:30 Neal Adams and Stan Lee: They Spoke Out—Against the Holocaust — Neal Adams (Batman, Green Lantern/Green Arrow) and Holocaust historian Dr. Rafael Medoff unveil the new series of educational "motion comics" they are creating with ABC News about Americans who spoke out for the rescue of Jews from the Holocaust. They will be joined on the panel by Stan Lee (co-creator of Spider-Man, X-Men) and will screen an episode from the upcoming series, illustrated by Neal Adams and narrated by Stan Lee. Room 9

11:00-12:00 Spotlight on Vanessa Davis — One of the brightest new cartoonists of her generation, who has been featured in Tablet, Vice, Bust, and Bitch magazines, Comic-Con special guest Vanessa Davis will be debuting her new book Make Me a Woman and discussing the book and its process with a charming and funny slide show about being young, Jewish and single. Room 4

1:30-2:30 Spotlight on Jerry Robinson — One of the true legends of comics, Comic-Con special guest Jerry Robinson is a writer, artist, historian, curator and creator rights activist. Jerry discusses his 70 years in comics -- from his contributions to the Batman mythos to the creation of the Joker and development of Robin, Alfred, Penguin, Scarecrow and Two-Face. Jerry is interviewed by Michael Uslan, the executive producer of the Batman movies, comics historian, and author of the upcoming Archie Marries... (Abrams). In their discussion, Robinson and Uslan will take the audience from behind the scenes of the Golden Age of comics to the filming of The Dark Knight and Jerry's latest book projects. Room 9

2:00-3:00 Graphic Novels: The Personal Touch — You know when you read it: that certain something that sticks out in a graphic novel. It's the personal touch, a work that draws on the life of the creator or the people around him or her. Call the work autobiographical, call it reality -- many times it results in truly personal and inspiring comics. Comics creator and journalist Shaenon Garrity (Narbonic, Skin Horse) talks to Comic-Con special guests Gabrielle Bell (Cecil & Jordan in New York), Howard Cruse (Stuck Rubber Baby), Vanessa Davis (Make Me a Woman), Larry Marder (Beanworld), Jillian Tamaki (Skim), and C. Tyler (You'll Never Know Book 1: A Good and Decent Man) about their very personal work. Room 4

2:30-3:30 Spotlight on Steve Rude — Award-winning artist and Comic-Con special guest Steve Rude describes the high points of his career, including how he broke into comics; the various comics he's worked on, including Nexus, World's Finest, and Space Ghost; and the trials of working on them. Plus Steve gives his thoughts on today's current comics and artists. A "big surprise" will also premiere at this panel.

3:00-4:00 Spotlight on Chris Claremont — Comic-Con special guest and world-renowned writer Chris Claremont talks about his career in this special Spotlight panel. Claremont's incredible body of work, including his many years writing the X-Men and his newest collaborations with Tom Grummet (X-Men Forever) and fellow special guest Milo Manara (X-Women), are fan-favorites. Room 24ABC


11:00-12:00 Spirituality in Comics — How can comics help communicate timeless truths through new media to new audiences? Discuss the latest trends of spiritual themes in comics with moderator Scott Shuford of the Christian Comic Arts Society and panelists Holly Golightly (School Bites), K. J. Kolka (Cardinal Adventures), and Clint Johnson (Faithwalker). Santa Rosa Room, Marriott Hotel and Marina

11:30-12:30 Will Eisner, The Dreamer — Will Eisner played a central role in the first seven decades of comics history. Many times during his career, he reinvented sequential art and himself to overcome new challenges. He was a true dreamer, and these panelists hope to show you that side of him: Denis Kitchen (artist, author, publisher, and Will Eisner's agent and longtime friend), Scott McCloud (artist, author, and theoretician about comics and sequential art), Dennis O'Neil (comic book writer and editor for Marvel Comics and DC Comics), Paul Levitz (writer, former president/publisher, DC Comics), and Michael Schumacher (bestselling author and Biographer with a new biography of Will Eisner due out this fall). This is your chance to learn more about the "Father of the Graphic Novel." Room 4

2:00-3:30 Comics Arts Conference Session #12: Poster Session — Want to go in depth with a comics scholar? On Thursday, Friday, and Saturday the PowerPoints of the poster presenters will be available to read in printed "poster books," and then the scholars will be available in this session to discuss their presentations in small-group and one-on-one discussions.

Ashleigh Mayes (Henderson State University) looks at the functions of anthropomorphic animal characters in the depiction of historical events or tragic fiction in works such as Maus.

Naysan Mojgani (UC, San Diego) analyzes how cosplayers identify with the race and ethnicity of the comics and anime characters they choose to role-play and challenge the essentializing, nationalist politics of the United States in radical, populist ways.

Green Lantern Poster Panel: Erica Ash (Henderson State University) looks at how Martian Manhunter's survivor guilt drives him to heroism, even as a reanimated Black Lantern.

4:30-5:30 Spotlight on J. Michael Straczynski — J. Michael Straczynski speaks (despite requests to the contrary) about his work on (and on and on) such comics as Superman (well, we guess it had to happen eventually) and Wonder Woman (at least they have the same fashion sense), his movies, including Shattered Union (shattered hopes that he wouldn't show up), Forbidden Planet (is that still going on?), and more he will be announcing here for the first time. Get the inside skinny on the writer's life from one of Hollywood's most prolific and hardworking writers (because you always have to work twice as hard when you don't know what you're doing). (Bob, very funny, just remember to edit this back to normal before uploading it to the Comic-Con schedule.) Room 6A


10:00-11:00 Jack Kirby Tribute — It's time once again to pay tribute to Jack "King" Kirby, the prolific writer/artist who co-created some of the world's most famous superheroes, including the Fantastic Four, the Hulk, Thor, Captain America, the New Gods, and many more. Kirby biographer and friend Mark Evanier (Kirby: King of Comics) hosts this annual Comic-Con tradition and is joined this year by writers Marv Wolfman (Tomb of Dracula, New Teen Titans), and Kurt Busiek (Astro City, JLA/Avengers) and other Kirby fanatics to discuss the King. Room 4

10:00-11:00 Christian Comics: The Word in Pictures — From Andre LeBlanc's classic Picture Bible to Robert Crumb's recent adaptation of Genesis, there is a long tradition of Bible-based comics. Moderator Buzz Dixon (Snokie Stories) and panelists Sergio Cariello (The Action Bible) and Eric Jansen (The Christ of Prophecy) discuss the challenges involved in adapting the words of scripture into visual media. A short devotional message will precede the panel discussion, put on by the Christian Comic Arts Society. Santa Rosa Room, Marriott Hotel and Marina

1:00-2:00 Spotlight on Al Wiesner — This writer/artist has been doing it his way for 25 years! Comic-Con special guest Al Wiesner created his own superhero, Shaloman, after many years of searching for a Jewish superhero. Some 38 issues later the "Kosher Crusader" is still thrilling readers around the world! Al talks about his series in this special Spotlight panel. Room 4

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