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July 23, 2014

Geek On:
LGBT Guide to Comic Con 2014

BY
DANNY BERNARDO

LGBT Guide to Comic Con 2014
Comic Con International descends upon downtown San Diego once again, with over 130,000 fanboys and girls expected to attend. What's especially impressive is how much LGBT-centric programming has been added to this year's lineup. Here's the list of all of the panels queer fans cannot miss:

Thursday , July 24:

The Most Dangerous Women at Comic-Con: Positive Portrayals of Women in Pop Culture (3:00pm - 4:00pm | Room 7AB)

With so many damsels in distress, "fridged" girlfriends, and invisible women in popular culture, how's a fangirl (or fanboy) supposed to find a lady to look up to? By banding together and making their own, that's how! To discuss the best (and most disappointing) examples of powerful women in pop culture, Action Flick Chick Katrina Hill (Action Movie Freak) has assembled a team of women and men dangerous in their own right: Lesley Aletter (professional stuntwoman), Jenna Busch (Legion of Leia founder), Adrienne Curry (host/model/Tolkien enthusiast), Jane Espenson (Husbands), Alan Sizzler Kistle r (TheMarySue.com), Bryan Q. Mille r (Batgirl), and Jennifer K. Stuller (Ink-Stained Amazon).

Teen Wolf (3:30pm - 4:30pm | Ballroom 20)

MTV's hit drama Teen Wolf returns to Comic-Con for the fifth consecutive year. The pack of T yler Posey, Dylan O'Brien, Tyler Hoechlin, Holland Roden , and new cast members Shelley Hennig and Dylan Sprayberry , along with executive producer Jeff Davis , share secrets, debut a new mid-season trailer, and answer fan questions. Moderated by Buzzfeed senior editor Jarett Wieselman .

Breaking Barriers: Transgender Trends in Popular Culture (5:00pm - 6:00pm | Room 28DE)

In recent years, transgender creators have gained visibility in comics, movies, and television after long being consigned to the shadows. From coming out and transition to navigating gender politics in a world still struggling to understand, cartoonists, writers, and filmmakers are investing their work with unique personal experiences as their characters learn to live and love in new and unexpected ways. Prism Comics and moderator Tara Madison Avery (Dirtheads, Gooch, Prism Comics) present panelists Dylan Edwards (Transposes), Melanie Gillman (As the Crow Flies), J. D. Saxon (Mahou Shounen Fight!), Elizabeth Lain (F*** the Limits!: The 30-Day Art Project, This Is Where), Ashley Love (Trans Forming Media, journalist, transsexual advocate), and Comic-Con special guest, famed comics historian Michelle Nolan (Love on the Racks: A History of American Romance Comics) for an exploration of a range of exciting new themes and stories for contemporary audiences.

LGBT Geek Year in Review (6:00pm - 7:00pm | Room 28DE)

In the past few years, the geek world has been filled with many noteworthy moments of importance to the queer fan. Some were fabulous, some were unfortunate, some were misguided, and some were "blink and you missed it." LGBT activist and columnist P. Kristen Eno s (Active Voice, Creatures of Grace) leads a discussion with Diane Anderson-Minshal l (The Advocate), Trish Bendix (AfterEllen.com), Matt Kane (GLAAD), and Sean Z. Maker (Bent-Con) on the events of LGBT interest in the past year, why they think they were so important, and what they might mean for the future for LGBT fans.

Friday July 25:

LGBT Comics for Young Readers (2:00pm - 3:00pm | Room 28DE)

Comics today present an amazing range of stories and characters, including more LGBT stories and characters than ever before. Since comics appeal to young and old alike, how do creators use the medium to present LGBT content and characters for younger audiences? What comics are out there for teens and younger readers? How can parents, librarians, and educators introduce such books to young people? Prism Comics, moderator P. Kristen Eno s (Active Voice, Creatures of Grace), and creators who produce comics for younger readers- Brian Andersen (So Super Duper), Charles "Zan" Christensen (Northwest Press, The Power Within), Dusty Jack (Scuttlebutt Ink, Mahou Shounen Fight!), Grace Ellis (Lumberjanes), Dan Parent (Kevin Keller), Robert Paul (Little Rainbow Comics), and Elizabeth Watasin (Charm School)- look at the world of LGBT and LGBT-friendly comics for younger readers.

We Are Husbands and You Can Too! (5:00pm - 6:00pm | Room 23ABC)

The creators and creative staff of Husbands ( Brad Bell, Jane Espenson, Sean Hemeon and director Eli Gonda ) talk about the huge year in the history of this progressive comedy, moving to a network home on CWSeed, and earning CW's first Writers' Guild Award nomination ever. They'll also discuss the future of the show and the democratization of TV making and walk you through how you can create a TV empire and change the world. This panel will be moderated by Jenna Busch .

Queer Horror (7:00pm - 8:00pm | Room 28DE)

Horror films, TV shows, books, and comics are more popular than ever. Authors, filmmakers, and comics creators are always looking for new twists to the medium, including presenting LGBT subtext, plot elements, and characters. But does a gay horror genre exist, and if so what makes it different from mainstream horror? Do queer horror creators bring a different sensibility to the medium? Has the current surge of LGBTQ acceptance and civil rights influenced the horror genre? Prism Comics and moderator/horror expert Sean Abley (Fangoria's Gay of the Dead, Out in the Dark) and panelists Jeffrey Reddick (Final Destination, Day of the Dead), J . T. Seaton (George: A Zombie Intervention, NOLA Horror Film Festival), Tim Sullivan (2001 Maniacs, Chillerama), Guinevere Turner (American Psycho, The L-Word, Crazy Bitches) and Michael Varrati (Tales of Poe, Sins of Dracula) explore these and other aspects of this popular medium from a queer perspective.

Saturday July 26

Anything Goes with John Barrowman (4:00pm - 5:00pm | Indigo Ballroom, Hilton San Diego Bayfront)

Out fan favorite John Barrowman (Doctor Who, Torchwood, Arrow, Sing Your Face Off) discusses his past, present and future projects, from Captain Jack Harkness to Malcolm Merlyn.

True Blood Panel and Q&A (5:00pm - 6:15pm | Ballroom 20)

Mixing romance, suspense, mystery, and humor, the Emmy and Golden Globe nominated True Blood kicked off its 10-episode seventh and final season June 22 on HBO. The series follows waitress and part-faerie Sookie Stackhouse (Oscar and Golden Globe Award winner Anna Paquin ), who can hear people's thoughts, and vampires Bill Compton (Stephen Moyer) and Eric Northman (Alexander Skarsgård). Brian Buckner serves as executive producer of the series, which also features Ryan Kwanten as Jason Stackhouse, Sam Trammell as Sam Merlotte, Rutina Wesley as Tara Thornton, Nelsan Ellis as Lafayette, Deborah Ann Woll as Jessica Hamby , Kristin Bauer van Straten as Pam; Joe Manganiello as Alcide, Carrie Preston as Arlene Bellefleur, and Chris Bauer as Andy Bellefleur, Anna Camp as Sarah Newlin and Nathan Parsons as James. Oscar and Emmy Award winner Alan Ball created and is also an executive producer on the series, which is based on the bestselling Sookie Stackhouse novels by Charlaine Harris . Moderated by Tim Stack of Entertainment Weekly.

Gays in Comics XXVII: It's a Queer, Queer World! (5:30pm - 7:00pm | Room 6A)

The world spins on and gets ever queerer. And while society has miles to go, every day we see changes -from marriage being a reality in state after state to the Great NFL Draft Kiss-that show that in our society at large, as well as in the world of comics, LGBT people and their relationships are more and more mainstream. What are the responsibilities of creators to their and their audience's queerness as the radical becomes central? Prism Comics and co-moderators Roger Klorese (Prism Comics board member) and Shannon Watters (BOOM Studios) examine this and other questions with panelists Elisha Lim (100 Butches), Noelle Stevenson (Lumberjanes), Graham Kolbeins (Massive), James Tynion IV (Batman Eternal, The Woods), and others.

Sunday July 27

Superheroines! Power, Responsibility, and Representation (1:30pm - 2:30pm | Room 23ABC)

Moderated by Racebending.com , an intersectional, all-women (social) Justice League of television creators, graphic novelists, artists, and cultural commentators will explore the topic of women in the superhero world. Featured panelists include Marjorie Liu (Astonishing X-Men), Marguerite Bennett (Batman), and Faith Erin Hicks (The Adventures of Superhero Girl), Dr. Andrea Letamendi (UnderTheMaskOnline.com), Joanna Estep (Bold Riley), and Jules Rivera (Valkyrie Squadron).

End Bullying! Responding to Cruelty in Our Culture (3:00pm - 4:00pm | Room 24ABC)

Have you or someone you love been a target of bullying? Pop Culture Anti-Bullying Coalition is back by popular demand with this powerful discussion on how to overcome bullying. Learn strategies to create witnesses and allies out of bystanders. Panelists include Pop Culture Anti-Bullying Coalition founder actress Chase Masterson (Doctor Who: Big Finish), founder/moderator Carrie Goldman (author, Harper Collins' Bullied: What Every Parent, Teacher, and Kid Needs to Know About Ending the Cycle of Fear), Brad Bell (Husbands), Anthony Breznican (author, Brutal Youth), Ashley Eckstein (Star Wars: The Clone Wars), Jane Espenso n (Husbands), Dr. Andrea Letamendi (The Psychology of Star Trek vs. Star Wars), Alice Cahn (VP of social responsibility, Cartoon Network), and representatives from the United Nations Association and Anti-Defamation League. Special topics include geek bullying, LGBT bullying, cyber-bullying, and analyzing how media and entertainment affect attitudes toward bullying and aggression. "From now on, Comic-Con convention-goers will come for cosplay, entertainment, freebies, autographs-and healing." CNN.

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This is just a small sampling of what Comic Con has to offer. For more coverage from the show floor, follow me on Twitter and Instagram.

 
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