The comic world has long been a trove of escapism and personal expression. Before queerness was inching its way into the mainstream there were flamboyant supervillains, elaborate costumes, and infamously ambiguous relationships that made LGBTQ people gravitate to this region of the entertainment sphere.
Of course as LGBTQ representation becomes more of a staple in television and in movies, its humble roots in the sci-fi and fantasy worlds draw more and more attention. Every year at conventions around the country and the world queer-centric panels and presentations are popping up, and San Diego Comic Con is no exception.
This year's SDCC schedule is packed daily with points of queer interest, and the folks at GLAAD have mapped out the best inclusive programming day by day:
Thursday, July 20
Be Your Own Superhero: Intersectional Feminism in Comics
Representation matters, both on and behind the page. Sam Maggs (Wonder Women, Star Trek: Waypoint), Susana Polo (Polygon), Sarah Kuhn (Heroine Complex), Robbie Thompson (Supernatural, Silk), Christina "Steenz" Stewart (Lion Forge Comics), Cait Brennan (Debutante), and Rose Knight (Women Write About Comics) chat about the strides made in representation of race, gender, and sexuality in comics-and how everyone can do better.
Thursday July 20, 2017 12:00 PM - 1:00 PM, Room 32AB
Just before the series is set to end its historic run on MTV, this panel will take a look back at where it all began. Teen Wolf cast and crew will be on hand to reminisce about how the show got started, talk through the challenges that shaped it as it grew into a beloved series, and tease the epic moments that will close out a six-year saga. Expect series regulars, surprise guests, and one last chance to say goodbye to a TV show that defied expectations at every turn.
Thursday July 20, 2017 2:00 pm - 3:00 pm, Hall H
Friday, July 21
Diversity in Comics
Brian Buccellato (Detective Comics,The Flash), Elena Salcedo (editor-in-chief, Top Cow Productions), Joe Illidge (senior editorial manager, Lion Forge), Ani-Mia (international cosplayer), Blake Northcott (Michael Turner's Fathom), Hannibal Tabu (CBR's The Buy Pile), Marcus To (Joyride, Red Robin), and Khary Randolph (Mosaic, The Amazing Spider-Man) discuss the shifting landscape of diversity in modern comics. Moderated by Vince Hernandez (VP/editor-in-chief, Aspen Comics).
Friday July 21, 2017 11:00 am - 12:00 pm, Room 9
Bisexuality and Beyond: Deadpool Made Us Do It (Again and Again and...)
Definitions of gender and sexuality are becoming more and more open in popular media as comics, film, and television creators are telling stories with bisexual characters and affirming role models who are not limited to one definition. Join Prism Comics with moderator Faith Cheltenham (BiNet USA) for a spirited discussion of the present and future of sexuality in media with the real-life bisexual creators who draw, write, and perform these roles: Tara Madison Avery (Gooch, Anything That Loves), R. J. Aguiar (YouTube's TheNotAdam, NotAdamAndSteve.com), Lynnette McFadzen (BiNet USA), and Eliot Sutler, Esq. (BiWoCC). Last year, BleedingCool.com called this panel "One Of The Most Amazing Moments Of Affirmation At San Diego Comic-Con."
Friday July 21, 2017 2:00 pm - 3:00 pm, Room 28DE
Saturday, July 22
Comics are for Everyone... Aren't They?
Delving into the experience of being a disabled person in comics and the intersections of disability, race, and gender, this panel will explore the industry's problems with inclusivity from inaccessible conventions to representation of people of color and disabled characters in comics. With John Jennings (Kindred, Black Comix), Adam Karenina Sherif (Library of Congress, Orbital Comics), Jazmine Joyner(Visionary Comics), Rachelle Cruz (UC Riverside, Experiencing Comics), Johnny Parker II (Neat-O Comics, Broken), and moderated by Rosie Knight (Nerdist, Women Write About Comics). This panel will discuss how creators, critics, retailers, and fans can create a more accessible space within comics, conventions, and fandom.
Saturday July 22, 2017 10:00am - 11:00am , Room 4
Developing Comics for Social Impact and Change
Many think that there is a need to develop an organized community focused on creating innovative and high-quality comics to tackle complex and challenging social issues. This panel will discuss this idea and how it can spur new opportunities, as well as the impact similar efforts have made in the video game industry. Josh Elder(executive director, Reading with Pictures), Gina Gagliano (marketing and publicity manager, First Second Books), Illya Kowalchuck (director of education, Pop Culture Classroom), and Geoff Gerber (president, Lion Forge Comics). Moderated by Russell Shilling (Digital Promise, former DARPA PM).
Saturday July 22, 2017 3:00pm - 4:00pm, Shiley Special Events Suite, San Diego Central Library
Sunday, July 23
Fantasy, Diversity, and Inspiring One Another
Leigh Bardugo (Six of Crows, Crooked Kingdom, and Wonder Woman: Warbringer), Michael Dante DiMartino (Avatar: The Last Airbender,The Legend of Korra, and Rebel Genius), and Tomi Adeyemi (Children of Blood and Bone) talk about fantasy across all mediums, diversity in literature and on the screen, and their inspirations for their works. All three creators will discuss their upcoming projects: The Language of Thornsby Leigh Bardugo, Warrior Genius and The Legend of Korra comics by Michael DiMartino, and Tomi Adeyemi's Children of Blood and Bone (both the trilogy and the forthcoming movie adaptation, which has been optioned by Fox 2000). Moderated by Kurt Mattila, film director and editor of such films as Tron: The Next Day and Lies & Alibis. Kurt's love for filmmaking is rivaled only by his passion for comic books, which he channels through his superhero podcast, The Big Pull.
Sunday July 23, 2017 11:00 am - 12:00 pm, Room 32AB
Moving Beyond the 'Strong Female Character'
One-dimensionality is so late-'90s; fans need well-written, fully-developed women in their media. Join Sam Maggs (Wonder Women), Amy S. Foster (The Rift: Uprising), Bree Turner (Grimm), Danielle Paige (Dorothy Must Die), Jody Houser (Faith), Jen Bartel(Jem and the Holograms), Alicia Lutes (Nerdist), and Amy Chu (Poison Ivy, Red Sonja) as they chat about their favorite lady characters, what could be improved, and how creators can make those changes.
Sunday July 23, 2017 4:00pm - 5:00pm , Room 32AB
This year's San Diego Comic-Con runs July 20-23 with events taking place at the San Diego Convention Center and surrounding area. See GLAAD's full list of points of LGBTQ interest here, and a full programming list, here.