Totally Unofficial Queer Guide to SDCC 2019
While there are a lot of great pop culture cons to attend these days, there’s still one that tops them all. This week San Diego will be filled with an influx of enthusiastic fans of comics, movies, TV, and all sorts of pop culture to celebrate their love of all things geek. Whether you’re looking to see the cast of Game of Thrones for one last hurrah, curious to see what new shows are on the horizon, or want a few autographs from your favorite comic writers and artists, there’s something for everyone at San Diego Comic-Con.
Queer comics and media are increasingly represented at SDCC, but it can be hard to find it all in one place. We’ve put together a list of everything we could find that’s of queer interest. Check out the list and support queer artists and art! All event descriptions have taken directly from the official schedule.
Queer content is emphasized in the panel
Content that has queerness as a central theme is featured in this panel (Steven Universe, Sense8).
This is a party or after-hours event. No SDCC badge required
This panel features an openly queer panelist(s)
Inclusive content is emphasized in this panel. While queerness may be a part of that, these panels are either broader in nature/intersectional or featuring a different diverse representation.
MO’s Bar and Grill (308 University Ave)
We’re ready to POP! BAM! POW! with another kick-ass year of the Dreamgirls Revue doing Comic-Con. Come enjoy the best cosplay in all the land. Chad MIchaels leads the cast of villain and crime fighters.
Cast Includes: Chad Michaels, Jimmy Sherfy, Landon Cider, Kickxy Vixen-Styles, Pandora Boxx, Trinna Modele
Shiley Special Events Suite, San Diego Central Library
Hear from creators who have tapped the graphic medium to record the history and experiences of marginalized peoples, to take control of their own narratives, and to inspire a new generation of activists, as well as from librarians crafting large-scale initiatives around comics that focus on historically underrepresented communities.
With Chloe Ramos, Ezra Claytan Daniels, Candice Mack, Maia Kobabe, and Henry Barajas
BOOM! Studios and GLAAD present an in-depth roundtable discussion about LGBTQ representation in pop culture and the path forward to a brighter, more inclusive future, with panelists from all corners of the entertainment world, including Lilah Sturges (The Magicians: Alice’s Story, Lumberjanes), Sina Grace (Saban’s Go Go Power Rangers, Ghosted in LA), and Megan Townsend (director of entertainment research and analysis, GLAAD).
Moderated by Joshua Yehl (senior features and news editor, IGN)
Sydney Heifler (The University of Oxford) uses the historical treatment of romance comics as a case study of how both individual and collective memory affect the historiography of Western comics. Kathleen McClancy (Texas State University) examines how The Coldest City and Velvet engage with Cold War nostalgia to challenge the idea that either espionage or comics themselves were ever just for men. Sam Langsdale (University of North Texas) argues that Marvel’s America queers normative depictions of mainstream superheroes to reevaluate what qualities make a superhero admirable in nonnormative, and thus ultimately more inclusive, ways.
The winners of the Third Annual Prism Awards will be revealed in this part panel discussion and part awards ceremony full of fabulous fun! Founders Maia Kobabe (Gender Queer: A Memoir), Ted Abenheim (Prism Comics), and Nina L. Taylor Kester (Cartoon Art Museum/Queer Comics Expo), and judges Heidi McDonald (Comics Beat) and Mey Rude will discuss the awards and their emerging role in recognizing, promoting, and celebrating diversity and excellence in the field of queer comics and present the handcrafted Prism Awards to the winning creators. Plus, you never know what queer icons just might show up!
A new generation of LGBTQAIU comics creators are making a splash in the world of queer indie comics exploring their lives and diverse experiences. Prism Comics and Stacked Deck Press are featuring some of today’s most talented emerging artists in their newly released anthology, Crush: First Love, New Talent. What challenges do genderqueer and gender nonconforming people face in finding love? How do asexual people approach romance? What complications can polyamory bring to young love? Moderator Tara Madison Avery (We’re Still Here, Stacked Deck Press, Prism Comics board member), Viktor Kerney (Strangelore, Crush co-editor, Prism Comics board member), and Crush contributors Mike Ciriaco (WeHo TV News), Hayden Harwood, EJ Oakley, Rachel Gorman, Max Spragovsky (Woof Galaxy), and others will look at how first loves and other timely topics are presented in comics.
Women in Comics Collective International is an organization that highlights the merit and craftwork of women and nonbinary people in the comic book industry. They host events around the country, including their own Women in Comics convention. In this installment of their ongoing panel series, they discuss how they maintain their career longevity within an ever-changing industry while ushering in a new generation of creators who will help broaden the scope of the comic book medium as a whole.
Panelists include Eisner Award–winning artist Alitha E. Martinez, comic book historian and English professor Dr. Shamika Mitchell, digital painter and cover artist Sheeba Maya, illustrator and journalist Alice Meichi Li, educator Vanée Smith-Matsalia, illustrator and colorist Sara Gomez-Woolley, and moderator Regine L. Sawyer, the coordinator and founder of the Women in Comics Collective International.
Pecs Bar (2046 University Ave)
Prism Comics is back for a night of CosPlay Models, Raffles, and more! Come out to Drink, Pose, Draw and Socialize. Model sessions start at 8pm and watch out as we join Gunther’s Cosplay Wig Party at 9pm! It’ll be a night you won’t want to miss!
Pecs Bar (2046 University Ave)
Wig Up and Cape On! Grab your Super Best Friends and join Gunther for a special Cosplay SD Comic-Con Wig Party! It’s a crossover like you’ve never seen as Gunther joins forces with Prism Comics and “Drink & Draw” to bring you Games, Contests, Shots, Prizes, Cosplay Models, Drink Specials and Much More!
Rich’s San Diego (1051 University Ave)
As the Comic-Con mass make its way in our city, our beloved planet finds itself at the peril of an invading 8-bit alien horde and the once again the men of Techniche are called upon to defend our world from these space invaders and save humanity. It’s up to the Myxzlplix, John Vilotti, Josh Taylor, and Juggernaut to bring forth an audio assault of Tech-House + Techno to eradicate the otherworldly swarm!
Free B-4 11PM with Comic-Con Badge or in Costume. Jello shots by Scarlett Santamaria.
Join the Rebellion! Executive producer Noelle Stevenson, Aimee Carrero (Adora/She-Ra), Karen Fukuhara (Glimmer), Marcus Scribner (Bow), and Lauren Ash (Scorpia) offer a peek inside the highly anticipated third season of She-Ra and the Princesses of Power in a conversation moderated by Entertainment Weekly senior editor Patrick Gomez.
Why are comics and other literature centered on LGBTQ+ characters targeted so frequently by censors? What can be done to ensure these important books stay on shelves? CBLDF and a panel of creators, educators, librarians, and retailers discuss the challenges facing LGBTQ comics and ways communities can help overcome them.
Shiley Special Events Suite, San Diego Central Library
Panelists Rosemary Valero-Connell (Laura Dean Keeps Breaking Up with Me), Sarah Graley (Kim Reaper), Claudia Aguirre (Morning in America) and Lilah Sturges (Lumberjanes: The Infernal Compass) discuss LGBTQ+ in Young Adult graphic novels, from developing authentic visual stories to comics as a safe space for all identities. Moderated by Amanda Melilli (ALA Graphic Novels and Comics Round Table). In conjunction with CBC Graphic Novel Committee.
Steven thinks his time defending the Earth is over, but in Steven Universe: The Movie, he will face his biggest challenge yet. Moderated by self-proclaimed “ruler of the skies” Shelby Rabara (Peridot), hear Estelle (Garnet), Michaela Dietz (Amethyst), Deedee Magno Hall (Pearl), and series creator Rebecca Sugar talk about why it’s more important than ever to believe in Steven. They’ll answer your burning questions about “The Battle of Heart and Mind” special, perform a few songs, and present the worldwide debut of the official trailer for Steven Universe: The Movie.
2:30PM Comic Arts Conference Session #8: Queer Latin American Identity and Comics: A Conversation with LGBTQ Comic Creators from Latin America »
This panel explores the “formally queer” nature of comics and how queer kinship functions across Latin America and beyond. Stereotypical and hegemonic regional, national, religious, and ethnic factors throughout Latin America often erase or oppress individuals’ identities that do not conform to patriarchal, Eurocentric, or heteronormative ways of being. For the comic creators participating on this panel, the LGBTQ community and their comics work provide an identity that feels more authentic than other traditional forms of identification. Sam Cannon (Louisiana State University Shreveport) and Camila Gutiérrez (The Pennsylvania State University) present brief academic analyses of and locate comics as a site of belonging for individuals who otherwise transgress borders, languages, nationalities, sexualities, and genders. MJ Barros (Corazón do Obsidiana), Barbara Perez Marquez (The Cardboard Kingdom), and Vicente Casanova (Noiso.Me) discuss their experience as queer Latin American comics creators and their processes of identification and kinship through sequential art.
Every hero has an origin story—the defining moment where they took the leap into greatness—and so do your favorite comic book creators. Moderator Megan Townsend (GLAAD) hosts some of the industry’s brightest LGBTQ comic creators and LGBTQ-content publishers, in a tell-all panel where they’ll recount their comics beginnings and their journey to stardom.
Including Joe Glass (The Pride), Clive Hawken (Delver), Spike Trotman (Iron Circus Comics), and Ivan Salazar (comiXology)
Grand 12 & 13, Marriott Marquis San Diego Marina
Entertainment industry professionals Ted Biaselli (executive of development, Netflix original programming), Gordon Bellamy (CEO, Gay Gaming Professionals/visiting scholar), Michael Vogel (animation showrunner/producer), Patrick Gomez (senior editor, Entertainment Weekly), Cat Staggs (comic book artist), and Chandler Poling (White Bear PR) discuss how to turn your favorite geeky fandoms into flourishing careers, the challenges and rewards of growing up gay, and how being a member of the LGBT community influenced their work.
Moderated by Chris Riley.
7PM Queer Fear »
The queer community has had a long history with the horror genre, from “coding” within the Universal monster classics to the oft-cited A Nightmare on Elm Street 2 and beyond. Does a queer horror genre exist, and if so, what makes it different from mainstream horror? Furthermore, how does the current cultural and societal climate alter the lens through which we celebrate and connect to the macabre? Learn more from Prism comics and moderator/filmmaker Michael Varrati (Tales of Poe, Deathcember) and an array of panelists including Jane Clark (Crazy Bitches, Meth Head), BJ Colangelo (Powerbomb, journalist at Bloody-Disgusting, Day of the Woman), Sam Wineman (The Quiet Room, Santaland), Fernando Rivera (author of The Afterliving, writer/director of Where Monster Hides), Amanda Deibert (Wonder Woman ’77,John Carpenter’s Tales for a Halloween Night), and William O. Tyler (Ratboy, Theater of Terror: Revenge of the Queers)!
MO’s Bar and Grill (308 University Ave)
BAM! POW! WAM! During 2019 Comic-Con International, it’s going down. Join us for Kickxy’s Comic-Con Cosplay Battle Extravaganza! Categories are: Villain, Superhero, Gender Bender, Star Wars, Gaymer. Get those capes and
outfits ready! Each category winner wins $50 and grand prize takes $500.
Performances by Cassidy Vaiolagi Richards, Jimmy Sherfy, Eddie Loya, and returning winners Abe Camiro 2017, And Me (Evelyn Rose) 2018. Get there at 7pm to sign-up and party with us all night!
Armed with a passion for social justice and a flair for speaking her mind, Kate Kane soars onto the streets of Gotham as Batwoman, an out lesbian and highly trained street fighter primed to snuff out the failing city’s criminal resurgence. But don’t call her a hero yet. In a city desperate for a savior, Kate must overcome her own demons before embracing the call to be Gotham’s symbol of hope. Join cast and producers for a screening of the pilot, followed by a Q&A. From executive producers Greg Berlanti (Arrow, The Flash, Supergirl), Caroline Dries (The Vampire Diaries, Smallville), Geoff Johns (Arrow, The Flash, Titans), and Sarah Schechter (Arrow, The Flash, Supergirl). The cast includes Ruby Rose (Orange Is the New Black, The Meg, XXX: Return of Xander Cage), Rachel Skarsten (Reign, Fifty Shades of Grey, Lost Girl), Meagan Tandy (Survivor’s Remorse, UnREAL, Teen Wolf), Nicole Kang (You), Camrus Johnson (Luke Cage, The Sun Is Also a Star), Elizabeth Anweis (Twin Peaks), and Dougray Scott (Taken 3, Hitman, Mission: Impossible 2). Marcos Siega (You, God Friended Me, Blindspot) directed the pilot, for which he also served as executive producer alongside David Nutter (Game of Thrones, Arrow, The Flash). Batwoman premieres this fall. airing Sundays at 8/7c on The CW and is based on characters from DC and is produced by Berlanti Productions in association with Warner Bros. Television.
Ezra Claytan Daniels (Bttm Fdrs), Ebony Flowers (Hot Comb), Alitha Martinez (Black Panther: World of Wakanda), and David Walker (Bitter Root) make comics that engage the Black experience in diverse ways. Whether Afro-futurist socio-horror comedy, literary fiction through the lens of hair, Wakandan adventures, sci-fi about the Harlem Renaissance, or queer supernatural stories, these contemporary Black comics rock! Calvin Reid, senior news editor at Publishers Weekly, moderates.
11:30AM Comics Art Conference Session #10: Conjuring Black Folx: Race, Space, and Hoodoo in Contemporary Comics »
How does the use of conjure or rootwork in comic narratives reconfigure identity, morality, and power? This panel explores how, despite its contentious nature, this folk magic has been a fruitful source of critique of the interplay of power and identity and sheds light on the shadowed spaces that still mystify our nation. John Jennings (University of California, Riverside) explores this folk magic as a symbolic narrative device in Jook Joint, Bitter Root, House of Whispers, and Bone Parish that boldly challenges the status quo in comics. Kinitra Brooks (Michigan State University) examines Black women’s rootworking traditions via Harrow County and “conjure feminism.” Stanford Carpenter (BCAF, Pocket Con) shows how nonbinary trickster figures in Juke Joint call the alignment of might and right into question by moving away from morality and centering the consequences of the struggle to survive and overcome.
In his brand-new graphic memoir They Called Us Enemy, the beloved actor, author, and activist George Takei revisits his haunting childhood in American internment camps, as one of 120,000 Japanese Americans imprisoned by the U.S. government during World War II. Experience the forces that shaped an American icon-and America itself-in this gripping tale of courage, country, loyalty, and love. You’ll hear firsthand from George, as well as his co-authors Justin Eisinger and Steven Scott and artist Harmony Becker, about this dark chapter of our nation’s history, its impact on Takei’s astonishing life, and its urgent relevance for today’s world.
James Killen, head buyer of sci-fi and fantasy for Barnes & Noble, talks to Cory Doctorow (Radicalized), Seanan McGuire (Middlegame), Charlie Jane Anders (The City in the Middle of the Night), Annalee Newitz (The Future of Another Timeline), and Sarah Gailey (Magic for Liars) about the process of creation from the perspective of first-time authors to veterans of multiple genres. The discussion will touch on the difficulty creators have in cultivating and maintaining community and fandom and the difficulties of bringing fans with them as they cross over, balancing one’s identity as a writer, and the importance of social media.
Black representation has gained integral attention within the geek culture. However, Black Queer characters and stories continue to be limited or absent from the discussion. Prism Comics and moderator Viktor Kerney (StrangeLore, co-host of the MEGASHEEN podcast) and panelists Valerie Complex (Screenwriter, Entertainment Journalist), Eric Cooper (Knight Seeker, CEO of Black Label ComiCon), Eliot Sutler (BiNet, Bisexual Women of Color Collaborative) and William O. Tyler (Ratboy, Theater of Terror: Revenge of the Queers; Cinephilia) as they discuss a myriad of topics from portrayals of Black Queer people across media platforms to Black Queer contributions to the sci-fi, fantasy, comics genre.
The comic world’s longest-running panel turns 32! With LGBTQ or LGBTQ-friendly creators as writers, artists, directors, producers, actors, entertainers, and journalists, what do their characters and creations mean for diverse representation, characters, and storylines on comics, film, and television? Just three weeks after the 50th anniversary of the of the Stonewall Riots-which changed the battle for gay rights forever-this diverse all-star panel will celebrate and spotlight creators, comics, and fans as they discuss the past, present, and future Out in Comics. Founding moderator and bestselling author Andy Mangels (Wonder Woman ’77 Meets The Bionic Woman, Star Trek and Star Wars books and comics) again chairs the panel and welcomes panelists Justin Hall (writer/editor of Fantagraphics’ No Straight Lines: Four Decades of Queer Comics, producer of the upcoming 2020 film No Straight Lines: The Rise of Queer Comics, and teacher at California College of the Arts), Maya Kern (artist of the Hearts Thorns and Scales book and the webcomic Monster Pop!, nominated for the 2017 PRISM Awards), Che Grayson (Brooklyn-based filmmaker and writer for Image’s Bitch Planet Triple Feature, IDW’s Femme Magnifique, and Lion Forge’s Noble), Alitha E. Martinez (GLAAD-award-winning artist of Black Panther: World of Wakanda; artist for Batgirl,NBC’s Heroes, Riverdale, Iron Man, and more), Chad Michaels (RuPaul’s DragRace), Vincent J. Roth (writer, producer and star of cinema’s first gay superhero films, 2004’s Surge of Power: The Stuff of Heroes,2017’s Surge of Power: Revenge of the Sequel, and the upcoming 2020 film, Surge of Dawn), Chuck Rozanski (Colorado owner of Mile High Comics, one of the largest comic chains in the world, and nationally recognized drag queen and Imperial Sovereign Court Titleholder Bettie Pages), Brandon T. Snider (author of the queer-inclusive Avengers: Infinity War middle-grade books, and many Wonder Woman, Batman,Adventure Time, Peter Powers, and other young readers books), and Lilah Sturges (writer of the books Lumberjanes: The Internal Compass and The Magicians: Alice’s Story; writer and co-writer of DC’s Jack of Fables, Shadowpact, House of Mystery, Blue Beetle, and more). The panel will also include footage from WB’s Batwoman, No Straight Lines, and Surge of Dawn, plus an all-ages trailer for the 2019 film festival Dirty Sexy Comics, a documentary by Robert Chandler. The panel will be followed by a brief Prism Comics Fan Mixer, allowing LGBTQ fans and allies to meet and mingle!
Uptown Tavern (1236 University Ave)
The Uptown Starlets present an all-new show! Saturday, July 20th at 8pm! Featuring your resident queens: Nina Bel Vande, Reina Shine. Coco Chanel &. Kickxy Vixen Styles! With special guests: Royal Harlequin & Jimmy Sherfy!
Doors open at 7pm. For reservations call or text Jessica Wight Carter at 619-252-4966.
Rich’s San Diego (1051 University Ave)
Ned Cato Jr. Hillcrest’s Number One GEEK and Rich’s Nightclub bring you GEEK KNIGHT PRODUCTIONS 11th Annual HEROES VS. VILLAINS COMIC-CON AFTER PARTY! Come celebrate COMIC-CON and GEEK WEEK and join the fun and meet with other GEEKS and dance the night away….
DJ DIRTY KURTY will be spinning EDM and club hits in the main room and DJ MOODY RUDY will be spinning Urban hits in the front room. Check out one of the best LASER AND LIGHT SHOW in SAN DIEGO! Come check out the SEXY GO-GO HEROES AND VILLAINS and don’t forget to tip them! Come get your face and body painted FREE of charge by some of the BEST body painters in the BIZ!
Moderated by Lorran Garrison, the panel will talk about how comics, cosplay, video gaming, and other forms of pop culture foster mental health wellness of teens and young adults. More specifically, the panel will dive deep into the impact of comics and pop culture within the LGBTQIA community. Bullying and suicide ideation are two of the many issues the LGBTQIA community combats, and panelists will give advice and resources about coping with unsupportive families, finding/creating community, and ways family members can show up for their queer loved one. Lorran Garrison is a school psychologist student (San Diego, CA) with an early childhood development background. She has also been trained in parent education with Resources for Infant Educarers. Other panelists: Anthony E. Zuiker is the creator of CSI: Crime Scene Investigation and co-founder and publisher of Zuiker Press. Tara Madison Avery is a publisher, cartoonist, and illustrator of Stacked Deck Press, specializing in LGBTQAIU interests. Dr. Janina Scarlet is a licensed clinical psychologist and founder/developer of Superhero Therapy, recipient of Eleanor Roosevelt Human Rights Award from the United Nations. Justine Mastin is a licensed marriage and family therapist and founder of Blue Box Counseling, which specializes in LGBTQIA interests and co-host of Starship Therapise podcast. Lara Taylor Kester is a licensed marriage and family therapist, co-creator of the Geek Therapy Library, and podcast co-host for Geek Therapy Radio.
The Rail (3796 Fifth Ave)
Comic Con brings us all the best in today’s geeky topics. We wanted to do a trivia theme to honor all those great topics! So, assemble your team and show what you know about Comics, Star Wars, Harry Potter, Video Games, Steampunk, Sci-fi & Fantasy, Star Trek, Cartoons, RPGs, Tech, Zombies… and much more! Join us on July 21st from 6-8pm at The Rail in Hillcrest to show what you know!
IMPORTANT: As we have had an incredible response to our theme nights, all teams must purchase a ticket to join us for this event. No exceptions or tickets available on the night of the event. Only 1 ticket is needed for each team with a maximum number of SIX (6) team members. Limit one ticket per purchaser. Please do not buy multiple tickets. Do not buy tickets to multiple events of the same topic. There will be limited spots available and this event will sell out.
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