Comic-Con is just around the corner and the League will be on hand to witness all the craziness. While we won’t be sponsoring a formal mixer this year, we’ve put together a list of panels that we think will be of special interest to our members and/or which include one of our lovely founders. Make sure to say hi if you find us and follow us on Twitter at @leagueofladies for the latest updates. Enjoy and stay safe out there!
This year marks the 25th anniversary of Heartbreakers, a groundbreaking science fiction series that was one of the first action comics starring female heroes, and the only one written by a woman when it debuted in Dark Horse Presents. Today, there are more women than ever reading and creating comics-not to mention cosplaying and writing about comics-but it seems a lot of the old biases are still entrenched. What’s changed in 25 years, and what hasn’t? Join Heartbreakers creators Anina Bennett and Paul Guinan, along with friends Jimmy Palmiotti (Painkiller Jane), Kiala Kazebee (Vaginal Fantasy), Allison Baker (Monkeybrain Comics), and Claire Hummel (Bioshock: Infinite), for a lively discussion of sexism, science fiction, comic books, and geek culture.
Thursday July 24, 2014 1:00pm – 2:00pm
Explore the past, present, and the future of female character creation for film, TV, comics, video games, and novels and examine the traps of common tropes, clichés, and stereotypes, while discussing how content creators can create wonderful, relatable, and realistic female characters with moderator Michele Brittany (West Coast Bleeding Cool News correspondent), Neo Edmund (Red Riding-Werewolf Huntress, Kaijudo Rise of the Duel Masters), Charlotte Fullerton (My Little Pony, Ben 10 Omniverse), Clare Kramer (Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Geek Nation), Marv Wolfman (Teen Titans, creator of countless comic book characters), Andrew Robinson (Kaijudo Rise of the Duel Masters, Rescue Bots), and Mairghread Scott (Transformers Prime, Rescue Bots).
Thursday July 24, 2014 2:00pm – 3:00pm
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 Kistler (TheMarySue.com), Bryan Q. Miller ( Batgirl), and Jennifer K. Stuller (Ink-Stained Amazon).
Thursday July 24, 2014 3:00pm – 4:00pm
**The folks at Her Universe are sponsoring a Geek Couture Fashion Show on Thursday night beginning at 6pm at the Manchester Grand Hyatt Hotel in their Harbor Ballroom. It’s free with your Comic-Con badge and first-come, first-served. Doors open at 5:30pm.
Panelists explore both the role of gender in mainstream and independent comics, as well as the impact of gender politics on the business side of the industry and in the media. Moderated by comics editor Janelle Asselin, the panel inclides ComicsAlliance.com senior editor Andy Khouri, BOOM! Studios editor Dafna Pleban, comics writer James Tynion IV (The Woods), Image comics director of trade book sales Jennifer de Guzman, and WIRED writer Laura Hudson.
Friday July 25, 2014 10:00am – 11:00am
How sexist are superhero comic books? How fairly do comic book creators depict females and femininity, and how do we view the creators who attempt to introduce feminist values? Rebecca Sader (University of Texas at Dallas) looks at how well Birds of Prey fares in light of methodology like the Bechdel test. Matthew J. Brown (University of Texas at Dallas) delves into the psychology and (unorthodox) feminist values of psychologist William Moulton Marston, the creator of Wonder Woman and a pioneer in the invention of the lie detector. Annamarie O’Brien (Bowling Green State University) looks at mommy issues in Jack Kirby’s Fourth World saga, from idealized Mother Box to the monstrous depiction of mothering gone awry via the villainous Granny Goodness.
Friday July 25, 2014 1:00pm – 2:30pm
While the Victorian era was known for its constraints on morals, behaviors and bosoms, Steampunks have turned things on their head by reimagining a history that never was. Women creators have loosened those traditional corset laces and have begun to explore multiculturalism, science, sexuality, class politics, and much more. Panelists explore just how liberating the age of steam can be, featuring witty women Anina Bennett (Boilerplate: History’s Mechanical Marvel), Ay-leen the Peacemaker (editor for BeyondVictoriana.com and Tor Books), Claire Hummel (Bioshock: Infinite), Robin Blackburn (The League of S.T.E.A.M.), Sarah Hunter (Steampunk model/performer), Sheyne Fleischer ( The League of S.T.E.A.M.), and moderator Dina Kampmeyer (Lady Steam Designs).
Friday July 25, 2014 2:30pm – 3:30pm
Sheyne Fleischer (assistant editor, The Bachelor, Hells Kitchen), Tess Folwer (writer/illustrator Game of Thrones Exclusive Animation, Rat Queens), Alicia Minette (prop fabrication: Sushi Girl, Man at Arms), and Aubriana Zurilgen (creature creation: Steve Wang’s Creature Workshop, MasterFX), will explore the nontraditional roles of women in the comic and entertainment industries. Female editors, illustrators, prop fabricators, and creature creators will relate their success stories and how to follow your dreams in the industry, while exploring gender roles in the creative professions. Moderated by Glenn Freund (League of S.T.E.A.M.).
Friday July 25, 2014 3:30pm – 4:30pm
We couldn’t imagine our favorite comic book, TV show, novel or film without our beloved superheroines. However, the journey for them has not been easy. Whether it’s cultural barriers or societal sexism, super women have had to fight more than just crime in order to survive. Creators Genese Davis (The Holder’s Dominion, MMORPG.com, The Gamer in You), Adrianne Curry (America’s Next Top Model), Michele R. Wells (Disney Publishing Worldwide, DK Publishing, Penguin), and Adam Simon (Man Down, Synapse) discuss the challenges and obstacles to creating relevant female protagonists in today’s male-dominated industries.
Friday July 25, 2014 4:00pm – 5:00pm
When you see Star Wars T-shirts, Mass Effect leggings, and other unique pop culture apparel, do you ever wonder how they were made? Join industry professionals for a behind-the-scenes look at the business of geek fashion. Moderated by Lisa Granshaw (The Daily Dot, Fashionably Geek), panelists Ed Labay (Hot Topic), Mike Kochis (ThinkGeek), Nicole Campos (WeLoveFine), Cameron Parker (Black Milk Clothing), and Victoria Schmidt (Gold Bubble Clothing) discuss how their businesses choose designs, what the licensing process is like, how trends affect their work, and how fashion options for geek girls have increased over the years. Ample time will be left for audience members to ask questions and voice their opinions about what they’d like to see more of in the geek fashion market.
Friday July 25, 2014 5:30pm – 6:30pm
In Hollywood, everybody “knows” that scientists are typically treated as supervillains or antisocial nerds. But more and more, scientist characters are playing the hero. A panel-moderated by IEEE Spectrum senior editor Stephen Cass (Coming Soon Enough) and featuring Kevin Grazier (Defiance), Andrea Letamendi, Ph.D. (Under the Mask), Jessica Cail, Ph.D. (The Hunted), Phil Plait (The Bad Astronomer), writers and producers Nicole Perlman (Guardians of the Galaxy), and the team of Zack Stenz and Ashley E. Miller (Fringe)-will debate whether or not scientists have truly escaped the stereotypes.
Friday July 25, 2014 6:00pm – 7:00pm
These authors know how to thrill readers with stories of kick-ass heroines who traverse the boundaries of other worlds and dimensions. Deborah Harkness (All Souls Trilogy), Marjorie Liu (Labyrinth of Stars), S. J. Harper (Reckoning), Christina Lauren (Sublime), Tonya Hurley (Blessed series), and moderator Chris Marie Green (Only the Good Die Young) discuss the paranormal elements in their action-packed novels that keep their protagonists on their toes and readers on the edge of their seats.
Saturday July 26, 2014 10:30am – 11:30am
As Steampunk becomes increasingly popular with the masses, many of its longtime devotees have begun to discover new genres to focus their creative energies and explore new time periods and mash-ups. Panelists will discuss the origins of Steampunk, delve into the popular Dieselpunk and Cyberpunk movements, and then start exploring some new niche areas like Nerfpunk, Rococopunk, and any other fun styles that the audience can dream up! Join moderator Glenn Freund (The League of S.T.E.A.M.) and XYZ-Punks Dina Kampmeyer (Lady Steam Designs), Royden Lepp (creator of the GN series Rust), Russell Isler (The League of S.T.E.A.M.), and Shawn Strider (Sypher Art Studios) for this discussion and Q&A.
Saturday July 26, 2014 12:00pm – 1:00pm
Female creators talk about how to cultivate your ideas and bring them to life. Leave with inspiration, confidence, a solid plan of action, and tons of new ideas. Moderated by Stephanie Pressman (Fashionably Nerdy, Stalking LeVar) and featuring America Young (Geek Therapy, The Chimaera Project), Helenna Santos (Ms. In The Biz), Heidi Cox (Stalking LeVar, Geek Speak TV), Kristen Nedopak (The Geekie Awards, The Skyrim Parodies), Patty Jean Robinson (Pike & Trident, Awkward Embraces), Samantha Mason (Fashionably Nerdy, Legends of Atoll), and Stephanie Thorpe (Elf Quest, Shelf Life).
Saturday July 26, 2014 1:00pm – 2:00pm
Well-written, realistic female characters are celebrated in this panel featuring Comic-Con International special guests June Brigman (Power Pack), Amanda Conner (Power Girl), Colleen Coover (Bandette), Sara Mayhew (Legend of the Ztarr), Jimmy Palmiotti (Painkiller Jane), Fiona Staples (Saga), Paul Tobin (Bandette), and Brian K. Vaughan (Saga), and moderated by Maggie Thompson. Strong female characters can be heroes or villains, have weaknesses and strengths, flaws or assets, and ultimately make the stories we love to read.
Saturday July 26, 2014 3:00pm – 4:00pm
A discussion among Maisie Williams (Game of Thrones), Katey Sagal (Sons of Anarchy), Tatiana Maslany (Orphan Black), Natalie Dormer (Game of Thrones), and other fierce, fearless, and flat-out fantastic female actors who open up about the power and privilege of playing women who redefine the rules and refuse to yield.
Saturday July 26, 2014 4:10pm – 5:10pm
Many new adventures are afoot in the world of ElfQuest! With Dark Horse’s Final Quest, a new ElfQuest saga by creators Wendy and Richard Pini, flying off shelves and EQ merchandise from WeLoveFine and Badali Jewelry adorning more fans each day, the ElfQuest fan tribe continues to grow. Come hear the scoop from producers Stephanie Thorpe (Night of the Zombie King) and Paula Rhodes (The New Adventures of Peter & Wendy), who hold the film/TV rights to this 35+-year-old beloved comic series. Fans of ElfQuest since they were kids, they’ve been working to expand the World of Two Moons into more outlets and are excited to introduce you to their new team of fellow fans: Angela Song Mueller (Legend of Korra), Joshua Hamilton (Avatar: The Last Airbender), and Luke Ryan (Harold & Kumar). Moderated by Jenna Busch (Cocktails With Stan).
Saturday July 26, 2014 6:30pm – 7:30pm
Step into the pop culture ring with geeky psychologists Dr. Andrea Letamendi (The Arkham Sessions) and Dr. Ali Mattu (Super Fantastic Nerd Hour) as they bring their popular, intergalactic sci-fi battle back to Comic-Con for round 4! Special guests Sam Witwer (Star Wars: The Clone Wars, Being Human) and Rod Roddenberry (Trek Nation, Roddenberry Entertainment) join the psych pros to debate, tackle, and explain some of the most fascinating aspects of both universes. Pick a side and cast your vote as they crown one the winner! Impartially refereed by Brian Ward (Shout! Factory).
Saturday July 26, 2014 8:30pm – 9:30pm
From Ms. Marvel to Black Widow, from Twitter to tumblr, women in comics has been one of the most talked-about topics in the industry recently. Join the conversation as women from every discipline in the creative process at Marvel discuss what it’s like working as a woman in comics today and what it means for the future of the industry. Panelists include producer and photographer Judy Stephens, Marvel’s The Watcher host Lorraine Cink, Marvel Studios asset manager Alexis Auditore, artist Katie Cook (All-New Marvel NOW! Animal Variants) artist Rachelle Rosenberg (Amazing X-Men), and special guest editor-in-chief Axel Alonso!
Sunday July 27, 2014 11:15am – 12:15pm
**Superheroines! Power, Responsibility, and Representation
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).
Sunday July 27, 2014 1:30pm – 2:30pm
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 Espenson (Husbands), Dr. Andrea Letamendi (The Psychology of Star Trek vs. Star Wars), 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.
Sunday July 27, 2014 3:00pm – 4:00pm
The pop culture explosion through gaming, comics, TV, and film has opened up new opportunities for cultural diversity; however, many challenges and obstacles still exists in today’s media. In this humorous but poignant discussion, diverse geek experts will discuss breaking ethnic stereotypes and what changes need to happen for us to boldly go into the future. Panelists include Linda Le (professional cosplayer), Andre Meadows (Black Nerd Comedy), clinical psychologist Dr. Andrea Letamendi (The Arkham Sessions), and Tony B. Kim (Crazy4ComicCon.com).
Sunday July 27, 2014 4:00pm – 5:00pm