You say you’re going to the San Diego Comic-con International, the biggest pop culture festival in North America, held July 11-15 at the San Diego Convention Center, and want a little guidance on what to see? PW Comics World is here for you with a listing of a few choice panels and presentations at this year’s show.

Be sure and take note: Publishers Weekly senior news editor and PW Comics World coeditor Calvin Reid, along with Heidi MacDonald, PW graphic novel reviews editor and PW Comics World coeditor, will be on hand and taking part in a number of panels. Reid will be on panels on Friday and Sunday, including the Publishers Weekly/PW Comics World panel: “Serious Pictures: Comics and Journalism in a New Era,” on Sunday. MacDonald will be on at least three panels on Friday.

Bear in mind that our little listing is a drop in the bucket that only indicates a tiny selection of the presentations available at Comic-Con. There are many more events and panels of note than we can hope to list here. Our listing doesn’t even include events like Tr!ckster, the cartoonist-organized show/bookstore/lounge held off-site. The San Diego Comic-con International runs from July 11 (preview night) through July 15 offering hundreds of panels, presentations, films and activities all focused on the state of comics and pop culture. Wear comfortable shoes and get your pop culture on!

A full schedule of all the programming can be found on the San Diego Comic-Con International website.


10:30-11:30 How to Get News Coverage. Comics journalist Rik Offenberger moderates a panel on getting news coverage that includes PW’s Heidi “The Beat” MacDonald, Rich Jonston (Bleeding Cool), Matt Moore (Associate Press) and others. Room B

12:30-1:30 iVerse Media: New Frontiers in Digital Comics. Comics writers and digital entrepreneur Mark Waid is joined by iVerse CEO Michael Murphey, Filip Sablik of Boom! And Mike Pellerito of Archie Comica, to discuss the digital future. Room 24ABC.

1:00-2:00 Trailblazers of Comics. Comic-con special guests Lynn Johnston and Kate Beaton talk with PW’s Heidi “The Beat” MacDonald making it in the comics business. Room 25ABC.

3:00-4:00 Graphic Novels: The Bookstore Crowd. The’s Tom Spurgeon moderates a panel that includes comics artists Kate Beaton (Hark! A Vagrant!) Alison Bechdel (Are You My Mother?) and Jason Shiga (Empire State) about graphic novels in general bookstores (instead of the comics shop market). Room 23ABC

4:30-5:30 Marvel: Next Big Thing. In the wake of The New 52, DC’s successful reboot of its superhero universe, the Marvel braintrust is about revamp its own superhero universe and editor-in-chief Axel Alonso, editor C.B. Cebulski and others answer questions on Marvel’s editorial direction. Room 6DE

4:30-5:30 Bringing Comics to Life in the Library. Five “super-librarians” discuss bringin comics to all ages at their libraries, including Jack Baur (Berkeley Public), Jessica Lee (Willard Middle School) and Scott Robbins (Toronto Public Library). Room 26AB.

7:00-8:00 Bleeding Alliance of Beat Reporters. A couple of pioneering comics bloggers talk about the comics news business, including PW’s Heidi “The Beat” MacDonald, Tom Spurgeon of The Comics Reporter and comics critic Douglas Wolk. Room 23ABC.


9:30-10:20 ComicsPRO "Fresh Start". ComicsPRO, the retailer trade association, kicks of the day with conversation on the state of the comics retail business. Room 19

10:00-11:30 The Black Panel. Perrenial black panel moderator Michael Davis hosts former NBA star Shaquille O’Neal, Regijalrd Hudlin, Missy Geppi (president of Geppi Enertainment Museum) and more. African American pop culture represents. Room 5AB.

11:00-12:00 JManga: The Future of Digital Manga. Join manga editor Deb Aoki, PW’s Calvin Reid and Robert Newman of in a discussion about the future of manga and digital delivery. Room 25ABC.

12:00-1:00 CBLDF: The History of Comics Censorship. Comic Book Legal Defense Fund executive director Charles Brownstein tells the grim history of book burnings and censorship of comics starting in the 1950s right up to the present. Room 11AB.

2:00-3:00 Nappy Hour. Cartoonist Keith Knight hosts what has been called “PTI for Geeks,” a round-table featuring PW’s Calvin Reid, designer John Jennings and self-pubbed comic book phenom C. Spike Trotman, creator of the kickstarter comics publication, Poorcraft. Room24ABC.

2:00-3:00 No Straight Lines: Four Decades of Queer Comics. The editor of No Straight Lines, a massive anthology of gay cartooning from Fantagraphics, Justin Hall moderates a panel that includes Alison Bechdel (Dykes to Watch Out For), Trina Robbins (Wimmen’s Comix) and Eric Shanower (Age of Bronze). Room 25ABC.

8:00-10:30 The Will Eisner Comic Industry Awards. The 24th annual Eisner Awards, both the “Oscars” and the “National Book Awards” of the comics industry, a gala awards ceremony hosted this year by Brit TV host/comics nut Jonathan Ross, Eric Powell, Bill Morrison and a crowd of guest stars. Hilton San Diego Bayfront.


1:00-12:00 Archie Comics: The Hottest Publisher in Comics. Despite dueling lawsuits by its feuding co-CEOs, Archie Comics is indeed on a roll, with innovative efforts in digital distribution and updating its classic characters and editorial. Panel includes co-CEOs Jon Goldwater and Nancy Silberkleit, Archie president Mike Pellerito and a host of Archie executives and artists. Room 9.

12:30-1:30 D+Q: Canada and Comics. Retailer Chris Butcher moderates a panel that looks at the influence of acclaimed Canadian indie publisher Drawn & Quarterly, incuding such D&Q artists as Kate Beaton and others. Room 5AB.

1:30-3:00 30th Anniversary of Love and Rockets. Fantagraphics publisher Gary Groth hosts a discussion with Los Bros—Gilber, Jaime and Mario Hernandez—about the 30thanniversary of their groundbreaking and acclaimed comics. Room 24ABC.

Sunday (also Kid’s Day)

10:00-11:00 Spotlight on Jason Shiga. A spotlight panel on pecial Comic-con guest Jason Shiga, author of the innovative interactive comics Meanwhile, Knock Knock and most recently Empire State. Room 4.

11:00-12:00 Kids Read! Four graphic novelists read from their works: Jimmy Gownley (Amelia Rules), Raina Telgemeier (Drama), Collee AF Venable (Pet Shop Private Eye) and Jorge Aguirre (Giants Beware). Room 11AB.

12:00-1:00 Reinventing the Graphic Novel for the iPad. Daniel Burwen offers a detailed and fascinating presentation about the creation of Operation Ajax: How the CIA Toppled Democracy in Iran, an interactive graphic novel for the iPad. Room 24ABC.

3:00-4:00 Publishers Weekly/ PW Comics World panel: Serious Pictures: Comics and Journalism in a New Era. PW’s Calvin Reid moderates a panel on comics and journalism in the digital era that includes such comics journalists as Susie Cagle, Andy Warner, Stan Mack and Dan Carino. The panel also features retailer Chris Butcher and cartoonists Ed Piskor. Room 32AB.