What's LGBT About This Year's Comic-Con International

Here’s the scoop on the can’t-miss LGBT-themed panels and parties scheduled to take place at the world’s biggest comic book and pop culture convention.

BY Brian Andersen

July 09 2014 9:15 AM ET

In addition to all the awesomely geeky mainstream news out of every Comic-Con International, there’s always a great deal of LGBT-geared programming and events.

The annual pop-culture extravaganza kicks off July 23 at the San Diego Convention Center. And Prism Comics — the nonprofit organization supporting LGBT comics, creators, and readers — will once again be present at Booth #2144 in Hall C and is hosting a number of panels and parties that are a must for any gay geek. Whether you’re attending the convention or you’re just geek-curious, take a look at this year's offerings below and mark your calendars accordingly.

Breaking Barriers: Transgender Trends in Popular Culture
Thursday, July 24, 5 p.m.-6 p.m., 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. Join Prism Comics, moderator Tara Madison Avery (Dirtheads, Gooch, Prism Comics) and 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
Thursday, July 24, 6 p.m.-7 p.m., Room 28DE
In the past few years, the geek world has been filled with many 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 Enos (Active Voice, Creatures of Grace) will lead a discussion with Diane Anderson-Minshall (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.

LGBT Comics for Young Readers
Friday, July 25, 2 p.m.-3 p.m., Room 28DE

Comics are a universal medium presenting us with 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? Join Prism Comics, moderator P. Kristen Enos (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) — as they look at the world of LGBT and LGBT-friendly comics for younger readers.

Queer Horror
Friday, July 25, 7 p.m.-8 p.m., 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 genre? Has the surge of LGBTQ acceptance and civil rights influenced the horror genre? Join 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), JT Seaton (George: A Zombie Intervention, NOLA Horror Film Festival), Tim Sullivan (2001 Maniacs, Chillerama), and Michael Varrati (Tales of Poe, Sins of Dracula) as they explore these and other aspects of this popular genre from a queer perspective. 

Heroes vs. Villains Superhero Dance Party
Friday, July 25, 10 p.m.-2 a.m.

Rich's Nightclub, 1051 University Ave., San Diego, CA 92103
Rich’s Nightclub celebrates a geek milestone with the 10th Annual Heroes vs. Villains Superhero Dance Party. DJ Marcel will be spinning EDM, superhero themes, video game themes, and more in the Back Bar while DJ QooLee Kid will be driving the beats in the Front Bar. This event has become a gay geek tradition for many Comic-Con attendees.

Gays in Comics XXVII: It’s a Queer, Queer World
Saturday, July 26, 5:30 p.m.-7 p.m., Room 6A
The world spins on and gets ever queerer, even though society has miles to go. This panel explores the responsibilities of creators to their and their audience's queerness as the radical becomes central. Join Prism Comics and co-moderators Roger Klorese (Prism Comics board member) and Shannon Watters (BOOM Studios) as they examine this and other questions with panelists Elisha Lim (100 Butches), Graham Kolbeins (Massive), James Tynion IV (Batman Eternal, The Woods), and other guests to be announced.

Gays in Comics XXVII: Prism Comics Mixer and Auction
Saturday, July 26, 7 p.m.-8 p.m., Room 6A
The Gays in Comics Panel will conclude with the Annual Prism Comics Mixer and Silent Auction, hosted by and benefiting Prism Comics, the nonprofit organization that supports gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender comics, creators, and readers. Mingle with comics fans and creators and stay for the special drawing of comics swag and a silent auction of incredible comics items, including original art and more!

Bourbon Street Comic-Con Night, Featuring Prism Comics
Saturday, July 26, 10 p.m-2 a.m.
Bourbon Street Bar & Grill, 4612 Park Blvd., San Diego, CA 92116
Bourbon Street Bar & Grill, a popular bar in San Diego's University Heights neighborhood, is putting on a Comic-Con night with a costume contest, special drinks and superhero (or villain) fun for all! Prism will be there to oversee the festivities.

Tags: Geek

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