Comic-Con: 10 Must-See Comic Book Panels From the Show's Last 2 Days

From classic creators of the past to young readers of the future, San Diego Comic-Con has it all during Saturday and Sunday.
Courtesy of Karl Kerschl/DC Entertainment
'Gotham Academy,' co-created by Brendan Fletcher, from Sunday's "YA? Why Not?" panel

The last couple of days of this year's San Diego Comic-Con are filled with panels for every single kind of comic fan, whether one who only cares about superheroes — Saturday, especially, has many panels from both DC and Marvel, including one dedicated entirely to Wonder Woman in her 75th year — or someone who'd rather think about the history of the business and where it's going next.

The full program schedule can be found here, but for those looking for a more concise highlights reel, consider the following 10 panels (five from Saturday, five from Sunday) as things to add to your to-do list in between back issue searches on the show floor.

Saturday

Eisner, Kurtzman, Schulz and Feiffer: Visualizing a Legacy

Will Eisner, Harvey Kurtzman, Charles Schulz and Jules Feiffer might not be names that are as familiar to people as Stan Lee or Jack Kirby, but they're just as important to the comic medium, responsible for projects like The Spirit, MAD Magazine, Peanuts and Tantrum, amongst many others. Chip Kidd, former DC Comics president Paul Levitz and others will discuss their contributions to the field. Room 4, 10-11 a.m.

Archie Comics Forever: 75 Years of Storytelling

Archie has been having a great couple of years, from the horror series Afterlife With Archie through critically acclaimed reboots of both Archie and Jughead and now a TV show on The CW this fall. Executives and creators from the company will talk about how that happened, and tease what's coming next. Room 4, 1-2 p.m.

The Kids' Comics Revolution

An impressive lineup of creators aimed at younger readers, including Nimona's Noelle Stevenson and American Born Chinese's Gene Luen Yang — who also happens to be the current National Ambassador for Young People's Literature — will explore the burgeoning kids' comics market and consider what kids' comics need to do in order to keep them reading as they grow. Room 29AB, 1-2 p.m.

Marvel: Cup o' Joe

Traditionally Marvel's big announcement panel of Comic-Con, this year's panel sees CCO Joe Quesada holding court with vp, international development CB Cebulski, director of content Sana Amanat and two of the company's Star Wars creators, Jason Aaron and Kieron Gillen, in addition to some mystery guests. Given that Gillen's Darth Vader series is heading towards its conclusion, perhaps a new Star Wars announcement is in the offing …? Room 6A, 3-4 p.m.

Celebrating 40 Years of Fantagraphics

Headed into its fifth decade of publishing, Fantagraphics has brought such cartoonists as Charles Burns, Peter Bagge, Chris Ware and Joe Sacco to the attention of discerning readers everywhere. For this anniversary panel, four of the company's highest-profile creators — Gilbert and Jaime Hernandez, Daniel Clowes, and Simon Hanselmann — talk to founder Gary Groth and associate publisher Eric Reynolds about the company's history. Room 26AB, 3:30-4:30 p.m.

Sunday

Camp Out With Lumberjanes

The Eisner Award-winning series about a group of girls at a summer camp where adventure and mystery is the order of the day (and the night, considering the potential for spooky happenings after dark) has won over fans and critics alike, and creators Shannon Watters, Chynna Clugston Flores, Kat Leyh and editor Dafna Pleban are ready to spill the beans on upcoming stories and answer questions about what's in store for Mal, Molly et al. Room 25ABC, 10-11 a.m.

How (and Why) Kids Started Reading Comics Again

New York Times best-seller and kids' comics ruler Raina Telgemeier headlines this discussion about just why it is that the kids market dominates the mainstream bookstore audience for comic books, with other panelists including First Second Books' Gina Gagliano and IDW editor Sarah Gaydos. Room 25ABC, 12-1 p.m.

Historical Comics

Cartoonists like Chester Brown, Kate Beaton and Derf Backderf — the pseudonym of John Backderf, for those wondering if that name could be real — manage to mine real-world history for their work, bringing the past to life in a way that can feel more immediate than any textbook or cinematic recreation, and Calvin Reid will lead a discussion about how much work that requires. (Just think of the research necessary!) Room 28DE, 1-2 p.m.

YA? Why Not? The Importance of Teen and Young Adult Comics

Raina Telgemeier returns for this hourlong conversation with fellow creators Cecil Castellucci (The Plain Janes), Hope Larson (Goldie Vance) and Brendan Fletcher — co-creator of DC's Gotham Academy, which provides the image at the top of this post — about the necessity of comics aimed at teenagers and what they can mean for contemporary literacy standards. Room 24ABC, 1-2 p.m.

Cover Story

Comic book historian Mark Evanier chairs a last-minute gem in the schedule, as Jonathan Case, Howard Chaykin, Paul Gulacy, Scott Shaw and Babs Tarr talk about what makes a great comic book cover and share some trade secrets. Considering the lineup of talent there — and some of Chaykin and Shaw's previous convention panel appearances — this is likely to be both an educational and extremely entertaining hour. Room 25ABC, 2-3 p.m.

San Diego Comic-Con runs July 21-24 at the San Diego Convention Center, with the annual Preview Night opening the show July 20.

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