New York Comic Con 2015: 10 Must-See Panels From the First Two Days

Batman, Iron Man, Archie and modern romance: highlights from the comics programming of the upcoming pop culture show.
Courtesy of Chip Zdarsky/Archie Comics

Next week sees New York Comic Con take over the Big Apple for another four days (plus the pre-show New York Super Week events running throughout the city from Oct. 5). For those attending the show but wondering how to get the best bang from your comics programming buck, here are 10 panels from the show's first two days to get you started. (Don't worry about what to do on Saturday and Sunday; those beans will be spilled right here tomorrow.)

Thursday

The 7 Archetypes of Comic Shops: Who Will Triumph, Thrive and Survive

With comic book culture impacting mainstream pop culture in such a dramatic way, but bookstores and digital comic platforms offering alternatives to the local Android's Dungeon, what is the future for the local comic store? This panel of experts lays out some ideas. Room 1B03, 1:45 to 2:45 p.m.

The Biggest Attack on Titan Manga Announcement Ever

Hajime Isayama's alien invasion manga continues to grow in popularity in the U.S. and its native Japan, and this panel from U.S. publishers Kodansha, promises "the biggest announcement about the comics series … ever." Quite what that could be is a matter of mystery, but attendees are also likely to hear more about the live-action movie version of the series, the first installment of which recently opened in select theaters across the country. Room 1A18, 4 to 5 p.m.

Image Comics: Where Creators Own Action

A great lineup of independent creators — including Alex de Campi, Steve Orlando and Nick Dragotta — talk about action in comic books, and how to make it work on the printed page. Room 1A24, 4:15 to 5:15 p.m.

New York TimesOUT Presents LGBT in Comics

Orlando is also one of the panelists on this discussion of LGBT representation in the current comic book scene, with others including Marvel's Kris Anka, Batgirl's Babs Tarr, cover artist Kevin Wada (late of DC's Catwoman) and writer James Tynion IV. Room 1A21, 5:15 to 6:15 p.m.

DC Super Hero Girls

The lowdown on DC's partnership with Warner Bros. Consumer Products and Mattel, intended to provide material for one of the most underserved markets in superhero material (girls aged 6-12), is unveiled, with those responsible for tie-in novels, comics and toys explaining what it's all about. Room 1B03, 5:30 to 6:30 p.m.

Friday

DC Comics — The Dark Knight 30th Anniversary

Arguably DC's biggest panel of the entire show, the 30th anniversary of Frank Miller's classic Batman series is celebrated by Brian Azzarello, Andy Kubert and Klaus Janson — aka, the creative team of Dark Knight III: The Master Race sans Miller himself — as well as DC co-publisher Jim Lee "and maybe even a Surprise Guest or two" according to the publisher. Will Miller himself show up? Main Stage 1-D, 11 a.m. to noon.

Marvel: Iron Man & The Avengers

Meanwhile, Marvel pushes its All-New All-Different publishing relaunch with this panel spotlighting the properties that have made the most impact via the big screen, with creators from Ant-Man, A-Force and other Marvel comic books alongside executive editor Tom Brevoort. Room 1A06, 1:45 to 2:45 p.m.

Archie Comics Forever

Archie is having a great year, with the recent relaunch of the core Archie and Jughead titles complementing the critically-acclaimed The Black Hood, Afterlife With Archie and Chilling Adventures of Sabrina. Creators Dan Parent, Mark Waid, Chip Zdarsky, Erica Henderson and Robert Aguirre-Sacasa are on hand to lure more newcomers in to the fold. Room 1A05, 4:15 to 5:15 p.m.

Pushing Boundaries Forward: Gender, Diversity and Representation in Comic Books

Finally, the face of mainstream comics is changing, and becoming less white, straight and male. A group of creators and critics discuss just what that means, why independent publishers and webcomics lead the way, and what the future really looks like. Room 1A24, 5:15 to 6:15 p.m.

Fresh Romance

Love is in the air with this evening panel devoted to the crowdfunding success Fresh Romance, a digital anthology series reviving and reinventing the romance comics format for a contemporary audience. Editor and creator Janelle Asselin is joined by a number of creators to share the love (and maybe some hints of what's to come, as well.) Room 1B03, 7:45 to 8:45 p.m.

New York Comic Con runs Oct. 8 through 11 at the Javits Center.

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