San Diego Comic-Con is coming this week, and it’s a whirlwind for geek culture and the business world. ICv2 readers should definitely check out some of the programming. The Women in Comics Collective International will host a series of panels on industry issues. The lineup includes Scott Snyder, Joe Illidge and MaikaSozo, plus moderator Regine Sawyer.
The show’s third season will air in Hall H. Guests will have the opportunity to meet the cast and crew, as well as view exclusive footage and other content. There will also be a panel with actor Joel Kinnaman about his role in the new series, “Altered World.” Guests may also want to check out the Inside Writer Room and Listening to the Fans.
An Industry Professional’s Guide to SDCC’s 2022 Programming is packed with helpful tips and tricks for creating, marketing, and selling comics. There are many panels aimed at publishers, retailers, educators and creators. This year, a panel will be dedicated to crowdfunding. This panel features writers, onscreen talent and production people discussing the best ways to greenlight their ideas.
While the San Diego Comic-Con schedule is always subject to change, you can expect to see some familiar shows and movies at a convention near you. The Walking Dead and Game of Thrones have appeared on SDCC in recent years. A full day of entertainment is also scheduled on Friday, with creative workshops spread liberally over the four days of the event. Among these popular shows is the San Diego Comic-Con Masquerade cosplay contest.
Panels for Marvel and DC comics are an excellent way to learn about new releases. Inside Severance and For All Mankind will have fan-only panels, and Apple TV+ Storytellers will provide the inside scoop on upcoming shows. A panel moderated by Bryan Adams will offer a first look at upcoming shows. For example, a look at the Transformers Legacy range is another popular panel. The creators of this line will discuss their creation process, and a new character will be revealed at SDCC.
When attending Comic-Con, you will have to be prepared with your business materials, media kits, and product samples. Make a list of people you want to hang out with and meet. You might also consider hosting a dinner or happy hour with people you know in the peripheral industry. If possible, be sure to make a list of speakers and other connections at the convention. You can even organize a meet-up or happy hour for them at a hotel during the convention.
San Diego Comic-Con is back in full force starting this week and, as usual, will be a blur of activity for everyone in the business. Between meetings, drinks, networking and filling out wish lists, ICv2 readers can check out some of this year’s schedule, especially the panels with useful information about the geek culture businesses. Here are some highlights based on my quick timeline review.
10:00: Creator’s Symposium (Room 23ABC). Part of a series of panels on industry issues organized by the Women in Comics Collective International, this one features Scott Snyder, Che Grayson, Joe Illidge, MaikaSozo and David Walker, moderated by WinC founder Regine Sawyer.
10:30: Comics Law School: The ABCs of Intellectual Property Law (Room 11). First in the always informative series with legal advice for creators and publishers, this one with Michael Lovitz.
10:30: How to get news coverage (Room 10). Annual panel where comic journalists, bloggers, podcasters, creators and small publishers, including your humble correspondent, discuss do’s and don’ts to get attention, moderated by Rik Offenberger.
12:00 pm: Pitching Time (Room 5AB). Writers, on-screen talent and production staff discuss the best ways to get their concept idea into the green light. Sounds interesting to people interested in the media/entertainment side of the business.
14:00: Audio Storytelling (SD Central Library). Podcasting and audiobooks are becoming important platforms for storytelling. This panel of professionals and experts seems like a good overview for industry professionals interested in this part of the business.
2:00 pm: The Future of Collectibles (Room 9). Jimmy Palmiotti, creative director Mitch Putnam and Jason Schachter discuss the evolution of collecting with moderator Shaan Bhagat (Masterfile).
3pm: Kickstarting Comics in 2022 and beyond (Room 3). I will be moderating this look at the mechanics of running a crowdfunding campaign as a creator or editor alongside Kickstarter Head of Comics Oriana Leckert, Tom Akel of Rocketship, industry executive Hank Kanalz, and creators Jazzlyn Stone and Kayden Phoenix.
4:00 pm: Printing Comics: Everything You Need to Know (Room 11). Andy Schmidt (ONS Print), Thomas Cho (Trivision) and Josh Werner (Source Point Press) present a practical look at how to put comics on paper.
5:00 pm: Manga Publishing Panel (Room 29AB). Business-centric view of the hottest category in comics. The Star Panel of Kevin Hamric (Viz), Lyla Seo (Manta), Ben Applegate (PRH), Erik Ko (Udon), Ivan Salazar (Kodansha), Michael Gombos (Dark Horse), Ed Chavez (Denpa) and Beth Kawaski (MediaDo) is moderated by manga expert Deb Aoki.
5pm: Nerdy Finance – Freelance Tips for Keeping Your Money (Grand 12/13, Marriott). Tax expert Neil Navarez offers tips and tricks to keep the IRS out of your wallet.
17:30: Crowdfunding and Table Games (Room 26AB). Game developers James Hudson, Victoria Cana, LaTiaJacquise and Kailey Bray discuss strategies for success in one of Kickstarter’s top revenue categories, moderated by Ross Thompson.
7pm: From Fanart to Franchise (Room 25ABC). Stick around to hear me discuss the future of user-generated content with WEBTOON Content Director David Lee, reality TV producer Ken Mok, YouTube sensation Steven “Emotional Damage!” He is WEBTOON creator Kaitlyn Narvaza (aka “intermezzo”).
9:30 am: Beginning of ComicsPRO Fresh (Room 12). Networking event for retailers.
12:00: Retailer Appreciation Lunch (TBA). Diamond’s annual meeting for retailers, co-hosted by multiple publishers.
1:00 pm: Creators Meeting! (Marriot Marina D). Networking event for creators, publishers, retailers, educators and librarians.
1:00 pm: How to Succeed on Kickstarter (Room 32AB). Another crowdfuding tutorial, this one with Oriana Leckert, Joe Illidge, Jimmy Palmiotti, Der-shing Helmer and Kat Calamia.
2:00 pm: Public Relations and Comic Marketing 101 (Room 25ABC). Longtime marketing and PR guru Chip Mosher (comiXology, Boom! Studios) dispenses wisdom.
2:00 pm: I’m at Nerd Business. (Marriott Grand 10-11). Advice for aspiring geekpreneurs by David Nett (Hero’s Journey Fitness).
4pm: Finance for Creatives (Marriot Grand 12-13). Business-oriented roundtable with financial professionals talking about tax, credit and financing issues for professionals in the sector.
7:30: Making a Living Creating (Room 10). Interesting array of entertainment professionals including Addor Waltke, Steven Edwards and Lee Kohse discuss career paths in the industry, moderated by Johnny Kaolasinski.
7:30 pm: The post-pandemic editorial landscape (Room 26AB). Roundtable of comic and game creators discuss lingering issues of publishing and distribution and what it means to put new work in the hands of readers.
12:30: All About Licensed Table Games in 2022 (Room 5AB). Designers and publishers across the industry discuss the issues of adapting licensed properties and dealing with intellectual property owners and brands.
13:00: Connection with Game Creator (Marina D). Networking event for game designers, connecting aspiring creators with industry mentors.
1:00 pm: Overstreet Access (Room 38DE). Josh Geppi, J.C Vaughan of Gemstone and Shawn Sippel of Overstreet provide an update on the industry’s venerable pricing guide.
14:00: How to be a one-person comics company (Room 2). Brian Haberlin explores tactics for producing comics, collectibles, and animations for small, one-man operations.
2:00 pm: What comic book publishers want (Room 11). Editors and publishers offer advice to creators on how to improve their scripts.
15:00: Publishers Weekly: Comics Survived a Pandemic, Now What? Heidi MacDonald moderates a conversation with NachieMarscham (IDW), Jen Haines (ComicsPRO), Kevin Hamric (Viz), Eric Reynolds (Fantagraphics) and Filip Sablik (Boom! Studios) about distribution, streaming and industry consolidation.
18:30: The Art and Business of Licensing (Room 10). Creative and business processes for developing licensed content, featuring licensing professionals Erica Stead (Gearbox), Meredith Hershey (Gearbox), Ashley Miller (Dragaon’s Blood) and writer Amy Chu.
10:00 am: The business behind Geek culture products (Room 24ABC). Insider looks at developing fan products including collectible cards, merchandise, fashion and collectibles.
12:30: Secrets to successful self-publishing, from concept to audiobook (room 2). Nuts and bolts for writers looking to publish prose books and the accompanying audiobook, with a group of audio and podcasting professionals.
15:00: Ask a lawyer: Legal questions and answers for streamers and eSports players (Marquis 12-13). Attorney Dorian Slater Thomas discusses legal issues around online engagements and industry relationships.
3:30 pm: Comic-Con Discussion (Room 23ABC). Comic-Con organizers’ annual autopsy is always a treasure trove of inside information about the coup.
16:00: Building a Video Game Company from Scratch (Room 29AB). Industry vets discuss the process of creating a new gaming company, from business and investment to technical development to design and marketing.
Phew, ok, I’m exhausted just recapping all this! I apologize to anyone whose amazing business-oriented panels I inadvertently missed. As always, I’ll be roaming the hall and programming the entire convention, and I’m always happy to catch up with ICv2 readers if you discover my brilliant guise as an “industry professional.”
To all SDCC participants, have fun and stay safe!
The opinions expressed in this column are solely those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the ICv2.com editorial staff.
Rob Salkowitz (@robsalk) is the author of Comic-Con and the Business of Pop Culture.