Hello, gals and pals, and welcome to the triumphant return of Comic Book Wednesday! First of all, thanks to everyone for being patient with me while I moved/had no internet. I felt super lame abandoning CBW, but between work and the move I was swamped. However, I'm thrilled to be back with everyone during one of my favorite times of the year: New York Comic Con!

Firstly, I don't know how many Jezzies and GTers will be attending the show this year, but I figure some of you New York folk might be there (come find me at Image Comics!). For those of you who aren't going, never fear, not only will I be providing a guide to some of the less well known parts of the con, but I'll also be posting about my con experiences next week. Live vicariously through me! No body snatching though. I've got a strict rule against body snatching.

But, Fishnets, some people may wonder, what exactly is New York Comic Con?

Now, everyone and their mother has heard of San Diego Comic Con. It's moved away from just comics and has become the biggest pop culture convention in the world. Everyone goes to SDCC from comic creators to video game developers to TV show actors to movie producers to musicians. NYCC is the East Coast answer to San Diego, and while the show (like San Diego) originally started out as mainly comics-centric it has quickly expanded into a pop culture paradise. And when I say expanded, I mean expanded. I was at the first NYCC in 2006 and the main hall was only expected to hold about 10,000 people (however, it reached over capacity and the fire marshall had to shut it down). Every year, Comic Con has expanded until it has taken up the entire Jacob Javitis Convention Center

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That's one big hive of scum and villainy. Anyway, Comic Con is a blast, but it can be a very overwhelming blast, so I'd like to make some suggestions on panels you might not know about and people who you might really want to go see.

PANELS!

Alright, so I'm going to leave out the really big panels and tell you guys about some of the smaller ones. If you want to go to any of the Marvel, or DC, or Walking Dead, or similar panels, then they'll be really easy to find (and will have really long lines to get in). So, here's a list of panels that might be fun to stop by, without necessarily taking up much of your time waiting on a giant line. I tried to pick ones that would be really interesting to GTers.

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1. Women in Comics- Thursday, 3:15 pm-4:15 pm

Who's On It:

Claudia McGivney, Megan Kociolek, Amy Chu (founder of Alpha Girl Comics), Becky Cloonan (Eisner Award winning comic creator), Emily Weisenstein, Erica Schultz (creator of W3), Laura Pope-Robbins.

Description:

The universe of women in comics has spanned several decades. This panel will cover all aspects of women in the comic book world: the creators, the mythos, the history and of course the superheroes. Cultivate your collection at the library and join us for a tour of women throughout comics.

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This is a panel put together by a bunch of kick-ass female creators and by a bunch of kick-ass librarians. This looks like a really neat little panel that will be small enough that you won't feel like the speck of dust in the back of the room when you have a question. Also, Becky Cloonan will be there, and Becky Cloonan is awesome.

2. Kill or Be Killed: Crafting a Powerful Female Protagonist- Friday, 1:30 pm-2:30 pm

Who's On It:

Amelia Kahaney, Kendare Blake, Danielle Paige, Lauren Oliver, Lindsay Ribar, Thea James

Description:

Creating a believable, butt-kicking female protagonist is always an interesting process. Not only must a person be capable of overcoming insurmountable obstacles in order to save themselves but more often than not they are trying to also protect and save the ones they love. Join five of YA’s most daring and distinct voices – Kendare Blake (Antigoddess), Amelia Kahaney (The Brokenhearted), Lauren Oliver (Delirium trilogy), Danielle Paige (Dorothy Must Die) and Lindsay Ribar (The Art of Wishing) – as moderator Thea James (The Book Smugglers) leads them in discussing what/who was the inspiration for their female protagonist, the dilemmas that can define and shape a character’s sense of empowerment and clever tricks and tips for getting a heroine into/and out of the most diabolical or deadly of situations unscathed.

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I've been to a couple of these panels before (last one I went to was a really interesting one on women writing in sci-fi and fantasy), and they're usually really solid. I will be interested in any of them address this recent article about 'Strong Female Characters' and how that term can be problematic. If you go, expect a lot of teenage fans to be there as well!

3. Legend of Korra- Saturday, 11:00 am-12:oo pm

Who's On It:

Bryan Konietzko, Joaquim Dos Santos

Description:

Book 2: Spirits - Nickelodeon’s The Legend of Korra. Join Executive Producer Bryan Konietzko and Co-Executive Producer Joaquim Dos Santos as they pull back the curtain to reveal sneak peeks of what’s to come in Book 2: Spirits. Exclusive artwork, never-before-seen footage and a discussion with special guests from the incredible "The Legend of Korra voice cast" will be featured! Moderated by Bryan Konietzko.

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Okay, this one there's going to be a line for, but it was too cool not to share. I'm secretly hoping that one of the special guests is Aubrey Plaza.

4. The Mary Sue Presents Representations in Geek Media- Saturday, 2:45 pm-3:45 pm

Who's On It:

Jill Pantozzi, Susana Polo, Jamal Igle, Kate Leth, N.K. Jemisin, Phil Jimenez

Description:

The Mary Sue, a geek girl culture website, is looking to gather for a discussion with panelist on representation in the media and how it's personally affected us in lives and work and how it affects what we consume in "geek" culture. Panelists will discuss their favorite characters of color, LGBTQ characters, disabled characters and female characters in genres where they are underrepresented. We seek to hear panelists point of view but also open it up to the audience sharing their own stories and hope the panel will be a positive affirmation of the wide variety of characters we hope to see more of going forward.

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I love The Mary Sue. It's a fantastic website (and probably my favorite spot for geeky feminism), and I'm really pleased to see that they're hosting a panel that invites the audience to participate. It seems like this panel is everything that's good about their site in an IRL setting. I'm also super excited that they got Phil Jimenez on the panel! For those who don't know- Jimenez was the artist on Wonder Woman for three years.

5. Geeks of Color Assemble: Minorities in Fandom- Saturday, 6:30 pm-7:30 pm

Who's On It: Diana Pho, Ger Tysk, Jay Justice, Jeffrey L. Wilson, Muhammad Aurangzeb Ahmad, Muse En Lystrala, Emmanuel Ortiz, N.K. Jemisin

Description: From Community’s Abed and Troy to Miles Morales as Spiderman to Rinko Kikuchi and Idris Elba starring in Pacific Rim, this is obvious: people of color are impacting geek media. What challenges, however, do minorities still face? Discuss being a geek of color in comics, cosplay, videos games, steampunk and more. Speakers: Hugo & Nebula Award-nominated writer N.K. Jemisin, Jeffrey L. Wilson, Emmanuel Ortiz, Muse en Lystrala, Muhammad Aurangzeb Ahmad, Ger Tysk, and Jay Justice. Moderated by Diana Pho (a.k.a. Ay-leen the Peacemaker) of Tor Books and Tor.com.

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This is one of the panels that I thought a lot of GTers would find interesting. We spend a lot of time talking about intersectional feminism here, and this panel seems to fit right into that discourse. Mr. Fishnets even talked a little about how important it is that we have a mixed-race Spider-Man. It's something that not enough people talk about and I think it's great that this panel has a home at New York Comic Con.

6. Women of Marvel- Sunday, 1:15-2:15

Who's On It:

Janet Lee , Jeanine Schafer, Jordie Bellaire , Judy Stephens, Lauren Sankovitch, Marjorie Liu, Stephanie Hans

Description:

From Captain Marvel to the X-Men, from Twitter to tumblr, women in comics has been one of the most talked-about topics in comics recently. Join the conversation as women from every discipline in the creative process at Marvel discuss what it’s like working as a woman in comics today and what it means for the future of the industry! Panelists include Editor Jeanine Schafer, Editor Lauren Sankovitch, Photographer & AR Producer Judy Stephens, Jordie Bellaire (Venom), Stephanie Hans (Journey Into Mystery), Janet Lee (Uncanny X-Men), Marjorie Liu (Astonishing X-Men) and more!

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I've actually written about this panel! This is one of those panels that Marvel editor Jeanine Schafer takes on the road to all the major shows, and she's got some really awesome people on this panel. Jordie Bellaire is one of my favorite colorists working today and Marjorie Liu is just a treat to listen to. If anyone's going on Sunday, try to make it to this one. I'll be there, but I'll have to duck out early to go the Image booth (I'm working there!).

PEOPLE!

There's a lot of cool people who are at comic-con. I've got a full page of list of people I want to swing by and say hi too. The real treat for me is always visiting artist's alley and saying hi to people. Sometimes people will even do free sketches, which is totally awesome! If anything, the various artists will be selling prints, books, and other awesome swag.

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Amanda Conner

Amanda Conner is awesome. You know when she's even more awesome? When you're talking with at cons. She's friendly, funny, and always has awesome stuff for sale. I try to swing by and day hi every time she's at a show. She doesn't often do sketches (she does do commissions, but they fill up super quickly), but seeing her is just such a treat that you don't even care. Catch her early in the day and you might be able to get a quick head sketch!

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Greg Rucka

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I am such a big fan of Greg Rucka. He's written some of the best comics starring ladies, including his great run on Wonder Woman, Gotham Central, and, of course, Batwoman. His current book, Lazarus, is one of my favorite things on the rack right now. I got to meet Rucka at the Stumptown Comics Festival in Portland earlier this year, and he's a lot of fun to talk to. He's willing to actually have a conversation with you, rather than just brush you off with a bunch of "thank you"s. He, his wife (the talented Jen Van Meter), Mr. Fishnets, and I had a nice chat about how important it is to make comics accessible to kids, because that's how you keep the industry going. He'll actually be at the Image booth doing a signing, so come by and say to him (and to me, but I'll understand if you're really there for Greg Rucka).

Sara Pichelli

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Sara Pichelli is the fantastic artist on Ultimate Spider-Man (and one of the co-creators of Miles Morales) and Guardians of the Galaxy. She has never been at NYCC before, which is probably because she lives and works in Rome. This is a rare opportunity to shake the hand of the woman who brought us Miles Morales, and I'm so excited. Fingers crossed that she's doing head sketches!

Cliff Chiang

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Cliff Chiang is one of my favorite artists. While I stopped reading Wonder Woman a while ago, I still flip through it to take a look at his amazing pencils. I usually end up buying something from Chiang. He has a wide variety of posters and prints for sale, as well as some kind of poster set. I've both the Atomic Bombshells set and the 12 Inch Remix set. If he's not busy, he'll usually do a sketch!

So, I think that's enough to get you started. What are you planning on doing at NYCC? Anyone dressing up? If you're not going, what would you like to hear about next week?

See you next Comic Book Wednesday!