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The LGBT Guide to Comic-Con 2014

by Kevin Taft
EDGE Media Network Contributor
Wednesday Jul 23, 2014

San Diego's mega-popular, crowd-busting Comic-Con is about to descend once again on the beachfront city. With hundreds of panels and over a thousand vendors, the four-and-a half-day event is an exhausting look at all things geeky. And while nerd-centric entertainment has become mainstream, this doesn't stop the fan girl and guy from coming out dressed in their favorite superhero or video game character or searching for that elusive geeky treasure.

Aside from the usual vendors selling their wares such as themed-art or graphic novels, there are also comic and book vendors and big Hollywood studios promoting their latest projects.

The latter is the main reason why Comic-Con is now such a major media event. Many attendees come for the chance to get a preview of new films and get a peek at their favorite stars from television and the movies. Expect appearances this year from such celebrities as Kiefer Sutherland, Jeff Bridges, Brenton Thwaites, Josh Hartnett, Reeve Carney, Orlando Jones, Tatiana Maslandy, Matt Groening, Angela Bassett, Kathy Bates, Sarah Paulson, Evan Peters, Emma Roberts, David Fincher, Stephen Amell, Jared Padalecki, Jensen Ackles, Kevin Bacon, and Kevin Williamson. Plus panels featuring castmembers of "Teen Wolf," the classic film "Goonies," "The Walking Dead," "Game of Thrones," "The Simpsons," "Once Upon a Time," "Family Guy" and "True Blood."

And if you think that Comic-Con might leave the LGBT community out, think again. There are at least one or two panels each day devoted specifically to LGBT topics. (They are highlighted below.)

If you've never been before, the problem is finding out just what to do, where to do it, and if you have the time or patience to carry it all out. The legendary "Hall H" can be an elusive beast, but for those that are okay with waiting for five hours or more in line to get in, it might be worth it. "Hall H" boasts the biggest panels and exclusive content. It's where the big studios showcase their upcoming slate of films and usually do so by bringing the entire cast up on stage. Past years have seen the casts of the "Captain America" and "Thor" sequels, to name just two.

The problem becomes the variety of interesting panels that occur concurrently. With 17 rooms in the San Diego Convention center alone (with nearby hotels holding panels as well), there tends to be a lot happening simultaneously. So for those that have scored tickets before they inevitably sold out, I've scoured the program and come up with the best and most dazzling of the offerings. It's best to make sure to look at the program yourself, especially if you have specific interests like gaming, comic-book writing, and Cos-play. But for everyone else, take a gander at what San Diego Comic-Con 2014 has in store for you.

Wednesday, July 23/Sneak Preview Night

For those that have arrived early, the special sneak preview night consists of a selection of TV Pilot Screenings that include The CW's "The Flash" and "iZombie," as well as NBC's "Constantine" and the Cartoon Network's "Teen Titans Go!"

Thursday, July 24

24 -- Kiefer Sutherland takes the stage to celebrate iconic moments from the series history. 10am

"GOD IS DISAPPOINTED IN YOU" with Sharon Wheeler (New Yorker cartoonist) and writer Mark Russell share their tongue-in-cheek condensed version of the Bible, with a sneak peek at the audiobook version narrated by James Urbaniak ("Venture Bros") 10am

LEGENDS OF TV LAND BETTY WHITE with sneak of Hot in Cleveland! Hey, it's Betty! 10:30am

LEGACY AND RETURN OF "BATTLESTAR GALACTICA" - Richard Hatch, British hottie Jamie Bamber, and science consultant Dr. Kevin Grazier discuss the franchise, old, new, and to come. 10:30am

DREAMWORKS ANIMATION -- The successful studio will present sneak peeks of their upcoming slate of animated films. 11:30am

THE PITCHING HOUR -- For fledgling scriptwriters, this panel will discuss how to create a pitch document, obtain agents, and getting a pitch meeting. 12 noon.

SONY PICTURES ENTERTAINMENT -- The studio gives a first look at the film adaptation of R.L. Stine's "Goosebumps" and director Chris Columbus' "Pixels" with Adam Sandler. 12:30pm

THE GIVER -- A look at the film adaptation of the popular novel. Guests include cast members Jeff Bridges, Brenton Thwaites, director Philip Noyce, and the book's author Lois Lowry. 1:30am

1984'S GREATEST GEEK MOVIES -- A look back at the geekiest year in cinema with the likes of "Dune," "Gremlins," "Temple of +Doom," "Night of the Comet," "Purple Rain," "Red Dawn," "Terminator" and "Ghostbusters". 2pm

PARAMOUNT PICTURES -- The studio will review their upcoming slate of films with cast members
and filmmakers in attendance. 3pm

TEEN WOLF -- The sexiest cast on television, the uber-popular MTV show about werewolves, banshees, and Windigos will bring out stars Tyler Posey, Dylan O'Brien, Tyler Hoechlin, Holland Roden and more! 3:30pm

GEORGE RR MARTIN DISCUSSES IN THE HOUSE OF THE WORM -- The "Game of Thrones" author will discuss his upcoming comic book series. 4pm

GOONIES NEVER SAY DIE -- "Goonies" cast members explore how it became an iconic movie and how it has stood the test of time. 6pm

LGBT GEEK YEAR IN REVIEW -- A panel of experts discuss what's important to the queer fan and what events were of interest to LGBT people this year and what the future might hold. 6pm

SHOWTIME: PENNY DREADFUL -- The popular new series will discuss its first season with cast members Josh Hartnett, Reeve Carney, and Harry Treadaway. Will Hartness and Carney will re-enact their surprise same-sex kiss? We can only hope. 6pm

THE HEROES OF "STAR WARS REBELS" -- A first look at the brand new animated series that looks at the events that occurred between Episodes III and IV. 6pm


Also during the day: Breaking into Comics, Drawing Horror Comics, Female Heroes, how to Kickstart, Making a Graphic Novel, and Breaking into Animation Writing.

Friday, July 25

INSIDE THE BIG BANG THEORY WRITER'S ROOM -- Join the writers of America's #1 comedy for a look at how the laughs are made. 10am

THE BLACK PANEL -- African-American actors discuss being black and working in the industry. With Orlando Jones ("Sleepy Hollow"), J August Richards ("Agents of S.H.E.I.L.D."), Cree Summer ("Batman Beyond") and others. 10am

EVANGELINE LILLY DISCUSSES HER FIRST BOOK "THE SQUICKERWONKERS" The "Lost" and "The Hobbit" actress ventures into kid's lit and is here to tell the tale. 10:30am

WRITING FOR TV: FROM FIRST DRAFT TO GETTING STAFFED -- Join out writer Spiro Skentzos ("Grimm") along with Keto Shmizu ("Arrow") David Slack ("Person of Interest") and more to learn how to get into TV writing. 10:30am

AMC'S THE WALKING DEAD -- Cast and crew discuss the popular series. Moderated by Chris Hardwick ("The Nerdist"). 12:20pm

COSPLAYING 101:COSTUMING FOR BEGINNERS -- Want to learn how to truly nerd out at Comic-Con? Start right here. 1pm

COMICS AND GENDER -- Panelists discuss how fairly comic book creators depict females and femininity. 1pm

WAYWARD PINES -- Panelists and creators discuss the 10-episode event based on the best-selling novel "Pines" by Blake Crouch and brought to life by director M. Night Shyamalan. 1:30pm

GAME OF THRONES -- The amazingly popular HBO show is discussed alongside cast and creators. 1:40pm

LGBT COMICS FOR YOUNG READERS -- Panelists talk about how comic book creators use the medium to present LGBT content and character to younger audiences. 2pm

MARVEL TELEVISION PRESENTS -- Jeph Loeb (Marvel's head of television) brings the cast of "Agents of S.H.E.I.L.D." and "Agent Carter" to discuss Marvel's live-action TV series future. 3pm

20TH CENTURY FOX PRESENTATION -- The studio presents a two-hour look at their upcoming slate of films and projects. 4:30pm

ORPHAN BLACK -- Join stars Tatiana Maslandy, Jodan Gavaris, and co-creators Graeme Manson and John Fawcett in a look at the show everyone is getting obsessed with. 6pm

QUEER HORROR -- Out panelists from film, TV shows, and books and comics discuss horror with LGBT subtext and if there is a gay horror genre. With Jeffrey Reddick ("Final Destination"). 7pm

Also: "Robot Chicken," "Bates Motel," "Bob's Burgers," "The Originals," "Sleepy Hollow," new BBC thriller " Intruders," Creating Comics on an IPad, the Art of Video Games, the Business of Geek Fashion, and How to Get a Job in Video Games.

Saturday, July 26

THE SIMPSONS -- Celebrate the long-running animated TV show's 25th anniversary with creator Matt Groening and more. 10am

DIVERSITY IN GENRE LIT -- Panelists discuss what diversity means and looks like in genre writing. 10am

WARNER BROS -- The studio looks at three of their upcoming projects: " Jupiter Ascending," "Mad Max: Fury Road," "The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies." 10am

Fantastic Female Heroines in paranormal Fantasy (Deborah Harkness ("All Souls"), SJ Harper ("Reckoning") etc. 10:30am

QUEERING COMICS -- Ayanna Dozier examines the transformative properties of the "pornokitsch aesthetic" featured in Golden Age comics, tracing the sociological-historical narratives that link pornokitsch to mainstream and erotic comics, and questioning their use of gender, race, and sexuality. 10:30am

ONCE UPON A TIME -- Join the co-creators, executive producers and select cast to talk about the upcoming season of the popular twist on Disney's fairy tales. 11am

BERKELEY BREATHED: THE LAST COMIC-CON PANEL -- Legendary creator of "Bloom County" arrives for what is reportedly his last Comic-Con appearance. He might be bringing art and photos of his best friend Bill Watterson (the press shy creator of "Calvin & Hobbes") which he "borrowed" from Watterson's secret retreat in Colorado. 12pm

FAMILY GUY -- Cast and crew take a sneak peek at the upcoming "Family Guy/Simpsons" crossover. 1pm

THE WORLD OF INDIANA JONES -- Branon Kleytla ("Indyfans") and other panelists talk about the franchise of George Lucas and Steven Spielberg's beloved adventurer. 3pm

TRUE BLOOD -- Cast members talk about the final season of the popular horror show. 5pm

MARVEL STUDIOS -- Kevin Feige and special guests provide an inside look at the expanding Marvel Cinematic Universe. 5:30pm

GAYS IN COMICS XXVII: IT'S A QUEER, QUEER WORLD -- Panelists examine the world of LGBT characters in comics as acceptance of gay people in entertainment goes more mainstream. 5:30pm

AMERICAN HORROR STORY: COVEN -- A look back at the third season of the anthology horror show with Angela Bassett, Kathy Bates, Sarah Paulson, Evan Peters and Emma Roberts. 7pm

FIGHT CLUB: FROM PAGE TO SCREEN AND BEYOND -- Author Chuck Palahniuk and director David Fincher discuss the novel's transition to film and beyond. 7pm


WARNER BROTHERS TELEVISION AND DC: The studio looks at their upcoming DC TV projects with a look at "The Flash ," "Constantine," " Arrow," and the World Premiere of "Gotham" with special appearances by the show's casts and producers. Hosted by "Arrow's" resident hottie Stephen Amell. 8pm


Sunday, June 27

COMICS FOR THE WHOLE FAMILY -- Panelists discuss comics for all-ages to start out the very family-friendly day of panels and events. 10am

SUPERNATURAL -- The studly duo of Jared Padalecki and Jensen Ackles arrive to talk about the show's ten seasons. 10am

THE FOLLOWING -- Join the show's star Kevin Bacon and series creator Kevin Williamson as they talk about the thriller's upcoming third season. 11:15am

END BULLYING! RESPONDING TO CRUELTY IN OUR CULTURE -- Panelists discuss topics like geek bullying, LGBT bullying, cyber-bullying, and analyze how media and entertainment affect an attitude toward bullying and aggression. 3pm

BUFFY THE MUSICAL: ONCE MORE WITH FEELING -- Get our your wooden stakes and vocal chords for an interactive screening of the titular musical episode of the ground-breaking series. 3:30pm

FULL TIME CREATIVE WORK ON A PART TIME SCHEDULE -- For anyone trying to break in to the creative field, the panel will talk about how to organize your time and talents to finally break through. 4pm

Kevin Taft is a screenwriter/critic living in Los Angeles with an unnatural attachment to 'Star Wars' and the desire to be adopted by Steven Spielberg.


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