Peter Carlson (Green Dot Public Schools), Susan Kirtley (Portland State University), and Antero Garcia (Stanford University) lead this hands-on workshop designed for educators looking to integrate comics into classrooms. Attendees will participate in activities that model a comics pedagogy that develops superhero readers writers, critical thinkers, and creators. Workshop materials will be provided, and everyone is welcome.
10:00 - 11:00 a.m. - How to Support LGBTQIA+ and Neurodiverse Communities Through Comic Books and Pop Culture
From cosplay to fan fiction, how do we create a more diverse and inclusive community? How do we apply this knowledge in a cultural context and through social-emotional learning? What is neurodiverse? Neurodivergent? Neurovariant? What is trauma-informed? What would Gene Roddenberry think of all of this? Moderator Lorran Garrison (school psychologist, Little Brainstorm) joins Chance Calloway ( Pretty Dudes, Amazon Prime), Robert Rice (Demonhuntr, Amazon Prime/HereTV), Tara Madison Avery (Stacked Deck Press, We’re Still Here), Natasha Lee (Insomniac Games, Marvel's Spider-Man: Miles Morales), Mark Nazal (Diwata Komiks), and Perry Clark (Untangle and Grow Counseling) to discuss how to support creative thinking in students and adults. There will be giveaways!
11:00 a.m. - 12:00 p.m. - Raising Fankids: Teaching Young Geeks to be Self-Confident and Successful
Pasquale Piro (secondary teacher, father of two) hosts a panel with Alissa Piro (mother of two, high school teacher), Deseree Gonzalez (mother and educator), and Sean Emmons (middle school teacher), discussing techniques and experiences that help kids grow up nerdy without the negative connotation.
12:00 - 1:00 p.m. - Diversity and Comics: Multimodal Media and Comics
Graphic India co-founder and creator, Sharad Devarajan (Chakra The Invincible, Shadow Tiger, Astra Force, The Legend of Hanuman, Baahubali The Lost Legends) offers an engaging session about globalization, east meets west, the new diversity, and culture in comics and the renaissance of new Indian and global superheroes. Graphic India representatives will also discuss their projects, including the top Indian animated series The Legend of Hanuman on Disney+Hotstar; as well as new comic book projects to be unveiled.
1:00 - 2:00 p.m. - Comics Catalog Curation for Adults
Led by Barbra Dillon (editor-in-chief, Fanbase Press), Matthew Noe (librarian, Harvard Medical School), Moni Barrette (director of Collection Development & Publisher Relations, Library Pass), Jordan Hart (writer, Ripple Effects), and Jameson Rohrer (judge, 2022 Eisner Awards) discuss what they consider when curating a comics catalog for adult readers. Topics will include avenues for finding both mainstream and independent titles, how to curate an inclusive catalog in terms of creators, characters, and stories, how to navigate challenging themes and content, and more.
2:00 - 3:00 p.m. - Forging New Pathways for Comics in Academia
More than ever before, comic books are making their way into classrooms at all educational levels, providing opportunities for readers and educators alike to analyze, learn from, and inspire through sequential art. Led by Barbra Dillon (editor-in-chief, Fanbase Press), this panel–including Dr. Theresa Rojas (founding director, The Latinx Comic Arts Festival), Amber Padilla (artist, The Secret Garden on 81st Street), and Katlin Marisol Sweeney-Romero (Ph.D. candidate in English, The Ohio State University)–will discuss the various applications of print and digital comics from an academic perspective and the new pathways that are being forged across mediums in the 21st century.
3:00 - 4:00 p.m. - Defending Comics in Schools and Libraries
With book challenges sweeping the country, especially against comics and graphic novels, this panel of experts is here to help. Eisner Award–winning cartoonist Jeff Smith (Bone, RASL, Tuki), Moni Barrette (GNCRT president and co-founder of Creators Assemble! Inc.), Jessica Lee (district librarian, Berkeley Unified School District), and Dr. Ashley Dallacqua (literacy professor, University of New Mexico) join moderator Jack Phoenix (librarian, Brodart’s Graphic Novel Selector, author of Maximizing the Impact of Comics in Your Library: Graphic Novels, Manga, and More) to discuss how community members can support schools and libraries during such challenges, how they can help prevent the challenges to begin with, and why comics are worth defending. There will be a brief history of challenges to comics and a Q&A.
4:00 - 5:00 p.m. - Strategies for Defending Comics in Your Library
The landscape of censorship has changed in the last several months. Instead of occasional and localized attempts to ban comics, the Comic Book Legal Defense Fund and its coalition partners have seen organized nationwide campaigns against comics and other books, vitriolic protests at school board meetings, and political attacks. In this program, CBLDF Coalition Director Betsy Gomez, ALA GNCRT president-elect Moni Barrette, and public librarian Jack Phoenix will use ripped-from-the-headlines censorship scenarios to provide proven strategies and resources for countering censorship in your community.
5:00 - 6:00 p.m. - Kapow, Woosh, Zap! Engaging Students with Comics in the Classroom
Jaime Chavez (intervention counselor, San Diego Unified), Mick Rabin (resource teacher, Youth Advocacy Dept., San Diego Unified), Ella "Dizzy" Rogosin (teacher, Sweetwater UHSD), Scott Nielsen (mild/moderate special education teacher, Grossmont UHSD), Lorran Garrison (school psychologist), and Zeinabu Davis (professor and filmmaker, UCSD) dive into their experiences using comics in the classroom. Hear how incorporating comics into the curriculum increases engagement and access for all students while developing a love for learning (and secretly powering up literacy skills), and how the Comic-Con Educator Book Club brings together teachers from across the region in pursuit of great reads, community, and strategies for the classroom. You, too, can become a super teacher! Panelists will share resources, tips, and tools you can add to your utility belt, and they would love for you to join their league of super educators. Moderated by Jewyl Alderson (San Diego County Office of Education).
10:00 - 11:00 a.m. - International Student Comic Collaboration: Spirit Skies Vol. 2
Come see how students can use comics, art, and the love of learning and share it with the world! Youth from Kabul, Hong Kong, Panama, and Tijuana are using comics to both connect and heal the planet. Since last year's publication of Volume 1 of Spirit Skies last year the group has moved onto the international phase. Students meet monthly over Zoom and share art and poetry. Recordings from students in Hong Kong, Panama, and Kabul will be included.
11:00 a.m. - 12:00 p.m. - Entertainment, Engagement, and Empathy
Librarians often remark that there is a book for every reader, and that adage is finally holding true for comics and graphic novels, too! Comics creators share how their approach to comics not only offers readers entertainment but also opportunities to engage more deeply with difficult topics and build empathy for others. The line-up includes Hope Larson and Rebecca Mock (Salt Magic), Comic-Con Special Guest Sophie Yanow (The Contradictions), Jerry Craft (Class Act), Jose Pimienta (Twin Cities), Gabriela Epstein (Invisible), and moderator Matthew Noe (past president for ALA's Graphic Novels and Comics Round Table).
12:00 - 1:00 p.m. - Adventure Beyond the Screen
In today's digital world, getting kids away from their screens and into a great graphic novel can be a difficult task. Creators and educators will discuss how to best craft graphic novels—and how to introduce those graphic novels at home, in libraries, and in classroom settings — to capture the attention of kids who live in a world of constant electronic offerings. With Dan Santat (The Aquanaut), Shauna J. Grant (Mimi and the Cutie Catastrophe), Jake Wyatt (The Well), Pablo Leon (Miles Morales: Stranger Tides), Brett Bean (Zoo Patrol Squad), and Tina Lerno (digital content librarian and comics specialist, Los Angeles Public Library).
1:00 - 2:00 p.m. - Retold, Reimagined, and Refreshed
Whether it's adapting Shakespearean classics, creating spin-offs of popular titles from our childhood, or reimagining centuries-old fairy tales and myths, today's graphic novels offer readers exciting new portals into familiar worlds. Creators Katy Farina (Baby-sitters Little Sister), Gabriela Epstein (The Baby-Sitters Club Graphix), Bree Paulsen (Garlic and the Vampire), and Steven Banks (Middle School Bites: Night of the Vam-Wolf-Zom) discuss how they put their own unique spin on established stories and characters for new readers with Tracy Edmunds (VP of K-12 education, Reading with Pictures).
2:00 - 3:00 p.m. - Freaking Fantastic!
From the dark forests of Bone to the surreal dreamscapes of Sandman, the fantasy worlds we find in graphic novels offer readers more than just escapism. By holding up a mirror to our own world, fantasy provides new ways for readers to be inspired and explore complex issues. Creators will discuss how they devise fantastic worlds and characters in their graphic novels, and the ways fantasy can benefit readers of all ages. Jey Odin (Hammer), Tui Sutherland (Wings of Fire), Odunze Oguguo (Apple Black), Richard Fairgray (Black Sand Beach 3: Have You Seen the Darkness?), and Rashad Doucet and Jason Reeves (Pax Sampson Vol. 1: The Cookout) converse with children's services librarian Judy Prince-Neeb (South Pasadena Public Library).
3:00 - 4:00 p.m. - On Beyond Hero! Who's Behind the Mask? Exploring Identity Through Graphic Novels and Story
Are you more of a Batman or a Superman? Is your inner hero inherently who you are or a disguise you wear? In a world where identity has taken on a new life and is at the forefront of discussions across social groups, finding one’s identity has become even more convoluted. Educators and creators discuss the different ways graphic novels and comics can be used to help readers of all ages explore their identities and think about the person behind their own masks. Mask up with Jamar Nicholas (Leon the Extraordinary), Diane deGroat (The Adventures of Robo-Kid), Lucas Turnbloom (Steve L. McEvil), Nichole Santangelo (Rancho Minerva Middle School STE(A)M teacher), Andrew Hudson (Rancho Minerva Middle School), and Lisa Harrison (Rancho Minerva Middle School).
4:00 - 5:00 p.m. - Bans Off Our Books! Responding to Challenges
Panelists discuss action items to respond to local and national efforts to challenge or ban books in communities. Featuring Comic-Con Special Guests Jeff Smith (Bone) and Raina Telgemeier (Smile, Guts), along with Jennifer Lawson (collection development manager, San Diego County Library), Yukiko Chavez (library media technician, Vista Unified School District), Vista Unified School District students, Rich Johnson (VP of sales and business development, Diamond Books), and Moni Barrette (president, Graphic Novel & Comics Round Table, American Library Association).
5:00 - 6:00 p.m. - How to Support BIPOC Students Using Pop Culture, Art, and Comic Books
A group of therapists and creators discuss understanding and supporting Black, Indigenous, People of Color, and Neurodiverse in the classroom and the community. What's Neurodiverse? What's Neurodivergent? What's Neurovariant? When it comes to mental health and pop culture, where does this all fit in? Comic books have been applied to support reading and math skills, but how about cultural context, social-emotional learning, and mental health wellness? What is trauma-informed? Lorran Garrison (school psychologist), Natasha Lee (Insomniac Games, Marvel's Spider-Man: Miles Morales), Elizabeth Smith (psychologist), David Hooker (product manager, Disney), Mark Nazal (Diwata Komiks), Aaron Cuffee (co-founder of IndigiPop X, Indigenous ComicCon), Perry Clark (Untangle and Grow Counseling), and Sonny Chargualaf (Chamorro illustrator from Guam, The Dark Reaches) will give tools on how to support creative thinking in students and adults. There will be giveaways!
11:00 a.m. - 12:00 p.m. - To Me, My X-Men: Superheroes, Comics, and Academic Success
Mark Martell, Ph.D. (scholar, professor, and JEDI worker at the University of Illinois at Chicago), Valentino Zullo, Ph.D., LISW (author, teacher at Cleveland Public Library, therapist at OhioGuidestone, American editor of the Journal of Graphic Novels & Comics), and Sy Islam, Ph.D. (consultant, professor at Farmingdale State College, co-author of Leaders Assemble: Leadership in the MCU) share how they use comics and superheroes as tools for educational engagement, personal development, and academic success. Moderated by Devin Whitlock (comics and pop culture journalist for Medium; podcaster, Scams, Swindles, and Schemes).
12:00 - 1:00 p.m. - How Comics Influence STEAM, Social Justice, and Equality
Chris Garcia (Innovation STEAM teacher) shares how movies like Black Panther allow teachers to use as a resource to analyze the physics of sci-fi movies, giving students opportunities for inquiry. In addition, they also raise the opportunities for discussions among minorities, women as scientists, and navigating equality within the fight for good versus evil. This learning environment allows one to foster and facilitate honest conversations on civil rights, social justice, and STEAM.
1:00 - 2:00 p.m. - How Science Fiction Has Influenced STEAM
Science fiction, with its potential technological fascinations and intriguing “what if?” scenarios, can influence current and future education. What do some of America’s smartest people think has changed or will change in education, specifically focused on STEAM? American Mensa, the high IQ society, hosts a panel of writers, actors, academics, and sci-fi fans in a discussion on what the future may hold. Moderated by Steven L. Sears (writer, Xena: Warrior Princess, actor), with Dr. David Brin (author, The Postman; scientist, consultant to NASA), Nevin Millan (writer, actor, Mensa member), Dr. John Putman (professor and Star Trek expert), Dr. Jenny Rankin (professor, writer, Mensa member), and Nancy Retter (teacher, Mensa member).
2:00 - 3:00 p.m. - How Spider-Man Taught Me My First Physics Lesson
Naseed Gifted (educator, creative director of PBS Media Studios) discusses how his knowledge of comic book superheroes taught him physics and how he designs lessons using comic book content to teach various STEM topics and how he engages in discussion techniques/strategies to address the needs of diverse learners.
3:00 - 4:00 p.m. - Intellectual Freedom for Educators
Since the beginning of 2022, state legislators have proposed nearly 200 laws that would impact educators. These laws limit instruction related to LGBTQ+ topics, race, and more. What does this mean for teachers, especially those who use comics in their classrooms? CBLDF coalition director Betsy Gomez is joined by Jewyl Alderson (Innovation Division, San Diego County Office of Education) and other educators for a conversation about the intellectual freedom issues facing educators, their rights, and how they can defend comics and other classroom materials.
4:00 - 5:00 p.m. - Graduating with Comics
Educator Chanti Burnette (Ánimo South Los Angeles High School) and recent graduates Nicholas Oluwole (Ánimo South Los Angeles High School) and Sharon Alamos (Ánimo South Los Angeles High School) discuss the power of comics in their high school classes, showcasing lessons and student work from their classes together, starting in 9th grade English year and then again, as seniors, in AP English Literature. Session moderated by Angie Amador (literacy curriculum specialist for Green Dot Public Schools).
5:00 - 6:00 p.m. - Comics on Campus: Fandom + Academia
As part of SDDC’s ongoing Comics on Campus panel series, Rob Salkowitz (University of Washington, Forbes, ICV2), Professor Christine Knopf (State University of New York, Cortland), Professor Christopher Wildrick (Syracuse University), and Professor Billy Obenauer (University of Maine) discuss how academia analyzes and leverages pop culture as a learning tool for students in business, literature, filmmaking, and more, with a focused exploration of fandom inflection points. Moderated by Ed Catto (Ithaca College, Captain Action).
10:00 - 11:00 a.m. - Slaying Real Monsters and Building Communities Through Role-Playing Games
Through TTRPGS, we have the power to build supportive communities, explore mental health issues in a secure environment, and raise awareness (and funds) for important charities and causes. Panelists Andrew J. Alandy (actor/streamer), Utahime Cosplay (cosplayer/streamer), Jade Valkyrie (cosplayer/streamer), and Sam Sterling (performer/streamer) discuss strategies, tech, safety tools, therapeutic and educational applications, and continuing to build all-inclusive, welcoming TTRPG spaces. Moderated by Dan Wood (Creators Assemble, comics librarian).
11:00 a.m. - 12:00 p.m. - GeekED: Nerds Make School Cool
For educators and students alike, teaching, learning, and building community on campus can be enhanced by infusing nerdy passions into the environment. From designing programs and events to building bridges and creating new programs, this panel focuses on strategies using geek culture and personal passions to make work and learning more fun, inclusive, and impactful. College educators Sarah Molitoris (UCLA), Brian MacDonald (UCLA), and outgoing Bruin Gaming president, student Lauren Chen (UCLA) join moderator Alex Belisario (UC Santa Cruz).
12:00 - 1:00 p.m. - GeekED: Civil War or Civil Conversation?
Fandom is more diverse than ever before, and yet it is also more divided. Social media attacks on actors of color, controversy around race and gender-switching of fictional characters, and emerging issues related to community, inclusion, and mental health have created strong responses from various perspectives. College educators Jada Anderson (University of Maryland, College Park), Sunny Yen (UCLA), David Surratt (University of Oklahoma), and Alfred Day (UC Berkeley) explore how fandom can create the necessary frameworks for difficult but necessary conversations. Moderated by Emily Sandoval (USC).
1:00 - 2:00 p.m. - GeekED: Career Advice for College Geeks
College does not typically come with a perfect roadmap. Geeky passions, however, can serve as a compass to navigate the confusion, difficulty, and doubt toward opportunity and fulfillment. Mike Aguilar (University of Oklahoma), Viviana Siles-Osejo (internship & early career programs specialist, Universal Studios Hollywood), and student Isabel Wong (UCLA) share their stories of how they leveraged geeky passions to find campus and career opportunities and will offer advice for attendees on how they can do the same. Moderated by Kevin Kawakami (UCLA).
2:00 - 3:00 p.m. - GeekED: Fandom, Followers, and Friendship: The Power of Parasocial Relationships
Our connections with fictional and media characters have power over us that we don’t always realize. These parasocial relationships are often as powerful as real-life relationships. During the isolation of the COVID-19 pandemic, many college students, staff, and faculty leaned on these relationships. Moderator Alfred Day (UC Berkeley) will share his doctoral research on the power of parasocial relationships on college campuses and will join psychologist and college student educator Dr. Andrea Letamendi (UCLA, The Arkham Sessions podcast), psychologist Dr. Brent Crandal (UC San Diego), and student Karlinna Sanchez (UCLA) to discuss the ways in which parasocial relationships have impacted community and learning on campuses.
Are you cosplaying during San Diego Comic-Con and need a cosplay repair? Don't despair! Swing by the Central IDEA Lab on the 4th floor of the Central Library for quick fix solutions to your cosplay woes. No appointment necessary, all ages welcome!
Available equipment and materials (while supplies last) to help mend your costume: