SDCC 2017: Ladies Love Comic Con, Feminine-Focused Panel Highlights

Looking to fill your San Diego Comic Con with girl power? There’s no better time to explore every facet of geekery from a female perspective than at the annual nerd prom! We’ve combed the schedule for a weekend fueled by strong females and picked out some of our favorite panels for you.

From film to television to comics, women are represented loud and proud in the industry. There are fanfiction-focused panels, spotlights on jobs you may have never considered, and diverse voices to ensure plenty of completely unique experiences are covered.

Join the conversations, get inspired, and never forget that ladies love Comic Con!

THURSDAY

The Future is Female: Women in Animation
10:00am – 11:00am @ Room 7AB

Marge Dean (WIA co-president, GM at Stoopid Buddy Stoodios), Molly Mason-Boulé (VP content group, Electronic Arts Worldwide Studios), Maggie Malone (VP, creative affairs, Walt Disney Animation Studios), and Jinko Gotoh (executive producer, The Lego Movie Sequel, Warner Animation Group) discuss female creative talent by format, unconscious bias, and the goal of obtaining 50-50 by 2025, with women sharing equally in the creation, production, and rewards of animation.

Spotlight on Gail Simone
11:30am – 12:30pm @ Room 8

Fan-favorite writer Gail Simone (Batgirl, Deadpool, Wonder Woman) presents an intimate and no-holds-barred discussion about her journey in comics from fan to award-winning author. Surprise guests and a lively Q&A will cover her career from Women in Refrigerators to her new Image title, Crosswind!

Be Your Own Superhero: Intersectional Feminism in Comics
12:00pm – 1:00pm @ Room 32AB

Representation matters, both on and behind the page. Sam Maggs (Wonder Women, Star Trek: Waypoint), Susana Polo (Polygon), Sarah Kuhn (Heroine Complex), Robbie Thompson (Supernatural, Silk), Christina “Steenz” Stewart (Lion Forge Comics), Cait Brennan (Debutante), and Rose Knight (Women Write About Comics) chat about the strides made in representation of race, gender, and sexuality in comics-and how everyone can do better.

CBLDF: She Changed Comics
1:00pm – 2:00pm @ Room 11

Meet the women who changed free expression in comics! From the turn of the 20th century to today, women have overcome censorship and more to make comics, inspiring today’s landscape of increasingly diverse and empowering comics storytelling. Join Joyce Farmer (Special Exits, Tits & Clits), Thi Bui (The Best We Could Do), Jennifer L Holm (Babymouse, Sunny Side Up), CBLDF editorial director Betsy Gomez (She Changed Comics), and more for a discussion about the women who changed the format.

Art Heroines: Using Science to Help Create Art
4:30pm – 5:30pm @ Room 26AB

The Art Heroines explore the value of using science to further your art projects, from finding inspiration to implementing techniques. These seasoned professionals offer an in-depth discussion on how the pros employ the scientific method in their work. From observation to experimentation to innovation, they’ll break down how you can use science at home. Moderated by Robyn Simms, Emmy-nominated costume designer for Tumble Leaf (Amazon) and co-host of The Grownups Are Talking podcast, the panel features Danelle Vierkant (creature designer and builder, Grimm, American Horror Story), Ivonne Escoto (designer and builder, Sleepy Hollow, The Flash), Dee Chavez (background designer/layout, Nickelodeon, DreamWorks), Kristin Donner(painter/illustrator, Nickelodeon, Society for American Archaeology), Melissa Doss Diwa (builder, Jim Henson’s Creature Shop, Disney Online), Nicole Filiatrault (technical director, South Park), Kaitlyn Yang (VFX supervisor, Robot Chicken, The Walking Dead), and Chelsea Pickens (art department, Anomalisa, Yamasong).

Women of Color in Comics: Race, Gender, and the Comic Book Medium
6:00pm – 7:00pm @ Room 32AB

The Women in Comics Collective (WinC, pronounced “Wink”) is an international organization that highlights the merit and craft work of women working in the comic book and multimedia industries. Their membership is made up of artists, writers, educators, filmmakers, show producers, art gallery directors, cosplayers, game developers, bloggers, and toy makers. Focusing on female and racial representation in comics, fandom, and the industry, panelists include moderator Regine L. Sawyer (writer, publisher, WinC founder), Jewels Smith([H]afrocentric writer and creator, activist), Vanee Smith-Matsalia (writer, educator), Jay Justice (cosplayer, activist), Alice Meichi Li (comic book artist, illustrator), Leen Isabel (cosplayer, artist, creator of Pole Dancing Adventures), Jazmine Joyner (comic book store owner), and Jules Rivera (comic book artist).

Femme Magnifique: Amazing Women in Comics
7:00pm – 8:00pm @ Room 2

Learn about the groundbreaking women featured in the new anthology Femme Magnifique and the creative teams that turned the real-life adventures of these women into comic book stories. Women from politics, art, science, and pop will be featured, as co-curators Shelly Bond (Black Crown) and Kristy Miller (Femme Magnifique) provide sneak peeks at the art and stories. Femme Magnifique creative team members Paige Braddock (Jane’s World), Elsa Charretier (The Unstoppable Wasp), Eva Cabrera (KIM & KIM), Tess Fowler (Rat Queens), Gail Simone (Red Sonja), and more share their experiences creating comic stories based on real-life female heroes. Q&A session.

FRIDAY

Spotlight on Marjorie Lu
10:00am – 11:00am @ Room 29AB

Engage in a wide-ranging conversation on publishing, race, and gender with Marjorie Liu, the New York Times bestselling and Eisner-nominated author of Monstress, Han Solo, X-23, and many other titles.

Spotlight on Marguerite Bennett
1:00pm – 2:00pm @ Room 28DE

Do you like sassy broads in good dresses mouthing off about storytelling? If your answer is, “What a weird panel description,” then come see Ryan North interview Marguerite Bennett (DC Comics: Bombshells, Batwoman, Josie and the Pussycats, A-Force, Animosity) on comics, craft, work ethic, process, representation, feminist wrath, queer culture, comedy, kissing, storytelling, and more!

The Female Voices of Film Twitter
1:30pm – 2:30pm @ Horton Grand Theatre

Coming off of a TEDx Talk where she discussed the future of women in film, Fandango correspondent Alicia Malone is taking to the Horton Grand stage to celebrate the launch of her new book, Backwards and in Heels. Joining Malone will be some of today’s best and brightest female film journalists to provide advice for both aspiring journalists and filmmakers seeking to break into this industry. They will also discuss how to empower more women to tell their stories and the importance of the female voice in film coverage and social media. Panelists include Jacqueline Coley (Black Girl Nerds), Angie Han (Mashable), Aisha Harris (Slate), Rachel Heine (Nerdist), Amy Nicholson (MTV, The Canon Podcast), Melissa Silverstein (Women and Hollywood), and Jen Yamato (LA Times).

SPARK Your Creativity
3:00pm – 4:00pm @ Grand 1 & 2, Marriott Marquis San Diego Marina

Established female creators discuss how to cultivate your ideas and bring them to life, conquer hurdles, and create the best project you can! Leave with inspiration, confidence, a solid plan of action, and tons of new ideas. All genders and ages welcome! Featuring Heidi Cox (Stalking LeVar), Jenny Lorenzo (We are mitú), Sarah J Eagen (Magic for Muggles), Etta Devine (Diani & Devine Meet the Apocalypse), America Young (The Concessionaires Must Die!), Tessa Netting (Disney’s Bunk’d), and moderator Stephanie Pressman (Fashionably Nerdy).

You Do What?! Women in Film Production
6:00pm – 7:00pm @ Room 28DE

Forget navigating Hollywood backwards and in heels! Angela Robinson (writer/director, Professor Marston and the Wonder Women, True Blood), Lauren Haroutunian (cinematographer, RocketJump: The Show), Cat Paschen (SFX makeup artist, Face Off All Stars), Alicia Minette (metalsmith/art department, Gilmore Girls), and others discuss working in traditionally male-dominated fields of production with Q&A session moderated by Brittany Sandler.

SATURDAY

From Fandom to Creator
11:00am – 12:00pm @ Grand 1 & 2, Marriott Marquis San Diego Marina

Jamie Broadnax (managing editor and creator of Black Girl Nerds) and Eliyannah Amirah Yisrael (director and creator of Hermione Granger and the Quarter Life Crisis) discuss taking the leap from being a fan to becoming a content creator. Along with Robyn Jordan (co-founder and community manager of Black Girls Create), Jamie and Eliyannah will share how their participation in fandom communities inspired their creative endeavors and offer advice to those starting their own journey to becoming a creator.

Women on the Dark Side
12:00pm – 1:00pm @ Room 28DE

Not all female artists/creators are about unicorns and glittery vampires and silly pseudo-bondage. Some women create truly dark and challenging art and content with just a touch of humor and whimsy. Whether it’s comic books, novels, or art, these are the women who are creating content that connects with our deeper, darker side. Featuring Susan Lee (Wraith of Love, Shadow of the Knight), Megan Hutchison (Rockstars), Madeleine Holly-Rosing (Boston Metaphysical Society), and Maria Alexander (Mr. Wicker, Snowed). Moderated by Barbra Dillon (Fanbase Press).

Women Rocking Hollywood: Female Directors Changing the Face of Film and Television
1:00pm – 2:00pm @ Room 23ABC

Wonder Woman broke all records in Hollywood for a film helmed by a female director. Now what? While there’s still a long way to go before women, who make up 51% of the population, are represented proportionately behind the camera, shows like Jessica Jones, Queen Sugar, and The Leftovers are making a huge difference by committing to the inclusion of female directors. This panel focuses on the incredibly talented, successful women who are expanding opportunities for women in film, who have made noise and are winning awards with their work on both the big and small screens. Scheduled to appear: Kirsten Schaffer (executive director, Women in Film LA), Tina Mabry (writer/producer/director, Queen Sugar, Queen of the South; director, Dear White People), Rosemary Rodriguez (writer/director, Silver Skies; director, Jessica Jones, The Walking Dead), Victoria Mahoney (director, Queen Sugar, Gypsy, American Crime), Aurora Guerrero (writer/director, Mosquita y Mari; director, Queen Sugar), Angela Robinson (writer/director, Professor Marston and the Wonder Women, True Blood), and Gina Prince-Bythewiid (writer/director, Love & Basketball, Beyond the Lights), the first woman of color hired to helm a superhero film for the upcoming Silver & Black. Moderated by Leslie Combemale (Cinema Siren).

Entertainment Weekly’s Women Who Kick Ass: Icon Edition with Charlize Theron
2:00pm – 2:45pm @ Hall H

Furiosa in Mad Max: Fury Road. Cipher in The Fate of the Furious. Ravenna in Snow White and the Huntsman. Meredith Vickers in Prometheus. Aeon Flux. For more than a decade, Oscar winner Charlize Theron has embodied strength, power, searing intelligence, and steely determination on screen. Now, as she prepares to beat the hell out of sinister forces in her new movie Atomic Blonde, EW sits down for no-holds-barred conversation with a woman who defies the rules-and creates her own.

Ladies of the Legions, A Women’s Guide to Star Wars Costuming
4:00pm – 5:00pm @ Grand 1 & 2, Marriott Marquis San Diego Marina

The Ladies of the Legions discuss different costume options for women and challenges and solutions for issues such as choosing costumes, customization and fit, crossplay costume options, physical issues for women in costume, and support and costume groups for women. Panelists offer introductions to various costume clubs, including the 501st Legion (Lesley Farquhar, Dawn Bright, and Anastasia Hunter), Rebel Legion (Rachel Williams and Lisa Curtis Saunders), and the Mandalorian Mercs (Carrie Ann Caranci and Kristina Schlosser). Moderated by Lesley Farquhar (The 501st Legion).

Broad City
7:00pm – 8:00pm @ Indigo Ballroom, Hilton San Diego Bayfront

Created by UCB alums Abbi Jacobson and Ilana Glazer, Broad City is an odd-couple comedy about two best friends navigating their twenties in New York City. They’re broke, flawed, and don’t shy away from the sticky situations NYC throws at them-they dive right into the muck. Last season saw Abbi and Ilana dealing with a whole new slew of everyday challenges including a trip to the DMV, new hookups, visiting Abbi’s dad, and a rat in the apartment. Now it’s time for these NYC broads to head to San Diego! Co-creators, writers, and stars Abbi and Ilana will give audiences a sneak peek of the new season returning this August. The Broad City girls take you inside the writers’ room for a vibrant discussion of what goes on behind the scenes. Broad City returns for season 4 this August on Comedy Central. YAAAS!

Women Below the Line
8:00pm – 9:00pm @ Room 28DE

Sheyne Fleischer (assistant editor, reality TV), Alicia Minette (production designer, propmaster/fabricator/blacksmith, ABC Digital), Sabrina Wichner (miniature VFX artist, Interstellar, Pee-wee’s Big Holiday), Rachel Noel (narrative designer, Armored Warfare, Pathfinder Adventures), Aiden Vitti (costume department, Twin Peaks, Ghostbusters), and Meredith Placko (entertainment reporter, What the Flick?!, Comicbook.com) explore roles of women in the entertainment industry. They will discuss their careers and experiences working in their various fields, focusing on success stories and how to follow your dreams in the industry while exploring gender roles in the creative professions. Bring your questions! Moderated by Claire Hummel (art director, Campo Santo) and Glenn Freund (League of S.T.E.A.M.).

SUNDAY

Princess Leia Star Wars Fan Club Tribute Presentation
10:00am – 11:00am @ Room 6DE

Join your fellow Star Wars fans for a special tribute in honor of the extraordinary actress Carrie Fisher. Best known for her role as Princess Leia Organa in the Star Wars universe, Carrie’s larger-than-life personality both on and off screen was destined to carve a special place in the hearts of Star Wars fans of all ages. Hear from fellow fans as they share personal stories of how Carrie Fisher inspired them, touched their lives, and will live in everyone’s hearts-always! Hosted by the Star Wars Fan Clubs: Rebel Legion, Mandalorian Mercs, R2 Builders, and 501st Legion.

World Premiere of LEGO DC Super Hero Girls: Brain Drain
12:15pm – 1:45pm @ Room 6BCF

Missing memories provide an intriguing mystery for our young female protagonists in the all-new animated film, LEGO DC Super Hero Girls: Brain Drain. See the world premiere of this film, the first LEGO entry in the worldwide DC Super Hero Girls franchise phenomenon, then stay for a fun panel featuring the voices of Wonder Woman, Supergirl, and Harley Quinn/Poison Ivy—Grey Griffin (Scooby-Doo and KISS: Rock and Roll Mystery), Tara Strong (The Fairly Oddparents, My Little Pony), and Anais Fairweather (DC Super Hero Girls: Intergalactic Games), respectively, alongside producer Rick Morales (Batman: Return of the Caped Crusaders), director Todd Grimes (Back at the Barnyard), and screenwriter Jeremy Adams (Monsuno). DC All Access host Tiffany Smith moderates. Produced by Warner Bros. Animation, DC Entertainment, and the LEGO Group, LEGO DC Super Hero Girls: Brain Drain will be distributed by Warner Bros. Home Entertainment July 25, on digital HD, and August 8 on DVD.

Women of Marvel
12:30pm – 1:30pm @ Room 6DE

From Ms. Marvel to the A-Force, from Twitter to tumblr, the subject of women in comics has been one of the most talked-about in comics recently. Join the conversation as women from multiple disciplines 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 content development director Sana Amanat, producer Judy Stephens, and more special guests to be announced.

Raising Heroic Girls
2:00pm – 3:00pm @ Grand 1 & 2, Marriott Marquis San Diego Marina

A look at how heroic comics, movies, and toys can inspire girls to be more confident and successful by combatting harmful gender norms that can hold them back. A panel of experts including Alaina Huffman(Supernatural, Smallville), Audrey Kearns (Geek Girl Authority), Cassandra Pelham (senior editor at Graphix and Scholastic Press), Dr. Janina Scarlet (Superhero Therapy), and Jenna Busch (Stan Lee’s World of Heroes, Legion of Leia) will participate in a session moderated by John Marcotte (founder of Heroic Girls).

Women Creators Breaking Stereotypes
3:00pm – 4:00pm @ Room 32AB

From Jane Eyre and Little Women to The Hunger Games, Rogue One: A Star Wars Story, and Wonder Woman, female heroes have spurred many discussions. What have creators fought for in the past for their female title characters, and what key ingredients do creators pour into their female leads today? Hear from Genese Davis (The Holder’s Dominion), Michele Wells (DC Comics), Trina Robbins (writer and herstorian), Erin Reynolds (Nevermind), and Leah Hoyer (Telltale Games) as they share their processes for creating female heroes, what they think about when creating a female lead or collaborating on female superheroes, and what they foresee happening to female stereotypes in the future.

Moving Beyond the ‘Strong Female Character’
4:00pm – 5:00pm @ Room 32AB

One-dimensionality is so late-’90s; fans need well-written, fully-developed women in their media. Join Sam Maggs (Wonder Women), Amy S. Foster (The Rift: Uprising), Bree Turner (Grimm), Danielle Paige (Dorothy Must Die), Jody Houser (Faith), Jen Bartel (Jem and the Holograms), Alicia Lutes (Nerdist), and Amy Chu (Poison Ivy, Red Sonja) as they chat about their favorite lady characters, what could be improved, and how creators can make those changes.