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Diversity Comic Con Kicks Off Today at 2:30 for Free!

Diversity Comic Con

Diversity Comic Con kicks off this afternoon, October 16 at 2:30 pm Eastern Standard Time (New York) through tomorrow  8:00 pm. The convention is virtual and completely free! You can sign up now, no password or special code required!

Check out the complete schedule below:

Friday October 16 Schdeule:

  • 2:30 pm – Panel Discussion on “Breaking into Hollywood”
  • 4:00 pm – Keynote address and Q&A with Shawn Martinbrough
  • 5:00 pm – Scholastic Graphix on YA and Children’s Graphic Novels
  • 6:30 pm – Q&A Session with Displacement author Kiku Hughes
  • 8:00 pm – Creator Speed Networking Session

Saturday October 17 Schedule:

  • 10:00 am – Q&A Session with Donut Feed the Squirrels author Mika Song
  • 11:30 am – Panel Discussion on “Using Current Events as Inspiration”
  • 1:00 pm – Panel Discussion on “Covid’s Impact on the Comics Industry”
  • 2:30 pm – DC Comics Panel “Represent: It’s a Bird!
  • 4:00 pm – Panel Discussion on “Being Marginalized in Comics”
  • 5:30 pm – Online Drawing Contest• 8:00 pm – Creator Speed Networking Session

You can get a more complete description of the program including speakers and don’t forget to check out the artists in the Virtual Exhibition!

Diversity Comic Con Focuses its Programming for Aspiring Comic Writers and Artists

Diversity Comic Con

What happens when you let educators run a comic con? It becomes as much about learning something new as much as it’s about celebrating comics. This year’s Diversity Comic Con at the Fashion Institute of Technology (FIT) is featuring a slew of programming for creators who want to get into the comics industry. The convention has gone virtual and is completely accessible from anywhere on Friday, October 16, and Saturday, October 17.

On Friday, the team behind Bone, Captain Underpants, and Smile from Scholastic Graphix will be talking about young adult and children’s books. Phil Falco (art director), Meagan Peace (editor), and Jonah Newman (editor/writer) will share their work and insights into this rapidly booming market and how a creator can target their work towards it.

On Saturday, a panel discussion called “Using Current Events as Inspiration” will include Kiku Hughes (First Second), LL McKinney (DC Comics), Alex Sanchez (DC Comics), and moderated by Andrea Colvin (Little Brown Books). Creators will talk about how the latest news like COVID and politics can influence comics and perhaps how comics can influence readers.

Another big draw will be the Friday panel on “Breaking into Hollywood” Featuring Alex Segura (Archie Comics), Shanty Hermayn (Trese – Netflix), Vivek Tiwary (Producer of The Fifth Beatle), Robert Scull (Nickelodeon) and moderated by Gamal Hennessy (Entertainment attorney formerly of Marvel Comics).

There will also be Q & As with Shawn Martinbrough (Batman/Black Panther), Mika Song (Donut Feed the Squirrels), and Christian Cooper and Alitha Martinez (Represent: It’s a Bird!) both from DC Comics, who will be talking about the “Black Lives Matter” movement.

This year’s theme is “Black Stories Matter” bringing to the forefront today’s social justice issues. as embodied in the panel discussion “On being Marginalized in Comics” with Amy Chu, Regine Sawyer, and Omar Mirza. Another timely topic will be the talk on “The Impact of COVID 19 on the Comics Industry” with Heidi Macdonald, Andy Schmidt, John Siuntres, Stanford Carpenter, and Gina Gagliano.

Christian Cooper Joins the Diversity Comic-Con Panelists to Address Racial Injustice

With the recent deaths of African Americans at the hands of Police, the country has been forced to face its issues with racism like never before. This was the case when comics writer Christian Cooper was harassed in New York’s Central Park by a woman who threatened to call the police claiming “there’s an African American man threatening my life.” All Cooper had done was ask her to leash her dog as was the rules of the park. Luckily no one was injured in the confrontation but the incident was captured on video and has since gone viral.

October marks the beginning of Civility Week for the Fashion Institute of Technology (FIT), part of the State University of New York system. Over several days, the college offers up programming that addresses the issues of diversity and inclusion. This year’s theme is “Social Justice” to shed more light on current events in our community. For the past two years, the week has been capped off by Diversity Comic-Con. A celebration of multiculturalism in the sequential arts.

This year’s Diversity Comic-Con is even more significant as it hosts a special Q & A session sponsored by DC Comics. Cooper along with artist Alitha Martinez, through DC, have produced a comic anthology called “Represent: It’s a Bird” partly inspired by his experience in Central Park but focusing more on the broader subject of racism. “I hope young people read it, and that they’re inspired to keep the focus where it needs to be, which is on those we have lost and how we keep from losing more.” Said Cooper in an interview. “This moment is about the ones we’ve lost, and how we’re going to keep from losing any more.” The live Diversity Comic-Con interview will be conducted by Alitha’s son on Saturday, at 2:30 pm.

Also appearing will be Shawn Martinbrough, renowned artist of such characters as Batman and Black Panther. “As a New York native and artist, I have always been inspired to create by diverse populations and their environments. Variety and different voices are the lifeblood of creativity.” Martinbrough will be delivering the keynote address and answering questions as well. Other diverse creators appearing include Kiku Hughes, Alex Sanchez, LL McKinney, Mika Song, Vivek Tiwary, Alex Segura, Amy Chu, Regine Sawyer, Jonah Newman, and Robert Scull.

Aspiring artists and writers are also encouraged to submit their own comic stories and art to the anthologyBlack Stories Matter” which is the theme of the comic con itself. “The book will be released a few weeks after the event and creators can submit 1-5 pages of comic stories by October 30th,” says organizer Ramon Gil. “We wanted something tangible that remains after the event is over. All the details are on the website.”

Scholastic Graphix, Archie Comics, First Second, Random House Graphic, and Nickelodeon are also supporting the event by contributing prizes and having their creators at the various panels throughout the weekend. “I’m excited to return to Diversity Comic-Con this year – a year that has shown more than ever that discussion, education, and change in diversity is essential for everyone in the publishing industry.” offers Gina Gagliano, publishing director at Random House Graphic. 

Diversity Comic Con 2020 is completely online and accessible by anyone anywhere with internet access. It happens Friday, October 16, and Saturday, October 17. The event is free and live online where people can also find all the details on how to participate as a creator.

Diversity Comic Con Goes Online in October

FIT Diversity Comic-Con

One of the missing aspects of many of this year’s handful of virtual comic cons is the social element. Creators love to meet with other creators. Diversity Comic Con at the Fashion Institute of Technology (FIT) will have interactive panel discussions and Q and As and will feature virtual speed networking sessions on Friday and Saturday nights where attendees get to meet and talk to each other one-on-one. The convention will use a service called Meetaway that matches participants with other attendees and will have a set amount of time to get to know each other. A prompt will be given to help the conversation along.

The FIT Diversity Comic-Con itself is in its third year, growing by leaps and bounds. This year’s keynote speaker is artist Shawn Martinbrough. Publishers joining many for the first time include Scholastic, MacMillan/First Second, Magnetic Press, Ahoy Comics, and Random House.

This year also marks another inescapable issue, the Black Lives Matter movement. The con has always been part of FIT’s Civility Week which has as it’s theme this year “Social Justice.” In fact, some of the panels will be dealing directly with the Black Lives Matter movement. As part of the event, a comic anthology will also be produced called “Black Stories Matter.” Comic creators are invited to contribute.

Diversity Comic Con is happening n October 16-17. The event is completely online which means anyone, anywhere can attend.

Fashion Institute of Technology Hosts a Free Diversity Comic Con this October

For most of his adult life, Professor Ramon Gil has worked towards more visibility for Asian Americans and minorities in general. Also being a comic book writer and artist, Ramon is merging these two passions by organizing what will be Diversity Comic Con at the Fashion Institute of Technology (FIT).

The event will be held on Thursday, October 11 from 10am to 6pm at the Great Hall of FIT’s Conference Center. There will be professional artists tables, panel discussions on a wide range of topics and cosplayers parading their latest fashion fantasy creations. Special guests include award-winning author of The Fifth Beatle – Vivek Tiwary, Batman artist and Black Lightning Co-creator – Trevor Von Eeden and comics editor and diversity advocate – Heather Antos.

Many more creators will be exhibiting, including Larry Hama, Heidi MacDonald, Dean Haspiel, Robyn Chapman, Reilly Brown and Janice Chiang. Many of whom have worked for top comic publishers like DC, Marvel, Image, Archie, IDW and more. There will even be animators, graphic novelists, storybook authors  and publishers on hand. All professionals will be giving reviews to students who bring their portfolios.

With help and support from other FIT faculty and students, namely Prof. Kyunghee Pyun and senior Chase Bluestone, the Diversity Con is mere weeks away from reality. The convention launched on the advice of Gil’s fellow FIT faculty and is made possible by a grant.

The event is open to the FIT community who need only present their school IDs for admission but the general public will have to reserve free tickets.

Almost American