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.