San Diego Comic-Con is back in full swing as of this week, and as usual there will be a hustle and bustle for everyone in the shop. Between meetings, drinks, networking and wish-list filling, ICv2 readers may want to take a look at some of this year’s programs, particularly the panels with useful information about the business of geek culture. Here are a few highlights based on my quick run through of the schedule.
10am: The Creator Symposium (Room 23ABC). Part of an industry panel series organized by the Women in Comics Collective International, this time featuring Scott Snyder, Che Grayson, Joe Illidge, MaikaSozo and David Walker, moderated by WinC Founder Regine Sawyer.
10:30 am: Comic Book Law School: The ABC of IP Law (Room 11). The first of the always informative series of legal advice for authors and publishers, this time with Michael Lovitz.
10:30 am: How to get coverage (Room 10). Annual panel discussion where comic press, bloggers, podcasters, creators and small publishers including your humble correspondent discuss attention-grabbing do’s and don’ts, moderated by Rik Offenberger.
12:00 p.m.: The Pitching Hour (Room 5AB). Writers, screen talent and production staff discuss the best ways to take your idea from concept to release. Looks interesting for people interested in the media/entertainment side of the business.
2:00 p.m.: Audio Storytelling (SD Central Library). Podcasting and audio books are becoming important platforms for storytelling. This panel of practitioners and experts seems to be a good reference point for industry professionals interested in this part of the business.
2:00 p.m.: The Future of Collectibles (Room 9). Jimmy Palmiotti, Creative Director Mitch Putnam and Jason Schachter discuss the evolution of collecting with moderator Shaan Bhagat (Masterfile).
3:00 p.m.: Kickstarting Comics in 2022 and Beyond (Room 3). I’m hosting this look into the mechanics of running a crowdfunding campaign as a creator or publisher along with Kickstarter Comics Director Oriana Leckert, Rocketship’s Tom Akel, Industry Manager Hank Kanalz, and creators Jazzlyn Stone and Kayden Phoenix.
4:00 p.m.: Printing Comics: Everything You Need to Know (Room 11). Andy Schmidt (ONS Printing), Thomas Cho (Trivision) and Josh Werner (Source Point Press) provide a hands-on overview of how to put comics on paper.
5:00 p.m.: Manga Publishing Panel (Room 29AB). Business-focused take on the hottest category in comics. The All-Star Panel consists of Kevin Hamric (Viz), Lyla Seo (Manta), Ben Applegate (PRH), Erik Ko (Udon), Ivan Salazar (Kodansha), Michael Gombos (Dark Horse), Ed Chavez (Denpa) and Beth Kawaski (MediaDo) will be moderated by manga expert Deb Aoki.
5:00 p.m.: Nerdy Finance – Tips for Freelancers to Keep Your Money (Grand 12/13, Marriott). Tax connoisseur Neil Navarez offers tips and tricks for keeping the IRS out of your wallet.
5:30 p.m.: Crowdfunding and Tabletop Games (Room 26AB). Moderated by Ross Thompson, game developers James Hudson, Victoria Cana, LaTia Jacquise and Kailey Bray discuss strategies for winning in one of Kickstarter’s top revenue categories.
7:00 p.m.: From Fanart to Franchise (Room 25ABC). Stay here to hear me talk about the future of user-generated content with WEBTOON Director of Content David Lee, reality TV show producer Ken Mok, YouTube sensation Steven “Emotional Damage!” He and WEBTOON creator Kaitlyn Narvaza (aka “Intermezzo”).
9:30 am: ComicsPRO restart (Room 12). Networking event for retailers.
12:00 p.m.: Retailer Appreciation Lunch (TBA). Diamond’s annual gathering for retailers co-hosted by a number of publishers.
1:00 p.m.: Creators Assemble! (Marriot Marina D). Networking event for creators, publishers, retailers, educators and library staff.
1:00 p.m.: How to Succeed on Kickstarter (Room 32AB). Another crowdfuding guide, this time starring Oriana Leckert, Joe Illidge, Jimmy Palmiotti, Der-shing Helmer, and Kat Calamia.
2:00 p.m.: Comic PR and Marketing 101 (Room 25ABC). Longtime marketing and PR guru Chip Mosher (comiXology, Boom! Studios) shares wisdom.
2:00 p.m.: I’m in the nerd business. (Marriott Grand 10-11).Advice for aspiring geekpreneurs by David Nett (Hero’s Journey Fitness).
4:00 p.m.: Finance for Creators (Marriot Grand 12-13). Business-focused roundtable with finance professionals discussing tax, credit and financing issues for industry professionals.
7:30: Designing a living being creatively (Room 10). An interesting cast of entertainment professionals including Addor Waltke, Steven Edwards and Lee Kohse discuss career paths in the industry, moderated by Johnny Kaolasinski.
7:30 p.m.: The publishing landscape after the pandemic (Room 26AB).Roundtable of comics and gaming creators discusses ongoing publishing and distribution issues and what it means to get new work into the hands of readers.
12:30 p.m.: All about licensed tabletop games 2022 (Room 5AB).Designers and publishers from across the industry will discuss the issues of customizing licensed properties and dealing with IP owners and brands.
1:00 p.m.: Game Creator Connection (Marina D). Networking event for game designers that connects aspiring developers with industry mentors.
1:00 p.m.: Overstreet Access (Room 38DE). Josh Geppi, Gemstone’s JC Vaughan and Overstreet’s Shawn Sippel provide an update on the industry’s venerable price leader.
2:00 p.m.: How to be a One Person Comic Company (Room 2). Brian Haberlin explores tactics for producing comics, collectibles, and animation for small and one-person businesses.
2:00 p.m.: What Comic Publishers Want (Room 11). Editors and publishers offer developers advice on sharpening pitches.
3:00 p.m.: Publishers Weekly: Comics survived a pandemic, now what? Heidi MacDonald will moderate a conversation with Nachie Marscham (IDW), Jen Haines (ComicsPRO), Kevin Hamric (Viz), Eric Reynolds (Fantagraphics) and Filip Sablik (Boom! Studios) on distribution, streaming and industry consolidation.
6:30 p.m.: The Art and Business of Licensing (Room 10). Creative and business processes to develop licensed content with licensing professionals Erica Stead (Gearbox), Meredith Hershey (Gearbox), Ashley Miller (Dragaon’s Blood) and author Amy Chu.
10:00 am: The store behind Geek Culture Products (Room 24ABC). An inside look at creating products for fans including trading cards, merchandise, fashion and collectibles.
12:30 p.m.: Secrets of successful self-publishing from the concept to the audio book (room 2). Practical tips for authors who want to self-publish fiction books and the accompanying audiobook with a group of audio and podcasting professionals.
3:00 p.m.: Ask an Attorney: A Legal Q&A for Streamers and eSports Players (Marquis 12-13). Attorney Dorian Slater Thomas discusses legal issues surrounding online engagements and industry relationships.
3:30 p.m. Comic-Con Talkback (Room 23ABC).The Comic-Con organizers’ annual debrief is always a treasure trove of insider knowledge about the con.
4:00 PM: Build a video game company from scratch (Room 29AB). Industry veterans discuss the process of starting a new gaming company, from deals and investments to technical development and marketing.
Phew ok I’m exhausted to recap it all again! Apologies to everyone whose great business oriented panels I accidentally missed. As always, I’ll be wandering and programming the exhibit floor throughout the convention, and I’m always happy to chat with ICv2 readers if you happen to slip into my brilliant “industry professional” disguise.
To everyone attending the SDCC, have fun and stay healthy!
The opinions expressed in this column are solely those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of the ICv2.com editorial team.
Rob Salkowitz (@robsalk) is the author of Comic-Con and the business of pop culture.