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The Mary Sue’s Must-See New York Comic Con 2014 Panels

We combed through the entire panel list so you don't have to.

General Social/Fandom Issues

The Mary Sue Presents – Fight What You Know
Thu. October 9| 2:15 PM – 3:00 PM | 1A14
The geek world needs better representation in media, but aren’t you supposed to write what you know? Truth is, the whole “write what you know” thing is a load of bull honkey. A Writer who can’t appreciate the perspectives of others is no kind of Writer at all. Writers from all backgrounds and experiences join to talk about research, listening, soliciting criticism and how to make sure you’re writing well when you’re outside the comfort zone of your own perspective.

Geeks of Color Go Pro: Working in the Industry
Thu. October 9| 8:00 PM – 8:45 PM | 1A18
How can fans of color become successful Creators? Experienced pros in TV, publishing, comic books, gaming, and pop culture journalism offer their advice. With LeSean Thomas (BLACK DYNAMITE: THE ANIMATED SERIES; THE LEGEND OF KORRA; THE BOONDOCKS), Tracey J. John (; Gameloft), Alice Meichi Li (Dark Horse), Daniel José Older (Author, HALF-RESSURECTION BLUES); Jennifer Cruté (Author, JENNIFER’S JOURNAL) & I. W. Gregorio (Author, #WeNeedDiverseBooks). Moderated by Diana Pho (Editor, Tor Books).

Damsels in Distress Need Not Apply
Fri. October 10| 3:15 PM – 4:00 PM | 1A01
Gone are the days when females take to a backseat to the action, or wait to be saved, but crafting a strong female protagonist isn’t easy. Jennifer Donnelly (Deep Blue), SJ Harper (Reckoning), Gillian Anderson (Vision Of Fire), Romina Russell (Zodiac), Marie Rutkoski (The Winner’s Curse), C.L. Wilson (Winter King), Alexandra Bracken (In The Afterlight), Colleen Gleason (The Spiritglass Charade) and Amelia Kahaney (Invisible) discuss the challenges they faced creating their standout heroines.

Vulture Presents Carol Corps and Beyond: The Future of Female Fandom
Fri. October 10| 4:00 PM – 4:45 PM | 1A10
Captain Marvel, Ms. Marvel and Batgirl have sparked an explosion of enthusiasm and visibility for women in comics. These female leads have been present since the dawn of comics, so why is their popularity only seeing a rise now? Some say the internet is responsible – but if that’s true, why didn’t this happen 15 years ago? And what role, if any, do leading ladies portrayals onscreen play? Most importantly, we must keep this momentum going and not let this be just a flash in the pan!

I Cannot Sew and I Must Cosplay 2k14
Fri. October 10| 8:15 PM – 9:00 PM | 1A05
Hey look it’s the Cosplay Panel from 2013, but now in 2014, how strange & cool is THAT? Not very, I know, sorry for trying to imply otherwise. Anywho, the homies Chris & Lindsey are back, with Ejen (Cosplay in America) & Susan (Pepperbots Cosplay). These 4 “veterans” of the hobby are going to make a vein attempt to talk shop, answer questions & attempt to make awkward jokes. It’s kinda like that Cosplay reality show, only no, not really.

The Mary Sue Presents – Strong Female Characters: The Women Shining in Geek Media
Saturday October 11, 1:15 PM to 2:00 PM in room 1A01
We often ask to see “strong female characters” in our geek media and are critical when Creators fall short but this Panel will focus on the positive representations of women, both as they exist now and as they’ve evolved over time and those creating them. We’ll also be discussing the impact positive representations had on the lives of the Panelists and their hopes for characters we’ll see in the future.

#YesAllGeeks: Let’s Talk About Harassment in Fandom
Sat. October 11| 3:00 PM – 3:45 PM | 1A21
After years of silence, people have become more vocal in speaking against harassment in fandom. How can our community unite to make our spaces – online and offline – safer? With Mikki Kendall (Writer and Activist, @karnythia), Marlene Bonnelly (Blogger, @ilikecomicstoo), Kaye M (Writer & Founder of #YesAllWomen), Emily Asher-Perrin (Blogger,, Robert Anders (Nurse Practitioner). Moderated by Diana Pho (Editor, Tor Books).

So They Say You Shouldn’t Cosplay
Sat. October 11| 3:00 PM – 3:45 PM | 1A18
Come and listen in on a Panel led by Ivy Doomkitty, covering topics such as body image, skin color, age, crossplay (rule 63) and more. We will discuss how to push past boundaries that others try to place against you. After all, Cosplay is for everyone. It is not limited to one demographic. Q&A to follow.

New York TimesOUT Presents Geeks, Gaymers and Crossplay
Sat. October 11| 5:15 PM – 6:00 PM | 1A24
The LGBT community has found a safe haven in the con culture. Equality and self-expression are encouraged in the space and Fans are able to take their online relationships into the real world through these gatherings. Let’s discuss the appeal of cons to the LGBT community and how the internet is playing a major role in mainstreaming both of these cultural subsets.

Breaking Good: Addressing World Challenges through Comic Books and Video Games
Sat. October 11| 7:15 PM – 8:00 PM | 1A05
Can comic books change the world? Brian K. Vaughan (Saga, Y: The Last Man) sits down with best selling Author Cory Doctorow (Homeland, Little Brother) to talk about the possibilities of creating world change through popular culture. FBI victim specialist Alexis Krieger chats with Writer Thomas Estler about how they created a comic book (Abolitionista!) to fight human trafficking. Asi Burak, President of Games for Change, talks about creating video games with a social impact.

Secret Identities – Transgender Themes in Comic Books
Sun. October 12| 12:15 PM – 1:00 PM | 1A01
From The Avengers to Batgirl, gender change has become more and more common in comic books, but comics have addressed transgender themes since the Golden Age. Indie and mainstream comics have been written and illustrated by transgender talent too. Join a Panel of Writers and Artists who will discuss the impact of transgender characters, and how Transgender Comic Book Creators have influenced the industry over the years.

Moviepilot Presents Women in Geek Media – Super Girls on a Mission!
Sun. October 12| 4:15 PM – 5:00 PM | 1A14
New media – old problems. The explosion of digital media as a creative platform is a game-changer for content creation and sharing. But the challenge in building diversity across this platform is no different from any other media revolution. Indeed, women have become a strong voice on the web, but there’s work still to be done. Some of the most successful and visible women in geek media weigh in on the challenges they’ve faced and how they’ve overcome the obstacles to build brands that resonate.

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