Comic-Con has long been a boys club — I mean, it is called “fanboy” culture for a reason. However, in recent years there’s been more and more female-skewing programming, highlighting that it’s not just geek guys enjoying The Con, but geek girls as well. The beauty of comic con is that it’s so huge that there’s something for everyone, and every year more and more female-centric programming is offered.
I’m not just talking about panels like Twilight and The Hunger Games – there are now programs for the comic geek girl, those analytically focusing on strong female characters in any medium, and more. From strong female focused titles like Divergent, Catching Fire, Lost Girl, Buffy to panels focusing particularly on how geek girls fit in to this fandom world we all live, there is plenty to see and do this weekend.
Here’s the day-by-day of what panels could be worth your time if you’re looking for that female-slant.
The futuristic epic romance tale, Star-Crossed gets a sneak peek both here and at the preview night screenings on Wednesday. When a spacecraft crash-landed in Emery’s (Aimee Teegarden) small town when she was only 6, whether the aliens came in peace or with more sinister intentions didn’t matter: a fierce battle erupted as humans fought for control over their new rivals.
One of the most popular forms of cosplay for women is the steampunk movement. With Corsets, werewolves, airships, robots, women in pants, and more – it’s not hard to see why! While the Victorian era was marked by constraint, adding a sci-fi twist has allowed women creators to re-imagine this world and loosen those cultural corset strings. They are exploring how liberating, sexy, and adventurous the age of steam can be. Robin Blackburn (The League of S.T.E.A.M.), Anina Bennett (Boilerplate: History’s Mechanical Marvel), Kaja Foglio (Girl Genius), Jaymee Goh (Silver Goggles), Claire Hummel (Bioshock: Infinite), and moderator Dina Kampmeyer (LadySteam) discuss literature, fashion, romance, adventure, multiculturalism, and more.
Maryelizabeth Hart speaks with Christine Feehan (The Dark Series), Claudia Gray (Spellcaster), Aprilynne Pike (Earthbound), Lauren Kate (The Fallen Novels), Kendare Blake (Antigoddess), and Magnus Flyte (City of Dark Magic) about the inclusion of romantic elements in their action-packed novels. Can the protagonists battle the forces of evil and keep the world (and often their lovers) safe?
Gender in Comic Books — 1pm Room 28DE
Ball State University professor Christina Blanch moderates a sincere discussion on the topic of gender in comics with Alexa Dickman (Ladies Making Comics), Grace Randolph (Supurbia), Disney editor Janelle Asselin, BOOM! editors Shannon Watters and Dafna Pleban, and Archaia editor Rebecca Taylor.
At the biggest panel yet, Summit Entertainment presents a special sneak peek at the highly anticipated film adaptation of the best-selling novel, Divergent. In addition to never-before-seen footage, there will be a Q&A sharing details of the project’s transition from book to film. Panelists will include novelist Veronica Roth, director Neil Burger, and cast members Shailene Woodley, Theo James, Miles Teller, Maggie Q, Ansel Elgort, Mekhi Phifer, Ben Lamb, Ben Lloyd-Hughes and Christian Madsen.
Is the con a place where fangirls feel forced to fit fantastic expectations, or is it a place where they can unleash who they really are? Are women in fandom subjected to more judgment than their male counterparts? Do women in fandom have to maintain dual identities in ways the fanboys don’t? To discuss whether fandom really is different for women, Action Flick Chick Katrina Hill (Fanhattan, CraveOnline) has assembled a team of women dangerous in their own right: Chaka Cumberbatch(Princess Mentality Cosplay), Ashley Eckstein (HerUniverse), Erin Gray (Buck Rogers, Heroes for Hire), Dr. Andrea Letamendi (UnderTheMaskOnline.com),Jessica Merizan (BioWare), Morgan Romine (Frag Dolls), and America Young (Stan Lee’s World of Heroes).
Veronica Mars Special Video Presentation and Q&A — 11:15am Hall H
Kristen Bell, Francis Capra, Enrico Colantoni, Percy Daggs III,Jason Dohring, Ryan Hansen, Chris Lowell, Tina Majorino and Krysten Ritter and more join producer and director Rob Thomas in a panel moderated by Entertainment Weekly’s Jeff Jensen. Fresh off the set of the film that was funded by over 90,000 devoted fans through Kickstarter, attendees will have an opportunity to see exclusive footage, hear details about the production, and ask the cast and producers questions about this upcoming movie.
Nikita returns to San Diego for its final Comic-Con appearance with series stars Maggie Q (Mission: Impossible 3), Shane West (ER), Lyndsy Fonseca (Kick-Ass), Aaron Stanford (X-Men: The Last Stand), Melinda Clarke (The O.C.), Devon Sawa (Final Destination), and Noah Bean (Damages) joining executive producer Craig Silverstein (Bones). This farewell panel looks back on three seasons of action-packed drama and teases the final six episodes of the final season. Nikita: The Complete Third Season will be released on Blu-ray and DVD on October 1. From Wonderland Sound and Vision in association with Warner Bros. Television, the fourth season of Nikita will air midseason on The CW.
Sony & Screen Gems — 4pm Hall H
While Sony & Screen Gems will be covering everything from The Amazing Spider-man to Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs, it’s the upcoming The Mortal Instruments: City of Bones that will likely hold the most interest for female fans. Set in contemporary New York City, a seemingly ordinary teenager, Clary Fray (Lily Collins), discovers she is the descendant of a line of Shadowhunters, a secret cadre of half-angel warriors locked in an ancient battle to protect our world from demons. After the disappearance of her mother (Lena Headey), Clary must join forces with a group of Shadowhunters, who introduce her to a dangerous alternate New York called Downworld, filled with demons, warlocks, vampires, werewolves and other deadly creatures. Based on the worldwide best-selling book series. Please join best- selling author, Cassandra Clare, along with the film’s director Harald Zwart and stars Lily Collins, Jamie Campbell Bower, Robert Sheehan and Kevin Zegers for a first look at exciting new footage and discussion of The Mortal Instruments: City of Bones.
Outspoken actresses, models, writers, and entrepreneurs share their own journey with body image, discrimination, and the road to self-love. Panelists Miracle Laurie (Dollhouse), Adrianne Curry (America’s Next Top Model), Helenna Santos-Levy (founder, Ms. In The Biz), Dani Lennon (Bite Me), Elisa Teague (editor-in-chief,Cupcake Quarterly), Gloria Shuri Nava (The Beauty Adjustment), and moderator Leah Cevoli (Robot Chicken) discuss such hot topics as the sexualization of women in film and TV, beauty myths and mainstream media’s perpetuation of them, eating disorders, and an acceptance for women of all shapes and sizes in the entertainment Industry, while inspiring others to get out there and live their best life.
Lionsgate – Featuring The Hunger Games: Catching Fire — 1:35pm Hall H
The cast of the highly anticipated second installment of The Hunger Games: Catching Fire comes to Hall H for the first time with a panel moderated by Fandango chief correspondent Dave Karger. Never-before-seen footage is showcased from both films. Includes Q&A opportunity. While there’s been no announcement that Katniss (Jennifer Lawrence) will be there, even if she does not show, it should still be an exciting panel.
Entertainment Weekly’s Women Who Kick Ass — 2:55pm Hall H
Fierce, fearless and flat-out fantastic, these female actors have left fans breathless. Michelle Rodriguez (Fast and Furious franchise), Orphan Black‘s Tatiana Maslany,Danai Gurira (The Walking Dead), and others open up about the power and privilege of playing women who redefine the rules and refuse to yield.
Actress and entrepreneur Ashley Eckstein, voice of Ahsoka Tano from Star Wars: The Clone Wars and founder of Her Universe, the leading merchandise company for female sci-fi fans, is bringing together the decision makers in the genre fashion industry and the fans for an open discussion. This conversation is meant to be educational and informative, putting the executives and buyers in direct communication with the fans. Ashley will give fans a glimpse of how the retailers stay in tune with their customers and how they develop compelling designs. Audience members will be able to give their comments and recommendations.
From Captain Marvel to the X-Men, from Twitter to tumblr, women in comics has been one of the most talked-about topics in comics. Join the conversation as women from every discipline 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 writer Louise Simonson (New Mutants), editor Jeanine Schaefer, Marvel AR producer and photographer Judy Stephens, and some other special guests!
Dystopian societies, postapocalyptic scenarios, enhanced (and deadly) abilities, and mysterious government branches make the future a not-so-safe place to be. Moderator Anna Jarzab (Tandem) joins authors Marie Lu (the Legend series), Gen Albin (Crewel), Brandon Sanderson (Steelheart), Margaret Stohl (Icons), Amy Tintera (Reboot), and Michael Johnston (Frozen) as they discuss what it takes to survive in the future worlds they’ve created.
Kristal Bailey is the co-founder of ScreenInvasion.com, covering all things pop culture from Comic-Con to So You Think You Can Dance to Mad Men to the latest movie news. Acutely aware of the male majority in the entertainment industry, she does her best to give female voices an outlet as well as any other diverse viewpoints that could help broaden the spectrum of coverage in the movie blogger world.