Alright! It’s 2pm on Wednesday. I’m sitting in the bar at the Marriott Downtown. Preview Night begins in just a few hours. I drove down to San Diego from Los Angeles this morning and arrived a little while ago. My jacket is pressed, my go bag is loaded, my knee is taped up (after spraining it two and a half weeks ago), and I’m ready to mix and mingle with my fellow industry folks.
It’s going to be an unusual show this year, but I do know a bunch of TV folks that will be here, and I hope that with it being a slower, less intensive environment (since we’re basically all here as fans this year; none of us can promote or push current projects), I can make some solid connections and open doors to new opportunities. That’s the goal, at least.
And to play some D&D while I’m here. That would be nice.
So, this whole networking thing… Well, I’m no expert, but I think I’ve figured out a strategy, at least.
Best way to meet people is to attend parties and have someone who knows someone who can make introductions. Unfortunately for me, they’re all expensive, exclusive, or both, and I have no such godfather figure.
Second best way is to meet folks at the hotel bars or the Professionals Lounge at the convention center. Again, it helps to have someone who knows people, knows where they’re going to be, and is willing to make introductions. Again, I don’t have that. So I have to roll the dice. Although I hear the bar at the Hilton Bayfront is poppin’…
Third best way is to attend events and panels run by the folks I want to connect with and try to chat with them after the panel’s done. I’ve done this at SDCC and WonderCon for the last year and a half, and it’s yielded me decent results, so that’s my game plan here once again.
When the San Diego Comic Con 2023 Event Schedule was announced two weeks ago, I went over it meticulously and selected, oh… about fifty different panels and events I want to attend.
Most of them running concurrently.
Obviously that’s not going to work, so I’m going to narrow it down as we go along. But there are five different panels and events I’m definitely not missing. Here they are in chronological order:
Thursday, July 20 • 2:00pm – 3:00pm, Room 7AB
Constantine Sekeris (Avengers, Avatar, Black Panther), Ian Joyner (Avengers, Avatar, Black Panther), RJ Palmer (Pokémon: Detective Pikachu, Saurian), Jerad Marantz (Guardians of the Galaxy, Thor, Ant-Man), Luca Nemolato (Dungeons and Dragons, Jungle Cruise, The Shape of Water), Tully Summers (Avengers, Alita: Battle Angel, Avatar), and Shane Baxley (Transformers, Obi-Wan Kenobi, Captain Marvel) will share experiences and pearls of wisdom about some of your favorite films. Moderated by Neville Page (Avatar, Tron Legacy, Prometheus).
Jerad and his wife Courtney are longtime friends and I’m excited to go hear him talk shop. If you’ve seen a villain or monster in a Marvel, DC, or Zach Snyder film in the last fifteen years, chances are Jerad worked on it. Dude’s one of the best in the business.
Friday, July 21 • 3:00pm – 4:00pm, Wannabe Press (Booth G-03)
“Catch me at Comic-Con this Friday (7/21) signing copies of the graphic novels Cthulhu Is Hard To Spell V2 & V3 at Wannabe Press, Booth G-03! (And while the Gold Spun duology won’t be available for sale, if you bring a copy, I’ll still sign it!)”
I’ve been friends with Brandie for years. She even produced her new musical, Truly Outrageous: A Jem and the Holograms Musical Parody, at my theater last month, and I’m excited to come out and support her at her latest author signing. This time it’s for a graphic novel anthology that features a story (Orderly Misconduct) written by her. She’s crushing it.
Friday, July 21 • 7:00pm – 8:00pm, Room 32AB
Creating content for pop culture is an uplifting and worthwhile experience, but how can a creator come off as genuine and as a representative of their space? What could be stopping your content from reaching the audience you want, or how can a person’s attitude be encouraging good or bad content interactions? Alix Catherine (host, The Welcome Party), Neesin Williams (host, producer, award-winning filmmaker), Gabriel-Philip Santos (paleontologist; co-founder, Cosplay for Science), Dani Gage (cosplayer, content creator), Monica Duarte (editor-in-chief, Temple of Geek), and JPG (content creation consultant, InterMyth) join for an engaging panel on how you can build a personal brand, inject that brand into what you’re making, and help foster a like-minded community.
I don’t have any connections here to any of the panelists. I’m interested in attending this to pick up pointers on enhancing my personal brand and marketing my small business.
Saturday, July 22 • 6:30pm – 7:30pm, Room 7AB
Debra Moore Muñoz (co-EP of Mayans, MC), Moises Zamora (showrunner of Netflix’s Selena series), Judalina Neira (writer on The Boys and Flash), Gabriela Lugo (producer of Palm Springs), and Kayden Phoenix (creator of A LA BRAVA) access how to bring Latina superheroes into the entertainment industry. These industry panelists will partake in a Q&A session moderated by Christene Seda (writer).
First off, I’m a huge fan of Mayans MC (although I haven’t started the final season yet. No spoilers please), so I’m already excited to hear Debra Moore Muñoz talk. I also recently met Judalina Neira on the WGA picket line outside of NBC Universal. She’s an incredibly nice person and a fellow Emerson alum, and we hit if off pretty quickly. I hope to say hi to her after this.
Saturday, July 22 • 7:00pm – 8:00pm, Grand 10 & 11
There are so many classic shows and movies that we remember fondly, but when we look back… well, there may be more cringing in 2023. We keep growing and learning, so how do we process pop culture — even when it’s genius — that’s stuck in time? We talk with a diverse panel of creators about media that hasn’t fully held up. Join the conversation with Tilly Bridges (Begin Transmission: The Trans Allegories Of The Matrix), Meghan Fitzmartin (DC Comics, Supernatural), Javier Grillo-Marxuach (Lost, Children of Tendu podcast), J. Holtham (Supergirl, The Handmaid’s Tale), Justin Peniston (Sonic Prime, Hunter Black), Nadia Vazquez (Prolly Shoulda Known Better podcast, Conan), and moderator Mike Roe (The 30 Rock Book, journalist).
I met Mr. Grillo-Marxuach last year at SDCC and we chatted briefly about being theater people (he’d co-founded his own theatre company in college), and as it turns out, he and I have a lot of mutual friends. I’d love the opportunity to connect with him again. I’ve also been Facebook friends with J. Holtham for a few years now, and he’s written a play that I’m itching to produce at some point. Also, the panel itself sounds fascinating. I’m eager to hear what everyone’s got to say.
Ongoing, Room 14A (Mezzanine)
Finally, something for myself. Get a free unpainted mini, a brush and a palette, and paint it. It’s that simple. I did this at WonderCon back in March and had a great. By no means am I a good painter, but this is one of the few things I can engage in here without a care in the world. No pressure, just paint.
So yeah, that’s the plan for SDCC. I’ll be posting pictures and reels on my Instagram this week, and updates on my Threads account. Next week, I’ll be back here with a post-show wrap up. In the meantime, if you’re down here at the show this weekend, let me know! Let’s grab a drink.