If you're headed out to Wizard World Richmond this weekend, there's some strong programming that keeps comics in focus, with a particular focus on comic historians and comic artists talking about the industry and their craft. Don't miss out on the spotlight with Kevin Eastman of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (he's very entertaining) and the finishing panel in this list on Sunday, a discussion of Marvel heroes on their 75th anniversary this year. Take advantage of this opportunity to learn that insider information on the comics you love and have some new expertise to share the next time you visit your LCS.
Full programming can be found here, but these are our picks for schooling yourself on comics:
FRIDAY, SEPTEMBER 12
5:00 – 5:45PM CREATIVITY, COMICS AND YOUR CAREER: CARAMAGNA, PRIOR, AXTELL, COHN & FINGEROTH (ROOM E10A)
It's great to create things, whether comics, movies, TV or whatever it is that you're inspired to do! It's also great to get paid for creativity and to even make a career out of it! But how exactly do you do that? How do you keep going once you've started? And how do you deal with the inevitable setbacks the creative life entails? Join Joe Caramagna (Iron Man; Rocket Raccoon), Rob Prior (Spawn; Heavy Metal), Jason Axtell (The Strange Fungus in Mr. Winslow; Strays 'N' Gates), Gary Cohn (Amethyst; Blue Devil) and Danny Fingeroth (Spider-Man; Darkhawk) as they discuss these and other topics all established and aspiring creators need to think about!
SATURDAY, SEPTEMBER 13
12:00 – 12:45PM SPOTLIGHT ON TEENAGE MUTANT NINJA TURTLES' KEVIN EASTMAN (ROOM E10A)
On the 30th anniversary of the debut of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, TMNT co-creator Kevin Eastman—also the founder of Tundra Publishing and editor/publisher of Heavy Metal magazine—presents a slide show about his amazing life and career, and then answers your questions! Danny Fingeroth (The Rough Guide to Graphic Novels) moderates.
2:30 – 3:15PM SUPERMAN, BATMAN, THE SPIRIT, L'IL ABNER AND THE ORIGINS OF MODERN COMICS! WITH INGE, DeHAVEN, WHEELER-NICHOLSON & FINGEROTH (ROOM E10D)
An all-star panel of comics historians discusses how we got from the beginnings of comics to the media blockbusters of today! Join Tom DeHaven (Our Hero: Superman on Earth; Derby Dugan's Depression Funnies), M. Thomas Inge (Handbook of American Popular Culture; Will Eisner: Conversations), Nicky Wheeler-Nicholson (granddaughter and biographer of DC Comics founder Malcolm Wheeler-Nicholson) and Danny Fingeroth (Disguised as Clark Kent: Jews, Comics and the Creation of the Superhero) as they tell you the real stories behind the creation of Superman, Batman, the Spirit and many more iconic characters!
4:00 – 4:45PM SPOTLIGHT ON GEPPI'S ENTERTAINMENT MUSEUM!
MARTINBROUGH, INGE, DEHAVEN, SOLOF & FINGEROTH TALK MILESTONES & EISNER (ROOM E10A)
With a major focus on comics, Baltimore's Geppi's Entertainment Museum (GEM) is a journey through 250 years of American pop culture. Here to tell you about all the exciting things the museum does—and especially its current exhibition, "Milestones: African Americans in Comics, Pop Culture, and Beyond" and its upcoming Will Eisner exhibition (curated by Denis Kitchen)—are Shawn Martinbrough (Batman artist whose work can be seen in the "Milestones" exhibition); noted historians Tom DeHaven (author of Our Hero: Superman on Earth and a professor at Virginia Commonwealth University) and M. Thomas Inge (editor of Will Eisner: Conversations and professor at Randolph-Macon College); and Michael Solof (GEM's Collection and Exhibits Manager). Danny Fingeroth (author of Superman on the Couch) moderates.
5:00 – 5:45PM SUPERSTAR ARTISTS: MARTINBROUGH, CHRISTOPHER, MAGUIRE & MAUS (ROOM E10A)
Four top comics artists talk about their careers, their craft, the comics business and whatever else might come up—and may even show you some of their top-secret techniques! Join peerless pencilers Shawn Martinbrough (Batman; Thief of Thieves), John Tyler Christopher (Amazing Spider-Man; Avengers Arena), Kevin Maguire (Justice League; X-Men), and Bill Maus (Zombies vs. Cheerleaders; Zen: Intergalactic Ninja) for this eye-popping panel. Danny Fingeroth (How to Create Comics from Script to Print) moderates.
SUNDAY, SEPTEMBER 14
12:00 – 12:45PM 1939: BATMAN'S BEGINNING AND THE YEAR THAT CHANGED EVERYTHING WITH DeHAVEN, WHEELER-NICHOLSON, SAGERS & FINGEROTH (ROOM E10A)
75 years ago, as fateful events that would lead to the outbreak of World War II in September 1939 were coming together in Europe, the U.S.A. was experiencing, in the same year, an explosion of popular culture. In 1939, Batman debuted in Detective Comics #27; Timely (later Marvel) Comics released Marvel Comics #1, showcasing the first Marvel superheroes, Sub-Mariner and the Human Torch; and Hollywood produced classic films including The Wizard of Oz, Gone With the Wind and Stagecoach. Discussing historical and cultural factors that made that year so important is a panel including Tom DeHaven (Our Hero: Superman on Earth; Derby Dugan's Depression Funnies), Nicky Wheeler-Nicholson (granddaughter and biographer of DC Comics founder Malcolm Wheeler-Nicholson) and pop culture expert Aaron Sagers. Danny Fingeroth (Superman on the Couch: What Superheroes Really Tell Us About Ourselves and Our Society; The Stan Lee Universe).
1:00 – 1:45PM FROM CAP'S SHIELD TO AGENTS OF SHIELD TO GROOT! MARVEL COMICS AT 75 WITH FINGEROTH & SAGERS (ROOM E10A)
In 1939, Marvel Comics #1 debuted, unleashing The Sub-Mariner and The Human Torch on the world, and launching what would come to be known as the Marvel Universe. Danny Fingeroth (Spider-Man; The Stan Lee Universe; longtime Marvel writer/editor, researcher on Taschen's upcoming 75 Years of Marvel: From the Golden Age to the Silver Screen) and pop culture expert Aaron Sagers present an illustrated tour through the more than seven decades of the phenomenon that is Marvel.