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San Diego Comic-Con 2020: Day 1 schedule and how to watch at home

Since no one in the world can make it to San Diego Comic-Con 2020 in person, the organizers have decided to bring the event to you. 

For the first time in SDCC's decades-long history, the convention celebrating all things pop culture is going digital, hosting its five-day event completely virtually and entirely for free. Things are kicking off today — Wednesday, July 22 — with a comparatively light day of panels and presentations. But just because the first day of Comic-Con@Home is, as all first days have historically been, an appetizer for the juicy main courses doesn't mean the day's offerings aren't totally delicious. 

Here's the full programming line-up for day 1 of San Diego Comic-Con@Home. 

The San Diego Comic-Con 2020 schedule for Wednesday, July 22 — plus, how to watch at home

The first day of San Diego Comic-Con@Home is heavy on discussions about comics, graphic novels, and education — but there's also a cool-sounding Q&A with the creators of Wyvern Gaming and the upcoming Stargate SG-1 role-playing game, a panel delving into the depiction of masks on HBO's Watchmen series as it relates to our current era, and even a presentation about conspiracy theories in pop culture.

Beginning at 3 PM PT (6 PM ET, 11 PM BST)

  • Comics in the Classroom Ask Me Anything: Pick the Brains of Teachers, Administrators, Creators, and Publishers – "Lit-X Teacher Cohort members Eric Kallenborn (fine arts department chair, Oak Lawn Community High School) and teacher Michael Gianfrancesco (North Providence High School) collected questions on social media from teachers, parents, and librarians about all things comics in the classroom and posed those questions to this amazing panel: Ronell Whitaker (English department chair, Community High School District 218), Lucy Knisley (comic creator Stepping Stones, Relish, French Milk), Jason Walz (teacher/comic creator Last Pick, Homesick), and Lisa Wu (consultant and former teacher)."
  • GeekED: Re-storied: Re-imagining Creative Privilege – "History is a story told by the victors: until it's not. The story landscape is changing. There is more space in the narrative world for stories both by and about people with diverse experiences. Join our lively panel debate to see how that re-storying is emerging; in academic institutions, in live performance, in digital experiences, and in a proliferation of creative tools that empower people to tell their stories."
  • Teaching and Learning with Comics — "Peter Carlson (Green Dot Public Schools), Susan Kirtley (Portland State University), and Antero Garcia (Stanford University) lead this panel that reveals practical activities and theory involved in teaching with comics while discussing teaching and making comics with the incredible creators and educators Nick Sousanis (Unflattening), Ebony Flowers (Hot Comb), David F. Walker (Naomi), and Brian Michael Bendis (Naomi)."
  • The Power of Teamwork in Kids Comics – "Gene Luen Yang (Dragon Hoops) is joined by Chad Sell (Cardboard Kingdom) and science comics team Jim Ottaviani & Maris Wicks (Astronauts) to talk about collaboration in kids comics! This panel is moderated by Betsy Gomez and sponsored by the CBC Graphic Novel Committee."
  • Intro and AMA with Wyvern Gaming Stargate RPG — "The creators of Wyvern Gaming & the upcoming Stargate SG-1 RPG are ready for your questions! Come join us as we talk franchise, the game, and exciting D&D play in the Stargate Universe!"

Beginning at 4 PM PT (7 PM ET, 12 AM BST)

  • Books for All: It's Time to Redefine How We Share Books with Kids — "In a panel hosted by the LitX teacher cohort, Jill Gerber (teacher, Rowland Hall School), Tony Weaver (CEO, Weird Enough Productions), Adan Alvarado (teacher, Bloom Township High School), Yehudi Mercado (comic creator Sci-Fu, Fun Fun Fun High School), and Christina "Steenz" Stewart (comic creator, Archival Quality, Heart of the City) discuss how teachers, librarians, creators, and parents can share impactful and diverse comics with kids of all ages. Moderated by Adam Ebert (teacher, Bloom Township High School)."
  • Comics as a Conduit — "Henry Barajas (author of La Voz de M.A.Y.O.: Tata Rambo), Rodney Barnes (author of Killadelphia), Darcy Van Poelgeest (author of Little Bird: The Fight for Elder's Hope), and David F. Walker (author of Bitter Root) discuss comic books that tackle real world issues, be it environmental activism, civic engagement, physical and mental health awareness, and more, (including how their work is being used by librarians and educators). Viewers will leave with programming and acquisition ideas designed to inspire their readers to see the world differently and then change it for the better."
  • GeekEd: Watchmen and the Cruelty of Masks — "HBO's Watchmen put forth the idea that 'masks make one cruel.' On college campuses, many people, both students and non-students have taken up virtual masks to make statements and take actions that would not be acceptable if done in public. Zoom bombing, doxing, and anonymous threats have caused much dismay, particularly as campuses move to remote learning due to COVID-19. Come hear what educators have to say about the power of masks and how Watchmen and other comics show us a path towards heroism or villainy. Dr. Kalenda Eaton (University of Oklahoma), Dr. David Surratt (University of Oklahoma), Hailey Lopez (UC Berkeley), Robert Hypes (Phoenix Creative Collective), and Alfred Day (UC Berkeley)."
  • License to Thrill: Graphic Novel Adaptations for Kids — "Sabaa Tahir (A Thief Among the Trees: An Ember in the Ashes Graphic Novel) is joined by James Otis Smith (Black Heroes of the Wild West), R. Sikoryak (Constitution Illustrated), and David Bowles (Rise of the Halfling King) in this discussion about graphic novel adaptations. Moderated by Adam Kullberg (Pop Culture Classroom) and sponsored by the CBC Graphic Novel Committee."
  • Make Programming Your Superpower! — "Vanessa Gempis (manager at Pauline Foster Teen Center, San Diego Public Library), Bijan Nowroozian (youth services librarian, San Diego Public Library), and Melissa Giffen (youth services librarian, San Diego Public Library) discuss how they approach creating effective and engaging programs for youth of different age groups. From planning the program, to promotion and communication, managing staff, and post-program reflection–the panel has tips and tricks to share for every size program. Panelists will also share some of their favorite fandom programs and what they've learned about virtual programs during the pandemic."

Beginning at 5 PM PT (8 PM ET, 1 AM BST)

  • Conspiracy Theories and Propaganda Throughout Pop Culture – "J. D. Lombardi (host/producer, YouTube's Lombardi Labs and middle-school science teacher, Glendale Unified) along with Justin Montgomery (MentalXhaustion.com), Guadalupe De La O (STEM teacher/science instructional coach, Alliance Schools), and G. L. Lambert (screenwriter, G.L. Lambert Explains It All podcast) will trace conspiracies and propaganda throughout comics, shows, and movies, and how they correlate to the current climate of increased conspiracy theories. Teaching science literacy, in and out of the classroom, is more crucial now than ever in combating misinformation, especially related to our current pandemic."
  • GeekEd: College and the Nerd Mind — "Teachers, education administrators, and student affairs professionals are being called to respond to a wide variety of mental health concerns across the education landscape, with students today managing greater educational debt, digital identities, and high expectations for academic performance. This has become intensified in the era of COVID-19 and the need for educators to manage the needs of students remotely This panel of educators and mental health experts share how they have applied their passion for fandom and the lessons they've learned from superheroes to develop new best practices in our service to students. Panelists include Drea Letamendi (UCLA), Jeremy Parker (UCSC), Aaron Jones (UCSC), and Alfred Day (UC Berkeley)."
  • New Kids Comics from Eisner Award Publishers — "Jerry Craft (Class Act, New Kid) and Faith Erin Hicks (One Year at Ellsmere) join exciting comics artists Robin Ha (Almost American Girl), Derick Brooks (Bright Family), and Jonathan Hill (Odessa) in a discussion about new kids graphic novels. Moderated by Candice Mack (YALSA) and sponsored by the CBC Graphic Novel Committee."
  • Words and Pictures Working Together: Strategies for Analyzing Graphic Texts — "In this crash course in text analysis for graphic novels, educators demonstrate techniques and tools for building students' critical literacy skills with graphic texts at all grade levels. This includes demonstrations on how to lead students in analyzing the elements of comics and the unique combination of art and text, share resources, and discuss challenges. Educators Trevor Bryan (The Art of Comprehension), Derek Heid (high school English Language Arts, TVUSD), Shveta Miller (Hacking Graphic Novels), Talia Hurwich (Worth a Thousand Words), and moderator Tracy Edmunds (Graphic Novels Are Elementary!) share strategies you can use with students tomorrow!"

Beginning at 6 PM PT (9 PM ET, 2 AM BST)

  • Comic-Con Celebrates 15 Years of Eisner Librarians — "At the request of Will Eisner, a librarian has been a member of the Eisner Awards jury since 2005. When Jackie Estrada, Administrator for the Eisner Awards, invited Kat Kan to be that first librarian jury member, the awards began to take on a new kind of energy. Since that day, the influence of the awards has grown beyond the traditional comics community and now resonates with traditional publishers, academic institutions, and throughout the library world. Join in on the conversation as these ground-breaking librarians talk about their experience as members of the Eisner juries over the years. Moderated by John Shableski (2009 Jury) this session features five Eisner Librarian jurors: Kat Kan (2005), Karen Green (2011), Jason Poole (2016), Dawn Rutherford (2017), and Traci Glass (2019)."
  • Comics on Campus: Fandom at Academia — "It's taken a while, but there's never been a time when comics have been so embraced by universities and colleges informal classes, studies, and even comic conventions. This panel provides an inside look at ground-breaking courses by the professionals and academics who are bringing geek culture to campuses nationwide (and beyond)! Join Paul Levitz (Columbia University, Pace University), Frank Cammuso (Syracuse University), Rob Salkowitz (University of Washington), Karen Green (Columbia University), and Darlynne Overbaugh (Ithaca College) in a robust and thoughtful panel exploring the trends and future of comics on campus. Moderated by Ed Catto (Ithaca College)."
  • Spirit Skies: How to Publish an International Youth Comic in the Age of COVID-19 — "Are you a high school student with dreams of becoming a graphic novelist? Are you a high school teacher with dreams of creating a graphic novel with your class? Spirit Skies is a graphic novel written and illustrated exclusively by high school students! Not only did we dream it, we DID it! The panel will discuss the impact of COVID-19 on cross cultural artistic exchange, how technology has made this project easier and more dynamic! The student panel of writers and illustrators – including a Guna native from Panama who wrote the sequel from the tropical point of view- will be on the panel, featuring never-before-seen art, and a sneak peek at the next volume in the Spirit Skies story! The panel will take you on an exploratory journey — through the eyes of a Hummingbird! Spirit Skies is not just an adventure written by high school students — it is a lesson in environmental stewardship. With the lesson that we are all interconnected, all you have to do is go outside and you will be interacting with wildlife. It could be a hummingbird coming from Panama or Alaska!"
  • Teaching Graphic Novels Online — "Meryl Jaffe (Worth a Thousand Words) with panelists Laurence Tan (educator) Rachelle Cruz (educator, author Experiencing Comics), and Talia Hurwich (educator, author Worth a Thousand Words) discuss how graphic novels can inspire and enrich online classroom lessons for students grades 3 and up. We discuss challenges, lesson ideas, and loads of resources."

Those interested in tuning in to the event can stream panels and presentations for free by heading to the official YouTube channel for Comic-Con International. Everything will be available to watch free of charge (and even without subscribing to the YouTube page if you don't want it cluttering up your subscription feed) on the channel.

San Diego Comic-Con@Home begins Wednesday, July 22 at 3 PM PT (6 PM ET, 11 PM BST). The event will run until its final round of panels on Sunday, July 26 at 4 PM PT (7 PM ET, 12 AM BST).