One quick glance at New York Comic Con’s 2017 panel schedule and you’ll find the usual tracks like Comics, Gaming, and TV, but also some additionally thought-provoking tracks like Anti-Bullying/Anti-Harassment, Diversity, and Well-being.
These aren’t new. Over the last few year’s I’ve noticed a clear effort with the programing to be inclusive, to start a dialogue about important topics with fans. And maybe it’s just the political climate we are living in, but even more so this year I noticed a larger trend among all* panels to engage in these discussions.
Whether the panel was found in the Diversity track or any other, the biggest theme that stood out to me was that representation matters. Whether its on screen or behind the camera, it’s important to be able to see some aspect of yourself, to know that all things are possible.
Genre is the playground of the outsider.” – Emily Andras
And what better way to conquer the impossible then with sci-fi and fantasy. After all, if a small teen girl can slay vampires and a blind guy can defend Hell’s Kitchen, what’s to say we all can’t be strong or we can’t overcome our physical limitations?
But as Gail Simone said, “We’re not done,” which is why these conversations are so crucial. Lucky for us, two of standout panels from the weekend are actually available online (or presumably will be soon, more on that below):
Guests: Frankie Adams (Bobbie Draper, The Expanse), Emily Andras (Creator and Executive Producer, Wynonna Earp), Yetide Badaki (Bliquis, American Gods), Fiona Dourif (Bart, Dirk Gently’s Holistic Detective Agency), Sera Gamble (Co-creator and Executive Producer, The Magicians) and Gail Simone (Writer of comics and animation, including Wonder Woman, Batgirl and Birds of Prey)
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Guests: Jesse David Fox (Host) and Wyatt Cenac (The Daily Show & People of Earth)
As of this posting, this one’s not up yet, but it was a live taping for the “Good One: A Podcast About Jokes” so I’m confident it’ll see the light of day. Also, according to the show’s Twitter account, season two starts October 23, 2017 so check their iTunes feed accordingly.
In the meantime, you can check out Wyatt Cenac’s opening joke that the was the basis for this episode:
*I only had the pleasure of attending 8 panels. While that’s a lot in a two-day span, there were 389 Panels, Screenings & Special Events scheduled for the 4-day weekend.