Day Three of ComicCon@Home brings yet more amazing panels. Here are a few that stood out for us. For Friday, Kate, Wendy, and Louis look at Indigenous history brought to life through comics, nonbinary representation in space, and the value of sharks in Deep Blue Sea 3.
Reclaiming Indigenous History and Culture Through Comics
For hundreds of years, the history of the indigenous peoples of the Americas has been told by everyone but themselves, by people who often diminished and distorted it, and even suppressed their cultures and languages. Thankfully, this situation is changing, with indigenous peoples increasingly reclaiming their history, languages, and cultures. Comics and such visual technologies as augmented and virtual reality are ideal tools being used to accomplish this. Join our panelists Johnny Bear Contreras (Kumeyaay, public artist), Kilma Lattin (Pala Band, founder of OurWorlds.io), and Chag Lowry (Yurok/Maidu/Achumawi, graphic novelist) as they discuss their projects to reclaim indigenous history and culture.
It seems as though Comic Con International let the panel creators decide how they wanted to film their panels, and Johnny Bear Contreras, Kilma Lattin, and Chag Lowry decided to break from the Zoom tradition. The three men recorded themselves on Contreras’ patio in Temecula, having a real conversation. There was no moderator, which makes the panel feel like a conversation between friends. The conversation is loosely structured, but one of the central messages they keep returning to is how they, as indigenous creators, have taken different paths in their careers to working with comics.
Unlike other “diversity” panels, the panelists are able to discuss how they make art while being in the difficult position of wanting to share the stories of their tribes and their families, potentially against the wishes of people in their families.
Although the panel title implies that this is about reclaiming history, the panelists emphasize how their purpose is to move beyond that history, in some ways, to remind people that they are not just figures in history books, but part of living, contemporary cultures, and that comics and technological advances allow creators to tell these stories in a powerful way that is accessible to a wide audience.
— Kate Tanski
Galaxy Grrls, or the Female and Non-Binary Authors who Bridge the new Frontier of Space Fiction
Authors Nicky Drayden (Escaping Exodus), Marina Lostetter (Noumenon Ultra), Jessie Mihalik (Chaos Reigning), Valerie Valdes (Chilling Effect), and K.B. Wagers (A Pale Light in the Black) eye the history of space fiction through an entirely new lens. This panel is focused on the legacy of female and non-binary writers who came before, and the trailblazing of modern authors who are re-defining sex, gender, and society against the tapestry of the stars.
I’ve slowly been realising that the best thing about comic conventions isn’t seeing megastars or hearing about new Big Two comics. It’s attending a panel where you don’t know the speakers and coming out of it with the desire to read everything they’ve written. This panel gave me that experience. I’m not a huge sci-fi reader (or viewer; it’s one of those genres that I never know what to do with) but these authors have changed my mind.
I loved the discussions on how the exploratory nature of space fiction opens up the possibility to question gender and sexuality. It makes complete sense but so much sci-fi still falls back on binaries. It was also interesting to hear the authors talk about the emotion they wanted to evoke. While most of the authors aimed for a hopeful vibe, Nicky Drayden’s current series is much darker, almost dystopian. This is Drayden’s way of working through her own real-life issues, so that is understandable.
The panelists also shared the writers they would recommend–both past, and contemporary. Many of them didn’t grow up reading sci-fi, or could only find sci-fi by cis male authors–this was my experience, as well, and it did put me off the genre. With diversity behind the scenes, the stories that are now being created are more reflective of the world we live in. And that is something I definitely want to see more of.
— Louis Skye
Deep Bule Sea 3: The Panel!
New discoveries and dangerous predators emerge in the middle of the ocean in Warner Bros. Home Entertainment’s highly anticipated feature film, Deep Blue Sea 3. The follow-up to the breakout success of Deep Blue Sea 2 (itself a sequel to the 1999 cult hit Deep Blue Sea), Deep Blue Sea 3 will be the hot topic of discussion between an esteemed group of panelists, including actors Tania Raymonde (Lost, Goliath), Nathaniel Buzolic (The Vampire Diaries, Hacksaw Ridge), Emerson Brooks (MacGyver), Bren Foster (The Last Ship), and Japanese star Reina Aoi, and director John Pogue (The Quiet Ones) and screenwriter Dirk Blackman (Outlander). Sharknado franchise director Anthony C. Ferrante will moderate the panel, which will include tantalizing clips from the upcoming film. Deep Blue Sea 3, the next feature length installment of the franchise’s ocean adventures, is set for release on digital starting July 28, 2020, and Blu-rayTM Combo Pack and DVD on August 25, 2020.
Oh yes, I participated in other panels on Friday, including the one featuring Charlize Theron and what it means to be a badass woman in her 40s kicking ass and no longer giving any fucks as The Old Guard storms through Netflix. I also watched the panel on adapting history into graphic novel format, which featured creators discussing the challenges and the importance of such work. But sometimes, you just want the joy that only sharks can bring.
As far as shark movies go, The Meg edged out the original Deep Blue Sea as my second favourite shark movie, (with Jaws forever holding the top spot, of course), but third place is nothing to scoff at. Neither is the third installment of this series. Okay, not going to lie, I didn’t make it through the second movie, though I own it because there were no rental options. I hope that Deep Blue Sea 3 has more to offer, because having shark representation in theatres and at Comic-Con has become a staple now — and for good reason! Sharks are awesome!
And yet, there were no sharks on this panel. I was very disappointed.
— Wendy Browne