San Diego Comic-Con is back in full force starting this week, and as usual, it’s going to be a blur of activity for everyone in the business. Between meetings, drinks, networking and filling up those want-lists, ICv2 readers might want to check out some of this year’s programming, especially the panels with useful information about the business of geek culture. Here are a few highlights based on my quick run through the schedule.


10am: The Creator Symposium (Room 23ABC). Part of a panel series on industry issues organized by the Women in Comics Collective International, this one featuring Scott Snyder, Che Grayson, Joe Illidge, MaikaSozo and David Walker, moderated by WinC founder Regine Sawyer.

10:30: Comic Book Law School: The ABCs of IP Law (Room 11). First of the always-informative series featuring legal advice for creators and publishers, this one featuring Michael Lovitz.

10:30: How to Get News Coverage (Room 10). Annual panel where comics press, bloggers, podcasters, creators and small publishers, including your humble correspondent, discuss attention-getting do’s and don’ts, moderated by Rik Offenberger.

12:00 pm: The Pitching Hour (Room 5AB). Writers, onscreen talent and production folks discuss the best ways to get your idea from concept to greenlight. Looks interesting for people interested in the media/entertainment side of the business.

2:00 pm: Audio Storytelling (SD Central Library). Podcasting and audiobooks are becoming important platforms for storytelling. This panel of practitioners and experts looks like a good overview for industry pros interested in this part of the business.

2:00 pm: The Future of Collectibles (Room 9). Jimmy Palmiotti, creative director Mitch Putnam and Jason Schachter discuss the evolution of collecting with moderator Shaan Bhagat (Masterfile).

3:00 pm: Kickstarting Comics in 2022 and Beyond (Room 3). I’ll be moderating this look at the mechanics of running a crowdfunding campaign as a creator or publisher alongside Kickstarter comics boss Oriana Leckert, Rocketship’s Tom Akel, industry exec Hank Kanalz, and creators Jazzlyn Stone and Kayden Phoenix.

4:00 pm: Printing Comics: Everything You Need to Know (Room 11). Andy Schmidt (ONS printing), Thomas Cho (Trivision) and Josh Werner (Source Point Press) host a nuts-and-bolts look at getting comics on paper.

5:00 pm: Manga Publishing Panel (Room 29AB). Business-centric view of the hottest category in comics. The all-star panel of Kevin Hamric (Viz), Lyla Seo (Manta), Ben Applegate (PRH), Erik Ko (Udon), Ivan Salazar (Kodansha), Michael Gombos (Dark Horse), Ed Chavez (Denpa) and Beth Kawaski (MediaDo) is moderated by manga maven Deb Aoki.

5:00 pm: Nerdy Finance – Freelance Tips to Keep Your Money (Grand 12/13, Marriott). Tax maven Neil Navarez offers tips and tricks for keeping the IRS out of your wallet.

5:30 pm: Crowdfunding and Tabletop Games (Room 26AB). Game developers James Hudson, Victoria Cana, LaTiaJacquise and Kailey Bray discuss strategies for success in one of Kickstarter’s top revenue categories, moderated by Ross Thompson.

7:00pm: From Fanart to Franchise (Room 25ABC). Stick around to hear me discuss the future of user-generated content with WEBTOON Director of Content David Lee, reality TV show producer Ken Mok, YouTube sensation Steven “Emotional Damage!” He and WEBTOON creator Kaitlyn Narvaza (aka “intermezzo”).


9:30 am: ComicsPRO Fresh Start (Room 12). Networking event for retailers.

12:00 noon: Retailer Appreciation Lunch (TBA). Diamond’s annual gathering for retailers, co-hosted by a bunch of publishers.

1:00 pm: Creators Assemble! (Marriot Marina D). Networking event for creators, publishers, retailers, educators and library workers.

1:00 pm: How to Succeed on Kickstarter (Room 32AB). Another crowdfuding how-to, this one with Oriana Leckert, Joe Illidge, Jimmy Palmiotti, Der-shing Helmer and Kat Calamia.

2:00 pm: Comics PR and Marketing 101 (Room 25ABC). Longtime marketing and PR guru Chip Mosher (comiXology, Boom! Studios) dispenses wisdom.

2:00 pm: I’m in the Nerd Business. (Marriott Grand 10-11).Advice for aspiring geekpreneurs from David Nett (Hero’s Journey Fitness).

4:00pm: Finance for Creatives (Marriot Grand 12-13). Business-oriented roundtable featuring financial professionals talking tax, credit and financing issues for industry pros.

7:30: Making a Living Being Creative (Room 10). Interesting assortment of entertainment pros including Addor Waltke, Steven Edwards, and Lee Kohse discuss career paths in the industry, moderated by Johnny Kaolasinski.

7:30 pm: The Post-Pandemic Publishing Landscape (Room 26AB).Roundtable of creators in comics and gaming discuss lingering publishing and distribution issues, and what it means for getting new work into readers’ hands.


12:30 pm: All About Licensed Tabletop Games in 2022 (Room 5AB).Designers and publishers from across the industry discuss the issues adapting licensed properties and dealing with IP owners and brands.

1:00 pm: Game Creator Connection (Marina D). Networking event for game designers, connecting aspiring creators with industry mentors.

1:00 pm: Overstreet Access (Room 38DE). Josh Geppi, Gemstone’s J.C Vaughan, and Overstreet’s Shawn Sippelprovide an update on the venerable industry price guide.

2:00 pm: How to be a One Person Comic Company (Room 2).  Brian Haberlin explores tactics for producing comics, collectibles and animations for small and one-person operations.

2:00 pm: What Comics Publishers Want (Room 11). Editors and publishers offer advice to creators on sharpening pitches.

3:00 pm: Publishers Weekly: Comics Survived a Pandemic, Now What? Heidi MacDonald moderates a conversation with NachieMarscham (IDW), Jen Haines (ComicsPRO), Kevin Hamric (Viz), Eric Reynolds (Fantagraphics) and Filip Sablik (Boom! Studios) on distribution, streaming and industry consolidation.

6:30 pm: The Art and Business of Licensing (Room 10). Creative and business processes for developing licensed content, featuring licensing pros Erica Stead (Gearbox), Meredith Hershey (Gearbox), Ashley Miller (Dragaon’s Blood) and writer Amy Chu.


10:00 am: The Business Behind Geek Culture Products (Room 24ABC). Insider look at developing products for fans, including collectible cards, merchandise, fashion and collectibles.

12:30 pm: Secrets to Successful Self-Publishing from Concept to Audiobook (Room 2). Nuts-and-bolts for writers seeking to self publish prose books and the accompanying audiobook, with a group of audio and podcasting pros.

3:00 pm: Ask an Attorney: A Legal Q&A for Streamers and eSports Players (Marquis 12-13). Attorney Dorian Slater Thomas discusses legal issues around online engagements and industry relationships.

3:30 pm: Comic-Con Talkback (Room 23ABC).The annual post-mortem from Comic-Con organizers is always a treasure-trove of insider lore about the con.

4:00 pm: Building a Video Game Company from Scratch (Room 29AB). Industry vets discuss the process of setting up a new gaming company from business and investments to design technical development to marketing.

Whew, ok, I’m exhausted just recapping all that! Apologies to anyone whose awesome business-oriented panels I inadvertently missed. As always, I’ll be wandering the show floor and programming for the entire convention, and I’m always happy to chat with ICv2 readers if you happen to penetrate my brilliant “industry professional” disguise.

To all those attending SDCC, have fun and stay safe!

The opinions expressed in this column are solely those of the writer(s), and do not necessarily reflect the views of the editorial staff of

Rob Salkowitz (@robsalk) is the author of Comic-Con and the Business of Pop Culture.