Comic-Con 2018’s bookish panels

From ‘Harry Potter’ to ‘The Darkest Minds’ and ‘Man in the High Castle’, there’s plenty for book lovers at SDCC!


Comic-Con International might be all about the comics, but it’s also the premier event for geekdom as a whole — and that include YA books!

Many YA franchises and authors will be present at this year’s comic-con. From Harry Potter to The Darkest Minds and even some adult favorites like Man in the High Castle — if you’re a book lover at Comic-Con, there’s plenty to check out!

We’ve compiled a list of panels that YA readers are sure to love. Everything comes straight from Comic-Con’s Program Schedule! Be sure to check out their site for a full list of panels and events.

Fearless Women – Thursday July 19, 2018 3:00pm – 4:00pm , Horton Grand Theatre

Tor celebrates women in publishing: their worlds, their voices, and their unique stories. Rachel Caine (The Great Library #4: Smoke and Iron, Honor Among Thieves), Cinda Williams Chima (Stormcaster), Susan Dennard (Witchlands series), Seanan McGuire (The Girl in the Green Silk Gown, Wayward Children series), V. E. Schwab (Shades of Magic trilogy, Villains series), and Laini Taylor (Strange the Dreamer) celebrate with Kayti Burt, books editor/Den of Geek. Entry to each Horton Grand Theatre panel requires a separate ticket and a Comic-Con badge.

Ray Bradbury and the Creation of Fahrenheit 451 – Thursday July 19, 2018 3:30pm – 4:30pm , Room 26AB

Orty Ortwein, of the Ray Bradbury Experience Museum, talks about what led Ray Bradbury to write his breakout classic.

YA Comics FTW! – Thursday July 19, 2018 3:30pm – 4:30pm, Room 4

Amazing, creative, crazy graphic novels are being written for teenagers today. Here’s a chance to hear what inspired the authors of those books to write for young adults, and why YA comics can be the absolute coolest. Panelists include Jen Wang (The Prince and the Dressmaker), Scott Westerfeld (The Spill Zone), and Tillie Walden (Spinning).

The Super-Awesome Authors AMA Smackdown – Thursday July 19, 2018 4:30pm – 5:30pm, Room 24ABC

These pro writers are ready and willing to answer (almost) any questions you have about what it takes to make it as a scribe in the 21st century. Maybe you’re dreaming about publishing that first novel or comic, but you’re not sure which way to go. Is it better to take the indie route? Aim for the traditional New York path? Will you need an agent? What about book marketing? How do you build an author brand? What’s the reality of selling books at comic conventions? Will brick-and-mortar bookstores go the way of the dinosaurs? Is Amazon really the future? Get your answers from Marv Wolfman (Teen Titans, Superman), Brandon Easton (Agent Carter, M.A.S.K.), Russell Nohelty (Katrina Hates the Dead, publisher of Wannabe Press), Scott Sigler (Generations trilogy, The Rookie), and New York Times bestselling author Sherrilyn Kenyon, with moderator Neo Edmund (Mighty Morphin Power Rangers and Red Riding, the Alpha Huntress).

The Scoop at Simon & Schuster – Thursday July 19, 2018 6:30pm – 7:30pm, Room 4

Anna Jarzab (marketing), Caitlin Sweeny (marketing), Jodie Hockensmith (publicity), Keri Horan (marketing), and Liesa Abrams (marketing) give a sneak peek at the hottest books and properties coming from Simon & Schuster in 2018, including books by some of your fan-favorite authors. Moderated by Jon Anderson (executive vice president, publisher). Attendees will take home exclusive prizes and swag.

Here There Be Dragons: Creating Fresh Stories in Fantasy – Thursday July 19, 2018 7:30pm – 8:30pm, Room 24ABC

Every genre has its tropes, and fantasy has many: swords and sorcerers, castles and cavalries, dungeon crawls and dazzling dragons. But with more than a century of fantastical storytelling behind us, how does a writer deliver fresh, exciting ideas while giving readers what they want and expect? Adron Buske (host of the Fictitious podcast) talks with a group of professional genre authors about writing to market, how to subvert clichés and expectations, and blazing new trails on the well-trod map of fantasy. Featuring Tomi Adeyemi (author of Children of Blood and Bone), Mary E. Pearson (author of The Remnant Chronicles, Dance of Thieves), Robert Jackson Bennett (author of Foundryside, City of Blades), R. F. Kuang (author of The Poppy War), and Jason Denzel (author of the Mystic trilogy, founder of Dragonmount).

Harry Potter Fandom Panel: 20 Years in the Wizarding World – Thursday July 19, 2018 8:15pm – 9:15pm, Room 6DE

Heidi Tandy (FictionAlley, Organization for Transformative Works) moderates a discussion of all the magic in and around the Harry Potter/Wizarding World fandom (and canon) with panelists including journalists Elizabeth Minkel (Fansplaining) and Catherine Horvath (MuggleNet), event organizer Chandrika Moka (Wands Up San Diego), sportsters Dawn Biggs (Hogwarts Running Club) and Jessica Ward (US Quidditch), and creative fans like Eliyannah Amirah Yisrael (Hermione Granger & the Quarter Life Crisis), novelist Alexa Donne (Brightly Burning), actor/producer Mick Ignis (The Great Wizarding War podcast, Severus Snape & the Marauders), podcaster Gary Roby (Harry Potter Minute) and playwright Matt Cox (Puffs Or; Seven Increasingly Eventful Years at a Certain School of Magic & Magic).

Shades of Magic: From Prose to Panels – Friday July 20, 2018 12:00pm – 1:00pm, Room 4

V. E. (Victoria) Schwab’s bestselling novel series Shades of Magic makes the jump to comics this year with an all-new series written by Victoria herself. In this spotlight panel, the Comic-Con special guest will discuss the origins of this critically acclaimed world and how comics enable her to tell new stories that have never been seen before.

From Idea to Hired: Books, TV, Film, & Comics – Friday July 20, 2018 3:30pm – 4:30pm , Room 24ABC

Agents, managers, book editors, and producers come together to answer all your questions about how to take your writing career from the blank page to sold work. Bring your questions about writing that breakout project, getting representation, what it takes to sell a book to film, and more. These panelists will give you the industry scoop but no pitches, please. They include Brandy Rivers (Industry Entertainment), Holly Root (Root Literary), Paul Shapiro (All in Media), Betsy Sullenger (Oops Doughnuts Productions), Kate Testerman (KT Literary), Michele Wells (DC Entertainment), and Kim Yau (Paradigm). Moderated by Nathan Bransford (How to Write a Novel).

Sci-Fi & Fantasy Book Trivia – Friday July 20, 2018 6:00pm – 7:00pm , Grand 9, Marriott Marquis San Diego Marina

Find out what’s new and upcoming from Orbit, and win free books by playing this Jeopardy!- style trivia game show. “I’ll take science fiction and fantasy novels for $400, please!” Orbit’s marketing staff will test your knowledge banks-with some special appearances.

Happy Birthday, Frankenstein – Saturday July 21, 2018 10:00am – 11:00am, Room 7AB

This upcoming Halloween, there will be an international celebration of the 200th anniversary of Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein. And with that comes a plethora of books and movies rejoicing this occasion. At this panel, listen to authors talk about the influence that Mary Shelley’s writing had on their works and why people still obsess over Frankenstein. And watch as they talk about the monsters that never die in their own novels. Good luck sleeping tonight! Panelists include Merrie Destefano (Shade series), Leslie S. Klinger (The New Annotated Frankenstein), Jonathan Maberry (Glimpse, V-Wars), Kiersten White (Bright We Burn and The Dark Descent of Elizabeth Frankenstein), and Carrie Sessarego of Smart Bitches, Trashy Books.

Warner Brothers Theatrical – Saturday July 21, 2018 10:30am – 12:30pm, Hall H

Get a first look at the studio’s highly anticipated future releases. Films and special panelists TBA. [Editor’s Note: This panel will more than likely include new details and possibly footage from ‘Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald’.]

20 Years of Magic: Inside Harry Potter – Saturday July 21, 2018 3:00pm – 4:00pm, Room 6DE

Hear from the artists and editor who brought Harry Potter to life, including Jim Kay (Harry Potter illustrated editions), Kazu Kibuishi (Harry Potter 15th anniversary edition cover artist), Brian Selznick (20th anniversary edition cover artist), Arthur A. Levine (editor, Harry Potter), and David Saylor (art director, Harry Potter). Panelists will discuss their process and inspirations working on the most magical books of all time. See a special message from Mary GrandPré, the original U.S. Harry Potter illustrator.

Magic Giveth . . . and Magic Taketh Away – Saturday July 21, 2018 3:00pm – 4:00pm, Room 23ABC

Magic always comes with consequences and costs, whether it’s the sacrifice of years spent studying or a literal, physical sacrifice. How do characters get (or lose) their magic? How can the consequences of magic ramp up the suspense? Acclaimed fantasy novelists Tomi Adeyemi (Children of Blood and Bone), Stephanie Garber (Legendary), Sara Hanover (The Late Great Wizard), Daniel José Older (Dactyl Hill Squad, Star Wars: Last Shot), Sam Sykes (Seven Blades in Black), and Sabaa Tahir (A Reaper at the Gates) discuss magic systems, magic spells, and the price of magic with David Canfield (Entertainment Weekly).

Page to Screen: The Darkest Minds – Saturday July 21, 2018 3:00pm – 4:00pm, Room 25ABC

Bestselling author Alexandra Bracken (The Darkest Minds, Passenger) joins director Jennifer Yuh Nelson (The Darkest Minds, Kung Fu Panda) and cast (Amandla Stenberg, Harris Dickinson, Skylan Brooks, Miya Cech) for a look at the journey from YA novel sensation to summer blockbuster from 20th Century Fox.

A Song of Ice and Fire: Game of Thrones Fan Discussion – Saturday July 21, 2018 4:00pm – 5:00pm, Room 28DE

The editors and authors of Abrams ComicArts and Amulet Books discuss emerging trends in comics publishing-what’s working right now, what the publishers are looking for, and what the authors and editors at Abrams are excited to publish in the coming year on both their adult and kids lists. Featuring Charles Kochman (editorial director), Andrew Smith (publisher), Charlotte Greenbaum (editor), and authors Peter J. Tomasi (The Bridge), John Jennings and Damian Duffy (Kindred: A Graphic Novel Adaptation), and Mariko Tamaki and Brooklyn Allen (Lumberjanes: The Moon is Up). The panel will also include special announcements about upcoming projects and never-before-seen titles and art.

The Man in the High Castle – Saturday July 21, 2018 4:15pm – 5:15pm, Room 6A

The Man in the High Castle is back to preview its third upcoming season on Prime Video. This panel features cast and creator discussion, exclusive sneak peeks, and audience Q&A. Panelists will include Alexa Davalos (Mob City), Rufus Sewell (Victoria), Stephen Root (Dallas & Robo), and Jason O’Mara (Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.), along with executive producer Isa Dick Hackett (Philip K. Dick’s Electric Dreams) and Dan Percival (Strike Back).

How to Be a Nerd for a Living: Breaking into Careers in Geek Culture – Sunday July 22, 2018 10:00am – 11:00am, Grand 1 & 2, Marriott Marquis San Diego Marina

Do you want to build a career in the “nerdy” industry you love, but you’re not sure where to begin? This all-star panel of professional “Nerds for a Living” will share insights into a variety of careers within comics, literature, podcasting, animation, film, and more. Learn how these panelists got their start, and get advice on what it takes to create a path to the career you want. Travis McElroy (The Adventure Zone; My Brother, My Brother and Me), Susan Eisenberg (voice of Wonder Woman in Justice League and Justice League: Unlimited), Tomi Adeyemi (author of Children of Blood and Bone), Ben Blacker (Vertigo’s Hex Wives; co-creator of The Thrilling Adventure Hour), Jaimie Cordero (CEO and Glitter Jedi of Espionage Cosmetics), Jazzlyn Stone (COO of Bombsheller), and others will engage in this fun discussion moderated by Wendy Buske (Fictitious; Nerd for a Living) that’ll leave you ready to conquer your post-SDCC goals.

We Read YA! – Sunday July 22, 2018 1:00pm – 2:00pm, Room 29AB

Heroes, villains, romance, humor, action, identity, social issues, and everything in between are just the start of what’s hot in young adult novels. Join this popular annual panel and Q&A session about the newest titles and trends in YA fiction, featuring authors Jay Coles (Tyler Johnson Was Here), Zoraida Córdova (Bruja Born), Dhonielle Clayton (The Belles), Justina Ireland (Dread Nation), Britta Lundin (Ship It), and Brendan Reichs (Nemesis); moderated by Nathan Bransford (How to Write a Novel).

Children’s Book Literary Agents – Sunday July 22, 2018 1:30pm – 2:30pm, Room 8

Hear from experienced children’s book literary agents about the dos and don’ts of getting an agent and becoming traditionally published. No pitches, please. The panel features Jen Azantian (Azantian Literary), Thao Le (Sandra Dijkstra Literary), Taylor Martindale Kean (Full Circle Literary), Kari Sutherland (Bradford Literary), and Tim Travaglini (Jill Corcoran Literary). Moderated by Henry Herz (author of Good Egg & Bad Apple).

Saul Marquez founded Bookstacked in 2014 and serves as the site's Editor-in-Chief. He primarily covers news for Bookstacked. He also co-hosts Bookmarked: A YA Book Podcast.

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