The Vegas Valley Comic Book Festival offers a variety of programming designed to appeal to all ages and interests, including film screenings, live music, panel discussions and much more.

Festival Hours

Saturday, Nov. 1, 2014, 9:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

Programming Schedule*

Time Title/Description Location
10 a.m. How to Draw Super Heroes and Star Wars Characters
Think you can’t draw? Yes you CAN, young padawan! Use the Force and the tips, techniques, and methods of Star Wars artist Spencer Brinkerhoff III’s “Drawing is Simple” system.
Jewel Box Theater
10 a.m. The History of the Comics Code
Sixty years ago, comics were put on trial in a nationally televised Senate subcommittee hearing that had shattering repercussions for this great American artform. The Comic Book Legal Defense Fund executive director Charles Brownstein presents the shocking history of moral panic that led to this historic hearing and the birth of the Comics Code Authority, which regulated the medium’s content for more than 50 years. (Note: Workshop is limited to 15 attendees.)
Small Conference Room
10:30 a.m. Batman (1989, 126 min, PG-13)
On June 23, 25 years ago, Tim Burton’s dark action flick based on Batman, the DC superhero, first landed in theaters. Much like the controversy surrounding Ben Affleck’s turn as the Caped Crusader, public expectations were low with many fans deriding the casting of Michael Keaton.While Batman had already undergone a literary metamorphosis in comics and graphic novels, for the mainstream, he was still little more than a campy throwback to the 1960s TV show. But that all changed with the film’s opening scenes—it was boldly different. There was something clearly rotten in the city of Gotham, an Art Deco hellscape with Keaton’s performance displaying his ability to capture the ethos of the Dark Knight.

Keaton starred with Jack Nicholson, Kim Basinger, Robert Wuhl, Michael Gough and Billy Dee Williams rounding out the cast.

Main Theater
11 a.m. Spotlight on Howard Chaykin
During his 40-plus years in comics, Howard Chaykin built a reputation around his distinct art style, innovative—sometimes controversial—storytelling and un-minced words. Join comics scholar Ben Saunders for an hour-long conversation with a creator whose career has been anything but trite and conventional.
Jewel Box Theater
11 a.m.
Workshop for Writers – Adapting Books and Other Materials into Comics
Literature, film and comics are distinct entities—something that’s awesometacular in a book or a movie can become a giant puddle of “meh” on the comics page. Don’t create a giant puddle of meh. Attend this workshop with editor and writer Nick Mamatas if you are thinking about adapting something to comics. (Note: Workshop is limited to 15 attendees.)
Small Conference Room
11 a.m. – 3:30 p.m. Artist Jam
Come together, right now, and let’s draw! Create a comic with others at the table or you can just demonstrate some of your artistic abilities. Open to all ages.
Main Hall
11:30 a.m. – 2:30 p.m. Portfolio Reviews
Bring your winning smile, can-do attitude, and 6 to 8 pieces of art that you think showcase your strengths. We’ve got industry professionals who know what it takes to succeed and will give you tips on how to take it to the next level. Please see our Portfolio Review page for the “dos and don’ts.”
Main Hall
Noon Breaking Into Comics
Turns out there’s no secret handshake or secret password to help you get your foot in the door, but our panel of working professionals (Fillbach Brothers, Russell Lissau, Nick Mamatas and Chris Staros) knows how to promote works, prepare a portfolio, make a good impression, and apply elbow grease to the skids.
Jewel Box Theater
Noon Workshop for Writers – Collaborating on Comics
As with films, comics often have more than one creator working on them. Darren J. Gendron knows the tricks, techniques and processes that turn multi-person collaboration from an exercise in cat-herding into smooth teamwork. (Note: Workshop is limited to 15 attendees.)
Small Conference Room
1 p.m. Digital Color 101
Back by popular request! Just how does black and white artwork become press-ready technicolor? Watch as Brian and Kristy Miller of Hi-Fi Colour Design perform the step-by-step transformation of a comic book page. Learn the basics of flatting, rendering, color holds, special effects and other digital coloring tips.
Jewel Box Theater
1 p.m. Workshop for Writers – How to Write Comic Books
Join Russell Lissau (former writer of DC Comics’ The Batman Strikes!) for a hands-on workshop covering the craft of comic book writing. Learn the art of pacing, dialogue, action and other key storytelling elements. (Note: Workshop is limited to 15 attendees.)
Small Conference Room
1 p.m. She Makes Comics: the untold history of women creators in comic books
Since the early days of comics, women have had an important and sometimes overlooked hand in the creation as well as consumption of comics. Did you know that women have been writing and drawing comics professionally since the 1920s? Or that women made up over half of comic book readers in the 1950s? It’s true: women have always been a part of comics, and it’s time to shine a bright light on their contributions.

Join the filmmakers behind such comics documentaries as Grant Morrison: Talking with Gods and The Image Revolution as they talk about their latest project, She Makes Comics, a film telling the storied history of women in comics. Director Marisa Stotter and producer Patrick Meaney will screen never-before-seen footage from the movie, featuring candid interviews with such figures as the legendary editor Karen Berger, writer Kelly Sue DeConnick, underground comics artist Joyce Farmer and more.

Main Theater
2 p.m. Batman’s Shadows: 75 Years of the Dark Knight
Join Professor Ben Saunders as he attempts to shine a light on Bill Finger and Bob Kane’s enduring Caped Crusader. What are the key moments of the Dark Knight’s history, and how do they shape (or reflect) the essence of the character? What explains Batman’s lasting appeal?
Jewel Box Theater
2:30 and 3:30 p.m. Upcycling Comics – Creative Crafts Using Your Old Comics
Prepare to have fun and be amazed as the Very Awesome Girls Into Nerdy Activities show what cool things you can do with that haul from the dollar bin…once you’re finished reading, of course. (Note: Each workshop is limited to 15 attendees.)
Small Conference Room
2:30 p.m. Hello, The Future! Live in Concert
Since 2010, when not writing essays for Boing Boing, The Toast and The Billfold, Hello, The Future!—aka Nicole Dieker—has been performing songs about Firefly, giant robots and coffee. Come hear her sing the praises of all things nerdy as she makes her Las Vegas debut.
Main Theater
3 p.m. The Business of Webcomics
As crazy as it sounds, webcomics creators have found success through giving away the comics for free. Join Darren J. Gendron for a discussion of how the business model of giving it away works, enabling creators to turn their art into a full-time job.
Jewel Box Theater
3:15 p.m. The Return of Kirby Krackle…Live at the Clark County Library
It’s the return of the Nerd-Rock warrior from Seattle, Kirby Krackle. Villains, heroes, grandma’s house, cozy pants, long boxes and cosplay queens. Enough said.
Main Theater

Autograph Signing

Signings this year will be held at individual guests’ tables and at publisher booths. Check back for more details.

*Times, guests and locations subject to change. Check back for updates as the Fest draws closer.