“Another definition of a hero is someone who is concerned about other people’s well-being and will go out of his or her way to help them — even if there is no chance of a reward. That person who helps others simply because it should or must be done, and because it is the right thing to do, is indeed without a doubt, a real superhero.” — Stan Lee
I couldn’t agree more with the legendary, eternally remembered and celebrated Stan Lee.
With the 50th San Diego Comic-Con right around the corner, I am once again thrilled to moderate an educational panel featuring a fantastic group of eclectic artists representing the comic, television, film, cartoon, and gaming worlds.
Our heroes are a reflection of our best selves. We model what we see in all our media, especially in our stories of might, good defeating evil, justice, joy, and even everyday life, where we all work to be the best humans we can be. Superheroes, comics, and tales of our shared history all reflect the full diversity of the human experience. Igniting more conversations, storytelling, and sharing what new developments make us all feel not so alone in the world, driving and inspiring us to be our most authentic selves. I couldn’t be more excited to continue the conversation from last year’s social justice, diversity, intersectionality, and belonging panel with this year’s fantastic group of artists.
A big thank you to Clydene Nee and the entire Educational Team at Comic-Con! For decades they have been a force to be reckoned with for their passion to curate diversity, inclusion and belonging to the San Diego Comic-Con education program.
If you are attending San Diego Comic-Con, please let me know. I’d love to see you there and have you attend our talk on:
Sunday, July 21–1:30–2:30 pm, Room 2
Reflections of ourselves in our superheroes: How to ignite conversations of diversity, inclusion, and social justice in the world of comics
The world of comics has been shining a light on injustice and bringing social issues to the forefront since its inception. Panelists with a variety of backgrounds will share personal stories of working on comics, films, television series, and games sharing thoughts on how social justice and diversity have affected the comic book industry. Seeing ourselves in our superheroes helps us be the best versions of ourselves in real life. The panel will discuss if and how we see that reflection, and how we can ignite more conversations about these topics in the minds of everyone working and creating in our industry.
The panel will be moderated by Heather Newman and will feature artists and actors Kellen Goff, Mela Lee, Jason Lewis, and James Mathis III.
Kellen Goff is a voice actor known for a variety of roles in video games, animation, and commercials. His most notable roles include Funtime Freddy and Fredbear from Five Nights at Freddy’s and Overhaul from My Hero Academia. Kick-starting his animation career in middle school, Goff’s attention was quickly switched to voice acting, as he had been a theatre student many years prior. Training under the supervision of Bob Bergen (The Looney Tunes), Goff was the youngest student to take the course, moving on to be trained by names such as Richard Horvitz, David Sobolov, Charlie Adler, Debi Deeyberry, and Mick Wingert.
Goff has provided voices for a long list of characters in video games and anime since he expressed a devout interest in voice acting. His credits include JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure, Hearthstone: Heroes of Warcraft, SMITE, Blue Exorcist: Kyoto Saga, Hunter X Hunter, and MapleStory. Though recognized in several fandoms, Goff is perhaps best known for voicing Funtime Freddy, Fredbear and Molten Freddy in the Five Nights At Freddy’s franchise. The FNaF franchise has gained widespread popularity and expects a film adaptation in the near future after breaking the Guinness Book of Records: Gamer’s Edition for the largest number of sequels released in a year. In addition to FNaF, Goff portrays villainous Kai Chisaki (aka Overhaul) in the English-dubbed version of My Hero Academia. Attracting a significant amount of attention from the anime landscape, Overhaul could perhaps be considered one of his most notable [RW1] role, especially with the impending fourth season of My Hero Academia, due later in 2019, in which Overhaul is prominently featured.
Mela Lee is a professional Voice Actor / Voice Artist for film and television. Her voice is featured in numerous animated series, live-action TV & films, and more than 50 interactive game franchises including APEX LEGENDS as Lifeline ( EA/Respawn) and MORTAL KOMBAT 11 as Jade (Neatherrealm Studios/ WB), Pillars of Eternity I & II/Pallegina (Obsidian), Fire Emblem /Tiki & Young Tiki (Nintendo), and BlazBlue/ Rachel Alucard (Arc System Works).
Fans can also find Mela playing Rin Tohsaka in the new Fate/stay night franchise films, Princess Zandain in Marvel Avengers Black Panther’s Questand, Tikki in Miraculous Ladybug (Disney), as well as being a voice replacement specialist for diverse shows including Gotham (Fox), Ballers (HBO), Queen Sugar (OWN), and Atlanta (FX).
Mela actively supports the California Fire Foundation and California Professional Firefighters and PTS Pre-crisis Training for first responders. Learn more about this organization and programming at www.CAFireFoundation.org.
Jason J. Lewis
Jason J. Lewis is an actor and voice actor, best known for voicing Superman and other DC Comics characters on the Cartoon Network show Justice League Action. Jason is also an official voice match for Donkey, appearing in the DreamworksTV series “Swamp Talk,” as well as the commercial voice of Rex the Dinosaur. On-camera, Jason appeared in the PopTV series, “Impress Me” as well as the indie bigfoot thriller “Sightings.”
James Mathis III
James Mathis III is a Brooklyn, New York, native, currently starring as the voice of T’Challa “The Black Panther” in “Marvel’s Avengers: Black Panther’s Quest” (2019 NAACP Image Award Nominee for Outstanding Children’s Program). For nearly a decade, he has been the most recognized voice of Black Panther across a variety of platforms. His voice can be heard in animation, interactive games, theme parks, and live shows including “Marvel Universe Live” (currently on tour).
Last summer, he starred in the Lego Marvel Superheroes film “Black Panther: Trouble in Wakanda.” In 2015, he was nominated for Best Supporting Actor by BTVA for his role in “Hulk Agents of S.M.A.S.H,” and in 2017 he took home Best Supporting Actor at the Houston Comedy Film Festival for his work on-screen in “Imaginary Friends.”
His video game credits include Marvel vs. Capcom: Infinite, Far Cry New Dawn, Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare, Lego Marvel’s Avengers, and the voice of Sigint in the Metal Gear Solid Series. Other notable animation credits include Star Wars: The Clone Wars, Ben 10, WordGirl, and Ironman: Rise of Technovore. Anime fans can catch him as Biscuit Oliva in the Netflix series “Baki” which premiered in December 2018. This spring, he co-stars in the innovative Virtual Reality (VR) narrative “Eleven Eleven” which had its World Premiere at SXSW in Austin, Texas. James is a graduate of the USC School of Cinematic Arts and currently resides in Los Angeles.
Another Don’t Miss Panel
Defiant Public Relations is also hosting a fabulous educational panel.
Panel: Sounds of Horror: Inside Hollywood’s Most Terrifying Film Scores
Join composers Christopher Young, Michael Abels, Carl Thiel, Greg Tripi, Russ Howardand Nick Soole Music at Comic-Con International for “Sounds of Horror: Inside Hollywood’s
Most Terrifying Film Scores”
FRIDAY, JULY 19th from 8–9 PM, Room 9. Moderated by Steve Greene from IndieWire.
From the spine-tingling scores for “Us”, “Get Out”, and “Ma” to the gritty and horror-filled themes in “Pet Sematary” and “Hellraiser”, to the ultra-spooky cues in “From Dusk Till Dawn: The Series”, “The Cleanse” and “The Head Hunter”, horror films wouldn’t be nearly as terrifying without their musical scores. Join composers Christopher Young, Michael Abels, Carl Thiel, Gregory Tripi, Russ Howard, and Nick Soole as they pull back the curtain to reveal how they created some of the world’s most frightening film and TV music.
Tune-In: Thurs July 11th — A Mavens Do it Better Podcast with Adam Smith, Executive Director of the Comic-Con Museum
Catch a hot new Mavens Do It Better podcast — this Thurs July 11th with Adam, talking about the museum pop-up at Comic-Con, what’s in store for the museum in 2021, his life-long career working in museums, and his inspiration from other curators around the world.
Preparations are underway to activate all three floors of the 68,000-square foot building, featuring exciting exhibits, programs, and experiences. Look for these features and attractions at the pop-up Museum:
The Batman Experience Powered by AT&T An interactive, immersive experience showcasing one of the largest-ever exhibits of Batman-related comics, art, games, props, costumes, and vehicles. Click here for more information!
Cover Story: The Art of Comic-Con 50 An acclaimed display of original art exploring 50 years of Comic-Con program book covers. First unveiled in March, the exhibit will have an exciting new addition: the original Jim Lee artwork gracing the milestone 50th-anniversary cover.
Daily panels in the Museum theater Organized by Comic-Con. Four panels per day will educate the broader community on the great variety and depth of Comic-Con programming. Full details will be announced as organizers reveal the complete Comic-Con programming schedule.
Geek Couture: Designs from the Her Universe Fashion Show, For the first time, an exhibition featuring more than a dozen designs that have graced the Her Universe Fashion Show runway over the past five years. The exhibit will be expanded after Thursday’s 2019 Fashion Show to include this year’s winning designs and select gowns worn by Her Universe founder Ashley Eckstein.
Paint Like Bob Ross, In collaboration with Bob Ross, Inc., attendees at this make-and-take art class can learn to paint like TV’s Bob Ross, under the supervision of a Certified Ross Instructor.
Mondo Gallery: 80 Years of Batman, The first ever traveling exhibit from the Mondo Gallery in Austin, Texas, celebrating the history of Batman through 19 iconic and fan-favorite comic-book covers, reproduced as screen-printed posters.
A first look at all exhibits is available to attendees at The Gathering, the Museum’s inaugural fundraising event, on the evening of Wednesday, July 17. The program includes a special ceremony inducting Batman into the Comic-Con Museum Character Hall of Fame. Tickets are available at www.ccmgathering.org, including an after-party option from 9pm-midnight, for those attending Preview Night.
The Pop-Up Museum opens at 9:30 AM Thursday through Sunday, and is intended to be an early preview of the finished Comic-Con Museum which opens when renovations complete in 2021. Staff will be present to answer questions about the project and guests are invited to support the Museum by joining as Charter Members, with several membership benefit levels.
Thursday, July 18 — Saturday, July 20 9:30 AM to 7:00 PM
Sunday, July 21: 9:30 AM to 5:00 PM
Admission is free and everyone is welcome. No Comic-Con badge required for entry. If the building reaches capacity there will be a single entry line, organized on a first-come-first-served basis.
Comic-Con Museum, Balboa Park
Older maps may say ”Hall of Champions” (the previous occupants).
Street address: 2131 Pan American Plaza, San Diego, CA 92103
Parking/How to Get There
The Museum is surrounded by three free parking lots, but they may be filled to capacity during peak hours. Free shuttles are available from other parking lots in the park. Click here for a parking map and more information.
Unfortunately, we are unable to provide a shuttle service to the Museum this year. Especially at peak times, rideshare services such as Lyft and Uber can be a good option to get to and from the Museum from downtown locations. More information on how to get to Balboa Park, including walking, electric scooters, bikes, and public transportation, can be found on the Balboa Park Website.
Amenities and Access
The building is wheelchair accessible and has an elevator serving all three levels. Ample restrooms. A small café serves drinks, sandwiches, and snacks. Free wifi is available, provided by Balboa Park. Seventeen other museums and art galleries are also located in the Park, which is also home to the world-famous San Diego Zoo.
Entry to the Museum is on a first-come-first-served basis and is not guaranteed.
Some individual activities inside the Museum (panel presentations, for example) are subject to capacity limits and are also offered on a first-come-first-served basis.
The Bob Ross class is being offered on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday, on a first-come-first-served basis, one class from 11 am to 1 pm; another from 3 pm to 5 pm. The capacity of each class is 20, participants must be age 16+ and all supplies are provided.
The Museum does not have a gift shop and no merchandise will be on sale except those associated with the Museum Charter Membership program.
Looking forward to seeing all of you at the 50th San Diego Comic-Con!!!
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Written by Head Maven & CEO, Heather Newman, Creative Maven.
Heather is a marketer, writer, speaker, playwright, podcaster, Microsoft MVP and lover of culture and “the why.” She has worked for over 20 years in technology and the arts. Heather lives in Los Angeles, California and enjoys traveling the world speaking about Office 365, SharePoint and Diversity, Inclusion, and Belonging. She is a published playwright, was born and raised in Michigan, Indiana, and Illinois is a graduate of the University of Washington School of Drama, Seattle WA and did a semester abroad at Trinity College, Dublin, Ireland. Heather is always looking for an excuse to go to New York, New Orleans, London and the list of cities she made in her Dad’s Time/Life map when she was 11.
Check out her IG Story for #TheCurlerReport, tales of a woman on the go who happens to love her hot rollers.
Connect with Heather on LinkedIn.