SAM Program Schedule

SAM: Storytelling Across Media, Saturday, Nov. 3 at the Comic-Con Museum, Balboa Park, San Diego

This is the schedule for SAM, Storytelling Across Media on Saturday, Nov. 3 at the Comic-Con Museum at 2131 Pan American Plaza, Balboa Park, San Diego, CA 92101. Admission to SAM is free, however pre-registration for each panel you’d like to attend is encouraged. Seating is limited.


Space may be available for certain panels. You can register onsite or join the stand-by lines at the Comic-Con Museum.

Please keep in mind that some panel times overlap, and since seating is very limited, you will not be allowed to attend concurrent panels. Be sure to look at the start and end times, and register for the ones you want to see most. Registering for concurrent panels will not guarantee you a seat in either panel.

Unlike Comic-Con International and WonderCon, we will be clearing rooms between panels. Registered ticket holders will be allowed to enter the room first. Tickets will be available for pickup at the museum starting at 11AM the day of the event. 

Please pick up your tickets no later than 15 minutes prior to the panel start time. Empty seats at the start of the panel will be filled by the standby seating line. 

Click here for bios of SAM's special guests and panel participants.



12:00–12:45 Spotlight on Jim Lee—DC Entertainment co-publisher, Jim Lee (Batman, Justice League, Superman Unchained) talks about his 30+ years in the comics industry and sketches your favorite characters live on the big screen in this engaging panel. This is a great opportunity to watch the creative process first-hand and learn the tips of the trade that bring DC Entertainment's characters to life. The Theater

12:15–1:00 Storytelling in Animation—Never have there been more opportunities for artists to tell their stories through different forms of media. From motion pictures and television, to children's books and digital platforms, storytellers have many options to put their voice on different projects and properties. Come see David Derks (vice-president, ASIFA-Hollywood) and a panel of artists in a lively discussion on the art of storytelling and how they tell stories through art and story structure. The panelists will include Nic Gregory (concept illustrator for Thinkwell Group), Benson Shum (author, illustrator, and Disney feature animator), and Chrystin Garland (visual development artist at DreamWorks TV Animation). The Lodge

1:00–1:45 Storytelling with Sound and Music—Featuring creatives behind Game of Thrones, Caliban Below, The Stinky and Dirty Show, and My Dinner with Hervé, experts in the sound field, including composers and sound designers, team up with their producers and directors to discuss the importance of sound and music when telling stories in film and TV shows. Panelists include Paula Fairfield (Game of Thrones, Caliban Below), Michael Conelly (Caliban Below), Jake Monaco, Guy Toubes, and Dan Bern (The Stinky and Dirty Show), and David Norland and Sacha Gervasi (My Dinner with Hervé). Kaya Savas from Film.Music.Media will moderate the panel. The Theater

1:15–2:00 Storytelling in Film—Independent filmmakers Fernando Jay Huerto (Harley, Finest City Showdown), Neal and Jana Hallford (A Case of Evil), Michael Foster (Hush), Jonathan Hammond (Isabel), and Pia Thrasher (The Appointment) will discuss what influences their approach to telling a story and why they choose to work in film. They will also address how personal identity, genre selection, and budget can impact the filmmaking process and the narrative we see on screen. Panel will be moderated by Beth Accomando (KPBS Cinema Junkie podcaster). The Lodge

2:00–2:45 Storytelling in Comics—Jessica Tseang (comic book historian, Robert Kirkman's Secret History of Comics), Barbara Randall Kesel (former head writer at CrossGen Comics, editor at DC Comics), Chris Ryall (editor at Skybound, former CCO/editor of IDW), Scott Tipton (writer of Star Trek: The Next Generation/Doctor Who: Assimilation2), and Whilce Portacio (Image Comics, artist for Marvel/DC, creator of Bishop), along with veteran artists, writers, and editors of the comics industry, will discuss the key components to perfecting storytelling through the sequential art medium. A Q&A follows the discussion for inspiring professionals. The Theater

2:15–3:00 Storytelling and Board Games—Jonathan Ying (Imperial Assault, Bargain Quest), Bridgette Reuther (USAopoly production manager), and Jon Cohn (Munchkin: TMNT, Dragon Ball Z: Over 9000) will speak about how board games create compelling stories and lasting memories. From sharing their own stories about playing and creating games, followed by a Q&A session moderated by Ross Thompson. The Lodge

3:00–3:45 Spotlight on Shawna Benson and Julie Benson—Julie Benson and Shawna Benson are a sister writing team who have written on three seasons of The CW's The 100 and recently on the new Netflix series Wu Assassins. During the DC Comics recent Rebirth launch, the Benson sisters were brought on to write Batgirl and the Birds of Prey for a stellar twenty-three issues and are currently writing Green Arrow. The Benson sisters are excited to delve into comparing these two mediums, discuss their process, and answer your questions about writing for TV or comics. Or just talk about the most recent episode of The Great British Bake-Off; you know, whatever floats your boat. The Theater

3:15–4:00 Storytelling in Games: Shaping the Future of Narrative—Anne Toole (writer, Horizon Zero Dawn), Desirée Proctor and Erica Harrell (writers, Walking Dead: Saints and Sinners), Shanon Ingles (writer and narrative designer, Ghost Story, Midboss, Tellltale & EA), and Neal Hallford (executive producer, Swords & Circuitry Studios) gather to discuss how games are evolving the art of narrative through interactive media experiences. The panel is moderated by Jana Hallford (executive producer, Swords & Circuitry Studios) and will include a Q&A session. The Lodge

4:00–4:45 Author Storytelling—Humans have been storytelling as a way of understanding and relating to the world around us throughout our history. Most of us engage in it daily, even if we don't think of it as such, as we craft and share the stories of our lives. Lawrence Block once defined writing fiction as "Telling lies for fun and profit." Panelists include C. B. Lee (Not Your Villain), Cindy Pon (Want), Greg Van Eekhout (Voyage of the Dogs), Sarah Kuhn (Heroine Complex), and moderator Maryelizabeth Yturralde (Mysterious Galaxy co-founder). These four fiction authors will share what drives them to be professional storytellers/liars and how people can find truths in fiction. The Theater

4:15–5:00 Storytelling Across Augmented and Virtual Reality—How does immersive technology influence narrative and vice versa. Are there any limits to what we can imagine and create? Johannes Saam (Legend of the Guardians), Mark Harwood (global producer of VR at Starbreeze/Star VR), Christina Heller (CEO of Metastage), and others will join moderator Mark Murphy (producer of Future Tech Live at San Diego Comic-Con) for a discussion on storytelling in AR/VR. The Lodge

5:00–5:45 The Prince from a Distant Land Scenario—According to the Writers Guild of America, the career span of the average writer in TV is about ten years. Unless you're lucky enough to hit the jackpot on a series of novels or films, the stats for print and movie writers are largely on par with that figure. But there are some writers who have been able to extend that much further, including J. Michael Straczynski, whose career spans over 40 years, with each year busier than the one before. The secret comes down to the very heart of this conference: storytelling across various media. Come and learn how to the keep the work fresh, the career intact, and maintain your relevance as a writer in the service of producing a career that will last a lifetime. The Theater

5:15–6:00 Storytelling in Museums—From exhibits to films and immersive experiences, museums are all about storytelling. Stories allow us to connect items or experiences from our past to our present and even the future. They highlight the meaning inherent in artifacts and allow us to make sense of the world around us. Storytelling also allows museums to capture ever more diverse perspectives and to invoke curiosity in expanding audiences. Join a panel of museum professionals and experience designers who will speak about the role of storytelling in bringing a museum to life. The Lodge

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