Storytelling Across Media (SAM), a one-day symposium for aspiring writers and artists, as well as professionals, interested in the art of storytelling. This event will be held on Saturday, November 5, at the Marriott Marquis Hotel, 780 Mission Street in downtown San Francisco, from 11:00 AM to 6:00 PM. Admission is FREE, but online registration is encouraged. Seating in all symposium events is limited.
SAM is not your traditional comics convention. There is no Exhibit Hall or Autograph Area. SAM is all about storytelling, through a series of talks and workshops about how to tell a story in various media, including comics, gaming, animation, movies, and more. It explores the similarities and differences in telling stories through different media and focuses on the craft of telling a story through creator lectures and workshops.
Special guests for this event are graphic novel creator Thi Bui (The Best We Could Do), comics creator/animation artist Stephan Franck (Silver), and writer Rick Remender (Captain America, Black Science, Low), along with an impressive list of program participants.
Saturday, November 5
11:00–11:45 Bay Area Comics & Illustration History—Last Gasp Publishing will take this panel on a one-of-a-kind journey through the history of Bay Area comics and storytelling. Featuring art and anecdotes that reveal the inside story of what made San Francisco one of the most influential cities in the history of comics. Foothill G
11:15–12:00 Parent and Child Class—Brian Kolm (Atomic Bear Press) helms a workshop that is specifically designed for a younger crowd excited to make comics with a parent or guardian. From coloring to character design, this session is all about collaboration and creativity. Foothill C
12:00–12:45 Diversity and Representation in Storytelling—Shawn Taylor (Nerds of Color) moderates an honest discussion about diversity and representation in comics with Robert Love (Number 13), Tyler Cohen (Primahood: Magenta), and Daniel Parada (Zotz). Presented by the Cartoon Art Museum and the Black Comix Arts Festival. Foothill G
12:15–1:00 Cartooning 101—The Cartoon Art Museum offers this workshop for teens with the creative impulse to turn their own stories into comics. Whether you’ve already tried your hand at cartooning or are just getting started, this workshop will help you continue to develop the foundational skills needed to craft engaging stories in the comic book medium. Foothill C
1:00–1:45 Spotlight on Thi Bui—Graphic novelist Thi Bui (The Best We Could Do) shares the trials and tribulations of autobiographical comics, how to incorporate oral history and research, and the painful but important process of rewriting in comics. Foothill G
1:15–2:00 Cartooning 102—Robert Love (Fierce) leads this workshop perfectly suited for anyone looking to push their storytelling craft to the next level. Explore the finer points of storytelling on the comics page with expert advice and practical tips to apply to your own visual art and writing practice. Foothill C
2:00–2:45 Spotlight on Stephan Franck—Multi-award-nominated animator/writer/director/comic book creator Stephan Franck (The Iron Giant, Despicable Me, Silver) answers your questions about his work, as well as the art and commerce of storytelling—visual and otherwise—as it applies to comics, animation, and filmmaking. Foothill G
2:15–3:00 Interactive Design with Telltale Games—Telltale Games specializes in episodic, story-driven, interactive games. From the very beginning, they developed games based on comics such as Sam & Max and Bone. More recent games based on The Walking Dead, Fables, and Batman have been huge hits. This panel will focus on that legacy and the future for Telltale Games. Foothill C
3:00–3:45 Spotlight on Rick Remender—In the past 15 years, Rick Remender (Fear Agent, Dead Space, The Iron Giant) has written numerous acclaimed titles across every genre. Join Rick for a one-on-one interview and Q&A session about the trials and rewards of creating a new story from the ground up. Foothill G
3:15–4:00 Storytelling For Game Development—Moderator Maya Zuckerman leads an in-depth conversation with Zeb West (Star Wars: The Old Republic) and Michael Cinquemani (EPISODE) about storytelling and video game development. From the early days of comics bundled with Atari cartridges to the latest line of popular Batman games, comics and video games have had a strong connection. This discussion will focus on those back and forth influences and development of new cross-media storytelling. Foothill C
4:00–4:45 Storytelling in Editorial Cartooning—Adam Bessie (The Atlantic), Nick Sousanis (The Unflattening), and Mark Fiore (San Francisco Chronicle) discuss the ins and outs of editorial and non-fiction cartooning. In today’s visually dominated media, editorial and non-fiction cartooning have never been more important. This panel of experts discusses the potential pitfalls—and unexpected rewards—of telling stories based on real life events. Foothill G, San Francisco Marriott Marquis
4:15–5:00 Comics and VR Storytelling—Kevin Buckley (Madefire) and Dustin Freemen (Kinect) discuss the ways Virtual Reality is quickly becoming a new medium for telling fully immersive and interactive stories. Join us in a conversation about the exciting possibilities of motion comics, AR (augmented reality), VR (virtual reality), and other rapidly evolving platforms. Foothill C
5:00–5:45 Storytelling and Queer Identity—Moderator Maia Kobabe (The Thief’s Tale) and a panel of talented queer storytellers discuss their craft and how they bring life to their characters on the comics page. Storytelling plays a role in shaping both the identity of the storyteller and the characters on the page. This panel explores how queer cartoonists navigate this space. Foothill G
5:15–6:00 Dynamic Comics Readings—Matt Silady (chair, CCA MFA in Comics program) is joined by Bay Area cartoonists Meggie Ramm, Cordelia McGee-Tubb, and Trinidad Escobar, to discuss what it takes to deliver an engaging and entertaining public performance. Enjoy some very special comics readings and tips on how to bring your comics to life on the stage. Foothill C