Festival of Books offers intriguing panels

Though the stages at the Festival of Books might grab your attention first, there will be many panels inside USC’s buildings that offer quieter and more intimate, yet equally intriguing, events that appeal to the book lover in you and also cater to other artistic passions.

The panels will cover a variety of topics and will feature appearances by various authors — from some of USC’s very own staff members to other authors you might know.

Below is a guide to some of the engaging panels.

Panel tickets are available for $1 on latimesfob.eventbrite.com.

Some events are already sold out, so make sure to get your tickets to these panels as soon as possible.





Seeing is Believing: The Graphic Memoir, Andrus Gerentology Center, 10:30 a.m.

Book lovers need not limit themselves to the written word alone. For all those Comic-Con aficionados, a few panels at the festival offer a look into the world of graphic novels.

Journalist Deborah Vankin, known for her work at the Los Angeles Times and her graphic novels, will moderate the discussion, which will feature other significant figures in the graphic novel world.

Writer Joyce Farmer, author of the graphic memoir Special Exits, which tells the story of her parents’ death, will join the conversation, along with writers Karl Stevens and C. Tyler. The discussion is a good opportunity to get an inside look at this still-living industry and maybe gain some inspiration for your next comic book series.

In Flux: The Music Biz, Taper 201, 4 p.m.

It’s not only art and fiction that come together in the literary world. One of the advantages of the Festival of Books is its wide array of areas for the bookworm to explore.

This discussion will cover aspects of writing and the music industry, and the state of the Los Angeles Times. Pop music editor Randall Roberts will moderate the conversation between a slew of others involved in both the writing and the music industries.

The discussion will cover a variety of music genres, as it includes writers like Dan Charnas, author of Big Payback: The History of the Business of Hip Hop, who worked for recording companies like Def American Recordings.

Page & Screen, Norris, 3:30 p.m.

The film world wouldn’t want to be left out, either. This panel features a star-studded group that includes 24 executive producer Howard Gordon, who extended his writing talent into the fictional world with his work Gideon’s War, released earlier this year. Joining him will be Pamela Ribon, who was an executive story editor on Samantha Who? and produced Mind of Mencia.

A self-proclaimed “weird girl,” she has also published books like Why Girls Are Weird and encourages readers on her blog to attend the discussion so they can see her embarrass herself, if nothing else.

Mix in E. Duke Vincent, who has worked with shows like 7th Heaven and Beverly Hills, 90210, and moderator and author Heather Havrilesky, and this discussion will likely prove an interesting blend of experiences and personalities.



Father Gregory Boyle and Steve Lopez in Conversation, Bovard, 11 a.m.

Not all of the festival deals with fiction. Father Gregory Boyle, founder of Homeboy Industries, a company dedicated to taking jail members off the streets by giving them jobs, will sit down for a conversation with Los Angeles Times columnist Steve Lopez.

Lopez wrote The Soloist: A Lost Dream, An Unlike Friendship, And The Redemptive Power of Music, which was adapted into a 2009 movie featuring Jamie Foxx and Robert Downey Jr. This non-fiction work tells the story of Lopez’s experiences with a struggling, homeless violinist.

Boyle and Lopez, therefore, will prove an intriguing pair and will likely have a both intellectually and emotionally stimulating conversation about their separate, but similar, experiences.

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