There are most definitely a few geeks on staff here at Post Defiance and this means at least one of us (me) is very much looking forward to the inaugural GeekGirlCon, October 8 and 9th, 2011 at the Seattle Center Northwest Rooms and EMP Museum. Although not happening in Tacoma, this celebration of all things lady and geek is worthy of our attention and is not to be missed!
As they state on their website: “GeekGirlCon is a nonprofit organization dedicated to promoting awareness of and celebrating the contribution and involvement of women in all aspects of the sciences, science fiction, comics, gaming and related Geek culture through conventions and events that emphasize both the historic and ongoing contribution and influence of women in this culture.”
Now, I’ve attended quite a few hobby conventions, and I think this is the first time where I have been more excited and inspired by the panels and sessions than by vendors. I’m particularly thrilled that three of my geeky heroes, Jane Espenson, Hope Larson and Gail Simone will be sharing their thoughts and visions in multiple sessions.
Geek Lady Heroes
As a television junkie, Jane Espenson is particularly important to me. Jane was co-executive producer and writer for Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Angel, Firefly, and for the best season of Gilmore Girls, a key member of the Battlestar Galactica writing and production team, executive produced the spin-off series Caprica, recently wrote for Game of Thrones and Torchwood: Miracle Day and is now co-executive producer for the new series Once Upon a Time and is executive producing a web series Husbands. Basically, Jane Espenson has had her hand in nearly all of my favorite television moments of recent memory.
On Saturday Oct 8, see Jane interviewed at Oral History Live! With Jane Espenson where she will be interviewed by Brooks Peck, the curator of EMP show Battlestar Galactica: The Exhibition. Jane will also be a panelist for Whedonistas on Saturday at 5:30pm.
Hope Larson is a rising star in comics: author of four graphic novels including Chiggers and Mercury, she’s currently graphically adapting one of my favorite novels, Madeleine L’Engle’s A Wrinkle in Time, which will be available next fall. Hope is quietly and deftly blazing a path for girl-centric coming-of-age comics, beautifully rendered with satisfying hints of the supernatural and fantastical. It’s like she’s inside my head.
Hope won the 2006 Ignatz Award in the category Promising New Talent and the Eisner Award for Special Recognition in 2007. Rebecca Kraatz’s House of Sugar, Larson’s first publishing venture through her company Tulip Tree Press, won the 2007 Doug Wright Award for Best Emerging Talent.
Hope will be a participating panelist on Saturday’s YA Authors session at 1 pm and on the Sunday panel Killing Cattiness and Creating Community at 11 am. You can also find Hope at her booth, #313.
Gail Simone is one of very few women comic book writers working in the mainstream industry, and the only female writer at DC Comics. Simone first gained attention from the comic industry and fans with her influential website Women in Refrigerators that lists the pervasive instances in which female comic book characters are victims of violent attacks or whose attacks were used as a plot device for a male character.
Gail has written for DC since 2003, just concluded a very successful run with Wonder Woman and currently writes for the Birds of Prey, Secret Six, Batgirl, and Fury of Firestorm series. Gail is committed to diversity in her casts of characters, earning her a Glyph Comics Award for Best Female Character in Thomasina Lindo—one of the lead characters in Welcome to Tranquility—a creator-owned comic published by WildStorm.
Gail will be a panelist for History of the Universe as Told by Wonder Woman, on Saturday, Oct 8 at 2:30, and for multiple sessions on Sunday, Oct 9: Batgirls at 10 am, Killing Cattiness and Creating Community at 11 am, and That Comic Isn’t About Me at 1 pm.
The GeekGirlCon Program
Let’s get into the panel and session picks: there are so many compelling options, it was very difficult to narrow down, but below are the sessions, vendors and artists I’m most excited to check out:
What to do on Saturday (and night!)
11 am – 12:30 pm: The Heroine: Journey, Culture, and Narrative
Panelists address the historical position of WWII action heroine Claudette Colbert, the complexities of the warrior woman in genre media, the heroine’s journey in anime and RPG, and the non-heterosocial world of Wonder Woman’s Themyscira. Panelists: Haviva Avirom (moderator), Sara Freeman, Catherine Bailey, and Erin Lovejoy-Guron
12 – 1 pm: YA Authors
Panelists will discuss authoring characters who relate to geeky fans and why YA is a great home for kick-ass female protagonists. Panelists: Nancy Holder, Scott Westerfeld, Phoebe Kitanidis, Hope Larson
1 pm: Feminism, Race, and Geek Culture: Perspectives from Women of Color
These feminist and anti-racist cultural commentators take a critical look at the intersection of race, gender, and other facets of personal identity in geek media and tackle issues like tokenism and white washing. Panelists: Regina Buenaobra (moderator), Latoya Peterson, Nina V. Reyes, Christina Xu
1 – 2:30pm: Oral History Live! With Jane Espenson
An EMP Museum Ticketed Event
Battlestar Galactica writer Jane Espenson joins Brooks Peck, the curator of the EMP Museum Battlestar Galactica: The Exhibition, for an intimate interview. Espenson is also widely known for her work on Buffy: the Vampire Slayer, Angel, Firefly, Warehouse 13, Game of Thrones, and Torchwood: Miracle Day.
2:30 – 4 pm: History of the Universe as Told by Wonder Woman
Watch footage from the documentary, History of the Universe as Told by Wonder Woman, with director Kristy Guevara-Flanagan and a panel full of experts as they examine our culture’s obsessions with superheroes. Panelists: Kristy Guevara-Flanagan (moderator), Gail Simone, Trina Robbins, Jennifer K. Stuller, Mike Madrid
5:30 – 6:30 pm: Whedonistas
Award-winning female writers and fans come together to discuss the impact of Whedon’s work, their involvement with his shows’ fandoms, and why they adore the worlds he’s created. Panelists: Teresa Jusino (moderator), Jane Espenson, Nancy Holder, Mariah Huehner
6 – 7 pm: Geek Girl Power: Can’t Stop the Signal
Panelists discuss queer feminism in comics, works dealing with feminist issues, bringing geekiness into feminist spaces, and if geeky girls are truly becoming more accepted in mainstream and geek cultures. Panelists: Karen Burrows and Alison Mandaville
7 – 9 pm: Viscera Film Fest
Mature Content: An 18 and Up Panel
Heidi Honeycutt hosts a mini-Viscera Film Fest. They will screen selected horror short films created, written, directed, produced, acted, gored-up, and designed by women.
9 – 11pm: Whedonsque Burlesque (18+)
(GeekGirlCon Ticketed Event/Limited Freebie) JoJo Stiletto Productions brings her fabulous Whedon-inspired burlesque production to GeekGirlCon.
What to do on Sunday
10 – 11 am: Batgirls
Gail Simone and The Batgirl of San Diego, Kyrax2, talk about women creators and characters in comic books. They discuss the relaunch of DC Comics’ 52 titles and, of course, the Batgirls.
11 – 12 pm: Killing Cattiness and Creating Community
Panelists discuss how Geek Girls can put aside being negatively competitive, divisive, and catty to our sister Geek Girls. Panelists: Kate Kottler (moderator), Hope Larson, Gail Simone, Marian Call, Kristin Rielly, Jennifer K. Stuller, Bonnie Burton, Kristina Horner, Molly McIssac
1 – 2 pm: That Comic Isn’t About Me
Discuss how important it is to identify with characters, the state of diversity in comic arts, and why readers often overlook stories featuring characters whose gender, sexuality, race, class, or culture differs from their own. Panelists: Zan Christensen (moderator), Chris Lange, Ashley Cook, Gail Simone
3 – 4 pm: Ink-Stained Amazons and Cinematic Warriors: Superwomen in Modern Mythology
Author, blogger, and pop culture historian, Jennifer K. Stuller, explains how the female hero in modern mythology has broken through the boys’ club barrier and reveals the pivotal role of high-heeled, costumed, and kick-ass crimefighters in popular culture.
4-5 pm: Womanthology
Panelists discuss the development and drive to create Womanthology, the creators and contributors, social media support, and the future of this project. Panelists: Mariah Huehner, Trina Robbins, and Bonnie Burton
5:30 – 7pm: GeekGirlCon Closing Ceremony and Labyrinth Sing-Along
Belt out “Underground” and “Magic Dance” with Clinton McClung of Central Cinema and special guest and Labyrinth puppeteer Karen Prell. Oh, the 1980s, those were magical years.
The GeekGirlCon Artists, Exhibitors, and Vendors
Take the time to stop by these booths and check out some of the best in creative geek culture:
Booth 100: Gretchen Fuller’s Crazy Diamond Mosaics
Booth 116: Fantasium Comics
Fantasium Comics is a women-owned comic and game show in Federal Way. http://www.fantasiumcomics.com
Booth 204: Sawdust Press
Sawdust Press publishes creator-owned books and anthologies with the intent to contribute more funny, fascinating and contemplative stories to the world.
Booth 208: Lunasea Studios
A shot in the dark since their webcomic is on hiatus, but the art looked compelling and fun.
Booth 210: Kat Player
I’m not sure what or who Kat Player may be but she/he sure has a compelling tumblr.
Booth 211: Cura Te Ipsum
Web comic “Cura Te Ipsum” follows one character, Charlie Everett, who according to the website, is much like any other Charlie, the everyman. In most universes, Charlie Everett gets sick of his life, goes home, sticks a pistol in his mouth and blows his brains out. But Charlie Prime, an alternate Charlie, is stopped by Leo who introduces him to the concept of the multiverse, and tells him that there’s a team of Charlies, Cura Te Ipsum, fighting to stop him from committing suicide across time and space.
Booth 214: Kraken Studios
Formed in 2008, Kraken Studios is a cartoon, toy, and game studio.
Booth 304: Mikeatron! is artist Mike DiPetrillo who, according to his etsy profile, enjoys “video games, nerd culture, dinosaurs, robots, pirates, adventures, coffee and petting cats. Oh, and of course painting things that make people laugh.”
Both 310: Minor Acts of Heroism
A webcomic by Adriana Ferguson (Penciller, writer) and K. Van Dam (aka- interpunkt) (Inker, letterer, writer) about three young kids dealing with life, love, water monsters, teleportation, super science, and all the other crazy stuff that comes along with being superheroes.
Booth 312: Lovesick Robot Studios
Lovesick Robot Studios designs products and publishes books that celebrate geek culture’s offbeat. It also serves as a collective for artists who make great stuff and need a little push to get their business-brains moving.
And of course, as mentioned before,
Booth 313: Hope Larson/Girlcomix, inc
Looking forward to seeing all the girl geeks and their geeky, non-girl supporters out and about at Geek Girl Con. Let’s show the organizers how much we appreciate their monumental efforts by attempting to go to any and all possible events!
When: October 8, 2011, 9:30 am
Where: Seattle Center Northwest Rooms, 305 Harrison Street, Seattle, WA 98109