Guests at GeekGirlCon 2012
Renae De Liz
Renae De Liz has accomplished a lot in her first five years in comics. She illustrated the New York Times bestselling graphic novel adaptation of Peter S. Beagle’s The Last Unicorn for IDW, as well as other adaptations including Anne Rice’s Servant of the Bones.
In 2011, she created and managed Womanthology a 350-page comic anthology created entirely by women with all proceeds going to charity. She raised $109,000 on Kickstarter becoming the most successful comics project and 25th most successful Kickstarter of all time. She lives in Maine with her husband, sons, and cats.
Ashley Eckstein currently stars as the voice of Ahsoka Tano in Star Wars: The Clone Wars, the animated television show. Born in Louisville, Kentucky, and raised in Orlando, Florida, Eckstein grew up a true blue Disney kid with an extensive Alice in Wonderland collection. She fell in love with acting at an early age and started her career doing theater, before landing a role in a television show for Sea World called Shamu TV.
She moved to Los Angeles to pursue her acting full-time, and her first appearance on JAG set the stage for a promising career. Since then, she has starred in Blue Collar TV, Drake and Josh, That’s So Raven, Alice Upside Down, and Sydney White. Recognizing a need and a desire for merchandise created especially for the female fan, Eckstein founded Her Universe, a new line featuring fashionable, feminine apparel and accessories for fangirls.
Jane Espenson and the cast of Husbands
Jane Espenson was a crucial member of the Battlestar Galactica writing and producing team, as well as Executive Producer of the Battlestar Galactica webisodes, and the spin-off series Caprica. While still studying linguistics in graduate school at UC Berkeley, Espenson was able to get her “tiny foot wedged in the last open door of show business” by submitting spec episodes of Star Trek: The Next Generation. She has worked on shows such as Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Gilmore Girls, co-created Syfy’s Warehouse 13 and has written for Angel, Firefly, The O.C., Dollhouse, Game of Thrones, Torchwood: Miracle Day, and Caprica. Espenson currently writes for ABC’s Once Upon a Time.
Husbands is a comedy in the tradition of Mad About You and I Love Lucy: a funny and affirming look at the lives of a newlywed couple. The rave review in The New Yorker is the only review that publication has ever given to a web show. Now in its second series, Husbands is making news as life imitating art imitating life. Confirmed guests include Executive Producer Jane Espenson, Stars Brad Bell (Cheeks) and Sean Hemeon, and Director Jeff Greenstein.
Jamala Henderson has been working for KUOW public radio for seven years, first as an announcer, then announcer/reporter, and now as a producer for a local afternoon program, KUOW Presents. Before working at KUOW, Jamala studied film and video at The Evergreen State College, where she received her Bachelor of Arts. After several years of working in the video field, she began to pursue radio while working for the University of Washington’s television station, UWTV. She started off hosting some shows at KBCS, a volunteer radio station over in Bellevue, then worked as a broadcaster at the Evergreen Radio Reading Service for several years.
Jamala started playing the viola at the age of eight, soon after which she fell in love with the soundtrack to Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back. She spent a significant part of her childhood and teenage years playing the viola in many Seattle-area youth orchestras. Today, you will often see her searching shelves of used bookstores around the city, looking for treasure. She loves doing crafty stuff like making candles and wire-wrapped jewelry, and she is really into reading about mythology, fairy tales, and everything by Joseph Campbell. She also has two awesome cats named after her favorite Farscape Characters, Crighton and Jothee.
M.J. McDermott is an Emmy Award winning meteorologist on Q13 FOX News This Morning. She has a degree in Atmospheric Sciences from the University of Washington where she is the first woman to win its annual Forecasting Competition. She also has a degree in Theatre from the University of Maryland. A self-proclaimed Geek Girl, M.J.’s favorite subjects in school were math and science, and she loves science fiction books, film and television. She continues to work on math education issues in Washington State and is a part of the group “Where’s the Math?” Her YouTube video on math education is nearing one million hits. She hopes that being a TV meteorologist will inspire girls to love and study science.
Purple Reign is a crime fighter in the Rain City Superhero Movement along with husband Phoenix Jones. Purple has recently taken her crime fighting mission from the streets of Seattle to a domestic level as a costumed activist. The Purple Reign Campaign: Everyday Heroes Against Domestic Abuse was launched to aid those whose lives have been impacted by domestic violence. “As a survivor of abuse, I wear the color purple to symbolize my determination to speak up for domestic violence victims. I use my ‘superhero persona’ to raise awareness about this cause. It is my dream to inspire victims and to give them the resources and strength to transform into survivors as a hero once did for me.” Purple organizes fundraisers and charity events in addition to speaking publicly about abuse and bullying. Whether she is out patrolling the streets of Seattle or giving aid to the abused, her mission at all times is to protect human life and transform victims into survivors.
Greg Rucka is a New York Times bestselling author of over a dozen novels including the Atticus Kodiak series starting with Keeper, as well as hundreds of comics, including Stumptown and Queen & Country. In addition to his award-winning work for Marvel and DC, he is the creator of several properties published through Oni Press, including Whiteout, which was made into a feature film by Dark Castle Entertainment starring Kate Beckinsale. Rucka’s work has been optioned several times over, and he serves as a creative and story consultant in television, film, and electronic entertainment. Rucka lives in Portland, Oregon, with his wife and family.
Gail Simone has written Simpsons comics for Bongo, Killer Princesses for Oni Press (with co-creator and artist Lea Hernandez), and a Rose and Thorn limited series for DC Comics. Simone is the creator of the Women in Refrigerators List, which raised awareness of the treatment of women in comic books. In 2003, she took over DC’s Birds of Prey title, turning it into one of DC’s steadiest selling and most critically acclaimed books. In 2007, she took over writing duties on Wonder Woman. Additionally, Simone’s commitment to creating diverse casts of characters led her to win 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. She returned to writing the Birds of Prey series for DC Comics and can be followed on Twitter (@GailSimone) or her Tumblr, “Ape in a Cape.”
Jen Van Meter is best known as the writer of the Hopeless Savages comics and graphic novels from Oni Press, collected in a 2010 omnibus edition, Hopeless Savages: Greatest Hits. Other recent work includes a Black Cat miniseries “Trophy Hunters,” a Liberty Belle/Hourman co-feature that ran in JSA: All-Stars 2-11, and Black Lightning: Year One. Van Meter is currently working on a new volume of Hopeless Savages material and has stories forthcoming from both Marvel and Dynamite, including a Red Sonja one-shot called “Break the Skin.”
Corrinne Yu was identified by Kotaku as one of the Top 10 Most Influential Women in Games in the last decade. She is the only director of technology and the only engine programmer on that list.
Yu currently programs lighting, facial animation, and develops new technology for Halo 4, and the next Halo trilogy (Halo 4, Halo 5, and Halo 6). She is a founding member of Microsoft’s Direct3D Advisory Board, and continues to review the designs of new iterations of Direct3D. She has also been interviewed on Tech with Tina for MSDN’s Channel 9.
Before joining the Halo team, Corrinne programmed as Director of Technology at ION Storm, creator of Anachronox and Deus Ex, and was Director of Technology at Gearbox Software, creator of Brothers In Arms and Borderlands. In addition to performing research in parallel computing and GPU simulation at NVidia, Yu has programmed on the Space Shuttle project at Rockwell International, California. She has also performed nuclear physics research at Brookhaven National laboratory. Her nuclear research won her a national nuclear physics award from the U.S. Department of Energy.
Yu won Best in Engineering internationally at GDC (Game Developers Conference) for the last 2 years in a row for her work in programming, as judged by a panel of her industry peers.