Ngozi Ukazu (she/her)
Bio: Ngozi Ukazu is a New York Times-bestselling author and the creator of Check, Please!, an online graphic novel whose printing campaign remains one of the most funded webcomics Kickstarter ever. She graduated from Yale University with a degree in Computing and The Arts, and later received a masters in Sequential Arts. Since 2020, her cartoons have appeared in The New Yorker.
Mad Rupert (she/they)
Bio: Mad Rupert is less than 5 feet tall and lives in Somerville, Massachusetts. She got her start in online comics over ten years ago, and authors two ongoing webcomics: Sakana, a slice-of-life workplace comedy, and Robber-Robert, a sci-fi romance for mature readers. She has also worked extensively on comic adaptations of Cartoon Network properties like Adventure Time, Regular Show, and Steven Universe, and is the artist for Bunt!, an upcoming ogn written by Ngozi Ukazu, published in Feb 2024 through First Second. When not making comics, Mad enjoys spending time with her partner and their very old dog, going to the gym, and playing Minecraft. ‘Mad’ is short for Madeline, she’s not actually angry.
Aiden Thomas (he/him and they/them)
Bio: Aiden Thomas is a trans, Latinx, New York Times bestselling author of young adult novels. They received an MFA in Creative Writing from Mills College. Originally from Oakland, California, they now make their home in Portland, OR. Aiden is notorious for not being able to guess the endings of books and movies, and organizes their bookshelves by color.
Jay Justice (she/her)
Bio: Jay Justice (@ThatJayJustice) is an IDIC award-winning editor, consultant, cosplayer, and game developer from New York City, based in Bangkok, Thailand. Her work has been featured by SyFy, Disney+, BBC America, and Marvel Comics, and she has been the inspiration for new characters in DC Comics and Boom Studios. Since 2009 Jay has crafted over 120 costumes and created inclusive programming at conventions, libraries & schools across the country.
Jay’s most recent work includes editing books for Macmillan Publishers, consulting on the video game ‘Stray Gods: The Roleplaying Musical’ and working for BioWare as a member of the Mass Effect Legendary Edition Community Council.
As an outspoken POC, LGBTQIA+, and disability advocate, Jay is dedicated to creating lasting change within her community & inspiring others to do the same.
Banana Chan (she/they)
Bio: Banana Chan is a Cantonese Canadian game designer, writer and publisher living in the US. Her latest work has been on Forgery, Jiangshi: Blood in the Banquet Hall, Van Richten’s Guide to Ravenloft and Betrayal at House on the Hill: 3rd Edition. They recently won Dicebreaker Awards’ Game Designer of the Year 2022 and 2 Silver ENnie Awards in 2022.
Featured Contributor Panels and Events:
Let’s Tell a Story: Storytelling through Games
In Let’s Tell a Story: Storytelling through Games we’ll be discussing the art of narrative in games. Whether its a role playing adventure, a thematic board game, or something in between, stories told via the table top help us connect with those around the table. Additionally, storytelling in games adds atmosphere, educates, and gives players an opportunity to create something together. Our panel will discuss the whys and hows of storytelling in games, and the importance of storytelling in play. Special Guest: Banana Chan
Seeing Yourself in YA
Representation matters—but what makes it so important? And especially so in Young Adult literature? Join Aiden Thomas (Cemetery Boys, The Sunbearer Trials) and Ngozi Ukazu (Check, Please!, Bunt!) as they discuss what makes representation in YA essential for young readers.
Mystery Box Design Challenge
Teams will work together with table top industry experts to create a game using only a box of mystery items. At the end, games will be judged on a predetermined criteria and a winner selected! Sign up at the Tabletop Info Booth to participate.
It’s time to wear your fandom on your sleeve and join us for our annual Cosplay Contest at GeekGirlCon 2023! Come support the hard work and talent of your fellow geeks as they showcase their finest wears and craftmanship while bringing their favorite characters to life. There will be LIVE performances by 8-Bit Brass Band – the cosplaying, mobile party band specializing in video game tunes, anime anthems, movie mashups, and fandom favorites – celebrating everyone’s inner nerd!
If you are interested in participating in the Cosplay Contest, applications can be found here: https://bit.ly/44GrX4J
The Art of Publishing a Graphic Novel
Are you an artist or a writer? Why choose when graphic novels are right there! Graphic novels are flying off shelves, marrying two evocative storytelling forms: illustration and writing. Join Ngozi Ukazu (Check, Please!, Bunt!) and Mad Rupert (Bunt!) as they share tips and tricks to building a great story, and getting it out there.
Not just Science Fiction: Trans Identities in SFF
Sci-fi and fantasy have a long history of breaking barriers and binaries alike. From Star Trek to Lord of the Rings, trans identities can be found in the genre everywhere. But where does the line between interpretation and canon diverge? When can it be harmful vs. satisfying representation? Join our panel to explore these questions and more, and bring a few of your own!
Write Now: Getting Your Idea out of Your Head and Onto the Page
Writer’s block is no joke, but never fear, Aiden Thomas (Cemetery Boys, The Sunbearer Trials), Ngozi Ukazu (Check, Please!, Bunt!), Mad Rupert (Bunt!), and more are here to offer their expertise on making a dream a reality.
The Great Board Game Design Show
Join a panel of professional board game designers as they unveil a mystery box of components and scramble to design a board game in 1 hour. As part of the live audience, you’ll be asked to shout out suggestions and participate in the design process. Special Guest: Banana Chan
New Woke Same Old Slumber
What do you do when you cannot see yourself in the media you love? Why make it yourself of course! Join our panelists as they discuss how hard it was for them to see themselves in media growing up, how hard it still is, and how they started telling their own stories. Featuring Aiden Thomas (@aidenschmaiden)
Tea TRPG The Talk Show: Live!
Join Nikki Silveira (she/her) and Kristina Sisto-Kindel (any) for the last episode of Tea TRPG the Talk Show! Tea TRPG the Talk Show is an interview show where we interview guests of marginalized gender. We have had guests from all over the world including folks who have been on Dropout’s Adventuring Academy. This time, we will have Banana Chan (she/they/he) and Sarah L. Kinney (she/her) as guests.
Mad Rupert, Ngozi Ukazu and Aiden Thomas doing Portfolio Reviews, so be sure to sign up here: https://bit.ly/3P3C1Pc
Working on a comic that will wow the world? Writing the Great American Novel? Submit your personal masterpiece to be considered for a portfolio review by one of our talented featured contributors.
🎨Option 1: Portfolio Review – An opportunity for artists and illustrators to gather feedback on their portfolio from working professionals.
🖊️Option 2: Query Package Review – An opportunity for unagented authors to gather feedback on their querying materials from a published author.
Each author/illustrator has a limited number of spots to fill and will choose their reviewees personally, so submit your work today!