For me, a very important part of pre-con preparation is an intense highlighter-and-spreadsheet-infused session of planning exactly which (and how many) events I will attend over the course of the weekend. My excitement doesn’t really set in fully until this point. But once I’ve given myself permission to spend an evening poring over panel descriptions and desperately fantasizing about somehow acquiring a Time-Turner, there’s no going back.
So far we’ve covered the science-y panels, the fandom-focused panels, the GeekGirlCon After Dark panels, and the cosplay panels. One type of panel I am particularly excited for, however, is that which works to start discussions about two of my most favorite things: diversity and media.
From the voice behind strong characters in popular games to clever feminist crafting , these two featured contributors are bringing cheer and charm to GeekGirlCon this year—one panel at a time.
Check it out.
Did Inside Out and Up melt your heart? Laugh endlessly during Monsters University and Finding Dory? Just have an overall appreciation and love for Pixar?
If you answered “yes” to one or all of those questions: prepare to be delighted by this fleet of featured contributors speaking and hanging out during GeekGirlCon.
Sunday morning at GeekGirlCon ‘15 brought us one of my favorite panels of the Con. Jessica Udischas of Manic Pixie Nightmare Girl, Jenn Popkin of Gender Justice League, and Alyson McManus of Trans Lifeline teamed up for a retrospective and analysis of trans representation in genre media. (They gave the caveat that all three are able-bodied white trans women, so they only speak for a small portion of trans experience.)
Trans people are more in the spotlight than ever before, and trans representation is growing, but also changing. As Udischas pointed out, more doesn’t necessarily mean better. She gave the example of older representations such as Agent Denise Bryson in Twin Peaks. The language now seems dated, and the character was played by a cis man (David Duchovny), but in some ways the representation was more respectful than some more recent depictions.
Are you excited for another year of amazing GeekGirlCon panels? We know you are–and we are, too! This year, we’re offering you the chance to help us find great content in exchange for the chance to win a free GeekGirlCon ‘16 2-day pass and t-shirt. All you have to do is share our call for submissions on your social media, and you will be entered to win!
This contest will run from Thursday, March 17 to Thursday, March 31.
Winners for week one will be drawn on Friday, March 25, and winners for week two will be drawn on Friday, April 1. (No jokes, we promise!)
In GeekGirlCon ‘15’s Sunday afternoon panel “Stealing White People’s Superheroes”, GeekGirlCon staffer Kristine Hassell teamed up with alumna Sylvia Monreal, game critic Katherine Cross, and gaming diversity advocate Tanya DePass to talk about race-bending established characters.
The panel took its title from a quote from Michelle Rodriguez. Ambushed coming out of a bar, she was asked about rumors that she was being considered for the role of Green Lantern. “That’s the dumbest thing I’ve ever heard,” she said. “Like, stop stealing […] all the white people’s superheroes.”
What did she mean by that? the panel asked.
“Part of me wants to justify her comment,” said Hassell. “We should have our own.”
But as DePass pointed out, Rodriguez was reinforcing the idea that comics are for white people, that “nerd stuff isn’t for us.” The well-known names belong to white people as the default humans.
This one-hour panel, given by Elizabeth Sampat and Zoe Quinn, was a crash course in how—and why—to make your own game. Between them, the two designers have made video games, tabletop games, board games, and other entertainments, and they brought their breadth of knowledge and experience to GeekGirlCon attendees. Each half of the panel could really have been an entire talk of its own, being condensed versions of talks and workshops that Sampat and Quinn have given elsewhere. If you’re interested in more in-depth information on these topics, check out Elizabeth’s and Zoe’s websites.
G. Willow Wilson, creator and writer of the new Ms. Marvel, featuring Kamala Khan (a Muslim Pakistani-American teenage girl living in New Jersey) skipped New York Comic Con this year to join us at GeekGirlCon for the very first time. We were thrilled to have her here in Seattle for a non-compliant discussion of women, diversity, and comics.
Moderator Sabrina Taylor set the tone by telling us, “We are here, as Kelly Sue DeConnick would say, to smash the patriarchy.” (DeConnick is the creator of Bitch Planet, a comic about “non-compliant” women in a dystopian future who are sent to a prison planet for transgressions both major and minor.)
We on staff at GeekGirlCon are thrilled to share that comic book writer and novelist G. Willow Wilson will be joining us as a featured contributor at GeekGirlCon ‘15 – even if she has to miss New York Comic Con to be here!
— G. Willow Wilson (@GWillowWilson) September 8, 2015
She’s one of a upcoming cadre of comic book (and other pop culture) creators who engage deeply with their fanbase, who wear their geeky fannish roots on their sleeve. She’s active on Twitter, answering fan questions and squeeing alongside us at fandom news.