Anita Sarkeesian, creator of pop-culture analysis webseries Feminist Frequency, joined us in the very first panel at GeekGirlCon ‘14 to talk about her work, her inspirations, and the pressures of being a high-profile feminist on the internet. For those keeping track at home, this was her fourth time at GeekGirlCon–she’s been with us every year since the very beginning, and we thank her for being such a strong supporter!
Come celebrate and honor the legacy of women contributing to science and technology with a Keynote Presentation and Q&A with former NASA Astronaut Wendy Lawrence!
Wendy Lawrence earned a bachelor’s degree in ocean engineering from the U.S. Naval Academy and a master’s degree in ocean engineering from MIT and Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI). She was selected as an astronaut mission specialist in 1992 and worked at NASA for 14 years. Her technical assignments included serving as the Director of Operations at the Gagarin Cosmonaut Training Center in Star City, Russia and as the astronaut office representative to the space station program for crew training, operations and support. She is a veteran of four shuttle missions (STS-67, 86, 91 and 114) and has logged over 50 days in space. Captain Lawrence is a retired naval aviator with 25 years of service. While stationed at HC-6 and HSL-30 Det ALFA, she made deployments to the North Atlantic, Indian Ocean and Kenya. She currently works part-time at the Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex, informing the public about NASA’s spaceflight programs and participating in STEM education programs.
Captain Lawrence will share her experiences and insight of her time in space as well as the importance of STEM education, especially for girls . There will be time for a Q&A so bring your questions!
Then look to the future and celebrate the female geek with Seattle slam poets, Elisa and Rebecca!
Elisa Chavez and Rebecca Shay are spoken word poets living in Seattle, WA. Elisa represented Rain City Slam at the 2014 National Poetry Slam, which placed 7th overall out of 72 teams; Rebecca represented Seattle Poetry Slam, which placed 8th. Both are members of the Seattle Poetry Slam management team, which puts on a great show every week at Re-bar. They love nerdy things and have zero time for misogynistic nonsense; Rebecca has an adorable but terrifying cat.
Elisa and Rebecca will close the night with tales of sidekicks, spaceships, and coming to terms with cherishing and and identifying as a Geek Girl.
This event is free for GeekGirlCon’14 badge holders! This is an event you won’t want to miss!
GeekGirlCon is excited to announce the presence of featured contributor Susan Eisenberg at GeekGirlCon ‘14. Ms. Eisenberg is the voice of Wonder Woman on the Justice League animated series, and a nerdy role model. Her other geeky voice-acting credits include The Super Hero Squad (Power Princess), Star Wars: The Force Unleashed (Shaak-Ti), Jak II (Ashelin), Daxter (Taryn), Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim, Mass Effect 3, and Destiny.
And this year we’re lucky enough to have her join us for several of the con’s highlights!
Are you a geeky parent? Do you have a child with geeky interests and tendencies? Then GeekGirlCon ‘14 is the place for your family! GeekGirlCon strives to be family-friendly, starting with the passes. The 12 & under crowd can attend at $10 for the entire weekend; 5 & under are free (but must be registered.)
Image courtesy of GeekGirlCon flickr
And what is there to do for these geeks-in-training?
The gaming floor is ever-popular with kids. With a wide variety of games and game types present, they’ll find something to enjoy. In addition to all the exciting games to try out, there’s a Paint ‘n’ Take miniatures painting session on Saturday morning from 10 am – noon.
“Imaginary Worlds for Kids” happens twice during the weekend! Saturday at 11 and Sunday at 3pm, you can bring your 10 and under to an interactive storytime for families, including a lively author reading, participatory creative and singing games, and a lot of faerie mischief. A seasoned and award‐winning spoken word artist and educator, Danika Dinsmore has performed at hundreds of events, from the Bumbershoot Arts Festival in Seattle, Washington, to the FaerieWorlds International Festival outside Eugene, Oregon. Imaginary Worlds will keep your kids buzzing with inspiration!
Bring your teen to learn all about representation in the books they (and you!) may be reading at “Diversity in Young Adult Fiction.” Representation is vital for people of all races, sexualities, gender identities, and abilities. According to Malinda Lo’s 2013 Diversity in YA website, only 15% of NYT Bestselling YA Books had people of color as main characters, and only 12% of books had LGBTQ main characters. This panel will examine the market today, what readers want versus the disconnect with publishers’ diversity, and what we can do to improve the number of diverse books for teens.
Image courtesy of Ryan Roehrich
We have parent-specific programming, too!
Are you a new mom or a mom-to-be? “Geek Girl Transformation to Geek Mom” is all for you! It goes without saying that everything changes when a baby arrives in your world. But for geek girls turned geek moms, there are some unique changes and challenges in store. Don’t worry—that’s what we’re here for! Join a panel full of geeky moms who know what it’s like to have your life, career, and identity turned joyfully upside down when you add kids to the crazy mix of your life.
Comics, games, and films tend to go the “less is more” route when it comes to representation. Often we only see one character of a racial, gender, or sexual minority. Even worse, some people aren’t represented in media at all. Kids grow up asking, “Where are the characters like me?” At “Why Isn’t Bilbo a Girl? Talking to Kids About Media Representation” you can have a thoughtful discussion regarding how we address this issue with kids—with an emphasis on constructive, positive, and educational answers for the kids who ask.
Lastly, for the parents of cosplayers, or cosplayers themselves who want tips on talking to their family, come to “Cosplay, Parenting, and the Word ‘Appropriate’.” Come discuss cosplay from the perspective of children, teens, and adults who cosplay as individuals and as families. This panel of parents and kids who cosplay will cover a range of topics: How to present cosplay to your parents? How to present cosplay to your kids (and not embarrass them)? How does a parent encourage their teen to express themselves, be body positive, and consider modesty? How do you discuss appropriation vs. appreciation? Deep topics, some advice, lots of discussion!
Most of the panel programming is all ages, so please bring your family to enjoy your favorite topic. And be sure to get your passes now!
It’s your time to shine in all your geek finery at the GeekGirlCon ‘14 Costume Contest hosted by Jina D!
Born and raised as a gamer girl in Washington; Jina adventured out for 4 years – spending 2 in Hawaii and 2 in Australia. She started modeling while living in Australia (2009) and has since worked with dozens of photographers, designers and MUAs. Jina started cosplaying in early 2011. She loves doing characters that are often overlooked from video games, anime and books that are dear to her geeky heart. She also really loves putting together OCs and enjoys working closely with other local artists to bring her visions to life.
Saturday, October 11 5:00 p.m. – 6:30 p.m. in Room 303
Competition is open to everyone – all ages, experience levels, and fandoms. Entrants will vie for Best Individual Costume, Best Group, and Best Child’s Costume.
There will also be a new non-competitive Junior Cosplay event from 5:00 p.m. to 5:20 p.m. – bring your costumed young ones to the Costume Contest for a chance to show off their nerdiness and get a prize.
Sign Up OnlineThe deadline to submit the online form is midnight, Thursday, October 9. (You can also sign-up in person at the con until 3:00 p.m. Saturday, October 11.)
Visit the Information Booth on Saturday and fill out your entry forms before 3:00 p.m.
Be outside Room 303 by 4:30 p.m. to be lined up for your onstage appearance!
No costume? No problem! What’s a contest without an audience? Come cheer for your favorites.
Official Costume Contest Rules
Preference will be given for homemade, original, and self-constructed costumes.
Mass-produced or commercial (rented or purchased) costumes should show significant modification from the original form.
Credit is given for makeup and costume construction.
Costumes may contain elements that are purchased (e.g. prop weapon), but should be predominantly original creations.
Additionally, the Costume Contest has the following restrictions:
No pyrotechnics, fog machines, or other such devices are allowed.
No live firearms, no live explosions, or fire.
Handle realistic-looking firearms with care. Any weapon-play must be pre-approved.
No messy substances permitted – wet, dry or oily – that might ruin another’s costume or make the stage dangerous.
No jumping off of or throwing things off the stage or to the judges.
There is a maximum of one minute time limit on all presentations, but there is no minimum. Leave ‘em wanting more.
No microphones or AV equipment will be provided for presentations.
Presentations will consist of entrants walking on to the stage, performing a short action sequence (or you can pose motionless) to highlight the costume, then exiting the stage.
All contestants must agree to the Liability Release (see below or at the Info Booth when you sign up).
I have read and understood the rules of this costume costume contest as set forth in the instructions and agree to abide by them.
I agree to allow GeekGirlCon, its agents, licensees or assignees, the right to use my/our image and/or likeness by media for advertising and/or other promotional purpose
I agree to hold GeekGirlCon, its organizers, and the facility blameless for any accident and/or injury suffered by me during the course of the Costume Contest.
I agree to indemnify, defend, and hold harmless GeekGirlCon from any and all damages, losses, claims, liabilities, charges, suits, penalties, costs and/or expenses, including but not limited to court costs, attorneys’ fees and expenses, resulting from any act (whether intentional or not), omission or negligence of any injury to myself.
Written by GeekGirlConnections Manager Susie Rantz.
Did you know: In communities with a higher percentage of women working in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM), high school girls are as likely as boys to take physics (and sometimes more likely)? Yet, women comprised just 28 percent of science and engineering workers in 2010.
Did you know: Up to 80 percent of jobs are landed through networking? Connecting with mentors can be a great boost for your career.
Did you know: Since our first convention in 2011, GeekGirlCon has been committed to drawing attention to these disparities? Last year, we introduced the GeekGirlConnections Program as a way to help elevate STEM career opportunities for women. The program was such a hit, we are continuing it for GeekGirlCon ‘14.
GeekGirlConnections is dedicated to providing career mentorship and networking opportunities for women and girls. The program aims to help connect women with professionals in their desired career fields, as well as encourage women and girls to pursue their passions, develop leadership skills, and enter careers where women are currently underrepresented.
Over the past few weeks, we’ve given you teasers of the fun we have planned for GeekGirlCon ‘14. You’ve heard about exhibitors and artists, about panels on diversity, cosplay, writing, and comics, and about our fabulous GeekGirlCONcert.
Finally the full line-up is here!
Take a look around our brand new website for the full schedule and details on: panels and workshops; free-play gaming; gaming tournaments; networking and career advice with GeekGirlConnections; and much more!
From veteran graphic novel lovers to comic book beginners, there’ll be something for every reader at GeekGirlCon ‘14! Offering jokes, action-packed panels, and instant graphic-ation (get it??), comics make fantastic gifts and collector items. Several brilliant web comic creators will make an appearance, so you can get your hands on content that’s usually only online. Here’s a tiny, tasty sampling of the readable goodies you’ll find in the Exhibitors Hall.
Artist Aaron Diaz will be coming up from Portland to display Dresden Codak, his impressive series of web comics. The futuristic storylines include female protagonist Kimiko “Kim” Ross, tongue-in-cheek humor, emotional truths, and a dash of steampunk-esque costumes. Fans of robots and complex mysteries will love the intertwining plots and imaginative characters—such as a TV-headed cat!
You can also use your fan-powers for good by supporting independent publishers at GeekGirlCon ‘14. One such example is Corvid Comics, a family-run press that issues comic books for both adults and children. Whether you dig black and white comics, full-color kids’ books, or both, you’re sure to walk away with a stack of future favorites to read—especially since their prices are ridiculously reasonable.
The inimitable Northwest Press team will be present to capture hearts and minds again this year. In their own words, the minds behind the company are “dedicated to publishing the best lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender comics collections and graphic novels”. This ultra-important mission has supported the LGBT community in a variety of ways, including by bringing realistic, underrepresented characters and their stories into the public eye. This press is truly doing fantastic things for the world—stop by their table to see them in action and meet your next favorite character.
On top of all this awesomeness, many exhibitors from GeekGirlCon ‘13 are coming back again! Meet or reconnect with the makers of Little Vampires, Skin Deep, Soulless, Larsen Geekery, and many more. Support independent artists and keep up on beloved storylines by picking up all the latest issues you may have missed over the past year.
This mini-list is but a glimpse into the countless comics that will be present at GeekGirlCon ‘14 for rookies and longtime readers alike. Be sure to check out the many panels (pun intended) pertaining to comic books as well. Buy your passes today and pore over all the geeky goodness with us!
Written by Adrienne M. Roehrich, Manager of Editorial Services
Last year, GeekGirlCon held the excellent panel “The Changing Role of the Character of Color” with panelists Danielle Lee, Kristine Hassell, Lali Derosier, Raychelle Burks, and Stephen Graanade. I had the privilege of attending this panel in its incarnations both at GeekGirlCon ‘13 and Emerald City ComicCon ‘14.
At GeekGirlCon ‘13, “The Changing Character of Color” panel featured three panelists from The Curly Haired Mafia, who review sci-fi and horror films viewable on youtube. The Curly-Haired Mafia examines these movies from the perspective of people of color (POC). How are characters developed? What tropes exist and how are they carried out in these movies? How has screen time for POC changed since really early movies? Has it evolved? Are advances authentic or are they just pandering?
At #GGC13, the panel and attendees went through a number of movies and television from the 1950s to current day, examining them in the light of the previous questions. It was educational and fun! The panel discussed making changes at at source – Hollywood producers and actors. It matters who is attending film school, because they make films with their friends. It matters where films are made (US vs UK).
At both conventions, this panel could have gone for hours and remained as informative, educational, and entertaining as it was for the short 50 minutes allotted.
GeekGirlCon ‘14 is delighted to have panelists Kristine Hassell, Raychelle Burks, and Stephen Granade return, along with Adverbia, Ashlee Blackwell, and Desiree Schell with the panel “Double Others.” This time the panel asks, “What if the character isn’t human? What if they’re non-human and a character of color? Does being non-human (alien, robot, vampire, werewolf, etc.) heighten or negate racial identities?”
They have a whole new slate of movies and television to discuss with these new questions. You don’t want to miss this panel. I sure won’t!
GeekGirlCon announces the appearance of Chaka Cumberbatch at GeekGirlCon ‘13 on October 19 and 20, 2013.
On February 4, 2013, Cumberbatch authored a piece on XOJane called I’m a black female cosplayer and some people hate it responding to an uproar over her professional cosplay career. In addition to being a professional cosplayer, she is the Associate Brand Manager at FUNimation Entertainment, and a freelance journalist/blogger. Her writing has appeared on numerous sites, including TheMarySue.com and NerdCaliber.com.
Cumberbatch cosplays as various superheroes, in full character, at comic book conventions. Cumberbatch’s cosplay has become such a large focus in the media, she says she expects to never enter a job interview without also discussing her hobby. If you want to talk about back issues and current issues of comics, she is the person to see!
“GeekGirlCon is excited for Chaka Cumberbatch to attend our third annual convention. We look forward to hearing her speak on social, race, gender, and sexuality issues within the geek community and seeing her cosplay,” said Jennifer K. Stuller, Director of Programming and Events.