08.29.13 // GeekGirlCon ’13: Taste the Rainbow
In many ways, it’s a pretty awesome time to be a queerdo/gayelle/QUILTBAG/whathaveyou. But just because Ellen and Portia can get married doesn’t mean it’s all unicorns and rainbows. (Okay, sometimes it is because unicorns and rainbows are totally gay and totally awesome.)
While a lot of GeekGirlCon’s programming includes content of interest to queer and trans folks (and allies!), there are also some panels and discussions that focus exclusively on LGBT topics.
“QUEER GEEK!: Women in Gaymer Communities” focuses on the rise of gay gamer communities—and women’s experiences in these queer geek spaces.
“Kids of the New Normal: Queer Families and Their Children in Popular Culture” will get geeky-intellectual and explore representations of LGBTQ families and kids using television shows like The New Normal and Modern Family. Discussion topics will include challenging heteronormative gender, creating complex stories about queer parents and gender-creative and trans children, and why we can’t seem to get past the story of (initially) unsupportive families.
Anything That Loves: Comics Beyond “Gay” and “Straight” is a comics anthology that delves into the complex world of sexuality beyond the gay/straight binary. Editor Charles “Zan” Christensen and contributors will discuss the origins of the project, why it’s important, the challenges of being a bisexual storyteller, and more.
Don’t miss out on these and other great events at GeekGirlCon ’13—get your passes today!
Written by GeekGirlCon Copywriter Erin Doherty
08.27.13 // GeekGirlCon ’13: Geeks Got Style
Listen, sometimes a girl just wants to pretend she’s fancy Cersei Lannister, all braids and brocade. Other times, she’s out to find the perfect tweed jacket, suspenders, and bow tie. Or maybe she’s getting ready to ask her boss for a raise, so she needs to dress for success and channel her inner badass Zoe.
For such occasions in your life, GeekGirlCon ’13 has you covered, from fashion to cosplay to crafting. Your not-so-inner research nerd will be delighted by the presentation “Everything I Thought I Knew about Fashion History Was Made Up by Victorians: Research and Costuming.” Caroline Willis and Sarah Rocheleau will discuss stereotypes, appropriation, and how turn-of-the-century Victorians still influence us today.
“Intro to Costume Craft and Cosplay” is a workshop for newbies and veterans alike. Bloggers from Crafters In Disguise will delve into cosplay, costuming, and tips and tricks for creating outfits and props. And for those who like to cosplay across gender, “Rule 63 Costuming: The Whys and Hows of Genderbending” will explore genderbending versus crossplay and what makes a good genderflipped character.
How about drawing inspiration from fictional characters for your everyday fashion? As previously mentioned, Anika Dane will put on a mini-fashion show followed by a discussion of the looks and how to put together your own heroine-inspired outfits. And the panel “Geek Girl Style: Demanding Recognition in the Fashion World” will explore the growth of pop culture-themed fashion and accessories for women, where you can find these items, what areas need improvement, and how recognizing geek girls in fashion empowers fangirls in a predominantly male market.
For those who want to get crafty, bring your needles and row counters and get ready for a reading from Needles and Artifice: A Refined Adventure Story with Ingenious Knitting Patterns, from The Ladies of Mischief. There’ll be a Q&A after to ask some of the authors about steampunk, knitwear design, and co-writing fiction.
Well-known local sci-fi (and more) publishers becker&mayer will be on hand for “Craft Explosion! Craft Books and Kits,” with a behind-the-scenes look at the book-making process from beginning to end.
And finally, hold on to your glue guns and get your soldering irons ready for GeekGirlCon Craft Wars! Three rounds of vague themes, crafting tools, and weird supplies will determine who wins the title of Ultimate Crafters of GeekGirlCon!
Buy your passes today to join in on the fun!
Written by GeekGirlCon Copywriter Erin Doherty
08.26.13 // GeekGirlCon ’13: Problems In Fandom
It’s not easy being an enthusiastic consumer of media and a social-justice-minded critical thinker.
Sometimes the problematic content is front and center from the get-go (I’m looking at you, white-savior-Khaleesi Game of Thrones); sometimes it seemingly comes out of nowhere (hello, Charles de Lint and your romanticization/appropriation of Indigenous culture). Either way, it’s almost always there, the big ol’ fly in my otherwise delicious soup of fantasy and sci-fi escapism.
But I often keep enjoying the shows or books, because I like them for other reasons. Memorable characters, exciting plot points, witty writing—all of these will typically keep me coming back for more, even when there are cringe-worthy moments (and let’s be honest, sometimes they’re shouting-obscenities-and-throwing-things moments). It’s hard for me to know what my tipping point will be. What makes me decide to call it quits, versus being content to critique it?
With Once Upon a Time, I watched the show for about one and a half seasons. It was mostly the fairy-tale storylines that kept me watching, because I adore fairy tales (I even took a class on the subject in college). Like many shows, it frustratingly focuses on thin white women (especially blonds) and casts a woman of color as the villain. But there was one episode that touched me personally as an adoptee. And when I say “touched,” I mean “filled me with white-hot rage at the lazy stereotypes of adoptees and adoptive parents and using adoption as a plot device.” Bam, that was it. Done with the show (though I admit that lately I’ve gotten curious about the whole SwanQueen ship).
On the other hand, I started Game of Thrones all excited for a pseudo-historical, slightly fantastical epic tale, liked it in many ways. . .and then quit about two episodes in. Rape scenes are always horrible, but the ones in this show seemed to be about titillation, which especially bothered me. And the portrayal of the Dothraki? Again, lazy stereotyping, this time of epic racist proportions. I decided abruptly that it was not for me. But a lot of people I knew were watching it, people whose opinions and politics I generally respect, so I gave it another go. Like many others who hadn’t read the books, I was right there gaping and shrieking at the (spoilers) Red Wedding. I still find it problematic in oh-so-many ways, but for some reason, I can reconcile that with my enjoyment.
In fact, one of my favorite ways to enjoy shows like Game of Thrones is to immediately hop online and see what other people are saying about it, what critiques they’re bringing to the table that I may not have thought of. And Social Justice League’s “How to be a fan of problematic things” has an excellent set of general guidelines for folks who want to think critically and get their fan on.
As you might expect, GeekGirlCon is the kind of place where such explorations are encouraged and welcomed. The 2013 Con has some panels and workshops for the critical thinker in you, focusing on fan, gender, race, and queer studies, and more! As a Con, we’re committed to creating spaces where we can have these kinds of potentially challenging conversations in a respectful and safe(r) environment.
Below are a few of the topics you’ll see at the Con—keep your eye out for the program and don’t forget to buy your passes!
- Creating anti-street harassment comics, with HollabackPHILLY
- Queer families and their kids in pop culture
- A research study on race and gender in comic books/graphic novels
- Women of color in geekdom
- Queer women in gaymer communities
- Cosplay and consent
- How to build inclusive and welcoming game communities
- Comics beyond “gay” and “straight”
- Creating safe spaces online
- The changing role of the “character of color”
- Being a fat-girl fan girl
Written by GeekGirlCon Copywriter Erin Doherty
Just last spring, a massive open online course (MOOC) called Gender Through Comics, taught by Christina Blanch, exploded! With an enrollment of over 7,000 students, the course was dubbed “SuperMOOC.” For six weeks, students in the course read about gender, read comics, watched lectures, discussed issues, and participated in live interviews with creators such as Brian K. Vaughan, Gail Simone, Kelly Sue DeConnick, and Mark Waid, and watched interviews with other professionals like Greg Rucka, Jen Van Meter, and Roberta Gregory.
GeekGirlCon ‘13 will explore Gender Through Comics! For you, Christy Blanch will unveil the adventures of exploring gender through comics, the design of the course, the interview process with the comic creators, and the results of the class. Get your own feel for the course by attending the panel with Blanch, Van Meter, DeConnick, Waid, and Rucka.
Look for more from these panelists soon on our blog! And don’t miss this Super Panel! Get your GeekGirlCon ‘13 passes NOW! Prices go up after August 25!
You can save $10 on 2-day and single-day passes if you buy now. Starting August 26 through the Con, a 2-day pass will be $45 and a single-day pass will be $30. Passes will still be available in limited supply at local comic book shops (list to be provided by Rose) or in person at our events at the discounted rate of $35 for a 2-day pass (and $20 for a one-day).
By Adrienne M. Roehrich, Manager of Editorial Services
08.22.13 // GeekGirlCon ’13: Humor in Feminism? Bring it on!
Media is full of comedic women subverting the mainstream by using satire and parody as tools to challenge authority. GeekGirlCon ‘13 is proud to present Laugh Riot: Comedy as a Tool of Social Change. Join notable feminists Rebecca Watson of SkepChick, author Amanda Marcotte,writer Luvvie Ajayi, and speaker Kate Harding to discuss how comedic women combat oppression, the efficacy of combining humor and feminism for social justice, and how sometimes in the face of sexism and bigotry we could all use a good laugh.
Interested in learning more? Watch for upcoming interviews with the panelists and don’t miss this laugh-out-loud feminist panel! Get your passes before prices increase on Saturday, August 24.
By Adrienne M. Roehrich, Manager of Editorial Services.
08.21.13 // GeekGirlCon ’13: Do you love Muppets?
Did you know it is the 30th anniversary of Fraggle Rock? We know you remember rockin’ out and dancing your cares away! GeekGirlCon ‘13 is excited to be involved with the celebration!
We welcome back the phenomenally entertaining and talented Karen Prell (remember her from GeekGirlCon ‘11 and the Labyrinth Sing-A-Long?) along with her very special friend direct from The Jim Henson Company, Red Fraggle!
“We’re excited to meet Red and Karen when they take the stage together at GeekGirlCon ’13!” says Director of Programming and Events, Jennifer K. Stuller. Prell is as excited as we are. She said, “Performing Red in my hometown in front of a bunch of girl geeks? That’ll be amazing!”
We think so too!
Red Fraggle is as active, energetic, and competitive as the color red itself denotes. According to the Jim Henson Company, “Red Fraggle is a nonstop whirligig of activity. To her fellow Fraggles, Red is often seen as a flash of crimson racing to her next athletic pursuit. She is Fraggle Rock champion in Tug-of-War, Diving while Singing Backwards, the Blindfolded One-Legged Radish Relay, and a number of other traditional Fraggle sports. She is outgoing, enthusiastic, and athletic, but take note – her impetuosity can get her into real trouble.”
Karen Prell embarked on her first career as a puppeteer with Jim Henson and the Muppets in 1980 and performed popular film and television puppet characters for 16 years. Her most well known characters are fan favorites Red Fraggle in Fraggle Rock and the Worm in Labyrinth. Her puppet credits also include Sesame Street, The Muppet Show, and several classic and recent Muppet movies. Her second career as a computer animator included work on the award-winning Pixar films Geri’s Game, For the Birds, A Bug’s Life, and Toy Story 2 and Disney’s Enchanted through Tippett Studio.
Karen is now well into a third career in video games at Valve, animating characters as well as tackling game testing, merchandise design and development. She was the main animator for Wheatley the mechanical companion sphere in Portal 2 and also contributed to animation for GLaDOS and the co-op bots Atlas and P-body. She is currently animating a wide variety of creatures for DotA 2. Karen’s career has come full circle and she continues to celebrate 30 years of Fraggle Rock.
Come get to know Red when Karen performs her for our community at GeekGirlCon ‘13! Buy your passes before Saturday’s price increase!
by Adrienne M. Roehrich, Manager of Editorial Services
08.16.13 // GeekGirlCon ’13: Web Series Spotlight
YouTube is bursting at the seams lately with smart, engaging web series. I’ll admit that I’m a little late to the game in this area; my first forays into a web series were Issa Rae’s hilarious Misdventures of Awkward Black Girl (ABG) and Hannah Hart’s inebriated My Drunk Kitchen.
These days, more and more talented writers, producers, and actors are showcasing their talents online and foregoing the traditional Hollywood studios. Especially those whose voices and experiences are often marginalized at mainstream television studios: there’s so much more creative freedom to be able to present a character in a fully-fleshed, nuanced way, whereas a mainstream show often would reduce that character to a punchline or erase them entirely. Web series are a breath of fresh air in the all too often stagnant and stale world of televised entertainment.
In that vein, GeekGirlCon ’13 is proud to bring you several viewings and panels focusing on web series.
As we mentioned a few weeks ago, Husbands co-creator Jane Espenson and director Eli Gonda will take the stage to talk about the making of the show and what’s in store for our two accidental lovebirds—and they’ll be taking questions from the audience, so make like a scout and be prepared!
Did you know that women were leaders in nearly every aspect of the production behind the scenes of the roaringly successful web series The Lizzie Bennet Diaries? You won’t want to miss “Inside the Lizzie Bennet Diaries,” a screening and discussion with some of the movers and shakers behind the hit YouTube series.
The folks from Standard Action—including Joanna Gaskell—will be on hand to screen a few episodes from season two and chat about the story of four misfit adventurers as they bumble through their quest to save the world from evil. Hear about the webcomic, the card game, and what’s next in the Standard Action world, like season three!
Other screenings include Seattle’s Imaginary Friends, an adorable new show with a twist about two loners and their imaginary friends who find each other, and Geek Seekers, in which we follow the (mis)adventures of paranormal investigators. Geek Seekers will be followed by a discussion on web series, ghosts, Bigfoot, and gaming with creators Jen Page, Monte Cook, and Max Holechek.
For those who just want to talk about web series in general (and other kinds of fan art), the panel “Beyond Tomorrow: Empowering Female Makers and Fans” delivers with a discussion about Felicia Day’s Geek and Sundry as well as topics like gender bending in cosplay and women in fanfic and publishing.
Don’t miss out on these or any other events—buy your GeekGirlCon ’13 passes today before prices go up on August 25!
Written by GeekGirlCon Staff Copy Writer Erin Doherty
Go west, young geek, go west! Or east. Or south, or whichever direction will get you to Central Cinema on September 30! GeekGirlCon and Central Cinema welcome you to watch two episodes of The Adventures of Brisco County, Jr. starting at 7:00 p.m. Be sure to come hungry as a horse, as these tall tales will unfold at a tasty TV Dinner.
Set in 1893, B-movie star Bruce Campbell is at his best as Brisco, a lawyer who becomes a cowboy and bounty hunter after the murder of his father in the series’ pilot. By episode three, “No Man’s Land,” airing at this TV Dinner, he’s gunning and punning like a pro. He inadvertently enters this male-less territory while tracking down what he calls “another reason why inbreeding is a bad idea”: Phil, Will, and Bill Swill, the brothers responsible for the death of his dad. Trouble inevitably brews when men enter this part of the wild wild west run by women, and elements of steampunk and sci-fi start flying. As Brisco ultimately learns, this female-only town may seem futuristic, but it’s all about “a group of people trying to make a better place for themselves — nothing crazy about that.” (Bonus: Denise Crosby, aka Lt. Tasha Yar of Star Trek: The Next Generation fame, appears as the town’s sheriff!)
After a short stretch break, the comedy and commotion continue in “Bounty Hunters’ Convention,” the next episode playing at the theater. This time, Brisco and several other bounty hunters are invited to an innocent-seeming island to “exchange ideas” and “compare notes” about fighting crime. What could possibly go wrong when a group of skilled killers are in an isolated area together? Next thing they know, everything goes all “The Most Dangerous Game”, and fellas are dropping like flies. It’s up to Brisco to lasso all the answers and nab the main murderer in this western whodunnit. Once again combining elements of steampunk, science fiction, and classic cowboy fare — all adding to what Brisco dubs “The Coming Thing” — this episode is a romp for fans of every genre.
Five dollars is all it takes to wrangle both the shows and the vittles! Your ticket also serves as a food voucher to place a dinner order with the server in your section. Yeehaw!
Laws of the Land:
- Date: Monday, September 30, 2013
- Time: 7:00 PM
- Price: $5
- Where: Central Cinema, 1411 21st Avenue, Seattle (21st Ave and East Union Street)
Save a horse, ride a bus! The #2 line drops off around the corner from the theater at 20th & Union. The #48 is also an easy option, stopping at 23rd and Union just two blocks away.
For additional information, check out Central Cinema online. See you there, and yippee kai yay!
08.9.13 // GeekGirlCon ’13: Deconstructing the Mary Sue
We’ve all seen female characters in movies, television shows, books, and comics who are “too” something—too perfect, too pretty, too smart, and too angry are a few examples. Fanfiction and critics of these media have branded such female characters as “Mary Sue.” Where did this come from? Why is it happening with female characters specifically? What can writers, actors, and especially fans do to combat this negative stereotype?
GeekGirlCon is proud to present a panel titled “Deconstructing the Mary Sue Myth” at our upcoming convention, October 19 and 20, 2013. This panel will “…explore the idea of the Mary Sue and how it relates to the creation, interpretation,and reception of female characters in genre and geek-centric works.”
Panel presenters include:
Sarah Kuhn: freelance contributor to Alert Nerd, Star Trek.com, Geek Monthly (now known as Geek Magazine), Back Stage, IGN.com, Creative Screenwriting, the Oakland Tribune, and The Hollywood Reporter; author of the geek romantic comedy novella One Con Glory, now in development as a feature film.
Javier Grillo-Marxuach: writer and producer of television shows such as Lost, Jake 2.0, Medium, Charmed, and both the comic and ABC Family series The Middleman; co-winner of Emmy and Writers Guild of America awards for work with Lost.
Amber Benson: actress widely known as Tara Maclay from Buffy the Vampire Slayer; writer of The Ghosts of Albion books and television movies; author of book series featuring Death’s daughter, Calliope Reaper-Jones; playwright, actress, director, and producer in numerous projects. Recent projects include a guest role on Jane Espenson’s web series Husbands, and Blood Kiss, a vampire noir film starring her and fantasy author Neil Gaiman.
Cecil Castellucci: also known as Cecil Seaskull from indie rock band Nerdy Girl, which can be found on iTunes; author of books The Year of the Beasts, First Day on Earth, Rose Sees Red, Boy Proof, The Queen of Cool, Beige, and The Plain Janes.
Andrea Letamendi: clinical psychologist, scientist, and convention addict/speaker. She has spoken at San Diego Comic Con, New York Comic Con, Wondercon, and other conventions.
Come see this panel of amazing and talented peeps at GeekGirlCon ‘13! I know I’ll be there.
Written by GeekGirlCon Staff Copywriter Sarah Grant
Why, hands-on, of course! GeekGirlCon ‘13 has some science for you. Interested in a career in STEM or computer science? We’ve got you covered. We have a number of workshops and panels on topics such as astronomy, biology, chemistry, neurology, and paleontology, presented by scientists and science communicators.
Alice Enevoldsen, also known as Alice’s AstroInfo, wants to share “inspiration and excitement about science for everyone” with her panel, “Making Science Fun.” You can expect exciting demonstrations of various techniques and useful tips for engaging in science exploration with not only the children in your life, but everyone, really!
Another star-studier comes our way—the Noisy Astronomer, Nicole Gugliucci. Build a solar system, an active galactic nucleus, a supermassive black hole, craters of the moon, and more with fun items right from the grocery store! “I love doing hands-on astronomy activities because it gives kids (and adults!) a feel for the concepts and a way to interact with ideas and objects that are usually so far beyond our grasp,” comments Nicole. Returning exhibitor Amy Roth Davis of SurlyRamics assists.
Still have lingering questions? More astronomers are expected to attend and you can ask them all the questions you have about life, the universe and everything in between.
Other workshops cover additional mind-expanding topics. Post-doctoral research associate in the Department of Chemistry at Doane College and the Center of Nanohybrid Functional Materials at University of Nebraska, as well as GeekGirlCon media administrator, Raychelle Burks brings together scientists to present the DIY Science Zone. Bring your friends and your kids for hands-on experiments suitable for all ages. Pop in for a five-minute session or spend the whole day! All experiments will feature how-to guides and use common household and easily available supplies, so you can take the ideas home with you.
GeekGirlCon ‘13 is a science-lover’s dream and a great place to bring your kids—buy your passes now before prices go up on August 25!
by GeekGirlCon Manager of Editorial Services Adrienne Roehrich