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.

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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.

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08.21.13 // GeekGirlCon ’13: Do you love Muppets?

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Red Fraggle and Karen Prell

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

Red Fraggle

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

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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.

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photo courtesy husbandstheseries.com

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.

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photo courtesy Standard Action

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

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08.12.13 // Hustle and Bustle to Central Cinema for Brisco County, Jr.

brisco county jr. at central cenema

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: 

 

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!

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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.”

Pictures of Sarah Kuhn, Javier Grillo-Marxuach, Amber Benson, Cecil Castellucci, and Andrea Letamendi

From left to right: Sarah Kuhn (photo credit), Javier Grillo-Marxuach (photo credit), Amber Benson (photo credit), Cecil Castellucci (photo credit), and Andrea Letamendi (photo credit)

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

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08.6.13 // GeekGirlCon ’13: What’s the Best Way To Learn Science?

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.

Photo by cizake (Flickr) and used under a Creative Commons License.

Photo by cizake (Flickr) and used under a Creative Commons License.

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

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08.5.13 // Turn Your Swag On

GeekGirlCon swag bagThousands of eyes gobbling up your product. Thousands of eyes looking at your logo. That’s how much attention your brand will catch by appearing in this year’s swag bags! From now until October 4, GeekGirlCon is accepting submissions of promotional items from geeky businesses and organizations.

Each GeekGirlCon ‘13 attendee scores one of these satchels, and we are expecting more event-goers than ever this year! Countless costumed heroines and fun-loving fans could all be flashing your brand every time they reach for a water bottle, pick up a bookmark, or throw on some sunglasses. Whatever you prefer to donate, you’ll be giving support to a cool cause—not to mention geeks at large. And you know geeks always remember the good people who’ve got their backs.

Simply fill out our handy-dandy webform to get started and snag a spot for your stuff! We look forward to working with you to fill some seriously awesome swag bags for visitors young and old. Should questions or concerns arise, please contact Melodie Hardwick at melodie@geekgirlcon.com.

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07.30.13 // GeekGirlCon ’13: When Music, Gender, and Disability Intertwine

musicYou might be asking yourself how these three seemingly disparate subjects are intertwined.

But think about it: when music has an emotional impact on you, you often express it in your body: your eyes well up with tears, your heart rate speeds up or slows down, you tap your feet or nod your head. And many studies have shown the impact music can have on both physical and mental health.

We’re all products of our cultural environments, and the ideas about disability, gender, and music are no exception.

The reality is that most people will experience disability at some point in their lives, and for at least 35,000 years people have been making music—so how does music impact us emotionally and physically? How are we impacted by our culture’s concepts of gender and disabilities?

Robin Harwick will share current research and lead participants in a rich discussion on these and other questions. She’s been active in the music industry for decades; as a performer, promoter, and a 6-year stint as a Union Stagehand; her current research examines the intersection of music, gender and disability.

Want to join the discussion? Geek out on topics like this and so many more at GeekGirlCon ‘13—buy your passes today!

 by GeekGirlCon Staff Copy Writer Erin Doherty

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07.26.13 // GeekGirlCon ’13: Have you heard our exciting news yet?

It’s time to introduce another appearance at our upcoming GeekGirlCon ‘13. She’s been here before, and we love her dearly. Geeks and gentles, it’s Jane Espenson, co-creator and producer of the hit web series Husbands!

For those of you who aren’t yet in the know about Jane Espenson, we are here to help. Espenson started her screenwriting career with the likes of Disney and Ellen (the ‘90’s sitcom, not the talk show), and has worked extensively with Joss Whedon’s creative team on shows from Buffy the Vampire Slayer to Angel, Dollhouse, and Firefly. She has penned episodes and produced for shows such as Tru Calling, Torchwood, Battlestar Galactica, and Game of Thrones. Espenson has shared Hugo Awards for an episode of Buffy the Vampire Slayer (“Conversations with Dead People”) and for a first-season episode of Game of Thrones (“A Golden Crown”). Along with Husbands, Espenson is also co-creator of the SyFy hit Warehouse 13. As if that wasn’t enough of an amazing résumé, she can currently be found as a writer and producer of NBC’s runaway hit Once Upon a Time.

Husbands_promo_CW_SeedEspenson’s latest project, a collaboration with writer and co-creator Brad Bell, is the hit web series Husbands; it has won critical acclaim from multiple sources, including both mainstream press and the LGBTQ community. Its second season came about thanks to a fan-funded Kickstarter campaign, which led to its third season being picked up by CW Seed, a subsite of CWTV.com.

Appearing at his first GeekGirlCon will be Husbands director Eli Gonda. Gonda is best known for producing movies American Teen and Swimmers, and for directing short film The Rooster (written by Buffy alum Danny Strong). He and Espenson will discuss their work together on Husbands and the future of the series, as well as taking questions from the audience.

Join Espenson and Gonda for a special look behind the scenes of the fun of making Husbands. Jane Espenson will also be signing copies of the Dark Horse comics graphic novel Husbands.

Don’t miss a single moment!

by GeekGirlCon Staff Copy Writer Sarah Grant

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07.23.13 // GeekGirlCon ’13: Did you love Mike Madrid last year?

Well, he returns to GeekGirlCon ‘13! Mike Madrid was present on panels at GeekGirlCon ‘11 and ‘12. He’s appeared on such GeekGirlCon panels as 70 Years of Comic Book Fashion, Very Special Dudes, and History of the Universe as Told by Wonder Woman.

““Mike was very popular with attendees the past two years, and we’re excited he’ll be joining us again,” Director of Programming and Events, Jennifer Stuller, said.

Madrid was featured in the documentary Wonder Woman! The Untold Story of American Superheroines, which aired on PBS on April 15, 2013. The documentary shows the story of Wonder Woman from the 1940s to today, tying its development to the path of women’s liberation. This film included many Wonder Woman luminaries, including Lynda Carter, Lindsay Wagner, Gloria Steinem, Trina Robbins (past GeekGirlCon attendee), Gail Simone (past GeekGirlCon attendee), Jane Espenson (this year and past GeekGirlCon attendee), and our own Director of Programming, Jennifer K. Stuller.

Divas, Dames, and Daredevils is Madrid’s latest project, a book set for release this fall. Exploring the forgotten superheroines of WWII era comics, he reintroduces comic fans to these amazing women lost in our past.

Madrid is slated to give a presentation on the Divas, Dames, and Daredevils panel at GeekGirlCon ‘13.

by Adrienne M. Roehrich, Manager of Editorial Services

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