While I’m still not much of a Tweep (Tweeper? Twitterer?) I was pulled in so many directions over the GeekGirlCon weekend that I missed a lot of content. Thanks to Twitter I was able to catch some of the vibe and response and I am proud to see that we were successful in our mission. You have been inspired, creative juices are flowing, thoughts have been provoked, discussions are continuing, and new friends have been made – we’re feeling it on our end too. Thank you for being part of this and let’s keep with the forward momentum!

Here are some of my favorite tweets from the weekend – from Gail Simone as our incredible cheerleader, to recognition of our hard work and attention to detail, to feminist conversation, to yeah, a little bit of self-promotion. (A girl’s gotta work!)

The Gail
@GailSimone It was lovely to see so many female editors at @geekgirlcon, as well. Smart, funny, talented supportive women. Makes me hopeful.

@GailSimone Dear You People Who Didn’t Attend @geekgirlcon, you have my pity, it was AMAZING.

@GailSimone Hopefully, @geekgirlcon will lead to lots more like it. And there was nothing forced about it, it was an absolute blast, most fun con ever!

@GailSimone @newageamazon I can’t shut up about @geekgirlcon. Everywhere you looked there was music and art and great discussion.

@GailSimone @dcwomenkicknass HA! But it’s true, there’s real art in the design of the con. All the signs and merch for it are stunning and lovely.

@GailSimone Also, it’s a good day when Trina freaking Robbins says amazing things about your Wonder Woman run. Just saying! #happy

@GailSimone @geekgirlcon feels a little bit like being at Woodstock or something–it feels like a game changer, and we’re here to witness it.

@GailSimone This con honestly has some of the best, smartest, and most fun programming I’ve ever seen. It kills me to miss all these panels!

@GailSimone I never want to leave @geekgirlcon.

@GailSimone I want another @geekgirlcon right NOW.

The Ink-Stained Amazons (aka, The “My Publisher Needs to See These”)

@gentlethorns Plane reading: ‘ink-stained amazons and cinematic warriors’. An excellent analysis of female ‘heroes’ in the media (comics, tv + film)…

@lstigerts Fave #geekgirlcon session: “Ink-Stained Amazons & Cinematic Warriors” by @InkAmazon. Insightful. Gave me goosebumps.

@MWSBET Just ordered a copy of Ink-Stained Amazons! Ms Stuller @InkAmazon was one of my favourite panelists at @GeekGirlCon this weekend.

@giasilverman Shout outs to awesome @GeekGirlCon women who blew me away with their talent: @InkAmazon @catehstn @serenangai @geekyjessica Amy Berg

@theonetruebix #GeekGirlCon day two highlights: Batgirls (esp. @kyrax2); Killing Cattiness; @thedoubleclicks, @Molly23, @mariancall ninja gig; @InkAmazon.

@cymerin FANTASTIC presentation by @InkAmazon about Superwomen in Modern Mythology. Can’t wait to read the entire book. #geekgirlcon

@theonetruebix “You’ve all got me teary-eyed. This is such the best audience for this.” – @InkAmazon #GeekGirlCon

@fiainros Media Literacy and Ink Stained Amazon. RT @GeekGirlCon: What were your favorite panels at @GeekGirlCon? #geekgirlcon

@theonetruebix Isis shout-out at @InkAmazon’s panel. #GeekGirlCon #OhMightyIsis

@suzdal Yay, a mention of Olivia from Fringe at the Ink Stained Amazons panel. #geekgirlcon

@geekquality Everyone at Geekquality is reading @InkAmazon ‘s amazing book. “Ink-Stained Amazons and Cinematic Warriors” should be in your hands NOW!
@geekquality @InkAmazon we want your book to be the topic of our first podcast. It’s a great starting point discuss our inspiration for this project!

The Feeling
@bergopolis Really, the whole thing was extraordinary. I’d hate to single out one thing over another. RT @bardic_lady Favourite part of #GeekGirlCon?

@Chrysaora Trina Robbins is fierce! #geekgirlcon

@trinmiller @GeekGirlCon was a safe space to be a geeky girl where you didn’t have to prove your geekiness or be oogled constantly.

@GeekGirlCon Thank you to all the panelists and guests that attended@GeekGirlCon! We truly appreciate the knowledge you shared with us & the attendees.

@Melhowrad I feel like being on staff for such a great and successful con has gave me a new type of confidence. #GeekGirlCon

@heaven4heroes Thanks @GeekGirlCon for a fun time in Seattle. Loved meeting female comic book fans! You are out there!

@lamemage #GeekGirlCon also wins for having the most upbeat lanyards. So yellow!

@shibuyababy <3 RT @TiredFairy: So #GeekGirlCon was pretty unbelievablyamazingwow. Show sold out, the panels were packed, conversations were incredible. @InkAmazon @GeekGirlCon would not exist without everyone who cares about it - And that includes You. We are making this community together. @1941WonderWoman "@GailSimone: I never want to leave @GeekGirlCon."---Yeah, this will go down as the start of a revolution. #GeekGirlCon @theonetruebix The passion of @kyrax2 is infectious. Long-term, @DCComicsignores her and the demographic she reflects at their peril. #GeekGirlCon @fried_madness "I deal with being a geek by knowing I'm having so much more fun than everyone else" -Belle Holder #geeksraisinggeeks #GeekGirlCon @GeekGirlCon "There are great rewards. And it's amazing what your influence can be halfway around the world." - Stephanie Olge @cinebooks #GeekGirlCon @merismullaley #geekgirlcon may be the most meaningful geek experience in my recent memory. Thank you @GeekGirlCon team!! @lotusfilmgirl @InkAmazon #GeekGirlCon.Witnessed birth of a revolution that'll change media, our daughters & what they'll dare to dream and imagine 4evr.TU! @ComandanteA @GeekGirlCon I loved, loved, loved #GeekGirlCon as the wonderful Trina Robbins said "The time has come" 😉 Congrats to all! @Karowak @GeekGirlCon, Enjoyed Trina Robbins! Didn't realize there were women out there rocking the comic scene since before I was born 🙂 @sarahkuhn Old friends, new friends, BSG ships, bad(ass) karaoke, #CheeseCon, moved to tears too many times to count.@GeekGirlCon, you have my heart. @shibuyababy Stuff we did this weekend: Sold out @GeekGirlCon, didn't sleep, met rad people, bought goodies, smiled, made sock puppets, had interview! @emcgillivray Held back those happy tears all weekend at #GeekGirlCon. Then sat on my couch, read what @ruckawriter wrote in my Batwoman trade & cried @KelseyMWallace Home from #GeekGirlCon! So fun to hang w/ @femfreq @InkAmazon & meet other fun geeks--was able to hide my lack of Dr. Who knowledge too! @sarahkuhn @InkAmazon @emcgillivray You ladies + your team did an amazing job! Smart, focused programming + a real sense of community. #GeekGirlCon @ComandanteA I'm still excited about getting to know inspiring people like @GailSimone, Trina Robbins, @InkAmazon, Jan Van Meter, @FemFreq... Amazing 🙂 @InkAmazon @shibuyababy @KiriCallaghan @GeekGirlCon Woke up at 5am, remembered how happy we made so many people, & gave in to the tears. I'm so proud. @KiriCallaghan At most conventions I always find friends but at #GeekGirlCon, I feel like I found family. @GeekGirlCon @dcwomenkicknass @GailSimone I know how much hard work and enthusiasm went into this and I'm thrilled, but not surprised, it is a hit. Wish I was there. @RaeBeta While I realize it's less than halfway through, I feel comfortable calling @GeekGirlCon a resounding success. #awesome #andhow @ChaseMasterson Nerd. Heaven. Trust me, you wish you were here. @GeekGirlCon @ChaseMasterson I'm telling you, @thedoubleclicks were worth the trip from LA alone.@GeekGirlCon @shibuyababy Turned the page of the @strangersuggest to see mine &@InkAmazon 's smiling faces in a @GeekGirlCon feature!twitpic.com/6wt4os @mirthalia So, now that I'm back I feel free to say that I spent the weekend at #GeekGirlCon and it was amazing. The atmosphere, the panels, everything @WirednWicked After reading the blog post from @GailSimone, I want to save up and take my little sisters & nieces to Geek Girl Con next time it comes. @Julesong @rachelleabellar @shibuyababy Besides which, it was a BLAST to craft something beginning of day & use it to finish the con 🙂 @karenkathryne Awesome #geekgirlcon moment: the rest of the panel's faces as Trina Robbins declared "I HATE J Michael Strazynski" (for his run on WW). 😛 @TheStephThorpe ....and cue #geekgirlcon withdrawals. it was a fantastic 1st year. brava @GeekGirlCon! thank you for bringing us all together. @bergopolis Safe to say that #GeekGirlCon was a game-changer, and I'm incredibly proud to be involved. @melme Still reeling from #GeekGirlCon. I cannot describe how amazing it was to hear from so many inspirational women. Can't wait for next year!! @justjenndesigns Spending time w/ @GailSimone & thrilled she promoted my blog (!) is what #GeekGirlCon is all about. Camaraderie, creativity & support. <3 @LvCherieJewelry #GeekGirlCon was so fun and inspiring that I only slept 3 hours last night. So many ideas and so worth it! @DayAlMohamed Still in Seattle after #geekgirlcon and headed back to DC on Tue. Exhausting but great. Proud to have been a supporter/donor/sponsor. @shibuyababy Me too! <3 RT @greenspyders: Tearing up reading #GeekGirlContweets. So glad people had fun, it makes all of the work & stress worth it. @hopelessjen #GeekGirlCon was splendid. Met people I've admired for years, admire many I just met, caught up w/ friends, learned a ton. Great show. @shibuyababy @KiriCallaghan @GeekGirlCon Aaaand then there go the waterworks. At least now I don't have to worry about screwing up my makeup. 😉 @kyrax2 Thank you to everyone at @GeekGirlCon for making #GeekGirlConan amazing, smashing success. What a positive experience! Thank you so much! @hopelessjen @GailSimone It really does feel that way, doesn't it? I came away so inspired, energized and stirred. @AliciaMcBarron Overheard at #GeekGirlCon "This is the best smelling con I've been to." @sarahkuhn @InkAmazon @emcgillivray You ladies + your team did an amazing job! Smart, focused programming + a real sense of community. #GeekGirlCon @lotusfilmgirl @InkAmazon And what size tiara do you require??? #GeekGirlCon @lotusfilmgirl @TiredFairy You led the way on the perfect ending to a revolutionary weekend! Thank you for your kind and encouraging words!!! #GeekGirlCon @femfreq Watching Labyrinth with a room full of geek girls is the only way to watch it! #GeekGirlCon @rachelleabellar Highlight of my day was Greg Rucka yelling "Awesome!" when we were taking a hench girl photo #GeekGirlCon #HENCH4LIFE @Jennifer_deG I'm sitting next to a sleeping Black Canary. #GeekGirlCon @KiriCallaghan I have nearly cried like 5 times today. The vibe going on is so amazing. Thank you everyone. Seriously. #GeekGirlCon@GeekGirlCon @fivedaysaway Trina Robbins is awesome. #GeekGirlCon @missmodular #geekgirlcon audience question: "i'm Isabella & i'm still in elementary school & I was wondering what I can do to get into real science?" @Melhowrad Ps. To my fellow #GeekGirlCon staff members: you people are amazing! I'm so proud/happy to be apart of the first ever GGC team 🙂 @semanticpoetry I feel like I'm part of something important. #geekgirlcon @RobbOrr @Spaceknight_69 @Nightfly_69 @backthatelfup Thank you for the retweets. MUCH appreciated! GeekGirlCon is an amazing organization. @mariancall OMG @Janeespenson will be at @Geekgirlcon in Seattle? Oh awesome awesome awesome. geekgirlcon.com @LauraBishop Looking over @GeekGirlCon's Saturday programming. Yeah. I'm pretty sure I'm just not going to have time to eat. Or breathe. =D @lolacolleen Looked @geekgirlcon programming. However will I decide? Get ready for some awesome blogging about the panels!! @rachelleabellar Looking at the @GeekGirlCon program booklet and I'm getting misty-eyed! @lookitsjulia Got the October issue of Seattle Met today, and you'll never guess what I found in there. (Hint: it's @GeekGirlCon ) @Brinstar Apparently #GeekGirlCon had ~2000 attendees. Not bad for a first-year convention targeted to geeky women & girls. Well done, @GeekGirlCon @semanticpoetry Looking at some of the photos from Seattle and @GeekGirlCon and feeling a little teary. @GirlInRowB Musings on #geekgirlcon..I found the people who should have been my brothers & sisters by blood & wish I was Trina Robbins' granddaughter. @greenspyders Is it bad that I'm still squeeing over #GeekGirlCon a week later? We did it!!! #GeekGirlConStaffFTW @greenspyders @raidswindmills "The Con Was Organized by Meticulous OCD Ninjas" is definitely one of my favorite quotes about #GeekGirlCon now. @merismullaley Things I want to do now that #geekgirlcon is over: rewatch Buffy, read Wonder Woman for the first time; and change the world. The Feminism
@femfreq Michelle Hu reminds folks that when we bring up privilege we are not talking about individuals we’re talking about systems #geekgirlcon

@RhetoricalTrope If you avoid all the media that’s problematic, you have nothing to consume: critique b/c you care. #geekgirlcon

@femfreq Audience member talks about how exhausting it can be to explain oppressive issues online and repeatedly get attacked for it #geekgirlcon

@femfreq Panelists: It is not the job of a person of colour to teach white folks about privilege, it’s their job to learn #geekgirlcon

@femfreq On the sexualization of women: @GailSimone – characters created to break stereotypes in one decade become stereotypes in next #geekgirlcon

@BitchMedia Just saw some clips from the forthcoming doc The History of the Universe As Told By Wonder Woman! Be excited.#GeekGirlCon

@GeekGirlCon “Find a community you feel secure in and keep that community free of cattiness.” – @mariancall at Killing Cattiness panel #GeekGirlCon

@Jennifer_deG An interesting thing about #GeekGirlCon: Nobody assumes the men are just tagging along. Yay for men who are feminists!

@BitchMedia Talking about women in the horror genre at #GeekGirlCon! “How can horror create social change?”

@deirdrakiai Media literacy panel = awesome. Glad they acknowledged that the “if you don’t like it, make your own” argument is patronising. #geekgirlcon

@femfreq Panelists discuss how it’s useful to define words to make sure readers are on the same page especially with race or feminism#geekgirlcon

@femfreq Dierdre Kiai on masculinity in video games: Patriarchy Hurts Men Too #geekgirlcon

@reelgrrls “A lot of problems w/rep. of women in vid games could be solved by including more than 1 woman in each game” -Katherine Cross #geekgirlcon

@femfreq A takeaway from Media Literacy panel: Many of us struggle with the negotiation between enjoying media & criticizing it #geekgirlcon

@GeekGirlCon At the GirlHeroes Panel w/ Trina Robbins, @robertagregory, @inkamazon, @hopelessjen, & @annetimmons! Amazing, strong women. #GeekGirlCon

@femfreq Panelist: I want my girls to be empowered, not necessarily with powers #GeekGirlCon

@femfreq Hello Seattle: Just had a great ride in the @BBDreamHearse and a wonderful conversation about women in comics w/ Trina Robbins #GeekGirlCon

@Brinstar Holy crap. This media literacy panel is good. They actually mention intersectionality, kyriarchy, POC, anti-racism, & ableism. #GeekGirlCon

More wonderful articles, posts, and podcasts featuring GeekGirlCon!

Portrait of an Adoption
“You Have To Hand it to the Geeks,” By Carrie Goldman
“Katie and I just returned from Seattle, where we attended the first-everGeekGirlCon. In case anyone doubts the need for a con devoted solely to the female population, consider the fact that the con was sold out and there were people lined up outside each room before panels began.”

Ape in a Cape
“Everything felt a little different. Lest you think this con didn’t have geek cred, let me assure you, the superhero/genre panels were absolutely as hardcore nerdy as any I have attended, but it was from a female and safe perspective. As a whole, the con felt more like a festival at times than a con…it was much less aggressive and without that odd hostility that some big cons have acquired. You would walk out of a panel, and there would be female musicians playing awesome acoustic sets. There were artists EVERYWHERE, women doing crafts and cosplay and drawings and paintings and mirror art and stained glass, and just on and on, everywhere you looked was something beautiful.”

Just Jenn
Geek Girl Con 2011, Just Jenn
“More than any other con I came away with a renewed desire to create, to become a better person. For the first time at a con – every single panel topic appealed to me and pertained to my interests. It was small enough to be able to walk and talk with my heroes and my peers and it really felt like the things that I did mattered.”

Critical Hits
I Was a Manchild at Geek Girl Con, by Logan Bonner
“After the concert, I checked out “Ink-Stained Amazons & Cinematic Warriors,” a panel about the book by Jennifer K. Stuller. She appeared multiple times in the Wonder Woman documentary, and I was interested in hearing more from her. Her presentation was great, with a slideshow and video to supplement her lecture/discussion. She broke down the traits typical of heroes, the ways female characters match or defy those expectations, what that says about how female characters are viewed, and the ways their roles have changed over time. This and the Wonder Woman panel were both great, and it seems like this book and that movie could serve as great companion pieces.”

Fangirl Blog
Geek Girl Con Sunday Roundup, by Tricia
“Cattiness has been a hot topic in geek girl circles recently, and the Killing Cattiness and Creating Community panel dove right into it. Just like the SDCC panel, Oh, You Sexy Geek!, this topic was addressed as part of the discussion, and two of the panelists from that discussion were on the dais again – Bonnie Burton and Jennifer Stuller. I think it’s important for geek girls to see all different types of women interacting in a positive manner, even if they don’t like the same things or they hold contrasting beliefs. I’ve witnessed it at two separate cons now, and it’s so uplifting and empowering to watch.”

Gender Focus
Geek Girl Con: Feminism, Race, and Geek Culture, by Jarrah Hodge
“[T]he panel addressed how geek communities, especially online, can exclude women and people of colour. The panelists said they felt like when they or others raised objections to sexist or racist language or behaviour guys would rally to defend the sexist and racist games, attempting to make the argument that somehow criticizing the language or behaviour was against their geek allegiance.”

Geek Wire
What geek guys missed at GeekGirlCon, by Mónica Guzmán
“It was liberating to be one of many women at session after session, if only because you knew you could say out loud some of the things women whisper to each other at other geek events.

That doesn’t mean you always did.

In some ways, the geek gender gap had to be part of the conversation, if only to assert the reasons why GGC exists in the first place. But talking about the gender gap alone won’t close it. And to organizers’ credit, their convention was in no mood to whine, ruminate or despair.”

Comics Bulletin
Geeking Out at Geek Girl Con, By Kyrax2
“At Geek Girl Con, women and men came together on an equal playing field. Geeks of all stripes were in attendance. I saw Trekkies and Twihards, Star Wars fans and Harry Potter enthusiasts, coders and gamers and mathletes and science geeks and otaku and yes, even comics geeks. Everyone was welcome. Everyone was treated with respect, regardless of age, gender, race, religion, sexual orientation, physical or mental ability, weight, height, or any other factor.”

A mí, mis comics
Geek Girl Con: primeras impresiones, Alejandra Espino
“It was my first convention of this kind, and I could not have chosen better.”

Lotus Girl Films
“The prospect of attending a full-on geek fest devoted to all things SHE was exciting to ponder. The reality has gone so far beyond the expectations, that it all feels a tad surreal.”

Chicks With Crossbows
Geek Girl Con Panels: Steampunk!
“This panel was so popular, they actually had to switch rooms and put it in the larger space. The line wrapped all the way around the hallway.”

Stranger SLOG
Geek Girl Con, by MARY TRAVERSE
“And most importantly there were the nerds themselves: it filled my heart with joy to see women in their 60s as well as teen and tween girls all gleefully letting their geek flag fly. It made me wish I’d had a con like this when I was all awkward and 14 and hiding my obsession with dinosaurs. (Note to teen me: it gets better!)”

Paper Napkins on the Edge of Insanity
Geek Girl Con: Reflections
“I still can’t believe how my girls opened up at Geek Girl Con. I can’t believe how welcome I felt, and I usually am uncomfortable in high female ratio environments. I was so nervous, yet excited before it started, and now I hope next year will bring the same feeling, but more than that. I hope the self confidence that was some how given, inspired, drawn-out of my precious little geeks stays a gift from Geek Girl Con for their lives, making them strong women of the future (whether they stay on the paths of the geeks or not!)”

GeekGirlCon Reflections (a guys perspective.)
“GeekGirlCon benefited from being focused on GeekGirls, but also on the broader geek culture as a whole. It worked very well and there was an amazing amount of content. In addition to the geeky topics I mentioned above, there were panels on ethics, sexism, and gender issues to be sure, but also a refreshing look at academic, science, and STEM careers, geek parenting, working as a coder, game design, and geek crafting (cosplay, craft, and mask making among others). There were often four panels running at once along with signings and craft and game workshops. One person could only see maybe 25% of the Con even if they ran full steam all day long.”

The Inferno
“Reblogging to get the word out. Geek girls are not a small target audience. How long can the media and society ignore that? If GeekGirlCon is any indication, not much longer.”

Optimystical Studios
GeekGirlCon Round-Up
“First let me give some major props and thank you’s to the astounding crew of GeekGirlCon. These ladies worked their collective butts off to make sure everyone had a good weekend. And it showed. Zaph & I spent some time discussing the con on the drive home, and we both agree that everyone on the crew both knew what their job was and knew to ask (instead of making up an answer) if something wasn’t part of their specialty.”

Look! It’s Julia
GeekGirlCon Links!
“I’ve been reading some of the wonderful things that people are writing about GeekGirlCon online, so I’d thought I’d share some links.”

Defective Geeks
Geek Girl Con 2011: Not Just for Girls: by Space Pirate Queen
“Most of all, a shout out to the women who put the entire convention together. The convention sold out! The entire thing ran smoothly. More so than a lot of conventions that has been around for many years. These girls worked their butts off and I am proud of all of them for following their visions and sticking to what they believed in. They’ve created a platform where we can discuss important topics without fear of getting attacked or misunderstood. I believe that it will change our community for the better.”

GeekGirlCon: The Squee-port
“The staff was extremely helpful, the design of the show was great, and all of the programming was actually substantive. There wasn’t a “fluff” panel on the entire schedule. Each one either taught you how to do something, or brought together panelists who were truly knowledgeable and articulate about the topic being addressed. “
. . . and . . .
“[T]he fact that I was sitting on a panel with these ridiculously talented women, and afterwards was treated as if I deserved to be there? Well, that made me feel rather good.”

Ramblings of a Prodigal Goddess
GeekGirlCon review, etc.
“I am writing this review from the point of view as a staff member. I didn’t get to see everything I wanted to see and therefore cannot give an opinion. The review also serves as a reflection on my feelings and thoughts toward the experience that forced me to come out of my shell.”

Possible Impossibilities
It’s the Geek Girls’ World
“GeekGirl Con‘s time had come. Women have had panels thrown to them here and there — with, for the most part, the same topics, the same panelists, and, alas, the same problematic moments — at behemoth geek convergences like Comic-Con International for years. Could they have a convention of their own? Would it be a success?

After the past weekend’s GeekGirl Con, we now know: Yes and yes!”

“The first-ever GeekGirlCon was a huge success! The con sold out on both Saturday and Sunday. We saw approximately 2,000 people come through the doors over two days to celebrate the contribution of women in geek culture. Attendees, panelists, guests, volunteers, vendors, artists, exhibitors, sponsors, media, parents, kids, and staff came together to create a safe place for everyone and anyone identifying themselves as geeks this past weekend. We should all be very proud of making this ambitious idea a reality.”

Sliver of Ice
GeekGirlCon 2011: Some Presidential Thoughts and Other Things
“I am pretty much beyond biased about how awesome GeekGirlCon was. Along with my staff, I’d worked since August 2010 to make the dream of GeekGirlCon a reality, and I believe that it truly happened. I fought back happy tears all weekend; only to finally cry Sunday evening after reading what Greg Rucka wrote in my Batwoman trade. (Don’t worry, at that point, I was surrounded by people who care and love me and hugged me.)”

‘Geek Girls’ gather at Seattle Center
“GeekGirlCon is drawing hundreds of women and girls to an event centered on gaming, fantasy, technology and science fiction. KING 5 Photojournalist Ron Sanford has the story.”

Chicks with Crossbows
Geek Girl Con Panels: Batgirls! (Or, Women in Comics)
“If you haven’t heard of Kyrax2, aka San Diego’s Batgirl, here’s the deal: She’s a fan of comics. This year at San Diego Comic Con, Kyrax2 went to many of the DC panels and asked questions about the lack of women both in the comics and on the panels themselves. This got various responses although she was booed at least once. Thus, at Geek Girl Con, she hosted a panel, along with DC Comics Writer Gail Simone, to address these issues and discuss the state of women in comics.”

CNN: Geek Out Blog
‘Dammit Liz’ went to Geek Girl Con (and it was worth it)
“It was a panel-centric convention, with panelists like Jane Espenson, Gail Simone, Javier Grillo-Marxuach, Amy Berg and Bonnie Burton emphasizing strong, capable female characters in science fiction, comics, games and pop culture. Over-sexed, stripper-clad female characters were barely mentioned, Smith said.”

Sarah Darkmagic
Geek Girl Con Recap
“Why go? . . .To hear a diversity of viewpoints . . . To see women presented as experts and leaders . . . To learn about some pretty awesome books, movies, and projects I have to admit, I hadn’t heard of Ink-Stained Amazon before the con. I went to the panel by Jennifer Kate Stuller and it was really good and I can’t wait to buy her book, Ink-Stained Amazons and Cinematic Warriors: Superwomen in Modern Mythology. Womanthology also presented at the con. . . . Building networks . . .”

Fleeing Indecision
Safety; or a lesson in geekery from GeekGirlCon.
“Well, how was it? In a word: unbelievable. The atmosphere was warm, welcoming and safe. Every single volunteer had a smile on their face the entire weekend. The panels were informative, varied and fun. The cosplay was some of the best I’ve ever seen. But I’ll repeat myself here and say that the most important thing about GeekGirlCon was its safe and welcoming environment.”

Back That Elf Up
GeekGirlCon 2011 Report
“Basically, I got to see something awesome and be a part of something where I FELT like I belonged. In a lot of settings I can feel left out because there is usually something about me that does not quite fit. Sometimes it’s my gender, sometimes it’s my introversion, sometimes it’s my pastimes and interests and sometimes it’s my race. But I didn’t feel like that GeekGirlCon. Even though I was hawking books I still felt…at home. Which is kind of strange because the types of geeks that were there spanned the universe (almost literally, heh).”

Closet Nerd Network
Geek Ladies in the House: Reflections on GeekGirlCon 2011
“At GeekGirlCon, like many others, I felt like FINALLY here are my people: accepting, joyous, smart and vibrant geeks who are going to be the future of nerdom. We care about issues, we want to make things better, we question what media we’re fed and we want to show the world how awesome being a nerd is instead of closeting our community away! GeekGirlCon has become the exception to the rule of geeks who turn the tables on what they consider to not be “true fans” and have created a safe place where we can get down to brass tacks about how to change fandom.”

Good Game Media
GGM Visits Geek Girl Con 2011
“Last weekend the Good Game crew piled into the GGM Mobile and drove down to Seattle Washington to check out the first ever Geek Girl Con. While we were down there I had a chance to talk to some of the female con goers and ask what they thought of a con just for them.”

Sailor St. Claire
GeekGirlCon 2011
” Lots of great conversation arose about a variety of topics relating to female fandom: objectification of “booth babes,” women in webseries, women in tech, race and technology, and other practical and craft-based panels on steampunk costuming, cosplay, and gaming. “

Stern-Rake Studio
GeekGirlCon at Night
“As the autumn sun set and the younglings were sent off to their suppers, the gears of GeekGirlCon shifted to more adult-themed topics.”

The Girl in Row B
GeekGirlCon:Life on the other side of the registration table
“Thank you to all of our panelists, vendors, special guests and attendees. And a special thank you to all of the people who gave money, time, and/or support to make this convention happen. It was a success and without all of you it would never have happened.”

Archive Six
“In the past, I had wasted so much time and energy trying to conform to society’s expectations that I lost sight of who I really am. GeekGirlCon not only gave me an opportunity to design for a cause I could stand behind, but also welcomed me into a safe community where I could finally let my geek flag fly without having to prove or justify my geekiness, or be judged for my gender identity, ethnicity, sexual orientation, size, or Doctor preference (4th and 11th, for the record). It amazes me how much personal growth I have achieved in this past year alone. It is through GeekGirlCon that I was able to meet and form meaningful and long-lasting relationships with people who I greatly respect and admire, and who inspire me more and more with each passing day. These people have helped me find my voice in this world, and gain the courage to finally speak up for myself and my beliefs.”

Chicks With Crossbows
Geek Girl Con: General Con Report
“The Con Was Organized by Meticulous OCD Ninjas [and] The Panels ROCKED.”

Gender Focus
Geek Girl Con: Media Literacy, Criticism, and Production
“I was particularly excited about this panel because it featured the awesome Anita Sarkeesian of Feminist Frequency as well as Kelsey Wallace and Kjerstin Johnson, who were my editors when I was writing the Revenge of the Feminerd series for Bitch Magazine blogs. The other panelists were Kristy Guevara-Flanagan, director of The History of the World as Told by Wonder Woman as well as Wilson, editor of Smart Pop Books. The panel was moderated by Maile Martinez, programming director at Reel Grrls.”

Comics Needs Women: Why Marvel and DC Should Have Been at Geek Girl Con
“[T]he publishers need girls and women more than girls and women need Marvel and DC.”

Girl Hack
Geek Girl Con 2011 Review
“I am still new to the geek- convention circuit, but Geek Girl Con delivered the most fulfilling con experience I’ve had, as both a geek and a woman.”

Defective Geeks
Geek Girl Con 2011: Feminism, Race & Geek Culture Panel
“I am glad I went to this panel. I wasn’t sure what to expect but I was rewarded with a great discussion with well-spoken women. They touched on quite a few interesting points about female and Asian culture in geek media. What I really appreciated about the way these women approached sensitive issues without having to be defensive or threatening to other people. They even gave great advice on how to deal with negative internet interactions.”

Journal of J
Geek Girl Con Reactions
“Overall this con was a great jolt of inspiration for me, not only as a girl gamer but as someone who hopes to make games. The camaraderie and heartfelt support was palpable, and the issues discussed were thought provoking and important. It was a great start to an awesome new tradition, and I don’t have any doubt that it will be continuing next year.”

Lady Sabre & The Pirates of the Ineffable Aether
NYCC and Geek Girl
“GGC felt practically like a family gathering, and I suppose, in a way, it was just that. The fact is, women remain under-represented and poorly served in so many realms of geek culture; having a convention that speaks to that lack, that attempts to address it, is more than a worthy goal; it may well be a holy one.”

Comics Bulletin: The Squeaky Wheel
Geeking Out at Geek Girl Con: Part Two
“I *got* it. We women subsume our own tastes for fear of being thought ‘too feminine’. We are limited by what people think will appeal to us. We are seen as an amalgamation, as though what appeals to one woman will appeal to all. We push our children to be like us, to like the things we like, never realizing that we are repeating the same mistakes our parents made. We’re told that we have to ‘vote with our dollars’, but when we do choose not to buy something, the action is often ignored or misinterpreted.

And yet, we do have power. We have the power to speak, the power to buy, the power to teach and share and give. We don’t need to listen to those who say that we don’t have any power, that it isn’t ours, that it doesn’t ‘belong’ to use, that we shouldn’t speak, that we should ‘sit down and shut up’. Because they have no power over us…but what we give them.

And that’s what I learned at Geek Girl Con.”

The GeekMoms Podcast #6 GeekGirlCon, Women of Wonder Day
“Women of Wonder Day, an annual auction and in-store event where you can bid on beautiful art and collectibles in support of domestic violence charity programs. Later I’m joined by fellow GeekMom Cathe Post to talk about her weekend with her husband and daughter at the first ever GeekGirlCon in Seattle, Washington. This new entry on the convention scene drew some big Geek Girl names to help promote a positive attitude toward all geeks, men, women and especially kids. And you’ll also hear how the GeekMoms took a stab at the Google+ Hangout feature and ended up having a chat with Felicia Day.”

Defective Geeks
Geek Girl Con 2011: Arts & Crafts with the GeekGirlCon Design Team
“[T]his was a cute arts and crafts panel hosted by Tammy Vince Cruz and Rachelle Abellar from the Geek Girl Con’s design team. Not only were these two ladies busy churning out all the design collateral for the convention; they also organized a successful, interactive panel that encouraged attendees to drop by and make sock puppets.”

Nerd Appropriate
Geek Girl Con: No I Am Not a Booth Babe : Panel Coverage
“[U]ltimately the message that was delivered by the panelists was that we, as fans, need to play nice and work together towards better representation of women in video games. The trolling on message boards, the flame wars are all counterproductive and detract from the end goal: working to see women presented in games in a positive light. Behind the user names, Twitter handles, there are people. It’s one thing to be critical, to express dissatisfaction over a feature/presentation of a character/level, but making a personal attack does more harm than good and inhibits bringing about the desired change.”

The Intersection of Dykedom and Dorkdom
Geek Girl Con 2011 Report
“The programming had something for everyone – a variety of topics, genres and media, both academic and non-academic discussion, films, science [and] was accessible for younger and older audiences”
“The Ink Stained Amazons and Cinematic Warriors: Superwomen in Modern Mythology panel: Jennifer Stuller gave a presentation that hit the highlights of her book, discussing female heroes in modern popular culture from the 40’s to the 21st century and their impact during their time and on future heroes. One of the trends she noted was the lack of women training women: in most cases the women are mentored by their father or a father-figure. That’s a trend I hadn’t noticed before, but see frequently now that I’m aware of it –definitely food for thought. Booboo enjoyed the panel enough to buy the book immediately after the panel ended.”

Jewish Book Council Blog
Their (Our) Time Has Come
“GeekGirlCon is for the Rest of Us; maybe not 99%, but definitely 52%, the women who have for so long been shut out of a male-dominated comics industry, and all the related male-dominated industries, like computers and gaming. It’s for us geeky girls who spent our high school years as outsiders, never cheerleaders, never dating the football team (often never dating at all!), but with our noses buried in science fiction or fantasy books or comics. All those geeky girls have grown up into enthusiastic and talented young women who are making great clothes and jewelry, creating wonderful new comics — and with not a superhero in the bunch. The energy level in the rooms was high and optimistic.”

The Official Website of Nancy Holder
Geek Girls are Here to Stay
“One of the best cons so far this year was GeekGirlCon. Girls and boys enjoyed panels on webseries, Science, Math, Technology, Engineering, vampires, and of course, all things Joss Whedon! I am very happy to say that Geek Girls are thriving! And DEFINITELY here to stay!”

Defective Geeks
Geek Girl Con 2011: Women Running Geeky Businesses
“I admire anyone who are smart enough to be able to turn their own passion and interests into a self-sustaining career… but it’s just that much more cool to have these geek girls talk about their own success. It was also a unique panel where the audience heard different success stories from women of all ages and very different career and life choices.”

Some of the many wonderful articles, posts, and podcasts featuring GeekGirlCon!


3 Chicks Review Comics
“For our hot topic this week we have special guests Erica McGillivray and Jennifer Kate Stuller from Geek Girl Con. We talk about diversity in comics.”

City Arts
Game-Changers by MARK BAUMGARTEN
“Or maybe there is space on the convention floor for women not dressed in metal bikinis. That’s the issue Jennifer Kate Stuller is pondering in early July, while sipping a glass of white wine on the patio of a Fremont bar.”

The Stranger
A Nerd of Her Own: GeekGirlCon Is a Place for Geeky Women (and the Men Who Love Them) by PAUL CONSTANT
“The GGC lineup is impressive—panels on Star Trek, science, zine-making, writing genre fiction, and sexism in the video game industry run side by side with Joss Whedon–themed burlesque shows, presentations by professional stuntwomen, Yoda-puppet-making workshops, and structured conversations about parenting, sex, and business ownership. The convention boasts more than 200 panelists. (The goal was to be comprehensive while still being discerning: Stuller says even though ‘I definitely want to make sure that everyone has a voice at our convention,’ one of the most important things she learned while putting the show together was ‘one of the most valuable things a woman can learn—how to say ‘No.’)’”

Seattle Metropolitan
Seattle Wonder Women Launch GeekGirlCon: Seattle comics lovers and fantasy fans unite for the first-ever GeekGirlCon. By Lisa Han
“A self-proclaimed ‘geek feminist,’ Stuller sees GGC as a space for women who are passionate about science and science fiction, technology, games, comics, fantasy, and LARPing to network and learn from each other—to geek out over all the fussy details within a respectful community. And unlike most of GGC’s predecessors, the added emphasis on intimacy and interactive activities has drawn in the shy newcomers.”

Tacoma Weekly
“We’re declaring geek girls off the endangered species list and supporting and celebrating what geeky women have been doing since the dawn of geekdom. We’re helping geeky women find role models, mentors, career ideas, friends, new obsessions, and more.”

Bitch Media
Bitch Radio: Getting Ready for Geek Girl Con! Audio post by Kjerstin Johnson
“Part of our mission, it’s right there in our mission statement, is that we are absolutely committed to being as diverse as possible. I hope next year that we have more diversity in our special guests than we do this year, but it’s a constant process, it’s something we’re striving for when we–and we have a very, extremely diverse racially, sexually, politically diverse group of staff members. But when we put out a call for proposals for programming from people we explicitly stated ‘we want [content] talking about these larger issues, so please bring [it] to us. We love it.’”

Pop Culture Zoo
Talking To Geek Girl Con’s PR Director, Kiri Callaghan BY JOSEPH DILWORTH JR.
‎”[I]t’s imperative that we support each other. I think that’s what Geek Girl Con is really about when you get to the heart of it; making family out of community. If we also happen to make the female demographic more visibile in the industry in the process, even better.”

Comic Booked
I am GeekGirlCon, Hear me ROAR! Rob Orr
“For a long time, the industry was really focused on trying to find geeky women. There were panels and talks about who some of these special unicorns were. Now the discussion has shifted to be about the recognition of these women, either in panels or in projects like GeekGirlCon or Womanthology. Part of what makes all these organizations successful is that they’re driven by women and for women. Yes, at GeekGirlCon, everyone is welcomed to our convention; but our focus is on women’s geekery and women are our audience. For the average geeky woman, being actively marketed to and having things created for her is a new revelation.”

CNN Geek Out Blog
Geek girls get their own Con, Erika D. Peterman
“It also has an impressive lineup: Among the guests are television writer/producer Jane Espenson (Battlestar Galactica, Buffy the Vampire Slayer) and comics writers Trina Robbins, Gail Simone, and Greg Rucka. Cheezburger Editor-in-Chief Emily Huh is on board, as is filmmaker Kristy Guevara-Flanagan, director of the independent documentary The History of the Universe as told by Wonder Woman.”

Post Defiance
Can’t Wait for GeekGirlCon Top Picks for the First-Ever Convention Celebrating the Best in Lady Geek Culture BY KATY EVANS
“Now, I’ve attended quite a few hobby conventions, and I think this is the first time where I have been more excited and inspired by the panels and sessions than by vendors. I’m particularly thrilled that three of my geeky heroes, Jane Espenson, Hope Larson and Gail Simone will be sharing their thoughts and visions in multiple sessions.”

Photo by semanticpoetry

Wow. I am so filled with joy and pride and love and inspiration. Though we have been building up to this for the past year, I’m still trying to grok all the wondrous experience of the past weekend, and our inaugural convention. To say the least, it was simultaneously the most stressful and most fulfilling event of my life so far.

We had first time con attendees coming out of their shells to make new friends. We had veterans saying it was the best con of their life. Every detail of our collective effort was noticed – from the breadth of programming topics, to our design, to our family-friendly vibe (that didn’t preclude adult programming), to our incredible weekend volunteers, to everyone’s smiles. And everyone was generous enough to say “thank you.”


I am so proud of our team. Over the course of a year we have evolved from a “What if?” to a successful organization.

GeekGirlCon began as an idea for a fan con for women – a gathering that honored their obsessions. But now we are continually creating opportunities to bolster self-esteem, as well as foment community, networking and mentor relationships. And make friends. It’s so hard, and so important to make friends.

Props to our team. They are talented, driven people who believe in something and are willing to work for it. We have taken a learn-as-you-go adventure that has at times been as scary and frustrating as it has been rewarding. But we’ve taken it together. Thirteen months of all-volunteer blood, sweat, and tears, over fifty promotional and community-building events, staff changes, more than two hundred panelists and nearly seventy hours of programming are behind GeekGirlCon the convention. But a lot of sisterhood and supported individual growth is embedded in our organization.

I can’t wait to see what we do next.

Oh, wait! I know what we are doing next! Coming up we will be co-hosting a TV Dinner night at Central Cinema. The theme is Geek Girls and Wonder Women. (November 9th) We will also be co-hosting a screening of the documentary Miss Representation at the new SIFF film center with SIFF and Reel Grrls. (November 30th) Stay tuned for details on both.

Finally, I want to say that GeekGirlCon would not exist without everyone who cares about it – And that includes You. We are making this community together. Thank you, from the bottom of my heart, and most sincerely, for being a part of something truly special.

Last week I attended my fourth Comic Con as a professional. For those who don’t know me, I’m a feminist media critic, pop culture historian, comics scholar, member of the Whedon Studies Association, public speaker, freelance writer, author, and programming director for GeekGirlCon.

One of my passions is making critical thinking fun and accessible. I believe it’s important to ask questions about the media we consume, as well as enjoy, because we are shaped by culture, just as we shape it.

I also believe that criticism does not automatically mean condemnation. (For example, I love the entirely problematic television series, True Blood.)

I was asked to participate on the “Oh, You Sexy Geek” panel by moderator and organizer, Kat Hill (aka Action Flick Chick) along with Bonnie Burton (Grrl.com and Star Wars Craft Book), 
Adrianne Curry (America’s Next Top Model), Clare Grant (Team Unicorn, “G33k & G4m3r Girls”), 
Kiala Kazebee (Nerdist.com), 
Clare Kramer (Buffy the Vampire Slayer), 
Nerdy Bird – Jill Pantozzi (“Has Boobs, Reads Comics”), and
 Chris Gore (G4).

I almost didn’t. I respect the women involved, but my main concern was that any criticism about sexuality and gender in the Geek Girl community is immediately interpreted as an “attack” and a decree that “women should not be allowed to do that” rather than the suggestion that when we present ourselves as sexual, we’re interpreted as sexual objects. Or that anyone who suggests that empowerment for the one is not empowerment for the many is just a mean, feminist/not-feminist, jealous, prude who doesn’t like other women. When really, these conversations are so much more complicated – or to my mind they should be.

I also debated whether I wanted to use this opportunity to promote (or destroy) my career. Certainly, more people would know about my work after the session, but I wasn’t sure this was the venue I wanted to use to gain exposure. Ultimately, I decided that I wanted to participate in a conversation. Different people have different ideas about whether or not it was an actual discussion and I’ll let readers peruse those responses via the attached links themselves. It’s important to me to present several different ways of considering something, so that you can draw your own conclusions. I’ll also update this post if a video recording of the panel is posted. (I was told it was to be professionally recorded, and apparently, it wasn’t – boo.)

Additionally, I want to stress that I really admire, Kat, for continuing to present and consider an array of opinions, but regardless of her intentions that doesn’t mean that everyone adheres to the idea that we can be supporters of each other even if we have different opinions. And that saddens me as someone who works to create female community. I’m not speaking about any of the panelists – who have been supportive – but to some of the responses online.

This particular discussion went as I expected it to. Most everyone maintained a degree of respect, though there were times when I definitely felt that some voices dominated the conversation. Now, sometimes conversations steer in certain directions; things move quickly, and occasionally erratically, on a panel – especially in front of a GIANT audience. Conversation can be difficult, and understanding takes both time, and learning not just how to listen, but how to listen to what the other is saying. What is their perspective? Where is it coming from and why? Are you saying the same thing but with words so different that it sounds like you are arguing? Is this why suggesting asking questions about why we do what we do, and what the real-world effects are is interpreted as an attack?

I’m glad I got to say a few things that were important to me – and from the response I’ve gotten, important to many of you as well. Thank you for speaking up – it’s incredibly difficult when you know your voice is in the minority. But I also want to stress that I feel it’s important to respect difference of opinion, as well as those who express it. All I can hope for is that I receive the same courtesy.

Because there isn’t video, I wanted to just recap some of the questions that were posed in the session.

Does displaying the sexiness of fangirls benefit or demean them? When geek girls show off, are they liberating themselves or pandering to men? Do some “fake fangirls” blend sex appeal with nerdiness just to appeal to the growing geek/nerd market, or is that question itself unfair? How about sexy fanboys? And what’s up with all the Slave Leias?

And to be honest, I can’t remember all we covered.

But questions I wanted to include in the discussion were:

What IS sexy? (And when we say something is sexy – are we only talking about a specific type of sexy?)

What is the benefit of women making media vs. participating in media that’s being made?

How, or in what ways, are heteronormative depictions of “sexy” damaging?

If geek girls, especially prominent geek girls, are willing to show themselves as objects of male fantasy, why would male-dominated industries such as comics, film, or even television, bother to represent women as anything else? (Additionally, there is a post-feminist idea that if a woman does something, and is okay with it, then that somehow automatically makes it feminist. If something is empowering for the one, is it necessarily empowering for the many?)

Where is the line between exploitation and empowerment?

How can we disagree with each other and still move forward as a community?

I didn’t really want to talk about the “Slave Leia” outfit because that’s one of those issues where people aren’t going to be amenable to critical discussion surrounding it. As I said in my book: Ink-Stained Amazons and Cinematic Warriors: Superwomen in Modern Mythology:

The “Slave Leia” outfit—as it has come to be known—ensures her status not as an icon of female empowerment and political influence (as she was in the first, and arguably second, film installments) but as an object of heterosexual male fantasy. The pervasive, and perverse, popularity of the outfit is seen throughout popular culture––from parades of “Slave Leias” at Comic Con International to Ross Gellar of the television series Friends admitting it’s one of his sexual fantasies. Admittedly, Leia’s bikini is memorable precisely because it ignited a generation of young boys’ first “funny feelings” and thus serves as nostalgia for sexual awakening. But it’s also troublesome that an outfit a powerful woman was forced to wear in a tactic meant to demean and objectify her, and in which she may have been sexually assaulted (her captor, Jabba, does feel her up with his suggestive tail), has become one of the dominant images of Leia.

In my opinion it’s not hot – it’s demeaning. And that’s because it’s intended to be demeaning. It’s not an outfit that Leia chose as an expression of empowerment or sexuality. The “Slave ” outfit was was forced upon Leia because she was being held as a slave. (And didn’t Carrie Fisher admittedly have an eating disorder – the kind that such exploitative outfits contribute to?) And if it were truly empowering, wouldn’t Leia have freed the other slaves on Jabba’s sail barge?!?!?

Feminism is about changing social and political systems of oppression – not about saving yourself.

(Don’t get me started on the problematic and unexamined use of the word “slave” in reference to sexual arousal.)

Kat brought up the subject of a photo someone sent her of her seven year old daughter in the notorious “Slave Leia” outfit and asked what we thought about that. One panelist’s response to was to joke, “Was she hot?” Another noted that Europe has less Puritanical views regarding the human body, and when I suggested that was different from sexualizing a child, I was asked what I would tell my daughter if she said that was her favorite character? (I never got a chance to answer, but a conversation would definitely be involved. I also came home and read this post on Jezebel about Dance Moms and why it’s important for little girls to be “hot” – to be clear, not what the panelist was saying, just a suggestion that what we say does matter.)

I’m not jealous. I’m not a prude. And I don’t have a problem with skimpy outfits per se. I haven’t put anyone “down” for wearing a costume – or questioned their personal empowerment – and I certainly support women’s right to wear what they want. Especially to wear what they want without being sexually harassed.

What I have a problem with is the emphasis on conventional expressions of sexuality in cosplay being the dominant option. I have a problem with women’s bodies being used to sell product (as in booth babes). And I have a problem with the idea that those options are all we have because that’s the only way women are drawn or portrayed in popular entertainment media. One of the comments I heard on the panel was along the lines of “What are we supposed to do when that’s how the characters we love are drawn or dressed?” [Head. Desk.]

It was also suggested that we simply ignore media we don’t like. Ignoring it won’t make it go away, and it won’t change the status quo. Only talking about it will.

I agree with this assertion from “Feminist in Wonderland: The Women of Comic Con” on The WIP via Ms. that:

“What matters is not whether we wear the seven-inch heels. What matters is whether we have asked ourselves—why do we wear them? If we have not addressed that question, then this is objectification, and it holds all of us back.”

I haven’t heard any feminists assert that feminism is about telling other women what to do, or wear, so don’t know where that response is coming from (see Twitter). But I believe we do need to examine the cultural messages marketed and received by media. We need to teach our children how to read entertainment. And we need to open up our definitions of what is sexy by representing diverse body types, races, ethnicities and sexualities as sexy – as well as emphasizing that sexuality is something to be explored, but not everything has to be “sexy.”

If people are going to make hyperbolic statements about how “if feminism is this or that then count me out” (also, see Twitter) – I’ll play along and say that if feminism is about accepting the status quo and never challenging oppressive systems or asking questions, then I’d like to be counted out of that definition of feminist politics.

I’m also continually frustrated by the post-feminist attitude that cries “If it’s empowering for me, then it’s feminist.” That’s an individualistic and privileged perception that does nothing for feminist activism or social justice.

The needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few. Or the one. (Yeah. I quoted Spock.)

I also don’t believe that either asking critical questions or difference of opinion is girl-on-girl hate. It was suggested by panelists that women are just bitches and that we are hard-wired to hate each other. I absolutely do not believe this.

Maybe it’s just me. Maybe I’ve just been fortunate to be part of female community and have female mentors. Each year at both Wondercon and Comic Con, cartoonist and herstorian, Trina Robbins and I get together with other women comics scholars for lunch and conversation. Trina has been a wonderful mentor, and is always gracious and available whenever I need research advice, an introduction, or a pull quote. I look to her, and women like her, for inspiration about the kind of woman I’d like to be.

I also believe in fomenting sisterhood through community – something wonderful that is happening through GeekGirlCon.

All in all, I got to name check some of my favorite feminist (and feminist influenced) organizations including Reel Grrls, Bitch Media, Girl Scouts, and GeekGirlCon. I also got to mention Whedonesque Burlesque, where sexy and geeky – the topics we were exploring on the panel – had come together in a creative expression of wonderfully diverse representations of sexuality.

I’m glad I had the chance to try to say something about women and body image, the sexualization of our daughters, understanding media images, and the necessity of creating media making opportunities for women. In trying to expand our definitions of what is beauty and what is sexy, I tried to ask why people who are adamant that the “Slave Leia” outfit is empowering say that they would wear it “if” they had the body. If it’s so empowering, why must you be denied such empowerment?

All of that said, I am horrified that some of my co-panelists found Chris Gore’s comment that he’d like to stick his “penis into every woman on the panel” amusing. His behavior was reprehensible and his comment (which he alternately joked was a “compliment” and “satire”) was completely and totally out of line. It was inappropriate given the context of panel, and not knowing sexual history/orientation of his co-panelists. It felt like street harassment in which someone yells “nice ass” and then calls me a “bitch” for not smiling/lightening up. A couple of people have asked why “the feminists” didn’t say anything. I can’t speak for Kiala – but I can say that it wasn’t my panel, and that it was the moderator’s job to address it. Any comment from me would validate his “humor,” and reinforce the “humorless feminist” label I had tried to joke about – and which was later suggested as the problem of anyone who didn’t get the joke via Gore’s Twitter feed, along with accusations of sexual repression.

Finally, a lot of people have been praising Seth Green as the best part of the panel. I’m also very appreciative of what Seth got the chance to say (even though he admittedly hijacked our panel for several minutes – Oh, Oz . . .) but want to note that:

– The most memorable and praised part of a panel of women is something a dude said.

– Seth said many things I’d been attempting to say through the entire session. Thing is, many of my comments were talked over, and suggestions deflected with humor, but Seth was listened to and respected because he’s a celebrity. Once the conversation got away from him, I brought up the Girl Scouts PSA as a way of attempting to steer the conversation back to the issues at hand.

I’m glad people are talking about various issues involved, and hope the conversations remain civil and enlightening. In fact, I’m going to say here and now, that with the exception of Gore, I respect my co-panelists on the Oh, You Sexy Geek panel and their opinions, no matter how much I might disagree with, or perhaps simply misunderstand, them. If you plan to comment on this post, I ask that you remain civil. I’m the moderator in this space, and I don’t mind if you disagree with me, but if you aren’t being thoughtful, or are being negative rather than critical, I will not approve your comment.

I also would like to say that I’m sure I’m not the only one that didn’t get to say everything they wanted to in our limited time together. What I would like to conclude with is two documentary trailers that I’ve been thinking a lot about lately.

The first is for a film called Miss Representation (the tagline is, “You can’t be what you can’t see).


Newest Miss Representation Trailer (2011 Sundance Film Festival Official Selection) from on Vimeo.

The second is for History of the Universe as told by Wonder Woman (full disclosure, yeah, I’m in it).

I invite you to watch these and think about the idea that we can’t be what we can’t see, what it is that we are seeing, and how it affects American culture and politics.

Recaps/Reports/Related Reading on the Oh, You Sexy Geek Panel

Oh You Sexy Geek: Live Blog event #SDCC

Feminist Fatale: Comic-Con Recap: Oh, You Sexy Geek!

Jennifer de Guzman: Comic-Con 2011: Oh, You Sexy Geek Recap

Jennifer de Guzman: Oh, You Sexy Geek: The Responses

Angel-Headed Hipster: Hey, You Sexy Geek

It’s not just atheists with a diversity problem…

Stellar Four: The Origins of the Slave Leia Costume

San Diego Comic-Con 2011 Recap (Episode II: Attack of the Princess Naked)

ifanboy SDCC 2011: Panel Report

Costume Drama: Cosplay or Can’t Play, by Bonnie Burton

MTV Geek (Quoted every panelist but me and Clare Kramer – and misspelled Kiala’s name. Thanks, MTV Geek!)

NBC San Diego: Get Your Hands Off My Spandex! (completely misquoted/misunderstood me)

CLARE-ified: Oh, You Sexy Geek! – Comic-Con 2011

Ladies Rule the Day at Comic-Con Thursday

Re-Orientation: Sex and Gender in the Modern World: Oh, You Sexy Geek: SDCC Panel, Gender, Sexuality, And Feminist Waves

Racialicious: On Geekdom and Privilege: Sympathy For The ‘Pretty’?

Ms. Magazine: A Feminist Visits Comic Conhttp://msmagazine.com/blog/blog/2011/07/26/a-feminist-visits-comic-con/

Seattle City Arts: Game Changers

#FFF Fake Fangirl Friday Follow-Up: Oh, You Sexy Geek! San Diego Comic-Con Panel Reactions and Controversies

The Never-Before-Seen Conclusion! (Catch up with parts One, Two, and Three – They have video!)

Popular culture is a fantastic place to explore ideas and assumptions about gender, and because I’m a firm believer that questions are the content, before I close, I want to reference those I posited at the beginning of this presentation, now that we have some context.

If male characters define the archetypes of Spy and Detective, what does it look like when women fill those roles? And are these female characters simply superimposed on to their male source material?

Greg Rucka has said that while gender is an element of character, gender is not character itself – and that while he treats his female characters the same way he treats his male ones there is a difference in how he writes them.

He asserts that if he wrote a female character the same way he wrote a male one, then she wouldn’t be female, she’d be a guy who looks like a girl with a girl’s name.

And a female character is not, in his words, “a guy with tits.”

The next was: is the idea that they are possibly female versions of male characters a gimmick? Or does the fact that they are unconventional bodies in traditional positions mean that they are capable of challenging assumptions about gender? And does that make them feminist?

What about a “female Mike Hammer”? Sure sounds like a gimmick.

And yet, as Collins has said, one of the interesting aspects of writing Ms. Tree is that all he had to do was let her do things men routinely did in this kind of story – meaning a pulpy detective tale – and a special resonance would be created.”

Which does reinforce the idea that unconventional bodies in traditional roles are capable of challenging assumptions about gender, simply by being there.

But because sex and subterfuge are inseparable from the spy fiction and detective genres, even when female agents use the same fighting skills and weapons as the opposite sex, the addition of their sexual appeal makes them deadlier than the male.

For example, Modesty has a trademark technique called “The Nailer” – where she walks into a room full of criminals topless, effectively stunning them, while Willie sneaks round from behind to take them down.

Ms. Tree, in a nod to the cover of Mickey Spillane’s I, the Jury – as well as to Modesty, distracts a villain in nearly the same way.

And it worked so well the first time that she did it again.

Tara, in a more subtle fashion, manipulates a border crossing in potentially hostile territory by pretending to accidently hand over a nude photo of herself with her papers.

So we can assume, at least with these 3 character examples, that women in unexpected roles are capable of BOTH subverting and reinforcing assumptions about gender.

Finally, why a female – and is she feminist?

Modesty Blaise, who was often, and erroneously compared to James Bond, was created by O’Donnell to counter the preponderance of “big,” . . . “male,” . . . “superheroes.” And has himself has said, she is the antithesis of Bond.

A female character with all the skill and excitement of a “Bond”- type, but that has little to do with him, is not modeled on him, and is the protagonist of a series that ran successfully for over 40 years, is certainly feminist indeed.

Of Ms. Tree, Max Allan Collins has said that she was, and is, a feminist in the sense that she is a strong woman who makes her own decisions.

He didn’t want to do the typical role reversal story in which the female hero is depicted as tougher, smarter, and more athletic than the men around her – feeling that an approach of that nature was inherently sexist. And he wanted equality for his female protagonist.

Of course, one Ms. Trina Robbins recognized Michael as a feminist early on. In a missive to Beatty and Collins’ letter page, she writes, “Any woman as intelligent, tough, and independent as Michael is certainly a feminist.”

Tara, is a highly trained, intelligent, and skilled agent. She’s also realistically depicted as having a complex emotional life. She’s depicted as physically beautiful – as most female heroes are – but Rucka has noted that “she’s never more attractive than when she’s being smart, when she’s doing her job, and doing it well.”

It’s a welcome rarity in spy fiction for a woman’s actions and intelligence to be emphasized over her appearance.

Queen and Country is more than a simple role reversal story, a woman in a man’s place. As Rucka has said, one of the reasons he loves writing female characters is that “situations and stories that we have seen thousands of times before, become entirely different if you recast your protagonist as female, because dynamics change.”

So while these women ARE rooted in, based on, or frequently referenced in relation to male characters, they are not merely female imitations.

They are anti-Bonds and female dicks.

Tara Chace: On Her Majesty’s Secret Service

If you haven’t read Greg Rucka’s Queen & Country, yet, I suggest hook yourself up with one of the most unique spy comics you’ll encounter.

There are 8 volumes of this espionage series – illustrated by different artists.

As well as 3 novels.

The protagonist, is Tara Felicity Chace, named so after Rucka’s high school best friend, in honor of discovering a love of gritty spy fiction series together.

One of those was, The Sandbaggers – a British Cold-War era drama broadcast in the late 1970s. It was created by, Ian Mackintosh, a former lieutenant-commander in the Royal Navy who had an Intelligence background.

“Sandbaggers” is a nickname for special operatives in the secret intelligence service – an organization also known as “SIS” or MI6.

Essentially, they are the equivalent of the CIA.

The people in Special Operations are absolutely nothing like James Bond, and in fact, Bond is mentioned throughout the series to reinforce how much of a fantasy 007’s world of espionage is compared to the real thing.

The real thing is filled with tedium, cramped offices, contention between the government and SIS, a “Special Relationship” with the CIA – one that consists of exchanging mutually beneficial, if seedy, favors.

Politically and personally dangerous missions are the rarity. Most of the Sandbaggers time is spent shuffling paper from In Tray to Out Tray. They are instruments of government, and nothing more.

What impressed Rucka about the show was that it emphasized the politics – and political tension – between government and espionage – something that was, and for the most part remains, lacking from Bond.

Rucka says what made The Sandbaggers sing for him was that the stories were always about individuals.

And that you saw the toll this work takes on people’s lives set against the context of the mission, and the even larger context of the political situation, and how those influence one another.

He found dramatic power in the idea that these people were entirely expendable – and that it was the political level that made it the most human story because it was the political level that said people don’t matter.

That dramatic potential, combined with character-driven stories that explore the moral complexity of global politics make Queen & Country a spiritual sequel to The Sandbaggers.

Tara is a special operations officer for the Secret Intelligence Service. Here nicknamed Minders rather than Sandbaggers.

Like its inspiration, Queen and Country is set in the real world, and takes an honest look at modern espionage – from sending agents on politically sensitive, and often dubious, tasks such as government sanctioned assassination – to the subsequent, . . necessary . . .paperwork.

Tara’s is a thankless job – one marked, as her boss, says, by “months of tedium, interrupted by bursts of bowel-freeing panic.”

Like James Bond, particularly Daniel Craig’s most recent incarnation, Tara is, as 007’s superior, M, describes him, “a blunt object.”

But she’s also smart, . . . very smart, and skilled. And, as Rucka has noted, Tara feels fear, an emotion that humanizes her, without making her vulnerable, and further grounds the series in reality.

Regardless, she’s also incredibly damaged – understandable considering one day she’s asked by her government to assassinate someone, and the next, handed over to a foreign government by her own people to appease the very act she had been sent by them to do.

She goes to work knowing she’s good at her job, better than most, and is still entirely expendable.

She does it for Queen & Country.

And as Gail Simone said, I think she’s ruined me for other spies.

Video of Part Three and Q&A – I had to skip the conclusion as the previous panel ran long, cutting into our set-up time, and I had to leave time for Q&A (which gets cut off at the very end). I’ll include my conclusion in a bonus Part Four.

Parts One and Two.

Each of the three characters I talked about have been described in terms of male icons of popular culture. Modesty Blaise and Tara Chace have both been called a “female James Bond.” And Ms. Tree was conceived as the “female Mike Hammer.”

Now, Bond and Hammer have clearly become cultural embodiments of specific archetypes – the British spy and the American hardboiled detective, respectively.

But rarely does one hear of male characters being described in terms of iconic female characters. Additionally, to say that someone is a “female spy” or a “woman detective” continues to reinforce the idea that male identities are the default position.

Questions I invited the audience to consider during the presentation were:

• If male characters define these archetypes, what does it look like when women fill those roles?

• Are these female characters simply superimposed on to their male source material?

• And is the idea that they are possibly female versions of male characters narrative novelty? A mere gimmick?

• Or does the fact that they are unconventional bodies in traditional positions mean that they are capable of challenging assumptions about gender? And does that alone make them feminist?

After meeting these three characters, we were able to revisit these questions with a bit more context – with the intention of further exploring them together during the Q&A.

Modesty Blaise, one of my favorite heroes in popular culture, is a survivor, a force of nature, an ex-crime boss, and a loyal friend.

She was born out of glamour girl strips and British espionage stories—but Modesty is neither a nearly-naked ditz, nor, as she has often been called, a “female Bond.”

She is one of the great literary characters of the 20th Century.

Peter O’Donnell, who passed away just last year, created the character and was her only writer. Prior to her debut in 1963, he wrote other newspaper strips, as well as romantic serials for women’s magazines.

Modesty was drawn by the talented, Jim Holdaway—until his untimely death.

Even though other capable artists took over – it was his work that was the most exquisite.

Modesty was inspired by a encounter O’Donnell had with a young female refugee while he was stationed in Persia during World War II in which his unit shared rations with her.

His fictional character, was also a refuge, an orphan from Hungary who traveled alone until she met a Jewish man in his fifties at a displaced persons camp.

He became her teacher and traveling companion.

Upon his death, Modesty made her way to Tangiers, where she ran a roulette table at a casino, before becoming the leader of a crime syndicate called the Network – at age 19.

But Modesty had her own sense of morality, and made sure The Network never dealt in vice. Those who disobeyed this rule through the sale of drugs, women, or children were delivered to the authorities or their graves.

A man named Willie Garvin was Modesty’s right arm in The Network, and is her closest companion. She is his “Princess.”

The pair have been called “criminals with hearts of gold,” a description which is only partly true, as when we first meet them, Modesty and Willie are retired from crime.

More accurately, they’ve always walked a fine line between criminality and heroism—always leaning towards the moral side, if not necessarily the legal one.

They occasionally do favors for a dear friend in the British Secret Service.

But Modesty is no one’s agent, and where she goes Willie follows.

Over the years Modesty branched out into other media. A terrible, terrible movie was released in 1966. In fact, we took a few minutes so everyone coulds get an idea of just how very awful it is.

Peter O’Donnell once said of the film, “It makes my nose bleed to think of it.”

O’Donnell, was able to turn his original screenplay for the movie into the first of a series of 11 novels. As well as two collections of short stories detailing Modesty and Willie’s exploits and adventures – including their eventual demise.

Since the original Modesty Blaise fiasco, several prominent creators of popular culture, including Neil Gaiman, Luc Besson, and Quentin Tarantino, have expressed interest in making an adaptation that would remain truer to its source.

Tarantino was tangentially involved in a B-movie made over 18 days in Bucharest called, My Name is Modesty. Which is actually pretty good.

It features an original story, which O’Donnell was consulted on, and an authentic Modesty – one who is compassionate, resolved, resourceful – and completely full of whoop-ass.

Max Allan Collins notes that the character, Ms. Tree, which he created with Terry Beatty, was partly inspired by Modesty. They were intrigued by the idea of “An American Modesty Blaise” for their detective series, who would be to private eyes what Modesty is to spies.

Their “female Mike Hammer” debuted in 1981 – and thus predated the wave of women PI’s in literature in the 1980s – a fact that gets often gets overlooked, mostly due to the medium of the comic book.

As hard-boiled as they come, Ms. Michael Tree (her father wanted a son) first appeared in a 6-part serialized graphic novel called “I, For an Eye” in Eclipse Magazine, and most recently in the pulp paperback novel, Deadly Beloved.

A true dame of modern noir, the tough talking Ms. Tree was conceived out of Collins’ and Beatty’s love of EC Comics, Dick Tracy, Dragnet, the lone wolf tough guys of Hammett and Chandler . . .

. . . And especially Mickey Spillane’s Mike Hammer.

Ms. Tree, left the police force her father had worked for, to ultimately end up following in her husband’s stead.

First, as his begrudging secretary, and later, as the head of Tree Investigations.

For the physical look of Ms. Tree, they referenced the obscure ‘Mike Hammer’ comic strip from the early 1950s and were inspired by the way Ed Robbins had drawn Velda – Hammer’s Amazonian secretary and eventual lover, who, by the way, was a licensed PI herself. But they’ve noted that even without cartoonist Robbins to light the way, Spillane’s description of Velda had been fairly exact:

To put it even more bluntly, Velda is a brick house.

As Collins and Beatty were fans of Blaise, they additionally referenced Holdaway, and borrowed from Modesty, what Beatty calls that “Velda/Bettie Page/Tura Satana look” noting that “a wasp-waisted, big breasted, long-legged super-heroine figure made no sense in Ms. Tree’s ink and paper universe — especially after her pregnancy!”

They wanted her attractive but strong, feminine, but not girly.

Collins, has often explained the central notion of the Ms. Tree series was a play on the cliché of the tough guy private eye, his loyal secretary, and their unrequited love.

Here, this was rooted specifically in Hammer and Velda – a couple that Spillane had eventually intended to have marry.

In Ms. Tree the comic they do, only for the P.I. to be murdered on their wedding night, leaving the secretary to take over the detective agency and step into her late husband’s shoulder holster.

The private eye’s murder was the former secretary’s first case.

But Ms. Tree became much more than a playful, or even, progressive, gender reversal in a noirish tale of loss and revenge, and her story moved far beyond the confines of a reductive “you-touched-my-stuff” narrative.

Don’t get me wrong – She IS vengeful – and, as Beatty has said – “Female PI’s hadn’t been nearly as gun happy or disturbed as their male counterparts until Ms. Tree came along.”

But, while adhering to tropes of the hard-boiled detective genre, Collins and Beatty also created a complicated character – tough, but tender, feminine but not girly, gun-happy, but feminist.

As argued in Hard-Boiled and High-Heeled this is partially because, “The very concept of the ‘female dick’ asks us to reimagine sex . . . bodies . . . and gender.”

But also because while dealing with the stereotypes of pulpy crime comics, Collins and Beatty wanted to “build some flesh and blood onto them.” So that, for example, Ms. Tree herself was a distinctive tough detective, “not just another refried Philip Marlowe.”

For over 15 consecutive years, and through various publishers, Ms. Tree was the heroine of the longest running detective comic book of all time. She lived . . . loved . . . and lost, as hard-boiled protagonists do, but she was also afforded a complexity denied most female characters in comic books.

Her first case as a P.I. may have been to track down her husband’s killer, but Ms. Tree was never reduced to a widow (or, for that matter, to a cop’s daughter). She was also independent, a killer, a sister, a step-mother, and a dangerous enemy.

She was the respected leader of her own, successful business, and later, a mother, who hunted down baddies while 8 months pregnant . . .

. . . and was even lovingly and beautifully depicted breast-feeding her newborn—a rarity in comics for sure.

As per her creators’ intention, she is not a superhero, and doesn’t know martial arts, but she is smart, resolved, lethal, and a bad-ass babe. She has a gun, and she knows how to use it – happily.

See Part One.

Part Three is next!

Here are slides and video from my recent Wondercon presentation with Trina Robbins for the Comics Art Conference. The video is missing the very beginning of our opening, but I’ve included text below.

Comics Arts Conference Wondercon 2011

If one imagines a Spy, someone that embodies spydom, espionage, and intrigue – someone who is a covert agent, it’s quite likely that James Bond, in any of his incarnations, should most definitely spring immediately to mind.

But maybe you also picture, Harry Palmer or Jason Bourne.

Now, if you imagine a PI, it might just be an archetype you imagine . . .

. . . or it could be a specific character: Sam Spade or Philip Marlowe, maybe Columbo, Kojak, or Mike Hammer.

For those of you who know Trina and myself – you know we want to represent when it comes to the female of the species – and therefore, we wanted to share with you but a few of our favorite women of spy-fi and detective comics.

For those of you who don’t know us – Ms. Trina Robbins is an award-winning herstorian and expert on the subject of early 20th century women cartoonists. She produced the first all-woman comic book, It Ain’t Me, Babe, in 1970, and was a co-founder of the Wimmen’s Comix Collective. And she is a writer whose subjects have ranged from Wonder Woman and the Powerpuff Girls to her own teenage superheroine, GoGirl! – from women cartoonists and superheroines to women who kill.

As for me, I’m a writer, blogger, author, feminist, and also a pop culture herstorian. I’m a regular contributor to Bitch magazine, a Charter Associate of the Whedon Studies Association, as well as the Programming Director for GeekGirlCon. My first book – Ink-Stained Amazons and Cinematic Warriors: Superwomen in Modern Mythology – is both a history of, and a thematic look at, female super and action heroes and was awarded on place on the 2011 Amelia Bloomer Project List.

Because someone will inevitably say – “You didn’t talk about my favorite character” – we wanted to acknowledge upfront that there are many characters we could have talked about in our presentation, both well-known and obscure . . .

. . . but since we only had an hour we decided to each pick three of our favorites to share.

We hoped we introduced you to something thrilling in the herstory of spy-fi sheroes and female dicks in comics.

After I introduced the presentation, Trina started in the 1940s with her talk, Fighting Women’s Fashions: Marla, Rio, and Honey – and I joined her in the 1960s, with my Anti-Bonds and the Female Dick: Subverting, and Reinforcing, Gender Expectations in Spy-Fiction and Detective Genres. We then had time for a very brief Q&A and were joined by the wonderful artist, Cynthia Martin — who is doing work on Moonstone’s Honey West comic book.

Part Two – Coming Up!

Here is my tentative schedule for this year’s Wondercon in the lovely San Francisco. I should be able to make time for brunch, lunch, tea, cocktails, dinner, and interviews! Feel free to email me! Or if you see me wandering around, say “Hi!”

Friday, April 1

I can be in the City mid-morning if anyone wants to meet up! It also looks like I can be fairly flexible until at least 3:30.

Here are my Friday picks –
12:30-2:00 Comics Arts Conference 1: Gender: Queer Spaces—Schuyler Kerby (University of Central Florida) examines how “queer space” — space in which marginalized people find themselves as they negotiate between dominant spaces — underlies the narrative and page layout in Neil Gaiman’s The Sandman. Courtney Schneider (School of the Art Institute of Chicago) examines the treatment of homosexuality to promote tolerance and acceptance as well as the current state of gay characters in serialized media and their impact on the topic of sexuality. Kane Anderson (UC Santa Barbara) guides us into the annual Hard Heroes party in Los Angeles and the Heroes & Villains party in San Diego to explore how these festivals featuring queer revelers costumed in the guises of their favorite superheroes and villains appropriate superhero iconography to challenge mainstream ideology. Room 204/206

2:00-3:30 Comics Arts Conference 2: Adaptation: Hollywood, Survival, and Success— Shylah Hamilton (School of the Art Institute of Chicago) uses the philosophy of Jean-Paul Sartre, Georg Hegel, and Theodor W. Adorno to examine how the zombie tales of28 Days Later and 28 Weeks Later provide a template for the survival of the individual and community in periods of genocide and social unrest. Tanya Zuk (University of Arizona) pitsKick Ass against Scott Pilgrim to answer the question of why one film succeeded and the other failed — what leads a good comic astray in the heart of Hollywood? Kalani Largusa (School of the Art Institute of Chicago) examines the significance of Kato and the evolution of his role as the Green Hornet’s sidekick. Stanford Carpenter (School of the Art Institute) responds.Room 204/206

3:00-4:00 Dark Horse Fall Preview— Three years ago, Dark Horse made comics history with the launch of Buffy Season 8, which continued the canon storyline of the beloved cancelled show. Now, Dark Horse gives Wonder Con attendees exclusive news and insight into your favorite characters returning to comics this fall. Join Dark Horse director of public relationsJeremy Atkins, editors Scott Allie and Sierra Hahn, and a cast of surprise guests for the one panel you don’t wanna miss! Room 103

3:30-4:30 San Francisco Underground Indie Comic Spotlight — From the political to the artistic, this fabulous panel will spotlight the rich past, the thriving present, and the exciting future of the San Francisco underground indie comic book scene. Join Trina Robbins(Wimmen’s Comix, The Brinkley Girls), Lee Marrs (Pudge, Girl Blimp), Shaenon Garrity(Narbonic, Skin Horse), Ted Naifeh (Courtney Crumrin, Good Neighbors), Jon Macy (Fearful Hunter, Teleny and Camille), Rich Boutell (InterSections), and moderator Brian Andersen (So Super Duper, Friend of Dorothy) in what’s sure to be a lively discussion. Room 254/256

Trina and Lee Mars! Fabu!

4:30-5:30 The Evolution of Comics in the Transmedia Space— Double Barrel Motion Labs CEO Jeff Krelitz (Starz’s Spartacus: Upon the Sands of Vengeance, Tron Legacy, The Muppet Show) and producer Diana Williams (The Crazies, Conan the Barbarian: The Motion Comic) discuss the evolution of comics into other media with panelists writer Marc Andreyko(Manhunter, Ferryman), artist Dennis Calero (X-Men Noir, Cowboys & Aliens), editor Jeff Newelt (Harvey Pekar’s Cleveland), Darren Romanelli (Doctor Romanelli), director Kyle Newman (Fanboys), producer Adrian Askarieh (Hitman, Kane & Lynch), producer FJ Desanto (The Spirit, Shazam), and Paradox Entertainment (Conan The Barbarian). Double Barrel will be premiering footage from their original Fall Out Boy Motion Comic, Fall Out Toy Works, voiced by Anna Faris, along with exclusive clips of original Disney motion comics from their upcoming series. Room 254/256

Yeah. You had me at “transmedia.”

5:00-6:00 CBLDF: After the Code— Earlier this year, the Comics Code Authority was shut down. For more than 50 years the Code seal has served as a vivid reminder of the brutal government investigation and self-censorship that decimated the comics industry in the 1950s. It also stood as a standard that led to the censorship of a wide variety of comics. As the Code fades into history, the CBLDF moderates a discussion about how the Code affected comics and the threats that remain in its absence. The panel will include WonderCon special guests Sergio Aragonés, Mike Friedrich, Paul Levitz, Bill Sienkiewicz, and Marv Wolfman, and will be moderated by CBLDF Executive Director Charles Brownstein. Room 236

6:30-8:30 Back to Space-Con: The Story of the 1970s Sci-Fi Conventions— This panel discussion is a fascinating look back to the roots of today’s modern conventions and is followed by the 74-minute documentary film about the 1970s conventions called Space-Con. Told by the original organizers and fans, the film includes celebrity interviews by Bob Wilkins, dealers-room footage, costume contests, and over 40 minutes of rare convention footage. A short Q&A session follows the movie with panelists John Stanley (Creature Features), Mr. Lobo (Cinema Insomnia), Tom Wyrsch (writer/director), Strephon Taylor (producer/editor), and Ernie Fosselius (Hardware Wars). Room 104

I could be free for dinner – though I’m pretty intrigued by this panel and documentary. Plus, John Stanley is a doll. We’ll see what my energy level is though – one must remember to pace themselves at a con!

Saturday April 2

Again, I should have time in the morning to hang out!

Here are my programming picks for Saturday –

12:00-1:30 Comics Arts Conference 4: Politics of Oppression and Identity— The eternal struggle of art and freedom engages Fabio Luiz Carneiro Mourilhe Silva (Universidade Federal do Rio de Janeiro) and Jon Hogan (Syracuse University), who examine how the work of Brazilian cartoonist Henrique de Souza Filho, aka Henfil, served as an ideological and critical weapon against the military dictatorship of the 1960s through the 1980s. Jose Alaniz (University of Washington, Seattle) brings the discussion home with a focus on how the Mike Murdock storyline in Daredevil plays with identity politics through Matt Murdock’s status as blind, then sighted, then blind, then sighted. Confused? You and Karen Page both! Room 204/206

I would like to see my friend Jose’s presentation (listed above) but will likely need to attend the Super panel for workstuffs.

12:30-1:30 Super— Rainn Wilson (The Office) and director James Gunn (Slither) come to San Francisco for a conversation about their highly anticipated new film Super. Learn about how a short-order cook can take justice into his own hands with little more than a wrench and a sign from above. Don’t steal, don’t deal drugs, and don’t miss your chance to get a unique first look at this singular dark comedy, opening this spring! Room 103

1:30-3:00 Comics Arts Conference 5: Life After Trauma — To Be a Superhero or Supervillain?— Did you ever wonder why experiencing trauma led Batman to become a hero but Harvey Dent to become a villain? Why Superman hasn’t given up his Herculean task for good after being exposed to so much loss, stress, and destruction? What makes superheroes keep fighting without getting burnt out, disillusioned, or becoming villains? Join psychologists Andrea Letamendi (UC San Diego) and Robin Rosenberg (Psychology of Superheroes), psychology professor Travis Langley (Henderson State University), and WonderCon special guest Marv Wolfman as they address these questions, applying what we know about trauma in our world to the world of superheroes to better understand why the same types of events can lead some folks to heroism and others to villainy. Room 204/206

I really want to see my friend, Robin, in the session above – she’s brilliant – but I’m going to be reporting on HANNA so I’ll likely be at that session instead.

2:00-3:00 Focus Features: HANNA— Reunited for the first time since he directed her to an Oscar nomination in Atonement, Joe Wright and Saoirse Ronan are ready to shake you up with HANNA. A boldly original adventure thriller with elements of dark fairy tales,HANNA will cue lots of questions from you for the talented team at this panel — even before you’ve seen the movie. Esplanade Ballroom

3:00-4:00 Spotlight on Hope Larson— A retrospective on the career of WonderCon special guest Hope Larson, from art school minicomics to original graphic novels (Mercury, Chiggers, Gray Horses) and her upcoming adaptation of A Wrinkle in Time. Oni Press’s George Rohac moderates. Room 220

(At some point between 3-4:30, I’m attending the press interviews for HANNA.)

6:00-7:00 Anthropology of Firefly— Daryl G. Frazetti (anthropologist, CSU Channel Islands) and Larry Nemecek (MyStar Media and Trekland) examine how the Civil War inspired Joss Whedon to set out to create a show depicting similar conditions in the distant future. Fireflydocuments the tale of the birth of a subculture based on those marginalized from mainstream society following their losses in major conflict. Having gained cult status, Firefly is an ideal cultural mirror and cultural teacher. It truly can be classified as participatory myth. Firefly is an anthropological dream in how it utilizes the human past and present to tell the story of humanity in a futuristic setting. The discussion focuses on Firefly as both cultural mirror and teacher, as well as differentiating between morals and ethics and how each relates to localized and globalized cultural arenas as well as the larger, global political landscape. Also included is a brief discussion on the subculture of fandom. Room 204/206

6:30-7:30 Femme Fatales Revealed— Get a first look at Femme Fatales, the new television series, inspired by the bestselling magazine. Coming to Cinemax this May, the show is a sexy new crime thriller in the tradition of Pulp Fiction and The Twilight Zone. Be the first to see exclusive footage from the hot new show. Meet the cast and creators, including Mark A. Altman (Castle), Steve Kriozere (NCIS), and some of the mysterious femme fatales who are featured in this seductive new anthology television series. There will be surprise guests and free giveaways. Room 103

7 – 10pm: The Women of GeekGirlCon will be getting their drink on at the View Bar at the Marriott and hope you’ll come join us!

Sunday, April 3

I probably will be a mess of nerves in the morning – but could be available to get together.

Here are my picks for Sunday –
11:30-12:30 Kids’ Star Wars Craft Class— Join author and editor Bonnie Burton (The Star Wars Craft Book, StarWars.com) for a fun craft activity on how to make quick and easy Star Wars puppets! Room 204/206

12:30-1:30 Comics Arts Conference 7: A Brief Herstory of Gum Shoe Gals, Spy-Fi Sheroes, and Private Dick Chicks— Join comics herstorians, the legendary Trina Robbins and Jennifer K. Stuller (Ink-Stained Amazon), together on stage for the first time as they present an introduction to some of their favorite undercover women in comics. From Miss Fury and Senorita Rio to Honey West, Modesty Blaise, Ms. Tree, and more, come learn about the herstory of female detectives and spies in comics from the women who love them. Room 204/206

I’m thinking that this will be the best time for the annual Women Comics Scholars lunch. Will keep y’all posted!

3:00-4:00 Geek Slant: Pop Culture from an Asian American Perspective— From Far East Movement to Wong Fu Productions, Asian performers are breaking barriers — and challenging what it means to be an American star! Join us for a no-holds-barred discussion on APIs in American media, from comic books to Hollywood film. What is the state of Asian American pop, and what’s in store for the future? Featuring National Book Award winner Gene Yang (American Born Chinese), comics podcaster Eugene Ahn (aka Adam Warrock, War Rocket Ajax), journalists Diana Nguyen and Jen Wang (Disgrasian), and indie filmmaker and producerSteve Nguyen (Channel APA). Moderated by Racebending. Room 104

3:30-4:30 Dr. Horrible’s Sing-Along Blog— This year, WonderCon’s going out on a high note! Fandom Charities Inc. and Whedonopolis.com, the folks who’ve been bringing you the fantastically popular WonderCon/Comic-Con sing-alongs of “Once More With Feeling,” present a screening of Dr. Horrible’s Sing-Along Blog! This should be an event to remember, so come to the show and revel in the musical genius of The Whedons! But remember, the best part of the show is up to you! Cheer for Dr. Horrible! Cheer for Penny! Cheer for Moist! Cheer for the Freeze Ray! Cheer — or whatever — for “Captain Hammer, Corporate Tool”! Just have fun and be sure to make Bad Horse gleeful. Esplanade Ballroom

Last chance to see me because we start heading home on Monday!