As a feminist not afraid to use the word (thankyouverymuch), and as a nerdgirl, and a geek, and a lesbian, GeekGirlCon is IMPORTANT. Arising from discussions at San Diego Comicon back in 2010, the values of such an event cannot be ignored or mistaken.
Maybe it was the disclaimer on the website, but once again I found myself at a convention free from harassment, judgment, catcalls, and general bitchiness. Pretty freakin’ sweet! Boasting everything from Susan Eisenberg to cosplay to queer speculative fiction to gaming, this con had it all. Seriously, it’s rapidly becoming a contender for Must Go To cons in the circuit. Especially if you’re female-identified.
Holy cosplayers, Batwoman! I didn’t dress up, but I complimented everyone I could in costume (including a non-size 1 Harley Quinn). And even though I wore general nerdy t-shirts both days, I got complimented as well. Saturday was jam-packed with people, and the remainder of the two-day and Sunday passes were sold out as of mid afternoon that day. Last year the con topped at about 4,000 attendees; I’m told that between 6 and 7,000 people showed up this year between the two days, according to PR manager Susie.
Highlights from my personal Geek Squee:
- Susan Eisenberg panel, Saturday. I got to ask her, “Do you feel that Wonder Woman on Justice League and Justice League: Unlimited got enough screen time/play and that she was her own independent character? Or was she mostly a device for the male characters?” She replied, among other words, “We saw who she was.” Squee! And I tweeted that it was the first time Susan said, “Squee!”
- Alan Kistler was at the same panels as Susan, and he was there to offer more nerd history and knowledge. A big Wonder Woman fan, he contributes to The Mary Sue. He also answered my pertinent question regarding Wonder Woman vs. Bruce Wayne’s heights.
- Attended a panel called, “A Woman’s Place is on the Bridge: Trek Women in Charge.” FREAKIN’ AWESOME! Ladies, if you were there, you’d know how much nerd squee and nerd rage happened. It needed to be a two-hour discussion, instead of the ran-out-of-time one hour. What I didn’t get to say at the panel: It took a Klingon to replace Tasha Yar. ‘Nuff said. It was nice to see that Star Trek is still relevant to women, years after the last series went off the air. (Really, who even *watched* Enterprise?)
- Sunday: Back to Justice League! I went to the viewing party because the voice of Wonder Woman was there. We watched a few episodes highlighting her character and her interactions with Batman. Of course, this was in the wake of Kevin Conroy (voice of Batman since 1993) getting a standing ovation at NYCC. It added a nice touch to have Susan speak about how attached she is to Wonder Woman and how fun it was to be flirtatious with a never-present Batman. If you’ve ever seen “Maid of Honor,” you’ll notice the lesbian undertones. Probably unintentional, but so what? Someone in the audience asked her, “Where did you draw your strength from in voicing such an iconic and heroic character who’s always staying true to herself?” Eisenberg replied, “Well, I’m a Leo woman. But I thank you for the compliment. I was bullied a lot in school, and from that I’ve grown. But Andrea Romano [voice director] told me when I wasn’t sounding powerful enough. She’d tell me, ‘you need to sound like a hero.’ So I did.”
From a LGBTQ perspective, GGC was more than welcoming. Unfortunately most of the queer panels took place on Saturday night when I had to work. But I did get to go to “Galaxy Quest: Exploring Queer Sci-fi and Fantasy Fiction.” The room was pretty full, and the speakers were all writers and editors of speculative fiction with queer characters. Quite informative! I remember when I started reading books by lesbian authors in the early 2000’s, and the only things out there were erotica and murder mysteries. Nice to know how far we’ve come.
Northwest Press was there, thankfully! I’ve been told the lesbian comic to read right now is “The Legend of Bold Riley.” Shout-out also to Blind Eye Books, based out of Bellingham.
- Numberism, by Sienna Morris. Folks, anyone who uses mathematical numbers and symbols to create art uses both right and left sides of her brain. Pretty awesome!
- “Introvert Alley,” a room specifically designated for anti-social people who needed a space to chill away from the hullabaloo. What other con would do that??
- For the Seahawks fans: Shayera Hall in a Seahawks jersey, with wings, a Hawkgirl helmet in blue and green, and a spiked football. “Seahawk Girl.”
- Dr. Horrible cosplay by lesbians.
- THE ENTIRE CAST OF SAILOR MOON COSPLAY. (Picture was taken before the rest of the crew arrived.)
Friends of mine from dorkadia.com helped me think of a couple of questions, to which I received answers from Susie at GGC. Here you go:
It looks like GGC stays a little more local as it continues to gain momentum. With a lot of luck, love, and a new hope [Star Wars ref], this con may spread its message nationwide and end up at all of the larger forays. For now, womyn, just be content to know that yes, there *is* a safe convention out there that caters to you and will allow you to feel safe to be your nerdy/geeky self. I can’t wait to see what’s in store for next year.
Korra Q is a Seattle-based nerd who plays fetch with her cat. She’s into sci-fi, un-sparkly vampires, and fictional chicks who kick ass. To support her habits, she’s the sassiest server you’ll ever order from.
Random musings: @Kittyslap27 on Twitter.