This weekend's Denver ComicCon came under fire when attendees discovered that a Women in Comics panel had only male panelists. While a representative of DCC has defended the panel as "not about current women creators or anything to do with industry bias," it seems odd that a convention with Trina Robbins, the eminent historian of women as creators and characters, as a guest would not invite her to join in on a discussion of the history of women in comics. While the misstep here is primarily on the panel organizers, it also raises a question of what obligation conventions have to moderate and comment on panels that are accepted.
This weekend saw the annual Glyph Awards Ceremony take place in Philadelphia, at the East Coast Black Age of Comics Convention. The awards champion and celebrate the best in comics made by, for, and about Black people, although the nominations are not exclusively limited to black creators.
The butter tart is one of Canada's great cultural contribtutions to the world. The Toronto Comic Arts Festival (TCAF) also fits squarely in that category. So it's apt that these two juggernauts of the North have come together this weekend --- the very weekend of TCAF --- in the form of a handy map of Toronto's finest butter tarts created by two of TCAF's critically acclaimed guests; Super Mutant Magic Academy author Jillian Tamaki, and Ant Colony author Michael DeForge. If you're hitting up the festival this weekend, you may want to set aside a little time for a butter tart pilgrimage.
ComiqueCon is a brand new comics convention happening this year in Dearborn, Michigan on November 7th, 2015. Its focus is on female comic creators, and they've lined up guests including Alex De Campi and Mairghread Scott. The convention is also crowdfunding a fairly small amount of money to help with paying for the cost of bringing special guests out to attend. It seems like an interesting convention that will hopefully bring something new to the table.
A GamerGate-associated group named "Honey Badger Radio" crowdfunded an appearance as exhibitors at CalgaryExpo, in part to sell pro-GamerGate merchandise, and in part to disrupt panels with a feminist angle. As a result of their disruptive behavior, the group has been removed from the convention. This has many GamerGate supporters shouting "censorship" and "misogyny" at the convention, though the convention acted within the bounds of its rules of conduct and for the good of its attendees.
Towards the end of this weekend's WonderCon, the convention announced that it would be held in Los Angeles in 2016. The move is caused in part by planned construction on the Anahem Convention Center, and currently WonderCon only has a one year contract with LA, so it's not necessarily a permanent move. WonderCon is one of the most nomadic of conventions, having originated in Oakland, moved to San Francisco, and then moved to Anaheim. Of course, the change from Anaheim to Los Angeles is similar to the move from Oakland to San Francisco - it's not a huge shift in terms of general location.
Although cosplay has been present for decades within the comics, anime, and sci-fi/fantasy fandoms, social media has played an integral role in the thriving communities of costuming that exist, such as Cosplay.com and the Superhero Costuming Forum. Over the years, the cosplay community has evolved into a creative outlet for many fans to establish and showcase some impressive feats of homemade disguise, craftsmanship, and sartorial superheroics at conventions.
Convention season is upon us once more, which means thousands of comic book fans will descend on the hotels and convention centers of North America (and the world) to be consumed wholesale by nerd nirvana. They will stand in long lines, they will press through huge crowds, and they will eat a salty pretzel for lunch for three or four days in a row. And there will be panels. And that means Q&A sessions. And that means long, awkward questions from nervous and and overwhelmed fans.
We can't do anything to help with the lines, the crowds, or your sodium intake, but we do want to help make those Q&A sessions a little more comfortable, so we've put together seven simple suggestions to help attendees ask better questions. This makes life better for the questioners, the panelists, and everyone else in the room. Think of it as a little convention etiquette guide, and think of ComicsAlliance as your Emily Post-Crisis.
Emerald City Comicon 2015 begins tonight, March 26th, launching us into quite possibly the most ComicsAlliance-filled convention of the con season. ECCC is a beloved convention not least because it is still very comics focused and has a great community feel. While ECCC is now owned by ReedPop, it's unlikely there will be a lot of ReedPop, it's likely to retain its unique character, especially given how recent the purchase was.
CA folks are quite active at ECCC every year, meaning you can see any number of past and present (and maybe future?) ComicsAlliance editors and contributors on panels.
If you want to hear us speak on panels, or if you want to talk about comics with us, here's where you can find CA folks at ECCC this weekend (and yes, we're pretty sure they cloned Kate Leth this year).
The past few years have been an interesting time for fan conventions, as organizers have to confront social issues that they may not have considered in years past. Conventions including Heroes Con and Emerald City Comic Con have taken a head-on approach to harassment and gender discrimination. DragonCon wisely cut ties with a founder in the wake of a child molestatiion case. And the list goes on.
But many of those have been cases of conventions dealing with direct internal challenges. This week, Gen Con, the largest tabletop gaming convention in North America, took the fight to the state government of Indiana, threatening to leave the Hoosier State if Gov. Mick Pence signs into law a bill that would facilitate discrimination against gay people.