The NerdGirl Chronicles: Day One of Queering Comic-Con

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Greetings geektastic readers! This weekend I went to San Diego Comic-Con, where I saw/did/screamed at/selfied ALL of the things. I mean, not all the things, that would require a time-turner, a TARDIS, and at least four clones of myself. Join me on my multi-part journey down the rabbit hole, where I recap all the nerdly things you need to know.

It’s Thursday morning when I rev up my car and drive on down to San Diego. I’ve got clear eyes, a full heart, and a very large bag of beef jerky. I arrive in San Diego to find that Comic-Con has spilled out the doors of the convention center, and has now taken over the entire Gas Lamp Quarter of San Diego. There are wizards, vampire slayers, and Sharknados swirling in the streets as throngs of people crowd into the convention center.

An Alternative View Of Comic-Con International 2015

We start with “Nobody’s Damsel: Writing for Tomorrow’s Women,” a panel featuring Issa Rae (Writer/Creator, The Misadventures of Awkward Black Girl), Meghan McCarthy ( Head of Storytelling, Hasbro & Executive Producer, My Little Pony Friendship is Magic), Molly McAleer (Hello Giggles Co-Founder), Dan Evans III (Creative Director, DC Entertainment TV), Aria Moffly (Creative Director, DC Publishing), and Sam Maggs (The Fangirl’s Guide to the Galaxy/The Mary Sue). The panel was moderated D’nae Kingsley from entertainment marketing agency Trailer Park.

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The panel discussed the influence of feminism on modern media, as well as the rise of the female super-heroine. Maggs discussed how social media is a platform for women’s voices and inspires a community that is able to hold behavior accountable, i.e. the #WheresNatasha movement protesting the lack of Black Widow toys for sale. Rae discussed the pressures of the “only woman” character on a show or movie, who is forced to be “perfect” because she is the sole representation of women. All the panelists agreed that complicated, flawed female characters are necessary and essential to properly telling women’s stories.

From there, it was off to “Writing Transgender Characters” with panelists Knave Murdok (Transcat), Ronnie Ritchie (Gqutie), Kat Blaque (illustrator, animator, blogger), Dylan Edwards (Transposes), Dax Tran-Caffe (Falling Sky, 2015 Eisner nominee and Gillian Cameron (Calogrenant). The panelists discussed how role-playing games led them to explore their gender identities, as did the worlds of science fiction and fantasy. They also talked about the importance of diversity in trans portrayals, and the difficulty of a single trans character representing a world of trans stories.

I wrapped up the day by popping my panelist cherry with the “LGBTQ Geek Year in Review” featuring Diane Anderson-Minshall (The AdvocateQueerly Beloved), Amber Garza (Geeks OUT, Flame Con), Matt Kane (GLAAD), and Sean Z. Maker (Bent-Con), moderated by P. Kristen Enos (Prism Comics). I had a blast discussing the year in queer geekery with the panel, where we touched on the success of Fun Home, the cancellation of the Batwoman series, and Catwoman’s bisexuality becoming canon. I also got to rant about lesbian subtext in the ’80s cartoon series Jem and the Holograms, which is something I do frequently, but this time with a captive audience! Thanks audience, for putting up with my nervous sweats and my Harry Potter puns.

Join me tomorrow for Day Two of my exhaustive/exhausting SDCC coverage. Did you make your way to the con? What was your favorite panel? Did you pay five bucks for a convention hot dog? Tweet me your stories @Chelseaprocrast