NYC’s Flamecon celebrates queer geeky fandom in style


It was a sweltering day in Brooklyn, but the heat didn’t put a damper on the fun at FlameCon, NYC’s first queer comic con. The feeling in the air (besides the humidity) was that of community as LGBTQI folks and allies gathered to check out interesting panels, special guests, artists promoting their work, and entertainment. The con was put on by Geeks OUT, an organization that actively works to promote queer visibility and celebration in the geek community. Through a successful Kickstarter campaign, Geeks OUT was able to raise the initial funding to bring Flamecon to fruition.


Unlike many cons, the comfort of queer, trans and non-binary guests was a major priority. All FlameCon bathrooms were gender-neutral, and the event provided stickers attendees could wear that identified their pronouns like She/Her/Hers, They/Them/Theirs or simply said “Just Ask Me.”

Flamey and Geeks OUT board member Kevin Gilligan IMG_3512

Like most cons, FlameCon had an exhibition hall where comic book artists, authors, and all types of creatives gathered to show off their wares to the excited crowd. I went to the expo section on a mission: to find new things to share with the AfterEllen readers. Mission accomplished.

Strong Female Protagonist is a webcomic created by writer Brennan Lee Mulligan and artist Molly Ostertag, that features the story of Alison aka Mega Girl, a young woman with superpowers who finds herself battling the against the social injustices of the world. One of Alison’s allies is an out queer woman to boot!

 Molly Ostertag (right)IMG_3486

Niki Smith is a comic book artist and writer who was on hand to showcase her webcomic erotica and the (NSFW) site that hosts them, Filthy Figments. Yes, webcomic erotica! Filthy Figments is created by women and currently features over 90 titles. With a subscription, you can check out one of Niki’s stories, Crossplay, featuring a female-female pairing.

Niki Smith (left) and Kiri Wolff IMG_3488

If you are a fan of minimalist artwork and pop culture, you will love Rogan Josh‘s ModHero. Whether you are into Dr. Who, Buffy, X-Men, or countless other sci-fi and pop culture TV shows and films, you can find gorgeous posters designed by Josh. I picked up a few posters to decorate both my office as well as my wife’s.

The lovely Modhero booth staff FullSizeRender

Jennie Wood was on hand to showcase her comic book Flutter that features a shapeshifting, gender-shifting queer protagonist named Lily. Volume Two of Flutter will be coming out later this summer, and is a must-see for queer comic book fans.

Jennie WoodIMG_3505

I also came across this gorgeous graphic novel by Hazel Newlevant, If This Be Sin, which features stories about queer woman in music. I picked up my own copy, and it’s lush and beautiful to look at, while also containing compelling stories.


I was lucky enough to be included in this year’s festivities as the moderator for the “Diversity in New Media” panel with special guest Dylan Marron (Carlos from Welcome to Nightvale), Kate Tracy and Lisa Bunker (S(her)lock), Kevin Gilligan (Geeks OUT podcast, Gigahoes) and Krutika Mallikarjuna (Editor of Buzzfeed Geeky). The panel discussed how we can utilize the vast and exciting world of new media to foster more diversity in both content and coverage. The room was packed showcasing just how vital this discussion is, and even as we neared our ending time, there were still so many things left to discuss. Other panels included “Openly YA: Bringing Varieties of Queerness to YA Fiction,” “Women Creating Awesome,” “The Internet is Ghey” and more.


And of course, no comic con would be complete without some cosplay and FlameCon did not disappoint. I came across this trio cosplaying characters from Steven Universe.

Beryl Bell as Sapphire, Elydah as Ruby and Isabelle Van Ingen as JasperFullSizeRender

Isake Smith as Wonder WomanIMG_3514

You can check out for a full list of vendors and events, and Geeks OUT to keep up with plans for next year’s con.

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